Concha, José Vicente (1867–1929)

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Concha, José Vicente (1867–1929)

José Vicente Concha (b. 21 April 1867; d. 8 December 1929), president of Colombia (1914–1918). A member of the Conservative Party's traditionalist, or "Historical" wing, Concha, a native of Bogotá, became a critic of the Nationalist regime of Miguel Antonio Caro (1892–1898). In 1900 he conspired with fellow Historicals and with members of the Liberal Party to overthrow Nationalist President Manuel Antonio Sanclemente. The plotters replaced Sanclemente with José Manuel Marroquín, who headed the government until 1904. Concha served as Marroquín's minister of war, and in 1902 was sent to Washington, D.C., to conclude negotiations on the Hay-Herran Treaty.

Concha was a leader in the struggle against the authoritarian regime of President Rafael Reyes, whose five-year term (1904–1909) is known in Colombian history as El Quinquenio. Concha's term as president coincided with World War I, during which Colombia remained neutral in the face of U.S. pressure to declare war on Germany. Philosophically committed to administrative decentralization, to laissez-faire economics, and to a non-partisan political style, Concha was frequently praised by leaders of the opposition Liberal Party.

Following his presidency, Concha served in the Colombian Senate, taught university courses, wrote literary essays, and authored legal treatises, especially in the areas of penology and constitutional law. He served as Colombia's minister to the Vatican under President Miguel Abadía Méndez (1926–1930). He died in Rome.

See alsoColombia, Political Parties: Conservative Party .


See the essay by Juan Lozano y Lozano on José Vicente Concha in Lozano's Ensayos criticos (1934). For additional information see David Bushnell, The Making of Modern Colombia, a Nation in Spite of Itself (1993).

Additional Bibliography

Arizmendi Posada, Ignacio. Manual de historia presidencial: Colombia, 1819–2004. Bogotá, D.C.: Planeta, 2004.

Posada-Carbo, Eduardo. "Limits of Power: Elections Under the Conservative Hegemony in Colombia, 1886–1930." The Hispanic American Historical Review 77:2 (May 1997): 245-279.

                                 James D. Henderson