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The country, once free of Spain, having taken shape, ended up fighting within its own borders. What led the Argentines to fight between unitary and federal?
certain tendency towards simplification within the historical study ended up establishing generalizations and stereotypes that were not entirely reliable. It is true that the construction of a story must provide a clear description of what it wants to reflect, providing concrete data and plausible references. However, the constant desire to simplify everything we count often leads us to eliminate divergences. We forget the nuances, details and subtleties, leaving only the lights and shadows. Perhaps it is this urgent need to present the events in black and white that caught many of Argentina's greatest historians in their own narrative schemes.
A great deal of interests moved our ancestors according to their place of origin. Despite the typical vices of simplification, it is clear that not everyone thought the same.
Regarding such a circumstance, there is a paradigmatic case: Domingo Faustino Sarmiento. A great friend of Saint Martin, he maintained an intense epistolary communication with him . What would end up associating the Liberator with the questioned author of “Civilization and Barbarism”?
“ Facundo is not dead,” says Sarmiento regarding warlord Facundo Quiroga ” He is alive in popular traditions, politics and Argentine revolutions; in Rosas, his heir, his complement. His soul has passed into this more finished, more perfect mold; and what in it was only instinct, initiation, tendency, became Roses in system, effect and end; the country, colonial and barbaric nature changed in this metamorphosis in art, in system and in regular politics capable of presenting itself to the face of the world as the mode of being of a people embodied in a man who has aspired to take the air of a genius who dominates events, men and things. Facundo, provincial, barbarian, brave, bold, was replaced by Rosas, son of the cultured Buenos Aires.” Among his definitions of the Governor, he highlights that Rosas is “false, of a frozen heart, a calculating spirit, does evil without passion and slowly organizes despotism with all the intelligence of a Machiavelli.” (“Facundo o Civilization y Barbarie en las Pampas Argentinas”, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, fourth edition in Spanish, Bookstore Achette, Paris 1874).
In his pages, he finally compares his friend San Martín to Napoleon pulling away from him the possibility of having been a “warlord of the interior”. He could never have associated him with those barbarians: Saint Martin was educated in Europe, he said, and with this small phrase, clearly defined the great Argentine conflict.
It is possible that it was in those moments, when the antinomies settled in the discourse of many of our intellectuals. Building certain immovable parameters, precisely in the interregnum that goes from the presidency of Rivadavia to that of Sarmiento himself, ended up forming a system of permanent oppositions that we still suffer today. Increasingly, the contrasts between the various nineteenth-century thinkers grew to open an abyss between
Publication Date: 21/07/2019
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