González, Florentino (1805–1874)

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González, Florentino (1805–1874)

Florentino González (b. 1805; d. 1874), Colombian political figure of the Liberal Party. Born in Cincelada, Santander, González studied at the College of San Bartolomé, obtaining the degree of doctor of jurisprudence in 1825. One of the participants in the attempt against Simón Bolívar's life in 1828, González barely escaped the firing squad. He went to Europe in 1841, remaining there until 1846.

González's claim to historical notoriety rests on his being widely credited as the foremost proponent of free trade, a position based on ideas he had picked up in Great Britain in the early 1840s. As minister of finance in the first administration of Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera (1845–1849), he implemented policies that reflected his ideas. In the ensuing Liberal Party split between an elite faction (the gólgotas) and a more popular faction (the draconianos), González attacked the draconianos as dangerous socialist levelers. As he became ideologically closer to the Conservatives and because he favored annexation to the United States to avoid political instability, he broke with his party and faded away from the political stage. In 1860 he left Colombia never to return. He died in Argentina in 1874 but his body was not returned to Colombia until 1934.

See alsoColombia, Political Parties: Liberal Party; Free Trade Act.


Gustavo Otero Muñoz, Semblanzas Colombianas (1938).

Gerardo Molina, Las ideas liberales en Colombia, 1849–1914 (1970).

Jaime Duarte French, Florentino González: Razón y sinrazón de una lucha política (1982).

Additional Bibliography

Jordán Flórez, Fernando, ed. Antología del pensamiento y programas del Partido Liberal, 1820–2000. 3 vols. Bogotaá: Partido Liberal Colombiano, 2000.

Llano Isaza, Rodrigo. Los draconianos: Origen popular del Liberalismo Colombiano. Bogotá: Planeta, 2005.

                                          JosÉ Escorcia

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González, Florentino (1805–1874)

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González, Florentino (1805–1874)