Dueñas, Francisco (1817–1884)

views updated

Dueñas, Francisco (1817–1884)

Francisco Dueñas (b. 1817; d. 31 March 1884), last Conservative president of El Salvador (1851–1854, 1863–1871). Francisco Dueñas studied law and was active in letters, education, and public service before seizing power in 1851 and again in 1863 with the assistance of Guatemala's Rafael Carrera. As president, Dueñas strengthened the Salvadoran armed forces and enacted a new constitution (1864), which consolidated military and political power in his hands. He persecuted his political rivals and had a number of them killed, including his Liberal predecessor, Gerardo Barrios. The Dueñas regime created a stable environment for the growth of the coffee industry, which it encouraged with incentives similar to those more commonly associated with Liberal governments. Dueñas also promoted physical improvements in the country's infrastructure and in the capital city, San Salvador. Congress reelected Dueñas in 1870, but he lost the following year to a Liberal revolt under Santiago González. Dueñas spent much of his later life in exile. A pioneer coffee grower himself, he founded one of El Salvador's wealthiest and most powerful families.

See alsoCoffee Industry .


Juan J. Cañas, "Doctor Don Francisco Dueñas," in San Salvador y sus hombres, 2d ed. (1967).

Enrique Chacón, El presidente Dr. Francisco Dueñas y su época (n.d.).

Additional Bibliography

Ching, Erik Kristofer. "From Clientelism to Militarism: The State, Politics and Authoritarianism in El Salvador, 1840–1940." Ph.D. diss., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1997.

Melgar Brizuela, José. Liberalismo y conservadurismo en El Salvador durante la segunda mitad del siglo XIX. La Libertad: Editorial Delgado, 2004.

                                             Stephen Webre