Siete de Marzo

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Siete de Marzo

Siete de Marzo (1849), a divisive Colombian presidential selection. The tumultuous presidential selection of José Hilario López on the siete de marzo (7 March) signaled the Colombian Liberal Party's domination of the central government that lasted until 1885. The nascent Conservative Party, seriously divided by the reformist administration of the nominally conservative Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, fielded several candidates in the 1848 contest. Splitting the vote in this manner enabled López to gain a plurality (López, 725; José Joaquín Gori, 384; Rufino Cuervo, 304; Mariano Ospina Rodríguez, 81; Joaquín María Barriga, 74; Florentino González, 71; and Eusebio Borrero, 52). The Congress, following its constitutional mandate to select the president, chose the Liberal López on 7 March 1849 in the face of severe intimidation by student and artisan militants in the congressional gallery. Conservatives claimed that crowd pressures had made the selection process illegitimate. The López regime (1849–1853) initiated sweeping liberal reforms, which heightened the symbolism of the pivotal event.

See alsoColombia, Political Parties: Conservative Party; Colombia, Political Parties: Liberal Party.


José Manuel Restrepo, Historia de la Nueva Granada: 1845–54, vol. 2 (1963), pp. 103-106.

Helen Delpar, Red Against Blue: The Liberal Party in Colombian Politics, 1863–1899 (1981), pp. 5-6.

David Bushnell and Neill Macaulay, The Emergence of Latin America in the Nineteenth Century (1988), pp. 209-220.

Additional Bibliography

Hylton, Forest. Evil Hour in Colombia. London: Verso, 2006.

Rojas, Cristina. Civilization and Violence: Regimes of Representation in Nineteenth-Century Colombia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002.

Sanders, James E. Contentious Republicans: Popular Politics, Race, and Class in Nineteenth-Century Colombia. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004.

                                             David Sowell