Latin American Independence
Latin American Independence was the drive for independence from Spain and France by the Latin American people. There were many contributing factors that ultimately led to the uprising of Latin American colonies. Europe’s strong hold on the economic and political life of Latin America, was creating friction between the Latin Colonies and the European nations. Eventually, this would become enough for the Latin American people and the drive for independence from France and Spain would begin.
There were a few main points that led up to the Latin American independence movement. In, 1797 the Britain blockade of Spain took place for two years, which cut off resources and revenues for the country. In doing so, Britain had almost proved to Mexico that they could survive on their own in the New World without Spain. About 10 years later in 1808, Spain was in serious trouble with France and Napoleon Bonaparte had taken over Spain and appointed his brother King of Spain. Spain was in there own sort of disarray at this time so after proving to themselves
they could survive in 1797, it was a good time for the movement for independence to begin.
Early in the nineteenth century rebellion against European authority broke out in Latin America. First, slaves on the island of Haiti revolted against their French masters. Led by former slave Toussaint L’Overture the Haitians defeated France making Haiti the first independent country in Latin America. In 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo called upon Mexicans to rise up and fight the Spanish this was know as grito de delores (cry of Delores). Hidalgo’s following grew from 300 to over million people and in not time Hidalgo’s enraged revolutionaries tore through Mexico. After moderate success Hidalgo was defeated by a band of Royalists and while fleeing the country for the US he was disowned by one of his fellow companions and killed. Another priest named Jose Morelos from then on would lead the fighting. He would finally accomplish what Hidalgo had set out to do, lead Mexico to independence, from Spain in 1821.
With other Latin American uprisings occurring Simon Bolivar led the South American independence. Bolivar was a wealthy Creole born in Venezuela but educated in Spain. Influenced by Enlightenment ideas, Bolivar called for independence for all South Americans. He gained firm control of his native Venezuela in 1819. His armies then turned toward Columbia and Ecuador. In the south Jose de San Martin rallied Argentinean forces against Spain. Bolivar and San Martin met in Peru, which became independent along with Upper Peru (Bolivia) in 1824. Although Bolivar was unsuccessful in uniting South Americans into a single nation, he is known as the continent’s “liberator.”
Eventually all Colonies driving to become independent would be. The Latin American independence movement had become a success. What Hidalgo and Bolivar set out to do was pretty much accomplished. The independence drive had set out to rid the Americas of European influence and rule, and with time and struggle the drive for independence was accomplished.