Spanish American Revolution

By Madeleine, Hannah, Vivek, & Jay

Ideological Justification

      During the French Revolution that preceded Napoleon's rise to power, many revolutionary ideologies arose. Two examples of these were constitutional monarchy and divided sovereignty.

      Constitutional monarchy is a government in which a king or queen acts as head of state, but Parliament holds the power to pass legislation.

      Divided sovereigntry is the key concept of the US constitution that states that the federal government and the states should remain divided in order to promote equality and adjust governmental structure.

Napoleon + France

       Europe was a volatile place by the time Napolean has risen to power. He attempted to expand the territory of France by conquering Spain and Portugal. This inspired many Spanish and Portuguese colonies to rebel against their original "home" countries.

        This time is a period of the stage of "Symptoms" when the government was especially weak and anger of the people was being built up as many desired for revolution to pursue independence. Expressing distempt for the government, these people started pursuing change and set the stage for revolution and ultimately independence.

Revolutionaries in America

      During this time period, there were many charismatic revolutionary leaders that rose to power. Two exemplary figures were Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin.

        Simón Bolívar was a key figure in the Spanish American fight for independence after the French invaded in 1808. He is hailed by many as El Libertador, or "The Liberator."

        José Francisco de San Martín was a lifelong solider who fought for the Spanish in Europe before returning to Argentina to lead the fight for independence. He eventually switched to the patriot side to join the insurgents in South America, and is the highest ranking Spanish officer to "defect" to the patriot side in all of Latin America.

      The above painting illustrates both Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin at the Guayaquil conference, which was a meeting between the two revolutionary leaders to discuss plans to join forces and make plans for the revolution and for the future of Spanish America. Although the two did not reach any agreeements due to an intense rivalry, this is just one example from the Rising Fever stage, as anger and conflict are being built up and plans are being made.

Impacts on Lower Class

      The three major disenfranchised groups were the slaves, the poor, and the women. Ultimately, although women participated in the fighting, they did not gain many liberties. In reality, the lower class got little benefit from independence. The irony of the revolution is that although the lower class contributed the most in the fighting, they received the least.

Impacts on Political Structure

      At the end of the revolution, the political system essentially remained the same. The violence that came from the revolution convinced many political leaders that change was bad.

     This clearly exemplifies the stage of "Convalescence" as the country is now entering a period of recovery after the revolution ends and little change to the political structure is made.

Comparison to Other Revolutions

     The Spanish Revolution was in many ways similar to the American Revolution; both were motivated by one idea: freedom. Revolutionaries of Spanish America often regarded the American Revolution as a prime example of a successful revolution while US observers viewed revolts in Spanish America as assurance of their own revolution.

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