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What was the role of Saint Martin?

204 years after the declaration of our Independence, we tell you the role of San Martin and the Mendoza congressmen.

When we think and study the independence of our country, we unfailingly refer to the  Casita de Tucumán   on July 9, 1816 . However, there were a number of events that made it possible for that moment. Even, the declaration of independence served, too, for the  Sanmartinian gesture . In this note we will know in depth the role of San Martín and the Mendoza congressmen in that meeting, which took place in San Miguel.

Two years before the declaration, that is,  in 1814,  San Martín  asked the Supreme Director, Gervasio Posadas, to transfer him to Mendoza in order to devise his liberation plan continental.  José de San Martín's aspirations were to prepare a duly trained and trained army to face the obstacles posed by the enemy and the Andes mountain range. Then, he would free Chile, and continue by sea to Peru, to do the same with the Inca people. However, to complete his feat, he needed the declaration of Independence. Therefore,  in 1815, San Martín was already in Mendoza serving as mayor of Cuyo . In 1816 we became independent and in 1817 the first  crossing of Los Andes occurred.

It is important to understand these concepts because, generally, the  declaration of independence  is studied separately from San Martin and its  liberating gesture . However, as we have explained, these are  two facts that were totally interrelated  and needed each other.

 Mendocinos in the Casita de Tucumán 

The Mendoza congressmen at that historic meeting were  Tomás Godoy Cruz and Juan Agustín Maza . The first was a friend, and very close, of San Martín.  On October 23, 1815, he applied for a passport in order to travel to Tucumán  on behalf of Mendoza. Thus, the  Liberator  had all the precise information, with the immediacy that the time allowed, of everything that happened there. It is that San Martín just got news from his envoy in December of  that year when, through a letter, Godoy Cruz told him that he had arrived well and that he had nothing important to tell until that moment.

Although there was still one year before the declaration itself, in Mendoza, and throughout the Argentine territory, what was brewing was already breathing in 1815. In fact, not for nothing San Martín worked tirelessly preparing the army in our province. But  he needed Argentina to be officially independent of the Spanish crown.  How would he go to free other nations if Argentina was not yet independent?

The region of Cuyo had a huge prominence in the Congress of 1816. It is that,  along with Maza and Godoy Cruz, Francisco Narciso de Laprida traveled (by San Juan, who was the president of the Congress of Tucumán) and Juan Martín de Pueyrredón (for San Luis, who was later appointed as supreme director).  Godoy Cruz belonged to one of the most outstanding families in Mendoza and it was he who was most committed to the values of San Martín, thus gaining his trust.

 Independence is declared 

With the presence of Mendoza congressmen, finally,  on  July 9  , 1816 independence was declared. However, this news came to Mendoza on July 19.  At that time, San Martin had to travel to Cordoba and, on his behalf, it was Bernardo O'Higgins who celebrated the event. The next day, the Chilean liberator decided to do an act with 200 grenadiers from Mendoza, having to ask the population 160 horses, as it only had 40.  Already on August 8, with San Martín in Mendoza, it is this one who takes the swear of Independence to the chiefs and generals of the Army and begins to brew the Andes Crossing itself. 

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