Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad de Bolívar y Palacios (July 24, 1783 – December 17, 1830), generally known as Simón Bolivar , was a Venezuelan military and political leader who played a leading role in the establishment of Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Panama as sovereign states, independent of Spanish rule.
- Bolívar was born into a wealthy, aristocratic Creole family and, as was common for the heirs of upper class families in his day, was sent to be educated abroad at a young age, arriving in Spain when he was 16 and later moving to France.
- While in Europe he was introduced to the ideas of the Enlightenment, later motivating him to overthrow the reigning Spanish.
- Taking advantage of the disorder in Spain prompted by the Peninsular War, Bolívar began his campaign for independence in 1808, appealing to the wealthy Creole population through a conservative process, and established an organized national congress within three years.
- Despite a number of hindrances, including the arrival of an unprecedentedly large Spanish expeditionary force, the revolutionaries eventually prevailed, culminating in the patriot victory at the Battle of Carabobo in 1821, which effectively made Venezuela an independent country.
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