López, Ambrosio (1809–1881)

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López, Ambrosio (1809–1881)

Ambrosio López (b. 1809; d. 19 June 1881), Colombian artisan and political activist. Ambrosio López illustrates the potential social mobility afforded by nineteenth-century patron-client relations. Born in Bogotá to the tailor Jerónimo López and the chichera (brewer) Rosa Pinzón, López used political associations with, first, General Francisco de Paula Santander, and then Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera to secure various appointments. López helped found the Democratic Society of Artisans in 1847, only later (1851) to quit the organization because he thought that Liberal anti-Catholicism had corrupted it. Ambrosio supported Mosquera in opposing the 1854 revolt of José María Melo, for which he was rewarded with the post of director of waters for Bogotá during the 1860s. He participated in several Catholic mutual aid organizations, favored a more traditional political economy, and opposed Liberalism on most points. In the 1870s, Ambrosio ran the distillery Los Tres Puentes, owned by the Samper brothers. His association with the Sampers later enabled his son, Pedro, to become an important banker; his grandson, Alfonso López Pumarejo, served as president of the country in the 1930s.

See alsoColombia, Organizations: Democratic Society of Artisans .


Ambrosio López, El desengaño o confidencias de Ambrosio López, primer director de la Sociedad de Artesanos de Bogotá, denominada hoi "Sociedad Democrática" escrito para conocimiento de sus consocios (1851).

Alfonso López, Mi novela: Apuntes autobiográficos de Alfonso López, edited by Hugo LaTorre Cabal (1961).

Additional Bibliography

Guerra, Sergio. Los artesanos en la revolución latinoamericana: Colombia, 1849–1854. Havana: Editorial Pueblo y Educación, 1990.

Sowell, David. "'La teoria i la realidad': The Democratic Society of Artisans of Bogota, 1847–1854." The Hispanic American Historical Review 67:4 (November 1987): 611-630.

Sowell, David. The Early Colombian Labor Movement: Artisans and Politics in Bogotá, 1832–1919. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992.

                                           David Sowell