BECK index

South American Revolutions 1817-1830

by Sanderson Beck

Brazil’s Revolution 1817-22
Brazil’s Independence 1823-30
Argentine Revolution and Paraguay 1817-30
Chilean Revolution 1817-30
Peru’s Revolution 1819-22
Bolívar and Venezuela 1817-23
Bolívar and Colombia 1817-25
Bolívar in Peru and Bolivia 1823-25
Bolívar and Northern Conflicts 1826-30

Brazil’s Revolution 1817-22

Brazil under Portugal 1744-88
Brazil’s Rise to Power 1788-1817

      The United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves had been proclaimed in 1815, and after the death of Queen Maria in March 1816 Regent João became King João VI. In January 1817 his son Pedro was named Prince Royal, and Portuguese troops led by General Carlos Frederico Lecor occupied Montevideo. João, Pedro, and the Portuguese royal family had been living in Rio de Janeiro since 1808.
      On 6 March 1817 in Pernambuco a revolt broke out that was called the “priests’ revolution” because they took a leading role along with the military, landowners, judges, artisans, and merchants. The revolt began in Recife and spread to the backlands of Alagoas, Paraiba, and Rio Grande do Norte in northeast Brazil. The rebels captured Governor Caetano Pinto and sent him to Rio de Janeiro where he was arrested for having capitulated to the rebels. They declared Pernambuco a republic and on 9 March set up a provisional government in Recife of five men representing the military, the judiciary, agriculture, religion, and commerce. Many of the revolutionary leaders had studied in the seminary of Bishop Azeredo Coutinho.
      King João VI sent to Lisbon for Peninsular volunteers, and regular soldiers were recalled from Minas Gerais and São Paulo. He ordered the Bank of Brazil to lend his government one million cruzados (£60,000). On 16 April Admiral Rodrigo Lobo demanded that the junta in Recife surrender or be shot. Militia-Captain Silva Pedroso for the revolution had deserters found in the jails shot in public executions. Many people fled the city while the hungry poor looted shops. On 11 May Portuguese merchants joined together and offered the junta 500,000 francs to depart. The cotton factor José Domingos Martins met with the loyalist militia on the 17th and was captured. Indians who had been colonized arrived on 22 May and helped pacify this rebellion. Most of the Indians in the coastal and Amazon regions spoke the Tupi lingua geral, but the literate Portuguese speakers did not know this language. On 26 May General Gomes Freire de Andrade was convicted of lese-majesty and was hanged with eleven others without any appeal to the King. The new governor Luiz do Rego arrived in Recife on 29 June.
      On 3 March 1818 João VI banned all Masonic societies in both Brazil and Portugal, and in April magistrates and merchants in the city of Porto began the secret Sanhedrin to regenerate Portugal. João put a tax on the importation of slaves and decreed that half the revenue must be spent on European colonization. In 1818 Brazil had 1,040,000 Europeans, 1,930,000 slaves, 585,000 freedmen, and 250,000 Indians for a total of 3,805,000 people living mostly in the northern provinces of Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, Pernambuco, and Paraiba. Brazil’s first pig-iron mill began operating in Ipanema. Portuguese ships going to Rio de Janeiro decreased from 810 in 1810 to 57 in 1820. In 1818 Swiss and Germans began receiving land grants in Brazil. Rio became the largest city with 113,000 residents by 1819.
      After the French left in 1814, Portugal was governed by a regency council headed by the British Field Marshal William Carr Beresford until 1820 when a revolution replaced the regency with the Cortes that had not met for a century. Portugal had 100 deputies to 69 for Brazil. They drew up a constitution but retained the monarchy and demanded that the King return to Portugal. Beresford came to Rio in May and tried to persuade João VI to go back to Portugal. They set up juntas in the captaincies of Brazil which were to be called provinces. João and his son Pedro refused to leave; but the British minister to Rio, Edward Thornton, persuaded João to send Beresford to Lisbon, and he left on 13 August. The revolution in Portugal began on the 24th at Oporto and spread. When Beresford arrived in Portugal on 10 October, the revolutionary junta refused to let him land. He and other British officers were expelled from the Portuguese army, and the junta planned elections to a Cortes in December. João learned of the revolution on 17 October.
      Portuguese troops rebelled in Belém on the first day of 1821 and set up a liberal junta for Para which was joined by Maranhao on 3 April and Piaui on 24 May. On 10 February liberal troops in Salvador began a conspiracy that removed the Governor of Bahia, the Conde de Palma, and established a provisional junta favoring a liberal constitution. Radical members of the Masonic lodges advocated independence. Antonio Carlos de Andrade had participated in the Pernambucan revolt of 1817 and was imprisoned in Bahia where he taught fellow inmates law and politics until the uprising freed him in February 1821. He went back to São Paulo and helped his brothers establish a Paulist junta.
      A majority of the Cortes met at Lisbon in January 1821. With only 46 of the 72 Brazilian deputies present and all the other 109 seats filled they voted to reduce Brazil once more to a colony. They abolished all crown agencies and courts of law created in Brazil after 1807, and its provinces were subordinated to Lisbon. They cancelled João VI’s reforms and ordered his son Dom Pedro to return to Portugal. On 24-26 February Portuguese troops gathered in Rio de Janeiro and forced a reorganization of the ministry. João published a decree to convoke a Cortes in Rio, and he promised to accept a constitution to be drafted by the Cortes. João finally agreed to return to Portugal, and on 7 March his royal decree appointed Prince Pedro regent for the provisional government of Brazil with instructions to elect Brazilian deputies to the Portuguese Cortes. The new government ended the prior censorship of manuscripts before printing. The Brazilians elected many radicals who had been born in Brazil and favored independence. On 21 April the first 160 representatives elected by the parishes of Rio de Janeiro met in the new Exchange. The seven deputies from Pernambuco were the first to arrive in Lisbon on 29 August, but most of the Brazilian deputies had not arrived until the spring of 1822. Cipriano Barata of Bahia, Muniz Tavares of Pernambuco, and Antonio Carlos Ribeiro de Andrada of São Paulo had participated in the 1817 revolution.
      On 22 April 1821 João VI confirmed his son Dom Pedro as regent, and four days later he sailed for Lisbon with 4,000 Portuguese. Pedro lived with his mistress Domitila de Castro who bore him five children.
      The Banda Oriental was a border region between the Brazil and the Rio de la Plata which it had joined as the Oriental Province in 1813. Brazilians invaded in August 1816 and took over Montevideo on 20 January 1817. Two days later at Tacuarembó they defeated those fighting for independence, and the Portuguese annexed the territory. By June 1821 all of the Banda Oriental (now Uruguay) had been incorporated into Brazil as the Cisplatine province, and on 18 July an assembly of eastern notables acclaimed this.
      The Cortes brought back to Lisbon important government offices, and they sent more troops to Rio de Janeiro and Pernambuco. General Jorge de Avilez took power in June in Rio de Janeiro. Cortes deputies were chosen by July, and the remaining royal governors shared power or were replaced by juntas in most of Brazil’s provinces. Representatives of four Uruguayan cities met in Montevideo with Portuguese General Carlos Federico Lecor and voted to be annexed by the kingdom of Brazil; but the Portuguese Cortes annulled this, and in September the Portuguese loyalists forced Lecor and his supporters to flee to the town Canelones. For more than a year 8,000 troops on both sides of independence struggled in Montevideo.
      On 28 August Prince Regent Pedro decreed freedom of the press based on the constitution. On 1 September the Cortes in Portugal annulled the appointment of Dom Pedro as regent, and on the 30th they subordinated the provincial governments in Brazil to Portugal by ordering the provinces to replace their governors with elected juntas under the Cortes. On 18 October they required the Prince Regent to return to Lisbon. In November the Portuguese garrison at Recife was forced to embark, and three months later an expedition to relieve General Avilez was prevented from landing troops in Pernambuco.
      On 9 December Dom Pedro received the decree ordering him to leave Brazil, and two days later his agreement was published. Brazilian radicals, liberals, and conservatives joined together in support of Pedro, and by the end of the year governing juntas were installed in three-quarters of the provinces. In Rio de Janeiro the newspaper A Malagueta urged the Prince to defy the Cortes and stay in Brazil, and on 1 January 1822 he received a petition from São Paulo written by José Bonifacio and signed by the entire provincial junta arguing that the Portuguese Cortes had violated the constitution and stating that they would sacrifice their possessions and shed their blood to support him staying in Brazil. Pedro published this in Rio’s Gazeta on 8 January, and the Rio city council’s president José Clemente Pereira presented their petition with 8,000 signatures on 9 January. He asserted that the Prince must remain in Brazil to prevent its separation from Portugal.
      On 9 January 1822 Dom Pedro made his famous fico declaration that he was staying in Brazil. Two days later the higher courts and administration offices in Rio were abolished. Pedro went to the theater, and that night word spread that Portuguese troops were rampaging in the streets. Pedro spoke calmly from his royal box and ordered that peace be restored. Early the next morning General Jorge de Avilez commanded the mutineers into the Morro do Castelo. General Curado dispatched Brazilian forces, and they surrounded the Portuguese garrison with 8,000 troops. Avilez met with Dom Pedro who ordered him to leave Brazil. Avilez agreed if they could take their arms. Pedro promised to pay the troops, but any soldiers wishing to remain could stay. In January the deputies from Minas also decided to remain in Brazil. José Bonifacio de Andrada had presided over the junta in São Paulo since March 1821 and came to São Cristovao on 16 January 1822. Pedro appointed him Minister of Home and Foreign Affairs. Bonifacio demanded that Pedro promise he would not leave Brazil. Pedro also ordered military and naval operations to force the Portuguese out of Niteroi. On 21 January the ministry declared that no law made in Portugal could be enforced in Brazil without the approval of the prince regent. Brazil imposed a blockade on Niteroi on 5 February, and ten days later the Portuguese had departed without one shot having been fired in the confrontation. On 16 February the Cortes was officially notified that Pedro was staying in Brazil, and José Bonifacio persuaded him to convene the Council of Procurators of the provinces.
      On 19 February 1822 the Portuguese Col. Ignacio Luis Madeira de Mello was appointed military governor of Bahia. The governing junta, Brazilian army officers, the Reconcavo, and urban radicals resisted but lost. The Portuguese troops forced to leave Rio in January came to Salvador in March, giving Madeira de Mello 2,000 regulars and 1,500 militia; but on the 23rd the soldiers were sent back to Portugal.
      José Bonifacio de Andrada supported agrarian reform, free immigration, and the gradual abolition of slavery, but he was conservative in favoring monarchy and opposing democracy. On 25 March Dom Pedro left Rio de Janeiro to visit Minas Gerais and appeal to the people. The Junta at Ouro Preto accepted his rule, and he entered the capital city in triumph.
      Antonio Carlos of the São Paulo Junta presented Brazilian demands for political and economic equality to Portugal in March 1822, but it was too late for reconciliation with Portugal. Radicals called for independence, and in April the Reverbero Constitucional Fluminense urged Pedro to found a new empire. They called a constitutional convention, and to serve in the government they had to swear to support the union and Brazil’s independence. On 4 May they decided that no decree of the Portuguese Cortes could be implemented in Brazil without the approval of the Prince Regent Pedro.
      On 13 May Dom Pedro was acclaimed as “perpetual defender of Brazil.” One week later the Rio City Council petitioned for a constitutional convention, and Pedro presented it to the Council of Procurators when they met for the first time on 2 June. They voted unanimously, and the next day Pedro decreed the convocation of the constituent assembly which would meet the next year. On 28 May the Freemasons had created the Great Orient Lodge of Brazil and dedicated themselves to independence, and they elected José Bonifacio their grand master.
      On 23 May 1822 a delegation had urged Dom Pedro to call a general assembly of the provinces of Brazil, and the Cortes voted to send reinforcements to Salvador. On 3 June Pedro signed a decree calling for the election of deputies for the Constituent and Legislature General Assembly, but at first only Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Minas Gerais cooperated. Pernambuco and Ceara could not decide, but the others remained loyal to the Cortes in Lisbon for a while. On 19 June the liberals failed in their attempt to get direct elections to the Assembly, and the radical leaders were imprisoned or driven into exile.
      On 12 July Dom Pedro proclaimed Brazil independent. Bonifacio wrote the “Manifestation to Friendly Governments and Nations,” and Pedro signed it on 6 August. That month Pedro declared that troops from Portugal were to be considered enemies. On 20 August the Grand Orient Lodge of the Masonic Order proclaimed the complete separation of Brazil from Portugal.
      A draft constitution based on the Spanish constitution of 1812 was presented to the Assembly on 2 September 1822. While near São Paulo on the plain of Ipiranga on 7 September Dom Pedro received letters from Lisbon that his power had been reduced, but a week later he returned to Rio and proclaimed Brazil independent. On the 22nd he made the separation official by writing a letter to João VI. On his 24th birthday on 12 October in the Field of Santana he was acclaimed Pedro I, Constitutional Emperor and Perpetual Defender of Brazil. Seven deputies from São Paulo and Bahia refused to swear allegiance to the new Constitution and fled from Lisbon to Brazil. On 27 October José Bonifacio and his brother Martim Francisco, the treasury minister, resigned and demanded that Joaquim Gonçalves Ledo, José Clemente, and two others be arrested and deported. Arrest warrants were issued, and the brothers returned to their positions three days later. Ledo escaped to Buenos Aires, and Clemente was shipped to France. The Andrada brothers used their power to harass, jail, and exile their enemies in Rio, São Paulo, and other provinces. The radical Masonic lodges were closed for the remainder of Pedro’s reign. On 1 December Pedro was consecrated and crowned Emperor of Brazil. He was the first king of the Braganza House.
      On 22 June 1822 at Santo Amaro the sugar barons of the Reconcavo had rebelled against the Portuguese troops and João VI along with Brazilians, and they were able to halt the colonialism. On the 25th Madeira had proclaimed Dom Pedro regent on behalf of the people of Bahia. They besieged the Portuguese army at Salvador, and Madeira de Mello failed to break the siege on 8 November and on 6 January 1823.

Brazil’s Independence 1823-30

      Dom Pedro appointed the French officer Pierre Labatut to command the forces fighting the Portuguese, and he arrived in late October 1822 but was replaced in a mutiny in May 1823 by José Joaquim de Lima e Silva who led an army of 14,000 men. The Portuguese dominated the sea, but English officers led by Thomas Cochrane had arrived in Rio de Janeiro on 23 March 1823 and organized a Brazilian squadron of nine ships that convinced the Portuguese to leave Bahia. On 2 July General Lima e Silva led the Brazilian army back into the city, and the Portuguese left Bahia the next day. The landowners of the Reconcavo had directed a conservative revolution against Portuguese colonialism in Bahia.
      After elections Brazil’s Constituent Assembly opened on 3 May 1823 with 90 deputies that included 26 lawyers, 22 judges, 19 priests, and 7 military officers. The Portuguese garrisons were sent back to Europe. They resisted in the Cisplatine Province but left in November. Treasury Minister Martim Francisco refused to borrow from foreign nations and floated domestic bonds but avoided issuing new bank notes. The public was urged to make gifts, and 64 contos was raised for the navy in 1823. The next year the deficit increased by only 15%. Dom Pedro ordered the justice minister to release all those in São Paul who had been arrested for their political views. José Bonifacio insisted that he withdraw the order and then resigned with his brother on 16 July. He lost his position as chief minister because he had blocked access of critical liberals and conservatives to the throne.
      On 26 July 1823 Cochrane persuaded a small Portuguese garrison at São Luis to surrender the northern province of Maranhao which joined the Brazilian empire two days later. Dom Pedro made Cochrane the Marques do Maranhao, the first patent of nobility in the new empire. The provinces of Belem and Para brought Amazonia into the empire. On 10 August crowds in Belem began looting warehouses of the Portuguese merchants. The seditious Paraenses could not be held in the jails and were put in the hold of a ship in the harbor. Nervous guards fired shots, and 255 patriots were killed.
      On 12 August the Andradas and their associates started the newspaper O Tamoyo, named after an Indian tribe that had fought to the death and had been exterminated by the Portuguese occupation of Rio de Janeiro. The Assembly passed only six laws before Pedro formed a new cabinet and sent soldiers to dissolve them on 11 November. In two months of debate the Assembly had only voted on 24 of the 272 articles in the draft of the constitution. Dom Pedro promised a practical constitution that would be “twice as liberal.” The Andrada brothers were deported on 20 November and were given an annual pension of $1,250. José Bonifacio lived in France. The pro-Andrada newspapers in Rio folded, and Malagueta stopped publishing in July 1824.
      On 13 November 1823 Emperor Pedro appointed a Council of State to draft a constitution, and on 11 December he gave them a charter that protected religious freedom and abolished privileges except from office and citizenship for all free-born Brazilian and Portuguese who had lived in Brazil for 12 years. Rights included habeas corpus, trial by jury, and constitutional review of the criminal and civil codes. Torture was abolished. By the end of 1823 Brazil’s navy had overcome opposition to its independence. The last Portuguese troops left Brazil from Montevideo in March 1824 after the Cisplatine province joined independent Brazil.
      After more than half of the municipal councils of the provinces ratified the new liberal constitution, Emperor Pedro promulgated it on 25 March 1824. The new government of Brazil had four branches including a moderating branch that gave the Emperor authority to settle disputes between the other branches. The concept of moderating power came from the French writer Benjamin Constant. Executive power was exercised by the ministers while imperial power was held to be neutral and moderate. The King was not to intervene in daily politics, but he settled disputes according to the “nation’s will and interests.” He could veto any legislation and could convoke or dissolve the Assembly and call for new elections. He appointed the provincial presidents, ministers, bishops, and senators. He could confer titles on people, but they were not hereditary. The General Assembly had a Senate with senators appointed for life from the three nominees the provinces elected. Brazilian men with an annual income of at least 100 milreis voted for electors whose income had to be 200 milreis, and they elected the Chamber of Deputies who had to be Catholic with an income of 400 milreis. The Emperor appointed those on the Council of State for life, and they had to be 40 years old with an income of 800 milreis. Rights included equal treatment before the law and freedom of thought and assembly, but slaves had no rights. The Roman Catholic church continued to be the official religion. In 1823 Brazil had 1,147,525 slaves, and the average number imported annually during the early 1820s was 30,000.
      The American Secretary of State John Quincy Adams advised President Monroe to meet with the Brazilian ambassador José Silvestre Rebello, and the United States became the first government to recognize Brazil as a nation on 26 May 1824. That year a revolt in Pernambuco was suppressed. Friar Joaquim do Amor Divino criticized the empire, and he was called Frei Caneca or Friar Mug. The councils of Olinda and Recife in Pernambuco rejected the provincial president appointed by Emperor Pedro and the constitution, but they remained loyal to the Emperor. Pedro sent the Imperial Navy at the end of March to blockade Recife; but President Mayrink was resisted and resigned at the end of May. Captain John Taylor then lifted the blockade and returned to Rio. Manuel da Carvalho led the urban revolt. He had married an American and had communicated with Secretary of State Adams, asking for a squadron to be sent to Recife to defend against British and French battleships to fulfill the recent Monroe Doctrine. Carvalho proclaimed the independence of Pernambuco on 2 July and urged the northeastern provinces of Brazil to form the Equatorial Confederation which was intended to include the provinces of Paraiba, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceara, and possibly Paiui and Para in a republic. Dom Pedro sent more forces, and the revolution in Pernambuco collapsed on 17 September. Thomas Cochrane led marines that secured the city of Fortaleza in rebellious Ceara for the empire on 17 October. The rebels were defeated militarily in the northeast provinces by November. The Emperor persuaded a court to sentence the leaders to death, but the executioner refused to hang Frei Caneca who was then shot by a firing squad in Recife on 13 January 1825.
      Brazilians imported more than they exported, increasing the trade debt. The British delayed recognition because they wanted Brazil to end the slave trade immediately. England sent Charles Stuart to mediate with King João VI, and he went to Rio de Janeiro and signed a treaty recognizing Brazil’s independence on 29 August 1825 that went into effect when João ratified it on 15 November. Brazil agreed to take over Portugal’s £1,400,000 debt to the British and pay João VI £600,000 for private property in Brazil. As Britain’s third largest foreign market Brazil became financially dependent on England and put no restrictions on their commerce. Emperor Pedro granted 104 titles of nobility on 12 October 1825. On 26 January 1826 he selected the senators from a lists made by electors from each province. After João VI’s death on 10 March, his son Pedro was likely to become King of Portugal, but on 6 May he opened the first General Assembly with a speech. He abdicated the Portuguese throne in May but acted as if he was still King. In 1827 justices of the peace and elected magistrates were introduced in every parish to handle administrative and police functions as well as judicial ones, and law schools were founded in Olinda and São Paulo.
      In September 1823 the envoy Valentín Gómez of the Argentine President Rivadavia had written a memorandum in Rio de Janeiro claiming that the Eastern Province had always been part of the United Rio de la Plata, but Brazilians refused to negotiate about their Cisplatine Province. The 33 Easterners led by Juan Antonio Lavallejo began the fight for independence in April 1825. On 25 August they declared the province independent, and they were supported by the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata. The Cisplatine War between Brazil and the Argentines went on with many skirmishes, and both sides suffered as 14,000 men fought a major battle at Ituzaingó on 20 February 1827. That month the Brazilians lost a naval battle at Juncal Island, but they defeated the Argentine navy in the battle of Monte Santiago by the Ensenada coast in April. They negotiated a peace treaty signed on 27 August 1828 that established the independence of Uruguay and allowed Brazil navigation rights on the Plata River.
      In June 1828 several thousand Irish and German mercenaries mutinied at Rio de Janeiro, and Brazil had to call in the aid of the British and French navies. Mule and cattle prices went up for a decade. Coffee exports from Brazil triple from 1822 to 1831, but other exports fell during the 1820s. Sugar was about a third of Brazil’s exports and did not increase. In a commercial treaty with the British made in August 1827 limited tariffs on British imports to 15% while the British could impose duties of 180% on Brazilian sugar and 300% on its coffee. Britain loaned Brazil £3 million with 80% interest in 1824 and £400,000 with 52% servicing in 1829. In 1821 when he left for Portugal, King João VI withdrew the gold he had deposited in the Bank of Brazil. From 1822 to 1829 Brazil’s money supplies incrased 10% per year, raising the cost of living in cities. By 1829 paper money in São Paulo was worth only 57% of its nominal value, and Brazil’s bank had to close. People in Rio and other coastal cities demanded the deportation of the Portuguese. In 1830 Brazil adopted a liberal criminal code influenced by utilitarian ethics.

Brazil 1831-65

Argentine Revolution and Paraguay 1817-30

Rio de la Plata 1744-1810
Argentine Revolution 1810-17

      The Argentine revolution had begun in 1810, and the provinces of Santa Fe, Entre Rios, Corrientes, and the Eastern Province had formed the Federal League of Free Peoples in June 1815. Other revolutionary provinces sent delegates to the Congress of Tucuman. In May 1816 they elected Juan Martin de Pueyrredon to be Director, and in July they declared the independence of the United Provinces of Rio Plata.
      José Gervasio Artigas tried to fight the Portuguese invaders from June 1816, but Montevideo surrendered to the Portuguese in January 1817. Artigas became more dependent on Santa Fe and Entre Rios, and the Federal League deteriorated. Finally in 1820 the leaders Estanislao López (r. 1818-38) of Santa Fe and Francisco “Pancho” Ramirez (r. 1817-21) of Entre Rios renounced Artigas who retreated to Corrientes and then to Paraguay. Director Pueyrredon imposed economic sanctions on the federalist provinces, but this added to their grievances against Buenos Aires. On 22 August 1818 Pueyrredon wrote to General San Martín that he could not send him the 500,000 pesos he had promised, and San Martín resigned on 6 September. In 1819 Pueyrredon endorsed a unitarist constitution that authorized Buenos Aires to nominate local officials and provincial governors. He sent an army into Santa Fe; but they were repelled, and revolts forced Pueyrredon to resign on 9 June and to take refuge in Montevideo.
      José Rondeau became Director, but the cavalries of Santa Fe, Entre Rios, and Corrientes defeated his army at Cepeda near Buenos Aires on 1 February 1820. The victorious caudillos demanded the constitution of 1819 be abrogated and that Buenos Aires accept federalism by allowing the election of its own governor and legislature, free navigation of rivers, and no interference with commerce. In the Treaty of Pilar signed in Buenos Aires on 23 February 1820 by the provisional governor Manuel de Sarratea for Buenos Aires and Ramirez for Entre Rios gave Lopez 25,000 cattle for the hungry people in Santa Fe. Ramirez tried to extend his governing to Corrientes and Cordoba, but Lopez defeated his forces and pursued him until Ramirez was captured and killed. Lopez proclaimed himself patriarch of the Federation, but he no longer had enough military power to threaten Buenos Aires. In January 1822 Buenos Aires, Entre Rios, Santa Fe, and Corrientes agreed to the Quadrilateral Treaty to defend the national territory.
      Cordoba declared its independence on 17 January 1820, but on 1 March La Rioja broke away from Cordoba which adopted a constitution on 30 January 1821. On 22 March 1820 Governor Bernabé Araoz of Tucuman created the independent Federal Republic of Tucuman with the provinces of Tucuman, Catamarca, and Santiago del Estero, but the other two provinces rebelled against Tucuman the next year.
      After a series of governors struggled to govern Buenos Aires, on 20 September 1820 Martin Rodriguez became provisional governor. He negotiated with Lopez and Ramirez, and he managed to suppress an internal revolt. Rodriguez governed until April 1824 and concentrated on the frontier wars while Bernardino Rivadavia promoted free trade, European immigration, and land reform. He was a disciple of Jeremy Bentham and introduced modern accounting and limited the power of the Church, the police, and the military. A law passed on 4 September 1821 made private property inviolable and gave the legislature the power to tax, pleasing foreign merchants. That year they established universal male suffrage. Also Rivadavia founded the University of Buenos Aires and provided it with a state subsidy. He supplied the library with the latest books on medicine, science, and political economy. The Sociedad de Beneficiencia was established for charity and the education of women.
      The provinces held another national Congress in 1822. In June the British Navigation Acts opened shipping to the former Spanish dependencies to all ports in the British empire. In the next two years import duties provided 84% of provincial revenues. A new discount bank was dominated by British merchants. In 1823 Rivadavia separated servants from owners and required the former to have signed papers or face a penalty of five years in the militia. In January 1824 Rivadavia got a loan of £1,000,000 to construct new harbor facilities; but the government got only £700,000 while the House of Baring got £30,000, and the agents John Parish Robertson and Felix Castro £120,000 each. Juan Gregorio de las Heras succeeded Rodriguez as governor in April. Rivadavia visited London and helped organize the River Plate Mining Company with British capital in December. On 29 November the provincial legislature prohitibed the importing of grain, and El Argos called it economically insane. At Buenos Aires on 2 February 1825 the United Provinces of Rio la Plata signed a commercial treaty with Britain that was greatly celebrated.
      After Rodriguez’s campaign took more frontier land from the natives, Rivadavia applied the Roman law of Emphyteusis in 1826 by granting long-term rights and use of land with lower rents for merchants than for ranchers and farmers. The government leased land to persons and companies for 8% of the assessed value of pasture land and 4% of crop land. This promoted the transition to ranching. Lessees undervalued the land and paid practically no rent on registered claims that had no limit. About 6.5 million acres quickly went to 122 individuals and partnerships, and by 1830 only 538 persons and corporations had gained 20 million acres.
      A Congress meeting since 1822 produced a Constitution in 1826 and elected Rivadavia president of the United Provinces of South America. Juan Antonio Lavalleja led Easterners who left Buenos Aires and mobilized support at Colonia. Brazil declared war on the United Provinces and supported the east bank Rivadavia used the war to raise an army and then imposed the Constitution on the provinces. Lavalleja’s guerrillas could not take Montevideo. Brazil’s navy blockaded Buenos Aires disrupting trade that fell by two-thirds in three years. Trade, which had been 80% of revenues, was reduced to 20% in 1825-28. The army of 20,000 men produced a large deficit as revenues dropped to only 55% of spending. In early 1827 the provinces of Córdoba, La Rioja, Catamarca, and Santiago del Estero led by Juan Bautista Bustos, Facundo Quiroga, and Felipe Ibarra allied to fight against the constitution. Rumors of cattleman revolting in Buenos Aires scared the British and merchants into abandoning the government, and Bernardino Rivadavia resigned on 27 June. He had supported progressives by starting the Benevolent Society, the College of Moral Science, and the University of Buenos Aires, but these angered conservatives by weakening the Church.
      Another civil war broke out, and Rivadavia’s replacement, Manuel Dorrego, canceled the Constitution and recognized provincial autonomy as he became Governor of Buenos Aires. The United Provinces became the Argentine Confederation of the River Plate. Dorrego accepted British mediation by the envoy Ponsonby, and Brazil and Buenos Aires agreed to a treaty at Montevideo on 27 August 1828 that created the Eastern Republic of Uruguay between them. The army split as General Juan Lavalle took troops to Buenos Aires while José Maria Paz led others to Córdoba. Lavelle overthrew and had Dorrego executed in December. Paz defeated Bustos at San Roque in Córdoba on 22 April 1829 and withstood an attack by Quiroga’s forces from La Rioja. General Juan Manuel de Rosas led the militia in Buenos Aires for Federalism and allied with Estanislao López in Santa Fe, and at Puente de Márquez on 26 April they defeated Lavalle who fled to Montevideo. On 3 November Rosas came to Buenos Aires as the Federalist leader, and he restored order and became Governor on 6 December. He formed an army and intimidated his opponents with censorship and banishment, and he represented the rising power of the ranchers by shifting spending to rural areas and cutting urban expenditures in half.
      Paz defeated Quiroga in early 1830 and took over provinces adjoining Córdoba, and 9 of the 14 Argentine provinces were in his Unitarian League by August. However, López gathered forces and attacked Paz with the army of Rosas and captured Paz in 1831. Pax was imprisoned for four years, and the Unitarian League dissolved.

      A Paraguay Congress (Cabildo) had appointed José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia a dictator in 1814, and in 1816 another Cabildo made him dictator for life. In 1817 he began appointing all the members of the Cabildo in Asunción. In 1818 he started imprisoning political opponents, and by December 1821 there were more than a hundred political prisoners. José Artigas, who had led a revolution in Uruguay, lost power there on 5 September 1820 and took refuge in Paraguay, where he lived in exile until his death in 1850. In 1820 Francia had more than 300 Spaniards incarcerated for 18 months. Wealthy Spaniards were also exiled or killed. In June 1821 Francia had 68 Creole conspirators shot, and scores spent years in jail. Because of the 1820 conspiracy more arrests were made in 1822 and 1823. That year he ordered all the natives of Santa Fe in Paraguay arrested, and they did not learn why until 1834. None were released until after Francia’s death in 1840. In 1825 he closed the Cabildo. In June he ordered merchants in Pilar arrested, but in August the Paraguayan government received the first diplomat (Correa from Brazil) since 1813. Brazil and Argentina fought much of their Cisplatine War from 1825 to 1828 in Paraguay. In 1828 Francia broke off relations with the Vatican, and he took over appointing bishops and priests. He imposed order and encouraged hard work, increasing agriculture and stock raising.

Argentina and Paraguay 1831-65

Chilean Revolution 1817-30

Chile 1744-1817

      Director Pueyrredon appointed Argentine General José de San Martín commander and captain-general of the Army of the Andes and sent him on an expedition into Chile. They left Mendoza on 9 January 1817 with 5,200 men, 10,600 mules, 1,600 horses, 700 cattle, and specially dried food. San Martín led them across the Andes. They suffered lack of oxygen and cold, but less than a hundred men died. San Martín sent out contingents that secured Coquimbo and Talca. On 12 February his main army defeated the royalists at Chacabuco in Chile, killing about 500 Spaniards and capturing 600 while only twelve of his men were killed in the battle, though many of the 120 wounded died later. Captain-General Marco del Ponte fled but was captured. The Council of Santiago wanted San Martín to govern Chile; but he said he came to liberate, not to rule, and he proclaimed Bernardo O’Higgins supreme director. He decreed a tax on rural property and incomes of public employees, but it is not known how much they collected. On 12 February 1818 the patriots at Talca declared the independence of Chile. The royalists managed to hold the southern naval base at Talcahuano. On 18 March Osorio’s forces surprised the patriots at Cancha Rayada, and most of them fled. However, they gathered at San Fernando and defeated Osorio at Maipu on 5 April, killing 2,000 and capturing 2,200 men while suffering about 1,000 casualties. They also captured 4,000 muskets, 1,200 blunderbusses, 12 cannons, and the Spanish supplies. The city of Santiago gave San Martín 10,000 pesos to thank him, and he donated it to a hospital.
      Bernardo O’Higgins supported San Martín’s campaign in Peru and governed Chile for five years. He decreed the abolition of noble titles and other relics of the feudal system. He improved the streets, provided a market, completed the Maipo canal, supported public health, encouraged education with special attention to the poor, and established a theater in Santiago. O’Higgins tried to win over the Araucanians by improving their rights in Chilean society. Chile’s independence was recognized by Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. O’Higgins implemented a constitution in 1818 with a legislative Senate of five members and a supreme judiciary. Resistance was still strong, and the constituent congress was not achieved. O’Higginshad decreed an end to mayorazgo (entails on property), but the Senate cancelled it in December 1819. He protected the Catholic Church but respected the liberty of conscience of foreign Protestants. In 1820 he appointed Rodriguez Aldea minister of finance, but he alienated private business by using his office for personal gain. He speculated in consumer goods, favored his own interests in Valparaiso by withholding export permits from Concepcion, and gave monopolies to himself and his friends.
      The Senate tried to limit the rule of San Martín in Peru to protect slavery, but O’Higgins refused to transmit their instructions. After that the Senate stopped cooperating with him. In January 1822 O’Higgins took over the duties of the Senate. In May he summoned a convention that drafted a new constitution in October, but the liberal O’Higgins was still the autocratic executive. This increased the resistance that reached Santiago on 28 January 1823 when a Cabildo Abierto met and demanded that O’Higgins resign. He refused but eventually yielded to a special commission that appointed a junta with three members.
      On 30 March representatives from three provinces signed an Act of Union that called for equal representation in a senate and a constituent congress. The Junta selected General Ramon Freire, the intendant of Concepcion, to be Supreme Director on 4 April, and he served until 9 July 1826. On 29 December 1823 the Junta promulgated a new constitution devised by Juan Egaña that created elected assemblies in each province and in local communities as small as ten households. The Constitution also abolished slavery and included a moral code of what citizens should and should not do, which made it unpopular. The abolition of slavery was confirmed in the constitutions of 1828 and 1833, though the inquilinaje or tenant farming remained. On 14 July 1824 Freire informed the Senate he was resigning because he could not govern under the 1823 Constitution. The Senate agreed to reform it, and on 19 July people demonstrated against the Constitution in the streets of Santiago. The Senate gave Freire more power, and some sections of the Constitution were suspended. A new Congress was elected and met on 22 November. They declared the Constitution null and void on 29 December. Egaña blamed the downfall of his Constitution on the liberals.
      The province of Concepcion withdrew their deputies and established their own assembly on 20 April 1825, and Coquimbo did so on 22 May. On 15 June Freire met with prominent citizens in Santiago in a public meeting and agreed to govern with the counsel of a new junta. He tried to gain reconciliation with provinces, and in July he ordered the convocation of another national Congress. However, only Santiago elected deputies. The Congress met in September but could not act nationally. On 7 October the Congress suspended Director Freire, and he used force to dissolve the Congress. In November he set up a Directorial Council to govern Chile while he traveled in the south. The Council was headed by the federalist José Miguel Infante.
      After failed campaigns in 1820 and 1824 independent Chile liberated the forested island of Chiloe from the Spaniards in 1826 and made it part of the Republic. In July 1826 the Congress called for the election of a president to replaced the Supreme Director. Freire became President of Chile on 25 January 1827, but he resigned and was succeeded on 8 May by the liberal Vice President Francisco Antonio Pinto. He adopted a liberal constitution in 1828, but Congress finally accepted his resignation on 16 July 1829. In the presidential election two conservatives split much of the vote, but the liberal Congress chose Francisco Ramón de Vicuña acted as President for most of the time until 7 December. In September the army in Concepcion had backed a coalition of Conservatives that included traditionalists who supported the clergy, followers of the exiled O’Higgins, and a group of investors in a failed tobacco monopoly. On 6 April 1830 the trader Diego Portales gained two of the three cabinet portfolios. Then on the 17th Conservatives led by General José Joaquín Prieto defeated the Liberals and Freire in a battle near Talco by the Lircay River.

Chile 1831-65

Peru’s Revolution 1819-22

Peru 1744-1817

      In February 1819 Chile and Argentina formed an alliance promising to contribute funds to invade Peru. Buenos Aires pledged 500,000 pesos and sent 300,000 plus armaments. Bernardo O’Higgins’ attempt to raise 300,000 pesos was resisted in Chile. Their navy needed 700,000 pesos itself, and they made contracts with foreign merchants for loans based on customs revenues and for a share of prize money warships would “earn.” Contractors hired sixteen transports from a private company by August 1820. Supe was the first municipality to declare independence in April 1819, and it was followed the next year by the cabildos of Ica, Tarma, and Lambayeque.
      The heroic San Martín was concerned that victory would cost the spilling of American blood, and he worked patiently for peaceful conquests from “irresistible necessity.” He raised an army of nearly 500,000 men, but Peru with reinforcements from Cuzco and Upper Peru and militia units had about 12,000 troops. After the Spanish army mutinied at Cadiz in 1820, Pezuela, the Marquess of Viluma, was instructed to implement Spain’s Constitution in Peru, restore elected cabildos, and allow liberal reforms. San Martín and his revolutionary army captured Valdivia on 4 February 1820, and on 20 August he led an expedition from Valparaiso with 31 ships from Chile’s navy carrying 4,700 soldiers and equipment for 15,000 more. They reached Paracas on 7 September and occupied Pisco that was abandoned by royalists. On the 25th San Martín sent commissioners to a peace conference at Miraflores, and they agreed on an armistice for eight days. The royalists would not accept San Martín’s insistence on independence even under a Spanish monarch. So he sent a force led by General Arenales north to cut Lima off from the interior, and they defeated the royalists at Cerro de Pasco on 6 December. San Martín had led his army beyond Lima to Ancon on 1 November and then to Huacho seventy miles north of Callao, separating the capital from the agricultural region of northern Peru. His strategy was to blockade Lima, but the aggressive British Admiral Thomas Cochrane wanted the navy to attack Callao and Lima. San Martín controlled the land forces, but on November 4 Cochrane near Callao captured the 44-gun frigate Esmeralda, considered the best Spanish warship in the Pacific.
      On 29 January 1821 the constitutionalist military mutinied against Viceroy Pezuela. General José de la Serna became viceroy and appointed General Canterac to command the royalist army in the north and General Valdes in the south. Because San Martín accepted monarchy the aristocratic Torre Tagle persuaded the Trujillo Cabildo to declare independence on 29 December. Other towns followed, and by May 1821 all of northern Peru had become independent and supplied money and men to San Martín. That month the English officer William Miller led forces against the royalists in central Peru, and General Arenales defeated a detachment in the interior at Pasco. San Martín also won people over without war as desertions increased. In December 1820 the Numan Cia battalion of about 650 men joined the liberators.
      Negotiations began on 4 May 1821, and San Martín met with Viceroy La Serna on 2 June. The blockade was working, and on 6 July La Serna evacuated Lima and took his army to the interior. San Martín entered Lima with his troops on the 10th and promised to protect the people. Four days later the aristocratic cabildo abierto declared independence, vindicating his nonviolent strategy. On 28 July the independence of Peru was proclaimed, and on 3 August San Martín was named protector with supreme military and civil power. He appointed ministers and initiated a reform program. On 12 August he decreed an oath of allegiance to independence, and he declared that slaves born in Peru from 28 July 1821 on were free. He granted a pension to military personnel on the liberating expedition from Valparaiso. On 27 August Indian tribute and compulsory labor were abolished, and the aborigines were to be called Peruvians rather than Indians. However, the decrees still needed to be implemented by the creoles.
      San Martín learned on 4 September that General de Canterac was marching his Spanish army of 12,000 hungry men from the interior to relieve Callao; but San Martín declined to attack them with his army of 7,000 because his forces held Lima and controlled the coast. Instead, he strengthened their defenses. Canterac’s army entered Callao on 10 September; but they also suffered from shortages and surrendered the fortress a few days later. Admiral Cochrane had lost two warships and could not pay his men. He did not believe the war was over, and San Martín argued that Chile should pay for its own navy. As the squadron was disintegrating, Cochrane seized $285,000 worth of gold and silver from San Martín’s treasure ship, the Sacramento, at Ancon. He paid his crews, gave $40,000 to the army, and kept nothing for himself. This ended his collaboration with San Martín, and Cochrane took his warships to pursue Spanish ships in the Pacific Ocean.
      Peru’s government forced merchants to provide loans, and on 28 September 1821 a provisional commercial law decreed free trade but with a 20% tariff on imports to protect local industries. The Banco Auxiliary was established to finance the war by circulating paper money. In October San Martín founded the Order of the Sun modeled after France’s Legion of Honor. In November he sent Garcia del Rio and the English entrepreneur James Parisian to Europe to secure approval of Peru’s independence, negotiate a loan, and to find a prince who would accept the crown of Peru. On 19 December property worth $500,000 was granted to twenty generals and officers in the liberating army. Unmarried Spaniards were ordered to leave Peru and forfeit half their property, and a few months later married Spaniards were included. Bernardo de Monteagudo and Torre Tagle saw to it that the Iberian peninsulars were expelled and that all their property was taken. Spaniards continued to fight against independence, and on 11 January 1822 Viceroy La Serna ordered the town of Sangallo burned to the ground. For three years creoles and mestizos led the guerrilla monomers who were joined by bandits and harassed retreating royalists and plundered central Peru.
      Liberals in Peru did not want a monarch. The lawyer Manuel Perez de Tugela advocated a republic, and the priest Francisco Javier Luna Pizarro worked against plans for a monarchy. The liberal politician Sanchez Carrion wrote tracts for republicanism. San Martín had an army of 8,000 in the Lima area. He left the Marquis of Torre Tagle in charge and went to confer with Bolívar in Guayaquil, which had declared its independence in 1820. In July 1821 Viceroy La Serna announced that his army was abandoning Lima and moving to the fortress of Callao. After Bolívar’s victory that won Quito in May 1822, he entered Guayaquil. He sent letters in June to San Martín who replied in July. They met there on 26 and 27 July, talking for several hours. Bolívar opposed any monarchy in America, and he declined to give San Martín military support. San Martín was frustrated and decided to withdraw and let Bolívar make Peru independent. Monteagudo was overthrown in Lima by Luna Pizarro. Torre Tagle and San Martín himself had lost the support of the ruling class. On 20 September at the first constituent congress in Peru he renounced his power and left Lima. The next day San Martín sailed for Chile and then went to Europe. His wife died in 1823, and in 1825 San Martín wrote the following rules for the indulgent grandmother who was raising his daughter:

1. Humanize her character, making it sensitive,
 even toward insects which do not injure….
2. Instill in her love for truth and hate for lies.
3. Inspire in her confidence and friendship, but with respect.
4. Encourage in Mercedes charity towards the poor.
5. Respect for other people’s property.
6. Get her used to keeping secrets.
7. Inspire in her a feeling of respect toward all religions.
8. Gentleness with servants, the poor and the old.
9. Let her talk little and say only what is necessary.
10. Get her used to being quiet and serious at table.
11.Teach her to love cleanliness
 and to have contempt for luxury.3

Bolívar and Venezuela 1817-23

Bolivar in Venezuela 1808-11
Bolivar in Venezuela 1812-13
Bolivar and Revolution 1814-17

      On 31 December 1816 Simón Bolívar returned to the Barcelona province in Venezuela and inaugurated the third period of the republic. In January 1817 General-in-Chief Manuel Piar refused to help Bolívar, who faced a royalist army of nearly 4,000 marching into Barcelona. Bolívar held out in the fortified monastery of St. Francis while the Spaniards entered the city in February. However, Santiago Mariño was coming with 1,200 men, and the Spanish army departed. This allowed Bolívar to move out to the Orinoco River. In the Guayana province the Capucin monks were governing 7,000 natives. Piar subjugated these missions and imprisoned the Spanish monks, and on 12 April he defeated a Spanish force under General Miguel de la Torre that General Pablo Morillo had sent to Angostura. Bolívar reached the northern shore of the Orinoco and ordered the monks to be sent deeper into the interior, but instead 22 friars were shot. Morillo’s cruel tactics of suppression made reconciliation difficult and revolution more likely. In March 1817 Viceroy Francisco Montalvo had reestablished the Royal Audiencia in New Granada. Montalvo resigned in February 1818, and Morillo appointed Juan Samano to replace him.
      In Cariaco in May 1817 a few men organized a government with Mariño as commander-in-chief. However, several officers including Rafael Urdaneta and Col. Antonio José de Sucre left to serve Bolívar. Mariño was defeated and lost Cumana and Barcelona while General Piar was defeating royalists in Guayana. With help from Brion’s fleet, Bolívar helped Piar besiege Angostura in April, and they occupied it on 18 July. By August the Spaniards had evacuated the province of Guayana. On 3 September Bolívar decreed that the republic would confiscate the property of royalists, and on 10 October he decreed that it could be given to republican soldiers. Piar resented Bolívar’s coming so far east and asked to be relieved of his post and joined Mariño’s separatist movement. Bolívar summoned Piar, and he was eventually captured and tried for desertion, insurrection, and treason. A war council sentenced him to demotion and death. Bolívar overturned the demotion but allowed Piar to be shot on 16 October.
      Mariño responded to a summons from Bolívar, and the government was reunified. Angostura (later called the City of Bolívar) was made the capital of the republic, and in October 1817 courts and municipal governments were established, protecting trade and river navigation. Bolívar addressed the new State Council on 1 November as the Liberator and Supreme Chief. The executions planned in Santa Fe for 14 November provoked a response by the revolutionaries. On 31 December Bolívar left Angostura with 3,000 men and led them over the Andes to the Apure plains. Bolívar and José Antonio Páez met for the first time on 30 January 1818. Páez had won over many llaneros, who before had been fighting for Boves, by allowing them to plunder. Páez combined his army with Bolívar’s giving them 1,000 llanero cavalry. Bolívar forbade mistreatment of the natives, and confiscated property was distributed to the officers and men.
      Bolívar moved north in February 1818; but Morillo with an army half the size of Bolívar’s kept the patriots from taking Calabozo, and the Spanish general refused to negotiate. Bolívar forbade the killing of prisoners, and he marched toward San Pablo without help from Páez. Morillo led fresh troops into battle at Semen on 16 March, killing 800 while capturing 400 men and Bolívar’s papers; but Spanish losses were also heavy, and Morillo was severely wounded by a spear in the abdomen. In April the Spanish Captain Renovales led forty men who were mistakenly let into the patriots’ camp and tried to assassinate Bolívar, but he escaped. On 2 May Páez was defeated at Cojedes and lost Cumana also, forcing the republicans south of the Orinoco.
      Bolívar encouraged the recruiting of volunteers from Britain and Europe. The European wars had ended in 1815, and many soldiers and much equipment were unemployed. Luis Lopez Mendez acted as London agent for the Venezuelan Republic promising money for men and arms. He offered them a higher rank and reimbursement for their transportation, but he gave out so many promissory notes that he was put in debtors’ prison. The British who joined Páez had to get their pay by plundering. Col. Wilson led an effort to make Páez commander of the army, and he was later found to be an agent provocateur sent by the Spanish government. Bolívar improved the training of his army by mixing the experienced Europeans with the Americans. About 150 volunteers arrived in the spring of 1818, and all together about four thousand Europeans would fight for American independence. The British formed an army of 1,500 men. Bolívar used a printing press they brought to publish the weekly Orinoco Post, which began on 27 June 1818. Bolívar took refuge in San Fernando, and he spent the second half of 1818 in Angostura. He wanted to block supplies coming to the royalists from New Granada, and in August he appointed Col. Santander commander of Casanare province. General Renovales was a Spaniard who volunteered, and he commanded English volunteers; but he went over to the royalists. General José Francisco Bermúdez was defeated in Rio Caribe in October, and Mariño lost 300 men in Cariaco in November.
      In October 1818 the rules for a general election were announced. Only free men owning property or having a profession or an adequate salary could vote, and the elections were conducted by the military commanders. On 15 February 1819 at Angostura 26 elected delegates from Caracas, Barcelona, Cumana, Barinas, Guayana, and Margarita met as a Congress. Bolívar felt honored to call together a democratic assembly and said he was glad to hand over his power to a representational government. He believed in frequent elections and said, “Nothing is more perilous than to permit one citizen to retain power for an extended period.”1 He also warned, “It is harder to maintain the balance of liberty than to endure the weight of tyranny.”2 He recommended democracy even though history had few successful examples. He criticized the federal constitution of 1811 that was based on the United States Constitution, and he noted that Montesquieu had argued that “laws should be suited to the people.” He wanted a strong presidency and a more centralized government. The three values he believed that government should maximize are happiness, social security, and political stability. Their South American revolution was a struggle for popular sovereignty, distribution of power, civil liberties, abolition of slavery, and the ending of monarchy and privileges.
      Bolívar approved of the House of Representatives established by the constitution of 1811, but after the Senate was elected by the House he wanted it to be hereditary so that their sons could be educated for public service. Bolívar suggested that the soul of a republic is permeated by “love of country, love of law, and respect for magistrates.” He wanted the president to supervise the administration and the judges in order to prevent abuses of the law. He said that popular education, morality, and enlightenment are the foundation of a republic. Bolívar asked for a fourth branch of government to regulate morals, like the ancient Roman censors. He felt personally obligated to abolish slavery and compensate the patriots for their losses. He promised that Venezuela would reject any foreign interference, and he proposed uniting Venezuela with New Granada as Colombia. Zea was provisionally elected president, and Bolívar handed over his power to him; but the next day the Congress elected Bolívar president and Zea vice president. Bolívar’s secretary Luis Briceño Mendez was made minister of war, and Manuel Palacio Fajardo was appointed minister of state and treasury.
      General Morillo had 7,000 men in his royal army at Calabozo. In the plains Bolívar’s men set fire to the pampas grass and crops to starve the Spanish cavalry. On 2 April 1819 Páez lured Spanish cavalry to pursue his forces, which then turned and destroyed them, killing four hundred while losing only six men. These tactics reduced Morillo’s army by half. On 25 November 1820 Bolívar and Morillo agreed to an armistice for six months with Morillo accepting Bolívar’s presidency of the Republic. Morillo went to Spain and left La Torre in command of the Spanish royalists. On 24 June 1821 Bolívar’s army defeated them at Carabobo, and they entered Caracas in triumph five days later to establish Venezuela’s independence. Royalist forces held out at Puerto Cabello. On 24 July 1823 Bolívar led Colombia’s navy that defeated the Spanish fleet on Maracaibo Lake in Venezuela, and Páez led the Venezuelan independence forces that finally captured Puerto Cabello on 8 November.

Bolívar and Colombia 1817-25

New Granada 1744-1814
Bolivar and Revolution 1814-17

      In 1817 the Almeyda brothers led guerilla attacks in the Valle de Tenza near Bogota. They gathered a force of 250 men, but after the defeat on 21 November the peasants went home. In 1818 the Spanish General Morillo had to withdraw forces from New Granada to fight Simón Bolívar in Venezuela. Bolívar sent Francisco de Paula Santander to organize resistance fighters in Casanare, and he urged the Granadinos to fight for their liberty. On 15 May 1819 he learned that Santander had defeated the royalists in Casanare, and he held a council of war to plan the liberation of New Granada. Bolívar proposed leading his army of 3,000 across the Andes Mountains, but the destination was kept secret. They left the Upper Apure on 27 May and crossed ten large rivers during the rainy season and joined with Santander’s army at Tame. On 27 June Santander led the advance guard that drove the Spaniards led by Col. José Barreiro from their fortified position. Bolívar’s army lost hundreds of men and most of their horses climbing the mountains 5,000 meters high, but the difficult path they took was undefended. The oppressed people of New Granada welcomed them. Bolívar declared martial law and drafted all men able to fight. At Vargas Creek on 25 July Barreiro lost 500 men, Bolívar only 104. As Barreiro retreated, they entered Tunja on 5 August. Two days later in a major battle at Boyaca the Americans captured 1,600 men including Barreiro and his staff from his army of 3,000 while only 13 republicans were killed. Most of those who surrendered enlisted in the republican army. Viceroy Samano fled from Bogota to Cartagena. Bolívar treated the prisoners well except he had Vinoni shot for his treason at Puerto Cabello in 1812. Bolívar entered Bogota on 10 August in triumph and found 500,000 pesos in cash and 100,000 in gold in the state treasury. On the 15th the Congress of Angostura elected Bolívar president and adopted a constitution with many of his ideas.
      President Bolívar allowed much of the government to remain in place; but he confiscated property of Spaniards who had supported the royal cause, and he demanded that the Church tithe to the state treasury. General Francisco de Paula Santander was a jurist from New Granada, and on 11 September 1819 Bolívar made him vice president of New Granada in Bogota to handle the administration. Santander warned him that the people were more outraged by the Spanish taxes than by their execution of 500 patriots. Santander allowed the opposition press to function, but in October he executed Col. Barreiro and 38 officers imprisoned after the battle of Boyaca. Bolívar promised slaves freedom after they served two years in the army, arguing to others that their fighting for their freedom could diminish their dangerous numbers. The Bishop of Popayan called Bolívar a traitor and excommunicated everyone who supported his cause, but his army soon captured Popayan. Nine provinces in New Granada were liberated by October, and Bolívar appointed military governors in each one. Local mayors and judges remained, but Bolívar established an appellate court in Bogota. He provided education and assistance to orphans. Bolívar offered Samano an exchange of prisoners but received no reply. He assigned Urdaneta’s army of the north to defend New Granada on the border.
      Meanwhile in Venezuela when Lt. Matthew Perry arrived in a warship in July, the acting President Zea paid the United States an indemnity for two warships that Brion had sunk. General Urdaneta appropriated scarce resources on Margarita Island and came into conflict with the Venezuelan Juan Bautista Arismendi, who disobeyed Zea’s orders and was imprisoned. Zea was from New Granada, and also relieved Mariño of his command. After heated debates in the Congress while Bolívar’s fate was unknown, Arismendi was elected vice president to replace Zea. Arismendi made Mariño commander-in-chief and arrested Urdaneta.
      Bolívar sent the young General Antonio José de Sucre to meet with three royalist commissioners, and on 26 November 1819 they declared an armistice for six months. The next day Bolívar met with Morillo in the village of Santa Ana. Bolívar returned to the Angostura parliament on 14 December and announced that New Granada wanted to join with Venezuela to form Colombia. Arismendi resigned. Plans were made to unify the republics of Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador. On 17 December the Congress of Angostura passed the Fundamental Law that created the Republic of Colombia as a permanent union of Venezuela, New Granada, and Quito even though the latter was not yet liberated. Bolívar was unanimously elected president with Zea as his representative. Antonio Nariño was freed from a dungeon during the Spanish Revolution of 1820 and was made interim vice president to preside over a new congress scheduled to meet in Cucuta on the border of New Granada and Venezuela in 1821.
      Bolívar went back to Bogota, and Santander called a meeting that unanimously accepted the unified government. Bolívar wanted the crimes of all parties punished so that justice and freedom could triumph. In the previous fall Santander had executed Barreiro and 38 Spanish officers for smuggling out subversive letters; an observer who protested that Bolívar had granted them reprieves was also shot. Bolívar reproached Santander for this because he now believed it hurt their cause.
      Zea tried to get more loans in London and promised to pay all the debts, some of which were questionable. Bolívar asked Sucre to purchase weapons, and he bought about 5,000 guns in the Antilles. In Europe the Spanish army rebelled on 1 January 1820 and demanded the Constitution of 1812, which Fernando VII accepted in May. Expeditionary forces planned for America were disbanded, and General Morillo was ordered to publish the Constitution and work for reconciliation. Bolívar used the opportunity to negotiate an armistice while royalists led by Col. Calzada marched toward Bogota and took Popayan on 24 January.
      However, in July patriotic forces led by Manuel Valdes regained Popayan. Bolívar sent Mariano Montilla with Irish troops to liberate Santa Marta and Maracaibo. Montilla knew that the previous year after English soldiers had sacked Rio Hacha, the citizens had butchered all but 46 of the 300 English. The Irish were demanding better food and clothing; when Montilla did not allow them to plunder Rio Hacha in lieu of salaries, they mutinied and took ships to Jamaica. The royalist armies had mass desertions, and Bolívar offered Spanish officers promotions and even money to change sides. He occupied the border provinces of Mérida and Trujillo in early October, and Montilla took Santa Marta. Guayaquil in Ecuador declared its independence on 9 October 1820. A few Colombians led by three Venezuelan officers marched on Quito, but they were defeated at Huachi on 22 November. The Peruvians had the leaders imprisoned.
      An armistice for six months was signed on 26 November 1820 and the next day Bolívar met Morillo at Santa Ana. Sick and wounded prisoners were to be released, and others were exchanged by rank. Because the war was over opinions, those who changed sides were not to be executed. Morillo gave up his command of the army of 15,000 to La Torre and left America in December.
      On the first day of 1821 a constituent congress met at Cucuta and used the Constitution of Angostura as a model. Republicans persuaded Maracaibo to revolt against Spain on 28 January. Bolívar sent General Sucre to Guayaquil to work for its annexation to Colombia, and he hoped that Valdes would take Quito. Urdaneta had been born in Maracaibo, and using money and a forged order from La Torre he got the garrison to leave the city during the armistice. Bolívar proposed a court of arbitration, but La Torre wanted Maracaibo back. The armistice ended early on 28 April. Urdaneta liberated Coro on 11 May; but after he left, the Coreans reverted to Spanish loyalty. Bermúdez entered Caracas on 14 May, but he lost it ten days later to Morales. Bolívar combined the armies of Mariño and Páez with his and met La Torre’s equal army of 6,000 on the plains of Carabobo on 24 June. La Torre lost more than half his army and fled with Morales to Valencia as 2,000 men surrendered. The remnant of the Spanish army retreated from Valencia to Puerto Cabello and Cumana. Bolívar entered Caracas on the 29th and wrote to La Torre in July to open negotiations so that they could relate as men and not as wild beasts in the detestable arena of mutual extermination. On 30 April Bolívar had learned that Morales was making headway in Maracaibo, Venezuela, but he capitulated in August.
      Bolívar was President of Colombia and appointed General Carlos Soublette to govern Venezuela with Páez as chief general, and on 1 August he left for Bogota. Nariño led the effort in Cucuta that united the nineteen independent provinces of Colombia. The Constitution of Cucuta was signed on 12 July 1821 and was approved by the new Congress of 57 deputies on 30 August. The franchise was limited to those with property worth 100 pesos, and a house of representatives was to be elected for four years and senators with eight-year terms. The president was elected for four years and could only be re-elected once. The president had extraordinary powers only during the emergencies of war or internal rebellion. They anticipated that Quito (Ecuador) would join the union and so placed the capital centrally at Bogota. Bolívar knew that freeing all slaves would antagonize landowners, but on 19 July 1821 the Congress declared free all Colombians born after that date. The head tax on natives was also abolished. Bolívar was concerned that the commander-in-chief should not also administer justice; but he was persuaded to accept his unanimous election as president on 7 September under the condition that he would be free to campaign for liberation in the south.
      Bolívar left for Bogota on 1 August. Bermúdez besieged Cumana, which capitulated in September. Montilla had besieged Cartagena for 14 months, and it accepted his generous terms in October. Bolívar took the oath of office as President of Colombia on 3 October 1821, and the Congress ratified the Constitution three days later. They chose Santander instead of Nariño as vice president. Páez, Bermúdez, and Mariño were appointed commanders in Venezuela. Royalist resistance was overcome in Maracaibo, Coro, and Cumana. On 10 November the last Spanish garrison in Venezuela abandoned Puerto Cabello and went to Cuba, making all of Venezuela republican. Even Panama overthrew their Spanish rulers in a nonviolent revolution when Col. José de Fabrega defected to the separatists and convened a national assembly that chose him as head of state on 28 November.

      In Ecuador the Spanish Governor Melchor Aymerich defended Quito and had destroyed the revolutionary army from Guayaquil in November 1820. General Sucre brought a force of a thousand men to Guayaquil, and in May 1821 he made a friendship pact with their council. Aymerich sent an army of 3,000 royalists. At first Sucre’s army defeated one division of them; but then they were routed, and Sucre escaped with only a hundred men. Guayaquil revolted against Spain in October, and Sucre agreed to an armistice on 21 November. General Juan de la Cruz Murgeon was appointed Spanish governor of New Granada and equipped an army of 800 men in Panama that landed in Ecuador and reached Quito on 24 December.
      Bolívar sent Miguel Santamaria to Mexico and Joaquin Mosquera to Peru, Chile, and Buenos Aires. He ordered General Montilla to invade Panama, where patriots revolted and declared independence on 28 November 1821. Bolívar headed south on 13 December and set up his headquarters at Cali in the Cauca Valley. He wanted every young man drafted into the army or his property confiscated. In March 1822 he crossed the valley of Patia with 3,000 men as thirty a day became ill. With his generals Manuel Valdes and Pedro Leon Torres they fought the royalists under Basilio Garcia at Bombona on 7 April. Bolívar lost a third of his men in this bloody conflict. That month Sucre’s army crossed the Cordilleras, and on 24 May they attacked Quito from Mt. Pichincha in the north. The patriots won, and Governor Aymerich surrendered. General Garcia heard this news and capitulated in Pasto on 6 June to Bolívar, who promised the royalists safety. Ten days later Bolívar reached Quito and declared Ecuador part of Colombia, and he appointed Sucre president.
      An Argentine division had fought at Pichincha, and they hoped also to liberate Guayaquil; but Bolívar held them at Quito and sent his Colombian army to Guayaquil. Bolívar entered Guayaquil on 12 July 1822, and the next day he decreed the incorporation of Guayaquil into Colombia. He met San Martín on 25 July. San Martín wanted a plebiscite to see if Guayaquil wanted to join Peru or Colombia, and Bolívar agreed to send 1,800 men to help liberate Peru from the Spaniards. San Martín suggested that a European prince could govern America. Bolívar adamantly opposed that, though he wanted a president for life and a hereditary senate. They both wanted a federation of states in South America. After attending a celebration San Martín went back to his ship and departed. By the end of July the Guayaquil Council had voted to become part of the Colombian Republic. Bolívar believed that Colombia still needed his army to stay free. He traveled to Cuenca, Quito, and Pasto. Bolívar met his dearest mistress Manuela Saenz de Thorne at Quito. About this time he began to suffer from tuberculosis, which had killed his mother.
      Pasto rebelled, and Sucre had to gather more forces to defeat them. All the fighting men who had supported the royalist cause were drafted into the army and had their property confiscated while the pro-Spanish clergy were marched to Quito prisons, many of them dying on the way. Bolívar approved these and other punishments that were brutally implemented at Pasto by General Bartolomé Salom. In July 1823 Bolívar defeated the Pastusos led by the native Agualongo, killing 800 men as no quarter was given. Metal was banned from the region, and Salom defeated Agualongo’s 1,500 Pastusos again in August; but they kept fighting back the rest of the year. During the wars the consumption of livestock reduced the number of cattle, horses, and mules from 4,500,000 head in 1812 to 256,000 in 1823.
      In 1824 the Colombian Congress levied an army of 50,000 men to deter Spanish expeditions and borrowed 30 million pesos (equal to $30 million) from English investors. The government was organized into departments, provinces, and cantons. They passed laws that made entailed estates illegal, authorized the republic patronato over Church administration but not doctrine, and protected private correspondence and residences from unwarranted government intrusion. Some talented literary men founded the newspaper La Miscelanea in September 1825, and later they edited La Bandera Tricolor, which opposed Páez.
      In 1824 the African Col. Leonardo Infante, a brave warrior who was feared because of his violence, was convicted on circumstantial evidence of a murder. He claimed he was innocent, but based on a majority vote of the Supreme Court in Bogota he was executed without receiving a commutation by Santander, who was his personal enemy. The mulatto judge Miguel Peña would not sign the sentence and was suspended. Santander charged Peña with shady dealings; Peña refused the summons and fled to Valencia in his native Venezuela. General Páez decreed a draft of all men between the ages of 16 and 50 into the militia in order to suppress the roving bands plundering the country around Caracas. Late in 1825 the Caracas commander warned Páez of a Negro uprising in the city.
      In 1825 Santana cosponsored the Columbian Bible Society started by an English missionary, and he promoted liberal education that included the utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham. The United States of America recognized Colombia in 1822, but England waited until 1825. Colombia made treaties with Chile, Peru, Mexico, the United Provinces of Central America, and Buenos Aires, and on 7 December they invited those countries to send envoys to Panama to discuss mutual support. Delegates met in the second half of 1825, but the Congress did not begin until 22 June 1826.

Bolívar in Peru and Bolivia 1823-25

      Colombian envoy Joaquin Mosquera had signed a treaty of perpetual union at Lima with San Martín’s foreign minister Bernardo Monteagudo on 6 July 1822. After San Martín resigned and left Peru, the Congress appointed three men who fought each other. None wanted the troops that Bolívar had sent, and they returned to Guayaquil. In January 1823 at Torata and Moquehua the Spaniards led by generals José de Canterac and Jeronimo Valdes defeated the Peruvian army that San Martín had left under General Rudecindo Alvarado, who saved only 500 of his 4,000 men. In 1822 and 1824 Peru got two loans from London worth £1,816,000.
      On 28 February 1823 army leaders forced the Congress to replace the junta with José de la Riva Aguero as the first President of the Peru. He appointed his friend Santa Cruz, who was from Bolivia, commander of Peru’s army. Aguero sent General Mariano Portocarrero to ask Bolívar for an expeditionary force to liberate Peru, and on 18 March they signed a treaty between Colombia and Peru. Bolívar promised the Peruvians 6,000 soldiers, but the Colombian Congress did not give him permission to go. So he sent General Sucre to command them in Lima; but he refused to accept command of the allies so that they would choose Bolívar. The Spanish general Canterac led 7,000 royalists into Lima in June as Aguero and the Congress fled to Callao. There the Congress deposed Riva Aguero and appointed Bolívar’s envoy General José Antonio de Sucre commander-in-chief. Aguero refused to resign and withdrew with some Congressmen to Trujillo where he raised an army and dissolved the Congress.
      The Spanish held southern Peru while the north was divided by civil war. Peruvian creoles then asked Bolívar for help. Canterac extorted much money by threatening to burn Lima but abandoned it in July. The Congressmen went back to Lima, proclaimed Riva Aguero a traitor, and on 16 August elected as President of Peru the Marquis de Torre Tagle, who used public money to gain support.
      Bolívar received permission from Bogota to go, and on 1 September 1823 his ship landed in Peru, where seven independent armies representing Peru, its Government, its Congress, Buenos Aires, Chile, Guayaquil, and Colombia lacked unity. When Riva Aguero tried to convene the Congress, the army broke it up. They welcomed Bolívar, and on 10 September the Congress gave Bolívar supreme authority with a salary of 50,000 pesos, which he declined. Aguero called Bolívar a usurping tyrant and won over some officers and men. Bolívar gathered an army of 4,000 to confront Aguero’s 3,000. Bolívar persuaded Col. Antonio Gutierrez de la Fuente that Aguero was a traitor, and La Fuente captured him in November. Aguero was allowed to go to Europe.
      On 1 October 1823 the French army released Spain’s King Fernando VII, and he ended liberal reform by abolishing the Constitution. Bolívar felt he could not rely on the Chileans and Argentineans, but he persuaded Admiral George Guise to end his blockade and to recognize the government in Lima. While Bolívar organized the revolution from Pativilca, he put Sucre in command at Lima. Torre Tagle sent home a Chilean contingent from Callao, and Congress returned slaves taken into the army to their former owners. Bolívar recovered from a serious illness in early January 1824. On 7 February the garrison at Callao mutinied for back pay and so that Argentineans and Chileans could go home; they released the Spanish prisoners and surrendered to the royalists. The Congressmen resigned and named Bolívar dictator of Peru before the royalists with help from Torre Tagle occupied Lima again on 12 February.
      On 17 February 1824 Peru’s Congress appointed Bolívar dictator and suspended the Constitution. Much silver had come out of the mines, and Bolívar confiscated church treasures to pay his soldiers; but the silver sold raised only 200,000 pesos. Bolívar had only one province while the royalists controlled the rest of Peru. He put the patriot José Sanchez Carrion in charge of civil affairs. Bolívar at Trujillo gathered all the tin and iron he could find to supply his army, and in April he moved to Huamachuco. By then he had about 8,000 men with capable cavalry, and they were paid regularly.
      Viceroy José de La Serna had 1,000 men at Cuzco. General Pedro Antonio de Olañeta had rebelled against Viceroy La Serna’s constitutional administration to set up his own regime at the end of 1823, and he commanded an army of 4,000 in Upper Peru. Spanish General Valdes with an army of about 3,000 in Arequipa was sent to suppress the revolt, but on 9 March 1824 he signed the Treaty of Tarapay with Olañeta who broke the agreement and proclaimed himself commander of the La Plata provinces.
      At Trujillo on 8 April Bolívar decreed that all state lands be offered for sale at one-third their values, and natives were declared proprietors of their lands. Bolívar led his army in a hard march over mountains in May, and he divided his army into three parts to cross the Andes in July. They reunited at Pasco, and he reviewed 6,000 Colombians and 3,000 Peruvians. He said they were saving the world from slavery, and he declared freedom in America the hope of the world. They met the army of Canterac on 6 August on the plateau of Junin, and in the cavalry battle no guns were fired. The royalists had about 250 men killed and fled in disorder while the patriots lost about 150 men.
      Bolívar moved his army to the coast in October 1824 while organizing civil administration. On the 24th the Colombian Parliament rescinded Bolívar’s authority as commander of the Colombian army; but he was replaced by Sucre, who was loyal to the liberator. On 7 December Bolívar sent out invitations to the governments of La Plata, Brazil, Chili, Guatemala, Colombia, and Mexico to send delegates to a congress in Panama to interpret treaties, reconcile disputes, and protect independent governments. The climactic battle for Peru came on 9 December at Ayacucho. Sucre had at least 5,780 men against no more than 9,310 of Viceroy La Serna; but before the battle a few relatives and friends from the opposing sides were allowed to talk, and the royalists believed that the patriots were more determined to fight. La Serna had lost 2,100 killed while Sucre’s army suffered 979 casualties. La Serna was taken prisoner, and Canterac surrendered with 583 officers and 2,000 soldiers.
      The commander at Callao refused to capitulate, and Bolívar besieged the garrison for more than a year. He resigned his presidency of Colombia on 22 December. Sucre cleared out the Spanish in the sierra and entered Cuzco on 24 December. In January 1825 he went after Olañeta’s army. His nephew Casimiro Olañeta changed sides and persuaded Sucre to declare Upper Peru an independent nation on 9 February. The next day the Congress of Peru met in Lima and renewed Bolívar’s dictatorship for another year. They offered him a million pesos which he declined; later he suggested that it be contributed to the reconstruction of Caracas. Bolívar appointed José de la Mar, who was from Cuenca, president and the Peruvians Hipolito Unanue and José Sanchez Carrion as councilors to administer the government; but the Colombians Tomas de Here and José Gabriel Perez were resented. The liberators had become troops of occupation. On 10 March the Congress of Peru dissolved itself before Bolívar left for the south.
      General Sucre entered La Paz on 20 February 1825, and in March he captured all the Spanish generals except Olañeta, who was mortally wounded on 1 April at Tumusla before Sucre reached Potosi. Bolívar was taken aback at first by Sucre’s political initiatives in Upper Peru; but after the young general offered to resign, the liberator confirmed his accomplishments. Bolívar arrived at Arequipa in May and called together the deputies of Upper Peru’s legislature. Next he went to Cuzco. He let Sucre summon an assembly at Chuquisaca on 10 July, and most of the deputies were graduates of the University of Chuquisaca. They refused to join either Argentina or Peru, and on 6 August they declared their independence and named their new nation Bolívar (which later became Bolivia). The capital Chuquisaca was renamed Sucre. Native Americans were about 80% of the population of Bolivia.
      When clergy in the La Paz cathedral offered the liberator a crown, he passed it to Sucre, who also declined. Bolívar abolished personal service and declared all citizens equal in August. He visited Potosi, and in October he met with a delegation from Argentina which in May had accepted Bolívar’s authority to settle the boundary dispute between Argentina and the province that became Bolivia. Bolívar established local and appellate courts and promised new laws. The state abolished Indian tribute and the consumer taxes of the Spanish regime and confiscated abandoned mines. They converted clerical revenues for education and established orphanages, hospitals, and schools. Bolívar put his old tutor Simon Rodriguez in charge of education. In the fall of 1825 Páez wrote to Bolívar about making him an emperor; but the liberator wrote back that he considered this plan inappropriate, and he reminded his general that the Constitution of Colombia could not be amended until 1831. On 22 December 1825 Bolívar abolished the Indian tribute. From 1819 to 1825 the cost of war materials and imports was paid for by shipping $26,900,000 in British ships from Lima, and the economy was depressed. From 1810 to 1825 the mint in Potosi minted annually less than $500,000, but during the first five months after liberation it minted about $1,000,000. However, speculation in London caused the money market to crash in December 1825, stopping mining operations. In 1826 Bolivia’s imports were £637,407 while exports were worth £722,750 mostly in silver and gold, though the value of the coca trade in La Paz was £143,600.

Bolívar and Northern Conflicts 1826-30

      The last Spanish garrison in South America surrendered El Callao in January 1826. Bolívar delegated his authority in Bolivia to Sucre. Bolívar was back in Lima by February, and a conspiracy against him was discovered and crushed. As Dictator he settled a conflict between the deputies and the Supreme Court of Peru in favor of the latter who took his side. When his military power was resented, Bolívar threatened to resign. Fear that this would throw Peru back into anarchy caused 42 deputies to petition for an adjournment of Parliament. In May the National Assembly of Bolivia asked Bolívar for a constitution. He proposed a government with four branches that added the elective to the legislative, executive, and judicial. One out of every ten citizens would be chosen as electors, who would vote for the other offices. The three-part legislature was made up of tribunes with four-year terms, senators elected for eight years, and censors serving for life. The president was elected for life and was to choose his vice president who would succeed him. Slavery and the entailment of property were abolished in order to break up the large estates. This Bolivian Constitution was adopted in July, and Sucre was elected president for life. Also in July a conspiracy to assassinate Bolívar and expel the Colombians was discovered in Peru. Several officers were imprisoned and exiled, and one man was executed. The government of Peru expelled all the Chileans and Argentineans, making Bolívar more unpopular.
      In December 1824 Bolívar, as head of the government of Peru, had sent official invitations to the governments of Colombia, Mexico, Buenos Aires, Chile, and Guatemala to meet in Panama. The deputies from Peru arrived in June 1825, and the Colombians came six months later; but those from Guatemala did not get there until March 1826, and the conference began in June after the delegates from Mexico arrived. By 15 July the conference was over. The delegate sent by the United States had died on the way, and his replacement arrived too late. The four nations signed a treaty of confederation with a convention for common defense, and they promised to meet in alternate years in time of peace and annually during war. The next meeting was to be in the Mexican city of Tacubaya. Bolívar did not like the military agreement nor the shift to Mexico, and he opposed ratification by Peru and Colombia.
      Bolívar began to push for a Federation of the Andes which would include three states from Colombia and three states from Peru and Bolivia. Bolívar wanted Peru to adopt a Bolivian constitution, and they did so by a plebiscite in August 1826. He was also elected president for life, and after declining he was persuaded by the ladies of Lima to accept. Now he hoped that a Bolivian constitution would be accepted in Colombia, Argentina, and Chile.
      The Republic of Colombia had adopted free trade, and French and English products caused many local bankruptcies. In 1826 credit collapsed in the region that later scholars called “Gran Colombia.” Roads and transportation were so bad that coastal regions could buy North American flour cheaper than Colombian flour. General taxes on population replaced the customs duties and caused financial stagnation. People generally thought of Venezuela and Caracas as a barracks for soldiers, Colombia and Bogota as a university for lawyers, and Ecuador and Quito as a monastery for priests. A major conflict developed between General Páez of Venezuela and Vice President Santander in Colombia.
      In January 1826 Páez ordered troops to round up men in the streets, and General Juan Escalona sent a report to Bogota accusing Páez of brutality. The Colombian Congress suspended Páez and replaced him with Escalona. Agitators persuaded Páez to disobey these orders from Santander, and he wrote to Bolívar to come quickly to prevent a civil war. Valencia and the provinces of Caracas, Carabobo, and Apure supported Páez. Santander also wrote to Bolívar that he was desperately needed.
      At first Bolívar sent his aide Daniel Florencio O’Leary to Bogota and Caracas. In September 1826 Bolívar left most of his Colombian army in Bolivia and Peru, where they were increasingly unpopular, and went north. On 11 August the tax on native Americans was revived in Peru. In Quito he heard complaints about taxation and from those in the army. He reached Bogota in November, and he took over unlimited executive power under the constitutional provision during internal rebellion. Bolívar explained his Federation of the Andes and used his diplomatic skill with both Santander and Páez, who called an assembly to write a constitution for Venezuela. However, Puerto Cabello under Bolívar’s relative Briceño Mendez remained loyal to Colombia even when besieged by Páez. Bolívar proclaimed an amnesty for the Venezuelan rebels on 1 January 1827 and told Páez he could remain supreme leader of Venezuela if he recognized Bolívar’s authority as President and Liberator and promised to obey his orders. Páez accepted and abandoned the national assembly. They entered Caracas in triumph.
      Bolívar criticized Santander for greed and dishonesty, and the Vice President reluctantly promised to institute reforms. Liberal newspapers supported Santander and condemned the Federation of the Andes with its lifetime presidency. Santander advocated New Granada becoming independent of Venezuela. Col. José Bustamente ordered Venezuelan officers in Lima arrested, and the division returned to Colombia. Bolívar’s mistress Manuela Saenz in a colonel’s uniform had tried to rouse the Bolívarian troops, but she was arrested and put in a convent. She and the Venezuelan officers were shipped to Guayaquil. Peru abrogated its Bolivian constitution but elected the Bolivian Andres Santa Cruz president. The Peruvians even moved toward annexing Guayaquil and Ecuador. Santander celebrated Bustamente’s mutiny by having bells rung. Bolívar offered to resign the presidency of Colombia in February 1827, and Santander and his party demanded that he do so; the next month Bolívar renounced his friendship with Santander. The treasury was empty; credit was exhausted; and soldiers and officials were suffering starvation. Bustamente invaded Guayaquil, and the Peruvian general La Mar was put in charge. General Juan José Flores persuaded officers that Bustamente was a traitor and had him arrested. Santa Cruz urged elections, and on 4 June a Constitutional Congress convened with 83 deputies. On 22 August they elected José de la Mar over Santa Cruz 58-27, and the constitution was completed in 1828. In late September 1827 General Flores marched into Guayaquil with a Colombian army and declared it under Colombian law. De la Mar had headed the government of Guayaquil, but he had gone south to be Peru’s President.
      Bolívar left Caracas for Bogota. The Bogota garrison petitioned for maintaining the Colombian Constitution, but Bolívar got the garrisons of Maracaibo and Cartagena to demand a Bolivian constitution. Bolívar told the Parliament in Bogota that if they reduced the army, he would not accept the presidency. Bolívar took the oath of office, and in his speech he called for a National Assembly to consider a new constitution. The Congress of Peru voted for the Colombian army that had liberated their country at Ayacucho one million pesos from the five million that Sucre borrowed from England, and according to Tomás de Heres the soldiers received one and a half million.
      Captain Valentin Matos attempted to assassinate Sucre in Bolivia, but Sucre commuted his death sentence to exile and even gave him 200 pesos of his own money. Simón Rodriguez caused so much resentment that Sucre dismissed him. The Peruvian mestizo Agustín Gamarra who was Cuzco’s Prefect, hated Bolívar for having had an affair with his wife, and he instigated a rebellion in December 1827. A battalion at La Paz mutinied and got 40,000 pesos from the Prefect, but they were exterminated by a larger force on their way to Lima. Sucre suppressed the insurgents; but on 18 April 1828 two Peruvian sergeants led the Chuquisaca garrison in Bolivia cheering Gamarra in a mutiny that with muskets wounded Sucre in the arm as he rode by their barracks. On 17 May the Peruvian Congress declared war, and their forces crossed the border and compelled the state of Bolivia to expel all Colombians.
      Bolívar authorized Montilla to take command of Cartagena in an emergency, and on 5 March 1828 he did so. Admiral José Padilla, who was a zambo (African-Indian) and supported Santander, went to Mompox. O’Leary advised Padilla to write to Bolívar, who wanted to appoint him commandant at Pasto; but Padilla retuned to Cartagena, where Montilla had him arrested and sent to Bogota for trial. The district of Cartagena included the city of Ocaña, where a convention would begin in April to revise Colombia’s constitution. After his aide William Fergusson disrupted the satirical paper El Zurriago, the next day the paper published the headline “El incombustible.” Bolívar took power in the region except in Ocaña. In the Colombian election for the convention Bolívar prohibited officers and himself from campaigning. Santander did participate and won nearly a majority of the delegates. Meanwhile gangs armed by Spaniards from Puerto Rico were ravaging the plains around Caracas. Commander Páez responded by having insurgent leaders shot while pardoning their followers, but the uprisings spread to the Orinoco, Barinas, Coro, Guayana, and Cumana. Again Bolívar invoked his emergency powers under Article 128 of the Constitution, and he decreed that special courts could try traitors. He appointed Soublette and Urdaneta to support him.
      Bolívar sent a written message that was read at the opening of the National Assembly at Ocaña in which he asked for a strong and efficient government that could protect freedom. Santander got Dr. Peña expelled because of his unresolved embezzlement charge. A motion to invite Bolívar to the Convention was defeated. Bolívar sent his aide O’Leary to represent him and advised him to seek a Bolivian constitution without any compromises. Bolívar’s supporters withdrew from the Convention in early June, and three days later they published the Manifesto to the Colombian People. The rump Convention no longer had a quorum, but they elected Santander their leader and made secret plans. On 13 June the Governor of Cundinamarca and its Council met with people in the plaza of Bogota to disavow the Convention and give power to Bolívar. Eleven days later Bolívar was welcomed back to Bogota with cheers and assumed his office in the presence of the Governor, his officials, and the Supreme Court. His dictatorial power was supported by the loyal generals Urdaneta, Mariño, Páez, Soublette, Arismendi, Flores, Cordoba, Montilla, Bermúdez, and Barolomé Salom. Bolívar increased the army to 40,000. His “Organic Decree” of 27 August proclaimed him President-Liberator; the vice presidency was abolished, and a state council was to preserve civil rights. Bolívar was to have power until another National Assembly met in 1830.
      However, many of Bolívar’s leading officers were Europeans and were resented by the people. His living openly with his eccentric mistress Manuela in the presidential palace was also unpopular. A committee of seven plotted to assassinate Bolívar so that Vice President Santander could take over the government. Bolívar wanted Santander out of the country, and on 5 September he appointed him ambassador to the United States. Santander knew of the conspiracy and asked them to wait until he left Colombia, but on 25 September Captain Triana got drunk and exposed the plot. Col. Guerra had his aide Major Carujo call a meeting at the house of Vargas Tejada, and that night three groups formed. One group went to the palace of San Carlos at midnight. Manuela helped Bolívar escape out the window and delayed the assassins. Fergusson approached despite her warning, and Carujo killed him. Bolívar hid under a bridge with a servant until his forces had taken control. Once again Bolívar wanted to resign, but he was persuaded to assert his power. Padilla and fourteen of the conspirators were executed, but Santander had his sentence commuted to exile. Then Bolívar granted a general amnesty. Masonic lodges were closed, and liberal aspects of education were curtailed.
      When the Bolivian Congress convened on 3 August 1828, Sucre resigned and went into retirement at Quito. The Peruvian government sent José de Villa as ambassador to Bogota, and he repudiated Peru’s treaties and debt to Colombia for aiding their liberation. Colombia then broke diplomatic relations with Lima. President La Mar began mobilizing the army of Peru, but his cabinet persuaded him not to resort to war. La Mar had 4,000 troops on the border of Ecuador, and the Peruvian fleet blockaded Colombia’s Pacific ports in October; but Peru suffered a major blow when Admiral Guise was killed during an attack on Guayaquil in November. The Peruvian navy bombarded and blockaded Guayaquil and occupied it early in 1829. Col. José Maria Obando and Lt. Col. José Hilario López plundered the Cauca Valley, and at Pasto they recruited 300 Indians. Obando wrote to La Mar, offering him an alliance against Bolívar. Prefect Luis José de Orbegoso governed northern Peru and raised an army that President La Mar used to invade southern Colombia.
      Bolívar put Sucre in charge of the southern war and sent General José Maria Cordoba ahead to drive the rebels out of Popayan. The Peruvian army of 8,400 men held Guayaquil and occupied Cuenca. Bolívar promoted Mosquera over the more experienced Cordoba. Disregarding the advice of Sucre and Cordoba not to march to Guayaquil during the rainy season, Bolívar lost many men on this expedition. Sucre had only 6,000 men, but on 27 February 1829 O’Leary led a cavalry charge with 1,500 Colombians against 5,000 Peruvians and prevailed. In this battle of Tarqui 1,500 soldiers were killed, and more than a thousand were wounded, captured, or missing. The next day La Mar signed the Treaty of Giron that guaranteed Colombia’s territorial integrity and awarded them modest reparations. Bolívar, not knowing the results of this battle, negotiated with Obando, promoting him to general and exempting Pastusos from military service for a year. La Mar gave orders not to evacuate Guayaquil; but he was deposed on 7 June by a revolution in Lima led by General Antonio Gutierrez de la Fuente on behalf of Gamarra, who sent La Mar to exile in Costa Rica, ratified the Giron Treaty, signed an armistice, and let the Colombian army occupy Guayaquil. Sucre opposed the war with Peru, and Bolívar criticized him for the generous terms he gave them in the treaty. Peru’s Congress made Gamarra president and Fuente vice president.
      In June 1829 a meeting of officials, officers, and clergy in Bogota agreed to let Bolívar remain president for life and then replace him with a French prince. Venezuelans led by Páez, Soublette, and Peña used this as a reason to revolt against the Colombian union. General Cordoba resigned and joined the liberals, and with 300 volunteers he tried to overthrow Bolívar in his province of Antioquia; but General Urdaneta sent O’Leary with a force that defeated and killed Cordoba on 17 October. Bolívar wrote and published his anonymous “View of Spanish America” in Quito and concluded pessimistically,

There is no good faith in America,
nor among the nations of America.
Treaties are scraps of paper; constitutions printed matter;
elections, battles; freedom, anarchy; and life, a torment.
Such, Fellow-Americans, is our deplorable situation.
Unless we change it, death is to be preferred.4

      Bolívar blamed the ministers for their monarchist scheme, and his Colombian cabinet resigned. In 1830 Bolívar returned to Bogota and selected a new cabinet. On 20 January Colombia’s third constitutional convention elected Sucre president and the Bishop of Santa Marta vice president, pleasing Bolívar who wanted the support of the Church and Sucre to succeed him. That day Bolívar spoke to the Congress about the challenge they faced.

Arduous and great is the task of creating a nation
out of a people emerging from oppression
through the path of anarchy and civil war,
a people lacking the necessary preparation
with which to profit from the salutary reforms
to which they aspire….
You will learn much from the study of our history,
and much from an investigation of our needs,
but more convincing still will be the cries of the people
against the woes that they suffer
because of the lack of established order and freedom.5

He concluded that they needed a thorough reorganization because “Justice demands codes capable of protecting the rights and the honor of free men.”6
      Bolívar withdrew from power in March 1830 by naming Domingo Caicedo provisional president. Caicedo lifted the press restrictions that Bolívar had imposed in 1828, and liberal newspapers began attacking Bolívar. Regiments on the coast deserted, and the commanding officer put himself under Páez. Bolívar proposed a war on the Venezuelan secessionists, but most believed the war would be unpopular and that Venezuelan independence should be accepted. Nevertheless he organized two divisions under O’Leary and the Swede Friedrich de Adlercreutz. Some in the latter’s division mutinied and went over to Páez, who called for a Venezuelan constitutional convention in April.
      Bolívar made his farewell speech in Bogota on 27 April. A week later a new constitution was accepted for Colombia, and the Congress elected Joaquin Mosquera president. Bolívar was exiled and voted an annual pension of 30,000 pesos, but the treasury was empty; he sold jewelry and horses to raise 17,000 pesos. On 13 May General Flores declared Ecuador independent. Three days after the liberal newspaper El Democrata reported that Obando may do to Sucre what they had failed to do to Bolívar, Sucre was murdered on 4 June while returning from Bogota to Quito. Manuela Saenz in Bogota tried to organize a movement to return Bolívar to power with Urdaneta and other veterans. The Venezuelan Congress sent a message to the Congress of Colombia that they would enter into relations with them only if Bolívar left the country. In mid-August Col. Jimenez led rebel forces into Bogota and demanded that Urdaneta be made minister of war. President Mosquera tried to negotiate, and the force he sent against the rebels was defeated. Mosquera capitulated and agreed to banish fourteen Santanderists from the September 1828 assassination attempt. Mosquera and Vice President Caicedo resigned on 4 September, and the next day the municipal council of Bogota had Urdaneta sworn in as head of the government. Some cities proclaimed Bolívar president. He was pleased, but he realized that humans are unfortunate in never being satisfied. A commission was sent to Bolívar in Cartagena. He considered this anarchy and refused to return unless he was popularly elected. Now he condemned insurrections and even deplored their own insurrection against the Spaniards.
      Bolívar’s tuberculosis became worse. In his last written address to the Colombians he hoped that his death would contribute to the ending of factions so that the union of Colombia would be consolidated. On 11 December Bolívar wrote to General Justo Briceño urging him to be reconciled with Urdaneta and to support the present government of Colombia. He advised that only by suppressing their personal feelings could their friends “save Colombia from anarchy.” Bolívar died on 17 December 1830 one hour after noon, exactly eleven years to the hour after he had signed the covenant for a united Colombia. In 1829 he had made the following prophecy:

I have achieved no other good than independence.
That was my mission.
The nations I have founded will,
after prolonged and bitter agonies,
go into eclipse, but will later emerge
as states of the one great republic, AMERICA.7

South America 1831-65


1. Selected Writings of Bolívar tr. Lewis Bertrand, Volume 1, p. 175.
2. Ibid., p. 178.
3. Quoted in San Martin: Knight of the Andes by Ricardo Rojas tr. Herschel Brickell and Carlos Videla, p. 251-252.
4. Selected Writings of Bolívar tr. Lewis Bertrand, Volume 2, p. 747.
5. Ibid., Volume 2, p. 749.
6. Ibid., Volume 2, p. 755.
7. Quoted in Simón Bolívar by Gerhard Masur, p. 698.

Copyright © 2018 by Sanderson Beck

World Chronology
Chronology of America to 1817

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