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Severo Fernandez

Severo Fernandez Alonso Caballero (18491925) was President of his country, Bolivia, from 1896 to 1899. He is best remembered as the last president of the 15-year period of Conservative Party hegemony (1884-99).

Like Baptista, Fernandez was a more conciliatory and legalist breed of Conservative. Perhaps for that reason, it was his fate to preside over the collapse of Conservative Party rule and its loss of power in the aftermath of the 1899 Civil War against the Liberals. A disgruntled Liberal Party had become increasingly frustrated during the many years of Conservative dominance, often attained by electoral fraud. After 1894, led by a new, combative leader, the former military hero (War of the Pacific) Jose Manuel Pando, the Liberals' calls for anti-government rebellions became more strident, but they were always neutralized by a loyal military establishment.

Civil War (often called the "Federal Revolution") exploded when Chuquisaca and Potosi parliamentarians in Sucre passed a "Law of Confinement," which ordered the President to reside in Sucre and issue decrees from there, rather than from La Paz. For their part, La Paz-Oruro-Cochabamba lawmakers associated with Pando's Liberal Party introduced a motion calling for the official transfer of the seat of Government to La Paz, legalizing what had in fact been customary practice for decades. When this motion was prevented from being voted on by the Conservatives, the Liberal congressmen left Sucre and established themselves permanently in La Paz. At this point President Fernandez himself led an army to La Paz, in order to "restore order." The ensuing bloodbath culminated in the crushing defeat of the Conservatives at the hands of General Pando, who emerged triumphant from the Battle of the Second Crucero, even taking President Fernandez prisoner.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Severo Fernandez

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