José Manuel Balmaceda
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Balmaceda, José Manuel
Born around 1840, in Santiago; died there on Sept. 19, 1891. Chilean statesman. Member of the National Congress from 1870. Envoy to Argentina during 1878–81.
From 1881 to 1886, Balmaceda was minister of foreign affairs and minister of internal affairs. He was president of Chile from 1886 to 1891. He opposed the expansion of foreign capital and favored the economic development of Chile and the democratization of the electoral system. This produced discontent among the domestic reactionary forces, which stirred up a rebellion. In January 1891 the congress opposed his government. Having suffered a defeat at the hands of the congressional troops, Balmaceda killed himself.