Bernardo O’Higgins

Bernardo O’Higgins was born in the Captaincy General of Chile in 1778 into a wealthy and wealthy family. Although his place of birth is not known with certainty, it is recognized that this occurred in the Bishopric of Concepción.

Personal information

  • When was he born:  08/20/1778
  • Where he was born:  Chillán, Chile
  • When he died:  10/24/1842
  • Where he died:  Lima, Peru

Who was Bernardo O’Higgins?

Any analysis concerning the Independence of Chile from the Spanish Empire cannot go unnoticed if it makes an outstanding mention of Bernardo O’Higgins . The actions of this independence hero was so decisive for the liberation of Chile that, at present, he is paid well-deserved tribute and recognition for his sacrifice and his remarkable patriotism.

  • Biography of Bernardo O’Higgins
  • Death
  • Physical description
  • What Bernardo O’Higgins studied
  • What did
  • Battles
  • Abdication
  • Exile
  • Ideals of Bernardo O’Higgins
  • Parents
  • Wife
  • Sons
  • Clothing
  • Importance of Bernardo O’Higgins
  • Plays

Biography of Bernardo O’Higgins

From an early age to a very advanced stage, Bernardo found himself in the care of various protectors who, at the command of his father, provided him with an education and upbringing associated with the best standards of the time. Among his caregivers we can mention Juan Albano Pereira, Francisco Javier Martínez, Juan Ignacio Blake and Nicolás de la Cruz .

His education took place between Chile , Peru, Spain and England , respectively. In England it would be where, particularly, he would soak up the revolutionary and libertarian ideas that swarmed at that time through direct contact with Francisco de Miranda .

After some disagreements with his father, in mid- 1802 he decided to travel to Chile to collect the large inheritance that he had left him as a result of his death. Once taking possession of the inheritance, Bernardo O’Higgins carried out an important career as a landowner in which he was related to the most important aristocracy in Chile .

Despite being under the dominions of the Spanish Kingdom , he did not stop promoting independence ideas as part of various lodges and revolutionary groups . In the same way, he also consolidated an important military force in his region in preparation for future independence actions .

Once the revolutionary events in Santiago took place on September 18, 1810 , he put himself at the command for the independence cause, participating as a Deputy in the First Congress .

When the royalist forces landed in Chile in mid- 1813 ,  Bernardo O’Higgins began his military activity through notable successes, standing out with special zeal for his courage and heroism in the Battle of El Roble .

Once control of the Chilean nation was retaken by the troops of the Viceroy of Peru , O’Higgins was forced to emigrate to the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata , in which he had the reception and support of General José de San Martín for the new liberation of Chile.

Once Chile was retaken , Bernardo O’Higgins was attacked by acclamation as Supreme Director , a position from which the creation of an Army and Fleet of the new Chilean nation began with the purpose of defending him militarily and preparing actions for the liberation of the Viceroyalty. of Peru .

Under his government, important administrative reforms were carried out, including the creation of a new flag and a national anthem. Finally, after multiple political tirades that threatened his mandate, he abdicated on January 28, 1823.

From then on he went into exile in Lima , from where he resumed his work as a landowner. He died in Peru in 1842 as a result of heart complications.


Bernardo O’Higgins died on October 24, 1842 at the age of 64 . Plagued by a heart disease, he designated his stepsister Rosa as his heir . His remains rested for several years in Peru until, since 1869 , they remain in his native Chile .

Physical description

According to his contemporaries, General Bernardo O’Higgins was a short, overweight man. Her blonde hair and light eyes also stand out from her appearance.

What Bernardo O’Higgins studied

In his childhood he studied at the Colegio de Naturales, Colegio del Príncipe and Colegio de San Carlos . The rest of his education was completed at a Catholic boarding school in England.

What did

Bernardo O’Higgins was an important military leader of the Chilean Old Homeland , participating directly in its emancipation from the Spanish Kingdom . In the same way, it played a fundamental role in the consolidation of Chile as a sovereign and independent country.


  • Battle of El Roble.
  • Battle of the Three Acequias.
  • Battle of Rancagua.
  • Battle of Chacabuco.
  • Battle of Cancha Rayada.
  • Battle of Maipú.


As a result of the growing political distention derived from his mandate, on January 18, 1823, the population of Santiago called an Open Town Hall in order to request his resignation as Director General. Finally , O’Higgins appeared at said convocation and decided to relinquish command to the Cabildo , which appointed new authorities that sealed the new course of the country.


After his abdication , he immediately left for Valparaíso , from where he would later head to Peru . In that nation he established himself as a landowner and maintained continuous correspondence and relations with the Peruvian and Chilean power factors until the day of his death.

Ideals of Bernardo O’Higgins

O’Higgins shared the republican ideals of his comrades in arms at the time, directly infused by Francisco de Miranda and inspired by the French Revolution and the American Revolution .


His parents were Ambrosio O’Higgins , head of the Viceroyalty of Peru and Captain General of Chile , and Isabel Riquelme , a native of Chillán.


Although Bernardo O’Higgins did not formally marry any woman, he did have romantic relationships with some women, among which Rosario Purga stands out . From this relationship came the birth of his son Pedro Demetrio .


Bernardo O’Higgins had a natural son named Pedro Demetrio , his mother being Rosario Purga . In the same way, he also presented as adoptive daughters two Mapuche Indians called Petronila and Patricia .


The clothing used by General O’Higgins was not very different from the clothing used by the patriotic heroes of the independence wars in Latin America : epaulettes, high-necked jacket and long skirt, and high boots.

Importance of Bernardo O’Higgins

Without the displays of courage and courage shown by Bernardo O’Higgins , Chile’s independence would hardly have been achieved. Both at the military level and at the political-administrative level, it made serious efforts to establish a new national identity . His dedication and commitment has been a source of inspiration for those who fight for the well-being of their nations and seek a better future.


As Supreme Director of Chile , Bernardo O’Higgins had the following works:

  • Creation of the General Cemetery .
  • Creation of the Chilean Army and the Naval Schools .
  • Votive Temple.
  • Creation of the flag and national emblem .
  • Abolition of titles and coats of arms.
  • Creation of the Alameda de las Delicias.

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