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Veintemilla, Marietta de (1858–1907)

Veintemilla, Marietta de (1858–1907)

Marietta de Veintemilla, born on September 8, 1858, was a controversial and powerful figure and essayist from in the late-nineteenth-century Ecuador. She participated zealously in politics, beginning at the age of eighteen until she was twenty-three years old, when she governed her country and commanded the army in lieu of her uncle, Ignacio de Veintemilla, president and dictator of Ecuador from 1876 to 1883. When her army was defeated, she was taken prisoner and later exiled to Lima, Peru, where she continued exercising her passion for politics as an essayist. She was allowed to return to Ecuador in 1898.

Marietta de Veintemilla should be regarded as one of the founders of Latin American thought for her remarkable and rare ability to blend her main political concerns—nation, progress, fanaticism, education, and women in politics—with more academic interests in history, religion, science, and philosophy. She framed her discussions in the philosophical currents of her time—liberalism, positivism, Krausismo, and Krausopositivism. From positivism she embraced only the support for the dictatorial presidency, considering it the best system of government for achieving progress during her time. The influence of Krausismo is notorious in her works because she assumed the role of philosopher of history, always searching for knowledge in the past to obtain to obtain a harmonious visualization of the present. As with the Puerto Rican essayist Eugenio María de Hostos, her defense of women's education reveals another strong tie to Krausismo, but she never adhered faithfully to any single doctrine, as demonstrated by her leaning toward scientism and spiritualism her later essays. Her major work, Páginas del Ecuador (1890), is the only sociopolitical history written by a woman in nineteenth-century Spanish America. In this book she reinterpreted political analysis by previous essayists, providing the most accurate version of the Spanish American politics. Marietta died on March 11, 1907.

See alsoHostos y Bonilla, Eugenio María de; Krausismo; Philosophy: Overview; Positivism; Veintemilla, José Ignacio de.


Works by Marietta de Veintemilla

Páginas del Ecuador. Lima: Imprenta Liberal de F. Masías, 1890.

A la memoria del doctor Agustín Leonidas Yerovi. Quito: Imprenta Municipal, 1904.

Goethe y su poema Fausto. Quito: La Musa Americana, 1904.

Madame Roland. Quito: Revista de la Sociedad Jurídico-Literaria, no. 24, 1904.

Conferencia sobre psicología moderna. Quito: Imprenta de la Universidad Central, 1907.

Secondary Sources

Bossano, Luis. Perfil de Marietta de Veintemilla. Quito, Ecuador: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1956.

da Cunha-Giabbai, Gloria. Marietta: El pensamiento de Marietta de Veintemilla. Quito, Ecuador: Banco Central de Ecuador, 1998.

Garcés, Enrique. Marietta de Veintemilla. Quito, Ecuador: Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1949. This is the best criticism by one of her enemies, justifying her importance.

                                           Gloria da Cunha

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