José Antonio Rojas

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Rojas, José Antonio

 

Born 1732 or 1743 in Santiago; died there 1816, Chilean political figure.

Rojas came from a family of wealthy Creoles. From 1772 to 1778 he lived in Spain, where he studied the works of the French materialists. He introduced the writings of Diderot, Rousseau, Helvetius, and Holbach into Chile. Returning to Chile, he propagandized against the Spanish colonial regime. As a result, he was arrested in 1780 and exiled to Peru.

Upon returning to his homeland, Rojas undertook preparations for a revolt against Spain, which began in 1810. After the defeat of the patriots’ army at Rancagua (1814), which led to the temporary restoration of Spanish rule in Chile, Rojas was exiled to the Juan Fernández Islands. He returned to Chile in 1816.