Simon Bolivar

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Simon Bolivar was the reason independence was achieved in the colonies of Northern South America; namely Venezuela. He was unselfishly dedicated to liberating the colony, and was not discouraged when a battle was lost or when Spain regained control of his Republics. As each of the three Venezuelan Republics were created and quickly destroyed, Bolivar never lost sight of his ultimate goal of independence. His hopes of combining all of South America into one independent nation always remained intact.

Along with other Spanish colonies in South America, Venezuela had a vast mixture of races that was partnered with a strict caste system. Oppression between ethnic origins and classes was great, and caused a large amount of conflict. Spaniards were considered superior to those born in the colonies. Because of this, the king of Spain would not allow the building of a University in Venezuela because he didn’t feel that the colonists needed an education. Trade was also restricted, which made it difficult for the merchant class to make money through importing and exporting goods. Simon Bolivar lived in this colony, experienced these events, and sought to fix them. He was born in Venezuela in 1783 of noble blood, and went to school in Europe where he directly experienced the effects of the French Revolution. On his way back home after he finished studying in 1809, Bolivar traveled through the United States and saw the positive effects of democracy on a newly independent country. This experience would later change the course of history.

After Bolivar came back to Venezuela, he became a member of a secret group of patriots who wanted their colony to become a free nation. At the time, 700,000 to 800,000 Venezuelans were unconcerned with the goal of independence. The cruelty towards people of non-European races, along the severe caste system, angered Bolivar, and he felt that each and every citizen should be considered equal. Spain’s restrictive economic plans put strain...
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