Villarán, Manuel Vicente (1873–1958)

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Villarán, Manuel Vicente (1873–1958)

Manuel Vicente Villarán (b. 11 October 1873; d. 21 February 1958), a leading authority on constitutional issues in early-twentieth-century Peru. Villarán was born in Lima. At the age of twenty-three, having received a degree in law, he joined the department of sociology at the University of San Marcos. In 1904 he led the progressive Civilista faction that supported José Pardo y Barreda for president. He argued passionately for education, saying that Peru needed well-educated middle and working classes to forge a modern nation. But he also agreed with Javier Prado y Ugarteche that the laziness and mental inertia of the indigenous people were the cause of the country's low level of development. He was minister of justice, religion, and instruction during Augusto Leguía's first government (1908–1910) and helped to bring the first U.S. educators to Peru. In 1918 he wrote a newspaper essay, "Costumbres electorales," decrying the sorry state of political maturity of the Peruvian masses in the nineteenth century. In 1922 he became the rector of San Marcos and held that post until early 1924. Subsequently, he taught law and advised various governments during the 1920s and 1930s. After World War II he lived in virtual obscurity. Villarán's books include El arbitraje de Washington en la cuestión peruanochilena (1925), Bosquejo histórico de la constitución inglesa, 2nd ed. (1935), and La Universidad de San Marcos de Lima: Los origenes, 1548–1577 (1938).

See alsoPeru, Political Parties: Civilista Party .


Jesús Chavarría, José Carlos Mariátegui and the Rise of Modern Peru, 1890–1930 (1979).

Steve Stein, Populism in Peru: The Emergence of the Masses and the Politics of Social Control (1980).

Additional Bibliography

Roel, Virgilio. De Manuel Vicente Villarán a la revolución científica y tecnológica y la nueva reforma universitaria. Lima: G. Herrera Editores, 1996.

                                          Vincent Peloso

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Villarán, Manuel Vicente (1873–1958)

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