The independence of Latin America was the historical process of the rebellion of its inhabitants against Spanish colonial rule and the formation of independent national states. It began with the proclamation of Sovereign Boards in 1809. Some of them - especially the first that of Quito - were repressed by fire and blood by the Spanish authorities. The process continued until it became a true continental war.
CAUSES OF LATIN AMERICA INDEPENDENCE
In the independence of Latin America, as in any complex process, many causes can be distinguished, among them: ✓ Economic. The Bourbon reforms drowned the economy of the colonies by preventing intraregional trade and imposing excessive taxation. ✓ Social. was resentment over the prerogatives of the Spaniards. The disputes between Spaniards and creoles for management positions extended to all areas. ✓ Ideological. The forerunners of independence became aware of the differences between the colonies and the metropolis, highlighted the value of their own and raised the alternative of the fatherland as a separate entity from Spain. ✓ Influence of US independence and the French Revolution. Napoleon names king of Spain To the causes, we must add the events that precipitated the independence. One of them is that on May 5, 1808 Napoleon imprisoned Charles IV and his son Ferdinand VII and forced them to abdicate in his favor. Then, he named his brother, José Bonaparte, king of Spain. In many Spanish cities were organized Autonomous Boards that promised to govern until the return of Fernando VII to the throne, but were dissolved by the French. Only the western part of Andalusia was free. The Junta de Sevilla was proclaimed Supreme Government of all Spain (a fiction, because the rest was under King Bonaparte, called by the Spaniards "Pepe Botellas").
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THE LACK OF A KING, OCCASION OF AMERICAN BOARDS
When proclaiming the Sovereign Boards, the South American Creoles held three theses: The rejection of Napoleon's claims to America, the loyalty to Ferdinand VII and, most importantly, the illegitimacy of both Joseph Bonaparte and the colonial authorities appointed by the Spanish king, who no longer had any power. Quito was to be the first in the history of Spanish America to proclaim, on August 10, 1809, a government of its own, not appointed by the Crown. Soon they would proclaim their meetings, immediately, throughout 1810, Caracas (19/04), Buenos Aires (25/05), Bogota (20/07), and Santiago de Chile (18/08). In Mexico, the priest Hidalgo would give in the town of Dolores (Guanajuato, 16/08), the scream of independence moved exactly by the same ideals: "Long live the Virgin of Guadalupe! Down with the bad government! Long live Fernando VII! "
FROM THE BOARDS TO THE WARS OF INDEPENDENCE
The Spanish authorities fiercely repressed the first of the cities to form a Sovereign Junta. They tried to prevent the contagion. The viceroys of Lima and Bogota immediately sent troops with the order to besiege Quito and not allow "a grain of salt" to enter. After the defeat, the armies of Lima and Bogota occupied the city, and a year later, on August 2, 1810, they murdered 300 patriots and citizens, which shook entire America. In the beginning, the Juntas were not independent: they were called interim depositaries of the sovereignty until the legitimate king returned. But the reaction of the Spaniards led to the polarization of the positions and the creole elites multiplied, since 1811, the proclamation, without ambages (plainly), of independence (in Caracas, for example, the First Republic was installed). The military reaction of the colonial authorities was immediate. They met with little success, for they had no trained armies. The Creole reaction was increasingly strong and organized, which turned the process into a true continental war that lasted for several years.
HAITI AND SANTO DOMINGO
François Dominique Toussaint-Louverture took charge of a slave revolt on the French side of the island of Hispaniola and led it between 1793 and 1802. He faced Spanish, English, and French, until his capture, exile, and death in France. In 1803, Jean Jacques Dessalines finally defeated the French troops and, in 1804, declared the independence of Haiti. It was, thus, the second independent country in America, in this case, led by blacks. In 1822, Haitian troops subdued the eastern part of the island of Hispaniola, which would regain its independence from Haiti in 1844. But what will be called the Dominican Republic will not achieve independence from Spain until 1865, after a war that left the country devastated.