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Uprisings in Latin America

A brief history on some of the revolts in Latina America.

In the late 17th century, midway to the 18th, there were many uprisings and revolutions in the Latin countries of the Americas. These sparks of rebellion were influenced by many factors such as the ideas of the Enlightenment, the successes of the American Revolution, and the French Revolution . Resentment of European rule was common among the Latin countries, and that period of time was fit to make way for changes.

Insurgents in Socorro, Columbia sparked a revolt that spread to other cities in the country such as Bogotá due to taxes to polling and tobacco. These rebels asked for fewer taxes, more protection of land, and the higher offices for Creoles. Many peasants, artisans, along with Creole leaders marched to Bogotá to request their demands.

These demands were fulfilled for a short time until the rebel force returned home and at that point, the Spanish viceroy voided the concessions These decisions were backed by troops who were on the lookout for rebels and those against the government. Even the Church was against the rebellions, resorting to threats of retributions. Unlike some of the other rebellions, the Comunero rebels looked for reforms to the government rather than independence.

The more successful revolution spurred up in 1810 and lasted until 1819. This period was an era of conflicts and battles over the government run in Gran Colombia. There was constant fighting between the centralists and the federalists; some cities even setup their own government, distinguishing themselves from others.

When the people of South America heard that southern Spain had been conquered by Napoleon, many Latin countries declared independence and established their own governments.  On May 22, 1810, Caragena de Indias established a junta and followed others to Bogota, the capital on June 20. Even though Bogota claimed to be the Supreme junta, there was no unity and as a result, there were many battles between cities and towns. Twice there were attempts to establish a congress of the provinces, twice were they unsuccessful.  

There were civil wars in Colombia during 1812-1814; but in 1815, a large Spanish force accompanied by Pablo Morillo came and took over. By May 1816, royalists had control over Colombia. The long struggles for independence were oversaw by Simon Bolivar and Francisco de Paula Santander. Bolivar took a force from Venezuela to the Andes and won a quick battle in the Battle of Boyacá, on August 7, 1819. Bolivar was elected President and Santander was elected Vice President.

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