Bolivian War of Independence
The Bolivian war of independence began in 1809 with the establishment of government juntas in Sucre and La Paz, after the Chuquisaca Revolution and La Paz revolution. These Juntas were defeated shortly after, the cities fell again under Spanish control; the May Revolution of 1810 ousted the viceroy in Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires sent three military campaigns to the Charcas, headed by Juan José Castelli, Manuel Belgrano and José Rondeau, but the royalists prevailed over each one. However, the conflict grew into a guerrilla war, the War of the Republiquetas, preventing the royalists from strengthening their presence. After Simón Bolívar and Antonio José de Sucre defeated the royalists in northern South America, Sucre led a campaign, to defeat the royalists in Charcas for good when the last royalist general, Pedro Antonio Olañeta, suffered death and defeat at the hands of his own defected forces at the battle of Tumusla. Bolivian independence was proclaimed on August 6 of 1825. Charcas is sometimes referred to as the Upper Peru.
This region fell under the authority of Spanish colonial rule in the sixteenth century. It was placed directly under the rule of the Viceroyalty of Peru, however this location proved to be too distant for effective ruling so Phillip II established the Audiencia of Charcas, an autonomous governing body under the purview of the viceroy of Peru; this governing was composed of oidores or judges and a governor with the title of president of the Audiencia. The Audiencia was given authority to make final decisions when a viceroy was absent; the Audiencia was centered in Chuquisaca, which started out as an indigenous community and became known by its post-independence name, Sucre. This was the center of administration as well as cultural activities for Charcas; the Archbishop of Charcas lived there and one of the prominent universities in Bolivia, was founded there. The Audiencia was a great honor for the Charcas. Oidores came directly from Spain and tended to be proud making everyone bow to them, they were incredibly ignorant about the peoples needs and problems.
As Spanish settlements expanded to the south, the jurisdiction of the Audiencia of Charcas grew to include not only present day Bolivia, but Argentina, Uruguay and parts of Peru. In 1776, the Audiencia of Charcas was placed under the authority of the viceroy of Buenos Aires in the newly created Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata and most trade was redirected to Buenos Aires; this change was against Peruvian desires because they had wanted to keep Charcas for its enormous wealth in the mines of Potosí. For the next few decades, the question of the political and economic ties with Charcas was fought over by Peru and Río de la Plata. On May 25, 1809 the citizens of Sucre participated in the first outbreak, part of the initiation of the war of independence in Bolivia. In 1784 the Spanish rulers created the intendancy system. Four main intendancies were constructed in La Paz, Potosí, Chuquisaca; this system gave authority to a few and educated men who were directly responsible to the King of Spain.
This system was implemented to increase to revenue as well as stop specific problems that had resulted from other authorities misusing their power. The system limited the power of the Audiencia; the Bolivian people were divided into three main categories, Criollos and the indigenous population. In authority over all of these people were the Peninsulares, who were influential people who had come from Spain to assume a leadership position in the church or government, in one of the Spanish colonies. All the rest of Bolivian people had a social status beneath this elite class; the Criollos were people of pure Spanish descent, born in Latin America. The Criollos were envious of the power the Peninsulares held and this attitude formed part of the basis for the reason for war of independence. Under the Criollos on the social strata were the Mestizos, who were a mix of Spanish and Indigenous descent; the main reason these two people mixed was because of the lack of Spanish women in the region. At the bottom of the hierarchy was the biggest social class, the indigenous people, who spoke Aymara and Quechua.
These people did not know what was going on politically in the country, however they offered a large force of fighting men for both the patriots and the royalists in the war. In the War of Independence they proved to be unpredictable and would, at times, turn on the army at any provocation; these people would fight for whoever controlled that area, whether loyalists, patriots, or royalists. The majority of the time it was the Republiquetas that controlled the rural areas were the Natives lived. Although they would fight for whomever, these people favored the patriots because they were part native, where as the other armies were of pure Spanish descent; the real intention of the Indigenous people was to reestablish the Incan empire and so wanted a form of government different from all three of the other groups. These groups all contented for the Natives' assistance in order to win the war, however not one army thought of liberating these people. Independence was not a new idea in the minds of the people of the Charcas.
This concept had begun to take root long before and signs of discontent with current form of government were beginning to show. The individuals in every class of the Bolivian population had become dissatisfied, the Criollos, the Mestizos, as well as the Indigenous people, they were all feeling the effects of increased Spanish taxes and trade restrictions. Indigenous rebellions started in 1730 in Cochabamba and
Potosí is a capital city and a municipality of the Department of Potosí in Bolivia. It is one of the highest cities in the world at a nominal 4,090 metres. For centuries, it was the location of the Spanish colonial mint. Potosí lies at the foot of the Cerro de Potosí —sometimes referred to as the Cerro Rico — a mountain popularly conceived of as being "made of" silver ore that dominates the city; the Cerro Rico is the reason for Potosí's historical importance since it was the major supply of silver for Spanish Empire until Guanajuato in Mexico surpassed it in the 18th century. The silver was taken by llama and mule train to the Pacific coast, shipped north to Panama City, carried by mule train across the isthmus of Panama to Nombre de Dios or Portobelo, whence it was taken to Spain on the Spanish treasure fleets; some of the silver made its way east to Buenos Aires, via the Rio de la Plata. Cerro de Potosí's peak is 4,824 metres above sea level. Located in the Bolivian Tin Belt, Cerro Rico de Potosí is the world's largest silver deposit and has been mined since the sixteenth century, producing up to 60,000 tonnes by 1996.
Estimates are. Potosí became the second largest city, the site of the first mint, in the Americas. By 1891, low silver prices prompted the change to mining tin, which continued until 1985. At peak production in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the ore contained up to 40% silver; the ore deposits reside in veins present in the dacite volcanic dome. The hill is "honeycombed" with underground workings, reaching from the summit to depths of 1,150 metres; the conical hill has a reddish-brown gossan cap of iron-oxides and quartz, with grayish-blue altered dacite and many mine dumps below. Basement rocks consist of Ordovician clastic sediments consisting of phyllite with some sandstone interbedding. At about 13.8 Ma, the dome was extruded. During the explosive process, the Venus breccia formed when the ascending dacite magma reacted with groundwater to produce a phreatic eruption; the released pressure allowed the formation of the Caracoles tuff ring on top of the breccia. The magma extruded outward from a dike to form a volcanic dome over the tuff.
The dacite dome is 1,700 metres by 1,200 metres at the surface and narrows down to the 100 metres wide dike at depth. Hydrothermal circulation and fracturing soon followed, altering the dacite and depositing ore minerals and gangue in the veins. Founded in 1545 as a mining town, it soon produced fabulous wealth, the population exceeded 200,000 people; the city gave rise to a Spanish expression, still in use: vale un Potosí, meaning "to be of great value". The rich mountain, Cerro Rico, produced an estimated 60% of all silver mined in the world during the second half of the 16th century. Potosi miners at first mined the rich oxidized ores with native silver and silver chloride that could be fed directly into smelting furnaces. Successful were the small clay “flower pot” furnaces called guayras, used by the Incas, but by 1565, the miners had exhausted the direct-smelting ore, silver production plummeted. Silver production was revived by the introduction of the patio process, invented in Mexico in 1557.
The patio process used mercury amalgamation to extract silver from lower-grade ores, those containing silver sulfide, as was typical of the unoxidized ores found deeper in the mountain. In 1609, another mercury amalgamation method, the pan amalgamation process was invented in Potosi, proved better-adapted to the conditions at Potosi. Spanish American mines were the world's cheapest sources of silver during this time period. Spanish America's ability to supply a great amount of silver and China's strong demand for this commodity resulted in a spectacular mining boom; the true champion of this boom in the silver industry was indeed the Spanish crown. By allowing private-sector entrepreneurs to operate mines and placing high taxes on mining profits, the Spanish empire was able to extract the greatest benefits. An example of a tax, levied includes the quinto, a 20% severance tax on gross value. From the raw materials extracted from the mines, coins called pieces of eight were fashioned at the Potosí mint.
For Europeans, Peru–Bolivia was part of the Viceroyalty of Peru and was known as Alto Perú before becoming independent as part of Bolivia. Potosi was a mythical land of riches, it is mentioned in Miguel de Cervantes' famous novel, Don Quixote as a land of "extraordinary richness". One theory holds that the mint mark of Potosí is the origin of the dollar sign, although the likelier origin of the symbol is the $-shaped scroll-wrapped columns on the reverse of the Spanish dollar. By the early 17th century, Basques were well established in the city and made up for a substantial number of the inhabitants in Potosí, they gathered in a confederation opposed to another one, the Vicuñas, a melting pot of natives and non-Basque Spanish and Portuguese colonists, fighting for control over ore extraction from the mines and its management. Tension among both factions came to a head, resulting in the eruption of overt armed conflict starting 1622 up to 1625; the Spanish Crown intervened, siding at one point with the Basques.
Both factions reached a settlement sealed with a wedding between the son and daughter of the leaders in either side, the Basque Francisco Oyanume and the Vicuña general Castillo. Native-American laborers were conscripted and forced to work in Potosí's silver mines through the traditional Incan mita system of contributed labor. Many of them died due to the harsh conditions of t
Bolivia the Plurinational State of Bolivia is a landlocked country located in western-central South America. The capital is Sucre; the largest city and principal industrial center is Santa Cruz de la Sierra, located on the Llanos Orientales a flat region in the east of Bolivia. The sovereign state of Bolivia is a constitutionally unitary state, divided into nine departments, its geography varies from the peaks of the Andes in the West, to the Eastern Lowlands, situated within the Amazon Basin. It is bordered to the north and east by Brazil, to the southeast by Paraguay, to the south by Argentina, to the southwest by Chile, to the northwest by Peru. One-third of the country is within the Andean mountain range. With 1,098,581 km2 of area, Bolivia is the fifth largest country in South America, the 27th largest in the world and the largest landlocked country in the Southern Hemisphere; the country's population, estimated at 11 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Europeans and Africans.
The racial and social segregation that arose from Spanish colonialism has continued to the modern era. Spanish is the official and predominant language, although 36 indigenous languages have official status, of which the most spoken are Guarani and Quechua languages. Before Spanish colonization, the Andean region of Bolivia was part of the Inca Empire, while the northern and eastern lowlands were inhabited by independent tribes. Spanish conquistadors arriving from Cuzco and Asunción took control of the region in the 16th century. During the Spanish colonial period Bolivia was administered by the Royal Audiencia of Charcas. Spain built its empire in large part upon the silver, extracted from Bolivia's mines. After the first call for independence in 1809, 16 years of war followed before the establishment of the Republic, named for Simón Bolívar. Over the course of the 19th and early 20th century Bolivia lost control of several peripheral territories to neighboring countries including the seizure of its coastline by Chile in 1879.
Bolivia remained politically stable until 1971, when Hugo Banzer led a coup d'état which replaced the socialist government of Juan José Torres with a military dictatorship headed by Banzer. Banzer's regime cracked down on leftist and socialist opposition and other forms of dissent, resulting in the torture and deaths of a number of Bolivian citizens. Banzer was ousted in 1978 and returned as the democratically elected president of Bolivia from 1997 to 2001. Modern Bolivia is a charter member of the UN, IMF, NAM, OAS, ACTO, Bank of the South, ALBA and USAN. For over a decade Bolivia has had one of the highest economic growth rates in Latin America, it is a developing country, with a medium ranking in the Human Development Index, a poverty level of 38.6%, one of the lowest crime rates in Latin America. Its main economic activities include agriculture, fishing and manufacturing goods such as textiles, refined metals, refined petroleum. Bolivia is rich in minerals, including tin and lithium. Bolivia is named after Simón Bolívar, a Venezuelan leader in the Spanish American wars of independence.
The leader of Venezuela, Antonio José de Sucre, had been given the option by Bolívar to either unite Charcas with the newly formed Republic of Peru, to unite with the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, or to formally declare its independence from Spain as a wholly independent state. Sucre opted to create a brand new state and on 6 August 1825, with local support, named it in honor of Simón Bolívar; the original name was Republic of Bolívar. Some days congressman Manuel Martín Cruz proposed: "If from Romulus comes Rome from Bolívar comes Bolivia"; the name was approved by the Republic on 3 October 1825. In 2009, a new constitution changed the country's official name to "Plurinational State of Bolivia" in recognition of the multi-ethnic nature of the country and the enhanced position of Bolivia's indigenous peoples under the new constitution; the region now known as Bolivia had been occupied for over 2,500 years. However, present-day Aymara associate themselves with the ancient civilization of the Tiwanaku culture which had its capital at Tiwanaku, in Western Bolivia.
The capital city of Tiwanaku dates from as early as 1500 BC when it was a small, agriculturally based village. The community grew to urban proportions between AD 600 and AD 800, becoming an important regional power in the southern Andes. According to early estimates, the city covered 6.5 square kilometers at its maximum extent and had between 15,000 and 30,000 inhabitants. In 1996 satellite imaging was used to map the extent of fossilized suka kollus across the three primary valleys of Tiwanaku, arriving at population-carrying capacity estimates of anywhere between 285,000 and 1,482,000 people. Around AD 400, Tiwanaku went from being a locally dominant force to a predatory state. Tiwanaku expanded its reaches into the Yungas and brought its culture and way of life to many other cultures in Peru and Chile. Tiwanaku was not a violent culture in many respects. In order to expand its reach, Tiwanaku exercised great political astuteness, creating colonies, fostering trade agree
The Argentine Army is the land armed force branch of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic and the senior military service of the country. Under the Argentine Constitution, the President of Argentina is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, exercising his or her command authority through the Minister of Defense; the Army's official foundation date is May 29, 1810, four days after the Spanish colonial administration in Buenos Aires was overthrown. The new national army was formed out of several pre-existent colonial militia units and locally manned regiments; as of 2018, the active element of the Argentine Army numbered some 51,309 military personnel. Several armed expeditions were sent to the Upper Peru, Paraguay and Chile to fight Spanish forces and secure Argentina's newly gained independence; the most famous of these expeditions was the one led by General José de San Martín, who led a 5000-man army across the Andes Mountains to expel the Spaniards from Chile and from Perú. While the other expeditions failed in their goal of bringing all the dependencies of the former Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata under the new government in Buenos Aires, they prevented the Spaniards from crushing the rebellion.
During the civil wars of the first half of the 19th century, the Argentine Army became fractionalized under the leadership of the so-called caudillos, provincial leaders who waged a war against the centralist Buenos Aires administration. However, the Army was re-unified during the war with the Brazilian Empire.. It was only with the establishment of a Constitution and a national government recognized by all the provinces that the Army became a single force, absorbing the older provincial militias; the Army went on to fight the War of the Triple Alliance in the 1860s together with Brazil and Uruguay against Paraguay. After that war, the Army became involved in Argentina's Conquista del Desierto: the campaign to occupy Patagonia and root out the natives, who conducted looting raids throughout the country. Between 1880 and 1930, the Army sought to become a professional force without active involvement in politics though many a political figure -President Julio Argentino Roca, for example- benefitted from a past military career.
The Army prevented the fall of the government in a number of Radical-led uprisings. Meanwhile, the military in general and the Army, in particular, contributed to develop Argentina's unsettled southern frontier and its nascent industrial complex; the main foreign influence during this period was, by and large, the Prussian doctrine. Because of that, during both World Wars most of the officers supported the Germans, more or less while the Argentine Navy favored the British instead. In 1930, a small group of Army forces deposed President Hipólito Yrigoyen without much response from the rest of the Army and the Navy; this was the beginning of a long history of political intervention by the military. Another coup, in 1943, was responsible for bringing an obscure colonel into the political limelight: Juan Perón. Though Perón had the support of the military during his two consecutive terms of office, his repressive government alienated many officers, which led to a military uprising which overthrew him in September 1955.
Between 1955 and 1973 the Army and the rest of the military became vigilant over the possible re-emergence of Peronism in the political arena, which led to two new coups against elected Presidents in 1962 and 1966. It should be noted that political infighting eroded discipline and cohesion within the army, to the extent that there was armed fighting between contending military units during the early 1960s; the military government which ruled Argentina between 1966 and 1973 saw the growing activities of groups such as Montoneros and the ERP, a important social movement. During Héctor Cámpora's first months of government, a rather moderate and left-wing Peronist, approximatively 600 social conflicts and factory occupations had taken place. Following the June 20, 1973 Ezeiza massacre and right-wing Peronism broke apart, while the Triple A death squad, organized by José López Rega, closest advisor to María Estela Martínez de Perón, started a campaign of assassinations against left-wing opponents.
But Isabel Perón herself was ousted during the March 1976 coup by a military junta. The new military government, self-named Proceso de Reorganización Nacional, put a stop to the guerrilla's campaigns, but soon it became known that violent methods and severe violations of human rights had taken place, in what the dictatorship called a "Dirty War" — a term refused by jurists during the 1985 Trial of the Juntas. Batallón de Inteligencia 601 became infamous during this period, it was a special military intelligence service set up in the late 1970s, active in the Dirty War and Operation Condor, disbanded in 2000. Its personnel collected information on and infiltrated guerrilla groups and human rights organisations, coordinated killings and other abuses; the unit participated in the training of Nicaraguan Contras with US assistance, including from John Negroponte. Meanwhile, the Guevarist People's Revolutionary Army, led by Roberto Santucho and inspired by Che Guevara's foco theory, began a rural insurgency in the province of Tucumán, in the mountainous n
A gaucho or gaúcho is a skilled horseman, reputed to be brave and unruly. The gaucho is a national symbol in Argentina and Uruguay, but is a strong culture in the far south region of Brazil. Gauchos became admired and renowned in legends and literature and became an important part of their regional cultural tradition. Beginning late in the 19th century, after the heyday of the gauchos, they were celebrated by South American writers; the gaucho in some respects resembled members of other nineteenth century rural, horse-based cultures such as the North American cowboy, the Chilean huaso, the Peruvian chalan or morochuco, the Venezuelan or Colombian llanero, the Hawaiian paniolo, the Mexican charro or the Portuguese campino. According to the Diccionario de la lengua española, in its historical sense a gaucho was "a mestizo who, in the 18th and 19th centuries, inhabited Argentina and Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, was a migratory horseman, adept in cattle work" In Argentina and Uruguay today a gaucho is, according to the same source "A country person, experienced in traditional livestock farming".
Because historical gauchos were reputed to be brave, if unruly, the word is applied metaphorically to mean "Noble and generous", but "One, skilful in subtle tricks, crafty". In Portuguese the word gaúcho means "An inhabitant of the plains of Rio Grande do Sul or the pampas of Argentina descended from European man and indian woman who devotes himself to lassoing and raising cattle and horses". In its purest sense, gaucho referred to the nomadic outlaw inhabitants of the great plains of Argentina and Brazil. In current usage, gaucho designates the rural working class in general." There are several hypotheses concerning the origin of the term. It may derive from the Spanish term chaucho, in turn derived from a Turkish low-rank military term Chiaus, through Arabic shawsh which became broadly applied to any guard/watcher or aide; the first recorded use of the term dates to Argentine independence in 1816. Another scenario indicates the word may derive from the Portuguese gaudério, designated to the inhabitants of the vast regions of Rio Grande do Sul and Río de la Plata in the 18th century or the Portuguese garrucho that points to an instrument used by the gauchos to trap and hamstring cattle.
The 18th century chronicler Alonso Carrió de la Vandera speaks of gauderios when it mentions the gauchos or huasos as poorly dressed men. Another plausible origin is from a South American indigenous language, such as Mapudungun cauchu, kauču, or Quechua wahcha, it could derive from Arabic وحشة wahcha, which means the state of being lonely in the wilderness. An essential attribute of a gaucho was. "He has taken his first lessons in riding before he is well able to walk". Without a horse the gaucho felt; the naturalist William Henry Hudson recorded that the gauchos of his childhood used to say that a man without a horse was a man without legs. He described meeting a blind gaucho, obliged to beg for his food yet behaved with dignity and went about on horseback. Richard W. Slatta, the author of a scholarly work about gauchos, notes that the gaucho used horses to collect, drive or tame cattle, to draw fishing nets, to hunt ostriches, to snare partridges, to draw well water, − with the help of his friends − to ride to his own burial.
By reputation the quintessential gaucho caudillo Juan Manuel de Rosas could throw his hat on the ground and scoop it up while galloping his horse, without touching the saddle with his hand. For the gaucho, the horse was essential to his survival for, said Hudson: "he must every day traverse vast distances, see judge be ready at all times to encounter hunger and fatigue, violent changes of temperature and sudden perils". A popular copla was: It was the gaucho's passion to own all his steeds in matching colours. Hudson recalled: The gaucho, from the poorest worker on horseback to the largest owner of lands and cattle, has, or had in those days, a fancy for having all his riding-horses of one colour; every man as a rule had his tropilla — his own half a dozen or a dozen or more saddle-horses, he would have them all as nearly alike as possible, so that one man had chestnuts, another browns, silver- or iron-greys, fawns, cream-noses, or blacks, or whites, or piebalds. The caudillo El Chacho Peñalosa described the low point of his life as "In Chile − and on foot!"
The gaucho plays an important symbolic role in the nationalist feelings of this region that of Argentina and Uruguay. The epic poem Martín Fierro by José Hernández used the gaucho as a symbol against corruption and of Argentine national tradition, pitted against Europeanising tendencies. Martín Fierro, the hero of the poem, is drafted into the Argentine military for a border war and becomes an outlaw and fugitive; the image of the free gaucho is contrasted to the slaves who worked the northern Brazilian lands. Further literary descriptions are found in Ricardo Güiraldes' Don Segundo Sombra. Like the North American cowboys, as discussed in Richard W. Slatta, Cowboys of the Americas, gauchos were reputed to be strong, silent types, but proud and capable of violence when provoked; the gaucho tendency to violence over pett
The Spanish Empire known as the Hispanic Monarchy and as the Catholic Monarchy, was one of the largest empires in history. From the late 15th century to the early 19th, Spain controlled a huge overseas territory in the New World and the Asian archipelago of the Philippines, what they called "The Indies", it included territories in Europe and Oceania. The Spanish Empire has been described as the first global empire in history, a description given to the Portuguese Empire, it was the world's most powerful empire during the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, reaching its maximum extension in the 18th century. The Spanish Empire was the first empire to be called "the empire on which the sun never sets". Castile became the dominant kingdom in Iberia because of its jurisdiction over the overseas empire in the Americas and the Philippines; the structure of empire was established under the Spanish Hapsburgs and under the Spanish Bourbon monarchs, the empire was brought under greater crown control and increased its revenues from the Indies.
The crown's authority in The Indies was enlarged by the papal grant of powers of patronage, giving it power in the religious sphere. An important element in the formation of Spain's empire was the dynastic union between Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, known as the Catholic Monarchs, which initiated political and social cohesion but not political unification. Iberian kingdoms retained their political identities, with particular administration and juridical configurations. Although the power of the Spanish sovereign as monarch varied from one territory to another, the monarch acted as such in a unitary manner over all the ruler's territories through a system of councils: the unity did not mean uniformity. In 1580, when Philip II of Spain succeeded to the throne of Portugal, he established the Council of Portugal, which oversaw Portugal and its empire and "preserv its own laws and monetary system, united only in sharing a common sovereign." The Iberian Union remained in place until in 1640, when Portugal overthrew Hapsburg rule and reestablished independence under the House of Braganza.
Under Philip II, rather than the Hapsburg empire, was identified as the most powerful nation in the world eclipsing France and England. Furthermore, despite attacks from other European states, Spain retained its position of dominance with apparent ease; the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis confirmed the inheritance of Philip II in Italy. Spain's claims to Naples and Sicily in southern Italy dated back to the Aragonese presence in the 15th century. Following the peace reached in 1559, there would be no Neapolitan revolts against Spanish rule until 1647; the Duchy of Milan formally remained part of the Holy Roman Empire but the title of Duke of Milan was given to the King of Spain. The death of the Ottoman emperor Suleiman the Magnificent in 1566 and the naval victory over the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 gave Spain a claim to be the greatest power not just in Europe but in the world; the Spanish Empire in the Americas was formed after conquering large stretches of land, beginning with Christopher Columbus in the Caribbean Islands.
In the early 16th century, it conquered and incorporated the Aztec and Inca Empires, retaining indigenous elites loyal to the Spanish crown and converts to Christianity as intermediaries between their communities and royal government. After a short period of delegation of authority by the crown in the Americas, the crown asserted control over those territories and established the Council of the Indies to oversee rule there; some scholars consider the initial period of the Spanish conquest as marking the most egregious case of genocide in the history of mankind. The death toll may have reached some 70 million indigenous people in this period. However, other scholars believe the vast majority of indigenous deaths were due to the low immunological capacity of native populations to resist exogenous diseases. Many native tribes and their cultures were wiped out by the Spanish conquest and disease epidemics; the structure of governance of its overseas empire was reformed in the late 18th century by the Bourbon monarchs.
Although the crown attempted to keep its empire a closed economic system under Hapsburg rule, Spain was unable to supply the Indies with sufficient consumer goods to meet demand, so that foreign merchants from Genoa, England and The Netherlands dominated the trade, with silver from the mines of Peru and Mexico flowing to other parts of Europe. The merchant guild of Seville served as middlemen in the trade; the crown's trade monopoly was broken early in the seventeenth century, with the crown colluding with the merchant guild for fiscal reasons in circumventing the closed system. Spain was unable to defend the territories it claimed in the Americas, with the Dutch, the English, the French taking Caribbean islands, using them to engage in contraband trade with the Spanish populace in the Indies. In the seventeenth century, the diversion of silver revenue to pay for European consumer goods and the rising costs of defense of its empire meant that "tangible benefits of America to Spain were dwindling...at a moment when the costs of empire were climbing sharply."The Bourbon monarchy attempted to expand the possibilities for trade within the empire, by allowing commerce between all ports in the empire, took other measures to revive economic activity to the benefit of Spain.
The Bourbons had inherited "an empire invaded by
Action of Tambo Nuevo
The Action of Tambo Nuevo known as Hazaña de los Tres Sargentos was a successful cavalry raid carried out between 23 and 25 October 1813, during the second Upper Peru campaign of the Argentine War of Independence, by a small detachment of Dragones of the Army of the North. The targets were the headquarters of royalist Colonel Saturnino Castro at Yocalla, a forward outpost on Tambo Nuevo. After the defeat of General Manuel Belgrano in the battle of Vilcapugio, on 1 October 1813, the bulk of the republican Army of the North withdrawn to the east, establishing its headquarters in the town of Macha. Belgrano hoped to reinforce his demoralized troops with local draft and supplies; the royalist situation was no better, despite their recent victory. General Joaquin de la Pezuela lost more than 200 men in Vilcapugio, along with a good number of mules and horses, the main way of carrying artillery and other provisions through the rugged soil. A smaller fraction of Belgrano's army retreated to the city Potosí, under the command of General Díaz Vélez.
By mid-October, Potosí was threaten from the north by a royalist squadron, led by Colonel Saturnino Castro, who seized the town of Yocalla. While honing his forces at Macha, Belgrano ordered several reconnaissance missions on the enemy, he chose one of his best officers, Lieutenant La Madrid, to collect intelligence about the royalist headquarters at Yocalla. La Madrid departed the republican camp with a native guide. After an icy-cold night, which ended in a heavy snowfall, the small detachment was just 400 metres away from the enemy stronghold. Not only their recce mission went unnoticed, but they surprised a royalist patrol marching on the snow and took five prisoners. Only a troop of local natives, loyal to Pezuela, harassed La Madrid's group during their retreat along the defile of Tinguipaya, informed Castro about his path through the mountains; when the captives were presented to Belgrano, he recognized two of them - a corporal and a soldier - as members of the royalist army defeated in Salta.
These men had sworn not to turn their arms on the republicans again. To make an example, Belgrano had them executed by a shooting squad, their bodies were beheaded, their heads, along with a reinforcement of eight Dragoons, were sent to La Madrid, still close to the enemy. La Madrid learned that Castro, aware of the route and movements of the Dragoons due to his local informers, had ordered a company to mount an ambush on the outpost of Tambo Nuevo, a mountain pass 25 km north of Yocalla. On the night of the 24th, La Madrid and his men climbed a hill behind the outpost. Three soldiers, acting as scouts, were the first to reach the enemy position, they found a stable of adobe sheltering at least 50 horses, another building guarded by a sentry. After overpowering the surprised soldier, they broke into the building where they found another ten men sleeping. All of them were taken prisoners, but a royalist sergeant managed to escape and gave the alarm; the rest of the company, suspecting that the republican forces outnumbered them, remained inside another building until dawn.
There was a sporadic exchange of fire. At first light, La Madrid fell back to Macha with the ten captives; the three soldiers were promoted to sergeants by Belgrano, with the title of Sargentos de Tambo Nuevo. The small action had the unexpected effect of relieving Potosí. Indeed, Castro believed that his squadron was shadowed by a combined force of 200 men and withdrawn to Condo, the headquarters of General Pezuela; this movement allowed his troops to join Belgrano's army in Macha. La Madrid cavalry reached the site of the battle of Vilcapugio, where he buried the corpses of several of his camarades fallen there, he chose this place to fix the severed heads of the prisoners executed by Belgrano in pikes. A banner was put on each pike with the writing por perjuros. Mitre, Bartolomé: Historia de Belgrano. Imprenta de Mayo, Buenos Aires, 1859. V. II. Araóz de la Madrid, Gregorio: Obsebvaciones sobre las Memorias póstumas del brigadier general d. Josè M. Paz, por G. Araoz de Lamadrid y otros gefes contemporaneos.
Imprenta de la Revista, Buenos Aires, 1855. García Camba, Andrés: Memorias para la Historia de las armas españolas en el Perú. Sociedad tipográfica de Hortelano y compañia, 1846. V. II. Battle of Pequereque Battle of Vilcapugio Battle of Ayohuma Tres Sargentos