Augusto B. Leguía
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|Augusto B. Leguía|
|65th President of Peru|
September 24, 1908 – September 24, 1912
|Preceded by||José Pardo|
|Succeeded by||Guillermo Billinghurst|
|69th President of Peru|
July 4, 1919 – August 25, 1930
|Preceded by||José Pardo|
|Succeeded by||Manuel Ponce|
|Born||February 19, 1863|
|Died||February 7, 1932 (aged 68)|
|Political party||Civil Party,
Democratic Reformist Party
Augusto Leguía was born in Lambayeque in 1863 to one of the most distinguished families of the Peruvian oligarchy. Educated in Valparaíso, Chile, he served in the Peruvian army during the War of the Pacific (1879-1881).
After the war he moved to the United States and became an insurance executive with the New York Life Insurance Company. By the 1900s, Leguía had become very wealthy and decided to return to Peru. He entered politics in 1903 at the urging of Manuel Candamo (the then leader of the Civilista Party) and also of José Pardo, who wasPrime Minister. Leguía took the position of Minister of Finance, a post he would retain until 1904, when the former Prime Minister José Pardo became president. Pardo offered the position of Prime Minister to Leguía, who accepted and remained so until 1907, when he resigned to run for the presidency the following year.
First presidential term
In 1908 he succeededJosé Pardo (a succession event that would occur again in 1919) after being elected president for the first time by an alliance of the Civil and Constitutional parties. Some of Leguía's first actions were to institute social and economic reforms in an attempt to industrialize Peru and turn it into a modern capitalist society.
On May 29, 1909, a group of citizens (supporters ofPiérola's Democratic Party) managed to force their entry into the Palacio de Gobierno demanding the resignation of Leguía. Among the group were the brother and sons of Piérola; Carlos de Piérola, Isaías de Piérola and Amadeo de Piérola. Since Leguía did not resign as planned, they kidnapped him and took him in front of the Bolivar Monument (located in Plaza inquisicion in Lima). Once there, Leguía did not acquiesce to their demands, and the police had to forcibly rescue the president in the midst of a fight that caused at least 100 deaths.
- The Boundary with Brazil was settled with the signing of the Treaty of Velarde-Río Branco. This provided that two rivers (Yaravi and Yaverija) would compose most of the border for both countries.
- With Bolivia, The Treaty of Polo-Bustamante determined the partition of the Lake Titicaca and provided a much accurate definition of the Peruvian-Bolivian border. This treaty also delimited the borders with Tacna (which was until then in Chilean control).
When Leguía's term ended in 1912, he was succeeded byGuillermo Billinghurst, a millionaire businessman who had been the former mayor of Lima. During the following years, Leguía travelled in the United Kingdom and the United States, where he learned methods of banking and finance that he would later apply in Peru. During this time, Leguia was already in conflict with the Civilista Party and left its organization.