Simon Bolivar's Journey from a Soldier to Politician


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Have you ever wondered how a mere soldier can become the dictator of Peru? Or even wondered what it takes to have a country named after you? Well Simon Bolivar wondered this and was able to accomplish these feats, as well as many more. Simon Bolivar was able to persevere through a very depressing childhood, with both of his parents dying and having no one but his uncle and tutors. Bolivar then began his political career and started to slowly grow in renown and respect throughout the independence movement. Now that Bolivar was more well known, he gathered strength and a fighting force and sought after the liberation of New Granada. After successfully liberating New Granada, Bolivar focused his efforts on liberating the only territory that was still controlled by Royalist Forces, Peru. Bolivar, succeeding in the liberation of Peru, renames his new country Bolivia after his name. Finally, growing tensions and civil war cause Bolivar’s life and country to fall apart as he died of tuberculosis (Masur).

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Simon Bolivar had a very depressing Childhood, as he had no parents and spent most of his time with tutors that his uncle hired for him. On July 24, 1783 Simon Bolivar was born in Caracas Venezuela to a wealthy aristocratic family (A. Del). Bolivar did not however know much of his parents, as his father died when Simon was only age three, and his mother died six year later. This left Bolivar as a young child with no one to look after him. To solve this problem Bolivar’s uncle administered the inheritance of Bolivar’s parents, and set the child up with many tutors to better his education. One of these tutors, named Simon Rodriguez, had a very lasting effect on Bolivar, as he introduced him to new and liberal thought (Masur). Rodriguez quickly became Bolivar’s favorite tutor and a good friend.

Once Bolivar came of age, his life began to pick up speed as he was able to travel, study, and get married. Once Simon turned sixteen, he was finally able to be sent to Spain by his uncle to finish his education (Masur). Whilst there, Bolivar met the daughter of a Spanish nobleman. Soon after they met, Bolivar fell in love and took her hand in marriage. After the two had made the decision to marry, they decided to return to Caracas, Bolivar’s birth city. Less than a year after the young couple arrived in Caracas, Bolivar’s wife died of yellow fever (A. Del). This caused Bolivar to want to begin his political career while still at a young age. Not knowing where to start, Bolivar decided to return to Europe, the place where he completed his previous education, and seek out the instruction of his old tutor Simon Rodriguez (Masur). Bolivar was able to find Rodriguez in Paris, where he began to study the writing of many of the time’s European rationalist thinkers. These mainly included Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brede et de Montesquieu, and Voltaire (Masur). Voltaire was one of Bolivar’s role models, as he said that they, “coloured his philosophy of life,” (Masur).

Soon after he had finished the majority of his studies, Bolivar met a German scientist named Alexander von Humboldt. Alexander explained how he had just returned from Spain and believed that many of the Spanish colonies were ripe for Independence (A. Del). The idea of independence for the Spanish colonies began to take root in Bolivar’s mind and, while on a trip to Rome with Rodriguez, Bolivar took a vow to liberate Spain.

As Simon Bolivar’s political career began, he slowly began to gain renown, respect, and fame. Soon after Bolivar took his vow, the Spanish independence movement began. During this movement, many conspiratorial meetings took place, out of which Bolivar participated in many. This all culminated on April 19, 1810, when the Spanish Governor was deprived of his powers. With no one in charge of the government, Junta had to take over the governor position. Soon after this, Bolivar was sent ona trip to Europe in order to gather arms and support for the cause.

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