History of North America

Simon Bolivar

Simón Bolivar was a Venezuelan politician, military leader and revolutionary.

His performance was essential for the independence process of several South American countries:Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.

Bolívar's main objective was to create a great country and believed in Latin American emancipation.

Based on republican ideals, popular and participatory democracy, Bolívar was a great advocate of the abolition of slavery.

Therefore, he is considered one of the greatest heroes of Latin America and the greatest liberator of South America.


Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios Ponte-Andrade y Blanco was born on July 24, 1783 in Caracas, Venezuela. At the time, the territory was called the Viceroyalty of New Granada.

The son of aristocrats of Spanish origin, Bolívar had a good education from an early age. He was orphaned when he was 9 years old and from then on he was in the custody of his uncle Carlos Palacios.

He entered the military school and later went to study in Spain. In Madrid he met Maria Teresa del Toro y Alaysa, whom he married in 1801. However, when he returned to Venezuela in 1807, his wife contracted yellow fever and died shortly afterwards.

From there he began to act in the politics of his country, helping in its independence. Bolívar also visited Mexico, the United States and Cuba. In addition to Spain, in Europe, he also visited France and Italy.

He later went to England to participate in a diplomatic mission and ask for financial support, but he was unsuccessful.

When he returned, his focus was on assisting in the independence of South American countries that were under Spanish rule.

Spanish American Independence Process

In Venezuela, Bolívar was an officer in the revolutionary army and participated in several liberation battles against the Spaniards.

In the Battle of Boyacá, which took place in 1819, he freed Colombia from Spanish rule. And in the Battle of Carabobo (1821) Bolívar liberated Venezuela.

The following year, and with the assistance of Antonio José de Sucre (1795-1830), one of his army officers, he liberated Ecuador at the Battle of Pichincha.

After the independence victories of the countries of Spanish America, Bolívar became president of Gran Colombia that brought together the countries:Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador.

For him, the idea of ​​uniting South America into a great country was being shaped.

Simón Bolívar and San Martín

Monument of Simón Bolívar and San Martín in Guayaquil, Ecuador

While Bolívar liberated some countries from Spanish rule, the Argentine José de San Martín (1778-1850) fought against troops to free Argentina, Chile and Peru.

After meeting with Martin, the Argentine did not want to join forces with Bolívar. Thus, Martin decided to leave America leaving the responsibility of ending the countries' independence in the hands of Bolívar.

End of Independence

Finally, with Sucre's help, Bolívar freed the other countries from Spanish rule in 1824. Having as a model the United States, which managed to form a great nation, Bolívar still had the intention of creating a great Spanish America.

Thus, the revolutionary hoped that other countries would join Gran Colombia. However, they moved away from Bolívar's idea instead.

Consequently, several conflicts took place between these countries, and in time Gran Colombia ceased to exist. The tension increased even more, when in 1830 Bolívar resigned from office.

Also read:Independence of Spanish America.

Death of Bolivar

After his resignation, Bolívar was exiled from his country and was hated by his enemies. That same year, he went to live in Colombia and died in Santa Marta on December 17, 1830, a victim of tuberculosis.

Over time, his effort and determination was recognized. Today Bolívar is idolized in several countries and considered one of the greatest historical figures in South America.


Bolivarism designates the set of political and ideological doctrines that are based on the ideas of Simón Bolívar.

The Bolivarians are those who follow the ideals outlined by Simón Bolívar. Hugo Chávez, former president of Venezuela, declared himself to be a supporter of the revolutionary's ideas.

Bolivarism, among other things, proposes the union of Latin American countries. This aspect is based on the main documents signed by Bolívar:Letter from Jamaica, Discourse of Angostura and Manifesto of Cartagena.


Directed by Alberto Arvelo, the film “O Libertador” (The Liberator) was released in 2014. ) based on Bolívar's life and actions.

Bolivar phrases

  • Compatriots. Guns will give you independence, laws will give you freedom .”
  • I swear to God, I swear to my parents and I swear to my honor that I will not rest as long as I live until I have freed my homeland .”
  • All the peoples of the world who fought for freedom eventually exterminated their tyrants .”
  • Praise be to him who, running through the rubble of war, politics and public disgrace, preserves his honor intact .”
  • Nations march towards their greatness as their education advances .”

Vestibular Questions

1 . (FGV-2009) In the Jamaica Charter of 1815, [Simón Bolívar] wrote:"I desire, more than anyone else, to see the formation of the greatest nation in the world in America, except for its size and riches than for freedom and glory ".

(Flavio de Campos and Renan Garcia Miranda, "History Workshop - integrated history ")

The intention of an independent Hispanic America and forming a single country, among other reasons, did not prevail in reason:

a) an agreement between the French and the British, signed at the Congress of Vienna.
b) the Spanish interest in weakening the powerful Viceroyalty of New Granada.
c) the strong and decisive British, North American and local elites in America.
d) the deliberate action of Brazil, concerned with the formation of a powerful State in America.
e) tensions between the elites of Mexico and Peru, who were disputing hegemony over America.

Alternative c:of the strong and decisive British, North American interests and of America's own local elites.

2 . (Cesgranrio-2000) The dream of unity in Latin America is very old. Bolívar was the first to formulate the ideal of American integration. Several proposals emerged later until we reached Mercosur. Check the box that contains one of Bolívar's objectives.

a) Emancipate Latin America as a unitary trade association, which would later give rise to ALALC.
b) Develop industrialization on the continent under North American hegemony to face the strong British economy.
c) Develop continental solidarity around Canada's hegemony, establishing a direct exchange between Canada and all Latin American countries.
d) Establish a separatist policy respecting cultural and even linguistic differences between Latin American countries.
e) Create a Confederation of American States in the face of a possible European counter-offensive supported by the Holy Alliance.

Alternatva e:Create a Confederation of American States in the face of a possible European counteroffensive supported by the Holy Alliance.

3 . (Unesp-2013) Read:

It is a grandiose idea to pretend to form a single nation from the entire New World with a single bond that binds the parts together and with the whole. Since it has a single origin, a single language, the same customs and a single religion, it should, therefore, have a single government that confederates the different States that will be formed; but this is not possible, because remote climates, different situations, opposing interests and dissimilar characters divide America .

(Simón Bolívar. Letter from Jamaica [06.09.1815]. Simón Bolívar:Politics, 1983.)

The text was written during the independence struggles in Hispanic America. We can say that,

a) Contrary to what he says in the letter, Bolívar did not accept American diversity and, in his political and military action, he reacted to Brazil's autonomist initiative.
b) contrary to what he says in the letter, Bolívar fought the proposals for independence and unity in America and committed himself to maintaining its status as a Spanish colony.
c) as stated in the letter, Bolívar defended American unity and made an effort for Hispanic America to associate itself with Brazil in the fight against North American hegemony on the continent.
d) as stated in the letter, Bolívar accepted the geographic and political diversity of the continent, but tried to submit Brazil to the Spanish-American military force.
e) as stated in the letter, Bolívar declared several times his dream of American unity, but, in his political and military action, he recognized that internal differences were insurmountable.

Alternative e:as stated in the letter, Bolívar declared several times his dream of American unity, but, in his political and military action, he recognized that internal differences were insurmountable.

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