Latin American History
Simón José Antonio de la Santisima Trinidad Bolívar, or Simon Bolivar. Simon was born in Caracas, Venezuela on July 24, 1783. He passed away December 17, 1830. Simon was the greatest independence leader in South America. He accomplished the independence of Spain. Simon brought independence two nations of present of day. Such as, Ecuador Panama Columbia, Venezuela, Bolivia. Simon was inspired by many historical figures. One of his great inspirations was his tutor Simon Rodriguez who tutored and mentored Bolivar for many years, he was sent to exile for his radicle notions. Another influence was Napoleon Bonaparte who Simon at one time looked up to very dearly then he began to despise Napoleon. There were event that took place that made Simon fight for independence; the independence for Haiti in 1804 influenced Simon. As well as the United States influenced him very much. These historical figures and events led to the successes of Simon’s accomplishments and failures. Simon contributed greatly to what Latin America is today, he fought for independence although he did not achieve Gran Columbia. In the end he was greatly influenced by Simon Rodriguez and George Washington, also the Haitian and United States revolution influenced him, Bolivar
Initially, Simon Bolivar was greatly influenced by Simon Rodriguez. Simon Rodriguez began teaching and mentoring Bolivar when he was nine years old he stopped when Bolivar was fourteen years old. Rodriguez participated in pro-independent and revolutionary movements. When Simon Bolivar was nine his mother passed away his father passed away when he was two. He went into care of Simon Rodriguez. Bolivar was raised in wealthy households. Rodriguez was poor; Bolivar was bewildered when he came into Rodriguez’s small less wealthy home. Leading Bolivar to ask Rodriguez, “we are poor, we do not have enough money to live any other way” (Bloyd 17). Rodriguez would tell Bolivar that the reason they were poor and had little things was because the Spanish were refuses to change. For example, “Spain believes in keeping everything the way it is. They violently oppose change in any form. The inquisition keeps our religion pure; the court keeps our laws obeyed… As long as we are a Spanish colony, there will be no change, absolutely no change” (Boyd 17). This quote demonstrates how Rodriguez believed that Spain needed to be changed. He does not like the way Spain was doing things. Bolivar looked up to Rodriguez therefore when Rodriguez would say things like this it would influence Bolivar to believe the things he does. In the novel, Bolivar: Liberator of Continent Bolivar, by Bill Boyd he also shows that Rodriguez meant a great deal to Bolivar. On page 39 Bolivar states, “I swear before you and before God and native land that I shall never give rest to my arm nor to my soul until I have broken the shackles which chai nus to Spain.” This quote clearly demonstrates that Bolivar is determined for Spain’s independence and he does not want to let Rodriguez down, Rodriguez taught Bolivar many things that he knew politically. Rodriguez had a very close friendship therefore Rodriguez influenced Bolivar greatly.
Furthermore, Bolivar admired George Washington. George Washington had achieved independence for the United States around. Simon Rodriguez informed Bolivar on all the accomplishments of George Washington. All these accomplishments led Bolivar to look up to George Washington similarly to an idol. For example on page 17 Bolivar states, “Then that is what I shall do. I shall become a general and defeat the Spanish and be elected president, just like George Washington. He is now my idol, I want to be just like him,” (Bloyd 17). It is clear that Bolivar wishes to accomplish what George Washington fought and struggled for. Bolivar’s love for George Washington started at a very young age. This is a rare characteristic to have at such a young age; this showed his determination and desperate want to give Spain independence. Also there were quotes that demonstrated how much George Washington in reality influenced him “Were never beaten unless we think we are. And I don’t think we are. You forget, my dear friend, that even the great George Washington was beaten at the beginning of the North American Revolution, not once or twice, but many times. Yet he returned, as I shall return-victorious.” (Boyd, 76) George Washington always put a lot of effort and never wanted to stop trying when it came to be being defeated. His determination and influence by George Washington helped him throughout the rough battles. Therefore, George Washington and Simon Rodriguez influenced Bolivar in the decisions Bolivar made.
Moreover, certain historical events influenced Bolivar to reach independence in certain regions. The triumph of different countries had the greatest influence on him, because Bolivar saw others succeed this encouraged him to do the same. The Haitians independence in 1804 this encouraged Bolivar that he can also achieve the same. Bolivar spoke to the Haitian president to inform him of his gratitude on giving him courage he states, “you’ve given me the means to continue to fight for my own country, I shall never forget your generosity” (Boyd 59) Haiti also was generous enough to help with funds and food whenever Bolivar was in need of things. Another contributing revolution was the United States revolution Bolivar wanted Gran Colombia to be like the United States for example Bolivar states, “The President of the United States? One of the Founding Fathers of the Republic? Bolivar was stunned. And he’s riding his horse down the street like any other citizen? This truly is equality. That is hat the entire world should try to achieve!” Bolivar gets very emotional and excited to see that the United States has equality this event or experience that really influenced and encouraged Bolivar to continue fighting for independence.
Lastly, Bolivar succeeded in many aspects by fighting and achieving independence for Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Panama, but he also had failures and enemies, which contributed, to his downfall. Although his dream was to unite all of these countries to become one he could not succeed in this. a big factor was that all the countries had different beliefs and different cultures it would have been extremely difficult close to impossible to have these countries start using one culture and religion rather than have their own. In the novel Bolivar: liberator of a continent, on page 59 it states that Bolivar’s dream of making South America united was becoming a nightmare. General Cordoba beat Marshall but he failed to capture him. Thus demonstrating things were not going smoothly. Also General Santander angered Bolivar by not following orders that Bolivar gave him. Leading Santander to be dismissed. By this time other regional leaders were against gran Colombia such as Ecuador. He gained many enemies through this process. He was constantly threatened with civil war and his enemies attempted to assassinate him. For example in the on page 104 a congressman shouts that they want to hang Bolivar demonstrating that he had many enemies which at times made if very difficult to complete tasks and have everyone united.
In conclusion, Simon Bolivar played a huge rule in what Latin America is today without him Latin America would have been a disaster. His courage and determinations were influenced by George Washington and Simon Rodriguez. Simon would not have been able to accomplish much without the help of his great mentor Simon Rodriguez. The Haitian and United States revolution strongly gave him a nudge on following his dreams and continue to fight hard. His downfall unfortunately began when people were beginning to get more rebellious and difficult. Overall Simon Bolivar was a great general president and leader who fought hard for Gran Columbia although he did not achieve his ultimate dream he achieved many other victories.
Boyed, Bill. Bolivar: Liberator of Continent. New York: 1998. Print.