Terra, Gabriel (1873–1942)

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Terra, Gabriel (1873–1942)

Gabriel Terra (b. 1873; d. 1942), president of Uruguay (1931–1938). Terra was a Colorado Party political leader who ostensibly considered himself a Batllist, that is, a follower of the great political leader and two-time Colorado president José Batlle y Ordóñez. By late 1932, Terra had moved ideologically to the right and became increasingly frustrated with the fact that he had to share decision making with a National Council of Administration under the partially collegial executive structure established by the 1918 Constitution. Amid the economic turmoil brought on by the depression, Terra joined forces with the Blanco (National Party) leader, Luis Alberto de Herrera, in a nonviolent coup on 13 March 1933, taking total control of the government. The regime drafted a new constitution that returned Uruguay to a full presidential system and left the Senate in total control of the procoup factions of the Colorados and Blancos. Terra repressed the labor movement and devalued the peso in an attempt to help exporters of livestock. He served a full term under the 1934 Constitution, turning the presidency over to his elected successor, his brother-in-law Alfredo Baldomir.

See alsoHerrera, Luis Alberto de; Ordóñez, José; Uruguay, Political Parties: Blanco Party; Uruguay, Political Parties: Colorado Party.


Philip B. Taylor, Jr., Government and Politics of Uruguay (1960).

Additional Bibliography

Cures, Oribe. El Uruguay de los años treinta: Enfoques y problemas. Montevideo: Ediciones de la Banda Oriental, 1994.

Fischer, Diego, and Rosario Cecilio. Sobremesa presidencial. Montevideo: Fundación Banco de Boston, 1994.

                                      Martin Weinstein