1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Carrera, José Miguel

19831401911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 5 — Carrera, José Miguel

CARRERA, JOSÉ MIGUEL (1785–1821), the principal leader in the early fighting for the independence of Chile, was born at Santiago on the 15th of October 1785. Sent to Spain for a military career, he served in the Spanish army in the Napoleonic war, but returned to Chile in July 1811, where his vigorous character and military experience enabled him by means of a series of coup d’etats to place himself at the head of the nationalist government. Though at first he laboured patriotically to establish a stable administration, to promote education, and to organize the Chilean forces, his selfish arrogant spirit produced dissensions between himself and other patriots, and it was his rivalry with Bernardo O’Higgins that led to the defeat of the nationalist forces at Rancagua in 1814. In the expedition of 1817, led by José de San Martin and Bernardo O’Higgins, which resulted in the liberation of Chile, Carrera had no share, owing to his hostility to the leaders, but he attempted to procure in the United States materials for a fresh enterprise of his own. The Argentine government, however, suspicious of his intentions, would not allow him to go to Chile, and Carrera, enraged by this treatment and by the execution of his brothers at Mendoza by the San Martin party, proceeded to organize rebellion in Argentina, but was eventually captured and shot at Mendoza on the 4th of September 1821.

See A. Valdes, Revolucion Chilena y Campañas de la Independencia (Santiago, 1888), which is practically a vindication of Carrera’s career; also P. B. Figueroa, Diccionario biografico de Chile, 1550–1887 (Santiago, 1888), and J. B. Suarez, Rasgos biograficos de hombres notables de Chile (Valparaiso, 1886), both giving biographical sketches of prominent characters in Chilean history.