Artigas and the Emancipation of Uruguay

Artigas and the Emancipation of Uruguay

Artigas and the Emancipation of Uruguay

Artigas and the Emancipation of Uruguay

Excerpt

This book is a study of the origins of Uruguayan nationality, in the development of which the career of Artigas was one of the most important forces. Yet the life of the hero does not suffice to explain all those forces, nor indeed to describe the erection of Uruguay into a separate state, since at the crucial period he was in exile. Consequently I have been obliged to write at length about matters in which Artigas was not directly involved, such as imperial rivalry in South America, and the British interest there. The book is not a biography of Artigas, and its unity is to be found in the greater theme of the birth of a new nation.

I wish here to express my deep gratitude to the many who have freely given their help, and especially to Sir Eugen Millington-Drake, K.C.M.G., the Friends of Uruguay Society and the Comisión Nacional de Homenaje a Artigas for making it possible for me to visit Argentina and Uruguay to collect material. Without their aid this book could not have been written. My stay in Uruguay was made agreeable by the friendliness of many, among whom I remember with gratitude Carlos Caurant Aguirre, Jon E. Jones, the British Council officers J. G. Bruton and D. de Boinville, J. R. Peet of the Royal Bank of Canada, and the historian Edmundo M. Narancio. The services of archive and library staffs in four countries deserve my best thanks; and the Uruguayans J. C. Gómez Alzola of the Archivo General de la Nación, Dionisio Trillo Pays of the Biblioteca Nacional, and Juan E. Pivel Devoto of the Museo Histórico Nacional, who bore the brunt of my enquiries, were particularly kind to me. I also acknowledge my debt to the following scholars: Professor R. A. Humphreys of University College, London, and the late Professor J. B. Trend of Christ's College, Cambridge, who made valuable suggestions, and . . .

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