Moreno, Mariano (1778–1811)

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Moreno, Mariano (1778–1811)

Mariano Moreno (b. 23 September 1778; d. 4 March 1811), one of the leading figures of Argentina's independence movement. He studied theology and law in Chuquisaca (now Sucre), Upper Peru, and wrote his dissertation on Indian service, in which he favored their freedom. He was sickly, but what he lacked in physical strength he made up for in a powerful intellect. He became the Jacobin of the May 1810 revolution in Argentina. In 1809 he wrote the Representación de los hacendados y labradores, in which he criticized colonial policy and defended free trade. The book represented creole aspirations, and in a way it was written as a criticism of the new viceroy, Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros, who had replaced Santiago de Liniers and had repealed many of the latter's liberal policies.

Moreno was appointed secretary to the First Junta, headed by Cornelio de Saavedra. He favored a tough policy toward Spaniards and toward anyone engaged in counterrevolutionary activities. In July 1810, Liniers and his followers rose in revolt against the revolutionary government. The revolt was crushed by Buenos Aires, and as a result of Moreno's insistence, the leaders, including Liniers, were executed. This action led to much criticism against Moreno because Liniers was still considered a hero by many for his contributions to the defense of Buenos Aires against the invading British armies in 1806–1807. Moreno was a firm believer in democratic government, but his radicalism and uncompromising attitude earned him many enemies, even in the junta itself. The showdown occurred when Saavedra imposed reactionary delegates from the provinces on the junta in face of Moreno's opposition. This may very well have been the first confrontation between unitarios and federales. Faced with a growing Federalist opposition, Moreno resigned from the junta at the end of 1810. His resignation almost caused a rebellion, and to avoid bloodshed, he accepted a diplomatic mission to England and died at sea en route. While in office he helped found the national library and a census bureau and published the Gaceta de Buenos Aires.

See alsoLiniers y Bremond, Santiago de; Saavedra, Cornelio de.


Julio Delfín Martino, Vida de Mariano Moreno (1954).

Ricardo Levene, Historia de Moreno (1945).

Manuel Moreno, Vida y memorias del doctor Mariano Moreno, Secretario de la Junta de Buenos Ayres, capital de las provincias del Río de la Plata (1812).

Additional Bibliography

Egües, Carlos. Mariano Moreno y las ideas político-constitucionales de su época. Córdoba, Argentina: Academia Nacional de Derecho y Ciencias Sociales de Córdoba, 2000.

Dürnhöfer, Eduardo O. Mariano Moreno. Buenos Aires: Editorial Dunken, 2000.

                                 Juan Manuel PÉrez

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Moreno, Mariano (1778–1811)

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