Bernardo O’Higgins led this country to independence.
Chile. Under the leadership of Bernardo O’Higgins, Chile gained its independence from Spain in 1817, when a combined Argentine and Chilean army defeated the Spaniards on February 12, 1817. O’Higgins went on to become head of state on February 17, supported by the army but not favored by the oligarchy because he sought abolition of their privileges. Once the threat from Spain was eliminated from the region, opposition to O’Higgins mounted. General unrest and a poor harvest combined to force O’Higgins to abdicate his position in 1823.