Peru History: Independence Part II

By | December 21, 2021

La Mar then moved against Colombia itself for the possession of the provinces of Jaén and los Maynas, which he – a native of Guayaquil – needed to be entitled to the presidency of Peru, according to the new constitution of 1828; but he was defeated in Portete de Tarqui, in the province of Quito, on February 25, 1829 and had to capitulate in Girón. General Gamarra took advantage of his misfortune to capture him and embark him for Central America; while in Lima an accomplice of this, La Fuente, seized power and called an assembly with the secret hope of being elected to the presidency. This, on the other hand, touched for four years in August 1829 to Gamarra, the disguising and astute zambo who owed his fortune and his ascendancy above all to the graces of his wife. For Peru 2000, please check

After exercising power in favor of friends and customers, Gamarra badly adapted in 1833 to leave him; and military anarchy revived more alive with coups de hands, pronouncements of the capital, more or less ephemeral dictatorships and more or less legal presidencies; while from Bolivia, where with 1829 he managed to grab power stably and with good results, the Santa Cruz takes up the design, not devoid of nobility even if from him, as from every good caudillo, pursued for personal purposes only, to reunite the Alto with the Lower Peru, meddling in the internal affairs of the latter. Having agreed with the Peruvian president Orbegoso and defeated in Yanacocha his rival, Gamarra, the Santa Cruz is in turn won in Uchumayu by the new president Salaverry, the fiery soldier of Ayacucho and disdainful popular poet, a native of Lima, but of Basque origin. However, he resumes his revenge in Socabaya and, having taken the Salaverry prisoner, he does so a few days later by shooting in Arequipa; crime that affects, as well as Peru, the whole of South America. In any case, in October 1836 the Bolivian-Peruvian confederation was proclaimed with Santa Cruz as “protector marshal”; until he – also opposed by Argentina and Chile – was not won at Yungay on January 20, 1839 by the Chilenis, who entered Peru under the orders of Bulnes, and by the Peruvians of Gamarra. The latter, having returned to the Peruvian presidency, took up the unionist designs of Santa Cruz on his own; but, getting involved in the internal struggles of Bolivia and entering it, he is defeated by the Bolivian vice president Ballivian in the battle of Ingavi, in which he loses his life (November 18, 1841). After him, general Torrico and general Vidal (1843) and then (April 1843-April 1845) a rigid doctrinaire, of dictatorial tendencies, the Vivanco; until the opponent of this succeeds, a caudillo of Tarapacá, ancient captain of the Spanish army, passed, after the defeat of Chacabuco, on the side of the insurgents and distinguished himself in Azacucho, Ramón Castilla, to dominate the situation with weapons and as a pugnacious advocate of legality (as he had been until then) to obtain the presidency by regular elections.

With the presidency of the “Grand Marshal” (1845-1851) Peru finally begins to have, with the sensation of political stability and continuity, a government action aimed at the civil and economic progress of the country (telegraphs, 1847; and then, 1851, railway between Lima and Callao; consolidation of the internal debt and service of the foreign one, etc.) and sees at the end of it the power pass legally and peacefully (this was the first time that this happened) in the hands of the successor, the general José Rufino Echenique. At the presidency of the latter, notable for his free trade policy and for the encouragement of European immigration, but troubled by a conflict with the United States for the Lobos Islands (however happily resolved) and by insurrectional movements (the last of which headed from Castilla himself), a second Castilla presidency will succeed (1858-1862). More than for the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of the Indian tribute, more nominal than real measures adopted to counterbalance the political excesses of the dictatorship, the second Castilla presidency is notable for its reform work (abolition of the death penalty, deletion of fueros ecclesiastics and military and tithes, etc.) of the Convention gathered under him, but soon came into conflict with him and dissolved by him after having obtained the best instrument for building more docile assemblies, universal suffrage: the fruit of it the new constitution of November 10, 1860, which set the presidential period at 4 years and established a clear division between the three powers: executive, legislative, judicial. In accordance with this there were the elections of 1862 and the presidency of General Miguel San Román, who died shortly after and was replaced by the vice-president general Juan Antonio Pezet, under whom the open war with Spain broke out. A conflict arose between Peruvian citizens and Spanish subjects and some of them were killed, Spain,

Independence Part II