Morales, Agustín (1808–1872)

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Morales, Agustín (1808–1872)

Agustín Morales (b. 11 May 1808; d. 27 November 1872), president of Bolivia (1871–1872). Morales's military career exemplified caudillismo in Bolivia. Born in La Paz, Morales at age twenty-two joined the army under Andrés de Santa Cruz and participated in the wars of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation. After Santa Cruz was deposed in 1839, Morales fought alongside José Ballivián and occupied the posts of commandant of Potosí and Cochabamba. When Ballivián's rival, Manuel Isidoro Belzu, seized power in 1848, Morales's commercial house in Cochabamba was sacked by the victorious troops. Vowing revenge, Morales attempted to assassinate Belzu in 1850. Failing to kill him, he fled into exile.

Returning a decade later, Morales joined with another caudillo, José María Linares, in 1859 and then another, Mariano Melgarejo, in 1865. Driven into exile again in 1865, Morales returned in 1870 and led a popular movement in La Paz that deposed Melgarejo. After Morales became president in early 1871, he supported the newly emerging silver barons of southern Bolivia. He legalized free trade in silver, thereby ending a government monopoly in force since the beginning of the colonial era. His intemperate behavior toward his subordinates, however, led to his assassination by his nephew, Frederico Lafaye, in 1872.

See alsoCaudillismo, Caudillo .


Moisés Ascarrunz, De siglo a siglo, hombres celebres de Bolivia (1920), pp. 113-117.

Julio Díaz Arguedas, Los generales de Bolivia (rasgos biográficos) 1825–1925, pp. 214-218.

Herbert S. Klein, Bolivia: The Evolution of a Multi-Ethnic Society (1992), pp. 141-142.

Additional Bibliography

Arteaga Cabrera, Walter. "La muerte del Presidente Pedro Agustin Morales." Archivos Bolivianos de Historia de la Medicina 6:2 (July-Dec. 2000): 131-142.

Salmón, Josefa, and Guillermo Delgado, eds. Identidad, ciudadanía y participación popular desde la colonia al siglo XX. La Paz, Bolivia: Plural Editores, Asociación de Estudios Bolivianos, 2003.

                                           Erwin P. Grieshaber

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Morales, Agustín (1808–1872)

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