Baltasar Brum
Baltasar Brum Rodríguez was a Uruguayan
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

 political figure. He was President of Uruguay
President of Uruguay
The President of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay is the head of state of Uruguay. His or her rights are determined in the Constitution of Uruguay. Conforms with the Secretariat of the Presidency, the Council of Ministers and the Director of the Office of Planning and Budget, the executive branch...

 from 1919 to 1923.


His political convictions closely followed those of liberal President José Batlle y Ordóñez
José Batlle y Ordóñez
José Pablo Torcuato Batlle y Ordóñez was the president of Uruguay in 1899 and from 1903 until 1907 and for a further term from 1911 to 1915. He was the son of former president, Lorenzo Batlle y Grau. His children César, Rafael and Lorenzo Batlle Pacheco were actively engaged in politics...

, under whom Brum served as Education Minister 1913-1915. From 1915 he was Interior Minister.

Foreign Minister of Uruguay

Brum subsequently served as Foreign Minister under the Presidency of Feliciano Viera
Feliciano Viera
Feliciano Alberto Viera Borges was a Uruguayan political figure.-Background:He was a member of the Colorado Party and closely identified with the liberal former President José Batlle y Ordóñez, who long dominated Uruguayan political life...

; in the latter capacity, Brum was noted for promoting good relations with the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, which had joined World War I against Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 in 1917.

Brum's period of office as Foreign Minister proved to be somewhat controversial. In the autumn of 1917, American warships sailed to the Argentine
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 capital Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

 and a delegation issued threats to the country's President Hipólito Yrigoyen
Hipólito Yrigoyen
Juan Hipólito del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús Irigoyen Alem was twice President of Argentina . His activism became the prime impetus behind the obtainment of universal suffrage in Argentina in 1912...

, in relation to the country's neutrality, which the United States insisted should be more clearly focused as being pro-American. Yrigoyen refused to be bowed by such threats from a military delegation, whereupon the American ships sailed to Montevideo, where they were warmly welcomed by Brum, in contrast to the guarded reception which the delegation had received in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

. Brum later travelled to the United States and was received by the Secretary of State.

President of Uruguay

Brum thus came to Presidential office in 1919 as one with a reputation as a pro-American facilitator of US interests.

During Brum's Presidency, he was noted for pursuing economic stability, but on the political front faced significant opposition from both his own Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

 Party, and notably from Luis Alberto de Herrera
Luis Alberto de Herrera
Luis Alberto de Herrera was a Uruguayan lawyer and politician.-Political and diplomatic roles:A National leader of great importance during the first half of the 20th century; he led the National Party through the most decisive instances along five decades...

 of the Blanco
Blanco is an adjective often used in surnames.It may refer to:-General:*Eduardo Blanco , multiple people with the name*Francisco Manuel Blanco, botanist*Griselda Blanco, United States drug lord...

, or National
National Party (Uruguay)
The National Party , also known as the White Party , is a major right-wing conservative political party in Uruguay, currently the major opposition party to the ruling Frente Amplio government....

, Party.

Historical and literary interests

Beyond the strictly political, Baltasar Brum was noted for interests in Uruguayan history and folklore. During his Presidential term of office he took measures with a view to preserving and protecting the historic Fort of Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa may refer to:a person:* Saint Teresa of Ávila* Saint Teresa of the Andesplaces:* Santa Teresa, Santa Fe in Argentina* Santa Teresa, Northern Territory in Australia* Santa Teresa, Espírito Santo in Brazil...

 in the Rocha Department
Rocha Department
Rocha is a department in the east of Uruguay. It has natural beauties like Cabo Polonio, Valizas, Santa Teresa. Rocha is well known for its beach towns which swell during the summer holidays...

 and after leaving office Brum collaborated in the preparation of related literature .

President Gabriel Terra's rule by decree & Brum's suicide

On March 31, 1933, on the installation of President Gabriel Terra
Gabriel Terra
Dr. Gabriel Terra Leivas was the President of Uruguay from 1931 to 1938.- Background :Born in Montevideo to a wealthy family, he graduated from the University of Uruguay in 1895, and subsequently joined the faculty....

's rule by decree, Brum attempted to lead resistance to Terra's government. After having increasingly realized during the course of that day that Terra's authoritarian rule enjoyed at least tacit support by many Uruguayans, Brum hurried into the middle of a road in Montevideo
Montevideo is the largest city, the capital, and the chief port of Uruguay. The settlement was established in 1726 by Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, as a strategic move amidst a Spanish-Portuguese dispute over the platine region, and as a counter to the Portuguese colony at Colonia del Sacramento...

, was heard to shout "viva la libertad! viva Batlle!" (long live liberty! long live Batlle!), and committed suicide by gunshot. He was aged 49 at the time of his death.

To some observers, Brum represented a self-sacrificing romantic streak within Uruguayan politics at a time when many Uruguayans were prepared tacitly to accept extrajudicial changes brought in by Terra. To others, Brum's spectacular suicide suggested the presence of elements of mental instability, which, however, was not medically proven.

Family and heritage

His brother Alfeo Brum
Alfeo Brum
Alfeo Brum was an Uruguayan politician and lawyer. He was Vice-President of Uruguay from 1947 to 1951 and 1951 to 1955, noted for being the longest consecutively serving Vice-President in Uruguay's history.-Background:...

 later served as Vice President of Uruguay
Vice President of Uruguay
-List of Vice Presidents of Uruguay:Parties: Colorado Party, National Party, Frente Amplio-History of the office:The office of Vice President of Uruguay dates from 1934 ....


A town in Artigas Department
Artigas Department
The Department of Artigas , with an area of and 78,019 inhabitants, it is the northernmost department of Uruguay. Its capital is Artigas.It is named after José Artigas , leader of the orientales during the wars of Independence.-Geography and climate:Neighbouring departments are Salto to the...

 is named after him.

See also

  • Politics of Uruguay
    Politics of Uruguay
    The Politics of Uruguay abide by a presidential representative democratic republic, under which the President of Uruguay is both the head of state and the head of government, as well as a multiform party system. The president exercises executive power and Legislative power is vested in the two...

  • List of political families#Uruguay
  • Baltasar Brum, Artigas#Location and history

External links

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