World History 2 119 - 8.3 Spanish South America

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the role of Simón Bolívar in the South American revolutions
  • Discuss the role of José de San Martín in the South American revolutions
  • Describe the consequences of South American liberation

From revolutionary Mexico in the northern hemisphere, rebellion rippled south. Spanish American nationalists in Mexico had gained momentum for their cause when they united against the peninsulares. The southern parts of the Spanish American empire underwent a similar experience because the patriot creole group also coveted the potential benefits of independence: free trade, control over tax revenue, and local governance. There were two initial focuses: one in northern South America led by Simón Bolívar from Caracas, and another in the far south of the continent led by José de San Martín from Buenos Aires. Under the leadership of Bolívar and San Martín—the libertadores (liberators)—military operations began that aimed at controlling the royalist stronghold in Peru to achieve and spread independence throughout South America (Figure 8.15).

This is a three-part map. All three parts show North and South America, with a smaller inset that shows western Europe. The first map is labeled 1808. Most of South America and about half of North America is labeled government controlled by Fernando VII under traditional Spanish law. Part of western Europe is labeled Region loyal to Supreme Central Junta or Cortes. The second map is labeled 1812. The half of North America and most of the previously labeled part of South America is now labeled Region loyal to Supreme Central Junta or Cortes. The southern part of South America is labeled Junta or insurrection movement in the Americas. Some of northwest South America is labeled Independent state declared or established. Part of western Europe is now labeled Height of French control of the Iberian Peninsula. The third map is labeled 1825. All of the previously highlighted territory except islands in the Atlantic Ocean is now labeled Independent state declared or established. Two islands and part of western Europe are labeled Government controlled by Fernando VII under traditional Spanish law.
Figure 8.15 Between 1808 and 1825, the countries of what are now Central and South America transformed from colonies governed by the king of Spain to countries governed by juntas and finally to independent nations. (credit: modification of work “Spanish Americas revolutions” by Resvoluci/Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)
This lesson has no exercises.

The content of this course has been taken from the free World History, Volume 2: from 1400 textbook by Openstax