José Miguel Carrera
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Carrera, José Miguel
Born Oct. 15, 1785, in Santiago; died Sept. 4, 1821, in Mendoza, Argentina. Political and military figure in Chile. Born into a wealthy family.
Beginning in 1806, Carrera lived in Spain, where he studiedcommerce; he also was involved in the struggle of the Spanishpeople against the French occupation. Carrera returned to Chilein 1810, at the outbreak of the war for independence of theSpanish colonies in America. In 1811 he led a military coupd’etat that dissolved congress and established a dictatorship; heconsidered this to be the only means of effectively rebuffing theroyalists and the “moderate” elements, who did not share hisbelief in the need for radical action. Carrera carried out a numberof measures directed at strengthening the position of the patri-otic liberation movement: he introduced a constitution in 1812, opened a national institute and national libraries, and began thepublication of the first Chilean newspaper, Aurora. Carrera’sdictatorship, however, aroused bitter resistance from the “mod-erates,” which weakened the camp of the patriots. After thedefeat of the patriots at the battle of Rancagua (1814), Carreraleft the country.