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Ballivian, Jose

Born: 1804 AD
Died: 1852 AD
2.8 (56.67%) 36 votes

1805 – Born on the 30th of November in La Paz, Bolivia.  

1841-1847 – Ballivian served as president of Bolivia.

1841 – Defeated the Peruvian General Agustin Gamarra at the Battle of Ingavi.

1847 – He was deposed in a coup on the 23rd of December.

1848 – Ballivian is fleeing to Peru.

1852 – Ballivian lived in exile until his death in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on the 16th of October.


Jose Ballivián was born into weatlh and was promoted to Commander of the Army in 1841. At the age of 18, he joined Lanza’s army. He wasn’t a war hero and did not make any major contributions during his time in the army, although help in the Confederate victory over Chile during the Battle of Socabaya.

At the age of 37, Ballivian, as the Bolivian Army chief, united the Velasco and Santa Cruz factions he commanded to defend against a massive Peruvian invasion force led by Agustín Gamarra.  In November 1841, Ballivián emerged from the Battle of Ingavi with an alarming victory against Gamarra.  Gamarra was then imprisoned and sentenced to death.  This became a major national moment and raised Ballivian to hero status.

Instantly proclaimed as Provisional President, Ballivian’s popularity grew.

Ballivian became a tremendous leader when elected in 1842.  Ballivian even ordered some of the first attempts at exploring the unknown frontier in the center of the country.

Under Ballivian’s time in power, the riches of the frontier were seriously exploited for the first time. Ballivian’s biggest error during this time was his inability to establish a strong military prescense in the frontier.  Rebellion and violence followed.

Ballivian felt this rebellion when a charistmatic General named Maneul Belzu declared war after fearing Ballivian’s pursuit of his own wife.  This act by Belzu led to a huge changes of attitude in Bolivian society.  Eventually, civil war-like conditions erupted, forcing Ballivian to flee in 1847.

Exiled to Chile, Ballivian died relatively young in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1852).

Despite his exile, Ballivian is still considered one of Boliva’s greatest military leaders and Presidents.

In 1873, Ballivian’s son, Adolfo, became President of Bolivia.




2.8 (56.67%) 36 votes