Amazing Facts about Simon Bolivar

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Simón José Antonio de la Santísma Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios, more commonly known as Simon Bolivar, was a revolutionary leader who was much responsible for freeing South American nations from their Spanish colonial overlord. The country Bolivia is named after him. His birthday is celebrated as a national holiday in Venezuela and Bolivia. He was also nicknamed ‘œEl Libertador’ which means, the liberator.

Despite being born in an affluent family, Simon Bolivar gave everything up to fight for his homeland. Here are some amazing facts about him.

  • He was born on 24th July, 1783 in Caracas in New Grenada, now part of Venezuela. He had two older sisters and a brother. His family had their roots in Basque region.

  • The source of income for the family was from the copper and gold mines they owned. As a child, Bolivar holidayed with his family in the Aragua Valley where they had estates. He lost both his parents by the age of 9 after which he left for Spain.

  • He completed his education in Spain. In 1802, he married Maria Teresa, who, unfortunately, passed away in 1803 due to yellow fever. Bolivar vowed to never marry again.

  • After the death of his wife, Bolivar moved to Europe and spent a considerable amount of time with Napoleon Bonaparte. When Napoleon crowned Joseph Bonaparte the King of Spain and its colonies, Bolivar decided to join the resistance movement.

  • The resistance group had its base in Caracas. Bolivar travelled to Britain on a diplomatic mission after Caracas won independence in 1810.

  • Bolivar and his followers started the Compana Admirable to free Venezuela from the Spanish in 1813, shortly after his return from Britain. Later that year, the Venezuelan Second Republic was formed.

  • Several attempts were made to assassinate Bolivar, and he escaped each one of them successfully. He travelled through the plains, mountains and rainforests to avoid capture. He was a successful leader who imposed his will to lead on the patriot warlords of Colombia and Venezuela. He executed Manuel Piar, a respected patriot ally for treason which made the other patriot leaders sit up and take notice of him. He was also successful in sourcing arms and supplies for the revolution.

  • The Gran Colombia federation was formed in 1821 with the states Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama and Colombia under the leadership of Bolivar.

  • In 1824, Bolivar declared himself as the Dictator of Peru and formed the state of Bolivia in 1825. Bolivia was formed from the area of Upper Peru. Bolivar had personally drafted the constitution of Bolivia.

  • Even though he had managed to free much of South America from Spain’s control, the government that was formed was quite fragile. There were internal factions that were causing a strain on governance. To fight these problems, Bolivar announced himself as a dictator.

  • In 1830, Bolivar resigned from his post as dictator and made plans to set sail for Europe as his destination for exile.

  • Bolivar contracted tuberculosis and died in December 1830 in Santa Marta in Colombia.

Simon Bolivar is one of the most respected names in Hispanic history and cultures. Several roads and schools have been named after him in Turkey, Egypt and Australia apart from South and North America.

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