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Patagonia in the thought and action of a liberal reformer: Ezequiel Ramos Mexia (1852-1935)

By Martha Ruffini

Abstract

At the beginning of the 20th Century the ruling sector of the National State evidenced important fractures.The battle between those who were demanding the continuity of the excluding politic modality against those who were claiming for the opening of the political system was an important characteristic of evident breaks within conservatism. In the context of replacements and reformists rearrangements we locate Ezequiel Ramos Mexia, as an active intellectual, Minister of Agriculture (1901-1906) and National Public Constructions (1907-1913). His importance lies not only in his public trajectory but also in the corpus of ideas and projects that he posed during his political performance stated in his written production, in the debates at the National Congress and also in the dispute with National employees. His ideas reflect the dominant conceptions about order and progress, with a particular vision concerning public lands and the southern native peoples. His proposals about the qualification of new areas to settle immigrants, moving them further away from most populated areas (considered as an exposure to higher political agitation), concluded in a plan for Patagonia, which appears as an attempt of response, from an economic approach, to the so called Social Affair.A principios del siglo XX el sector dirigente del Estado Nacional evidenciaba importantes fracturas. La pugna entre quienes postulaban continuar con la modalidad política excluyente y los que reclamaban la apertura del sistema político constituyó un rasgo de los quiebres evidenciados al interior del conservadurismo. En este marco de reposicionamientos y planteos reformistas ubica­mos, como intelectual de acción a Ezequiel Ramos Mexia, ministro de Agricultura (1901 y 1906) y Obras Públicas de la Nación (1907-1913).Su importancia se centra no sólo en su trayectoria política sino en el corpus de ideas y proyectos que presentó a lo largo de su actuación pública y que hemos recorrido mediante su producción escrita, los debates del Congreso Nacional y las disputas sostenidas con funcio­narios nacionales.Sus ideas reflejan las concepciones dominantes sobre el orden y el progreso, con una particular visión sobre la cuestión de la tierra pública y los indígenas del sur. Sus propuestas sobre la habilitación de nuevas zonas para radicar migrantes, alejándolos de los centros más poblados y por ende proclives a una mayor agitación política conflu­yeron en un plan para la Patagonia, que aparece como un intento de respuesta, en clave económica, a la llamada “cuestión social”

Topics: , conservatism; reformism; intellectuals; Patagonia, , conservador; reformismo; intelectual; Patagonia
Publisher: 'Universidad Nacional de La Pampa'
Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.19137/qs.v12i0.736
OAI identifier: oai:ojs.cerac.unlpam.edu.ar:article/736
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