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Domingo Faustino Sarmiento

Sarmiento, Domingo Faustino (dōmēngˈgō foustēˈnō särmyānˈtō) [key], 1811–88, Argentine statesman, educator, and author, president of the republic (1868–74). An opponent of Juan Manuel de Rosas, he spent years of exile in Chile, becoming known as a journalist and an educational reformer. He toured Europe and North America and was impressed by the school system and the political organization of the United States. He helped Urquiza to overthrow Rosas in 1852 and became active in politics. In Oct., 1868, he succeeded Bartolomé Mitre as president. His administration was marked by the conclusion of the War of the Triple Alliance against Paraguay, by material progress, and, especially, by the organization of schools and the reform of educational methods. Sarmiento was succeeded by Nicolás Avellaneda. His essays on education and politics, historical studies, and critical works are distinguished by crisp style. Best known is Facundo, o Civilización i barbarie (1845; tr. Life in the Argentine Republic in the Days of the Tyrants, new ed. 1961), nominally a biography of Juan Facundo Quiroga, but actually an in-depth study of caudillismo, personalism in politics.

See Sarmiento's Travels in the United States in 1847, tr. by M. A. Rockland (1970); A Sarmiento Anthology (tr. and ed. by S. E. Grummon and A. W. Bunkley, 1948); biographies by A. W. Bunkley (1952) and F. G. Crowley (1972).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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