Known as El Libertador, the general and statesman Venezuelan led the emancipation of Latin America against Spanish colonialism.
Bolivar in a portrait made about 1805 in Paris
In the battle of Araure (5 December 1813)
The battle of Carabobo
Bolivar in a portrait of José Gil de Castro
Detail of a portrait of Bolivar
by Eustoquia Carrasquilla
Simón Bolívar and Francisco de Paula Santander
When the independence of America began to think with other names and start your independent travel, was born in Caracas, July 24, 1783, Simon Jose Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios. Venezuela was then a General captaincy of the Kingdom of Spain, whose population in his breathed by differences in rights between the Spanish owner of power oligarchy, Mantua or Creole class, landowners, and the lower strata of pardos and slaves.
The people, despite the privileges that had, had developed a particular feeling of "being American", which invited them to rebellion: "we were (would explain Bolivar later) abstracted and, say, absent of the universe as it relates to the science of the Government and administration of the State." Never were viceroys and Governors but for reasons very extraordinary; archbishops and bishops rarely; diplomats never; military only as subordinates; noble, no real privileges; We were not, in the end, neither judges nor financiers, and almost not even traders; all in direct violation of our institutions".
This was, moreover, the class to which they belonged Juan Vicente Bolívar and put you, and Maria de Concepción Palacios and white, Simon child's parents. He was the youngest of four brothers and very soon became, along with them, heir to a great fortune. Bolivar was orphaned, definitely, at nine years of age, to the care of his maternal grandfather and later his uncle Carlos Palacios; They ensure the education of the boy, while negra Hipólita, his slave, and nurse, would continue their duties of care.
Between the valleys of Aragua and the city of Caracas had crossed childhood and part of the adolescence of young Simon. It combined his studies at the school of the first letters of the city with visits to the estate of the family. Later, at the age of fifteen, the araguenos territories would charge a new meaning in his life when, by the mediation made by his uncle Stephen, "Minister of the Court of the accounting major of the Kingdom" to King Carlos IV, was appointed "Lieutenant of infantry militia of whites de los Valles de Aragua".
While this was happening, was lucky to have formed the best teachers and thinkers of the city; they were among them Andrés Bello, Guillermo Pelgrón and Simón Rodríguez. Was the latter, however, who managed to calm nervous and unruly momentum of the child, by moments by hosting it as internal in your home by order of the Royal Court; which would be the genesis of a great friendship. But neither this nor that of the militia were enough to quiet the boy, and his uncles decided to send him to Spain to continue his training.
Stay in Europe
It was the year 1799 when Bolívar landed in Peninsular lands. In Madrid, despite continuing their studies, the environment of the city you seduced: reading, dancing and gathering halls he frequented, and watched amazed the Court of the Kingdom from the gardens of Aranjuez, a place that evoked in a delirious dream on his deathbed. He was dressed in soldier in those times in which Spain began to talk about Napoleon, and thus visited the Marquis de Ustariz, educated man who shared long evenings of conversation.
In one of them she met María Teresa Rodríguez del Toro, whom he married on May 26, 1802 in the chapel of San José, in the Palace of the Duke of Frias. While Bernardo Rodríguez, father of the girl, decided to give long commitment, Bolivar follows them to Bilbao and advantage to travel to France: Bayonne, Bordeaux and Paris. Immediately after the wedding, they moved to Caracas and, despite the his Creoles channeled through his plots, Bolivar remains together his wife leading a quiet life. This just it would last, however, as María Teresa died days after being infected yellow fever, in January 1803. Bolívar, disappointed, decides to move away and moved back to Europe.
The events in Venezuela began to take air of revolt as the Caracas Francisco de Miranda, from the United States and the West Indies, was preparing an invasion that drew the notion of independence. Oblivious to everything, Bolivar meets with his father-in-law in Madrid, to move to Paris in 1804. Napoleon would soon be declared Emperor of France. The latter had organized a class Aristocrat, found among the bourgeoisie, which met in the large halls which attended Bolivar in the company of Fernando Toro and Fanny du Villars.
The still young Bolívar, kind of American dandy, is little spread shortly after the liberal ideas and the literature that inspired the French Revolution. He was a great reader and a partner rather interested in the politics of the present. At that time he met Alexander von Humboldt, Expeditionary and great connoisseur of American territory, who tells the maturity of the colonies for independence; "I do not see (say Humboldt) is the man who can do it".
Simón Rodríguez was in Vienna; Bolivar, to learn, ran in his quest. Later the teacher moved to Paris, and in the company of Fernando Toro they embarked on a journey whose final destination was Rome. They crossed the Alps on foot to Milan, where they stopped on 26 May 1805 to witness the coronation of Napoleon, whom Bolívar Museum always. After Venice, Ferrara, Bologna, Florence, Perugia and Rome. In the latter city was called Oath of the sacred mountain, in which, in the presence of Rodriguez and Fernando Toro, Bolivar vowed to "break the chains that oppress us by the will of the Spanish power".
Bolivar in a portrait made about 1805 in Paris
Clearly, this circumstance is not born in Bolívar or occurs suddenly. The fervor of the moment and his conversations with leading intellectuals of the carving, precisely, of his master, make you understand the situation of America with respect to Spain. Bolivar learns liberating failed expeditions of Francisco de Miranda in Ocumare and the choir candle, and decides to embark on return journey.
The gestation of an ideal
Bolívar returned to Caracas in mid-1807, after a short stay in the United States, to return to his old life of Squire. José Antonio Briceño, a neighbor of lands and farms, was waiting with a fence on their land; This issue should be resolved as soon as possible. Among some Caracas, incursions by Miranda had incorporated the concept of emancipation; However, the majority of Creole was satisfied with rebel passively violating regulations that dictated from Spain.
Bolívar had already joined the activities of conspiracy (in 1808 already conspired) when the revolt erupted on April 19, 1810. Realm news announcing the invasion of Spain by Napoleon's troops and the kidnapping of the King and his son Fernando. The situation was conducive for the count of Tovar submit to the Government a project to create a Governing Board attached to the Seville hearing. The criollos demanded political participation. Initially, authorities were reluctant to draft, but subsequently, the vacuum of power that had been created, decided to negotiate with the conspirators. Bolívar, aware of the situation, opened the doors of "la cuadra de Bolívar" to join the meetings. He refused categorically to participate in the project of the Coalition; for him, he should cry out for the absolute emancipation.
On the eve of Holy Thursday of 1810, arrived in the city Commissioners of the new Regency in Cádiz, body which would act in substitution of Fernando VII to form a new Government. The captain general were joined by and the next day the Creoles besieged him and forced him to go to the Town Hall. Venezuelan mythology reflects this date the instant in which Vicente's they Emparan, captain general, he looks out on the balcony of the cabildo of Caracas for questioning the people inflamed about the will to continue accepting his command, with the cleric José Madariaga cuts behind it have beckoning with his finger to the people so they denied it. After a resounding Emparan says "No!" on the part of the population: "because I do not want to control". Broke out the famous Caracas revolt that, unwittingly, gave home to the process of independence of Venezuela. It created a Supreme Junta of Venezuela. Bolivar was named by this "Colonel of infantry". The task of traveling to London, accompanied by Andrés Bello and Luis López Méndez, in search of support for the project of the new Government was assigned.
In London, they were received by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lord Wellesley, who after several interviews ended up staying neutral to the situation. Bolívar, despite foiled the attempt, found at this juncture the last push that was missing to deliver his soul and his life to the idea of the absolute emancipation of all of America. The linchpin of this circumstance was found in the figure of Francisco de Miranda, ideologue and visionary of the independence of America, who had already designed, among other things, a project for the construction of a great nation called "Colombia". Bolivar is soaked in the ideas of this man and reformulated them throughout a campaign that would last for twenty years.
Bolívar returned to Caracas convinced of the mission which was decided to be attributed. Miranda would soon follow him; its figure was somewhat legendary among the Creoles, both for the long time that went abroad as for his involvement in the independence of North America and the French Revolution. Almost no one knew him, but Bolivar, convinced of the usefulness of this man for the company that began, introduced him to the patriotic society of agriculture and economy (created in August 1810). Won both the idea of proclaiming an absolute independence for Venezuela, they urged the members of the society to speak out in favour of that constituent Congress of Venezuela, met in March 2, 1811. It was apropos that Bolívar issued his first memorable speech: "put the foundation stone of the South American freedom without fear. Hesitation is losing." July 5, 1811 the Congress declared the independence of Venezuela and approved the Federal Constitution to the States of Venezuela.
The first Republic was lost as a result of the differences in criteria between the Creoles, resentments between caste and social classes, and the incursions of Domingo Monteverde, Commander of the Royalist Army, in chorus, Siquisique, Carora, Trujillo, Barquisimeto, Valencia and, finally, Caracas. It was clear that a civil war would break out immediately, because the company in question was all less monolithic. Bolivar would take awareness of the classist nature of the war and reflect about it throughout all her political proclamations. On this occasion, however, he had to defend the Republic from Puerto Cabello. Despite their excellent political and military work in defense of the Castle, all was useless; the forces from the other side were superior, and to this is added the ruin caused by the earthquakes in March 1812. July 25 was the capitulation of the generalisimo Francisco de Miranda; If well required in his opinion, this action filled with anger to Bolivar, who, upon hearing plans of Miranda to leave the territory, participated in his arrest in the port of La Guaira: "I did not arrest him to serve the King but to punish a Betrayer".
The strategy of Bolivar was then flee to Curacao, from where it departed at Cartagena. His intention, wrapped in the mantle of a dazzling speech, was to find support in the new forces to begin the reconquest of the Republic in Venezuela. "I am, Granada, a son of the unhappy Caracas, escaped miraculously from the midst of their physical ruins, and political": with these words continued the Cartagena manifesto, letter of Bolivar to the sovereign Congress, which makes a diagnosis of defeat while offering their services to the army in the region. Residents welcomed him giving him the rank of Captain of Barrancas.
Bolivar fought a few battles, even disobeying orders, and under the same procedure, undertook his lunge toward Venezuela. The Admirable Campaign, epic which consisted in the reconquest of the territories in the West of the country and at the same time those of East in charge of Santiago Mariño triumphantly into Caracas in August of the same year began in May 1813. Return the Republic! Passing through Merida called him "the liberator", and that name was ratified by the municipality of Caracas, who appointed him, in addition, captain general of the armies of Venezuela.
The war of liberation
It was clear that the nature of the war was changing, which would soon show themselves again. The cunning with which Bolívar sought to polarize sides through the Decree of war to the death of 1813 ("Spaniards and canarians, count with death, yet remain indifferent. [...] ("Americans count with life, even though you may be guilty"), was not enough to mitigate the differences between Brown and black armies against the emancipatory feat. The fury of the Prairie armies, under the command of the Asturian José Tomás Boves, forced the exodus of Caracas in July 1814. The Republic falls again.
In the battle of Araure (5 December 1813)
I had to rethink the situation. After a short but victorious transit through New Granada, he was appointed general of division, and after achieving the accession of Cundinamarca, captain-general of the Confederation of Nueva Granada, gear, Jamaica in May 1815. In Kingston he devoted himself to disclose, through a copious correspondence with personalities from all over the world, the aim of the war was waged in the territory of the South America. Until then, the world knew only the version of the royalists.
These informative documents, the most famous is the Letter from Jamaica. It reproduces the panorama of all the struggles that were simultaneously in America, speculates about the future of the territory, and advances the idea of the Colombian union. And it is that writing was an important chapter in the life of Bolivar. The power exercised by his pen, arguably, guaranteed him much of his triumphs. It revolutionized the style of prose letter making the living reflection of his passions, thoughts and actions. Its scribes and clerks agreed that the dictates of the liberator "had won the printing without a murmur of correction". From the office of Jamaica, she prepared the new strategy for Venezuela.
The reconquest of Venezuela would take six years to be achieved. Expeditions started in Margarita, continued climbing the East towards Guayana, enabled the navigation of the Orinoco underway across the Plains, and then, by the Andes to Bogotá and Boyaca, and from the West to Valencia, to seal the final independence in Carabobo, on June 24, 1821.
The battle of Carabobo
They were the times of Pablo Morillo, Envoy of the already released Fernando VII. Beat it was difficult, and Bolívar had to employ new strategies of accession: he proclaimed the freedom of the slaves, it offered land in Exchange for military loyalty. He won the loyalty of the Prairie armies, under the command of José Antonio Páez, vital in the liberation of this contest along with a significant contingent of soldiers and general European, British, who longed for joining the Liberator. At the same time, Bolívar was responsible for the political reconstruction of the region: convened a Congress at Angostura in February 1819, where made a famous speech in which urged the representatives to proclaim a centralist Constitution and the creation of the Gran Colombia.
The South was targeted by Colombia, i.e. of Bolivar. Release and adherence of Quito and Guayaquil was essential to maintain the hegemony of Colombia on the continent. This was accomplished, from the military point of view, at the battle of Pichincha, and from the political point of view, negotiations conducted by Sucre and Bolívar in the region. The day of independence, however, would end in Peru with the battles of Junín and Ayacucho in 1824.
The strategic value that had the release and conquest of the territory by the Liberator army was to promote the final departure of the Spanish from the American territory. But, in addition, it was the triumph of the Republican Bolivarian ideology on the proposal to build a monarchy in the southern territories, defended by the oligarchy supported and Peruvian apparently by José de San Martín, "Libertador del Sur" and "Protector" of those lands. Both libertadores met in Guayaquil in July 1822 in order to address this and other matters related to the war. He never knew what spoke, but the course of events provides evidence of a Pact in which San Martin yields. Bolivar yearned for his final claim as Inca land facing the devastating ruling class Lima for the Alto Peru. A nation with the name of Bolívar (Bolivia) was built in that territory, after the battle of Ayacucho. Sucre is commanding and Bolivar returns to accountability to the Colombian Congress; It was the year 1826.
The months that preceded the death of the Liberator in Santa Marta, in 1830, Bolívar meant you evoking the memory of his bitter political defeat. The path from the top of the top of Chimborazo when Bolivar delirious and was confused with the "Dios de Colombia" until his resignation to the Presidency of Colombia in April 1830, meant for Bolivar the fight for the true construction of the Nations. He advocated the construction of a centralist State that could potentially bring together that which under the racial, cultural, and geographical heterogeneity not resisted the perfection of a Federation at all times.
It was all useless. Fighting caudillistas and nationalists won and proceeded to the separation of Venezuela and Ecuador of the Gran Colombia. I remembered to Manuelita Sáenz, his ultimate love and the "liberator" of his life in the attack on September 25, 1828, in Bogota; It also evoked other loves and other attacks. Wept the death of Sucre, remembered and delirious, and thus died, alone and defenestrated territories that had been delivered, because of an hemoptysis, in the Quinta San Pedro Alejandrino, on December 17, 1830. In 1842 the Government of Venezuela decided to move the remains of Bolivar, according to his last wish. Since then, his legacy has become myth and reverence as "founder of the fatherland".
Chronology of Simon Bolivar
|1783||Born on July 24 in Caracas, in the bosom of a wealthy family.|
|1792||It is an orphan and passes into the care of his maternal grandfather and later his uncle Carlos Palacios.|
|1799||He travelled to Spain to complete his studies.|
|1802||In Madrid he married María Teresa Rodríguez del Toro.|
|1803||Back to Caracas. Maria Teresa died of yellow fever. Bolivar embarks on a new tour of Europe.|
|1805||He attends the coronation of Napoleon. Determined to liberate the Spanish American colonies of the Spanish yoke, pronounced in Rome the oath of Monte Sacro.|
|1807||Return to Caracas.|
|1811||He joined the army under the command of Francisco de Miranda as a Colonel.|
|1812||After the surrender of Miranda, he moved to Curaçao.|
|1813||Reconquista Venezuela called Admirable Campaign. He was appointed captain general of the armies of Venezuela and receives the title of Liberator.|
|1814||Defeated again, he retired to Jamaica. Write the Letter from Jamaica.|
|1821||After several expeditions and battles, gets the final victory in the battle of Carabobo, which ensures the independence of Venezuela. Two years earlier he had proclaimed in Angostura, the Constitution of the Republic of the great Colombia, which was to understand the republics of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama.|
|1822||Along with Sucre, on coordinated action, get the release of the Ecuador.|
|1824||Victory over the Royal Army of Peru in Junin. Sucre, for its part, beat the royalists in the decisive battle of Ayacucho.|
|1825||The provinces of the Alto Peru are Republic Bolivar, embryo of the Republic of Bolivia.|
|1826||He returned to Caracas to quell La Cosiata, the Venezuelan separatist movement led by Páez.|
|1827||At the Congress of Panama are evident separatist longings among the freedoms young republics.|
|1830||In the middle of an advanced process of dissolution of the Gran Colombia, died 17 December|
Idario of Simon Bolivar
The metaphor of historical time has been used to combine the facts of American independence and the life of a man in a same chronology: Simón Bolívar. This particular circumstance gave rise to the story of a heroic odyssey that, in the midst of battles and memorable phrases, prevents the understanding of events in the context of emergency and possibility sterile. By virtue of this, Simón Bolívar remains in the memory as "The liberator of America", while the rest of his life and work have been much less understood and barely evoked.
It is true that, as stated by Rufino Blanco Fombona, Bolivar served as the political leadership "greatest that humanity has known", but the commitment of this man did not abate in the adventure of destroying colonies and founding homelands as who Crown territories. The largest company of Bolívar was precisely that which never conquered: the build strong Republics by the building of a strong State and a liberal democratic system.
Is in this attempt, whose more finished version was the "project of the great Colombia", where del Libertador shows different faces that oblivion has tried to silence, and the rescue of the aspirations and failures of the man above the virtues of the "hero of the fatherland" is necessary not only to visualize the independence of America as a process carried out by a multiplicity of causes , but primarily to understand the circumstances that led to Bolivar to become "the founder of Homeland" when least expected, and in the "dictator of Colombia," when less wished it. Perhaps all this can also serve to explain why, nowadays, almost two hundred years of its disappearance, Simón Bolívar is still present of America.
The ideology of Simón Bolívar
In its social and political aspect, the outbreak of the crisis of Venezuelan colonial society allowed at the time the maturation of a set of situations that worth mentioning. Firstly, the war facilitated the decantation of the so-called "French ideas" into Bolivarian ideas, i.e. national ideas. In other words, the slogans of freedom, equality, brotherhood and property that fed the clearly bourgeois French Revolution ideology were reworked by the political elite that came with Simón Bolívar, who will analyze the social consequences that produced the dissemination of these principles among the slaves, the Brown and the indigenous, found in the body of the military Republican to the social sector, which allowed him to fulfill the dual purpose of creating an independent Republic and at the same time, satisfy the aspirations of the individuals members of the society of that time, with regard to freedom, equality and property.
The reflection of Bolívar was based on analysis of various traumatic events, such as the collapse of the Republic in the year 1812, in Venezuela, the failure of the Republican restoration the following year, in 1813, and the fall of the Republican government in New Granada, occurred in 1815. Since the Cartagena manifesto, written in 1812, Simón Bolívar had been insisting on the political shortcomings of the enlightened elite who advocated independence. The civil war, the lack of unity, the excessive valuation of the federal regime, adherence to religious ideas and simple political intrigue, are the points that stand out in the inventory that serves as base to a convincing balance made by the hero: "our division - says - and not Spanish arms, we turned to slavery".
Bolivar in a portrait of José Gil de Castro
However, it was not until the Manifesto of Carúpano (1814), and later in the Letter from Jamaica (1815), when Simón Bolívar explained in detail its political criteria with regard to the social situation that prevented the development of Republican Governments in Venezuela. The testimony is important because it represents the first social reading of the problem they were facing American societies since the outbreak of the political crisis in Spain and the revolution in Haiti: "the establishment at the end of freedom in a country of slaves - says with lucid prose the Liberator in the Manifesto of Carúpano (1814) - is a work as impossible to suddenly run which is beyond the reach of all human power; so our excuse of not having obtained what we wanted is inherent to the cause that we continue; because as well as justice justifies the audacity of having undertaken, the impossibility of acquiring qualifies the inadequacy of the means".
The slaves referred to in Bolívar in the Manifesto of Carúpano are no longer the generic entity that identified in its previous Cartagena manifesto. They are men of flesh and blood; Moreover, they are men of flesh, bone, and weapons. They are nothing less than the concrete expression of the anguish that arose in Caracas society since the end of the 18th century and which represented a tangible threat to the aspiration of the American Creoles with regard to a peaceful transfer of the exercise of power. Are, to be precise, the Grizzly and the slaves that normally accompanied General realists as Domingo de Monteverde, José Tomás Boves and Francisco Tomás Morales. They are, to put it in the words of Bolivar, "armed Vice".
A centralist Republic
For Simón Bolívar - and this is important to stress this because there lies the reason for his leadership political-, the Venezuelan society of the years from 1811 to 1821 is witness and protagonist of the confrontation between "simple political philosophy" and "Vice armed with the wildness of the license". For him, the Americans have chosen "vile greed", covered in the looting, and therefore warned his contemporaries that the fate of the Republican experiment depends on the resolution of this conflict. How will you solve Simón disjunctive such Bolívar?
Firstly, it suggested and made a break with the federal political postulates that, from their point of view, had led to the failure to Republican Governments in Venezuela and New Granada. The Republic which will propose and try to build will be strongly centralist, in the only way that guaranteed him the triumph: the dictatorial Government. Secondly, in the absence of a sector of enlightened owners and intellectuals, whose largest number of members had been killed in the first skirmishes of the war or had to flee the country leaving behind properties and teachings, Simón Bolívar drew up a political programme aimed to promote the social aspirations of the military elite who accompanied him.
The Republic that intended to build in his writings was neither more nor less than of the liberators and they would have substantive political guarantees, such as the lifetime Presidency, hereditary Senate, moral power and the law of military assets in your space. However, the force of circumstances determined that these aspirations are realized more by way of the facts that other more rational and elaborate path: Gallery of military dictators who until a few years ago exhibited the Latin American scenario is good proof of this. Admittedly, that authoritarian tendencies that have been in force in Venezuelan politics in the 20th century have had a reading - perhaps too letter - this section of the Bolivarian principles utilized source of inspiration.
We should add that, aware of the social problems posed by the existence of slavery, Simón Bolívar joined his speech the institutional question of this, using a response from military action program developed to build the foundations of the Republic. Convinced of the idea that the permanence of slavery drove fatally to the extreme outputs of the rebellion and the extermination, the Republic that intended to build should arbitrate on a priority basis means that facilitate a gradual disappearance in the future of the institution of slavery.
The strength of this body of political approaches enabled Simón Bolívar convene, in 1819 the Congress of Angostura. With your installation you can talk about implementation of the Bolivarian Republic, which will produce the real existence of the Republic of Colombia. Military control of the Guiana region also generated a favorable attitude towards the independence cause abroad. In the United States, President Monroe recognized the conflict as a war between equals. In the United Kingdom, Luis López Méndez obtained greater facilities for sending troops, contracting of loans and remission of military equipment. And while for 1820 has not had resolved all the disagreements in the Republican Army and most of the Venezuelan territory remained under the control of the realistic general Pablo Morillo, the installation of the Congress of Angostura, the Alliance with José Antonio Páez, the transformation of the headquarters of Angostura in the capital of the Republic and the edition of El Correo del Orinoco with the assistance of numerous civilians in prestige configured a political picture that would make it possible to try the conversion of the dictatorial regime, which came to prevail since 1811, in a constitutional Government.
The governance model
Proposals for Simón Bolívar, 1820, not constituted a provisional political action programme, but they were already a program of solid Government and future, intended to bring stability to the Republic, to make it lasting and, at the same time, delete the harmful effects of colonial domination in the minds of the citizens.
In the Speech of Angostura - first organic part of the American consciousness and no doubt the first modern sociological analysis of the Latin American reality - after suggest a concept of political practice identified with the Aristotelian principles of wisdom, righteousness and wisdom, Simón Bolívar saw and gave for the fact that the Republic had already citizens fit to govern it.
In this regard, he proposed three paths that brought the Republic desired stability and resolve the lack of virtue who suffered. The first was the establishment of a strong and lifelong executive power. The second was the creation of the hereditary Senate. The third, finally, was the education of the rest of the citizens, and was based on the guidelines of the Jacobin Republic civic cult.
This Republican project, which mixes the principles and nature of an aristocratic laws Republic and operation of a monarchy, is the fullest expression of reprocessing of the illustrated ideas into feasible and practicable responses in the Government of the Spanish colonies of America. It's the Bolivarian Republic that will ripen with the establishment of the Republic of Colombia from 1821.
The hereditary Senate
In the execution of this test, Simón Bolívar took as a model the British legislation with regard to freedoms, sovereignty, division of powers and other parecidamente traditional criteria of English liberalism. Special mention the points related to the specific organization of the Republic and the particular revision of the slave ownership is required.
Convinced of the viability of his model, Simón Bolívar proposed a legislative body like the English Parliament. The House of representatives was made similar to that provided for by the Venezuelan Constitution of 1811, i.e., through the exercise of the suffrage citizens qualified to do so by law. However, the Senate Chamber underwent a radical transformation in its elective nature and its conformation. It was a particular Senate and new design, and that did not match so the model of classical political theory of democratic and aristocratic republics.
Detail of a portrait of Bolivar
by Eustoquia Carrasquilla
The Senate of the Bolivarian Republic was constituted following the guidelines of the intermediate powers laid down for the monarchy. It was not hereditary but elective. I didn't truly legislative or executive functions, but it was mediate. As the nobility in monarchies, it was base and guarantor of the permanence of the regime; in this case, of the Republic.
This hereditary Senate was the political response that allowed the Liberator award to the military elite the share of power needed to compromise with the creation of the Republic. It was a response that compromised his particular power of belligerence: weapons. The search for the commitment of the military, through the recognition of their influence in the political leadership of the regime that is thought to establish, is what nourished the leadership of Simón Bolívar on their other contemporary, they were these the royalist side or the Republican side.
The military engagement
The proposal of Simón Bolívar succeeded and sustainability historic because he committed himself to the elite military in the spell of two most powerful adversaries in Venezuelan of late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century society: the Republican sector of disunity and anarchy. The disunity among Republicans was expressed in a sharp controversy between centralism and federalism, whose origins dated back to the same instrumentation of the Bourbon reforms and the creation of the captaincy General of Venezuela, in 1777. The dissemination of the ideas of anarchy, was on the other hand, skillfully directed by the realistic opponent through the atizamiento of the egalitarian aspirations among the Brown, indigenous people and slaves.
The hereditary Senate, according to the words of Bolivar "will be this delicate and highly susceptible to violent impressions building lock". Put another way, the Senate of the Bolivarian Republic should be bastion of the freedom and support to consolidate and perpetuate the institution of the Republic.
However, being warned of estrangement and the lack of ability of the Americans in the management of public affairs, Bolivar contemplated as an extra measure of the descendants of the first members of the hereditary Senate education. The sons of Senators - proposed, more or less - must educate yourself in a specially designed school to instruct those tutors who will become the future legislators from the homeland. Taking into account that these leaders not are they correspond in its origin with a particularly exalted economic status or know intellectual, prerequisites of the classical political theory for the practice of politics, the leaders of the Bolivarian Republic that "not out of the bosom of the virtues [...] will you leave the bosom of an enlightened education".
The lifetime Presidency
On the particularity of the legislature, the Bolivarian Republic also proposed a strong and solid executive power. Simón Bolívar took as a model the British rules and in his speech showed a detailed knowledge of the postulates of Montesquieu. The Executive power of the new Republic which was projected to build should overcome the shortcomings that were ruined Republican trials of 1811 and 1813, in Venezuela, and in 1815, in New Granada.
To achieve this, however, Simón Bolívar judged appropriate to adopt a formula which, in the style of monarchies, centralizase the most important functions of the Government, but that kept a substantial distance in relation to the source of his power. The first magistrate of the Bolivarian Republic should not his ascension to a dynastic succession: would be elected by the people or their representatives. In short: it would not be a monarch, but a President.
Simón Bolívar propositions the Republican audience of 1819 responded to basic and fundamental policy objectives: give strength to the Republic by an open space of time and give stability to the political system through the competition of new political interests in the Venezuelan stage under the protection of the social war. Thus, political power granted to the lifetime Presidency and a hereditary Senate complemented with the instrumentation of a new power that Bolívar was agreed to be called "moral power".
The moral power
This moral power of the Bolivarian Republic is closely linked to hereditary Senate. In the Bolivarian project, the hereditary Senate not only is the guarantor of the permanence of the Republic; in your hands is also the designation of the members of the brand new moral power, i.e., the same regeneration of a society humbled by the colonial regime. As well as future senators would get the Republican Government's enlightened education that would enable them to the exercise of the Government, the rest of Venezuelans, who "love the country but not its laws", will have to strengthen "its spirit" much until they manage to digest the healthy nourishing of freedom. For this purpose, the Bolivarian Republic contemplated the creation of a moral power which "domain are the children and the hearts of men, public spirit, morality and the moral Republican". With this new formulation, Simón Bolívar awarded to the military elite power driving the Republican project for a considerable time and with extraordinary powers in its exercise. A like never before in modern political theory had been: because ultimately the Bolivarian Republic made viable - and even necessary - Jacobean civic cult practice.
The problem of slavery
The inventory of the political circumstances that led to the establishment of the Republic during the outbreak of the crisis of the colonial society, would be incomplete if you forget the last core aspect of Bolivarian political theory: the treatment of the problem of slavery. This aspect deserves special attention. In part, about to occur within the framework of a bristling social reality, of the years that pass between 1810 and 1830 in Venezuela, but above all, and this should emphasise this, because they are made from a political appreciation of liberal roots, as it is that of Simón Bolívar.
The topic of slavery appears in the Bolivarian speech since 1816, but it won't be until 1819 when its political action pay attention to stay or not the institution of slavery. It is at the last moment when the ideas of Simón Bolívar made of the abolition of the institution of slavery an instrument aimed to ensure the success of the military campaign that had been developing in the direction of establishing a Republic.
At the beginning, around 1816, as noted, in the discourse of Bolivar the freedom of slaves is related efforts carried out on behalf of Republican restitution and commitment with the Government of Haiti. Thus, after the expedition of Los Cayos, which landed in April 1816, announcing the restoration of the Republican regime, on the island of Margarita Simón Bolívar issued the proposal for abolition of slavery as "nature, justice, and the policy call for the emancipation of the slaves".
However, these first steps are not fast expected effects and Simón Bolívar, to inform the Haitian President Alejandro Petión of the result of their proclamations, is categorical in pointing out the presentation of just a hundred men among the slaves that lived in the Republican territory. For the liberator, the tyranny of the Spaniards has put the slaves in "such a State of stupidity [...] that you have lost to the desire to be free".
A relatively different situation arises from 1819, when again insist on the need to free the slaves and asks the Congress of Angostura ratification of their proclamations of 1816 and the promulgation of the Decree of freedom in February 1820.
Simón Bolívar and Francisco de Paula Santander
In his correspondence during 1821 with general Francisco de Paula Santander are the precise arguments which explain the insistence of Bolivar that the Republic of Colombia would give full compliance to the text of the Decree of 1820. After the proclamation of the Republic of Colombia, Simón Bolívar requests repeatedly Santander "the uprising (CAM) of slaves" for immediate incorporation to the Republican Army. Against the blunt refusal of the Vice-President of Colombia, in the sense of give effect to its demand, the Liberator forwards from the city of San Cristobal a detailed trade of the reasons that assist you to make this request.
In his letter of April 20, 1820, for example, says that Colombia's political opinion is confused when it established a similar relationship between "freedom of slaves" and "uprising of slaves", this being the last authorized by the Decree of 1820. It indicates that "I just sent that to take the useful weapons for slaves". Otherwise, freeing all the slaves, they would rather "detrimental" to the Republic.
For Simón Bolívar the performance of the Congress of Angostura and its application for three thousand slaves relies on military "obvious reasons". On the one hand, the Republican Army is in need of "strong and robust men accustomed to the inclement and the fatigues [...] in which death is nothing short of his life". On the other hand, political reasons are "more powerful". In her view, the Congress of Angostura, attending his anti-slavery preaching, has not acted against the property, but it recommended by Montesquieu, followed preserves the Republican of a possible rebellion of slaves regime because "these people are enemies of society and their number would be dangerous".
A central idea of Bolivarian discourse is that "every free Government that commits the absurdity of maintaining slavery is scarred by rebellion and sometimes extermination". Of course that Simón Bolívar is here present coetaneous experience of Haitian independence and the consequences that this had in the Venezuelan field. To convince his interlocutors not taken road moralist who would discuss the justice or injustice of slavery. His thinking follows a path more conducive and understandable for a society charged discrimination and exclusion, appealing to fear: "we have seen in Venezuela - Bolivar writes - die free population and meet the captive; I don't know if this is political, but I do know that if we do not employ in Cundinamarca slaves will happen either."
In carrying out this task, the political and economic considerations of liberalism gave its space to the military requirements of the Republic. In this sense, the attitude of those owners who had refused to cede their slave populations was own "when men". Men who do not understand that "the Spaniards not to kill the slaves, but yes to kill the masters and then all will be lost". In a Word, by the cut-off of the need it was a principle, and any breach of this aspiration will have a particular weight at the time of the breakup of Colombia in 1830.