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Julio Argentino Roca

Alejo Julio Argentino Roca Paz was an army general who served as President of Argentina from 12 October 1880 to 12 October 1886 and again from 12 October 1898 to 12 October 1904.

Julio Roca was born in the northwestern city of San Miguel de Tucuman in 1843 into a prominent local family. He graduated from the National College in Concepcion del Uruguay, Entre Rios. Before he was 15, Roca joined the army of the Argentine Confederation, on 19 March 1858. While still an adolescent, he went to fight as a junior artillery officer in the struggle between Buenos Aires and the interior provinces, first on the side of the provinces and later on behalf of the capital. He also fought in the War of the Triple Alliance against Paraguay between 1865 and 1870. Roca rose to the rank of colonel serving in the war to suppress the revolt of Ricardo Lopez Jordan in Entre Rios. President Nicolas Avellaneda later promoted him to General after his victory over rebel general Jose M. Arredondo in the battle of Santa Rosa, leading the loyalist forces.

In 1877, during Avellaneda's presidency, he became Minister of War and it was his task to prepare a campaign that would bring and end to the "frontier problem" after the failure of the plan of Adolfo Alsina (his predecessor). Roca's approach to dealing with the Indian communities of the Pampas, however, was completely different from Alsina's, who had ordered the construction of a ditch and a defensive line of small fortresses across the Province of Buenos Aires. Roca saw no way to end native attacks (malones) but by putting under effective government control all land up to the Rio Negro in a campaign (known as the Conquest of the Desert) that would "extinguish, subdue or expel" the Indians who inhabited there. This land conquest would also strengthen Argentina's strategic position against Chile.

Related websites

Biography of Julio A. Roca in Spanish

Another biography of Julio A. Roca in Spanish

Roca y el mito del Genocidio, Juan Jose Cresto for La Nacion, in Spanish

The first presidency of Roca in Spanish 1880-1886

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Julio Argentino Roca

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