Independence of Chile


A vivid example of how important are the social and military revolutions for a nation is Latin America , not only today but also in his past being their battles for independence the most vivid example of this as those that arose in Chile.

  • When was it:  Between 1812 and 1826
  • Where was it:  Chile

What is the independence of Chile?

The independence of Chile was a historical process mainly for this country because it is when it was emancipated from the Spanish Empire that ruled it for many years and was able to become an independent republic through wars, treaties and acts.



The Independence of Chile was  started in 1810 on September 18 with the appointment of the First National Government Junta where he was mostly a war between supporters of independence, the royalists, the Patriots and the Spanish Empire . Chile became independent from Spain with the signing of the independence act on January 1, 1818, but the process really culminated with the swearing in and proclamation, which was on February 12 of that same year in Talca and then in Santiago.


Characteristics of the Independence of Chile

  • Emancipation was sealed after the Chacabuco and Maípu battles that were won by the patriots.
  • It is celebrated or commemorated every September 18 since 1811 through the patriots and royalists who were the ones who started that year to remember that much-longed-for process that was successfully achieved.
  • Independence was not recognized by Spain until April 24, 1844
  • The most prominent figures in this historical process were Bernardo O’Higgins, José Manuel Carrera, Manuel Rodríguez and José de San Martín , considered as the fathers and founders of the new Chilean nation.
  • It is divided into 3 stages:
    • The Old Homeland
    • The Reconquest
    • The New Homeland.


Spain at that time was going through a series of circumstances that were greatly disadvantaging it and was dragging all the countries that it had in its domain including Chile , its economy was backward compared to other European countries such as England, Germany, France that yes they were advancing Spanish society was becoming more obscure day by day.

In Chile the economic situation was taking an unfavorable turn and conflicts began between white Creoles and peninsular Spaniards for the liberation of trade that completely modified the monopolies.

This situation was in total contrast with the current of the Enlightenment that they wanted to increase to educate the peoples that Spain ruled because it promoted what was modernity , reason over religion, freedom , among other areas and everything to follow the despotism that existed at that time.


The main causes of the Independence of Chile are:

  • Napoleon Bonaparte forces King Ferdinand VII and his son to rise to the Spanish throne in 1808 and France begins to take care of Spain due to the economic and social weakness that it presented.
  • The discrimination that existed between peninsular Spaniards and Creole whites .
  • The death of Luis Muños de Guzmán (Governor of Chile) because there was a power vacuum that King Fernando VII did not know how to fill with someone suitable
  • The scandals of Governor García Carrasco in 1808 .
  • The administration of the country’s assets was left to the National Governing Board .

Chilean Independence Process

Most of the process was based on a long war that was divided into three stages :

  • The Old Homeland: It has two important moments
    • The first government junta 1810: It was not based on the Independence of Chile but on the maintenance of the rights of Fernando VII , it achieved: the First National Congress was convened, which was based on demanding democracy and freedom for the children of slaves (1811), he also succeeded in having the freedom of commerce decreed and the armed forces being formed
    • Government of José Miguel Carrera (1812)
  • Spanish Reconquest (1814-1817): It began with the battle of Rencagua and ended with that of Chacabuco . It meant a setback for Chile because the Spanish once again increased the same systems that already existed before and the freedoms already established in the constitution were suppressed.
  • New Homeland 1817-1823: It began with the victory of the Battle of Chacabuco and ended with the resignation of Bernardo O’Higgins. The new homeland began with the hard military coup received by the Spanish military stronghold, but at the same time it also set the tone for independence, which became official exactly one year later.

O’Higgins became the supreme director of Chile . His government focused on consolidating the nascent republic of Chile from a military and political point of view. On February 12, 1818 in the city of Talca, O’Higgins proclaimed the Independence of Chile.


Among the consequences of the Independence of Chile are:

  • Increased anarchy due to poor harvests and financial disorder
  • Increase in poverty
  • Agricultural farms were destroyed by wars
  • The Spanish structures continued when Chile became independent.
  • Increase in crime and homelessness
  • In 1829 there was a dictatorial government by José Tomás de Ovalle
  • Hun 30 successive governments to independence where different systems of government were tried

Characters precursors of the Independence of Chile

His most outstanding heroes were:

  • Bernardo O’Higgins: Liberator of Chile and the one who proclaimed its independence.
  • José de San Martín : Military and also liberator of Chile, he was victorious in the battle of Maipú.
  • Mateo de Toro Y Zambrano: He obtained the interim position of president-governor in 1810 despite being Spanish.
  • José Miguel Carrera: He prepared the way to independence by being president of the Provisional Government Board.

Featured Battles

Among the most outstanding battles of independence are:

  • The Battle of Cancha Rayada 1814.
  • The Rancagua disaster.
  • The battle of Chacabuco 1817.
  • The Battle of Cancha Rayada 1818.
  • The battle of Maipú 1818.

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