José de San Martín

Argentine military leader and Libertador (1778–1850) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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José Francisco de San Martín y Matorras (25 February 1778  17 August 1850), known simply as José de San Martín (Spanish pronunciation: [xoˈse ðe san maɾˈtin] (Loudspeaker.svglisten)) or the Liberator of Argentina, Chile and Peru,[1] was an Argentine general and the primary leader of the southern and central parts of South America's successful struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire who served as the Protector of Peru. Born in Yapeyú, Corrientes, in modern-day Argentina, he left the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata at the early age of seven to study in Málaga, Spain.

Quick facts: José de San Martín, Member of the Third Trium...
José de San Martín
Portrait of José de San Martín, raising the flag of Argentina
Late 1820s painting
Member of the Third Triumvirate
In office
18 April  20 April 1815
Preceded byCarlos María de Alvear
Succeeded byJosé Rondeau
Protector of Peru
In office
28 July 1821  20 September 1822
Governor of Cuyo
In office
10 August 1814  24 September 1816
Preceded byMarcos González de Balcarce
Succeeded byToribio de Luzuriaga
Personal details
Born(1778-02-25)25 February 1778
Yapeyú, Corrientes, Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata (now Argentina)
Died17 August 1850(1850-08-17) (aged 72)
Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
Political partyPatriot
SpouseMaría de los Remedios de Escalada y la Quintana
ChildrenMaría de las Mercedes Tomasa de San Martín y Escalada
NicknameThe Liberator of America
Military service
Years of service1789–1822
Ranklieutenant colonel (the rank that he had in the Spanish army), General of Argentina, Commander-in-Chief of the armies of Chile, Peru and Argentina, Generalissimo
CommandsRegiment of Mounted Grenadiers, Army of the North, Army of the Andes, Chilean Army

In 1808, after taking part in the Peninsular War against France, San Martín contacted South American supporters of independence from Spain in London. In 1812, he set sail for Buenos Aires and offered his services to the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, present-day Argentina. After the Battle of San Lorenzo and time commanding the Army of the North during 1814, he organized a plan to defeat the Spanish forces that menaced the United Provinces from the north, using an alternative path to the Viceroyalty of Peru. This objective first involved the establishment of a new army, the Army of the Andes, in Cuyo Province, Argentina. From there, he led the Crossing of the Andes to Chile, and triumphed at the Battle of Chacabuco and the Battle of Maipú (1818), thus liberating Chile from royalist rule. Then he sailed to attack the Spanish stronghold of Lima, Peru.

On 12 July 1821, after seizing partial control of Lima, San Martín was appointed Protector of Peru, and Peruvian independence was officially declared on 28 July. On 26 July 1822, after a closed-door meeting with fellow libertador Simón Bolívar at Guayaquil, Ecuador, Bolívar took over the task of fully liberating Peru. San Martín unexpectedly left the country and resigned the command of his army, excluding himself from politics and the military, and moved to France in 1824. The details of that meeting would be a subject of debate by later historians.

San Martín is regarded as a national hero of Argentina, Chile, and Peru, a great military commander, and one of the Liberators of Spanish South America. The Order of the Liberator General San Martín (Orden del Libertador General San Martín), created in his honor, is the highest decoration conferred by the Argentine government.