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López, Vicente Fidel (1815–1903)

López, Vicente Fidel (1815–1903)

Vicente Fidel López (b. 24 April 1815; d. 30 August 1903), Argentine historian and political figure. Born in Buenos Aires and the son of Vicente López y Planes, who wrote Argentina's national anthem, López as a young intellectual became involved during the 1830s in Esteban Echeverría's Asociación de Mayo. Fearing possible persecution by the Juan Manuel de Rosas dictatorship, López fled to Chile, where he worked as an educator and liberal publicist. Returning to Buenos Aires after the fall of Rosas in 1852, he served briefly in the provincial government, then emigrated to Uruguay until national unity was finally effected.

Once permanently reestablished in Buenos Aires, López served as university rector, finance minister, and in other capacities, as well as practicing journalism. However, he is best known for his work as a historian. That career began in Chile with the publication of historical novels and essays, and it culminated when he both published historical documents and authored a series of major works of Argentine history, notably his ten-volume Historia de la República Argentina (1883–1893). His writing was highly partisan and made use of a lively imagination rather than depending on rigorous documentation, a trait that drew him into a bitter polemic over historical method with Bartolomé Mitre. He was, however, a skilled writer and enjoyed a wide following in his time.

See alsoEcheverría, Esteban; Rosas, Juan Manuel de.


Rómulo D. Carbía, Historia crítica de la historiografía Argentina (1939), pp. 121-148.

Ricardo Piccirilli, Los López: Una dinastía intelectual (1972).

Additional Bibliography

Lettieri, Alberto Rodolfo. Vicente Fidel López: La construcción histórico-política de un liberalismo conservador. Buenos Aires: Editorial Biblos: Fundación Simón Rodríguez, 1995.

Madero, Roberto. El origen de la historia: Sobre el debate entre Vicente Fidel López y Bartolomé Mitre. Mexico City; Buenos Aires: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2001.

Madero, Roberto. La historiografía entre la república y la nación: El caso de Vicente Fidel López. Buenos Aires: Catálogos, 2005.

                                      David Bushnell

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