Murillo Toro, Manuel (1816–1880)

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Murillo Toro, Manuel (1816–1880)

Manuel Murillo Toro (b. 1 January 1816; d. 26 December 1880), Liberal president of Colombia (1864–1866 and 1872–1874). Murillo was born in Chaparral, Tolima, and received his law degree in Bogotá in 1836; he became a protégé of Francisco de Paula Santander. Murillo served as secretary of the interior and as finance secretary during the regime of José Hilario López (1849–1853), and was the first president (i.e., governor) of Santander (1857–1858). After the Liberal triumph of 1861 he served as minister to France, the United States, and Venezuela. During his first presidency Murillo achieved tenuous reconciliations with the church and the defeated Conservatives and recognized the Conservatives' dominance in Antioquia. During his second term he pushed for railroad development and other infrastructure projects, giving rise to serious interregional rivalries. Ideologically, Murillo shifted from radical popular sovereignty (ca. 1850) to laissez-faire libertarianism (ca. 1858); by the late 1860s he espoused a government role in economic development and a moderated role for popular participation.

See alsoBerrío, Pedro Justo; Colombia, Political Parties: Radical Olympus.


Ignacio Arizmendi Posada, Presidentes de Colombia, 1810–1990 (1990), pp. 121-124.

Gerardo Molina, Las ideas socialistas en Colombia (1987), pp. 123-124.

James William Park, Rafael Núñez and the Politics of Colombian Regionalism, 1863–1886 (1985).

Additional Bibliography

Eastman, Jorge Mario. "Murillo Toro, reformador social." Boletín de Historia y Antigüedades 87:808 (January-March 2000): 119-141.

                                   Richard J. Stoller

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Murillo Toro, Manuel (1816–1880)

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