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"Seamos libres, que lo demás no importa nada." Translation 
José de San Martín

José de San Martín was a general of the Spanish American Wars of Independence.

He was born in a Jesuit reduction in Yapeyu (currently part of Corrientes, Argentina), in a disputed year (likely 1777 or 1778). He was the son of Juan de San Martín, governor of Yapeyu on behalf of The Kingdom of Spain. The family briefly moved to Buenos Aires, and then returned to Spain. He was enrolled in the army and took part in several conflicts, including the Peninsular War (the Spanish theater of the The Napoleonic Wars). Although Spain was allied to France against The British Empire, Napoleon betrayed the country with a surprise invasion that captured the king Ferdinand VII and appointed José Bonaparte (Napoleón's own brother) as King of Spain. Several portions of Spain resisted this, and allied with the British. At one point San Martín left Spain and headed with other generals to Buenos Aires, to join the Spanish American Wars of Independence (which were not separatist yet).

As Buenos Aires lacked a decent cavalry, San Martín was tasked to create one, and with the overall protection of the city. He created the Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers. He also created the Lodge of Rational Knights and deposed the First Triumvirate. He fought the battle of San Lorenzo against pillagers from royalist Montevideo, his first battle in South America and the sole battle in the territory of modern Argentina.

He was appointed to the Army of the North, replacing Manuel Belgrano, but took a leave of absence as a result of his health, without conducting any new campaigns with it. He moved to Mendoza instead, to build his own large army and cross the Andes mountains to liberate Chile, which had been seized by royalists during the disaster of Rancagua. The Chilean patriots who escaped from it reinforced his army. Among their generals, Bernardo O'Higgins got along well with San Martín and joined his army, but José Miguel and Luis Carrera had other plans that San Martín rejected. The Congress of Tucumán declared independence in 1816, and the army crossed the Andes shortly afterwards. The campaign was a success and Chile was liberated, culminating in the battle of Chacabuco. San Martín declined to be appointed Supreme Director of Chile and proposed O'Higgins instead, as he though that Chile should be ruled by a Chilean.

San Martín then started a navy to take the fight to the Royalist stronghold of Lima by sea, avoiding Upper Peru (modern Bolivia) where several campaigns had failed. He declined to send the Army of the Andes to aid Buenos Aires against the federales, leading to its defeat and the "anarchy of the year XX". The navy reached Peru and San Martín was received in Lima without resistance. He announced the independence of Peru as well, and was appointed its protector. He had a meeting with Simón Bolívar, who was waging war against the royalists in the northern South America. He handed the leadership of the Army of the North to Bolívar, and retired from public life.

As he was still a notable figure even when he retired, he sailed to Europe to avoid the Argentine Civil War. He lived in several European cities, and died in Boulogne Sur Mer, France, in 1850.

In fiction


  • Votá con responsabilidad ("Vote with Responsibility"), a campaign about responsible voting, which features San Martín (and other heroes of Argentina's independence) beating the crap out of people who mindlessly vote for whoever appears first on their ballot (voting being obligatory in Argentina).

Comic Books

  • El cruce de los Andes
  • San Martín


  • The General in His Labyrinth

Live-action film

  • El general y la fiebre
  • El santo de la espada
  • Revolución: Cruce de los Andes
  • The Liberator

Live-action series


  • Revolutions: Season 5 of Revolutions mostly focuses on Simón Bolívar and his efforts to liberate the northern part of Spanish South America, but several episodes put San Martín in the spotlight.