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Comparative Essay: José de San Martín vs. Simón Bolívar - two of the primary causes of independence of countries from colonial powers in Latin America

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Comparative Essay: Jos� de San Mart�n vs. Sim�n Bol�var Jos� de San Mart�n, 1778-1850, and Simon Bol�var, 1783-1830, were two of the primary causes of independence of countries from colonial powers in Latin America. Simon Bol�var is primarily known for liberating Venezuela, and he is called the Liberator of the North. Jos� de San Mart�n, known as the Liberator of the South, is primarily known for freeing Argentina. Both men are well-known and lived during about the same time period and even met each other. However, their areas of liberation, methods of liberation and motives were very different from each other. Bol�var and Mart�n differed in areas of jurisdiction - Venezuela and Argentina, respectively, as well as methods and means of revolution. Bol�var was 26 years old when Venezuela declared its independence in 1811, and under the revolutionary leader he brought back Francisco de Miranda, who had long advocated freedom from the Spanish rule Venezuela was once under, to become Venezuela's leader. However, after an erratic and unsuccessful leadership, Bol�var captured Miranda (after his rebel army was stopped) and betrayed him by turning over to the Spanish, but the Spanish only sent Bol�var into exile (unlike Miranda, who they imprisoned). After returning from exile, Bol�var taught creoles that they could rebel successfully against 3 decades of Spanish rule, but was then drove out by the Spaniards. ...read more.


Mart�n also had fake notes indicating Planchon as their pass. Instead of moving through Planchon, however, he moved through a third route. Mart�n's army was ready to travel through the Andes by late 1816, and he had deceived his enemies with much misinformation so that their patrols were constantly moving. San Mart�n took about 4,000 men with him and crossed the mountains at high altitudes which tended to kill many men, similar to the journey Bol�var would do 2 years later. Eventually, Mart�n met and defeated the Spanish forces at the Battle of Chacabuco, taking many less losses than his opponent. However, Mart�n did not pursue the royalists. In May 1817, when Viceroy Joaquin de Pezuela attempted to send 3,300 troops in a plan to catch Mart�n off guard. However Mart�n's spies had told him of Pezuela's plan, and after some careful military maneuvering, 4,000 royalists were against 7,000 of Mart�n's patriots. During the night of that battle, when the royalists were surrounded, a second-in-command royalist officer decided to hold a charge (to escape) before the patriots had firmly fixed their defenses, and this proved successful. Although rumors surfaced that both leaders had been shot, they actually returned to Santiago to reorganize, and figured that not more than 120 would have been lost but that desertion had slimmed their army to about 5,000 men. ...read more.


I have no ambition to be the conqueror of Peru. I want solely to liberate the country from oppression. Of what use would Lima be to me if the inhabitants were hostile in political sentiment?...The country has now become sensible of its true interests and it is right the inhabitants should have the means of expressing what they think. Public opinion is an engine newly introduced into this country; the Spaniards, who are utterly incapable of directing it, have prohibited its use; but they shall now experience its strength and importance" (Adams, 69). Also according to Adams, Bol�var seemed intent at looking in the mirror while Mart�n looked at reality and seemed more humble (36). Furthermore, an example of Bol�var's character can be seen in reactions to people he knew over time: he stated to Francisco de Paula Santander, who aided Bol�var as a forward contingent leader in one of Bol�var's first victories (in 1819), that a dictatorship was desired, in letters. Santander and other military officers as well opposed Bol�var as he grew more towards these policies. Unlike Bol�var, Mart�n, however, was spared from all of this as he preferred to live in isolation. Bol�var and Mart�n both had similar goals, but very different methods of achieving them and very different mindsets. Their mindsets apparently affected their overall success and the amount that they changed history. The sometimes erratic Bol�var eventually gets his goals accomplished, while the step-by-step thinking of Mart�n proves slow but effective. ...read more.

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