Pavón, Battle of

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Pavón, Battle of

The Battle of Pavón was the 17 September 1861 clash between forces of the Argentine Confederation commanded by former president, Entre Rios governor, and Federalist Party head Justo José de Urquiza and those of Buenos Aires Province led by Governor Bartolomé Mitre, leader of the Liberal party. It followed by not quite two years the Battle of Cepeda (23 October 1859), which brought formerly secessionist Buenos Aires back into the Confederation. Both Urquiza and Mitre had played important roles in the province's incorporation into the nation, but relations between provincial and national authorities had broken down again principally over the terms of reunification. When the armies met at Pavón, in southern Santa Fe Province, Urquiza had slightly more men and a particular advantage in cavalry. But the Buenos Aires infantry had superior training and discipline, and when it held firm despite the initial sweep of Confederation cavalry, Urquiza abandoned the field. He was not yet defeated, but he was ill and also preferred not to prolong the bloodshed. In the aftermath of Pavón, the existing Confederation government dissolved itself, and Mitre became provisional president of all Argentina. Although conflict between provincial and national powers continued, Pavón was a landmark for national unification in Argentina.

See alsoMitre, Bartolomé; Urquiza, Justo José de.


William H. Jeffrey, Mitre and Argentina (1952), chap. 9.

Rosa Farías De Foulkes, Después de la derrota: Derqui, desde el pacto de San José de Flores hasta la batalla de Pavón (1859–1861) (1970).

Additional Bibliography

Domínguez Soler, Susana T. P. de, with the collaboration of José Teófilo Goyret et al. Urquiza: Bibliografía. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Instituto Urquiza de Estudios Históricos, 1999.

Pasquali, Patricia. La instauración liberal: Mitre, Urquiza y un estadista olvidado, Nicasio Oroño. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Planeta, 2003.

Rock, David. State Building and Political Movements in Argentina, 1860–1916. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002.

Ruiz Moreno, Isidoro J. El misterio de Pavón: Las operaciones militares y sus consecuencias políticas. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Claridad, 2005.

                                        David Bushnell

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Pavón, Battle of

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