Crossing of the Andes

Crossing Of The Andes

Military Conflict
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Crossing of the Andes

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The Crossing of the Andes was one of the most important feats in the Argentine and Chilean wars of independence, in which a combined army of Argentine soldiers and Chilean exiles invaded Chile leading to Chile's liberation from Spanish rule. The crossing of the Andes was a major step in the strategy devised by José de San Martín to defeat the royalist forces at their stronghold of Lima, Viceroyalty of Perú, and secure the Spanish American independence movements.

Setting out from Mendoza (then part of the Province of Cuyo) in January 1817, their goal was to enter Chile without being noticed, through unexpected paths, so as to attack the royalist forces by surprise. The ultimate objective was the liberation of Chile from Spanish rule with Argentine forces. Led by José de San Martin, the crossing took twenty-one days.

Antecedents

The idea of crossing the Andes was already developed by lodges seeking the independence of South America, and was part of the Maitland Plan designed by Thomas Maitland. San Martín learned of it during his brief time in Britain, before sailing to South America. After becoming aware of the difficulty of attacking the royalist stronghold of Lima across the Upper Peru, he decided to proceed with such plan.

The Captaincy General of Chile had removed their governor in 1810, and replaced him with the First Government Junta, starting a period of Chilean history known as Patria Vieja. However, they would be defeated in 1814 during the battle of Rancagua,...
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