Manuel Francisco Antonio Julian Montt Torres was a Chilean statesman and scholar. He was twice elected President of Chile between 1851 and 1861.
Montt was born in Petorca, Valparaiso Region, the son of Catalan immigrants. His family were 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 also would serve as rector later in life (183540), though he could only afford the fees by tutoring other students. After studying law at the Universidad de San Felipe, he graduated as a lawyer in 1830 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 Jose Joaquin 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 (184151). He emphasized the need for educational and scientific advancement 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.
Genealogical chart of Montt family
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