Not many men in history have a lot of things attached to a name than Simon Bolivar. A city, country and currency were named after him. He is loved by many, and hated by some, but only because they were envious of his achievements. He was born rich, and died just as rich and powerful. Not only that, he went down in history in more good ways than bad.
He was considered by the liberal historians as the fighter of tyranny. He was interpreted as the leader of a bourgeois revolution by the Marxist. He was seen as reformist who changed a political landscape without changing the colonial heritage by modern revolutionaries.
1. Freed South America From Spanish Power.
Following the collapse of the First Republic, Bolivar was hell-bent on creating a new policy of choosing war over death. He issued a decree at Trujillo in June 15, 1813 where he clearly declared war against the Spaniards, promising death to all. In 1824, he finally saw the last Spanish viceroy surrender.
2. Fought Many Wars And Won.
After driving away the Spanish monarchy, Bolivar continued with many other military conquests. These included Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia, where he served as president in all of these nations. He was also president of Latin America’s first union of independent nations that he co-founded, Gran Colombia, from 1819 to 1830.
3. Wrote The Constitution For Bolivia.
If you might notice, Bolivia sounds very much like Bolivar, and this is mainly because he gave his name to this central South American country. He later went to draft the constitution of Bolivia, which was filled with liberal details. Bolivar wanted a strong government where the president is ‘the sun which, fixed in its orbit, imparts life to the universe’, someone appointed by the legislature for life. The president would also have the right to appoint a successor, which Bolivar regarded as the ‘inspiration of republican ideas’.
The constitution also declared the slaves’ freedom, living up to his abolitionist ways and ideals. Many were impressed by the constitution he made. But American conservatives and liberals were outraged by the executive power granted to the life president.
4. Started The Abolition Of Slavery.
Bolivar was born to privilege and wealth, likely being waited on hand and foot by slaves, but he was an abolitionist. He has long identified the need to unify the rebellions of creole, pardo and slaves into a great movement. In a speech, he called upon the Congress of Angostura to remove from Venezuela whatever barbaric and profane elements of slavery. He also denounced Manuel Piar, a mulatto regional chieftain who sought to mobilize the colored population, and later had him executed. This took Bolivar a step closer to abolition of racism and suppression of special forces.
Although slavery endured, slave trade was finally abolished in Venezuela in 1811. Bolivar himself liberated his own slaves. First, on the condition that they enter military service. Second, with no condition whatsoever, following Venezuela’s liberation.
It was ironic, however, that Bolivar became a dictator in the later part of his political career. His dictatorship proved to be his tragedy.