Manuel Bulnes Prieto

Manuel Bulnes Prieto (* 25. December 1799 in Concepción; † 18. October 1866 in Santiago de Chile) was a Chilean politician and general. From 1841 to 1851 he officiated as a president of his country.


Manuel Bulnes Prieto, Chilean president of 1841-1851

Bulnes was born as a son of a Spanish officer in Chile and educated up to his twelfth Lebensjahr at home. Afterwards it occurred as a cadet the Spanish colonial army, the battalion, which its father befehligte. Until 1814 it became, left after Santiago de Chile the advanced training skillfully however the military school, when the Spaniards in the course of the independence efforts of Chile moved away there.

Manuel Bulnes followed in Concepción of the national guard of the homeland army and fought in the Chilean war of independence against the Spaniards, in whose rows also its father was located. But it received 1822 from the later national hero Bernardo O'Higgins the admission into the again-created Chilean Ehrenlegion.

In the same year Bulnes' began political career: As an officer he worked in the province administration of Talca and into the condition-giving congress (Congreso Constituyente) of 1823 was already selected. However he could not notice its mandate, since rebellions of bandits in Talca made him indispensable. The hunt for the brothers Pincheira, which it befehligte, was only 1831 to end, when Bulnes was already Brigadier General.

1829 convinced its uncle José Joaquín Prieto Vial it to take part in the rebellion against the government of Francisco Ramón Vicuña Larraín. Its tactically sent intervention in the battle of Ochagavía to 14. December 1829 and into the battle of Lircay in April 1830 decided the war luck in favor of the insurgent ones.

In the war against those Peruvian - Bolivian Konföderation replaced Bulnes on instruction of José Prieto - the uncle, who was meanwhile a president of Chile - the failed general Manuel Blanco Encalada as a commander of the expedition army. To 20. January 1839 succeeded to Manuel Bulnes during the FE storage of Yungay the crucial victory. In the homeland it was enthusiastisch received and appointed the Council of State, the first stage the presidency candidacy.

1841 it closed the marriage with Enriqueta Pinto Garmendia, the daughter of the general Francisco Antonio Pinto. It reached the majority with the elections, and to 18. September 1841 he took over the presidency of Chile. One of its first official acts covered an amnesty and a rehablitation for the opponents relating to domestic affairs of 1830. Also the hunted revolution hero O'Higgins owed his rehablitation in Chile to the president Bulnes - meanwhile only few days before its death.

Bulnes used the opportunity that of Chile were at that time very vaguely defined borders and stressed short hand sent all inhabited area south the Mejillones for Chile and to Juan Williams, in order to support of Chile requirement on the strategically important Magellan route opposite a French expedition fleet.

1842 issued the government a highly simplified tariff and import law, a first census took place, and in the subsequent year the statistics authority of the country was created.

In the government of Manuel Bulnes improved his educating Minister (and later successors) Manuel Montt Torres the teacher training and put the foundation-stone for a systematic training system. Likewise in Bulnes' term of office falls the establishment of the Universidad de Chile to 17. September 1843 as well as the naval academy Escuela Naval 1844. The infrastructure of the country was developed, all in front the important road connection and a first Telegrafenleitung between the capital Santiago and the port of Valparaíso.

1849 decided Chile for the metric system. 1850 gave the government the order to the building to the first Chilean railway between Copiapó and Caldera.

The last years of Bulnes' term of office were overshadowed by substantial protests from two sides: The liberal opposition, everything in front the society for equal rights (Sociedad de la Igualdad) demanded citizen rights and - liberties as well as a stronger separation from state and church. At the same time föderale elements turned against the fact that the centre government actually drew ever more power and influence in relation to the provinces and municipalities. The protests were directed against the military-conservatively coined/shaped centralists Bulnes just like against its designate successor Manuel Montt Torres. Turned around the liberals protests led to the fact that the conservative forces of the country met the some behind Montt.

In this strained situation the government acted with remarkable hardness: It forbade all political meetings. In the provinces Santiago and Aconcagua imposed it the state of siege, forbade the oppositional press, dissolved the Sociedad de la Igualdad and banished the opposition leaders leader short hand abroad. But the hoped for peace did not occur, on the contrary: recent liberals rose to 20. April 1851 by force in Santiago. They were down-shot by the army - the old striking sword Bulnes could not be taken it, the government troops personally to befehligen.

Later the regular presidency elections were set a half year for 18, which won despite all protests the conservative Manuel Montt, to. September 1851 the office took over. Manuel Bulnes however did not want to withdraw itself also after the power delivery into the private life: In view of several revolts, which smoldered in the Chilean border areas in the north and in the south against central power, its successor Montt appointed it immediately as the boss of the army, and already to 21. Septembers - thus only three days after the office delivery - it traveled after the south, in order to fight locally the föderalistischen insurgent ones.

By October 1863 general Bulnes kept the supreme command over the army in the south, then he withdrew himself into the civilian life, which gave still another short time to him as senator and Council of State, before he to 18. September 1863 deceased.

See also: History of Chile.


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