Wednesday, December 08, 2004

José de San Martín, Knight of the Andes

José de San Martín, Knight of the Andes - Revolutionary fighter against royalist forces and national hero in many South American countries, particularly in Argentina.

From the site:

One of the principal liberators of South America from Spanish rule was Jose de San Martin. He is also known as Argentina's liberator, and was one of the principal revolutionary fighters against royalist forces in South America. He was a master of military strategy, a skill which led him to success. San Martin became a national hero in many South American countries, particularly in Argentina, where he also had strong personal ties, as he was born there, and enforced his ties by later marrying an Argentine. In this paper, I will discuss the biography of San Martin, a person who made important history in colonial America.

Jose de San Martin was born on February 25, 1778 in Yapey'u, located in the viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata', which is now known as eastern Argentina. His mother was Gregoria Matorras, and his father was Juan de San Martin, a professional soldier and government administrator of Yapey'u. In 1784, when San Martin was six years old, the family returned to Spain, where he was educated at the "Seminario de Nobles" from 1785 until 1789. He started his military career early in the Murcia infantry regiment (South Eastern Spain). He served as an army officer against the forces of Napoleon between 1808 and 1811.

Even though San Martin was loyal towards his mother country (Spain) when he fought against Napoleon, he disliked the traditional absolute monarchy and the existing colonial system. In 1811, he decided to resign from Spanish service. After meeting revolutionary Spanish Americans in London, England, he sailed for Buenos Aires, and was almost immediately taken into service in the revolutionary regime. As a very experienced soldier, he was a great asset in the revolutionary movement in South America.

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