Simón Bolívar Biography

Simón José Antonio de la Santísma Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios (Caracas, Venezuela, July 24, 1783 – Santa Martha, Colombia, December 17, 1830).

Better known as the Liberator Simón Bolívar, he was a military leader, political leader and liberator, distinguished by having led the independence process of the Spanish colonies to the south of the American continent.

He is considered the father of the Fatherland of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, and the creator of Greater Colombia, the conflagration of United American nations in a great nation.

His thinking has inspired great popular movements both in America and on other continents, which is why he is listed as one of the most important leaders in history.

Early Life

Simón Bolívar was born on July 24, 1783, in Caracas, Venezuela, into a wealthy family of colonial society. He was the third son of Juan Vicente Bolívar and Ponte-Andrade and María de la Concepción Palacios y Blanco.

After losing his parents, he was placed in the custody of his uncle. He began his education at home, having as tutors Andrés Bello and Simón Rodríguez, who would initiate him in the theories of Juan Jacobo Rousseau.

At the age of sixteen, he was sent to Europe to continue his education. In 1801, at the age of 18, he married María Teresa Rodríguez del Toro. In 1803, while in Venezuela, Maria Teresa contracted yellow fever and died.

Oath on Mount Sacro

In 1804, Bolívar returned to Europe. He reunited with Simón Rodríguez, who introduced him to the reading of Jhon Locke, Voltaire, Montesquieu and Rousseau, among other important liberal thinkers of the eighteenth century.

In Paris, he met Alexander von Humboldt, who would share his opinion on the maturity achieved by the American colonies to be independent. Both his readings and conversations, as well as the coronation of Napoleon as emperor of France led him to conceive of the idea of liberating his homeland and creating a republic of freedom.

On August 15, 1805, he swore on the Sacred Mount of Rome that he would not give “rest to his soul, nor rest to his arm until he broke the chains” that oppressed his land.

First step to Independence

In 1807, he returned to Venezuela. He participated in several political conspiracies against Spanish power. After the expulsion by the patriots of Vicente Emparan, Captain General of the Spanish crown, on April 19, 1810. Bolivar was part of a diplomatic delegation that traveled to London to seek Support from Britain, although they did not.

On July 5, 1811, he gave his first political address to the National Congress, urging his contemporaries to break free. After an arduous debate, the Declaration of Independence of Venezuela was signed.

Bolívar enlisted in the army of the novel Republic, under Francisco de Miranda, being prominent in Puerto Cabello. After Miranda signed an armistice with Spain in 1812, Bolivar and his other companions labeled him a traitor, apprehending him and delivering him to the Spaniards.

The First Republic had been lost. Bolívar moved to New Granada, where he wrote his famous Cartagena Manifesto, in which he analyses the causes of the loss of the republic, attributing it to the lack of a strong government. It also raises the need for America’s union.

War of Independence

He participated with the patriotic forces of New Granada in the defense of their territory. In 1813, he began the War of Independence, with his Admirable Campaign, in which he returned to Venezuela, defeating the royalists in his wake.

On August 6, 1813, he triumphantly entered Caracas, where he received the title of Libertador and assumed the position of Captain General. Bolívar devoted himself to organizing the state. However, the emergence of José Tomás Boves – who was eventually defeated – weakened the Liberating Army, returned most of the territory to the royalists and ended with the Second Republic.

Bolivar went into exile in Jamaica, where he wrote his illustrious Charter of Jamaica, and tried to win in vain the support of Britain and the United States.

In 1815, he went to Haiti. With the backing of this nation, he returned to Venezuela with a crew of three thousand men under General Petion. After several victories, in 1817, he settled in the city of Angostura, where he planned his attack on the viceroyalty of New Granada, considered one of the boldest in military history.

Along with his troops, he crossed the Venezuelan plains and the Andean mountain range. On 7 August 1819 he won boyacá, liberating New Granada. In 1819, I created The Great Colombia, made up of New Granada, Venezuela and Ecuador.

On June 24, 1821, at the Battle of Carabobo, he sealed Venezuela’s independence. He was appointed president in the Congress of Cúcuta. Together with Antonio José de Sucre, on May 24, 1822, they won at the Battle of Pichincha, liberating Ecuador. In Peru, he faced the Spanish troops who were still in possession of the highlands, after San Martín pushed them back. Bolívar entered Lima in 1823.

On December 9, 1824, Sucre won at the Battle of Ayacucho. In 1825, the Liberation Army achieved the liberation of the last territories of Upper Peru, creating Bolivia. The territories were liberated and united under one nation.

Final years

However, separatist movements began to forge. The Civil War broke out and despite its efforts, in 1829, Venezuela broke away from Colombia. Banished, discredited, ruined and sick, Bolívar left Bogota on 8 May 1830, en route to Santa Marta, in order to board a ship that would take him to Europe.

On December 1, he arrived in Santa Marta in a serious state of health. On December 10, he delivered his Last Proclamation. Finally, on December 17, 1830, at the age of 47, Simón Bolívar died.

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Simón Bolívar Biography
Source: Education  
July 27, 2019

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