Facundo or Civilization and Barbarism by Domingo R. Sarmiento
"Facundo or, Civilization and Barbarism," by Domingo F. Sarmiento is a book which talks about the many topics of government and political situations in which Argentina was involved. Mary Mann is the translator of the book and the introduction is by Ilan Stavans. The time period the story takes place in is the nineteenth century, but the book was written in 1845. The geographic areas in which the events take place are Argentina,
Chile, and most of the southernmost part of South America, such as Uruguay and Paraguay. To add to the setting, the book talks about the terrain, which includes the Andes Mountains, the plains, and the forest. The principal characters in the book are Domingo F. Sarmiento, Juan Facundo Quiroga, a caudillo, and Argentina's dictator Juan Manuel de Rosas. Sarmiento's main points for writing this book were to discredit the caudillos and Rosas. Also, to show the truth about how things were in Argentina.
When taking a look at this book, a person must take a look at the society and politics of the area to see how these things go hand in hand in Argentina. First of all,
Rosas was the presidential dictator at the time and had the reputation of a tyrant. The
Inhabitants of the land where mostly Spanish, Indian natives. Most of Argentina’s land was filled with deserted areas due to the low population, and the fact that not many people lived in Argentina's vast mountains and plain areas. This vast land was so large, that most governments could not control it, and criminals could basically do, as they wanted. Most of these criminals, gauchos, barbarians, or call them what you will overran these plains and mountains. It was the behavior of the gauchos that mostly upset Sarmiento. Sarmiento felt that Argentina could not progress with the gauchos in their society. To further explain whom the gauchos were, Sarmiento uses Facundo as his example. Facundo and Rosas are the type of people who Sarmiento is describing when he speaks of the gaucho of Argentina. Also, Sarmiento’s view of a better Argentina includes Democracy and freedom of ideas, something that is not being carried out by Rosas. In contrast, Rosas is attempting to keep dictatorship. As far as the religions of Argentina, there is not much mentioned in the book, but what is known is that many of the gauchos of Pampas were Jewish and that Catholicism was still the strongest religion in Argentina, as well as the rest of the New World. Economically speaking, Argentina depended very much on its agricultural richness. Many of Argentina’s people live and worked on pastures through out the land.
Taking a look at the Argentina culture you can...