Week 5: Caudillos Versus the Nation State

Terror of the Caudillos/Rosas.


Source 1

The first source I will be discussing is the book Argentine Caudillo: Juan Manuel de Rosas by John Lynch. I will however just for this shorter paper be focusing on the chapter on terror, the terror that Rosas implemented during his rule.  Rosas was a very complex man, so were those who followed him or those who opposed his regime. This source takes a deeper look into how both Rosa, his supporters as well as his opposition used violence to instill their point of view. Starting off with Rosa, the source makes it very clear on the fact that Rosas was the first one to use terrosim. The author specifically uses the word terroism to display the level of violence that was being used. Rosas used terror to eliminate his enemies, threaten waverers, discipline others and to keep his people in line with what he wanted. Although Rosas used terror on everyone he mainly focused on the elite and unitarians as he believed it was useless to use resources on the poor and unimportant. Rosas began to escalate with his scale of attacks, sending his men into towns for weeks at a time assassinating their targets in the streets or invading their houses. Rosas also said that what he was doing was a form of patriotism to his country.

Overall the source focuses on more of what Rosa did and how it negatively affected the people. The author also uses specific language to make it known their point, such as the use of the word terroism all throughout the source. This is a very important part of the source, implying that Rosas was a terrorist, that his rule should be viewed more negatively than it already is. The author’s bias does come through a bit during this source, however it is not a source only based on bias and one’s own judgement. Looking at all the information, this source is still credible. Most every source does have some form of bias as we are human and have our own opinions. 

This source will be beneficial to our video project in adding more information of the opposition that the caudillos as a whole had. Although it is centered around Rosas it can be applied to caudillos all around for rosas was a very big influence in the time of the caudillos rule. It deals with the more realistic effects that caudillos had on states and countries. We as a group will look over all the details within this source, thus if one of us has bias towards a specific thing, the other members will make sure we are thinking more with our heads then with our beliefs. Overall I believe this will be a great source in helping form our video project on Caudillos Versus the Nation State. 


Source 2

The second source mainly focuses on something we as a class have focused on, the slaughterhouse by Esteban Echeverria. However the source I will be using is a breakdown of everything that occurred within the slaughterhouse. The source is Carnality in ‘El Matadero,’ written by Lee Joan Skinner. As mentioned before the source takes a deeper dive into the meaning behind the slaughterhouse. The source explains a bit of who Esteban Echeverria was and why he wrote this. It explains that Esteban wrote this during a time when Rosas rule seemed to be going on forever and that it had no end. He had already seen so many of his friends and like minded people who opposed Rosa already eliminated, so he wrote it out of fear and carelessness. The source also touches on how Esteban also knew that all this political unrest and violence was not just because of Rosa, but the unitarians also played a part in making way for Rosa’s possessive rule, even unintentionally. 

Overall the source is trying to show how the slaughterhouse is a way of showing that opposing the government at rule (rosas/caudillos) will result in grave consequences. However although this may seem as something that is to threaten those who oppose Rosa’s regime, it is much the opposite. The author is really trying to show us how much Esteban opposed the current ruler. He used the examples of barbarism and rape of the young man all to get this across. Some may say that his way of doing so was grotesque and extreme, but that is what he wanted. He wanted to go that extra mile to show the terror that the caudillos system had and could have if it continued.This source can be looked at as both credible and not credible, as it discusses both sides on how Esteban views things. The slaughterhouse is also a work of fiction, yes it may be based on real aspects of events that happened in real times, yet we still need to be considerate of all the sides. Thus we would need to do more research on the exact tellings of how rosas rule was to fully know if the source is as credible as it is presented. 

This source interconnects with source 1, as both deal with the negatives and terror that the caudillos regime demonstrated. Source 2 is in direct support of the events that actually occurred in real times other than the fiction of Esteban. These will go hand in hand in giving more insight to how people viewed caudillos and if they were truly as beneficial as presented in our sources. It will add onto another side of Rosa’s regime and push the video project further. As this source does contain quite a bit of bias we will have to learn more of the facts behind the fiction, as we need to double check if such events did occur similar to those in the slaughterhouse. 


Lynch, John, and John Lynch. “The Terror.” Argentine Caudillo: Juan Manuel De Rosas. Lanham, MD: SR, 2006. Print.

SKINNER, LEE. “Carnality in ‘El Matadero’.” Gender and the Rhetoric of Modernity in Spanish America, 18501910. Place of Publication Not Identified: UNIV PR OF FLORIDA, 2018. Print.