December 17, 1819 – May 4, 1830
|Vice President||Francisco de Paula Santander|
|Succeeded by||Domingo Caycedo|
August 6, 1813 – July 7, 1814
|Preceded by||Cristóbal Mendoza|
February 15, 1819 – December 17, 1819
|Succeeded by||José Antonio Páez|
August 12, 1825 – December 29, 1825
|Succeeded by||Antonio José de Sucre|
February 17, 1824 – January 28, 1827
|Preceded by||José Bernardo de Tagle, Marquis of Torre-Tagle|
|Succeeded by||Andrés de Santa Cruz|
|Born|| July 24, 1783|
|Died|| December 17, 1830 (aged 47)|
Santa Marta, Colombia
|Spouse||María Teresa Rodríguez del Toro y Alaysa|
|Signature||Simón Bolívar's signature|
Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios Ponte Blanco, more commonly known as Simón Bolívar (Caracas, July 24, 1783 – December 17, 1830 in Santa Marta) was one of the most important leaders of Spanish America's successful struggle for independence.
Following the triumph over the Spanish Monarchy, Bolívar participated in the foundation of Gran Colombia, a nation formed from the liberated Spanish colonies. He was President of Gran Colombia from 1821 to 1830.
Simón Bolívar was born in Caracas, Captaincy General of Venezuela (now the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela). The Bolívar aristocratic bloodline derives from a small village in the Basque Country (Spain), called La Puebla de Bolívar, which is the origin of the surname. His father descended remotely from King Fernando III of Castile and Count Amedeo IV of Savoy, and came from the male line of the de Ardanza family. The Bolívars settled in Venezuela in the sixteenth century.
His distant ancestor was Simón de Bolívar (or Simon de Bolibar, the spelling was not settled until the nineteenth century), who had lived in Santo Domingo from 1550 to 1570 and worked for its governor. When the governor of Santo Domingo was reassigned to Venezuela in 1589, Bolívar went along with him. As an early settler in Caracas Province, he achieved a prominent position in the local society, and he and his descendants acquired estates, encomiendas and positions in the Caracas cabildo. The position of the family is illustrated by the fact that when the Caracas Cathedral was built in 1594, the Bolívar family had one of the first dedicated side chapels. The majority of the wealth of his descendants came from these estates, the most important of which was a sugar plantation in San Mateo, which came with an encomienda that provided the labor needed to run the estate. In later centuries, slave and free black labor would have replaced most of the encomienda labor. A portion of their wealth also came from the silver, gold and, more importantly, copper mines in Venezuela. In 1632, small gold deposits were first mined in Venezuela, leading to further discoveries of much more extensive copper deposits. From his mother's family the Palacioses, Simón Bolívar inherited the copper mines at Cocorote. Slaves provided the majority of the labor in these mines. Towards the end of the seventeenth century copper exploitation became so prominent in Venezuela that it became known as Cobre Caracas ("Caracas copper"). Many of the mines became the property of the Bolívar family. Bolívar's grandfather, Juan de Bolívar y Martínez de Villegas, paid 22,000 ducats to the monastery at Santa Maria de Montserrat in 1728 for a title of nobility that had been granted by the king for its maintenance. The Crown never issued the patent of nobility, and so the purchase became the subject of a lawsuits that were still going in Simón Bolívar's lifetime, when independence made the issue moot. (If successful, Bolívar's older brother, Juan Vicente, would have become the Marqués de San Luis and Vizconde de Cocorote.) Simón Bolívar used his family's immense wealth to finance his revolutionary efforts.
Following the early deaths of his father Juan Vicente Bolívar y Ponte (died 1786), and his mother María de la Concepción Palacios y Blanco (died 1792), he went to Spain in 1799 at age sixteen to complete his education. There he married María Teresa Rodríguez del Toro y Alaysa, related to the family of the Marqués del Toro of Caracas, in 1802, but, eight months after moving to Venezuela with her new husband, she succumbed to yellow fever. Bolívar returned to Europe in 1804, where he lived in Napoleonic France for a while and undertook the Grand Tour.
El Libertador: The Liberator
Bolívar returned to Venezuela in 1807, and, when Napoleon made Joseph Bonaparte King of Spain and its colonies in 1808, he participated in the resistance juntas in South America. The Caracas Junta was established on April 19, 1810, and it chose Bolívar to be part of a diplomatic mission sent to Britain. A congress of Venezuelan provinces declared independence on July 5, 1811, establishing the First Republic.
Bolívar returned to Venezuela in 1811. By March 1812 royalist forces were making advances in republican territory, when an earthquake destroyed Caracas. In July 1812, the head of the republic, Francisco de Miranda, surrendered to the Spanish, and Bolívar had to flee to Cartagena de Indias. It was during this period that Bolívar wrote his Manifiesto de Cartagena.
In 1813, after acquiring a military command in Tunja, New Granada (today Colombia), under the direction of the Congress of United Provinces of New Granada, which had formed out of the juntas established in 1810. From New Granada Bolívar began an invasion of Venezuela on May 14. This was the beginning of the famous Admirable Campaign. He entered Mérida on May 23, where he was proclaimed as El Libertador, following the occupation of Trujillo on June 9. Six days later, on June 15, he dictated his famous Decree of War to the Death. Caracas was retaken on August 6, 1813, and Bolívar was ratified as "El Libertador", thus proclaiming the Venezuelan Second Republic. Due to the rebellion of José Tomás Boves in 1814 and the fall of the republic, he returned to New Granada, where he then commanded a force for the United Provinces and entered Bogotá in 1814, recapturing the city from the dissenting republican forces of Cundinamarca. He intended to march into Cartagena and enlist the aid of local forces in order to capture Royalist Santa Marta. However, after a number of political and military disputes with the government of Cartagena, Bolívar fled, in 1815, to Haiti, where he befriended Alexandre Pétion, the leader of the newly independent country. Bolívar (granted sanctuary in Haiti) petitioned Pétion for aid.
In 1817, with Haitian soldiers and vital material support (on the condition that he abolish slavery), Bolívar landed in Venezuela and captured Angostura (now Ciudad Bolívar). However, Venezuela remained mostly a territory of Spain, and Bolivar decided to fight first for the independence of New Granada (which was a vice royalty) in order to consolidate after the independence of other less politically important territories for the Spanish crown, like Venezuela (which was a captaincy).
The campaign for the independence of New Granada was consolidated with the victory at the Battle of Boyacá in 1819, and with the new consolidated power in New Granada, Bolivar launched definitive independence campaigns in Venezuela and Ecuador, sealed with the victories at the Battle of Carabobo in 1821 and the Battle of Pichincha in 1822. In September 7, 1821 the Gran Colombia (a federation covering much of modern Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador) was created, with Bolívar as president and Francisco de Paula Santander as vice president.
After a meeting in Guayaquil, on July 26 and July 27, 1822, with Argentine General José de San Martín, who had received the title of Protector of Peruvian Freedom, in August 1821, after having partially liberated Peru from the Spanish, Bolívar took over the task of fully liberating Peru. The Peruvian congress named him dictator of Peru, on February 10, 1824, which allowed Bolívar to completely reorganize the political and military administration. Bolívar, assisted by Antonio José de Sucre, decisively defeated the Spanish cavalry, on August 6, 1824, at the Battle of Junín. Sucre destroyed the still numerically superior remnants of the Spanish forces at Ayacucho on December 9.
On August 6, 1825, at the Congress of Upper Peru, the Republic of Bolivia was created. Bolívar is thus one of the few men to have a country named after him. The constitution reflected the influence of the French and Scottish Enlightenment on Bolívar's political thought, as well as that of classical Greek and Roman authors.
Bolívar had great difficulties maintaining control of the vast Gran Colombia. During 1826, internal divisions had sparked dissent throughout the nation and regional uprisings erupted in Venezuela, thus the new South American revealed its fragility and appeared to be on the verge of collapse. To preserve the union, an amnesty was declared and an arrangement was reached with the Venezuelan rebels, but political dissent in neighboring New Granada grew as a consequence of this. In an attempt to keep the nation together as a single entity, Bolívar called for a constitutional convention at Ocaña during April 1828.
He had seen his dream of eventually engendering an American Revolution-style federation between all the newly independent republics, with a government ideally set-up solely to recognize and uphold individual rights, succumb to the pressures of particular interests throughout the region, which rejected that model and allegedly had little or no allegiance to liberal principles. For this reason, and to prevent a break-up, Bolívar wanted to implement in Gran Colombia a more centralist model of government, including some or all of the elements of the Bolivian constitution he had written, which included a lifetime presidency with the ability to select a successor (though this presidency was theoretically held in check by an intricate system of balances).
This move was considered controversial in New Granada and was one of the reasons why the deliberations in favor of such a constitution met with strong opposition at the Convention of Ocaña, which met from April 9 to June 10, 1828. The convention almost ended up drafting a document which would have implemented a radically federalist form of government, which would have greatly reduced the powers of the central administration. Unhappy with what would be the ensuing result, pro-Bolívar delegates withdrew from the convention, leaving it moribund. After the failure of this congress to write a new constitution, Bolívar proclaimed himself dictator on August 27, 1828 through the Organic Decree of Dictatorship. He considered this as a temporary measure, as a means to reestablish his authority and save the republic, though it increased dissatisfaction and anger among his political opponents. An assassination attempt on September 25, 1828 failed, in part thanks to the help of his lover, Manuela Sáenz, according to popular belief. Although Bolívar emerged physically intact from the event, this nevertheless greatly affected him. Dissent continued, and uprisings occurred in New Granada, Venezuela and Ecuador during the next two years.
Bolívar finally resigned his presidency on April 27, 1830, intending to leave the country for exile in Europe, possibly in France. He had already sent several crates (containing his belongings and writings, which he had selected) ahead of him to Europe.
He died before setting sail, after a painful battle with tuberculosis on December 17, 1830, in the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino in Santa Marta, Gran Colombia (now Colombia), at the age of 47. His last words are said to be, "How do I get out of this labryinth?" On his deathbed, Bolívar asked his aide-de-camp, General Daniel F. O'Leary to burn the remaining, extensive archive of his writings, letters, and speeches. O'Leary disobeyed the order and his writings survived, providing historians with a vast wealth of information about Bolívar's liberal philosophy and thought, as well as details of his personal life, such as his longstanding love affair with Manuela Sáenz, who augmented this collection when she turned over her letters from Bolívar to O'Leary shortly before her own death in 1856.
His remains were buried in the cathedral of Santa Marta. At the request of President José Antonio Páez they were moved from Santa Marta to Caracas in 1842, where a monument was set up for their interment in the Panteón Nacional. The 'Quinta' near Santa Marta has been preserved as a museum with numerous references to his life.
Simón Bolívar has no direct descendants. His closest living relatives descend from his sisters and brother. His sister Juana Bolívar y Palacios married their maternal uncle Dionisio Palacios y Blanco and had two children: Guillermo and Benigna.
Guillermo Palacios died fighting alongside his uncle in the battle of La Hogaza on December 2, 1817. Benigna had two marriages, the first one to Pedro Breceño Méndez and the second to Pedro Amestoy. Their great-grandchildren, Pedro (95), and Eduardo Mendoza Goiticoa (90) live in Caracas, as of 2000.
His eldest sister, María Antonia married Pablo Clemente Francia and had four children: Josefa, Anacleto, Valentina and Pablo. María Antonia became Bolívar's agent to deal with his properties while he served as president of Gran Colombia and she was an executor of his will. She retired to Bolívar's estate in Macarao, which she inherited from him.
His older brother, Juan Vicente, who died in 1811 on a diplomatic mission to the United States, had three illegitimate children whom he recognized: Juan, Fernando Simón and Felicia Bolívar Tinoco. Simón Bolívar saw to their and their mother's well-being after his brother's death. Bolívar was especially close to Fernando and in 1822 sent him to study in the United States, where he attended the University of Virginia. In his long life, he had minor participation in some of the major political events of Venezuelan history and also traveled and lived extensively throughout Europe. He had three children, Benjamín Bolívar Gauthier, Santiago Hernández Bolívar and Claudio Bolívar Taraja. Fernando died in 1898 at the age of 88.
Simón Bolívar's political legacy has been massive and he is a very important figure in South American political history. Claims to the mantle of Simón Bolívar began in the 1840s and have continued throughout modern times. The 'Bolivarianism' of the last two decades, is simply one of the latest manifestations of this phenomenon.
Bolívar described himself in his many letters as a "liberal". He was an admirer of the American Revolution and a great critic of the French Revolution, but he differed in political philosophy from the leaders of the Revolution in the United States. On the one hand he believed in the need for a more authoritarian and centralized government; on the other he was staunchly anti-slavery, unlike his North American counterparts, despite coming from an area of Spanish America that relied heavily on slave labour. Among the books he traveled with when he wrote the Bolivian Constitution one is Montesquieu's Spirit of the Laws. His Bolivian Constitution placed him within the camp of what would become Latin American conservatism in the later nineteenth century. The Bolivian Constitution had a lifelong presidency and a hereditary senate, essentially recreating the British unwritten constitution, as it existed at the time, without formally establishing a monarchy. It was his attempts to implement a similar constitution in Gran Colombia that led to his downfall and rejection by 1830.
It took more than a decade to rehabilitate his image in South America. By the 1840s the memory of Bolívar proved useful for the construction of a sense of nationhood. In Venezuela, in particular, the state sponsored a type of a 'cult' to Bolívar, first under the President José Antonio Páez and most dramatically under President Antonio Guzmán Blanco. Because the image of Bolívar became central to the national identities of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, his mantle is claimed by nearly all politicians from all parts of the political spectrum.
In addition to the statues shown elsewhere in this article, there is an equestrian statue commemorating Bolívar's life and works in Washington, D.C., a statue at the UN Plaza in San Francisco, a statue in Rivadavia Park, Buenos Aires, Argentina, a boulevard in New Delhi, India, a statue in the Basque Country, Spain, a statue on the Reforma Avenue in Mexico City, a statue in Kingston, Jamaica, and a statue in Cairo, Egypt, in Latin America Square. There is a five meter tall equestrian statue in San Salvador, El Salvador, in a square also called "Plaza Bolívar". Another equestrian statue stands between the Alexandre III bridge and the Petit Palais in Paris, France, being a joint gift to the City of Paris from the "five Bolivarian republics" of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. Another equestrian statue stands in the Piaza le Simone Bolivar in front of the British School, in Rome, where it faces an equestrian statue of Jose de San Martin. A statue in Tegucigalpa,Honduras. A statue in San Juan de Puerto Rico, a statue signifying the friendship between Canada and South America in Ottawa (which caused some controversy at the time of its erection), and also a bust in Sydney, Australia, and an equestrian statue in Quebec City, in the Parc de l'Amérique Latine. A statue in Bolivar, Missouri, which was presented by President Rómulo Gallegos of Venezuela and dedicated by U.S. President Harry S. Truman. A central avenue in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, bears his name. Bolivar, West Virginia, bears his name and displays his bust, and Frankfurt, Germany, also has a bust of the general. In Santiago (Chile) a monument celebrating Latin American Freedom, was erected in 1836 at the main square (Plaza de Armas),one of the panels was dedicated to Simón Bolívar. Around 1836-40 a full size equestrian statue was erected in his honour located at a square at the beginning of the avenue that bear his name.
Furthermore, every city and town in Venezuela and Colombia (in this one each capital city but Pasto) has a main square known as Plaza Bolívar, that usually has a bust or a statue of Bolívar, the most famous of these Plaza Bolívar are the ones in Bogotá and Caracas. The central avenue of Caracas is called Avenida Bolívar, and at its end there is a twin tower complex named Centro Simón Bolívar built during the 1950s that holds several governmental offices.
Places named in honor of Bolívar
- In Argentina:
- In Colombia:
- In Ecuador:
- In El Salvador:
- Bolívar (town), in La Union province
- In Peru:
- In the United States:
- In Venezuela:
- Various streets in Milwaukee, New Orleans, Mexico City, Mexico, Tehran, Ankara, Turkey, Cairo, Paris and Guatemala City are named after Simón Bolívar
- A suburb of Adelaide, South Australia is named in honor of him
- A park and a walkway in Budapest, Hungary are named after him
■ A street in New Delhi, India is named after Simon Bolivar
- The Simón Bolívar United World College of Agriculture in Venezuela, a school in Venezuela that offers a diploma in agriculture, and that is part of the United World College Movement.
- Venezuelan bolívar, the currency of Venezuela
- The Puerto Bolívar Airport, a private airport in the Guajira Department of Colombia
- The Bolívar cigar brand from Cuba
- Simon Bolívar Zoo, in San José, Costa Rica
- El Club Bolívar, a Bolivian football team who play at the Estadio Libertador Simón Bolívar
- The Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra (Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar)'
- USS Simon Bolivar (SSBN-641)
- Simón Bolívar University in Caracas, Venezuela
- Bolivar House, Center of Latin American Studies, Stanford University
- Simon Bolivar - Cluster 2, Rex Nettleford Hall of Residence, The University of the West Indies Mona
- Simón Bolívar - An artificial satellite launched in 2008
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25px Learning resources from Wikiversity
- Military career of Simón Bolívar
- The Bolivian boliviano, Bolivian peso and the Venezuelan bolívar are currencies named after him
- Nevado, Bolivar's loyal mucuchies dog
- Gabriel García Márquez's novel The General in his Labyrinth (1989), a fictionalized account of Bolívar's last days
- Brigadier General Antonio Valero de Bernabé
- Simón Bolívar University
- Manuela Sáenz, Bolívar's lover 1822-1830
- ΦΙΑ – A U.S. university fraternity that takes Simón Bolívar as one of its "five pillars"
- Bolivarian Games
- ↑ Museo Simon Bolibar, Cenarruza-Puebla de Bolívar, Spain.
- ↑ ""Simón Bolívar" at GeneAll". http://www.geneall.net/H/per_page.php?id=276333.
- ↑ Masur, Simon Bolivar (1969), 21-22.
- ↑ Simón Bolívar entry on Find a Grave.com.
- ↑ De-Sola Ricardo, Irma, "Bolívar Palacios, Juana" in Diccionario de Historia de Venezuela, Vol. 1. Caracas: Fundación Polar, 1999. ISBN 980-6397-37-1 also reproduced in Simón Bolívar.org, Biografías Familiares de Simón Bolíbar at Simón Bolívar, el hombre.
- ↑ De-Sola Ricardo, Irma, "Bolívar Palacios, María Antonia" in Diccionario de Historia de Venezuela, Vol. 1. reproduced in Simón Bolívar.org, Biografías Familiares de Simón Bolíbar.
- ↑ Fuentes Carvallo, Rafael, "Bolívar, Fernando Simón" in Diccionario de Historia de Venezuela, Vol. 1. reproduced in Simón Bolívar.org, Biografías Familiares de Simón Bolíbar.
- ↑ Lynch, John, Simón Bolívar: A Life, 33. Yale University Press, 2006
- ↑ Lynch, Bolívar: A Life, 299-304. For a fuller discussion of the evolution of the cult of Bolívar, see Carrera Damas, El culto a Bolívar.
- ↑ "Mount Bolivar". SummitPost.org. http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock/153954/mount-bolivar.html. Retrieved 2008-06-29.
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- QUINTERO, INÉS. 1999: "Del Bolívar para todos al Bolívar para Chávez." El Nacional, December 28, 1999 Caracas – Venezuela.
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- SALCEDO BASTARDO, JOSÉ LUIS. 1977: “Un hombre diáfano Bolívar”. Cultural Venezolana, S. A. Caracas – Venezuela.
- SALCEDO BASTARDO, JOSÉ LUIS. 1979: “Derrotado invencible. La idea continental factor determinante de todos sus proyectos”. En: “Bolívar. Hombre del presente, Nuncio del Porvenir”. Auge, S. A. Editores. Lima – Perú.
- SÁNCHEZ, LUIS ALBERTO. 1979: “Dictador a pesar suyo. La voluntad popular, ley suprema”. En: “Bolívar. Hombre del presente, nuncio del porvenir”. Auge, S. A. Editores. Lima – Perú.
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- VELÁSQUEZ, RAMÓN JOSÉ. 1988: “Los pasos de los héroes”. Edición Especial Homenaje del IPASME al Author. Caracas - Venezuela. 393p. ISNB980-6122-01-1
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- The Life of Simón Bolívar
- The Louverture Project: Simón Bolívar - Information about the support Bolívar received from Haiti.
- About the surname Bolíbar/Bolívar, in Spanish
- Paternal ancestors of the Liberator, in Spanish
- Coats of arms of the Bolíbars, in Spanish
- Maternal ancestors of the Liberator (Palacios family), in Spanish
|President of Gran Colombia|
| Succeeded by|
José Bernardo de Tagle
|President of Peru|
February 1824 – January 1826
| Succeeded by|
Andres de Santa Cruz
|President of Bolivia|
| Succeeded by|
Antonio José de Sucre
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