Simon Bolivar: His 3 Major Accomplishments

Born24th of July, 1783
Died17th of December, 1830
Famous Quote“We have been ruled more by deceit than by force, and we have been degraded more by vice than by superstition.”
Known ForLiberated South American Spanish colonies, created Gran Colombia, laid the groundwork for the Organization of American States (OAS)
Region WorldSouth America, 19th century
Further ReadingMonroe Doctrine: The 3 Lasting Impacts On U.S History

At the start of the 19th century the Spanish Empire would hold control over a majority of the Americas. This would radically change under the leadership of one revolutionary named Simon Bolivar whose accomplishments would forever change the history of South America.

There are 3 major accomplishments of Simon Bolivar. First, Simon Bolivar would liberate a large portion of the South America Spanish colonies. Second, once the Spanish colonies were liberated Simon Bolivar would create a Republic called Gran Colombia. Third, Bolivar’s republic would set a precedent of the concept of a unified Americas that helped to create the modern organization of American States.

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Without further ado, here are the 3 major accomplishments of Simon Bolivar.

Simon Bolivar Would Liberate A Large Portion Of South America From The Spanish Empire

One of the major accomplishments of Simon Bolivar was his actions as a great general which helped to liberate a large portion of South America from Spanish rule.

Starting in 1813 Simon Bolivar would begin to lead revolutionary forces to create the second Republic of Venezuela. For the next five years Bolivar would fight a guerilla war of attrition with the Spanish Empire in Venezuela.

However, in order to secure resources viable for his military campaign Simon Bolivar would have to also begin the process of liberating surrounding areas. In 1819 Bolivar would enter into the viceroyalty of New Granada, modern day Columbia.

To do this Simon Bolivar would have to cross the Andes Mountains with his troops, armillary, and provisions. Bolivar’s crossing across the Andes in record time remains one of the high points of his military career.

While in New Granada Bolivar would force the Royalist Spaniard army to fight at the Battle of Boyaca. The resulting victory for Bolivar would mean that the power dynamic of South America would forever change.

Now Bolivar and his army held majority power over the nations of Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and parts of Brazil.

As such one of the major accomplishments of Simon Bolivar was the liberation of nearly the entirety of northern South America.

Simon Bolivar Would Help Found The Republic Of Gran Colombia

One of the greatest accomplishments of Simon Bolivar was the creation of a nation called Gran Colombia which existed from 1819-1831.

After the Spanish were defeated by Simon Bolivar during his wars for independence the nation of Gran Colombia would form. This country was founded on republican principles and its first president was Simon Bolivar.

The nation of Gran Colombia did not last long due to political power being centralized under the presidential party. From the beginning there was fierce debate on how the country should distribute power.

Two factions would arise in Gran Columbia; the centralist federal party and the democratic republican one. Simon Bolivar believed that a federation of states like the United States would not work for Gran Colombia due to the massive difference in culture between the states.

As such he believed that a strong centralist government was needed. This would prove to be effective for about 10 years before inter political strife would cause several civil wars to rip Gran Columbia apart.

Simon Bolivar in 1830 would decide to resign the presidency and begin to move into voluntary exile in Europe. He is reported to have said that “America is ungovernable.”

However, Bolivar would pass away from tuberculosis in 1830 before he could leave for Europe.

As such one of the greatest accomplishments of Simon Bolivar was the creation of the short lived state of Gran Colombia. While this nation might not have survived for very long as we will see in the next section its influence has.

Bolivar’s Republic Would Set A Precedent Of A Unified Americas That Helped To Create The Modern Organization of American States.

One of Simon Bolivar’s major accomplishments was the lasting influence of Gran Colombia on the unification of the Americas.

In the 1820’s President John Quincy Adams would state that the nation of Gran Columbia was one of the most powerful in the world and had substantial economic possibility.

Even though Gran Columbia would dissipate in the early 1830’s its influence has lived on throughout the western hemisphere. One of the most lasting legacies of Simon Bolivar’s Gran Colombia was the establishment of a unified league of American Republics.

In 1948 nearly 100 years after Simon Bolivar’s accomplishment of founding the first league of American republics the OAS would be formed. The OAS stands for the Organization of American States and over the past 50 years it has grown in power and prestige.

Today the OAS is focused upon election monitoring of all democratic states in the western hemisphere. The goal of the OAS is to provide a free and fair democratic process free of foreign influence.

Today the OAS has 35 independent countries as primary members. Further there are also 69 permanent observers who help to enforce, donate, and regulate policies in the Americas.

As such one of the greatest accomplishments of Simon Bolivar was to put in place the establishment of a unified state of American Republics. It remains to be seen how much this OAS will grow over the coming future. As Latin and South America grow in power and popularity so does the OAS.

Conclusion

There you have it; an entire article dedicated to the 3 major accomplishments of Simon Bolivar.

Today Simon Bolivar is a hotly contested topic of historical debate. On one side he freed millions of people from Spanish colonial rule but on the other hand he helped to create a politically destabilized region of the Americas. However, he remains one of the most influential 19th century generals and politicians. Prospective graduate students of history will find ample material to study surrounding Simon Bolivar and his major accomplishments.

Here at The History Ace I strive to publish the best history articles on the internet. If you enjoyed this article then consider subscribing to the free newsletter and sharing around the internet.

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Nick