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López Jordán, Ricardo (1822–1889)

López Jordán, Ricardo (1822–1889)

Ricardo López Jordán (b. 30 August 1822; d. 22 June 1889), military leader and staunch defender of provincial autonomy. Born in Paysandú, Uruguay, López Jordán was a nephew of Francisco Ramírez and Justo José de Urquiza. He attended the Colegio de San Ignacio in Buenos Aires, and began his military career at the age of nineteen as a soldier in the escort of Urquiza. He served in the forces of Urquiza and the Uruguayans Manuel Oribe, Eugenio Garzón, Lucas Moreno, and César Díaz. Twice military commandant of Concepción del Uruguay, he became extremely popular when he stopped an invasion of his jurisdiction by General Juan Madariaga. He later taught military science at the Colegio del Uruguay, where among his students was Julio A. Roca (who later defeated him in battle and became president of Argentina). He represented Paraná in the national congress (1858) and accompanied Urquiza to Asunción to settle an international dispute (1859). López Jordán served as minister of government in the provincial government of Urquiza (1860) and as president of the provincial legislature (1863–1864), but was unsuccessful in his candidacy for governor because of Urquiza's opposition (1864).

During the War of the Triple Alliance, López Jordán's troops were the only ones not to disband at Basualdo, and he escorted Urquiza home. The day after Urquiza was assassinated, an act for which he assumed responsibility, he was elected governor (12 April 1870). When President Sarmiento refused to recognize the election and ordered the intervention of the province, the legislature authorized López Jordán to defend provincial autonomy. Sarmiento then besieged the province. Warships patrolled the Uruguay and Paraná rivers, and federal troops, eventually armed with imported Remington rifles, advanced into the province from Gualeguaychú and Corrientes.

López Jordán was supported by the people, many young intellectuals, and the partisans of Adolfo Alsina. His secretary at the time was José Hernández, author of the epic poem Martín Fierro. Defeated at Naembé (26 January 1871), he fled to Brazil. Following an unsuccessful invasion in 1873, he returned to Brazil. His secretary now was Francisco F. Fernández. In 1876, in his last attempt at revolution, which received weak support, López Jordán was captured in Corrientes, but he was able to escape to Montevideo. In 1888, President Juárez Celman granted him a pardon. He returned to Buenos Aires, where he was assassinated. Some view him as the last defender of provincial autonomy.

See alsoRoca, Julio Argentino .


Joseph T. Criscenti, ed., Sarmiento and His Argentina (1993), p. 83.

María Amalia Duarte, Urquiza y López Jordán (1974) and Tiempos de rebelión, 1870–1873 (1988).

Ysabel F. Rennie, The Argentine Republic (1945), pp. 117-118.

Additional Bibliography

Duarte, María Amalia. Prisión, exilio y muerte de Ricardo López Jordán. Buenos Aires: Academia Nacional de la Historia, 1998.

Salduna, Bernardo I. La rebelión jordanista. Buenos Aires: Editorial Dunken, 2005.

                                     Joseph T. Criscenti

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