The British West Indies and Canada

The British West Indies and Canada provide us with two more counterpoints to the successful wars of revolution. The 13 colonies were unusual in their revolt against British colonial rule. Canada and the British possessions in the West Indies did not seek independence. Both regions would experience a gradual transition to independence. They present fascinating …

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Liberating Northern South America

After his disastrous early failure, Bolívar succeeded in seizing power in Caracas, only to lose it again. After exile in the Caribbean, Bolívar turned his attention to Colombia and the war for independence there. Before liberating Venezuela, his troops crossed the towering Andes and drove the Spanish from Colombia in 1821. He eventually succeeded in …

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Simón Bolívar – The Liberator

Simón Bolívar is the most famous of all the Latin American revolutionary figures, the George Washington of a half dozen South American nations. This outline looks closely at the life of Bolívar, from his birth in Venezuela in 1783 to his first forays into politics and war in 1810. The classic example of the Creole …

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Francisco de Miranda – The Precursor

Francisco de Miranda is the most glamorous and dashing figure in the wars for independence. He was also destined to play the role of the precursor to the wars for independence in Latin America, rather than the great leader. This outline looks at the dramatic life of Miranda. He was truly a revolutionary of the …

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Napoleon Invades Spain and Portugal

Although the processes of modernization and reform set the stage for the wars for independence, it was the Napoleonic wars, and more specifically, Napoleon’s invasion of Spain, that triggered the wars for independence in Spanish America. This outline first looks at the rise of Napoleon and his efforts to dominate Europe. We then closely examine …

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Seeds of Rebellion in Spanish America

This outline begins a series on the wars for independence in Spanish America. By 1750, the Spanish Empire in the Americas had been in place for two and a half centuries, and it was straining to survive. A powerful and increasing division had emerged between those Spaniards born in the Americas (Creoles) and those born …

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