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Latin America Revolutions Essay

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Latin America Revolutions Essay

In the years following the Congress of Vienna, revolts plagued many European countries as well as several areas in Latin America. France was driven from Haiti, Portugal lost control of Brazil, and Spain was forced to withdraw from all its American empire except for Cuba and Puerto Rico. Colonial government in South America came to an end. Three countries where revolts were successfully established were Haiti, Venezuela, and Brazil. The countries in Latin America benefited from the revolts because they became free from colonial rule, but, except for Brazil, they were left with many consequences.

One of the first countries to achieve independence in Latin America was Haiti. Haiti gained its independence from France in 1804. Haiti's independence followed a slave revolt that was led by independence Touissant L'Ouverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines in 1794. The revolution in Haiti involved the popular uprising of a repressed social group. Also, it proved to be the great exception in the Latin American drive for Liberty from European masters. Usually, the Creole elite, who were the merchants, landowners, and professional people of Spanish descent, led the independence movements against Spain and Portugal. Native Americans, blacks, mestizos, mulattos, and slaves rarely took part in these independence movements, but the slave revolts were a big part of the road to independence in Haiti. The slave revolt in Haiti haunted the Creoles, who wanted to ensure that the revolutions in Latin America didn't cause social disruption or the loss of their existing social and economic privileges. Because of this, the Creoles were acting much like the French revolutionaries who wanted to depose the king but not to extend liberty to the French working class.

Another Latin American country that gained independence during this time period was Venezuela, under the leadership of Simon Bolivar. Bolivar was involved in organizing the liberating junta in Venezuela. He was also an advocate of independence and republican government's authority. Both royalists and slaves challenged the government. Bolivar was exiled in Columbia and Jamaica. In 1816 he launched an invasion against Venezuela with help from Haiti. He captured Boyota, the capital of New Granada, to secure a base for attack on Venezuela. This tactic worked, as Bolivar and San Martin captured Carcas and he was named president by the summer of 1821. In July of 1822, armies of Bolivar and San Martin moved to liberate Quito. They disagreed about the political structure of Latin America. San Martin wanted monarchies, but Bolivar advocated republicanism. San Martin went into exile in Europe and retired from the public life. Bolivar allowed the political situation in Peru to be confused, and he sent troops to establish his control. In December of 1824, the Spanish royalist forces suffered a defeat at the Battle of Ayacoucho at the hands of liberating army. This battle marked the conclusion

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