Domingo Faustino Sarmiento


Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (February 15, 1811 – September 11, 1888) was an Argentine activist, intellectual, writer, statesman and the second
President of Argentina The President of Argentina ( es, Presidente de Argentina), officially known as the President of the Argentine Nation ( es, Presidente de la Nación Argentina), is both head of state and head of government of Argentina. Under Constitution of Ar ...
. His writing spanned a wide range of genres and topics, from
journalism Journalism is the production and distribution of reports on the interaction of events, facts, ideas, and people that are the "news of the day" and that informs society to at least some degree. The word applies to the journalist, occupation (pro ...

autobiography An autobiography (from the Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximat ...
, to political philosophy and history. He was a member of a group of intellectuals, known as the '' Generation of 1837'', who had a great influence on 19th-century
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of . Sharing the bulk of the with to the west, the country is also bordered by and to the north, to the ...

. He was particularly concerned with educational issues and was also an important influence on the region's literature. Sarmiento grew up in a poor but politically active family that paved the way for many of his future accomplishments. Between 1843 and 1850 he was frequently in
exile To be in exile means to be forced away from one's home (i.e. , , , , , or even ) and unable to return. People (or corporations and even ) may be in exile for legal or other reasons. In , ''exsilium'' denoted both voluntary exile and banishme ...

, and wrote in both
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention ra ...

and in Argentina. His greatest literary achievement was ''
Facundo ''Facundo: Civilization and Barbarism'' (original Spanish title: ''Facundo: Civilización y Barbarie'') is a book written in 1845 by Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, a writer and journalist who became the seventh president of Argentina. It is a corne ...

'', a
critique Critique is a method of disciplined, systematic study of a written or oral discourse Discourse is a generalization of the notion of a conversation to any form of communication. Discourse is a major topic in social theory, with work spanning f ...
Juan Manuel de Rosas Juan Manuel de Rosas (30 March 1793 – 14 March 1877), nicknamed "Restorer of the Laws", was an Argentine politician and army officer who ruled Buenos Aires Province and briefly the Argentine Confederation. Although born into a wealthy fam ...

Juan Manuel de Rosas
, that Sarmiento wrote while working for the newspaper ''El Progreso'' during his exile in Chile. The book brought him far more than just literary recognition; he expended his efforts and energy on the war against dictatorships, specifically that of Rosas, and contrasted enlightened Europe—a world where, in his eyes, democracy, social services, and intelligent thought were valued—with the barbarism of the ''
gaucho A gaucho () or gaúcho () is a skilled horseman, reputed to be brave and unruly. The figure of the gaucho is a folk symbol of Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located m ...

'' and especially the ''
caudillo coin with the image of '' Generalísimo'' Francisco Franco Francisco Franco Bahamonde (, ; 4 December 1892 – 20 November 1975) was a Spanish general who led the Nationalist forces in overthrowing the Second Spanish Republic The ...
'', the ruthless strongmen of nineteenth-century Argentina. While president of Argentina from 1868 to 1874, Sarmiento championed intelligent thought—including education for children and women—and democracy for Latin America. He also took advantage of the opportunity to modernize and develop train systems, a postal system, and a comprehensive education system. He spent many years in ministerial roles on the federal and state levels where he travelled abroad and examined other
education system Education is the process of facilitating learning Learning is the process of acquiring new understanding Understanding is a psychological process related to concepts, such as a person, situation, or message whereby one is able to ...
s. Sarmiento died in
Asunción Asunción (, , ) is the capital (political) , capital and the largest city of Paraguay in South America. The city stands on the left bank of the Paraguay River, almost at the confluence of this river with the Pilcomayo River. The Paraguay River an ...

, Paraguay, at the age of 77 from a
heart attack A myocardial infarction (MI), commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when blood flow Hemodynamics American and British English spelling differences#ae and oe, or haemodynamics are the Fluid dynamics, dynamics of blood flow. The circulatory sys ...
. He was buried in
Buenos Aires Buenos Aires ( or ; ), officially Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, is the Capital city, capital and largest city of Argentina. The city is located on the western shore of the Río de la Plata, on South America, South America's southeastern coas ...

Buenos Aires
. Today, he is respected as a political innovator and writer.
Miguel de Unamuno Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo (29 September 1864 – 31 December 1936) was a Spanish essay An essay is, generally, a piece of writing that gives the author's own argument, but the definition is vague, overlapping with those of a letter, a pape ...
considered him among the greatest writers of Castilian prose.

Youth and influences

Sarmiento was born in Carrascal, a poor suburb of
San Juan, Argentina
San Juan, Argentina
on February 15, 1811. His father, José Clemente Quiroga Sarmiento y Funes, had served in the military during the wars of independence, returning prisoners of war to San Juan. His mother, Doña Paula Zoila de Albarracín e Irrázabal, was a very pious woman, who lost her father at a young age and was left with very little to support herself. As a result, she took to selling her weaving in order to afford to build a house of her own. On September 21, 1801, José and Paula were married. They had 15 children, 9 of whom died; Domingo was the only son to survive to adulthood. Sarmiento was greatly influenced by his parents, his mother who was always working hard, and his father who told stories of being a patriot and serving his country, something Sarmiento strongly believed in. In Sarmiento's own words: At the age of four, Sarmiento was taught to read by his father and his uncle, José Eufrasio Quiroga Sarmiento, who later became Bishop of
Cuyo Cuyo means "whose" in Spanish language, Spanish, but may also refer to: * Cuyo (Argentina) * Cuyo Province, historic, Argentina * Cuyo, Palawan, Philippines * Cuyo Airport, Philippines * Cuyo Archipelago, Philippines * Guinea pig dish eaten mainly b ...
. Another uncle who influenced him in his youth was Domingo de Oro, a notable figure in the young Argentine Republic who was influential in bringing
Juan Manuel de Rosas Juan Manuel de Rosas (30 March 1793 – 14 March 1877), nicknamed "Restorer of the Laws", was an Argentine politician and army officer who ruled Buenos Aires Province and briefly the Argentine Confederation. Although born into a wealthy fam ...

Juan Manuel de Rosas
to power. Though Sarmiento did not follow de Oro's political and religious leanings, he learned the value of intellectual integrity and honesty. He developed scholarly and oratorical skills, qualities which de Oro was famous for. In 1816, at the age of five, Sarmiento began attending the
primary school A primary school (in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and South Africa), junior school (in Australia), elementary school or grade school (in North America and the Philippines) is a school A school is an ...

primary school
''La Escuela de la Patria''. He was a good student, and earned the title of First Citizen (''Primer Ciudadano'') of the school. After completing primary school, his mother wanted him to go to Córdoba to become a
priest A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the Sacred rite, sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deity, deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious ...

. He had spent a year reading the Bible and often spent time as a child helping his uncle with
church service A church service (or simply a service) is a formalized period of Christian communal worship Worship is an act of religion, religious wikt:devotion, devotion usually directed towards a deity. For many, worship is not about an emotion, it is mor ...
s, but Sarmiento soon became bored with religion and school, and got involved with a group of aggressive children. Sarmiento's father took him to the Loreto Seminary in 1821, but for reasons unknown, Sarmiento did not enter the seminary, returning instead to San Juan with his father. In 1823, the Minister of State,
Bernardino Rivadavia Bernardino de la Trinidad González Rivadavia (May 20, 1780 – September 2, 1845) was the first President of Argentina The President of Argentina ( es, Presidente de Argentina), officially known as the President of the Argentine Nation ...

Bernardino Rivadavia
, announced that the six top pupils of each state would be selected to receive higher education in Buenos Aires. Sarmiento was at the top of the list in San Juan, but it was then announced that only ten pupils would receive the scholarship. The selection was made by lot, and Sarmiento was not one of the scholars whose name was drawn. Like many other nineteenth century Argentines prominent in public life, he was a
freemason Freemasonry or Masonry consists of fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local fraternities of stonemasons that from the end of the 14th century regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with autho ...

Political background and exiles

In 1826, an assembly elected
Bernardino Rivadavia Bernardino de la Trinidad González Rivadavia (May 20, 1780 – September 2, 1845) was the first President of Argentina The President of Argentina ( es, Presidente de Argentina), officially known as the President of the Argentine Nation ...

Bernardino Rivadavia
as president of the
United Provinces of the Río de la Plata The United Provinces of the Río de la Plata ( es, Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata), earlier known as the United Provinces of South America ( es, Provincias Unidas de Sudamérica), was a union of provinces in the Viceroyalty of the Río d ...
. This action roused the ire of the provinces, and civil war was the result. Support for a strong, centralized Argentine government was based in Buenos Aires, and gave rise to two opposing groups. The wealthy and educated of the Unitarian Party, such as Sarmiento, favored centralized government. In opposition to them were the Federalist Party (Argentina), Federalists, who were mainly based in rural areas and tended to reject European mores. Numbering figures such as Manuel Dorrego and Juan Facundo Quiroga among their ranks, they were in favor of a loose federation with more autonomy for the individual provinces. Opinion of the Rivadavia government was divided between the two ideology, ideologies. For Unitarians like Sarmiento, Rivadavia's presidency was a positive experience. He set up a European-staffed university and supported a public education program for rural male children. He also supported theater and opera groups, publishing houses and a museum. These contributions were considered as civilizing influences by the Unitarians, but they upset the Federalist constituency. Common laborers had their salaries subjected to a government cap, and the gaucho, ''gauchos'' were arrested by Rivadavia for vagrancy and forced to work on public projects, usually without pay. In 1827, the Unitarians were challenged by Federalist forces. After the resignation of Rivadavia, Manuel Dorrego was installed as governor of Buenos Aires province. He quickly made peace with Brazil but, on returning to Argentina, was overthrown and executed by the Unitarian general Juan Lavalle, who took Dorrego's place. However, Lavalle did not spend long as governor either: he was soon overthrown by militias composed largely of ''gauchos'' led by Rosas and Estanislao López. By the end of 1829 the old legislature that Lavalle had disbanded was back in place and had appointed Rosas as governor of Buenos Aires. The first time Sarmiento was forced to leave home was with his uncle, José de Oro, in 1827, because of his military activities. José de Oro was a priest who had fought in the Battle of Chacabuco under General San Martín. Together, Sarmiento and de Oro went to San Francisco del Monte, in the neighbour province of San Luis Province, San Luis. He spent much of his time with his uncle learning and began to teach at the only school in town. Later that year, his mother wrote to him asking him to come home. Sarmiento refused, only to receive a response from his father that he was coming to collect him. His father had persuaded the governor of San Juan to send Sarmiento to Buenos Aires to study at the College of Moral Sciences (''Colegio de Ciencias Morales''). Soon after Sarmiento's return, the province of San Juan broke out into civil war and Facundo Quiroga invaded Sarmiento's town. As historian William Katra describes this "traumatic experience": Unable to attend school in Buenos Aires due to the political turmoil, Sarmiento chose to fight against Quiroga. He joined and fought in the unitarian army, only to be placed under house arrest when San Juan was eventually taken over by Quiroga after the battle of Pilar. He was later released, only to join the forces of José María Paz, General Paz, a key unitarian figure.

First exile in Chile

Fighting and war soon resumed, but, one by one, Quiroga vanquished the main allies of General Paz, including the Governor of San Juan, and in 1831 Sarmiento fled to Chile. He did not return to Argentina for five years. At the time, Chile was noted for its good public administration, its constitutional organization, and the rare freedom to criticize the regime. In Sarmiento's view, Chile had "Security of property, the continuation of order, and with both of these, the love of work and the spirit of enterprise that causes the development of wealth and prosperity." As a form of freedom of expression, Sarmiento began to write political commentary. In addition to writing, he also began teaching in Los Andes, Chile, Los Andes. Due to his innovative style of teaching, he found himself in conflict with the governor of the province. He founded his own school in Pocuro as a response to the governor. During this time, Sarmiento fell in love and had an illegitimate daughter named Ana Faustina, who Sarmiento did not acknowledge until she married.Felipe Pigna
"Domingo Faustino Sarmiento"
. El Historiador; Biografias. [this reference needs to be replaced by better ones; see talk page]

San Juan and second and third exiles in Chile

In 1836, Sarmiento returned to San Juan, seriously ill with typhoid fever; his family and friends thought he would die upon his return, but he recovered and established an anti-federalist journal called ''El Zonda''. The government of San Juan did not like Sarmiento's criticisms and censored the magazine by imposing an unaffordable tax upon each purchase. Sarmiento was forced to cease publication of the magazine in 1840. He also founded a school for girls during this time called the Santa Rosa High School, which was a preparatory school. In addition to the school, he founded a Literary Society. It is around this time that Sarmiento became associated with the so-called " Generation of 1837". This was a group of activists, who included Esteban Echeverría, Juan Bautista Alberdi, and Bartolomé Mitre, who spent much of the 1830s to 1880s first agitating for and then bringing about social change, advocating republicanism, free trade, freedom of speech, and material progress. Though, based in San Juan, Sarmiento was absent from the initial creation of this group, in 1838 he wrote to Alberdi seeking the latter's advice; and in time he would become the group's most fervent supporter. In 1840, after being arrested and accused of conspiracy, Sarmiento was forced into exile in Chile again. It was en route to Chile that, in the baths of Zonda, he wrote the graffiti "On ne tue point les idées," an incident that would later serve as the preface to his book ''Facundo''. Once on the other side of the Andes, in 1841 Samiento started writing for the Valparaíso newspaper ''El Mercurio'', as well working as a publisher of the ''Crónica Contemporánea de Latino América'' ("Contemporary Latin American Chronicle"). In 1842, Sarmiento was appointed the Director of the first Normal School in South America; the same year he also founded the newspaper ''El Progreso''. During this time he sent for his family from San Juan to Chile. In 1843, Sarmiento published ''Mi Defensa'' ("My Defence"), while continuing to teach. And in May 1845, ''El Progreso'' started the serial publication of the first edition of his best-known work, ''Facundo''; in July, ''Facundo'' appeared in book form. Between the years 1845 and 1847, Sarmiento travelled on behalf of the Chilean government across parts of South America to Uruguay, Brazil, to Europe, France, Spain, Algeria, Italy, Armenia, Switzerland, England, to Cuba, and to North America, the United States and Canada in order to examine different education systems and the levels of education and communication. Based on his travels, he wrote the book ''Viajes por Europa, África, y América'' which was published in 1849. In 1848, Sarmiento voluntarily left to Chile once again. During the same year, he met widow Benita Martínez Pastoriza, married her, and adopted her son, Domingo Fidel, or Dominguito, who would be killed in action during the Paraguayan War, War of the Triple Alliance at Battle of Curupaity, Curupaytí in 1866. Sarmiento continued to exercise the idea of freedom of the press and began two new periodicals entitled ''La Tribuna'' and ''La Crónica'' respectively, which strongly attacked Juan Manuel de Rosas. During this stay in Chile, Sarmiento's essays became more strongly opposed to Juan Manuel de Rosas. The Argentine government tried to have Sarmiento extradited from Chile to Argentina, but the Chilean government refused to hand him over. In 1850, he published both ''Argirópolis'' and ''Recuerdos de Provincia'' (Recollections of a Provincial Past). In 1852, Rosas's regime was finally brought down. Sarmiento became involved in debates about the country's new constitution.

Return to Argentina

In 1854, Sarmiento briefly visited Mendoza, just across the border from Chile in Western Argentina, but he was arrested and imprisoned. Upon his release, he went back to Chile. But in 1855 he put an end to what was now his "self-imposed" exile in Chile: he arrived in Buenos Aires, soon to become editor-in-chief of the newspaper ''El Nacional''. He was also appointed town councillor in 1856, and 1857 he joined the provincial Senate, a position he held until 1861. It was in 1861, shortly after Mitre became Argentine president, that Sarmiento left Buenos Aires and returned to San Juan, where he was elected governor, a post he took up in 1862. It was then that he passed the ''Statutory Law of Public Education'', making it mandatory for children to attend primary school. It allowed for a number of institutions to be opened including secondary schools, military schools and an All girls school, all-girls school. While governor, he developed roads and infrastructure, built public buildings and hospitals, encouraged agriculture and allowed for mineral mining. He resumed his post as editor of ''El Zonda''. In 1863, Sarmiento fought against the power of the ''
caudillo coin with the image of '' Generalísimo'' Francisco Franco Francisco Franco Bahamonde (, ; 4 December 1892 – 20 November 1975) was a Spanish general who led the Nationalist forces in overthrowing the Second Spanish Republic The ...
'' of La Rioja and found himself in conflict with the Interior Minister of Bartolomé Mitre, General Mitre's government, Guillermo Rawson. Sarmiento stepped down as governor of San Juan to become the Plenipotentiary Minister to the United States, where he was sent in 1865, soon after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Moved by the story of Lincoln, Sarmiento ended up writing his book ''Vida de Lincoln''. It was on this trip that Sarmiento received an honorary degree from the University of Michigan. A bust of him stood in the Modern Languages Building at the University of Michigan until multiple student protests prompted its removal. Students installed plaques and painted the bust red to represent the controversies surrounding his policies towards the indigenous people in Argentina. There still stands a statue of Sarmiento at Brown University. While on this trip, he was asked to run for President again. He won, taking office on October 12, 1868.

President of Argentina, 1868–1874

Domingo Faustino Sarmiento served as President of the Republic of Argentina from 1868 to 1874, becoming president despite the maneuverings of his predecessor Bartolomé Mitre. According to biographer Allison Bunkley, his presidency "marks the advent of the middle, or land-owning classes as the pivot power of the nation. The age of the gaucho had ended, and the age of the merchant and cattleman had begun." Sarmiento sought to create basic freedoms, and wanted to ensure civil safety and progress for everyone, not just the few. Sarmiento's tour of the United States had given him many new ideas about politics, democracy, and the structure of society, especially when he was the Argentine ambassador to the country from 1865 to 1868. He found New England, specifically the Boston-Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cambridge area to be the source of much of his influence, writing in an Argentine newspaper that New England was "the cradle of the modern republic, the school for all of America." He described Boston as ''"The pioneer city of the modern world, the Zion of the ancient Puritans ... Europe contemplates in New England the power which in the future will supplant her."'' Not only did Sarmiento evolve political ideas, but also structural ones by transitioning Argentina from a primarily agricultural economy to one focused on cities and industry. Historian David Rock (historian), David Rock notes that, beyond putting an end to caudillismo, Sarmiento's main achievements in government concerned his promotion of education. As Rock reports, "between 1868 and 1874 educational subsidies from the central government to the provinces quadrupled." He established 800 educational and military institutions, and his improvements to the educational system enabled 100,000 children to attend school. He also pushed forward modernization more generally, building infrastructure including of telegraph line across the country for improved communications, making it easier for the government in Buenos Aires and the provinces to communicate; modernizing the postal and train systems which he believed to be integral for interregional and national economies, as well as building the Red Line, a train line that would bring goods to Buenos Aires in order to better facilitate trade with Great Britain. By the end of his presidency, the Red Line extended . In 1869, he conducted Argentina's first national census. Though Sarmiento is well known historically, he was not a popular president. Indeed, Rock judges that "by and large his administration was a disappointment". During his presidency, Argentina conducted an unpopular war against Paraguay; at the same time, people were displeased with him for not fighting for the Straits of Magellan from Chile. Although he increased productivity, he increased expenditures, which also negatively affected his popularity. In addition, the arrival of a large influx of European immigrants was blamed for the outbreak of Yellow Fever in Buenos Aires and the risk of civil war. Moreover, Sarmiento's presidency was further marked by ongoing rivalry between Buenos Aires and the provinces. In the war against Paraguay, Sarmiento's adopted son was killed. Sarmiento suffered from immense grief and was thought to never have been the same again. On August 22, 1873, Sarmiento was the target of an unsuccessful assassination attempt, when two Italian anarchist brothers shot at his Coach (carriage), coach. They had been hired by federal caudillo Ricardo López Jordán. A year later in 1874, he completed his term as President and stepped down, handing his presidency over to Nicolás Avellaneda, his former Minister of Education.

Final years

In 1875, following his term as President, Sarmiento became the General Director of Schools for the Province of Buenos Aires. That same year, he became the Senator for San Juan, a post that he held until 1879, when he became Interior Minister. But he soon resigned, following conflict with the Governor of Buenos Aires, Carlos Tejedor (politician), Carlos Tejedor. He then assumed the post of Superintendent General of Schools for the National Education Ministry under President Roca and published ''El Monitor de la Educación Común'', which is a fundamental reference for Argentine education.Domingo Faustino Sarmiento
In 1882, Sarmiento was successful in passing the sanction of Free Education allowing schools to be free, mandatory, and separate from that of religion. In May 1888, Sarmiento left Argentina for Paraguay. He was accompanied by his daughter, Ana, and his companion Aurelia Vélez. He died in
Asunción Asunción (, , ) is the capital (political) , capital and the largest city of Paraguay in South America. The city stands on the left bank of the Paraguay River, almost at the confluence of this river with the Pilcomayo River. The Paraguay River an ...

on September 11, 1888, from a heart attack, and was buried in Buenos Aires, after a ten-day trip. His tomb at La Recoleta Cemetery lies under a sculpture, a condor upon a pylon, designed by himself and executed by Victor de Pol. Pedro II of Brazil, Pedro II, the Emperor of Brazil and a great admirer of Sarmiento, sent to his funeral procession a green and gold crown of flowers with a message written in Spanish remembering the highlights of his life: "Facundo, Civilization and Barbarism, Battle of The Tonelero Pass, Tonelero, Battle of Caseros, Monte Caseros, Petrópolis, Public Education. Remembrance and Homage from Pedro de Alcântara."


Sarmiento was well known for his modernization of the country, and for his improvements to the educational system. He firmly believed in democracy and European liberalism, but was most often seen as a romantic. Sarmiento was well versed in Western philosophy including the works of Karl Marx and John Stuart Mill. He was particularly fascinated with the liberty given to those living in the United States, which he witnessed as a representative of the Peruvian government. He did, however, see pitfalls to liberty, pointing for example to the aftermath of the French Revolution, which he compared to Argentina's own May Revolution. He believed that liberty could turn into anarchy and thus civil war, which is what happened in France and in Argentina. Therefore, his use of the term "liberty" was more in reference to a laissez-faire approach to the economy, and religious liberty. Though a Catholic himself, he began to adopt the ideas of separation of church and state modeled after the US. He believed that there should be more religious freedom, and less religious affiliation in schools. This was one of many ways in which Sarmiento tried to connect South America to North America. Sarmiento believed that the material and social needs of people had to be satisfied but not at the cost of order and decorum. He put great importance on law and citizen participation. These ideas he most equated to Rome and to the United States, a society which he viewed as exhibiting similar qualities. In order to civilize the Argentine society and make it equal to that of Rome or the United States, Sarmiento believed in eliminating the caudillos, or the larger landholdings and establishing multiple agricultural colonies run by European immigrants. Coming from a family of writers, orators, and clerics, Domingo Sarmiento placed a great value on education and learning. He opened a number of schools including the first school in Latin America for teachers in Santiago in 1842: ''La Escuela Normal Preceptores de Chile''. He proceeded to open 18 more schools and had mostly female teachers from the USA come to Argentina to instruct graduates how to be effective when teaching. Sarmiento's belief was that education was the key to happiness and success, and that a nation could not be democratic if it was not educated. "We must educate our rulers," he said. "An ignorant people will always choose Rosas.". His views on the South American Indians have been more controversial. For example, in ''El Nacional'' (Nov. 25, 1857) Sarmiento wrote: “Will we be able to exterminate the Indians? For the savages of America, I feel an invincible repugnance that I cannot cure. Those scoundrels are not anything more than disgusting Indians that I would hang if they reappeared. Lautaro and Caupolicán are dirty Indians, because that's how they are all. Incapable of progress, their extermination is providential and useful, sublime and great. They must be exterminated without even sparing the little one, who already has the instinctive hatred for the civilized man.”


Major works

* ''
Facundo ''Facundo: Civilization and Barbarism'' (original Spanish title: ''Facundo: Civilización y Barbarie'') is a book written in 1845 by Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, a writer and journalist who became the seventh president of Argentina. It is a corne ...

– Civilización y Barbarie – Vida de Juan Facundo Quiroga'', 1845. Written during his long exile in Chile. Originally published in 1845 in Chile in installments in ''El Progreso'' newspaper, ''Facundo'' is Sarmiento's most famous work. It was first published in book form in 1851, and the first English translation, by Mary Mann, appeared in 1868. A recent modern edition in English was translated by Kathleen Ross. ''Facundo'' promotes further civilization and European influence on Argentine culture through the use of anecdotes and references to Juan Facundo Quiroga, Argentine caudillo general. As well as being a call to progress, Sarmiento discusses the nature of Argentine peoples as well as including his thoughts and objections to Juan Manuel de Rosas, governor of Buenos Aires from 1829 to 1832 and again from 1835, due to the turmoil generated by Facundo's death, to 1852. As literary critic Sylvia Molloy observes, Sarmiento claimed that this book helped explain Argentine struggles to European readers, and was cited in European publications. Written with extensive assistance from others, Sarmiento adds to his own memory the quotes, accounts, and dossiers from other historians and companions of Facundo Quiroga. ''Facundo'' maintains its relevance in modern-day as well, bringing attention to the contrast of lifestyles in Latin America, the conflict and struggle for progress while maintaining tradition, as well as the moral and ethical treatment of the public by government officials and regimes. * ''Recuerdos de Provincia'' (''Recollections of a Provincial Past''), 1850. In this second autobiography, Sarmiento displays a stronger effort to include familial links and ties to his past, in contrast to ''Mi defensa'', choosing to relate himself to San Juan and his Argentine heritage. Sarmiento discusses growing up in rural Argentina with basic ideologies and simple livings. ''Recuerdos'' discusses his Similar to ''Facundo'', Sarmiento uses previous dossiers filed against himself by enemies to assist in writing ''Recuerdos'' and therefore fabricating an autobiography based on these files and from his own memory. Sarmiento's persuasion in this book is substantial. The accounts, whether all true or false against him, are a source of information to write ''Recuerdos'' as he is then able to object and rectify into what he creates as a 'true account' of autobiography.

Other works

Sarmiento was a prolific author. The following is a selection of his other works: * ''Mi defensa'', 1843. This was Sarmiento's first autobiography in a pamphlet form, which omits any substantial information or recognition of his illegitimate daughter Ana. This would have discredited Sarmiento as a respected father of Argentina, as Sarmiento portrays himself as a sole individual, disregarding or denouncing important ties to other people and groups in his life. * ''Viajes por Europa, África, y América'' 1849. A description and observations while travelling as a representative of the Chilean government to learn more about educational systems around the world. * ''Argirópolis'' 1850. A description of a future utopian city in the River Plate States. * ''Comentarios sobre la constitución'' 1852. This is Sarmiento's official account of his ideologies promoting civilization and the "Europeanization" and "Americanization" of Argentina. This account includes dossiers, articles, speeches and information regarding the pending constitution. * ''Informes sobre educación'', 1856. This report was the first official statistic report on education in Latin America includes information on gender and location distribution of pupils, salaries and wages, and comparative achievement. ''Informes sobre educación'' proposes new theories, plans, and methods of education as well as quality controls on schools and learning systems. * ''Las Escuelas, base de la prosperidad y de la republica en los Estados Unidos'' 1864. This work, along with the previous two, were intended to persuade Latin America and Argentines of the benefits of the educational, economic and political systems of the United States, which Sarmiento supported. * ''Conflicto y armonías de las razas en América'' 1883, deals with race issues in Latin America in the late 1800s. While situations in the book remain particular to the time period and location, race issues and conflicts of races are still prevalent and enable the book to be relevant in the present day. * ''Vida de Dominguito'', 1886. A memoir of Dominguito, Sarmiento's adopted son who was the only child Sarmiento had always accepted. Many of the notes used to compile ''Vida de Dominguito'' had been written 20 years prior during one of Sarmiento's stays in Washington. * ''Educar al soberano'', a compilation of letters written from 1870 to 1886 on the topic of improved education, promoting and suggesting new reforms such as secondary schools, parks, sporting fields and specialty schools. This compilation was met with far greater success than ''Ortografía, Instrucción Publica'' and received greater public support. * ''El camino de Lacio'', which impacted Argentina by influencing many Italians to immigrate by relating Argentinas history to that of Latium of the Roman empire. * ''Inmigración y colonización'', a publication which led to mass immigration of Europeans to mostly urban Argentina, which Sarmiento believed would assist in 'civilizing' the country over the more barbaric gauchos and rural provinces. This had a large impact on Argentine politics, especially as much of the civil tension in the country was divided between the rural provinces and the cities. In addition to increased urban population, these European immigrants had a cultural effect upon Argentina, providing what Sarmiento believed to be more civilized culture similar to North America's. * ''On the Condition of Foreigners'', which helped to assist political changes for immigrants in 1860. * ''Ortografía, Instrucción Publica'', an example of Sarmiento's passion for improved education. Sarmiento focused on illiteracy of the youth, and suggested simplifying reading and spelling for the public education system, a method which was never implemented. * ''Práctica Constitucional'', a three volume work, describing current political methods as well as propositions for new methodologies. * ''Presidential Papers'', a history of his presidency, formed of many personal and external documents. * ''Travels in the United States in 1847'', (Edited and translated into English by Michael Aaron Rockland.)


The impact of Domingo Faustino Sarmiento is most obviously seen in the establishment of September 11 as Americas, Panamerican Teacher's Day which was done in his honor at the 1943 Interamerican Conference on Education, held in Panama. Today, he is still considered to be Latin America's teacher. In his time, he opened countless schools, created free public libraries, opened immigration, and worked towards a Union of Plate States. His impact was not only on the world of education, but also on Argentine political and social structure. His ideas are now revered as innovative, though at the time they were not widely accepted. He was a self-made man and believed in sociological and economic growth for Latin America, something that the Argentine people could not recognize at the time with the soaring standard of living which came with high prices, high wages, and an increased national debt. There is a building named in his honor at the Argentine embassy in Washington D.C.. Today, there is a statue in honor of Sarmiento in Boston on the Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Commonwealth Avenue Mall, between Gloucester and Hereford streets, erected in 1973. There is a square, ''Plaza Sarmiento'' in Rosario, Argentina. One of Auguste Rodin, Rodin's last sculptures was that of Sarmiento which is now in Buenos Aires.Musée Rodin Website




*. * *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. Edited by Barry L. Velleman. There is a Spanish translation of these letters, ''"Mi estimado señor": Cartas de Mary Mann a Sarmiento (1865–1881).'' Buenos Aires: Icana y Victoria Ocampo, 2005. Edited by Barry L. Velleman. Translated by Marcela Solá. . * * *. *. *. *. *. Trans. by Elizabeth Garrels and Asa Zatz. * The first complete English translation.

External links

* * {{DEFAULTSORT:Sarmiento, Domingo Faustino Domingo Faustino Sarmiento 1811 births 1888 deaths People from San Juan Province, Argentina Governors of San Juan Province, Argentina Argentine people of Spanish descent Unitarianists (Argentina) Presidents of Argentina Foreign ministers of Argentina Argentine male writers Argentine historians Argentine educational theorists Ambassadors of Argentina to Chile Argentine Freemasons Argentine prisoners of war Shooting survivors Burials at La Recoleta Cemetery 19th-century historians 19th-century male writers Argentine anti-communists Argentine Catholics