María Amalia Duarte here attempts to solve one of the perplexing issues left unresolved by Beatriz Bosch’s very competent study of the career of General Justo José de Urquiza of Entre Ríos. The question concerns the origins, motives, and development of the movement led by General Ricardo López Jordán which culminated in the unfortunate, and perhaps unexpected, assassination of Urquiza on April 11, 1870. Duarte, a native of Santa Fe, weaves a fascinating story which blends the results of her research, particularly in the Urquiza archives and the porteño and provincial press, with traditions still alive in Entre Ríos and Santa Fe.

Her underlying thesis, one that is consonant with the Urquicista school, is that Urquiza, like Mitre, sought national unity, peace, and economic progress, that Urquiza’s power in Entre Ríos experienced no decline after 1858 or 1861, and that López Jordán was a provincial caudillo who had not grown with the times and who still adhered to the traditions of Francisco Ramírez. Her evidence does not always support her assertions and sometimes suggests other conclusions. Most unfortunately, she was unable to clearly define the activities and motives of Urquiza or López Jordán, or to prove or disprove some of the rumors published in the porteño press after Pavón. She never explains, for example, why López Jordán, in spite of the Mitrista press campaign urging him to do otherwise, remained loyal to Urquiza until almost the very end. She does give us a fuller picture of what may have happened at Basualdo and Toledo, when the provincial militia disbanded rather than march against Paraguay, and of the groups opposing Urquiza. In the 1860s, Entre Ríos was literally infested with elements hostile to Urquiza. Porteño liberals, federalists from Corrientes, federalists from the Argentine interior, local federalist dissidents, Uruguayan exiles of the Blanco party, Paraguayans, all were interested in the removal or elimination of Urquiza. Whether these diverse groups coalesced against Urquiza before April 1870 is not established, but seems likely. By calling attention to the maneuvers of the disaffected groups in Entre Ríos, Duarte has advanced considerably our understanding of a complex period in the history of Entre Ríos and Argentina.