Monagas, José Tadeo (1785–1868)

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Monagas, José Tadeo (1785–1868)

José Tadeo Monagas (b. 28 October 1785; d. 18 November 1868), president of Venezuela (1847–1851, 1855–1858). Monagas, who fought in the wars of independence, became a powerful regional leader in eastern Venezuela. In 1831, he led an abortive rebellion against President José Antonio Páez. Four years later, he took part in the failed Revolution of Reform.

Despite rifts with Páez, the latter allowed Monagas to succeed Carlos Soublette as president in 1847. In 1848, Monagas shifted to the Liberal faction when he dismissed Conservatives from his cabinet. The National Congress attempted to censure Monagas, but on 24 January 1848 violence broke out and several deputies died in the fighting. Monagas immediately assumed dictatorial powers.

In 1851, Monagas chose his brother, José Gregorio, as his successor. The latter met one Liberal objective in 1854 when he emancipated the slaves. In 1855, José Tadeo returned as president. A revolt in 1858 led by moderate Liberals and Conservatives under General Julián Castro ended the Monagas dictatorship. Monagas fled to the French embassy. Threats to remove him from the embassy led to an international crisis. French and British gunships eventually guaranteed international protocol, and enabled Monagas to leave Venezuela under a safe conduct pass issued by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wenceslao Urrutia.

In 1864, Monagas returned to Venezuela, and as a leader of the unsuccessful Blue faction, tried to restore his power. In 1868, he entered Caracas and proclaimed a short-lived presidency that lasted one month. He died shortly after his defeat.

See alsoVenezuela: Venezuela since 1830 .


Juan Bautista Querales D., comp., Repertorio histórico-biográfico del Gral. José Tadeo Monagas (1785–1868), 3 vols. (1983).

Ricardo Becerra, José Tadeo Monagas. Breves apuntes biográficos (1979).

Rafael E. Castillo Blomquist, José Tadeo Monagas (1987).

Francisco González Guinán, Historia contemporánea de Venezuela, vols. 2, 4-9 (1954).

John V. Lombardi, Venezuela: The Search for Order, the Dream of Progress (1982).

William D. Marsland and Amy L. Marsland, Venezuela Through Its History (1954).

Robert Paul Matthews, Jr., Violencia rural en Venezuela, 1840–1858: Antecedentes socio-económicos de la Guerra Federal (1970).

Guillermo Morón, A History of Venezuela, edited and translated by John Street (1964).

Additional Bibliography

Banko, Catalina. Las luchas federalistas en Venezuela. Caracas, Venezuala: Monte Avila, 1996.

Ferrer, Dilian. Maracaibo durante el gobierno de los Monagas Venezuala: Relaciones de poder y autonomía, 1848–1858. Maracaibo: Gobernación del Estado Zulia, Secretaría de Gobierno, Acervo Histórico del Estado Zulia: Comisión V Centenario del Lago de Maracaibo, 2000.

                                     Winthrop R. Wright