Bernardo O'Higgins

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O'Higgins, Bernardo

(bĕrnär`thō ōē`gēns), 1778–1842, South American revolutionary and ruler (1817–23) of Chile; illegitimate son of Ambrosio O'Higgins. He was chosen in 1813 to replace José Miguel CarreraCarrera, José Miguel
, 1785–1821, Chilean revolutionist. With his brothers, Juan José and Luis, he overthrew the revolutionary junta headed by Martínez de Rozas in 1813 and dominated Chile until replaced by Bernardo O'Higgins later that year.
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 as revolutionary leader. After the loss at RancaguaRancagua
, city (1990 est. pop. 190,400), capital of Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins region, central Chile, in a fertile valley among the Andean foothills. One of Chile's largest copper mines (El Teniente) is nearby.
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, O'Higgins fled with the remnant of his army to Argentina, where he joined forces with San MartínSan Martín, José de
, 1778–1850, South American revolutionist, b. Yapeyú, in present-day Argentina. After service with the Spanish army in Europe, he returned (1812) to join the revolution against Spain in his native country.
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. Returning to Chile in 1817, San Martín and O'Higgins defeated the Spaniards at ChacabucoChacabuco, battle of,
Feb. 12, 1817, fought between Chilean independence forces and Spanish troops. It took place just N of Santiago, Chile. José de San Martín, with Bernardo O'Higgins, assaulted and decisively defeated the Spanish forces, thus gaining entry into
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. O'Higgins was named supreme director of Chile, whose independence he proclaimed on Feb. 12, 1818. His financial, political, and social reforms aroused much opposition, and in 1823 he was deposed and exiled to Peru, where he remained until his death.

Bibliography

See biographies by J. Kinsbruner (1968) and S. Clissold (1969).

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