Jose Miguel Carrera

The history of the independence of Latin America is full of great heroes and heroic feats. This is something that can be widely discussed in Chilean independence history, where José Miguel Carrera played an important role in the development of this movement.

Personal information

  • When was he born:  10/15/1785
  • Where he was born:  Santiago, Chile
  • When he died: 09/04/1821
  • Where he died: Mendoza, Argentina

Who was José Miguel Carrera?

In the history of our civilization there are numerous characters who stand out for their extensive academic work , their brave feats and / or their daring political acts . In the case of Chile , in the memory of its citizens there is a patriot whose existence generates as many detractors as fans: José Miguel Carrera . José Miguel Carrera was a Chilean politician and hero who was an inescapable part of his country’s independence struggle , to the point of beingrecognized by many historians as the first man to lead the free Chilean Homeland.

  • Biography of José Miguel Carrera
  • Death
  • Physical description
  • Ideology of José Miguel Carrera
  • What study
  • What did José Miguel Carrera do
  • government
  • Plays
  • Parents
  • Sons
  • Clothing
  • Importance of José Miguel Carrera

Biography of José Miguel Carrera

José Miguel Carrera Verdugo was born in Santiago , the capital of Chile , in 1785 . He belonged to a wealthy family, beginning studies in Santiago de Chile and continuing them in Peru and Spain . There, specifically in the city of Cádiz , he met General José de San Martín .

In the early 1800s , he joined the Spanish army and a year later managed to be promoted to Captain . After some battles and a wound perpetrated in the field , he returned in 1811 as Sergeant Major . On one occasion he asked for a permit to return to his land, but was instead arrested on the grounds that his intention to return was to join the Chilean rebels .

At that time Chile depended on the Peruvian Viceroyalty . In the year 1810 , the Governing Board was already formed for the first time , which began the first stage of Chilean sovereignty . From prison, José Miguel Carrera requested his retirement from the army , and once free he returned to Chile , specifically to Valparaíso , where he participated in the conspiracy that allowed the Larraín family to assume the head of government , which earned him the representation of the province of Santiago before the Board . In 1811the dissolution of the Congress takes place , and he is named President of the Board of Government of Chile from that year until 1813 , being succeeded by Bernardo O’Higgins .

A year after handing over command , he was the leader of the rebels who deposed then- President Francisco de la Lastra , and after several battles in which they were defeated, Chile was once again under Spanish control . Given this, Carrera took refuge in Argentina , making the necessary contacts to retake Chile , counting on the United States to achieve his mission.

Upon arriving in Buenos Aires, he was again imprisoned, managing to escape to Montevideo . Once there, upon receiving news of the death of his brothers, he played a leading role in the struggles of the early days of Argentine independence . Finally, José Miguel Carrera is defeated in combat in El Médano to later be betrayed and captured.

Once in prison , he was sentenced to death and shot in Mendoza in September 1821 .


During the Battle of Punta del Médano , he met the patriot José Albino Gutiérrez and his troops , who captured him . Later, he was sentenced to death due to his participation in various crimes and he was shot in the Plaza de Mendoza, Argentina , on September 4, 1821 .

Physical description

Those who related to him directly detailed him as a person with very fine features, always well-groomed hair, white complexion and little leafy sideburns.

Ideology of José Miguel Carrera

The political ideology of José Miguel Carrera seems to have been framed in the establishment of a kind of constitutional monarchy in which it was emphasized that citizens are the ones who held the decision-making power over state affairs .

What study

His first studies were carried out at the Colegio Convictorio Carolino , located in Santiago de Chile . Later he studied at the San Carlos School and then his father sent him to live in Lima (Peru) and then end up living in Spain , where he enrolled in the Madrid Volunteer Cavalry School and trained with the Farnese Hussars .

What did José Miguel Carrera do

  • He actively participated in the independence struggle in Chile
  • He was head of the Chilean government for a year (1812-1813)


During his leadership of government , José Miguel Carrera  had the firm intention of making the country independent and made use of a set of reforms that would ensure it. Among its objectives was the modernization of the country, which it advanced through the founding of the first newspaper in Chile and the creation of national symbols and the first constitution that, although it pointed to an institutional monarchy , had the intention of giving the power to citizens .


In his status as President of the Governing Board , José Miguel Carrera  developed various projects throughout the Chilean territory , the most important being

  • Creation of the first newspaper in the history of Chile , known as “La Aurora de Chile”
  • Creation of national symbols (hymn and shield)
  • Promulgation of the first political constitution
  • Foundation of schools for boys and girls in the monasteries
  • Health system improvement


His father was Ignacio de la Carrera y Cuevas , a native of Chile . He was an aristocrat whose origin was in Spain , and he participated in the initial period of Chilean independence . His mother was Francisca de Paula Verdugo Fernández de Valdivieso , of Chilean origin .


When he married María Mercedes Fontecilla Valdivieso , he had 5 children: José, Rosa, Josefa, Roberta and Francisca.


He used to wear, like most military personnel of the time, pants, a shirt and a scarf around his neck.

Importance of José Miguel Carrera

The work of José Miguel Carrera has its point of greatest importance in the fact that it was definitive on the road to independence . From the battles in which he participated to the measures he took during his period of government , they had the intention of facilitating the Chilean people to distance themselves from the Spanish monarchy .

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