Simon Bolivar's Impact on South American History

Through his political and military leadership, Simon Bolivar fought for the freedom of many countries in South America. He even became president of Gran Colombia, which no longer exists. He supported other countries like Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.

Simon Bolivar was born in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1783 and the country was named Bolivia after him. White people, creoles, felt ignored by the governor and resented the Spaniards. They resented any wealthy mixed heritage Spaniard who could purchase “whiteness.” The creoles identified themselves as Americans as another step in starting a revolution for independence. The Spanish colonies defied Napoleon by pledging loyalty to King Charles IV even though Napoleon had conquered Spain.

Simon Bolivar wrote a letter from Jamaica on September 6, 1815. Bolivar was tired of how countries in South America were treated so he showed reasons why all of South America or parts of it should be independent from Spain. He said, “We have been harassed by conduct which has not only deprived us of our rights but has kept us in a sort of permanent infancy with regard to public affairs.” He explained to Jamaica the importance of freedom. "We are still in a position lower than slavery, and therefore it is harder for us to rise to the enjoyment of freedom.” Bolivar added, “Success has been practical and spasmodic, we must not lose faith. We are young in the ways of civilized society.”

On May 2, 1819, Bolivar gathered with a group of guerrillas that wanted to defeat the Spanish army. They got supplies and crossed hundreds of miles and plains, swamps, and rivers. A lot of people died of hunger and diseases on their way there. Crossing plains on August 7, the royalist encountered and won the fight of Carabobo in June 1821. After that, Caracas fell apart. A few days later, Venezuela was free of the Spanish royalists, then Bolivar went south and conquered Quito. On July 27, 1822, Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin met at Guayaquil. Bolivar came in as a military leader. Bolivar and San Martin had a meeting in Europe where they were prepared to march across the Andes to Peru to defeat the final Spanish royalists in the middle of 1824. Simon Bolivar launched his campaign and soon he won the important battle at Junín which opened a door to free Lima in South America.

Simon Bolivar has left his mark in South American history.

[Source: Kiddle]