Latin American Revolutions
By: Anthony A, Karthi L, Genevith S and Diego Q
Simón Bolívar's Revolution
Spain controlled the majority of South America from the time of the age of exploration. The main governmental posts of the colonies were occupied by the Peninsulares, not the Creoles. This resulted in a grudge between the Creoles and the Peninsulares. When Napoleon made his brother the king of Spain, he indirectly made the government unstable in the colonies. This Creoles took advantage of this opportunity. Simón Bolívar, a Creole in Venezuela, was highly influenced by Napoleon. He vowed to liberate the whole of South America. He, along with the other Creoles, conquered Venezuela, Colombia, Peru (including the Panama Canal, which was part of Peru at that time), Ecuador, and Bolivia (a country that was named after Bolívar - it was not a country at that time).
After learning about enlightenment ideas from his tutor, Simón decided to liberate countries so that they didn't have to be loyal to Spain anymore. He conquered Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia; by doing this he created Gran Colombia. When he needed help getting more supplies, he went to Jamaica and with no luck, went to Haiti. In Haiti, their president provided Simón with supplies and in turn, Simón was able to defeat Venezuela. After defeating the countries, he declared himself president for life and in turn, people started to rebel if Simón wasn't watching. He eventually gave up because of the rebels and the fact that he was ill. He died on December 17, 1830. Gran Colombia was then split into the countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia.
Simón Bolívar's ultimate goal was to liberate the whole of South America. He wanted the South Americans to have a sense of oneness. But unfortunately, he was not able to accomplish his goal. His revolution, however, motivated the South Americans to liberate themselves from Spain and Portugal. His attempt to free South America sparked revolutions in various countries. But they did not unite with themselves to form one single country. They broke up into countries and declared themselves republic. Spain and Portugal were no longer in control of South America colonies.
In 1820, Portugal experienced the Constitutional Revolution, which was caused by the liberal constitutionalists. This revolution led to the Constituent Assembly’s meeting and deciding to create the first constitution of the Kingdom and to demand the return of King Dom João VI from Brazil. On 26 April 1821, the king left Brazil in the hands of his son Prince Pedro, and returned to Portugal. The Portuguese military officers that were based in Brazil at this time sided with the constitutionalist movement in their homeland. General Jorge Avilez, who led the Portuguese military, forced Dom Pedro to dismiss and banish the ministers of Kingdom and Finance. These men had both been loyal to Dom Pedro and the prince was left feeling powerless.In August 1822, Pedro went to São Paulo to ask for loyalty to the Brazilian cause. Upon his return to Rio de Janeiro in September, he received a letter from José Bonifácio letting him that the Cortes had ended all acts from the Bonifácio cabinet and had stripped him of all the power he had. That was the last straw for Pedro. He addressed his friends and Guard of Honour, telling them that any bonds that they had with Portugal were now broken. He told them to remove their blue and white armbands (symbolizing their ties to their Motherland), and said, “Hail to the independence, to freedom and to the separation of Brazil. For my blood, my honour, my God, I swear to give Brazil freedom. Independence or death!”meaning that he would do anything to give Brazil its independence and he managed to do that.Word of the independent Brazil spread quickly, and locals celebrated the stance taken by Dom Pedro. The official breaking of ties occurred on 22 September 1822, when Pedro wrote a letter to his father, João VI. On 12 October 1822, Prince Pedro was acclaimed Dom Pedro I, Constitutional Emperor and Perpetual Defender of Brazil.
Brazil became a republic based on the U.S governmental model.One third of the slave population in Brazil was enslaved.Most of the Latin American nations decided to end slavery but Brazil didn't end it in till 1888
In Brazil and in other Latin American nations,the liberation movement was influenced by a variety of social,economic and political factors.
Around the world, Napoleon had less of a direct impact. He did indirectly impact the Americas in important ways. When his armies conquered Spain and Portugal, they disrupted those countries’ ability to rule their colonies in Central and South America. This helped cause the wars of liberation in those areas in the 1800s. In addition, Napoleon sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States, thus making the US much larger and eventually much more powerful. The nationalism that Napoleon fostered also had its impact in other countries of the world, eventually leading many colonized countries to rebel against their colonial rulers.
Influence of Ideas on Revolutions
How "The People" are Involved
Rights/Responsibilities of citizens
Throughout history, only kings, priests, aristocrats and other elites participated in government affairs. The other citizens (merchants and artisans) did not really have any civic responsibilities other than paying taxes. They were not allowed to have government jobs. They were also not allowed to participate in government affairs. Their rights were limited.
The noncitizens were usually servants and slaves. They had no rights. They had to work for aristocrats and landlords. Generally, the slaves were regarded as property.
Over time, many people began to develop different ideas of society. But only a few thinkers were able to successfully inspire people. One such period of time when ideas caused shifting of political thought is the enlightenment. Enlightenments thinkers (philosophes) such as Voltaire (separation of the Church and state) , Montesquieu (three branches of government), Wollstonecraft (both men and women were required to create an ideal society), Locke (right to life, liberty, and property) and Rousseau (social contract) were some people who were successful in making changes to the society.
Enlightenment Influence as a Whole
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"Revolutions in Latin America (Overview)." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.
"independence of Brazil." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 25 Mar. 2015.