Bernardo O´Higgins
Person - O'Higgins Riquelme, Bernardo (1778-1842)

O'Higgins Riquelme, Bernardo (1778-1842)




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O'Higgins Riquelme, Bernardo (1778-1842)Other forms

Dates of existence/Biographical dates:

Concepción (archidiócesis, Chile)  1778-08-20 - 1842-10-24


Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme (Chillán, August 20, 1778 - Lima, October 24, 1842).

He was the son of Ambrosio O'Higgins (1720-1801). He was a Chilean independence leader who, along with José de San Martín, liberated Chile from the Spanish rule in the War of Independence of Chile.

-Supreme Director of Chile: 1813-1817.

He studied in Richmond (on the outside of London) and there he met Francisco de Miranda (1750-1816), and joined the American Lodge founded by him in 1797 in order to motivated the independence of Spanish America.

In 1802, he returned to Chile and in 1804, he was appointed Mayor of Chillán. He became one of the leading figures in the Patriot movement of 1810.

In 1811, he was elected Deputy to the Congress, where he defended the independence of Chile. He was named Vocal of the Board by Carrera which was formed after the military coup of November 15, 1811. He opposed the radicalism of Carrera and his dictatorial policy, resigning shortly after.

In 1813, when the realist landing occurred, he gathered a small army with which defeated the Spanish in Linares. Later he was promoted to Colonel.

In 1814, new military successes led him to being named General in Chief of the Patriot Army, replacing José Miguel Carrera (1785-1821). The confrontation between O'Higgins and the Carreras favored the victory of the Royalist Army in Rancagua (October 1814). Later, he moved to Argentina. Once he was established in the city of Mendoza, he won the favor of José de San Martín (1778-1850) and was appointed Brigadier. He participated with him in the organization of the Army of the Andes. After that, they regained Chile (1817-1818).

In 1817, after the victory of Chacabuco (February 12), he was appointed by the open Cabildo of Santiago and, at the request of San Martín, Supreme Director of Chile (February 16). He established an authoritarian Government, projected a series of measures that would make him enemy with the Church and the aristocracy.

In 1818, after the defeat of Cancha Rayada (March 19, 1818), his permanence in the power became a precarious situation but the victories of the Patriot guerrilla Manuel Rodríguez and the battle of Maipú (April 5) saved the situation. Once he was free from the threat of the Spanish Reconquista, he tackled the task of ending the radical opposition. Juan José (1782-1818) and Luis Carrera (1791-1818), who prepared a military coup against him, were executed in Mendoza before they could consume it (April 8), and later, Manuel Rodríguez was killed because of his Carrerist sympathies (May 26). In October, he promulgated a Constitution (1818), which reinforced his personal authority. His Government was increasingly unpopular. O'Higgins concentrated most of his efforts in helping San Martin in the preparation of the campaign of the Peru. He organized a squad which command was entrusted to Thomas Alexander Cochrane (1775-1860).

Between 1820 and 1821, the victorious campaign that ended with the Peruvian Viceroyalty, increased his prestige, but the execution of José Miguel Carrera (1821) increased the discontented in Chile. And also it was aggravated because of the opposition between the Government and the Senate.

In 1822, he made the call of a Convention (May) that, converted into Legislative Congress, decreed a new Constitution (October). It established the possibility that the Government of O'Higgins was ten more years in the power, and to restrict the possibility of the legislative power to act in an independent manner.

After the outbreak of a series of pronouncements in Concepción and La Serena, the open Cabildo of Santiago urged O'Higgins to resign. After that, he resigned on January 18, 1823. He exiled to Lima where he tried to return to power supported by the party O’Higginista, but the project failed in 1826.

In 1839, the Senate gave him back the title of Captain General and all his possessions.


Lugar de Nacimiento:

Concepción (archidiócesis, Chile) in 1778-08-20

Lugar de Defunci¿n:

Lima (Perú) in 1842-10-24




Related Authorities

Cruz Bahamonde, Nicolás de la (1757-1826)  ( He/She is the legal guardian of )

Associative relations :

San Martín, José de (1778-1850)  ( He/She/It collaborated with )

Family relationships :

O'Higgins, Demetrio  - Collateral (He/She is the cousin of)

O'Higgins, Ambrose  - Descendant (He/She is the son/daughter of)

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Fichero de Autoridades:

Biblioteca Nacional de Espa¿a


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