Born in Yapeyú, Corrientes in Argentina, he left his mother country at the early age of seven and studied in Málaga, Spain.
In 1808, after joiningSpanish forces in the Peninsular War against the French, and after participating in several battles such as the Battle of Bailén, San Martín started making contact with South American supporters ofindependence from Spain.
In 1812, he set sail for Buenos Aires from England, and offered his services to the United Provinces of South America (present-day Argentina). After the Battle of San Lorenzo of1813, and some time on command of the Army of the North during 1814, he started to put into action his plan to defeat the Spanish forces that menaced the United Provinces from Upper Perú, making use ofan alternative path to the Viceroyalty of Perú. This objective first involved the creation of a new army, the Army of the Andes, in the Province of Cuyo, Argentina. From there, he led the Crossing ofthe Andes to Chile, and prevailed over the Spanish forces at the Battle of Chacabuco and the Battle of Maipú (1818), thus liberating Chile from Royalist rule. Then he set sail to attack the Spanishstronghold of Lima, Perú, by sea.
On 12 July 1821, after seizing partial control of Lima, San Martín was appointed Protector of Perú, and Peruvian independence was officially declared on 28 July 1821. Ayear later, after a closed-door meeting with fellow libertador Simón Bolívar at Guayaquil, Ecuador, on 22 July 1822, Bolívar took over the task of fully liberating Peru. San Martín unexpectedly leftthe country and resigned the command of his army, excluding himself from politics and the military, and moved to France in 1824. The details of the 22 July meeting would be a subject of debate by...