Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Errázuriz, Federico

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ERRÁZURIZ, Federico (er-rah'-thu-rith), Chilian statesman, b. in Santiago, Chili, 27 March, 1825; d. there, 20 July, 1877. He studied law in the University of Chili, was made a deputy at an early age, and took some part in the parliamentary debates. In 1860 he was made chief of the province of Santiago, and introduced many reforms. In 1862, during Perez's administration, he became secretary of justice and of public instruction; and in 1865, during the war with Spain, he was secretary of war and the navy. In 1871 Errázuriz became president of the republic of Chili, and, while in the discharge of this office, introduced liberal reforms of great importance to the country, tending toward the secularization of public instruction and freedom of worship. He amended the constitution of 1833 by means of a law which was very much discussed in congress, abolished ecclesiastical privileges, and built several railways in the northern and southern parts of the country. He also organized several exhibitions of industry and art, the most important being the “Exposición Universal” of 1875, held in a magnificent palace built in the “Quinta Normal de Agricultura” expressly for that purpose. Errázuriz improved the navy by adding to it the two steel men-of-war “Cochrane” and “Blanco Encalada.” He also improved the condition of the army, and contributed greatly to the material progress and welfare of his country. He died soon after retiring from office.