It was during the years between 1810 and 1880 the fires of war raged across Argentina in an effort to temper the land into an independent and unified nation. It was during this same period that a group of intellectuals came together in an effort to steer the country away from war and transform it into a country of stability and peace. One of these men was Juan Bautista Alberdi who was molded by these fires into an activist and author and inspiration of prolific pieces like the Argentine Constitution and his masterpiece Bases y puntos de partida para la organización política de la República Argentina. However, Alberdi wasn’t just an activist and author he was a man who lived and breathed and gathered much information in order to live a fulfilled and eventful life. This is the story of the man who wrote a constitution.
Alberdi was born on August 29, 1810 in the northern Argentine province of Tucumán during the initial stages of the war of Independence against Spanish loyalist. Much like the country around him Alberdi’s life was flung into turmoil after being orphaned at the young age of ten. Fortunately, he was taken in by his siblings where he cultivated his love for learning which eventually led to his selection as one of six students in his province to attend the Colegio de Ciencias Morales in Buenos Aires. Strangely, Alberdi didn’t take to the school and struggled with the discipline required of a student stating, “Me fué impossible soportar la dsciplina del colegio de Ciencias Morales.”
Leaving school for the less academic world of the work force, Alberdi mastered his lay job and subsequently devoted himself to learning in the style of an autodidact. Meaning he would consume a number of different books in an effort to teach himself, most notable during this period, music. That is right; the Thomas Jefferson of Argentina quit school and went on to become a self learned pianist in what could look like the classical case of academic rebellion. However, becoming a rock star wasn’t an option back in 1820s Argentina. So, he wrote books on the topic instead the first being El Espíritu de La Música. It was his new found passion for self learning that pushed Alberdi’s family to convince Alberdi to go back to school and finish his degree. He agreed and returned to school on scholarship to finish his law degree.
It was during this time in his second attempt at his law degree he began to openly discuss his distaste with the current caudillo regime of Juan Manuel de Rosas. Rosas would be in power for 17 years in which his totalitarian regime wielded absolute power by inflecting state run terrorism in an attempt to censor and break the will of the Argentine people. Alberdi and like minded colleagues like future Argentinean Presidents Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and Bartolomé Mitre and author José Esteban Antonio Echeverria all began to write in protest against Rosas hoping to escalate the overthrow of Rosas and restoring a federal government....