Ancient Origins Iraq tour

O'Higgins meets Jose San Martin at the Battle of Maipu 1818, by Pedro Subercaseaux (Public Domain)

Irish Liberators In South American Independence Wars

For much of its history Ireland was just one of a legion of realms conquered by the British Empire in a morally reprehensible quest of world domination. The road to independence was long and arduous, and was particularly challenging during the 19th century when the British Crown was at the apex of its power. As a result, many Irish or Irish descended revolutionaries chose to employ their talents elsewhere, and to fight for a parallel cause that could be more realistically achieved. With the Empire of Spain collapsing, many inhabitants of the Emerald Isle decided to forsake their motherland for South America, where they contributed greatly to its liberation and later national development. Here are six of the most interesting tales. 

Bernardo O’Higgins: Deliverer of the Chilean Nation

Born in 1778 in Chillán, Chile, Bernardo O’Higgins was the illegitimate son of María Isabel Riquelme de la Barrera y Meza, the daughter of a wealthy landowner, and Ambrosio O’Higgins, an Irish expatriate who had risen through the ranks of the Spanish colonial administration to become governor of Chile and viceroy of Peru.

Portrait of Bernardo O'Higgins holding the Chilean Constitution, by José Gil de Castro. Instituto Geográfico Militar de Chile (Public Domain)

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