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Transcript of Venezuelan Independence
Venezuela was considered a leader in the movement for independence among many Latin American Countries. Led by radicals who held Enlightenment Ideas, such as Simon Bolivar and Francisco de Miranda, Venezuela was the first of the South American countries to secede from Spain. The ensuring decade was filled with bloody battles and atrocities committed by both sides, but the revolutionaries prevailed and eventually independence was reached in 1821.
Reasons for Independence
Economic- Spain's Mercantilist Interests and the reaping of profits from Venezuelan Merchants
Political- Decreased control by Spain due to the Napoleonic Wars.
-Bolivar was very successful when rallying troops because he made it clear that this fight for independence was necessary
-Guerrilla style warfare in which, soldiers fought in an unorthodox manner: riots, raids, ambushes, etc.
-Battle of Carabobo
-Battle of Lake Maracaibo
Causes of the Venezuelan Revolution
• Economic- similar to the American revolution, the Spanish were solely interested the mercantilist policies being implemented around Europe by all of the main powerful empires, such as the British, the French and the Portuguese. Venezuela’s colonial product was cocoa and coffee, both very valuable and highly traded around the world, especially in Europe. Venezuelan merchants knew that they could make more profit alone without the Spanish merchants reaping all of their profits.
• Political- the Napoleonic wars were underway in Europe, requiring the attention and funds of the Spanish monarchy. With less power being held over the Venezuelans by the Spanish governors, the revolutionaries were able to push their limits more and, with the help of the newly liberated Haitians, were able to gather up a rebel army and start a rebellion against the Spanish government.
-Napoleons invasion of Spain
-Mismanagement of the Tax system and more importantly the Colonies
-Francisco de Miranda's failed revolution caused people to think
Leaders of the Venezuelan Revolution
-The main leader of the South American independence movements who worked towards the independence of many Countries.
-The Liberator, who oversaw the First Republic and demanded full independence. After returning from Britain, he found loyalists and patriots in a strife and with the help of de Miranda, the First Venezuelan Republic voted for full Independence on July 5, 1811.
-In 1812 a large Earthquake rocked many rebel cities and seeing their opportunity, Spanish troops captured many important ports and cities. The First Republic had fallen and Bolivar was exiled from Venezuela for his defeat at the hands of the Spanish.
Francisco de Miranda
Miranda was an avid leader in the Venezuelan war for Independence. He, along with Bolivar, set up the First Republic and helped pave the way for the later independence. Miranda would never live to see the liberty of Venezuela as he was arrested and died in incarceration.
Jose Antonio Paez
In 1810 he joined the revolutionary movement against Spain. His prowess led to him soon becoming chief Venezuelan commander to Simon Bolivar, the liberator of South America. Paez and company secured victories at Carabobo and Puerto Cabello that helped with the withdrawl of the Spanish. In 1826, after starting a rebellion against the authority of Gran Colombia, Paez became the chief military and civil leader of his country. In 1829, he led the movement that resulted in Venezuela’s becoming a sovereign nation.
Paez was appointed a provincial president in 1830 and began a constitutional term the following year, meaning he controlled the country either as a Chief Executive or a controlling party until the 1940's. He unified the country as it underwent this substantial political and economic transformation.
Jose Felix Ribas
Jose Felix Ribas was a Venezuelan rebel, patriot, and general who fought alongside Simon Bolivar for the independence of South America. Even though he was not formally trained, he was a great people person who helped win some important battles and heavily gave contribution to the Admiral Campaign. He was a eccentric leader who was great at gathering troops and claiming grand ideas for independence. He was eventually captured by royalist forces and executed in 1815.
April 19: Venezuela Declares Independence
By early 1810, Venezuela thought that it was ready for independence. Ferdinand VII was now in control of Spain because of his relationship to Napoleon. The Criollos were unhappy with this shift of power, even those Criollos loyal to the Crown. On April 19, 1810, Criollo Patriots held a meeting and provincially declared independence. They said that they would attempt to rule themselves up and until the Spanish crown was restored. This meeting and pronunciation resulted in the formation of the First Republic. Two years later, the First republic fell after fighting between both Loyalists and Patriots, who of course were Criollos, caused a disturbance coupled with the destructive Earthquake that allowed for the Spanish to take back control of major rebellious cities fairly easily.
The Admirable Campaign
Simon Bolivar after being exiled was ready to rejoin the fight in 1812. Bolivar journeyed to Columbia where he received a small force of men. Not long after, Bolivar succeeded in driving the Spanish out of the area alongside the Magdalena River, and had amassed quite the large army. After demonstrating his military prowess, he was now able to attempt to liberate Western Venezuela. This task he accomplished quickly and soon he moved onto bigger and better things, such as marching on Caracas. He took the City in August of 1813, almost a year after his exile. This Military campaign helped to reestablish his namesake, and helped promote independence to many other countries.
Second Venezuelan Republic
After ousting the Spanish, Bolivar set up the Second Venezuelan Republic. Bolivar and other generals fought the bravehearted Royalists and because they were still in and around every part of Venezuela. Unfortunately, they were too much for Simon and his Army. Due to the continuing onslaught of the Royalist Army, who committed unspeakable atrocities to the towns and villages of the Republic, the Second Venezuelan Republic fell in mid-1814 and Bolivar returned to exile.
Venezuela Under the Spanish
Under the Spanish colonial system, Venezuela was a bit of a hindrance. It was part of the Vice royalty of New Granada, which was dictated by a Viceroy in Bogota, Colombia. The economy was mostly agrarian with a few very wealthy families who ruled the land and people in the region. A precursor to the Independence movement, the criollos began to resent Spain for high taxes, inability to run a structured colony, and a mismanagement of certain economic opportunities. By the 1800s, people were starting to speak openly about independence, those not loyal to the crown that is.
Miranda Invades Venezuela
Francisco de Miranda was a Venezuelan soldier who had become a General during the French Revolution in Europe. Throughout his escapades in Europe he one day wished and dreamed for the independence of his homeland, Venezuela. In 1806 he was able to put together a few men to act as mercenaries and thus started an invasion of Venezuela. He held a small city for a couple of weeks until Spanish forces drove him out. Although the invasion was a fluke, it showed many people that independence was not as unlikely or as far-stretched as it had previously seemed.
Battle of Carabobo
• June 24,1821 in Carabobo Venezuela
• Venezuelan General Simon Bolivar vs Spanish Field Marshal Miguel de la Torre
• Bolivar’s victory led to Venezuela’s independence
• Bolivar sent half of his 6500 soldiers to flank around the Spanish through the dense foliage
• Spain countered this flank but this left their main forces relatively unprotected
• British Legion troops defeated the Spanish after many of the Venezuelan troops retreated
• June 24 is now known as Army Day in Venezuela
• With the spanish finally driven off, Bolivar created Gran Columbia and, Venezuela could start to put itself back into place.
Battle of Lake Maracaibo
Military Campaigns and their Impacts
Military Campaigns- Bolivar was very successful when rallying troops because he made it clear that this fight for independence was necessary
- Had troops using a guerrilla warfare style of fighting which is a style of warfare where a small group of rebels fight in an irregular and unoriginal style of fighting. Usually taking part in ambushes, riots, and raids.
- It is important to understand that not all major battles won were done by guerrilla warfare and that he did use different styles other than guerrilla warfare to win the war for independence.
Impact on the Outcome- Without support from the British, the revolutionaries would have been unsuccessful in completing the fight for Independence
-Veterans of the Napoleonic and Germanic war had large impact on the revolutionary victories
-United States and British were sympathetic and didn't feel the need to go against Venezuela or put forth the effort to stop this revolution
- This outcome of independence for Venezuela led to many good but also bad things. Some may view it as a good thing but the style of warfare led to the death of over half the white population in Venezuela.
- Because help was received by foreign countries, Venezuela was able to create their first true republic and create a constitution that actually granted rights to all citizens, gave freedom of press to everyone and allowed all slaves to be liberated
Key Battles of the Revolution
Battle of Carabobo
• The battle of Carabobo was one sided. Led by Bolivar, Colombian, Irish, Welsh and English troops, the Venezuelan forces completely and utterly annihilated the royalist forces the Spanish tried to throw at them.
• Fought on June 24 1821
• Virtually freed the Venezuelans from the Spanish and won the war.
Battle of Boyaca
Battle of Araura