Juan Martinez De Rozas - Encyclopedia

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JUAN MARTINEZ DE ROZAS (1759-1813), the earliest leader in the Chilean struggle for independence, was born at Mendoza in 1759. In early life he was a professor of law, and of theology and philosophy at Santiago. He held the post of acting governor of Concepcion at one time, and was also colonel in a militia regiment. In 1808 he became secretary to the last Spanish governor, Francisco Antonio Carrasco, and used his position to prepare the nationalist movement that began in 1809. After resigning his position as secretary, Rozas was mainly responsible for the resignation of the Spanish governor, and the formation of a national Junta on the 18th of September 1810, of which he was the real leader. Under his influence many reforms were initiated, freedom of trade was established, an army was organized and a national congress was called together in July 1811. But at the end of that year divisions began to arise between Rozas' followers from Concepcion and the men of Santiago; and a feud broke out between Rozas and Jose Miguel Carrera who had secured control of Santiago. In 1812 Carrera succeeded in securing the banishment of his rival, who retired to Mendoza, where he died on the 3rd of March 1813.

See P. B. Figueroa, Diccionario biogrdfico de Chile,1550-1887 (Santiago, 1888), and J. B. Suarez, Rasgos biogrdficos de hombres notables de Chile (Valparaiso, 1886); both giving biographical sketches of prominent characters in Chilean history.

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