Born: Thursday, 20 August 1778
Died: Monday, 24 October 1842
Bernardo O’Higgins was a politician, freedom fighter, and founding father of Chile who labored for liberty, equality, and fraternity around the turn of the 19th Century.
Bernardo O’Higgins is considered one of the founding fathers of Chile, and one of South America’s greatest freedom fighters. Born in 1778, Bernardo was son of the governor of the Spanish Viceroyalties of Chile and Peru. O’Higgins studied widely in his youth, being sent to London to study. It was there that he became a Freemason, and the experience affected him deeply, imbuing him with a love of liberty and fraternity among people that would lately inspire his fight for South America’s Freedom.
When Bernardo returned to South America from his education, he quickly became an official in the Chilean government at a critical time. Spain had been conquered by Napoleon, and all her colonies were in a state of confusion and unrest caused by the transition. It was from this chaos that a new South American order would emerge. During the chaos of the revolution in Chile, O’higgins would end up fighting against the French, against the Spanish colonial forces, and against other Chilean armies who had a different vision of how a liberated Chile would look. But he won out over them all to become Supreme Director of a liberated Chile.
O’Higgins would go on to help liberate Peru from the Spanish yoke alongside Simon Bolivar. His legacy of liberation of effective rule in Chile would echo down the ages, leaving the principles of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity stamped onto the South American continent. Today he is honored worldwide with statues and monuments across Chile and the world for his achievements in advancing the cause of human liberty, a sacred cause to Freemasonry.
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