Wikijunior:South America/Simón Bolívar

Part of Wikijunior South America project

Simón Bolivar was a leader in the South American struggle for independence. Bolivar was born to a prominent family of Basque origin in Caracas, Venezuela in 1783. He studied law in Madrid, returned to South America in 1809 and in the following year took part in a revolutionary uprising in Caracas. In the struggles of New Granada, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Peru for freedom from Spanish rule, he was the most outstanding General of the armies, being proclaimed The Liberator, and when in 1819, New Granada and Venezuela were consolidated into a republic under the name of Columbia, Bolivar was made president. In 1823, he became dictator of Peru, but he held the office only two years. The region of Alto (Upper) Peru took his name as Bolivia, yet its constitution, which he framed, excited in the minds of his enemies the fear that he wished to make himself perpetual dictator over Columbia, Bolivia, and Peru, and he lost some of his influence. He held the presidency of Columbia until a few months before his untimely death in 1830. He was an admirer of the American Revolution, but his vision of a similarly unified South America was never realized. Still, his was a great and noble endeavor: liberating and organizing the civil affairs of the many nations which today view him as their founding Father.