Jose de San Martin
Jose de san Martin, American military that participated in the Spanish-American independence wars.
|Yapeyú, Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, February 25, 1778.
|Boulogne-Sur-Mer, France, August 17, 1850.
José de San Martín was an American military man who participated in the Spanish-American independence wars . His plan to attack the royalist power in Peru, where it was most powerful, made it possible to achieve the colonial emancipation of present-day Argentina , Chile and Peru .
José Francisco de San Martín y Matorras, was born in Yapeyú , in the current Argentine province of Corrientes, on February 25, 1778 . His parents were Gregoria Matorras and Juan de San Martín, a Spanish military man who served as lieutenant governor in the Yapeyú department. At the end of 1783, after a brief period in Buenos Aires, the family moved to Spain and settled in Malaga, where José Francisco would have carried out his first studies. According to other authors, these would have been held at the Seminario de Nobles de Madrid.
In 1789, at the age of 11, he entered the Murcia Regiment as a cadet . He had his baptism of fire at age 13 in North Africa. As part of the royal army, he continued to participate in military actions in the wars of Spain against France, Great Britain and Portugal. By 1803 he had already been promoted to lieutenant of cavalry and in 1808, after the battle of Bailén , in which he had a heroic performance, he was appointed lieutenant colonel of cavalry .
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Jose de San Martin’s return to America
While developing his military career, José de San Martín maintained contacts in Cádiz with other young South Americans who, influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment , sought the emancipation of the American colonies.
When in 1810, the revolutionary movements that were taking place in the Río de la Plata and in Venezuela became known, he decided to request the withdrawal of the Spanish army to return to America and offer his services to the patriot cause.
As a stopover prior to his trip to Buenos Aires, in 1811 he went to London where he stayed for four months. There he held meetings with the Venezuelan Francisco de Miranda and other members of the Great American Meeting group , a lodge founded with the objective of achieving American independence. From these meetings came the idea of a comprehensive plan to liberate Spanish America.
Finally, on March 9, 1812, José de San Martín and other patriots from the River Plate landed in the port of Buenos Aires . Although at first he was received with suspicion because of his past in the Spanish army, he managed to be accepted due to the need for experienced military personnel for the revolutionary struggle.
With a more local vision of the problem of emancipation, the Triumvirate government confirmed his rank of lieutenant colonel and requested the creation of a cavalry corps to protect the shores of the Paraná River from royalist attacks from Montevideo. That body, the Regiment of Grenadiers on Horseback , obtained its first victory in the Combat of San Lorenzo on February 3, 1813.
In 1814 he took charge of the Army of the North , which was trying to advance on Upper Peru, replacing General Manuel Belgrano who had suffered successive defeats.
However, although he accepted both missions, San Martín maintained the conviction that the only way to defeat the royalists was to confront them directly in Peru.
These ideas circulated among the members of the secret society Logia Lautaro, which he founded together with Carlos de Alvear as a detachment from the Great American Reunion.
On September 19, 1812, he married Remedios de Escalada , a young woman from a well-known Buenos Aires family with whom he would have an only daughter, Mercedes, in 1816. In 1824, while San Martín was returning from the campaign to Peru, Remedios died in Buenos Aires. Aires.
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The crossing of the Andes
In 1814, José de San Martín managed to get the authorities to accept his plan, known as the Continental Plan , to attack the royalist forces in Chile, and from there go by sea to Peru to defeat them in the center of Spanish power.
In order to organize an army capable of accomplishing this feat, he obtained from the Supreme Director of the United Provinces, Gervasio Posadas, the appointment as governor of Cuyo .
Installed in Mendoza as governor, he began the preparation of the Army of the Andes .
Between 1814 and 1817, with the support of the Mendoza citizens and exiled Chilean patriots and despite little support from the central government, he managed to organize the campaign. In January 1817 he began crossing the Andes mountain range and on February 12 he faced and defeated the royalist army in the battle of Chacabuco . After a defeat at Cancha Rayada, he was able to consolidate the independence of Chile by definitively defeating the royalists at the Battle of Maipú in April 1818. In September 1820, he managed to land in Peru and in July of the following year declared independence.
His performance in Peru
In Peru, he received the title of Protector of Liberty with government functions. In that position, he decreed the freedom of the children of slaves born after independence, founded schools and libraries, eliminated indigenous tributes and created national symbols such as the flag and the national anthem.
The continental emancipation plan had to be completed with Simón Bolívar’s army fighting in the north of the continent. In 1822, after meeting in Guayaquil with Bolívar, he decided to delegate to Bolívar the end of the independence struggles and withdrew from military activity.
Faced with the impossibility of reaching an agreement with Bolívar, San Martín returned to Buenos Aires with the intention of contributing to the organization of the new State, but the conflictive situation of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, in which Unitarians and Federalists had started a bloody civil war , convinced him that his presence would be an obstacle to achieving peace. In addition, he refused to take part in a war between compatriots.
In this context, he decided to retire from political life and go to Europe to complete his daughter’s education. Together with Mercedes, he left Buenos Aires on February 10, 1824.
After some stays in London and Brussels, in 1831 he settled in Paris thanks to the financial help of his friend, the banker Alejandro Aguado.
In 1829 he tried to return to Buenos Aires, but due to the complicated political situation he decided not to disembark. After spending three months in Montevideo, he returned to Europe and, although he offered his services to the Confederation on two occasions and was in contact with various American personalities, he no longer returned to America.
José de San Martín died accompanied by his family in Boulogne-Sur-Mer , France, on August 17, 1850 . His remains were repatriated in 1880 by President Nicolás Avellaneda and rest in the Cathedral of Buenos Aires.