Herrera, Luis Alberto de (1873–1959)

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Herrera, Luis Alberto de (1873–1959)

The Uruguayan lawyer and Blanco (National Party) politician Luis Alberto de Herrera Quevedo (he did not publicly use Quevedo) represented a current of political thought that came to be known as Herrerismo, still followed by some Blanco politicians in the early twenty-first century, and became recognized as a twentieth-century caudillo. Born in Montevideo on July 22, 1873, into a family with a strong presence in Uruguayan politics, he graduated from the Facultad de Derecho in Montevideo and practiced law before beginning his long political career. His first contacts with the Blanco Party came as a contributor to the paper El Nacional and as a soldier in the revolutionary army led by the Blanco caudillo Aparicio Saravia in 1897. Along with those of Eduardo Acevedo Díaz, Herrera's writings in this paper played an important role in the outbreak of this revolution against the Colorado president Juan Idiarte Borda. Herrera chronicled this experience in the book Por la patria. From 1902 to 1904 he held diplomatic posts in the United States and Canada, but he returned to Uruguay to take part in the 1904 revolution led again by Saravia, this time against the Colorado president José Batlle y Ordóñez. He served twice as a national representative, integrated the committee that reformed the national constitution in 1918, and later served as senator (1934–1942). He ran six times unsuccessfully for president. From 1943 to 1958 Herrera headed the largest sector of the Blanco Party.

A strong critic of Colorado domestic economic policies and international relations, during World War II he supported neutrality and nonintervention and advocated for national sovereignty. These positions contributed to his polemical reputation as a nationalist and fueled accusations that he was sympathetic to fascism. In the 1958 presidential elections he led his party to victory for the first time in ninety-three years. In addition to articles in newspapers, Herrera authored numerous studies of Uruguayan and regional political history and wrote essays on international relations and diplomacy. He died in Montevideo on April 8, 1959.

See alsoUruguay: The Twentieth Century; Uruguay, Political Parties: Blanco Party; Acevedo Díaz, Eduardo Inés; Batlle y Ordóñez, José; Caudillismo, Caudillo.


Castellanos, Alfredo R. Nomenclatura de Montevideo. Montevideo: Intendencia Municipal de Montevideo, 1977.

Haedo, Eduardo Víctor. Herrera: Caudillo Oriental. Montevideo: Cámara de Representantes, 1990.

Scarone, Arturo. Uruguayos contemporáneos: Nuevo diccionario de datos biográficos. Montevideo: A. Barreiro y Ramos, 1937.

Zubillaga, Carlos. Herrera: La encrucijada nacionalista. Montevideo: Arca, 1976.

                               William G. Acree Jr.

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Herrera, Luis Alberto de (1873–1959)

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