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This is a timeline of events related to the Spanish American wars of independence. Numerous wars against Spanish rule in Spanish America 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 Ferdinand 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 (Brazil's independence shared a common starting point with Spanish America's, since both were triggered by Napoleon's invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, when the Portuguese royal family resettled in 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.
The Viceroyalty of New Granada also called Viceroyalty of the New Kingdom of Granada or Viceroyalty of Santafé was the name given on 27 May 1717, to the jurisdiction of the Spanish Empire in northern South America, corresponding to modern Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela. Created in 1717 by King Felipe V, as part of a new territorial control policy, it was suspended in 1723 for financial problems and was restored in 1739 until the independence movement suspended it again in 1810. The territory corresponding to Panama was incorporated later in 1739, and the provinces of Venezuela were separated from the Viceroyalty and assigned to the Captaincy General of Venezuela in 1777. In addition to those core areas, the territory of the Viceroyalty of New Granada included Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, southwestern Suriname, parts of northwestern Brazil, and northern Peru.
The Argentine War of Independence was a secessionist civil war fought from 1810 to 1818 by Argentine patriotic forces under Manuel Belgrano, Juan José Castelli and José de San Martín against royalist forces loyal to the Spanish crown. On July 9, 1816, an assembly met in San Miguel de Tucumán, declaring independence with provisions for a national constitution.
The military and political career of Simón Bolívar, which included both formal service in the armies of various revolutionary regimes and actions organized by himself or in collaboration with other exiled patriot leaders during the years from 1811 to 1830, was an important element in the success of the independence wars in South America. Given the unstable political climate during these years, Bolívar and other patriot leaders, such as Santiago Mariño, Manuel Piar, José Francisco Bermúdez and Francisco de Paula Santander often had to go into exile in the Caribbean or nearby areas of Spanish America that at the moment were controlled by those favoring independence, and from there, carry on the struggle. These wars resulted in the creation of several South American states out of the former Spanish colonies, the currently existing Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, and the now defunct Gran Colombia.
The Venezuelan War of Independence was one of the Spanish American wars of independence of the early nineteenth century, when independence movements in South America fought a civil war for secession and against unity of the Spanish Empire, emboldened by Spain's troubles in the Napoleonic Wars.
The Spanish reconquest of New Granada in 1815–1816 was part of the Spanish American wars of independence in South America. Shortly after the Napoleonic Wars ended, Ferdinand VII, recently restored to the throne in Spain, decided to send military forces to retake most of the northern South American colonies, which had established autonomous juntas and independent states. The invaders, with support from loyal colonial troops, completed the reconquest of New Granada by taking Bogotá on May 6, 1816.
The Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata meaning "River of the Silver", also called "Viceroyalty of the River Plate" in some scholarly writings, in southern South America, was the last to be organized and also the shortest-lived of the Viceroyalties of the Spanish Empire in the Americas. The name "Provincias del Río de la Plata" was formally adopted in 1810 during the Cortes of Cádiz to designate the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata.
The United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, earlier known as the United Provinces of South America, was a name adopted in 1816 by the Congress of Tucumán for the region of South America that declared independence in 1816, with the Sovereign Congress taking place in 1813, during the Argentine War of Independence (1810–1818) that began with the May Revolution in 1810. It originally comprised rebellious territories of the former Spanish Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata dependencies and had Buenos Aires as its capital.
The First Republic of New Granada, known despectively as the Foolish Fatherland, is the period in the history of Colombia immediately following the declaration of independence from Spain in 1810 and until the Spanish reconquest in 1816. The period between 1810 and 1816 in the Viceroyalty of New Granada was marked by such intense conflicts over the nature of the new government or governments that it became known as la Patria Boba. Constant fighting between federalists and centralists gave rise to a prolonged period of instability that eventually favored Spanish reconquest. Similar developments can be seen at the same time in the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata. Each province, and even some cities, set up its own autonomous junta, which declared themselves sovereign from each other.
In the struggle for the independence of Spanish America, the Reconquista refers to the period of Colombian and Chilean history, following the defeat of Napoleon in 1814, during which royalist armies were able to gain the upper hand in the Spanish American wars of independence. The term used in the past century by some Colombian and Chilean historians makes an analogy to the medieval Reconquista, in which Christian forces retook the Iberian Peninsula from the Caliphate.
The decolonization of the Americas occurred over several centuries as most of the countries in the Americas gained their independence from European rule. The American Revolution was the first in the Americas, and the British defeat in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) was a victory against a great power, aided by France and Spain, Britain's enemies. The French Revolution in Europe followed, and collectively these events had profound effects on the Spanish, Portuguese, and French colonies in the Americas. A revolutionary wave followed, resulting in the creation of several independent countries in Latin America. The Haitian Revolution lasted from 1791 to 1804 and resulted in the independence of the French slave colony. The Peninsular War with France, which resulted from the Napoleonic occupation of Spain, caused Spanish Creoles in Spanish America to question their allegiance to Spain, stoking independence movements that culminated in various Spanish American wars of independence (1808–33), which were primarily fought between opposing groups of colonists and only secondarily against Spanish forces. At the same time, the Portuguese monarchy fled to Brazil during the French invasion of Portugal. After the royal court returned to Lisbon, the prince regent, Pedro, remained in Brazil and in 1822 successfully declared himself emperor of a newly independent Brazilian Empire.
The Peruvian War of Independence was a series of military conflicts in Peru from 1809 to 1826 that resulted in the country's independence from the Spanish Empire. Part of the broader Spanish American wars of independence, it led to the dissolution of the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru.
The royalists were the people of Hispanic America and European that fought to preserve the integrity of the Spanish monarchy during the Spanish American wars of independence.
The Spanish American wars of independence were numerous civil wars in Spanish America with the aim of political independence from Spanish rule during the early 19th century. These began shortly after the start of the French invasion of Spain, during the Napoleonic Wars, as a struggle for sovereignty in both hemispheres, between those who wanted a unitary monarchy (royalist) rather than plural monarchies or republics (patriots). Thus, the strict period of military campaigns would go from the battle of Chacaltaya (1809), in present-day Bolivia, to the Battle of Tampico (1829), in Mexico.
The Colombian Declaration of Independence occurred on July 20, 1810 when the Junta de Santa Fe was formed in Santa Fe de Bogota, the capital of the Spanish colonial Viceroyalty of New Granada, to govern the territory autonomously from Spain. The event inspired similar independence movements across Latin America, and triggered an almost decade-long rebellion culminating in the founding of the Republic of Gran Colombia, which spanned present-day Colombia, mainland Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela, along with parts of northern Peru and northwestern Brazil.
The Supreme Central and Governing Junta of Spain and the Indies formally was the Spanish organ (junta) that accumulated the executive and legislative powers during the Napoleonic occupation of Spain. It was established on 25 September 1808 following the Spanish victory at the Battle of Bailén and after the Council of Castile declared null and void the abdications of Charles IV and Ferdinand VII at Bayonne earlier in May. It was active until 30 January 1810. It was initially formed by the representatives of the provincial juntas and first met in Aranjuez chaired by the Count of Floridablanca, with 35 members in total.
The Chuquisaca Revolution was a popular uprising on 25 May 1809 against the governor and intendant of Chuquisaca, Ramón García León de Pizarro. The Real Audiencia of Charcas, with support from the faculty of University of Saint Francis Xavier, deposed the governor and formed a junta. The revolution is known in Bolivia as the "First cry of freedom", meaning, the first step in the Spanish American wars of independence; given the level of hostility against the spaniard crown and news from both the North American and French Revolution, historians dispute whether such a description is accurate or not; however, accounts depict this being the first step towards liberty within Latin America against the Spanish crown.
The Free and Independent State of Cundinamarca was a rebel state in colonial Colombia, replacing the Spanish colonial Viceroyalty of New Granada from 1810 to 1815. It was part of the Foolish Fatherland period at the beginning of the Spanish American wars of independence. Its capital was Bogotá, the former capital of the Viceroyalty of New Granada.
The Argentine War of Independence was fought from 1810 to 1818 by Argentine patriotic forces under Manuel Belgrano, Juan José Castelli and José de San Martín against royalist forces loyal to the Spanish crown. On July 9, 1816, an assembly met in San Miguel de Tucumán, declared full independence with provisions for a national constitution.
The dissolution of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata meant the breakup of the Spanish colony in South America and the creation of new independent countries. Most of the territory of the Spanish viceroyalty is now part of Argentina, and other regions belong to Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Spanish expeditions led by Columbus and Alonso de Ojeda reached the coast of present-day Venezuela in 1498 and 1499. The first colonial exploitation was of the pearl oysters of the "Pearl Islands". Spain established its first permanent South American settlement in the present-day city of Cumaná in 1502, and in 1577 Caracas became the capital of the Province of Venezuela. There was also for a few years a German colony at Klein-Venedig.