Simon Bolivar: biography, personal life, achievements, photos

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Simon Bolivar: biography, personal life, achievements, photos
Simon Bolivar: biography, personal life, achievements, photos

Simon Bolivar is one of the most famous leaders of the war for the independence of the Spanish colonies in America. Considered a national hero of Venezuela. Was a general. He is credited with the liberation from Spanish domination not only of Venezuela, but also of the territories on which modern Ecuador, Panama, Colombia and Peru are located. In the territories of the so-called Upper Peru, he founded the Republic of Bolivia, which was named after him.

Childhood and youth

Portrait of Bolivar

Simon Bolivar was born in 1783. He was born on July 24th. The hometown of Simon Bolivar is Caracas, which at that time was part of the Spanish Empire. He grew up in a noble Creole Basque family. His father came from Spain, taking part in the social life of Venezuela. Both of his parents died early. The well-known educators of that time, Simon Rodriguez, a famous Venezuelan philosopher, were engaged in the upbringing of Simon Bolivar.

In 1799, relativesSimon decided to take him away from troubled Caracas back to Spain. Bolivar also ended up there, who began to study law. Then he went on a trip to Europe to get to know the world better. He visited Germany, Italy, France, England, Switzerland. In Paris, attended courses at the Higher and Polytechnic Schools.

It is known that during this trip to Europe, he became a Freemason. Established a lodge in Peru in 1824.

In 1805, Simon Bolivar arrived in the United States, where he developed a plan to liberate South America from Spanish rule.

Republic in Venezuela

Bolivar's career

First of all, Simon Bolivar turned out to be one of the most active participants in the overthrow of Spanish rule in Venezuela. In fact, a coup d'etat took place there in 1810, and the next year the creation of an independent republic was officially announced.

In the same year, the revolutionary junta decides to send Bolivar to London to enlist the support of the British government. True, the British did not want to openly spoil relations with Spain, deciding to remain neutral. Bolivar nevertheless left his agent Louis Lopez Mendez in London to further conclude agreements on the recruitment of soldiers and loans for Venezuela, and he returned to the South American republic with a whole transport of weapons.

Spain was not going to quickly surrender to the will of the rebels. General Monteverde makes an alliance with the semi-savage inhabitants of the Venezuelan steppes, the militant Llaneros. At the head of this irregular military formation is Jose Thomas Boves,nicknamed "Boves the Screamer". After that, the war becomes especially violent.

Simon Bolivar, whose biography is given in this article, takes retaliatory harsh measures, ordering the destruction of all prisoners. However, nothing helps, in 1812 his army suffers a crushing defeat from the Spaniards in New Granada in what is now Colombia. Bolivar himself writes the "Manifesto from Cartagena", in which he describes what happened, and then returns to his homeland.

By the end of the summer of 1813, his troops liberate Caracas, Bolivar is officially proclaimed "the liberator of Venezuela". The Second Venezuelan Republic is being created, headed by the hero of our article. The National Congress confirms that he has been awarded the title of Liberator.

However, Bolivar cannot stay in power for a long time. He turns out to be an indecisive politician, does not carry out reforms in the interests of the poorest segments of the population. Without enlisting their support, he was defeated already in 1814. The Spanish army forces Bolivar to leave the Venezuelan capital. In fact, he is forced to flee and seek refuge in Jamaica. In 1815 he publishes an open letter from there announcing the liberation of Spanish America in the near future.

Greater Colombia

History of Bolívar

Realizing his mistakes, he gets down to business with redoubled energy. Bolivar understands that his strategic miscalculation was the refusal to solve social problems and liberate the Arabs. The hero of our article convinces the President of Haiti, Alexandre Pétion, to helprebels with weapons, in 1816 he landed on the coast of Venezuela.

Decrees on the abolition of slavery and a decree on endowing the soldiers of the liberation army with land allotments allows him to significantly expand his social base, enlist the support of a large number of new supporters. In particular, the llaneros, led by their compatriot José Antonio Paez, after the death of Boves in 1814, go over to the side of Bolívar.

Bolivar seeks to unite around him all the revolutionary forces and their leaders in order to act together, but he fails. However, the Dutch merchant Brion helps him in 1817 to occupy Angostura, and then raises all of Guiana against Spain. Not all is well within the revolutionary army. Bolivar orders the arrest of two of his former associates - Marino and Piar, the latter is executed already in October 17.

Next winter, a party of mercenary soldiers from London arrives to help the hero of our article, from which he manages to form a new army. Following the successes in Venezuela, they liberate New Granada in 1819, and in December Bolivar is elected president of the Republic of Colombia. This decision is made by the first national congress, which meets in Angostura. President Simon Bolivar goes down in history as the leader of Great Colombia. At this stage, it includes New Granada and Venezuela.

In 1822, the Colombians drive the Spaniards out of the province of Quito, which joins Gran Colombia. Now it is an independent state of Ecuador.

Liberation War


It is noteworthy that Bolivar does not rest on this. In 1821, his volunteer army defeats the Spanish royal troops near the settlement of Carabobo.

The next summer, he is negotiating with José de San Martin, who is waging a similar war of liberation, having already managed to liberate part of Peru. But the two rebel leaders fail to find a common language. Moreover, in 1822, San Martin resigns, Bolivar sends Colombian units to Peru to continue the liberation movement. In the battles of Junin and on the plain of Ayacucho, they win a convincing victory over the enemy, defeating the last detachments of the Spaniards who still remain on the continent.

In 1824, Venezuela is completely liberated from the colonists. In 1824, Bolivar becomes dictator in Peru, and also heads the Republic of Bolivia, named after him.

Private life

In 1822, Bolivar meets the Creole Manuela Saenz in the city of Quito. From that moment on, she becomes his inseparable companion and faithful friend. She was 12 years younger than the hero of our article.

It is known that she was an illegitimate child. After the death of her mother, she studied reading and writing in a monastery, at the age of 17 she left there and lived with her father for some time. He even gave her in marriage to an English merchant. She moved with her husband to Lima, where she first encountered the revolutionary movement.

In 1822 she left her husband, returned to Quito, where she met the hero of our article. Simon Bolivar and Manuela Saenz remained together until the death of the revolutionary. When inIn 1828, she saved him from an assassination attempt, then she received the nickname "liberator of the liberator".

After his death, she moved to Paitu, where she sold tobacco and sweets. In 1856 she died during a diphtheria epidemic.

Disintegration of Gran Colombia

President Bolívar

Bolivar sought to form the Southern United States, which was to include Peru, Colombia, Chile and La Plata. in 1826 he convenes a Congress in Panama, but it ends in failure. Moreover, they begin to accuse him of trying to create an empire in which he will play the role of Napoleon. Party strife begins in Colombia itself, part of the deputies, led by General Paez, proclaim autonomy.

Bolivar assumes dictatorial powers and convenes a national assembly. It discusses changing the constitution, but after several meetings they cannot come to any decision.

In parallel, the Peruvians reject the Bolivian code, depriving the hero of our article of the title of president for life. After losing Bolivia and Peru, he establishes the residence of the ruler of Colombia in Bogotá.


In September 1828, an attempt is made on his life. Federalists break into the palace and kill sentries. Bolivar manages to escape. On his side is the majority of the population, with the help of which the rebellion can be suppressed. The head of the conspirators, Vice President Santander, is expelled from the country with his closest supporters.

However, the next year, anarchy intensifies. Caracas announces the secession of Venezuela. Bolivar loses powerand influence, constantly complains about accusations against him from America and Europe.


The Last Days of Bolívar

At the very beginning of 1830, Bolivar retires, shortly after that he dies near the Colombian city of Santa Marta. He refuses houses, lands and even pensions. Spends his last days admiring the scenery of the Sierra Nevada. The hero of the revolution was 47 years old.

In 2010, his body was exhumed by order of Colombian President Hugo Chavez in order to establish the true cause of his death. But this did not succeed. It was reburied in the center of Caracas in a specially built mausoleum.


Monument to Bolívar

Simon Bolivar went down in history as a liberator who freed South America from Spanish rule. According to some reports, he won 472 battles.

In Latin America it is still very popular. His name is immortalized in the name of Bolivia, many cities, provinces, several monetary units. The multiple champion of Bolivia in football is called "Bolivar".

In artworks

It is Bolivar who is the prototype of the protagonist in the novel by the Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez "The General in his Labyrinth". It describes the events of the last year of his life.

Bolivar's biography was written by Ivan Franko, Emil Ludwig and many others. The Austrian playwright Ferdinand Brückner has two plays dedicated to the revolutionary. These are Dragon Fight and Angel Fight.

It is noteworthy that Karl Marx spoke negatively about Bolivar. In his activities, he saw dictatorial and Bonapartist features. Because of this, in Soviet literature, the hero of our article for a long time was evaluated exclusively as a dictator who acted on the side of the landowners and the bourgeoisie.

Many Hispanics challenged this view. For example, Doctor of Historical Sciences Moses Samuilovich Alperovich. Illegal Soviet spy and Hispanic Iosif Grigulevich even wrote a biography of Bolivar for the series "The Life of Remarkable People. For this, in Venezuela he was awarded the Order of Miranda, and in Colombia he was accepted into the local writers' association.

On the big screen

The film "Simon Bolivar" in 1969 tells in detail about the biography of the revolutionary. This is a joint production of Spain, Italy and Venezuela. Simon Bolivar was directed by Alessandro Blasetti. It was his last job.

Maximilian Schell, Rosanna Schiaffino, Francisco Rabal, Conrado San Martin, Fernando Sancho, Manuel Gil, Luis Davila, Ángel del Pozo, Julio Peña and Sancho Gracia starred in Simon Bolivar.

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