Prieto Vial, Joaquín (1786–1854)

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Prieto Vial, Joaquín (1786–1854)

Joaquín Prieto Vial (b. 20 August 1786; d. 22 November 1854), president of Chile (1831–1841). Born in Concepción, and a soldier from his youth onward, Prieto was sent as a patriot auxiliary to Buenos Aires in 1811, but returned to fight in Chile's wars of independence (1813–1814). After exile in Argentina during the Spanish reconquest (1814–1817), he took part in the battles of Chacabuco (12 February 1817) and Maipú (5 April 1818), following which he took charge of patriot operations in the south. A member of several of the congresses of the 1820s, he was appointed commander of the army in the south in 1828. In 1829–1830 he led the successful Conservative rebellion in the hope (soon frustrated) of securing the restoration of Bernardo O'Higgins (1778–1842). He commanded the Conservative troops at the battle of Lircay in April 1830.

Diego Portales (1793–1837) persuaded Prieto to assume the presidency from September 1831. During his two consecutive terms, he saw the stabilization of Chile, the Constitution of 1833, the war against the Peru-Bolivia Confederation, the murder of Diego Portales, and, at the end of the decade, political relaxation.

Prieto was a pious, rather serious figure. Portales used to make fun of him, calling him "Isidro Ayestas"—the name of a deranged man who wandered the streets of Santiago during that time.

See alsoChile: Foundations Through Independence; Chile, Constitutions; Portales Palazuelos, Diego José Pedro Víctor.


Ramón Sotomayor Valdés, Historia de Chile bajo el gobierno del general don Joaquín Prieto, 4 vols. (1900–1903).

Additional Bibliography

Cardoso Ruíz, Patricio. Formación y desarrollo del estado nacional de Chile: De la independencia hasta 1930. Toluca: Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, 2000.

Stuven, Ana María. La seducción de un orden: Las elites y la construcción de Chile en las polémicas culturales y políticas del siglo XIX. Santiago: Ediciones Universidad Católica de Chile, 2000.

                                         Simon Collier

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Prieto Vial, Joaquín (1786–1854)

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