The Peruvian War of Independence Joey Spinelli

Why Did Peru Revolt?

What Happened?- Indigenous people native to Peru have been rebelling against the Spanish for decades, when they eventually claim their independence. They were led by Spanish-American landowners with their forces of troops, Jose de San Martin, "Protector of Peru," and Simon Bolivar who believed in the process of enlightenment who is well known for being a liberator.

Simon Bolivar (Left) and Jose de San Martin (Right)

Why Did it Happen?- Around the time of this rebellion, an economic crisis was developing due to the creation of the Vice-royalties of New Granada and Rio de la Plata, which in turn decreased mining and textile production. This was good for the indigenous people because it led to the progressive decay of the Vice-royalty of Peru. Another reason for the rebellion is that for far too long, the natives had been suppressed by their Spanish foes. For over 200 years before the rebellion, they had been murdering the natives in the millions. One such genocide diminished the native population from 9 million to 600,000. The natives had been putting up with Spain for too long, and seek independence.

Map of Present Day Peru

When Did It Happen?- The struggle between the Inca natives and the Spanish began almost immediately after Europe's original colonization of Peru in 1532. Francisco Pizarro claimed himself ruler of the Inca Empire after executing the previous emperor. Many rebellions follow this original seize of power, but any rebellion is bloodily repressed.

How Did The Natives Succeed at Rebellion?- As mentioned previously, Jose de San Martin led a force of troops in the indigenous rebellion, more than 4,000 members strong. This allowed them to attack Spanish forces with a strong group of people, overcoming them. During this pivotal moment in world history, Jose de San Martin proclaims the independence of Peru by declaring, "... From this moment on, Peru is free and independent, by the general will of the people and the justice of its cause that God defends. Long live the homeland! Long live freedom! Long live our independence!" Eventually, in 1879 Spain recognized Peruvian independence.

San Martin proclaiming the Independence of Peru

Was It A Revolution?

The short response to this question is yes, but let's look at what truly makes a revolution a revolution and see if the battle for independence holds true to these guidelines. The three requirements for a rebellion to be considered a rebellion are: Was there a political change?; Was there an economical change?; and Was there a social change?

Political Change

Jose de San Martin invaded Peru and declared its independence from Spain in Lima in 1821, with himself as dictator. He believed that the independence of Peru was the key to the liberation of all of Spanish America. In July 1822, San Martin and Bolivar met in a private meeting in the town of Guayaquil. Both leaders had the same goal to liberate South America from the Spanish. However, both men were incredibly ambitious and wanted to lead Peru to independence. Peru's new dictator indeed shows a change in power, which demonstrates a political change.

Economical Change

After the war, Peru lost most of its fleet and therefore also lost its trade authority over the Pacific Ocean. This was very detrimental to Peru because the loss of trade forces the people of Peru to resort to old practices such as farming. They need to do this in order to build up enough resources to trade with other European countries. This completely rewires their economical system from domination of trade into struggling to be a part of it.

Social Change

After Jose de San Martin stepped down from power, Simon Bolivar finished what Jose de San Martin had originally begun and fully liberated Peru from Spanish rule. Also, the Spanish American revolutionaries were inspired by the ideals of the Enlightenment and wanted to create more independent nations free from European rule. Bolivar alone freed Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador along with Peru from the Spaniards. Not only did his actions spread throughout the entire region of Latin America, Bolivar is known as one of the first modern leaders of a national liberation movement. Additionally, he is admired throughout Latin America as a heroic leader who symbolized freedom and liberty. All in all, there was certainly a social change within the war for Peruvian independence based on the countrywide change in integrity.

Closing Statement

The Peruvian war of independence is an ideal example of a revolution because it addresses all of the characteristics of a revolution; The war conveys a change in political, economical, and societal aspects within a rebellion, transforming it into a revolution.

The War for Independence
Created By
Joseph Spinelli
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