(Called the liberator; Caracas, Venezuela, 1783 - Santa Marta, Colombia, 1830) Latin American independence leader. Born into a family of Basque origin of the Venezuelan native nobility, Simón Bolívar was reading the thinkers of the Enlightenment (Locke, Rousseau, Voltaire, Montesquieu) and traveling through Europe. In Paris he made contact with the ideas of the revolution and personally met Napoleon and Humboldt.
Member of the Freemasonry and imbued with liberal ideas, already in 1805 he vowed in Rome which would not rest to liberate their country from Spanish domination. And, although he lacked military training, Simón Bolívar came to become the leader of the war for the independence of the Spanish American colonies; In addition, provided the movement an ideological basis through his own writings and speeches.
In 1810, taking advantage of the metropolis was occupied by the French army, he joined the independence revolution that erupted in Venezuela, led by Francisco de Miranda. The failure of that attempt forced Bolívar to flee the country in 1812; He then took the reins of the movement, launching from Cartagena de Indias a manifesto that inciting rebellion, correcting the mistakes made in the past (1812).
In 1813 launched a second revolution, which entered triumphantly in Caracas (that time dates the concession by the city of the title of Libertador). There was even a new realistic reaction, under the direction of Morillo and Bobes, which regained the country for the Crown Spanish, expelling Bolívar to Jamaica (1814-15); but this was a third revolution between 1816 and 1819, which would give him control of the country.
Bolivar dreamed of forming a great Confederation that unites all of the former Spanish colonies of America, inspired by the model of the United States. For this reason, not satisfied with the liberation of Venezuela, he crossed the Andes and defeated the realistic Spanish troops at the battle of Boyacá (1819), which gave independence to the Viceroyalty of New Granada (today Colombia). He then gathered a Congress at Angostura (1819), which drew up a Constitution for the new Republic of Colombia, which included what are now Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama; the same Simón Bolívar was elected President of the "Gran Colombia". Then he freed the territory of the Audiencia of Quito (today Ecuador) together with Antonio José de Sucre, after winning the battle of Pichincha (1822).
In that same year Simón Bolívar met in Guayaquil with the another great leader of the independence movement, José de San Martín, who had liberated Argentina and Chile, to see how to cooperate in the release of the Peru. Both leaders clashed in their ambitions and their appreciations political (as San Martín was inclined to create monarchical regimes headed by European Princes), giving up San Martin engage in a power struggle (shortly after would go away to Europe) and leaving the field open to Bolivar.
Bolivar could then be put at the forefront of the insurrection of the Peru, last stronghold of the continent that resisted the Spaniards, taking advantage of the internal dissensions of the rebels in the country (1823). In 1824 he was the most decisive of their victories in the battle of Ayacucho, which determined the end of the Spanish presence in Peru and throughout South America. The last realistic foci of the Alto Peru were liquidated in 1825, creating there the Republic of Bolívar (present Bolivia).
Bolivar, now President of Colombia (1819-30), was also of Peru (1824-26) and Bolivia (1825-26), implemented in the last two republics a constitutional model called "tyrannical", with a President for life and hereditary. However, the military successes of Bolivar were not accompanied by comparable political achievements. Its tendency to exercise power in a dictatorial manner aroused many reticence; and the ambitious project of a great United Latin America collided with the particularist feelings of the former viceroys, hearings and captaincies General of the Spanish Empire, whose local oligarchies ended up seeking political independence separately.