Skip to main content

Unicato

Unicato

Unicato, a term that generally refers to Argentine regimes from 1874 to 1916. Specifically, unicato denotes the corrupt, one-party system exercised by the Partido Autonomista Nacional with centralized power directed by President Miguel Juárez Celman from 1886 to 1890.

Nicolás Avellaneda had introduced this practice, and Julio Argentino Roca maintained it. Under Juárez Celman, the term came into common use because he made it clear that the president should control the government as well as the party. Unicato thus referred to one-man rule during Juárez Celman's authoritarian regime. Juárez Celman established the unicato because he relied particularly upon Córdoba land speculators who sought quick results. Mortgage bankers, eager for money but lacking adequate reserves, issued cédula land bonds. Juárez Celman encouraged many provinces to set up their own banks and to contract foreign loans. With external credit, the banks enriched unicato supporters of provincial governments. During the 1890 congressional sessions, Juárez Celman provided 3.9 million pesos for his provincial allies. He never restored the gold standard after Roca suspended it in 1885. Once new paper money issues tripled after 1886, the depreciation of the currency accelerated against the gold standard. The Bank of Córdoba was the most flagrant offender, securing political favors in exchange for loans that frequently were not paid back.

The term unicato also represents the unpopularity of the political system and its loss of legitimacy. The arbitrary techniques used to maintain its supporters in power became increasingly unacceptable when the financial and economic system deteriorated at the end of the 1880s. The unicato policy of maintaining the same authorities year after year was one of the causes of the 1890 revolt and the formation of the Union Cívica and its radical offshoot. The unicato tradition ended with the enactment of the Roque Sáenz Peña law of 1912, which established new voter rolls and introduced the secret ballot and a new system of voting.

See alsoArgentina, Political Parties: National Autonomist Party; Avellaneda, Nicolás.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

John Henry Williams, Argentine International Trade Under Inconvertible Paper Money, 1880–1916 (1920).

Efraín Bischoff, Historia de Córdoba, cuatro siglos (1977).

Douglas W. Richmond, Carlos Pellegrini and the Crisis of the Argentine Elites, 1880–1916 (1989).

Additional Bibliography

Botana, Natalio R. and Ezequiel Gallo. De la república posible a la república verdadera: 1880–1910. Buenos Aires: Compañía Editora Espasa Calpe Argentina, 1997.

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

                               Douglas W. Richmond

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Unicato." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Unicato." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 26, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/unicato

"Unicato." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Retrieved September 26, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/unicato

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.