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López, José Hilario (1798–1869)

López, José Hilario (1798–1869)

José Hilario López (b. 18 February 1798; d. 27 November 1869), president of Colombia (1849–1853). Born in Popayán, López joined the patriots in 1814 and was imprisoned by the royalists from 1816 to 1819. Freed, he fought in Venezuela and in southern Colombia, becoming a colonel in 1826. He rejected Simon Bolívar's dictatorship, and at the Ocaña Convention in 1828 he remained antidictator. Later that year, López and Colonel José María Obando defeated Bolívar's surrogate, Colonel Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, and won control of Cauca. In 1830 López was promoted to general, and with Obando he raised an army that ousted General Rafael Urdaneta in May 1831. López served in key gubernatorial posts from 1833 to 1837 and was the Colombian chargé d'affaires to the Vatican (1839–1840).

López did not join Obando in the War of the Supremes (1839–1842). Having married into the Neiva elite, he devoted himself to managing his estates until he was elected president. As chief executive, he carried out a liberal agenda. Education was made more secular, the clergy put on salary, the Jesuits expelled, tithe collection secularized, the ecclesiastical fuero abolished, clerical posts made elective, and Archbishop Manuel José Mosquera exiled. Also, slavery was abolished and legislation aimed at improving the status of women was enacted. López fought against the Melo Revolt (1854). He joined the Liberal Revolution (1860–1862) late, but contributed to its victory. He participated in the Rionegro Convention (1863).

See alsoObando, José María.


Abel Cruz Santos, General José Hilario López, 1869-noviembre 27–1969 (1969) and José Hilario López, o el soldado civil (1970).

Juan Pablo Llinas, José Hilario López (1983). See also López's Memorias del general José Hilario López (1857), which covers 1814 to 1839.

Additional Bibliography

Gutiérrez Jaramillo, Camilo. José Hilario López: Un hombre de su siglo. Bogotá: C. Gutiérrez Jaramillo, 1997.

                                       J. LeÓn Helguera

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