Artigas and the Emancipation of Uruguay

By John Street | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
THE BIRTH OF URUGUAY

1. THE ESTADO CISPLATINO

ARTIGAS and his lieutenants kept up the fight against the Portuguese from 1817 to 1820 in the country districts of the Provincia Oriental, but besides this the Portuguese hold was rendered precarious by other factors. Inside Montevideo and the other parts occupied, conspirators in favour of Spanish rule or Porteño rule or home rule by Artigas kept Lecór anxious; and also there was the wider question of a possible intervention by the European powers who were mediating between Portugal and Spain. In 1819 Spain was concentrating an army at Cádiz to send to the Provincia Oriental to take over from the Portuguese, as had been arranged as a result of this mediation. Indeed, at this point Portugal seemed determined to evacuate the Provincia Oriental and hand over the parts she held to the Spanish army. The Directory 'in Buenos Aires gained information of this decision and ordered the agent García to make strong representations in Rio de Janeiro against such an act of treachery to the agreement between the two governments. García was to make it clear that Buenos Aires was resolved to maintain her independence, and if Portugal handed over Montevideo to a Spanish expedition, the United Provinces would make an alliance with Artigas and fight both Spain and Portugal. On the other hand, if the Portuguese would assist Buenos Aires against Spain, Brazil would be given commercial and territorial rewards. It was time for Dom João to decide on his attitude toward Spain, for the good of his Empire and for the sake of his 'natural Friends and Allies, the New Governments of South America'.1

But Portugal dared not commit herself to an alliance with the

____________________
1
Memorandum . . . respecting Monte Video, MS. cit. P.R.O., F.O. 97/76, pp. 87-102, especially letters of Chamberlain Secret 10 October 1819 and Most Secret 27 October.

-329-

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Artigas and the Emancipation of Uruguay
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xi
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Chapter I- The Environment 1
  • Chapter II- The Artigas Stock 44
  • Chapter III- The Division of the Ways 78
  • Chapter IV- The Rise of Artigas 118
  • Chapter V- From Independence to Civil War 162
  • Chapter VI- The Patria Vieja 202
  • Chapter VII- The Federal League 243
  • Chapter VIII- Catastrophe 279
  • Chapter IX- The Birth of Uruguay 329
  • Chapter X- The Last Years of Artigas 370
  • Appendix I- (see P. 227, Note 1) 376
  • Appendix II- (see P. 332, Note 4) 380
  • Sources 382
  • Index 391
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