Estrada, José Manuel (1842–1894)

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Estrada, José Manuel (1842–1894)

Born in Buenos Aires on July 13, 1842 José Manuel Estrada was a writer, law professor, director of the Argentine Colegio Nacional, and congressman. As a member of the so-called Generation of 1880, Estrada typifies the multifaceted man of letters in Argentine public and intellectual life in Buenos Aires. In addition to serving as rector of the Colegio Nacional, an institution that has traditionally provided secondary-school training to the brightest of the nation's youth, Estrada played an energetic role in the burgeoning field of cultural journalism. He was the founding editor of the Revista Argentina, an excellent example of the comprehensive cultural publications of the period that contributed to a sense of sophisticated nationalism by serving as a forum for the exchange of ideas among privileged literati, most of whom had ties to the economic boom of the late nineteenth century. This exchange was abetted by the way in which such publications functioned as a channel for the intensive European and American intellectual production of the day.

Estrada is notable for his identification with a conservative Catholicism that was opposed to what he viewed as an immoral and tyrannical capitalist expansion at the expense of traditional values. Estrada's antiliberalism is typified by his early El catolicismo y la democracia (1862) and in his work as leader of the highly orthodox Unión Católica. His Lecciones sobre la historia de la República Argentina (1868), based on his lectures as a law professor, constitute a notable example of his unified conservative Catholic point of view and typify the sort of grandiloquent rhetoric customarily found in militant writings of those who sought to shape national consciousness. As a consequence of his ideas and the tenor of his rhetoric, Estrada was dismissed from the Colegio Nacional in 1983. He died of heart failure in Asuncion, Paraguay, on September 17, 1894, while serving as Argentine Minister Plenipotentiary.

See alsoColegio Nacional de Buenos Aires; Journalism.


Casal Castel, Alberto. "La actualidad de José Manuel Estrada." In his Vidas ejemplares. Buenos Aires: Librería Hachette, 1942.

Giusti, Roberto F. "Preliminary Study." In Jose Manuel Estrada, Antología. Buenos Aires: A. Estrada, 1941.

                                 David William Foster

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Estrada, José Manuel (1842–1894)

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