Ospina Rodríguez, Mariano (1805–1885)

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Ospina Rodríguez, Mariano (1805–1885)

Mariano Ospina Rodríguez (b. 18 October 1805; d. 11 January 1885), Colombian president. Born to a family of provincial landowners near Bogotá, Mariano Ospina Rodríguez was educated as a lawyer at the Colegio de San Bartolomé. As a young liberal activist he took part in the plot against Simón Bolívar's life in 1828. When the plot failed, he was exiled to Antioquia, where he ultimately settled. Ospina's political views became steadily more moderate until the 1840s, when he founded the Ministerial (Conservative) Party. As interior minister in the government of Pedro Alcántara Herrán (1841–1845), he reformed the educational curriculum and was instrumental in bringing the Jesuits back to Colombia. Elected president in 1856, he accepted a federalist constitution in 1858, but was accused by Liberals of violating states' rights and became the only Colombian chief executive ever overthrown (in 1861) by full-scale civil war. He then spent ten years in Guatemala. Ospina died in Medellín, Colombia.

See alsoBolívar, Simón; Colombia, Political Parties: Conservative Party; Herrán, Pedro Alcántara.


José Antonio Pardo Ospina, Tres presidentes de Colombia y semblanzas de personajes de la familia Ospina (1946).

Antonio Cacua Prada, Don Mariano Ospina Rodríguez: Fundador del conservatismo colombiano 1885–1985 (1985).

Additional Bibliography

Barón Ortega, Julio. El conservatismo colombiano, su historia y sus hombres. Colombia: s.n., 1999–2004.

Ortiz Mesa, Luis Javier. Ganarse el cielo defendiendo la religion: Guerras civiles en Colombia, 1840–1902. Bogotá: Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Sede Bogotá, 2005.

                                        David Bushnell