Battle of Cepeda (1859) History, Causes & Consequences

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Battle of Cepeda, 1859 [Argentina History]

Battle of Cepeda 1859: Battle between the Argentine Confederation and the State of Buenos Aires.

Date October 23, 1859
Place Arroyo de Cepeda, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Belligerents Argentine Confederation vs. Buenos Aires
Outcome Victory of the Argentine Confederation

What was the Battle of Cepeda in 1859?

The Battle of Cepeda in 1859 was a battle fought between the army of the Argentine Confederation, led by Justo José de Urquiza, and the army of the State of Buenos Aires, led by Bartolomé Miter, which took place on October 23 of that year in the stream of the Cepeda stream, current province of Buenos Aires.

This battle forms one of the many civil battles that took place within the framework of the development and organization of the Argentine Republic.

Among its causes stands out the refusal of Buenos Aires, which was then constituted as an independent State, for supporting the policy of the other provinces of the country.

After a violent combat that lasted several hours, the army of the Argentine Confederation emerged victorious from the battle.

As the main effect of this conflict, the San José de Flores pact was signed, which again incorporated Buenos Aires into the Argentine Republic and opened the way to the development of a unified country.

Urquiza and Miter in the Battle of Caseros 1859

On the left, Justo José de Urquiza; on the right, Bartolomé Miter.

Who fought in the Battle of Cepeda in 1859?

During the Battle of Cepeda in 1859, two great sides faced each other:

  • The Argentine Confederation of federal ideology, it represented the country’s provinces excluding Buenos Aires. It was under the command of Justo José de Urquiza and had some 15,000 forces in combat.
  • The army of the State of Buenos Aires of unitary ideology, it represented Buenos Aires. It was under the command of Bartolomé Miter and had about 10,000 forces in combat.

Causes and consequences of the Battle of Cepeda in 1859

Causes of the Battle of Cepeda (1859)

Among the main causes of the Battle of Cepeda in 1859, the following stand out:

  • The ruling group in Buenos Aires refused to support the policies of the other provinces.
  • The province of Buenos Aires was constituted as an independent state, which was economically damaging to the other provinces.
  • The Confederation had serious economic problems, mainly because it did not have an important customs office to get enough income for its coffers and reduce its deficit.
  • The death of former governor Nazario BenavidezUrquiza‘s ally.
  • The approval of a law, in April 1859 and by the National Congress, which required President Urquiza to reintegrate Buenos Aires peacefully or by force. In this way a battle was unleashed between the two sides.

Consequences of the Battle of Cepeda (1859)

Among the main consequences of the Battle of Cepeda in 1859, the following stand out:

  • The federal victory led to the signing of the Pact of San José de Flores, on November 10, 1859, which established that Buenos Aires and the Confederation would be integrated under the same Constitution and the same government.
  • The federal party took great relevance and power in the general organization of the Republic.
  • Despite being defeated, Buenos Aires obtained certain privileges that consolidated its importance in the political and economic organization of the country.
  • There were more than 500 deaths (300 from the Confederation and 200 from Buenos Aires) and more than 2000 prisoners.

Key Personnel of the Battle of Cepeda of 1859

Among the protagonists of this armed conflict, the following stand out:

  • Justo José de Urquiza (1801-1870): Argentine military and politician. He was governor of the province of Entre Ríos, leader of the federal government and president of the Argentine Confederation.
  • Bartolomé Miter (1821-1906): Argentine politician, historian, writer, statesman, journalist and military man. He was president of the country in 1862 and governor of the province of Buenos Aires.
  • Nazario Benavídez (1805-1858): Argentine military man and leader. He was governor of San Juan four times and participated in various struggles between Unitarians and Federalists.
  • Valentín Alsina (1802-1869): Argentine writer, jurist and politician. He was unitary governor of the province of Buenos Aires in 1852, 1858 and 1859.
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