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 Battle of Pequereque was a clash which took place on 19 June 1813, during the second Upper Peru campaign of the Argentine War of Independence, between scouting forces of the United Provinces Army of the North and the royalist Army of Perú. The Republican cavalry of the Army of the North, led by Colonel Cornelio Zelaya, prevailed over the royalists, under the command of Colonel Pedro Olañeta. The troops of Olañeta took back Pequereque three days after the battle. The Dragones retreated to the plain of Vilcapugio to avoid a further engagement with the enemy, who by that time had gathered the bulk of their forces around Ancacato. Zelaya was later sent by Belgrano to Cochabamba to recruit a bigger cavalry force from local volunteers. He would eventually join the main expeditionary force after the defeat of Vilcapugio.


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Juan José Castelli was born in Buenos Aires, and attended the schools Real Colegio de San Carlos and Monserrat in the city of Córdoba, during his youth. He graduated as lawyer in the University of Charcas, at the Upper Peru. His cousin Manuel Belgrano introduced him to the public administration of the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata. Along with him, Nicolás Rodríguez Peña and Hipólito Vieytes, Castelli sought a revolution to replace the absolute monarchy with the new ideas of the Age of Enlightenment. He led the Buenos Aires patriots during the May Revolution, ending with the removal of viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros from power. He is known as the "Speaker of the Revolution" for his speech during the open cabildo held in Buenos Aires on May 22, 1810.

Castelli was named Committee member of the Primera Junta and was sent to Córdoba to end Santiago de Liniers's counter-revolution. He succeeded and ordered the execution of Liniers and his supporters. Later, he commanded the establishment of a revolutionary government in Alto Perú (today's Bolivia) with the aim of setting the indigenous peoples and African slaves free. In 1811, Castelli signed a truce with the Spanish in Alto Perú but they betrayed him and caught the Northern Army unprepared. As a result, the Argentines suffered a big loss in the Battle of Huaqui on June 20, 1811. When Castelli returned to Buenos Aires, the First Triumvirate imprisoned him for the undesired outcome of the battle. Castelli died shortly after, due to tongue cancer.


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The Spaniards of Spain have lost their land. The Spanish Americans try to save theirs. Let the ones from Spain deal with themselves as they can; do not worry, we Americans know what we want and where we go.
— Juan José Castelli (1810)

(Spanish: Los españoles de España han perdido su tierra. Los españoles de América tratan de salvar la suya. Los de España que se entiendan allá como puedan y que no se preocupen, los americanos sabemos lo que queremos y adónde vamos.)

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Portrait of José de San Martín, with unknown author. Some sources attribute it to Jean Baptiste Madou, others to the art teacher of San Martin's daughter, and others suspect it to be the work of many different people.

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...that the Congress of Tucumán, which issued the Argentine Declaration of Independence, had deputies from provinces which are currently part of Bolivia?
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