1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email

The History of Latin America: the Independence Era (1806-1825)

The Independence movement in Latin America, which had been simmering since the United States broke away from Great Britain in 1776, came to a boil around 1810. Spain's Empire in the New World crumbled, and by 1825 all that remained were a few islands in the Caribbean. This passionate, violent era in the history of Latin America is particularly fascinating.
  1. Independence in Argentina (6)
  2. Independence in Colombia (6)
  3. Independence in Mexico (9)
  4. Independence in Venezuela (14)

The Liberators of South America

In 1810, South America was still part of Spain's vast New World Empire. By 1825, however, the continent was free, having won its independence at the cost of bloody wars with Spanish and royalist forces. Independence might never have been won without the brave leadership of men and women ready to fight for liberty. Meet the Liberators of South America!

The Battle of Rancagua
On October 1, 1814, Chilean patriots led by Bernardo O'Higgins battled a massive Spanish army in the town of Rancagua. The patriots were routed, leading to three more years of Spanish rule in Chile.

The Top Ten Liberators of Latin America
In 1810, Spain controlled much of the known world, its mighty New World Empire the envy of all the nations of Europe. By 1825 it was all gone, lost in bloody wars and upheavals. The Independence of Latin America was wrought by men and women determined to achieve liberty or die trying. Who were the greatest of this generation of patriots?

Biography of Jose Miguel Carrera
José Miguel Carrera Verdugo (1785-1821) was a Chilean general and dictator who fought for the patriot side in Chile’s War for Independence from Spain (1810-1826). Together with his two brothers, Luís and Juan José, José Miguel fought the Spanish up and down Chile for years and served as head of government when breaks in the chaos and fighting allowed.

Bernardo O'Higgins
Bernardo O'Higgins (1778-1842) was a Chilean landowner and one of the leaders of its struggle for Independence. Although he had no formal military training, O'Higgins took charge of the ragged rebel army and fought the Spanish from 1810 to 1818 when Chile finally achieved its Independence. Today, he is revered as the liberator of Chile and the father of the nation

Independence Days in Latin America
Most of the nations of Latin America gained their independence from Spain in the years from 1810-1825. Each nation has its own Independence Day which it celebrates with festivals, parades, etc. Here are some of the dates and the nations that celebrate them.

Biography of Simon Bolivar
Venezuelan Simon Bolivar was the most important leader of South America's Independence movement, which lasted from 1806 to 1825. A brilliant general and visionary politician, he led the liberation of Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. His dream of a strong, united Latin America is still unfulfilled.

Biography of Jos Mart
Jos Mart (1853-1895) was a Cuban revolutionary and poet. Although he was not a soldier, he was a leading advocate for Cuban independence from Spain from the time he was sixteen years old. He died in combat against Spanish forces in Cuba in 1895 and is today revered as a Cuban national hero.

1819: Simon Bolivar Crosses the Andes
In 1819, the War for Independence in Northern South America had stalled. Venezuela, where most of the fighting had taken place, was in ruins. Simon Bolivar decided to take the fight to neighboring New Granada, now Colombia. In his way: the snowcapped peaks of the mighty Andes Mountains.

The August 10 Movement in Quito, Ecuador
On August 10, 1809, a group of citizens in Quito, Ecuador, decided that since Napoleon had invaded Spain, they no longer had to obey the Viceroy in Lima and set up their own government. The colonial administration had other ideas, and sent an army to bring them in line. Most of them were arrested in October. In August, 1810, the conspirators were massacred in a Quito dungeon.

Biography of Manuela Saénz
Manuela Saénz was the mistress of Simón Bolívar, the Liberator of South America. Much more than simple arm candy for Bolívar, she was an important figure in the Independence movement in her own right, serving as a Colonel in the rebel army.

José de San Martín
A Biography of José de San Martín,liberator of Argentina and Chile.

Independence from Spain
For most of Latin America, independence from Spain came between 1806 and 1825. Each region took a different path to independence, with different leaders and battles.

Chavez and Bolívar
Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, said recently that he would like to reopen the famous case of the death of Simón Bolívar, who died in 1830. Why would he want to do so? Here’s the scoop.

The Battle of Maipu
On April 5, 1818, Argentine General José de San Martín defeated a mighty army of Spanish and royalists near the Maipú River in Chile. The loss was a devastating one for the royalist cause, as almost the entire army was killed or captured. The battle marks the end of Spanish power in Chile.

The Battle of Junin
On August 6, 1824, Liberator Simon Bolivar routed a mighty Spanish army at the Lake of Junin high in the Peruvian mountains. This victory set the stage for the Battle of Ayacucho, where another stunning patriot victory assured freedom for Peru and all of South America.

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.