Juárez Celman, Miguel (1844–1909)

views updated

Juárez Celman, Miguel (1844–1909)

Miguel Juárez Celman (b. 29 September 1844; d. 14 April 1909), president of Argentina (1886–1890). Juárez Celman, born in Córdoba, took a strong anticlerical position in promoting secular education. After serving as a legal adviser, legislator, and provincial minister, he became an unconditional supporter of Julio Argentino Roca. He married Roca's sister, and Roca married Juárez Celman's sister. In 1882, Roca decided that his brother-in-law should govern Córdoba. Impressed with Juárez Celman's political machine, Roca then imposed him as president of the republic.

As chief executive, Juárez Celman was self-serving and corrupt. His regime promoted European immigration, foreign investment, public works, and economic growth. Unfortunately, wild speculation, galloping inflation, and a tripling of the public debt occurred. A particularly irresponsible issue of paper currency resulted in the loss of political legitimacy. When Juárez Celman belatedly took measures to head off the financial crisis, his supporters refused to back him in Congress.

Angry investors and those who suffered a decline in their standard of living joined with Catholic activists and the Unión Cívica (Civic Union) in demanding honest government. Three days of rebellion, known as the 1890 Revolution, resulted in Juárez Celman's resignation on 6 August, 1890. Once worth over $30 million, he died in obscure poverty at Capitán Sarmiento Arrecites.

See alsoAnticlericalism; Roca, Julio Argentino.


Juan Carlos Agulla, Eclipse of an Aristocracy: An Investigation of the Ruling Elites of Córdoba, translated by Betty Crouse (1976).

Gustavo Ferrari, "La presidencia Juárez Celman," in La Argentina del ochenta al centenario, edited by Gustavo Ferrari and Ezequiel Gallo (1980).

A. G. Ford, The Gold Standard, 1880–1914 (1962).

Thomas Mc Gann, Argentina, the United States and the Inter-American System, 1880–1914 (1957).

Additional Bibliography

Pinedo, Enrique. Los relegados. Buenos Aires: Corregidor, 2000.

Rock, David. State Building and Political Movements in Argentina, 1860–1916. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002.

                              Douglas W. Richmond