Miranda

Miranda

[mi-ran-duh; also, for 1, 4, Sp. mee-rahn-dah]
Miranda, Francisco de, 1750-1816, Venezuelan revolutionist and adventurer. A hero of the struggle for independence from Spain, he is sometimes called the Precursor to distinguish him from Simón Bolívar, who completed the task of liberation. Before he championed the independence of the Spanish colonies, Miranda involved himself in a number of adventures. As an officer in the Spanish army he served under Bernardo de Gálvez in the Spanish attack on Pensacola (1781), when Spain was an ally of the rebels in the American Revolution. He later visited Philadelphia and Boston and met George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and other notables. He traveled widely in Europe, particularly in Russia, where he became a favorite of Catherine the Great. In France he fought in the French Revolutionary Wars; running afoul of the Jacobins he fled to England, where he was helped by William Pitt. Imbued with revolutionary ideas, Miranda sought foreign aid and led (1806) an unsuccessful expedition to the Venezuelan coast. After the start of the revolution in 1810, he returned to Venezuela and soon took a commanding position in the patriot forces. He was dictator for a short time, but after increasing misfortunes, including the loss of Puerto Cabello by Bolívar and a destructive earthquake in Caracas, he surrendered (1812) to the Spanish. Bolívar and other patriots, angered by his capitulation, seized him and turned him over to the Spanish who failed to honor the terms of surrender, deported him to Cádiz, and kept him in a dungeon for the rest of his life.

See History of Don Francisco de Miranda's Attempt to Effect a Revolution in South America by J. Biggs (1808); biography by W. S. Robertson (1929, repr. 1969).

Miranda, in astronomy, one of the moons, or natural satellites, of Uranus.

(born March 28, 1750, Caracas—died July 14, 1816, Cádiz, Spain) Venezuelan revolutionary who helped pave the way for his country's independence. He joined the Spanish army but fled to the U.S. in 1783, where he met leaders of the American Revolution and formed plans for the liberation of South America, which he envisioned ruled by an Incan emperor and a bicameral legislature. He launched an unsuccessful invasion of Venezuela in 1806 and returned at the request of Simón Bolívar to fight again in 1810. He assumed dictatorial powers in 1811 when independence was declared but succumbed to a Spanish counterattack and signed an armistice. Fellow revolutionaries, viewing his surrender as traitorous, thwarted his attempt to escape. He died in a Spanish prison cell.

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(1966) U.S. Supreme Court decision that specified a code of conduct for police during interrogations of criminal suspects. Miranda established that the police are required to inform arrested persons that they have the right to remain silent, that anything they say may be used against them, and that they have the right to an attorney. The case involved a claim by the plaintiff that the state of Arizona, by obtaining a confession from him without having informed him of his right to have a lawyer present, had violated his rights under the Fifth Amendment regarding self-incrimination. The 5-to-4 decision shocked the law-enforcement community; several later decisions limited the scope of the Miranda safeguards. Seealso rights of the accused.

Learn more about Miranda v. Arizona with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born March 28, 1750, Caracas—died July 14, 1816, Cádiz, Spain) Venezuelan revolutionary who helped pave the way for his country's independence. He joined the Spanish army but fled to the U.S. in 1783, where he met leaders of the American Revolution and formed plans for the liberation of South America, which he envisioned ruled by an Incan emperor and a bicameral legislature. He launched an unsuccessful invasion of Venezuela in 1806 and returned at the request of Simón Bolívar to fight again in 1810. He assumed dictatorial powers in 1811 when independence was declared but succumbed to a Spanish counterattack and signed an armistice. Fellow revolutionaries, viewing his surrender as traitorous, thwarted his attempt to escape. He died in a Spanish prison cell.

Learn more about Miranda, Francisco de with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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