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The Unitarist Party was one of the two major political movements that dominated Argentine politics between 1824 and 1852. Its origins lay in the conflict between centralists and federalists during the decade after 1810. It only emerged as a clearly recognizable political force during the 1824–1827 Congreso General Constituyente, in which it enjoyed a majority. The Unitarist constitution of 1826 summarized the party's basic principles: Buenos Aires should be the capital of the new state; provincial governors should be appointed by the national executive; and provinces should be no more than administrative units. Its leaders were Bernardino Rivadavia, Julián Segundo de Agüero, and Valentín Gómez.

A Federalist reaction in 1827 provoked the party's fall from power. A Unitarist coup d'état conducted by General Juan Lavalle in 1828 led to the military defeat of the Unitarists in Buenos Aires. From 1829 to 1852 the party was proscribed there and its leaders exiled. In the interior of Argentina, Unitarists and Federalists waged a civil war between 1826 and 1832 and again from 1839 to 1848. General José María Paz was able to establish a Unitarist government in Córdoba (1829–1832), while General Lavalle led an unsuccessful invasion of the Argentine Confederation (1839–1841). After the Unitarist government of Corrientes was overthrown in 1848, the party was banned throughout the Confederation. New political forces emerged after 1852 that in effect replaced that party.

See alsoRivadavia, Bernardino .


Barba, Enrique M. Unitarismo, federalismo, rosismo. Buenos Aires: Centro Editor de América Latina, 1982.

Halperín Donghi, Tulio. De la revolución de independencia a la Confederación Argentina. Buenos Aires: Paidós, 1972.

                                                Jorge Myers

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