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Castelli, Juan José (1764–1812)

Castelli, Juan José (1764–1812)

Juan José Castelli (b. 19 July 1764; d. 12 October 1812), Argentine independence leader. The son of an Italian father and Spanish mother, Castelli was born in Buenos Aires and studied law at the University of Chuquisaca in Upper Peru (modern Bolivia). He practiced in Buenos Aires, where, along with his cousin Manuel Belgrano and other creoles who had absorbed Enlightenment ideas, he worked to promote liberal reforms.

In 1810 Castelli took an active part in the May Revolution and was one of the secretaries of the revolutionary junta. That same year the junta sent him to accompany an expeditionary force to Upper Peru, where he proposed the elimination of monastic houses and other radical religious innovations, while also seeking to enlist the Indian population in the struggle. When Upper Peru was lost in mid-1811, Castelli's rivals sought to make him a scapegoat; he stood trial in Buenos Aires, but before a verdict could be handed down he died of cancer.

See alsoArgentina: The Colonial Period .


Julio César Chaves, Castelli, el adalid de mayo, 2d ed. (1957).

John Lynch, The Spanish-American Revolutions, 1808–1826 (1973).

Additional Bibliography

Delgado, Josefina. "Andrés Rivera y el sueño eterno de Castelli." Todo Es Historia 27:315 (October 1993): 56-59.

Lesser, Rocardo. La infancia de los próceres: Belgrano, Rivadavia, Moreno, Castelli, Azcuénaga. Buenos Aires: Editorial Biblos, 2004.

                                          David Bushnell

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