José Gil Fortoul
|José Gil Fortoul|
|President of Venezuela|
5 August 1913 – 19 April 1914
|Preceded by||Juan Vicente Gómez|
|Succeeded by||Victorino Márquez Bustillos|
25 November 1861|
|Died||15 June 1943
|Alma mater||Central University of Venezuela|
José Gil Fortoul (Barquisimeto, Lara, 25 November 1861 – Caracas, 15 June 1943) was a writer, historian, politician and member of Venezuelan positivism, appointed as Provisional President in 1913. Along with César Zumeta, Pedro Manuel Arcaya, Laureano Vallenilla Lanz, Victorino Márquez Bustillos, among others, was one of the defenders of the dictatorship of Juan Vicente Gómez.
Gil Fortoul was born in Barquisimeto, his parents were José Espíritu Santo Gil (known as Pelón Gil) and Adelaida Fortoul Sánchez. As a newborn he was brought to El Tocuyo, where he spent his childhood and adolescence. In this town he studied at La Concordia institute, under the direction of Egidio Montesinos. At this school, he obtained, on 2 July 1880, the bachelor's degree in philosophy. After that, he moved to Caracas to study law at the Central University of Venezuela, where he graduated as Doctor in Political Sciences in 1885. During this period, he also attended natural history lectures given by Adolf Ernst. In that time he also collaborated with La Opinion newspaper, in whose columns he discussed ideological controversial topics with some religious authorities, especially with priest Juan Bautista Castro. From then on, he was identified as one of the key people of Venezuelan positivism.
In 1886, he was designated as consul of Venezuela in Bordeaux, France, staying in Europe until 1896. During this time he published Recuerdos de Paris (1887) and Filosofía Constitucional (1890). Between 1890 and 1892, he served as Consul of Venezuela in Liverpool, England, published Filosofía penal and El Humo de mi pipa,and also began his collaboration with El Cojo ilustrado. In 1892 went to Paris as secretary of the Venezuelan delegation, at which time he published a book about modern fencing, as well as his first novel ¿Idilio?. Two years later, he was designated as chargé d'affaires in Bern, at the Venezuelan representation in Switzerland, and began publishing Cartas a Pascual. In 1897 he returned to Caracas, during this time he wrote at El Cojo Ilustrado and El Pregonero, also lectures at the Central University of Venezuela about sociological and anthropological topics. In 1898, he was in charge by decree of president Ignacio Andrade, to write a book about the History of Venezuela (Historia Constitucional de Venezuela), his most notable work. Subsequently, Gil Fortoul stayed in Venezuela for a while, but soon decided to go abroad again.
In 1900 he returned to diplomatic life, first as consul in Trinidad (1900), then as a representative of Venezuela at the Second International Pan-American Conference in Mexico (1901). After that he returned to Europe, where he worked at the consular offices in Liverpool and Paris (1902–1905). By 1906 he was in Berlin as chargé d'affaires, where he completed the first volume of the Historia Constitucional de Venezuela (Constitutional History of Venezuela). In 1907, while he was participating at the Second Peace Conference in The Hague, he received the order of president Cipriano Castro to withdraw from the event along with the rest of the Venezuelan delegation, due to the opposition to a proposal of the American delegation, about the debts and claims from a country to another. Gil Fortoul tried to persuade Castro to abandon such an idea, but the situation was interpreted by the Venezuelan press as an insubordination to the orders of president, and was removed from his position after his return to Berlin in late 1908. Having fallen in disgrace with the government, Gil Fortoul plans to travel to Argentina for cultural activities, however, after the coup of Juan Vicente Gómez,he was designated Plenipotentiary Minister in Berlin. In 1909 he published the second volume of the Constitutional History, and returned to Venezuela in 1910.
While in Venezuela, Gil Fortoul was a member of the Venezuelan Senate for two periods (1910–1911 and 1914–1916), where he developed initiatives on the rights of women and children at the civil legislation. In 1913 he was in charge of the presidency of the country; due to the separation of president Juan Vicente Gómez from office to be at the head of the National Army, as a result of rumors of an invasion led by Cipriano Castro. In his role as chairman of the Government Council, Gil Fortoul was designated as provisional president.
After that, he was founding member of the Academy of Political Sciences (1915), president of the Society of International Law (1915), and was also plenipotentiary at the Swiss Federal Council for the negotiation between Venezuela and Colombia (1916–1924); however, his proposition was not accepted by Venezuelan Foreign Ministry. Again in his country, he was designated member of the National Academy of History. In 1931 he was appointed as director of El Nuevo Diario (The New Daily), and in 1933 he went to Mexico as minister plenipotentiary for the resumption of diplomatic relations which had been interrupted since 1923.
José Gil Fortoul died in 1943, while he was preparing the third volume of his Historia Constitucional de Venezuela (Constitutional History of Venezuela).
- 1879: Infancia de mi Musa (Barquisimeto, Venezuela)
- 1887: Recuerdos de París (Barcelona, Spain)
- 1888: Julián (Leipzig, Germany)
- 1890: Filosofía Constitucional (Paris, France)
- 1891: Filosofía Penal (Brussels, Belgium)
- 1891: El Humo de mi Pipa (Paris, France)
- 1892: La Esgrima Moderna (Liverpool, England)
- 1892: ¿Idilio? (Liverpool, England)
- 1895: Pasiones (Paris, France)
- 1896: El Hombre y la Historia (Paris, France)
- 1909: Historia Constitucional de Venezuela (Berlin, Germany)
- 1915: Discursos y Palabras (Caracas, Venezuela)
- 1916: De Hoy para Mañana (Caracas, Venezuela)
- 1931: Sinfonía inacabada y otras variaciones (Caracas, Venezuela)
- 1944: Páginas de Ayer (posthumous).
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: José Gil Fortoul|
- (Spanish) Gil Fortoul at Venezuelatuya.com
Juan Vicente Gómez
|President of Venezuela
Victorino Márquez Bustillos