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Vicente Fidel López

Vicente Fidel López Vicente Fidel López[1†]

Vicente Fidel López (April 24, 1815 in Buenos Aires – August 30, 1903) was an Argentine historian, lawyer, and politician[1†]. He was a founding member of several intellectual societies and opposed the government of Juan Manuel de Rosas, leading to his stay in Chile from 1840 to 1852[1†]. During this time, he worked with Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, with whom he founded a private school and published a book of Chilean History in 1845[1†]. He is best known for his work as a historian, particularly his ten-volume “Historia de la República Argentina” (1883–1893)[1†][2†].

Early Years and Education

Vicente Fidel López was born on April 24, 1815, in Buenos Aires, Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata[1†][2†]. He was the son of writer and politician Vicente López y Planes, who wrote Argentina’s national anthem[1†][2†]. As a young intellectual, López became involved during the 1830s in Esteban Echeverría’s Asociación de Mayo[1†][2†].

López studied at the School of Moral Sciences with Diego Alcorta[1†]. His intellectual curiosity and dedication to his studies led him to earn a degree as a lawyer in 1837[1†]. During his educational journey, he became a founding member of several intellectual societies, including the “Sociedad de estudios Históricos y Sociales” (the Society of Social and Historical Studies), the “Salón Literario” (Literary Salon), and the “Asociación de Mayo” (May Association)[1†].

His early years were marked by his opposition to the government of Juan Manuel de Rosas, which led him to seek refuge in Chile from 1840 to 1852[1†]. During his time in Chile, he worked with Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, with whom he founded a private school and published a book of Chilean History in 1845[1†].

Career Development and Achievements

After completing his education, López became a prominent figure in the intellectual and political landscape of Argentina1[2†]. He was a founding member of several intellectual societies, including the “Sociedad de estudios Históricos y Sociales” (the Society of Social and Historical Studies), the “Salón Literario” (Literary Salon), and the “Asociación de Mayo” (May Association)[1†].

López’s opposition to the government of Juan Manuel de Rosas led him to seek refuge in Chile from 1840 to 18521[2†]. During this time, he worked with Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, with whom he founded a private school and published a book of Chilean History in 18452[1†].

Upon his return to Argentina after the fall of Rosas, López served briefly in the provincial government, then emigrated to Uruguay until national unity was finally effected1[2†]. Once permanently reestablished in Buenos Aires, López served as university rector, finance minister, and in other capacities, as well as practicing journalism1[2†].

However, López is best known for his work as a historian1[2†]. His career in this field began in Chile with the publication of historical novels and essays, and it culminated when he both published historical documents and authored a series of major works of Argentine history, notably his ten-volume “Historia de la República Argentina” (1883–1893)[2†]. His writing was highly partisan and made use of a lively imagination rather than depending on rigorous documentation1[2†].

López’s work drew him into a bitter polemic over historical method with Bartolomé Mitre1[2†]. Despite this, he was a skilled writer and enjoyed a wide following in his time1[2†].

First Publication of His Main Works

Vicente Fidel López’s career as a historian began in Chile with the publication of historical novels and essays1[2†]. However, his most notable work is the ten-volume “Historia de la República Argentina” (1883–1893)[2†][1†][[?]]1[2†]. This work is considered a major contribution to Argentine history1[2†].

In addition to “Historia de la República Argentina”, López also published the “Revista del Río de la Plata” (1871–1877) in collaboration with Juan María Gutierrez2[1†]. Another significant work is “La Gran Semana de mayo”, a tribute to the May Revolution2[1†].

Here is a list of his main works with information on the first year of publication:

López’s writing was highly partisan and made use of a lively imagination rather than depending on rigorous documentation1[2†]. This trait drew him into a bitter polemic over historical method with Bartolomé Mitre1[2†]. Despite this, he was a skilled writer and enjoyed a wide following in his time1[2†].

Analysis and Evaluation

Vicente Fidel López made a significant contribution to the consolidation of the Argentine national project, both as a writer and a high-ranking politician[3†]. He was a member of the so-called Generation of '37[3†]. His writings, which spanned various genres including linguistics, literature (historical novels), journalism, and political essays, positioned him as a socially inclusive conservative and a patrician economic nationalist[3†].

López’s writing was highly partisan and made use of a lively imagination rather than depending on rigorous documentation[3†][2†][3†]. This trait drew him into a bitter polemic over historical method with Bartolomé Mitre[3†][2†][3†]. Despite this, he was a skilled writer and enjoyed a wide following in his time[3†][2†][3†].

His brief performance as national finance minister (1890-1892) also reflected his ideas on political identity[3†]. His career as a historian began in Chile with the publication of historical novels and essays, and it culminated when he both published historical documents and authored a series of major works of Argentine history[3†][2†][3†].

In conclusion, Vicente Fidel López’s work and life were marked by a balance between liberalism, nationalism, and transnationalism[3†]. His contributions to Argentine history and politics were significant, and his writings continue to be influential[3†][2†].

Personal Life

Vicente Fidel López was born on April 24, 1815, in Buenos Aires, the son of writer and politician Vicente López y Planes[1†][[?]]2[4†]. He was educated at the University of Buenos Aires2[4†]. López was a member of the “Sociedad de estudios Históricos y Sociales” (the Society of Social and Historical Studies), the “Salón Literario” (Literary Salon), and the “Asociación de Mayo” (May Association)[1†].

From 1840 to 1852, López lived in Chile due to his opposition to the government of Juan Manuel de Rosas1[1†]. During this time, he worked with Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, with whom he founded a private school and published a book on Chilean History in 18451[1†]. He returned to Argentina after the defeat of Rosas1[1†].

López was an active Freemason1[1†]. He contended with Bartolomé Mitre about the book Historia de Belgrano y de la Independencia Argentina, and later wrote his most important work, Historia de la República Argentina, in 10 issues (1883–1893)[1†]. He passed away in Buenos Aires in 19031[1†].

Conclusion and Legacy

Vicente Fidel López (1815-1903) left a significant legacy as an Argentine historian, lawyer, and politician1[1†]. His contributions to the consolidation of the Argentine national project were substantial, both as a writer and a high-ranking politician2[3†]. He was a member of the so-called Generation of '372[3†].

López’s work extended beyond his career as a historian. His ideas on political identity were distilled from some of his less well-known works in the fields of linguistics, literature (historical novels), journalism, and political essays2[3†]. His brief performance as national finance minister (1890-1892) also contributed to his legacy2[3†].

His most important work, “Historia de la República Argentina,” published in 10 volumes (1883–1893), is a testament to his dedication to documenting and analyzing Argentina’s history1[1†]. His writings, including “Revista del Río de la Plata” (1871–1877, with Juan María Gutierrez) and “La Gran Semana de mayo” (Edición de Homenaje a la Revolución de Mayo, Editorial Universitaria de Buenos Aires, Impreso en Argentina, 3ª edición, Año 1964), continue to be influential references in the study of Argentina’s history1[1†].

López passed away in his home city of Buenos Aires in 19031[1†]. His legacy continues to be remembered and valued today for his significant contributions to Argentine history and politics1[1†].

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Wikipedia (English) - Vicente Fidel López [website] - link
  2. Encyclopedia.com - López, Vicente Fidel (1815–1903) [website] - link
  3. The Open University - CORE - Liberalismo, nacionalismo y transnacionalismo en la obra y vida de Vicente Fidel López (1815-1903) [website] - link
  4. Wikipedia (Spanish) - Vicente Fidel López [website] - link
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