Gómez, Juan Carlos (1820–1884)

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Gómez, Juan Carlos (1820–1884)

Juan Carlos Goméz (b. 1820; d. 1884), Uruguayan journalist and poet. The long siege of Montevideo by Blanco Party forces under Manuel Oribe, who was supported by Argentina's dictator, Juan Manuel de Rosas, provided Gómez with an incentive to move to Chile in 1843. While there he joined Argentines and fellow liberals Domingo Sarmiento and Bartolomé Mitre in the struggle against Rosas, and then in the task of implementing a liberal program of institutional renovation. His defense of freedom of the press in Valparaíso's El Mercurio in the 1840s and his promotion of liberal reforms in Buenos Aires's El Orden, La Tribuna, and El Nacional in the 1850s—and for a brief period in Montevideo's El Nacional—earned him wide respect.

Between 1852 and 1863 Gómez divided his time between Montevideo and Buenos Aires. In Montevideo he served as a representative in the national legislature and as minister of foreign relations. In Buenos Aires he supported Mitre's Nationalist Party. His principled opinions often sparked angry polemic: he stridently promoted the union of Uruguay and Argentina in a "United States of the Plata," and he was an outspoken critic, beginning in 1869, of Argentina's role in the War of the Triple Alliance. Following Juan Bautista Alberdi, he argued that the war "against the people" had weakened the Spanish-speaking countries of the Plata relative to their historical rival, Brazil. Gómez promoted the liberal ideas of the period, including the need to attract a European population to the regions of the Plata, to combat the retrograde rural society that joined despotic caudillos with illiterate gauchos, and to modernize at whatever cost. Gómez also wrote poetry. His "La libertad" is one of the finest in Uruguay's romantic canon.

See alsoMitre, Bartolomé; Rosas, Juan Manuel de; Uruguay: Before 1900; War of the Triple Alliance.


Julio María Isosa, Juan Carlos Gómez (1905).

Additional Bibliography

Montero Bustamante, Raúl. Estampas: Fructuoso Rivera, Melchor Pacheco y Obes, Juan Carlos Gómez, Julio Herrera y Obes. Montevideo: Ediciones Ceibo, 1942.

                                        William H. Katra

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Gómez, Juan Carlos (1820–1884)

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