Manuel Francisco Antonio Julián Montt Torres (Latin American Spanish: [maˈnwel ˈmont]; September 4, 1809 – September 21, 1880) was a Chilean statesman and scholar. He was twice elected President of Chile between 1851 and 1861.

Manuel Montt
Montt in 1868
5th President of Chile
In office
September 18, 1851 – September 18, 1861
Preceded byManuel Bulnes
Succeeded byJosé Joaquín Pérez
Personal details
Born(1809-09-04)September 4, 1809
Petorca, Chile
DiedSeptember 21, 1880(1880-09-21) (aged 71)
Santiago, Chile
Political partyConservative (until 1857)
National (from 1857)
SpouseRosario Montt Goyenechea

Biography Edit

Montt was born in Petorca, Valparaíso Region, the son of Catalan immigrants. His family was very poor, and in 1822 the death of his father increased their hardship. The same year, Manuel's mother secured his entrance into the Instituto Nacional (National Institute, where he would later serve as rector from 1835 to 1840), though he could only afford the fees by tutoring other students. After studying law at the Instituto Nacional, he graduated as a lawyer in 1833 and soon achieved prominent academic and government posts.

Montt had a distinguished career as a scholar, and was introduced into public life during the presidency (1831–1841) of José Joaquín Prieto by Diego Portales. Montt distinguished himself by his courage in the crisis that followed upon Portales' assassination in 1837, though only holding a subordinate post in the government. In 1840, Montt was elected to the National Congress of Chile. He served as minister of the interior and minister of justice under President Manuel Bulnes (in office from 1841 to 1851). He emphasized the need for educational and scientific progress in the Chile, and was Minister of public instruction for a time. He was also twice Minister of Interior and Foreign Affairs during the Bulnes administration.

In 1849, botanist Claude Gay named Monttea, a genus of flowering plants from Argentina and Chile, belonging to the family Plantaginaceae in Manuel Montt's honour.[1]

In 1851 Montt won the Chilean presidency, but the liberals regarded his election as fraudulent and instigated an armed revolt, the Revolution of 1851, which was quickly subdued. Montt represented the conservative oligarchy and was authoritarian and inflexible in his beliefs, but he also worked for the economic and social progress of his nation. He angered the conservatives when he asserted the state's right of patronage in Chile's Roman Catholic Church and when he supported the abolition of restrictions on the sale or bequeathing of landed estates. His administration made advances in commerce and banking, codified Chilean laws, strongly promoted public education and immigration, and colonized the area south of the Bío-Bío River.

Manuel Montt, as Chile's first civilian president, furthered the reforms begun by Diego Portales. With Vicente Perez Rosales, the Minister of Immigration, he encouraged the settlement of German immigrants in the south of the country. The city of Puerto Montt, at the centre of the newly settled lands, honours his name. He governed Chile with an energy and wisdom that laid the foundation of her material prosperity. He was ably assisted by his minister of the interior Antonio Varas, and from the co-operation of the two statesmen the well-known ultra-conservative faction, the Montt-Varistas, took their name. His presidency featured the establishment of railways, telegraphs, banks, schools and training-colleges. Near the end of his second term, when Montt indicated a preference for Varas, his minister of the interior, to become his successor, liberals again staged an armed uprising (1859). Montt again subdued the revolt, but pacified the liberals by shifting his support to José Joaquín Pérez, who was a moderate.

On giving up the presidency in 1861, Montt became President of the Supreme Court of Chile, a position which he held up to his death in September 1880. Manuel Montt's nephew Jorge (born 1846) served as president of Chile in 1891–1896, as did Manuel Montt's son, Pedro (died 1910), between 1906 and 1910.

Manuel Montt died in Santiago de Chile on September 21, 1880, he was 71 years old.

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ "Monttea Gay | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science". Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 18 May 2021.

Sources Edit

  • P. B. Figueroa, Diccionario biografico de Chile, 1550–1887 (Santiago, 1888)
  • J. B. Suarez, Rasgos biograficos de hombres notables de Chile (Valparaiso, 1886)

External links Edit

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of the Interior and Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of War and Navy
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of the Interior and Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of Chile
Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by President of the Supreme Court
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of the Supreme Court
Succeeded by