The Government Junta of 1810 marked the beginning of the political independence of Chile. It was a government body created by the
open council (cabildo) of Santiago de Chile on September 18, 1810, in order to organize Chile governmentally and to take actions regarding the government's defense, after Ferdinand VII was taken prisoner by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1808. The Junta was the first autonomous form of government originated in central Chile since its conquest, and was presided over by the Governor of Chile, Mateo de Toro y Zambrano. It allowed the participation of the creole aristocracy, and it marked the beginning of the Chilean War of Independence. The Junta assembled a National Congress, which José Miguel Carrera overturned with a coup d'état.
Bernardo O'Higgins was granted dictatorial powers as Supreme Director of Chile on February 16, 1817, and Chile officially declared its independence on February 12, 1818.