Errázuriz Echaurren, Federico (1850–1901)

views updated

Errázuriz Echaurren, Federico (1850–1901)

Federico Errázuriz Echaurren (b. 16 November 1850; d. 12 July 1901), president of Chile (1896–1901). Son of former president Federico Errázuriz Zañartu, Errázuriz was a lawyer by education and a farmer by profession. He entered politics in 1876, serving three terms as a deputy. Although he served as a minister in José Manuel Balmaceda's government (1886–1891), he joined the Congressionalist forces in the 1891 Revolution. Reelected to the chamber of deputies, he later became a senator. Errázuriz apparently spent heavily—probably over a million pesos—to win the presidency in 1896. Despite this sum, he barely defeated his opponent, the highly principled Vicente Reyes, who possessed neither Errázuriz's funds nor his political connections.

Despite these inauspicious beginnings, Errázuriz did manage to resolve the nation's frontier problems with Argentina over the Puna de Atacama, preserve Chile's territorial gains from the War of the Pacific, and personally intervene to avoid war with Argentina. In 1899 he met with the president of Argentina at the Strait of Magellan, where they declared that their two nations would never fight each other.

Errázuriz's fellow countrymen seemed less pacific, however, attacking the partially paralyzed and increasingly ill president. Forced by poor health to turn over his government in 1900 to his vice president for four months, Errázuriz returned to rule, but in May 1901 he again transferred power to the vice president. Errázuriz died before completing his term of office.

See alsoBalmaceda Fernández, José Manuel; Chile, Revolutions: Revolution of 1891.


Jaime Eyzaguirre, Chile durante el gobierno de Errázuriz Echaurren, 1896–1901 (1957).

Luis Galdames, A History of Chile (1941), pp. 366, 406, 444.

Additional Bibliography

Collier, Simon, and William F. Sater. A History of Chile, 1808–1994. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

                                        William F. Sater