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Simon Bolivar Does Not Deserve the Title of Liberator of Latin America

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Draft One of Term Paper on: Simon Bolivar

Kevin Dorsey

IBH History of the Americas

Simon Bolivar does not deserve the title of "Liberator of Latin America."

Latin America as we know it today has undergone many changes throughout history. The beginning for this time of change was 1808. Spain, the country most widely responsible for the colonization of Latin America, was in trouble with France's master of conquest, Napoleon Bonaparte. Napolien overthrew the King of Spain and replaced him with his brother, Joseph Bonaparte. The repercusions of this evet rolled through Latin America and primed the atmosphere for revolution. The colonial people of Latin America had no loyalty to the new Jing Joseph. This lack of respect for the new power also contributed greatly to the Revolutionary spirit.

The invasion of Spain by Napolien represents the final straw on the colonial back. There were three other main problems with the Spanish empire that agreed with revolution. The first and most obvious problem was Spains separation from her colonies by great distances. The affect of the great distance was a disloyalty to the throne, Then second was colonial resistance to commercial restrictions placed on them by Spain, and lastly, the immidiate problems that faced the throne, or the French. All of these problems allowed the revolutionary spirit to grow in the colonies.

Simon Bolivar would be the man to try to unite and liberate much of Latin America, but with mild success. He was born on July 24th, 1783, into a rich creolle family in Caracass, Venezuela. His life was one of potential ease, but he found little. His father died when he was three years old. Then, six years later his mother died as well. Young Bolivar was left to his tutor, Simon Rodriguez . Rodriguez was a radical political thinker who believed

in much of what Rousseau had written

. He traveled to Spain to continue his education, and ended up marring. Shortly upon his return to Venezuela, his wife died, and Bolivar launched himself into a 'new' political and military life. He was an impulsive, passionate and restless character, with tremendous ambition and vision packed into a small body. He also is thought to have said "If it wasn't for my wife's death, I might have led a quiet and passive life."

Between 1810 and 1815 there were the first attempts at 'full' independence. This initial period is doomed by the inexperience and idealistic views of patriots feeling their way through a process that they did not understand. In Venezuela, the Republics are torn down by bloody counter-revolutions, led by non-creoles. In Mexico, Father Hidalgo and Morelos were crushed by their conservative countrymen.

The second phase, which was less political and more militarily based took place between 1815 and 1825, and ended with the triumph of the patriots. It was an an all-out militarization of the war; Simуn Bolнvar, for example, was able to incorporate popular elements into his armies, such as the llaneros (plainsmen), who had previously been formidable enemies of the patriot enterprise, and actually had forced his early attempts at independence into the ground. There change of loyalty to him indicated his own changing in value and understanding that he would need to please more than the creole class.

In Mexico, a different process took place, but it reflects the real politics that characterized this successful predominatly military phase: the Royalist commander Agustнn de Iturbide assimilated conservative and progressive elements into an independent monarchy with him at its head. He did not last long, but he lasted long enough to ensure the transition from colonial to national Mexico. The victory of the patriots was ambigious, however the social and political structures of power continued to be oppressive for the mass majority of the people in the

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