José Manuel Balmaceda

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Portrait of José Manuel Balmaceda.

José Manuel Balmaceda (1838 – 1891) was a Chilean politician, who eventually became President of the Republic of Chile.

Biography[change | change source]

Balmaceda was born in Bucalemu, in 1838. In 1865, he became one of the representatives of the government of Chile at the South American General Congress at Lima, and after his return, he obtained great distinction as an orator in the national assembly.

He became Minister of Foreign Affairs and of the Interior under the presidency of Domingo Santa Maria. He was elected President in 1886. On January 1, 1891 he claimed his intention to terminate an "intolerable situation", by refusing to convoke the assembly, and he ordered to continue the collection of taxes. This action provoked the Chilean Civil War of 1891, which ended with the overthrow of President Balmaceda, who later committed suicide on September 18, in the anniversary of his elevation to the Presidency.

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