Simon Bolivar is one of the most influential military and political leaders in the History of South America and definitely the most important figure in Venezuelan History.
Simon Bolivar was born on 24 July 1783 in Caracas, Venezuela. He pursued and achieved not only Venezuela’s independence from the Spanish, but also Colombia’s, Ecuador’s, Peru’s, and Panama’s independence. For this reason, he is known as “El Libertador”, which is Spanish for “The Liberator”.
Simon Bolivar founded the Republic of Bolivia and is famous for the creation of the “Gran Colombia”. His dream was to free South America from the Spanish Empire and unite it all in one country called the “Gran Colombia”. Many facts are known about El Libertador, but did you know these top 10 facts about Simon Bolivar?
10. He Had A Very Long Name
So, you’re probably thinking Simon Bolivar sounds like a pretty complete name, but it actually isn’t. His full name is Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar Palacios Ponte y Blanco. This is due to the fact that in the 19th-century people believed that the longer the name, the more protection they’ll be from evil.
9. He Was Orphaned At A Young Age
Sadly, Simon Bolivar was orphaned at a very young age. His father died when he was three years old and his mother died when he was nine. He was raised by the family’s slave Hipólita, whom Bolivar often referred to as “the only mother I have known”.
8. He Was Born In A Wealthy Aristocratic Family
The Bolivar family owned gold and copper mines making them one of the richest families in Venezuela. Simon Bolivar was extremely wealthy. He had the privilege to receive education in the best schools not only in Venezuela but in Europe as well.
7. His Fortune Was Devoted To Revolutionary Movements In South America
Simon Bolivar led many independent movements throughout Latin America. These movements needed financing, for which he used his family wealth. And from being born rich, he died in complete poverty. He was able to reach his dream of a free South America, though.
6. He Was Married For Less Than A Year
He was married to María Teresa Rodríguez del Toro y Alaiza. After only 8 months, she died from yellow fever. After her death, Simon Bolivar swore he would never marry again. And he kept his promise despite his numerous lovers.
5. He Never Achieved His Dream Of A United Latin America
His dream of a United Latin America collapsed after the failure of the Gran Colombia. He was the President of Gran Colombia from 1819 to the year of his death, 1830. He tried to implement a centralist model government. For this, he was accused of dictatorship leading to the collapse of the union. Gran Colombia was then dissolved and replaced by the republics of Venezuela, New Granada, and Ecuador.
4. He Arrested Francisco De Miranda
Francisco de Miranda was also an important Venezuela revolutionary leader whose actions were the start of the independence movement. In 1810, Simon Bolivar asked him to join and fight the War of Independence. But Miranda made an agreement with the Spanish. Bolivar took this as a betrayal, arrested him, and turned Miranda to the Spanish who imprisoned him till his death.
3. Bolivar Was A Great Strategist And Leader
Simon Bolivar was known for his strategic and determined mind. He was a quick thinker making risky unexpected decisions. He was also known for his surprise attacks. He was determined to achieve his goal and nothing would stop him.
2. He Wanted To Destroy All His Archive
Before he died from tuberculosis, he ordered General Daniel F. O’Leary to destroy all his archive of letters, speeches, and writings. Fortunately, O’Leary didn’t obey this order, and thanks to that today we have extensive knowledge of Simon Bolivar’s life and philosophy.
1. There Are Two Countries Named After Him
Simon Bolivar is considered one of the greatest heroes of South America’s independence. So in his honor, two countries are named after him: Venezuela, whose official name is the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and Bolivia.