Portal:Spanish American wars of independence

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Spanish American wars of independence

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The Spanish American wars of independence were the numerous wars against Spanish rule in Spanish America that took place during the early 19th century, from 1808 until 1829, directly related to the Napoleonic French invasion of Spain. The conflict started with short-lived governing juntas established in Chuquisaca and Quito opposing the composition of the Supreme Central Junta of Seville. When the Central Junta fell to the French, numerous new Juntas appeared all across the Americas, eventually resulting in a chain of newly independent countries stretching from Argentina and Chile in the south, to Mexico in the north. After the death of the king Fernando VII, in 1833, only Cuba and Puerto Rico remained under Spanish rule, until the Spanish–American War in 1898.

These conflicts can be characterized both as civil wars and wars of national liberation, since the majority of the combatants were Spanish Americans on both sides, and the goal of the conflict for one side was the independence of the Spanish colonies in the Americas. In addition, the wars were related to the more general Latin American wars of independence, which include the conflicts in Haiti and Brazil.

The war in Europe, and the resulting absolutist restoration ultimately convinced the Spanish Americans of the need to establish independence from the mother country, so various revolutions broke out in Spanish America. Moreover, the process of Latin American independence took place in the general political and intellectual climate that emerged from the Age of Enlightenment and that influenced all of the so-called Atlantic Revolutions, including the earlier revolutions in the United States and France. Nevertheless, the wars in, and the independence of, Spanish America were the result of unique developments within the Spanish Monarchy.

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The May Revolution (Spanish: Revolución de Mayo) was a week-long series of events that took place from May 18 to May 25, 1810, in Buenos Aires, capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a colony of the Spanish Empire which included the present-day nations of Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The result was the ousting of Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros and the establishment of a local government, the Primera Junta (First Junta), on May 25. These events are commemorated in Argentina as "May Week" (Spanish: Semana de Mayo).

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Cornelio Judas Tadeo de Saavedra y Rodríguez was a military officer and statesman from the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. He was instrumental in the May Revolution, the first step of Argentina's independence from Spain, and was appointed president of the Primera Junta.

Saavedra was the first commanding officer of the Regiment of Patricians created after the ill-fated British invasions of the Río de la Plata. The increased militarization of the city and the relaxation of the system of castas allowed him, as other criollo peoples, to become a prominent figure in local politics. His intervention was decisive to thwarth the Mutiny of Álzaga and allow Viceroy Santiago de Liniers to stay in power. Although he supported the establishment of a government Junta, as others created in Spain during the contemporary Peninsular War, he desired that criollos had an important role in it (the mutiny of Álzaga was promoted by peninsulars). He advised against rushed actions as well, and as his Regiment was crucial in any action against the viceroy, he denied his help until it was a good strategic moment to do so. The opportunity came in May, 1810, and the May Revolution successfully ousted the viceroy.

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San José, San Lorenzo, Suipacha. Both Piedras, Salta and Tucumán, Colonia and the very walls of the tyrant in the Banda Oriental, are eternal banners that say: "Here the Argentine arm found triumph, here the fierce oppressor of the Fatherland his proud neck bent"
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(Spanish: San José, San Lorenzo, Suipacha. Ambas Piedras, Salta y Tucumán, la colonia y las mismas murallas del tirano en la Banda Oriental, son letreros eternos que dicen: "aquí el brazo argentino triunfó. Aquí el fiero opresor de la Patria su cerviz orgullosa dobló.)

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