Retroversion of the sovereignty to the people
The Retroversion of the sovereignty to the people, which challenged the legitimacy of the colonial authorities, was the principle underlying the Spanish American Independence processes. In 1808, the Spanish King Ferdinand VII had been imprisoned by the Napoleonic Empire, the Seven-Part Code recognized the right of good and honest persons to form Juntas in absence of the king. In Spain, resistant governing juntas were formed, claiming sovereignty in the absence of the legitimate King, but the Seven-Part Code implied that the territory was still under the sovereignty of the King and that the Juntas were only a temporary fix. The principle of retroversion of sovereignty was premised on the basis that the Spanish territories in America were a possession of the king of Spain. Only the king could rule over them, either directly or through viceroys appointed by himself and this principle already existed, and justified the fact that Spain and Spanish America had different laws. Scholars of the Laws of the Indies had argued that they were two different realms, united under one same crown.
But the Junta of Seville had no authority to send or appoint viceroys in America, the principle was employed by many independentist movements in South America of that time, such as the Chuquisaca Revolution or the May Revolution. The American new entities adopted the principle of consentimiento and this meant that they felt free to reject any decision they had been taken without their consent. Open cabildo School of Salamanca Francisco Suárez
Spanish American wars of independence
These conflicts started in 1809 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 invasion, in 1810, Cuba and Puerto Rico remained under Spanish rule until the Spanish–American War in 1898. The new republics from the abolished the formal system of racial classification and hierarchy, casta system, the Inquisition. Slavery was not abolished immediately, but ended in all of the new nations within a quarter century and mestizos replaced Spanish-born appointees in most political offices. Criollos remained at the top of a structure which retained some of its traditional features culturally. For almost a century thereafter and liberals fought to reverse or to deepen the social and political changes unleashed by those rebellions, both armies originated from Spanish colonial troops of Americas. The events in Spanish America were related to the wars of independence in former French colony of St-Domingue, Haiti, a more direct cause of the Spanish American wars of independence were the unique developments occurring within the Kingdom of Spain and its monarchy during this period.
Political independence was not necessarily the outcome of the political turmoil in Spanish America. There was little interest in outright independence and John Lynch note, it is all too easy to equate the forces of discontent or even the forces of change with the forces of revolution. Since by definition, there was no history of independence until it happened, because Spanish American independence did occur, there are a number of factors that have been identified. First, increasing control by the Crown of its overseas empire via the Bourbon Reforms of the mid-eighteenth century introduced changes to the relationship of Spanish Americans to the Crown. The language used to describe the overseas empire shifted from kingdoms with independent standing with the crown to colonies and this meant that Spanish American elites were thwarted in their expectations and ambitions by the crowns upending long-standing practices of creole access to office holding. The regalist and secularizing policies of the Bourbon monarchy were aimed at decreasing the power of the Roman Catholic Church, the crown had already expelled the Jesuits in 1767, which saw many creole members of the Society of Jesus go into permanent exile.
In the economic sphere, the sought to gain control over church revenues. In a financial crisis of 1804, the crown attempted to call in debts owed the church, shortening the repayment period meant many elites were faced with bankruptcy. Prominently in Mexico, lower clergy participated in the insurgency for independence with priests Miguel Hidalgo, in some areas—such as Cuba, Río de la Plata and New Spain—the reforms had positive effects, improving the local economy and the efficiency of the government. Other factors may include Enlightenment thinking and the examples of the Atlantic Revolutions, the Enlightenment spurred the desire for social and economic reform to spread throughout Spanish America and the Iberian Peninsula. Ideas about free trade and physiocratic economics were raised by the Enlightenment in Spain and spread to the overseas empire, the political reforms implemented and the many constitutions written both in Spain and throughout the Spanish world during the wars of independence were influenced by these factors
Vargas Swamp Battle
Vargas Swamp Battle was an armed conflict that occurred near Paipa, on July 25,1819. The joint Venezuelan and New Granadan army commanded by Simón Bolívar was trying to prevent the Spanish forces from arriving at Santafe de Bogotá, bolívars army successfully bested the royalist army in spite of the exhaustion of the troops after climbing the Páramo de Pisba, and crossing the swamp. This battle and the victory over the Spanish by the Boyacá Bridge secured the independence of New Granada. During the action the left flank of the Patriot army was outflanked, a cavalry attack by the Venezuelan Lancers decided the outcome of the battle, turning defeat into victory. The battle is commemorated in the Vargas Swamp Lancers memorial
The British Legion or British Legions were foreign volunteer units that fought under Simón Bolívar against Spain for the independence of Colombia, Venezuela and Peru. Venezuelans generally called them the Albion Legion, Volunteers in the British Legion were motivated by a combination of both genuine political motives and mercenary motives. Their greatest achievements were at Boyacá, and Pichincha and they took part of the last major campaign of the Independence wars, culminating in the Battle of Ayacucho in Peru, which marked the end of the Spanish rule in South America. The British Legions fought until the end of the wars, their number much depleted, in March 1819, Bolivar combined most of his foreign volunteers into a brigade of 250 men named the British Legions, with James Rooke as commander. The British Legions consisted of the 1st British Legion led by Colonel James Towers English, the 2nd British Legion led by Colonel John Blossett, the British Legions were an important part of Bolívars army.
Nonetheless, for a time they were largely forgotten to history. The motivations of volunteers for the British Legions were mixed, many Britons were still concerned by the threat that Spain, as a restored world power, potentially posed to Britain. Despite Spain and Britain having been allies in the Peninsular War just a few years before, Volunteers were motivated by the liberal propaganda of Bolívars supporters that portrayed the war as bringing freedom and rights to people under Spanish tyranny. At the end of the Napoleonic Wars the British Empire no longer required a standing army. In April 1817, The Times calculated that there were 500,000 ex-soldiers in a British population of 25 million, South Americas wars of independence provided many of them with an opportunity to continue their military careers and escape from the prospect of inactivity and poverty at home. Spanish American wars of independence Latin American wars of independence James Towers English John Blossett Brown, adventuring through Spanish Colonies, Simón Bolívar, Foreign Mercenaries and the Birth of New Nations.
Foreign Legionnaires in the Liberation of Spanish South America, British Volunteers in Bolivars War of Extermination 1817-21 Osprey ISBN1849081832 Lambert, Eric. Voluntarios británicos e irlandeses en la gesta bolivariana,3 vols, freedoms Mercenaries, British Volunteers in the Wars of Independence of Latin America,2 vols. El motín de la Legión Británica from Historia patria, James Towers in Irish Migration Studies in Latin America
Reconquista (Spanish America)
The term makes an analogy to the medieval Reconquista, in which Christian forces retook the Iberian Peninsula. During Napoleons invasion of the Iberian peninsula, a number of Spanish colonies in the Americas moved for greater autonomy or outright independence due to the instability in Spain. By 1815 the general outlines of which areas were controlled by royalists and pro-independence forces had been established and a general stalemate set in the war. After French forces left Spain in 1814, the restored Spanish king, Ferdinand VII, declared the developments in the Americas illegal, the impact of these expeditions were most notably felt in Chile, New Granada, and Venezuela. The restoration was short lived, reversed by 1820 in these three countries, Ferdinand justified his actions by stating that the Constitution and other changes had been made by a Cortes assembled in his absence and without his consent. He declared all of the juntas and constitutions written in Spanish America invalid and restored the former law codes, news of the events arrived through Spanish America during the next three weeks to nine months, depending on time it took goods and people to travel from Spain.
Most Spanish Americans were moderates who decided to wait and see what would come out of the restoration of normalcy, Spanish Americans in royalist areas who were committed to independence had already joined guerrilla movements. Ferdinands actions did set areas outside of the control of the royalist armies on the path to full independence, during this period royalist forces made advances into New Granada, which they controlled from 1815 to 1819, and into Chile, from 1814 to 1817. Ultimately, the majority of the royalist forces were composed, not of soldiers sent from Spain, leaving the port of Cádiz on February 17,1815, the force initially landed at Carupano in April and invaded the island of Margarita where no resistance was encountered. After leaving the island, Morillos troops reinforced existing royalist forces in the Venezuelan mainland, entering Cumaná, La Guaira and Puerto Cabello in May. A small part of the corps set off towards Panamá. After picking up supplies and militia volunteers in Santa Marta on July 23, after a five-month siege the fortified city fell on December 1815.
Units of the armies of New Granada were incorporated into the royalist army. Osorio succeeded in organizing local recruits into an army of some 5,000 men. The new royalist force fought the forces on October 1 in Rancagua. After royalist forces took Santiago, patriots found in the city—among whom were members of the First Junta—were exiled to the Juan Fernández Islands, by November Spanish control had been reestablished in most of Chile. A member of the Talavera Regiment, Vicente San Bruno was put in charge of carrying out the orders to arrest civilians suspected of having helped or sympathised with the patriots. In 1816 Francisco Marcó del Pont became the new governor and he initiated a new campaign of fierce political, Marcó del Pont appointed San Bruno president of a Tribunal of Vigilance and Public Security
Ecuadorian War of Independence
The war ended with the defeat of the Spanish forces at the Battle of Pichincha on May 24,1822, which brought about the independence of the entire Presidencia de Quito. The Ecuadorian War of Independence is part of the Spanish American wars of independence fought during the first two decades of the 19th century. The military campaign for the independence of the now known as Ecuador from Spanish rule could be said to have begun after nearly three hundred years of Spanish colonization. Ecuadors capital Quito was a city of ten thousand inhabitants. Luz de America was the given to Quito which saw the first revolt against Spanish occupation. The nickname served the urge for the call of independence that was heard around the continent, on October 9,1820, the port-city of Guayaquil proclaimed its independence after a brief and almost bloodless revolt against the local garrison. The news of the proclamation of independence of Guayaquil spread rapidly to other cities in the Presidencia, portoviejo declared its independence on October 18,1820, and Cuenca—the economic center of the southern highlands—did the same on November 3,1820.
The stage was set for the campaign of liberation of Quito, the military unit raised and financed in Guayaquil was given the name of Division Protectora de Quito. The first clash with a Royalist covering force was a success, occurring on November 9,1820, at Camino Real and this victory opened the way into the inter-Andean highlands, and the capture of Guaranda soon followed. By the middle of November, the Spanish rule over the Presidencia had been reduced to Quito and it looked as if the liberation of the entire territory would be easier than expected. But the hopes turned out to be premature and short-lived, field-Marshal Melchor Aymerich, acting President and supreme commander of the military forces in the Presidencia de Quito, took swift action. Soon, an army of around 5,000 troops, under the command of veteran Spanish Colonel Francisco González, was dispatched south to deal with the 2, 000-strong patriot army, stationed in Ambato. In the Battle of Huachi, on November 22,1820, the Royalist army inflicted a defeat on Urdanetas force.
The Spanish army continued its south, towards Cuenca, retaking all major towns along the way. On December 20,1820, after the defenders of the city were defeated at the Battle of Verdeloma, and yet, not all was lost, help was on the way. Even more welcomed perhaps was what Mires had brought along with him,1,000 muskets,50,000 musket rounds,8,000 bits of flint,500 sabers, Bolívar informed Guayaquil that he would begin a simultaneous campaign from the north. By July 1821, Sucre had almost finished deploying the Army around Babahoyo, privy to Aymerichs intentions, sent Mires to deal with González. The encounter, which ended up destroying Gonzalezs force, took place near the town of Cone, upon hearing the news, Aymerich retraced his steps and headed back to the highlands
Ten Years' War
The Ten Years War, known as the Great War and the War of 68, was part of Cubas fight for independence from Spain. The uprising was led by Cuban-born planters and other wealthy natives, on October 10,1868 sugar mill owner Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and his followers proclaimed independence, beginning the conflict. This was the first of three wars that Cuba fought against Spain, the other two being the Little War and the Cuban War of Independence. The final three months of the last conflict escalated with United States involvement and has become known as the Spanish–American War, throughout the 1850s and into the 1860s, Cuban planters and business owners demanded fundamental social and economic reforms from Spain, which ruled the colony. Lax enforcement of the trade ban had resulted in a dramatic increase in imports of Africans. This occurred despite a strong abolitionist movement on the island, new technologies and farming techniques made large numbers of slaves unnecessary and prohibitively expensive.
In the economic crisis of 1857 many businesses failed, including many sugar plantations, the abolitionist cause gained strength, favoring a gradual emancipation of slaves with financial compensation from Spain for slaveholders. Additionally, some planters preferred hiring Chinese immigrants as indentured workers, before the 1870s, more than 125,000 were recruited to Cuba. The Spanish Parliament at the time was changing, gaining much influence were reactionary, the power of military tribunals was increased, the colonial government imposed a six percent tax increase on the Cuban planters and businesses. Additionally, all opposition and the press were silenced. Dissatisfaction in Cuba spread on a scale as the mechanisms to express it were restricted. This discontent was particularly felt by the planters and hacienda owners in Eastern Cuba. The failure of the latest efforts by the reformist movements, the demise of the Information Board, the colonial administration continued to make huge profits which were not re-invested in the island for the benefit of its residents.
It funded military expenditures, colonial governments expenses, and sent some money to the Spanish colony of Fernando Po, the Spaniards, representing 8% of the islands population, were appropriating over 90% of the island’s wealth. In addition, the Cuban-born population still had no political rights, objections to these conditions sparked the first serious independence movement, especially in the eastern part of the island. In July 1867, the Revolutionary Committee of Bayamo was founded under the leadership of Cuba’s wealthiest plantation owner, the conspiracy rapidly spread to Oriente’s larger towns, most of all Manzanillo, where Carlos Manuel de Céspedes became the main protagonist of the uprising in 1868. Originally from Bayamo, Céspedes owned an estate and sugar known as La Demajagua. The Spanish, aware of Céspedes’ anti-colonial intransigence, tried to force him into submission by imprisoning his son Oscar, Céspedes refused to negotiate and Oscar was executed