Path: Table of Contents > Essay on Party Politics > List of Variables > Party 382

Uruguayan National Party, 382
Variables and Codes for 1950-1962
1-- Institutionalization Variables

Year of Origin


Leadership Competition


Name Changes


Legislative Instability


Organizational Discontinuity


Electoral Instability

1.01 year of origin and 1.02 name changes
1836, AC9
0, AC9
The Blanco or Nacional party was founded by Oribe, the second president of the republic when Rivera, the country's first president revolted against the Oribe administration because president Oribe desired to change the form of government from a unitary to a federal state. The first major Battle between the two factions--September 19, 1836--is generally considered the founding date for both the Colorado and Blanco parties. Because both the forces of Rivera and Oribe wore distinctive hatbands during their confrontations, the groups were called the Colorado (Red) and the Blanco (White) parties respectively. These names have been retained until the present time. All sources recorded the founding date of the party in general as the 1930's and in particular as September 19, 1836. The name 'Blanco' first used for the followers of Oribe in the early years of the republic was retained as the official name of the party until 1872 when it was officially changed to the Partido Nacional, the name which it has retained until now. However, members of the Partido Nacional, other citizens of Uruguay and most scholars continually interchange the two names though in the scholarly literature the name 'Nacional' is often indicated to be the official name of the party. The Partido Nacional derives its name 'Blanco' from the color (white) of the hatbands worn by the followers of Oribe in their Battles against Rivera and the Colorados. In all references to the Nacional party from its founding the name 'Blanco' or 'Nacional' is given and nowhere is there any mention of a name change after 1872.
1.03 organizational discontinuity
14, AC8
Within the period 1941 through 1949 there is no evidence of organizational discontinuity. It is important to realize that the Partido Independiente Nacional split with the Partido Nacional in 1933 rather than in 1942. When the PIN first participated in national elections. In 1954 one of the major sub-lemas of the PIN joined the Partido Nacional and formed the list 400 sub-lema, named reconstruction Blanco (and led by Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez Larreta). In 1956 Benito Nardone and his federal league of rural action, LFAR or Ruralistas, joined the Herreristas sub-lema with Luis Alberto de Herrera and Eduardo Victor Haedo. Also that year Daniel Fernandez Crespo, the leader of list 51 of the Partido Nacional, formed the union Blanco Democratica sub-lema of the Partido Nacional, when the Partido Independiente Nacional joined with Crespo's sub-lema and various other center and rightist groups. In 1950 a small group of Colorado conservatives joined with the Blanco democratic union sub-lema of the Partido Nacional. In 1962 a group of dissident Blancos led by former cabinet minister Erro joined Frugoni and one sub-lema of the Partido Socialista to form the Partido union popular. The period 1941-1949 with no splits or mergers earns a score of zero. During the period 1950-1956 with one major merger and two minor mergers, a 6 is recorded. During the period 1957-1962 with one minor merger and one minor split an 0 is recorded. An adequacy-confidence scale of 8 rather than 9 is given because much of the data through 1960 came from one source (Taylor, 1960) while the other sources contained 'bits and pieces' of information which verified the major source on different aspects of organizational discontinuity.
1.04 leadership competition
14, AC8
The variable leadership competition is very difficult to measure on the party unit level of analysis because within each party there is usually more than one nationally recognized 'legitimate' leader and each sub-lema of the party has nationally known leaders. Although both Jose Batlle, the founder of modern Uruguay, and Luis Alberto de Herrera, the perennial Blanco candidate for president, had for many years tremendous personal devotion from their followers, neither party has been able to keep completely unified for any one length of time under any one leader. Luis Alberto de Herrera, from the mid 1920'5 when he was first elected to the national council until about 1950, ruled the Partido Nacional with an iron hand. All dissidents were in essence forced out of the party and into the Partido Independiente Nacional. However from 1950 until 1959 when he died Herrera had to share the leadership of his party with such men as Eduardo Victor Haedo, Benito Nardone (leader of the LFAR or Ruralista) and Martin Echegoyen--as well as competing against the leaders of newly developed sub-lemas, such as those begun by Fernandez Crespo and Ferrer. In 1956 Crespo and Ferrer formed the union Blanco Democratica sub-lema of the party. This sub-lema received the largest number of votes of any sub-lema in the country in the 1950 election. After the death of Herrera, Nardone and Echegoyen, equally, controlled the Herreristas' sub-lema while Haedo joined with Crespo in the UBD. From 1959 through 1962 both sets of leaders controlled their respective sub-lemas. Although Alberto de Herrera controlled the Partido Nacional or at least its major sub-lema for over 40 years, the patterns of leadership development and change in the later half of the 1950's and the first few years of the 1960's clearly demonstrated the development of institutionalized procedures for legitimate transfer of political power among elites through both covert process, e.g., intra-elite maneuvering, and through overt processes, e.g., decisions at party conventions. An adequacy-confidence scale of 8 rather than 9 is given because the coder could not determine the precise relationship between the influence of the party elites' covert maneuverings and that of the decisions of the delegates to the national conventions with regard to the selection and support of party leaders.
1.05 legislative instability
Instability is .21, AC8
The Blancos were in the minority throughout the first part of our time period, but the party won control of the legislature in 1956 and kept it throughout the rest of the second time period.
1.06 electoral instability
Instability is .19, AC8
Legislative elections were held regularly in 1950, 1954, 1950, and 1962. The Blancos trailed the Colorados in the first two and won pluralities in the last two.