We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Gabriel García Moreno and Conservative State Formation in the Andes

By Peter V. N. Henderson

Publication Year: 2008

This book explores the life and times of Ecuador’s most controversial politician within the broader context of the new political history, addressing five major themes of nineteenth-century Latin American history: the creation of political networks, the divisiveness of regionalism, the bitterness of the liberal-conservative ideological divide, the complicating problem of caudillismo, and the quest for progress and modernization. Two myths traditionally associated with García Moreno’s rule are debunked. The first is that he created a theocracy in Ecuador. Instead, the book argues that he negotiated a concordat with the Papacy giving the national government control over the church’s secular responsibilities, and subordinated the clergy, many of whom were highly critical of García Moreno, to the conservative state. A second, frequently repeated generalization is that he created a conservative dictatorship out of touch with the liberal age in which he lived. Instead, the book argues that moderates held sway during the first nine years of García Moreno’s period of influence, and only during his final term did he achieve the type of conservative state he thought necessary to advance his progressive nation-building agenda. In sum, this book enriches our understanding of many of the notions of state formation by suggesting that conservatives like García Moreno envisioned a program of material progress and promoting national unity under a very different formula from that of nineteenth-century liberals.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Front Matter

pdf iconDownload PDF (101.5 KB)

List of Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF (54.5 KB)
pp. vii-viii

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (49.8 KB)
pp. ix-x

During the many years it has taken me to conceptualize, research, and write this book, I have incurred numerous debts. First and foremost I want to thank those who made the time and effort to read the entire rough draft: Kris Lane, Ronn Pineo, Marc Becker, George Lauderbaugh, and especially my undergraduate mentor, J. Le

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (200.1 KB)
pp. xi-xvi

Well beyond a century and a quarter following his death, Gabriel García Moreno remains “the most argued about personality in the history of Ecuador.”1 His importance as Ecuador’s leading political figure from 1859 to 1875, however, extended far beyond the borders of this small (about the size of Colorado) Andean nation, as his actions and ideas resonated...

read more

Chapter One. Preparing for National Leadership, 1821–1859

pdf iconDownload PDF (267.0 KB)
pp. 1-30

Although it was the morning of Christmas Eve, one of the holiest days of the religious calendar, Do

read more

Chapter Two. Regionalism and Civil War, 1859–1860

pdf iconDownload PDF (217.8 KB)
pp. 31-61

When Gabriel García Moreno was courting his future bride in 1846, one of his good friends from Quito wrote him: “Now we have the good fortune of seeing you completely established in our country [nuestro país, meaning Quito and the northern and central sierra] and united with one of the most distinguished señoritas we have.”1 Certainly as of the 1860s, most Ecuadorians

read more

Chapter Three. A Presidency Constrained I: Federalism and Domestic Policy, 1861–1865

pdf iconDownload PDF (276.1 KB)
pp. 62-91

Having victoriously concluded the bitterly contested civil war, Garc

read more

Chapter Four. A Presidency Constrained II: Foreign Entanglements, 1861–1865

pdf iconDownload PDF (175.5 KB)
pp. 92-116

As much as the federalist Constitution of 1861 and the shaky state of Ecuador’s finances complicated García Moreno’s desire to create a modern Catholic state, foreign policy difficulties and wars hampered progress even more. Many critical biographers have attributed Ecuador’s foreign policy woes in the early 1860s to García Moreno’s irascible and impetuous temperament, ...

read more

Chapter Five. Becoming the Indispensable Man, 1865–1869

pdf iconDownload PDF (280.1 KB)
pp. 117-144

Regionalism and state-formation projects were not the only difficult issues facing Latin Americans in the nineteenth century. Additionally they had to contend with the phenomenon of caudillismo, the rule of the “indispensable leader” or military boss, who alone (at least in the leader’s mind) could rule a nation. During the years between 1865 and 1869, this chapter will ...

read more

Chapter Six. Forging the National Soul: The Coming of the Catholic Nation

pdf iconDownload PDF (286.5 KB)
pp. 145-176

As city after city capitulated peacefully to the coup of January 17, 1869, Gabriel García Moreno relished the opportunity to impose his vision of a modernizing Catholic state on Ecuador.1 Not unreasonably, García Moreno interpreted the country’s acquiescence as a mandate for his ideas, or at the very least a recognition of his newfound popularity in the wake of ...

read more

Chapter Seven. Caring for Earthly Needs: The Program for Economic Development

pdf iconDownload PDF (354.9 KB)
pp. 177-208

Gabriel Garc

read more

Chapter Eight. Death and the Hereafter

pdf iconDownload PDF (349.2 KB)
pp. 209-237

The previous chapters have examined García Moreno’s life and times chronologically while exploring themes of nineteenth-century Andean history, especially state formation. In contrast, this final chapter will focus on the events of a single day—August 6—during the remarkable year of 1875, in which Alexander Graham Bell made the fi rst telephone call, Georges Bizet’s ...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (71.6 KB)
pp. 238-244

The heated debate between liberals and conservatives about Garc


pdf iconDownload PDF (210.8 KB)
pp. 245-288


pdf iconDownload PDF (104.1 KB)
pp. 289-302


pdf iconDownload PDF (74.3 KB)
pp. 303-310

E-ISBN-13: 9780292794146
E-ISBN-10: 0292794142
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292719033
Print-ISBN-10: 0292719035

Page Count: 336
Illustrations: 20 halftones, 1 map, 2 tables
Publication Year: 2008