Latin American Leaders

Bolivar and Morelos Take a Stand Against Spanish Leadership

Jose Maria Morelos (Born in Mexico, Sep. 30, 1765- Dec. 22, 1815)

Morelos helped Mexico gain independence from Spain, wanting freedom from their discrimination of the Native people (being a Native, himself), also wanting to keep the Mexican wealth to themselves and to not be treated inferior to the Spanish mainland. Morelos took control of the rebellion after Hidalgo's death, he kept the Spanish army to the coastal ports during their war for independence. Morelos called upon the Congress of Chilpancingo to create a constitution, starting the process for freedom. Mexico declared independence the following year. Among those efforts, he established the National Constituent Congress which abolished slavery and Racial class.

Today, to honor Morelos, the city of Morelia is named in his honor, as well as the state of Morelos. He has been honored on the peso note since 1997, and was on the peso coin for some time, as well as communication centers, stadiums, and train stations all being named after him for his accomplishments.

Simon Bolivar (Born in Venezuela, July 24, 1783- Dec. 17, 1830)

Bolivar was the son of wealthy Creoles. In Bolivar's lifetime, he helped gain independence for 6 different South American countries (Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia). These countries were looking to get away from Spanish rule because they were fearful of being taken over and invaded by Napoleon and the French army, which had already taken over Spain. Bolivar was inspired to break free and have complete independence and made Venezuela the first country to start the movement.

Bolivar was never afraid of speaking his mind, even to the national congress of Venezuela. Although not even a delegate, he was the man that encouraged the congress to write a Constitution and be liberated from the Spanish in his first public speech. He was once forced to flee from Venezuela, then constructed a new army, defeated the Spanish, and freed Venezuela. He was the president of Colombia, president of Bolivia (a new country created by Bolivar), dictator of Peru, and created Bolivia's first constitution. He controlled most of South America, and successfully liberated these countries from Spain.

The modern countries of Venezuela and Bolivia and their currencies are named after Bolivar's efforts. Statues in his honor can be found across the world in various capital cities like Washington D.C., London, and more.