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Review Þ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ô Marie Arana Marie Arana Ô 2 Free download Read & download Bolivar: American Liberator Set about putting the family properties in order Relying on her father and brothers to help her manage what had become a veritable conglomerate of businesses she tried to impose some order in her childrens lives Simn in particular was an unruly child He had been raised by his wet nurse the black slave Hiplita whom he would later credit as the woman whose milk sustained my life as well as the only father I have ever known She was adoring and infinitely patient with the little boy but she could hardly control him Willful irascible in obvious need of a stern hand he became progressively ungovernable As much as his mother tried to enjoin the male members of her family to help discipline him the men found his impudence perversely funny No one scolded him much less punished him Eventually she found support in none other than the Royal Audiencia Spains high court in Caracas which monitored all legal affairs Since the boy had inherited such a large estate and since his father was dead and unable to supervise it the Audiencia appointed an eminent jurist to oversee the progress of young Simn His name was Jos Miguel Sanz Sanz was the brilliant dean of the college of lawyers known for his progressive views on education An avid reader and writer he had labored for years to persuade colonial authorities to allow him to import the first printing press to the colony He was never able to accomplish it Nevertheless Sanz was highly respected by Spaniards admired by fellow Creoleswhats at age thirty six he was the very model of a conscientious young father It would have been difficult to find a better surrogate for the boy As administrator of Simn Bolvars fortune Sanz had dutifully visited his young ward and seen for himself the extent of the boys cockiness But before Simn turned six Sanz decided to take fuller responsibility and brought him to live under his own roof Blind in one eye grim in demeanor Sanz could be an intimidating presence even to his own wife and children but not to Simn who is said to have issued many a brazen response to his demands Youre a walking powder keg boy Sanz warned him after one of Simnsblatant insubordinations Better run then the six year old told him or Ill burn you As punishment for his many transgressions Sanz locked Simn in a room on the second floor of his house and instructed his wife to leave him there while he went off to see about his many court cases Bored exasperated the boy yelled and made his fury known and Sanzs wife taking pity tied sweets and freshly baked breads to a long pole and passed them to him through an open window She swore Simn to secrecy making him promise not to reveal her disobedience Every afternoon when the lawyer returned and asked how he had behaved she simply smiled and said the child had been the essence of tranuillity Eventually Sanz hired a learned Capuchin monk Padre Francisco de Andjar to come to his house and give Simn a moral education The mathematician priest hoping to ingratiate himself with his student tempered instruction with a liberal dose of entertaining stories but no amount of patience or charm could budge the boy from what he was a joker a prankster a pampered child Its not clear how long Simn remained under Sanzs care or whether he actually spent nights under his roof but certainly before his eighth birthday he was back in the house on San Jacinto Street By then his mothers health was failing and she was finding it difficult to focus on the management of her family much less the comportment of her younger son Worried that she might infect her children with her disease she uarantined herself on the sugar plantation at San Mateo and left them and the servants to their own devices Simn spent his days cavorting with the slaves children running wild If Doa Concepcin had one driving ambition during her swift decline it was to secure for her older son Juan Vicente the maruisate that her father in law had purchased so many years before The Palacios family unlike the Bolvars had always attached great importance to prestige and nobility and when Don Juan Vicente de Bolvar had died making the title potentially available to her sons Doa Concepcin had sent her brother Esteban to Spain to hurry along the enterprise When Esteban reported that the proceedings had come to a halt because of Josefa Marn de Narvezs uestionable lineage Don Feliciano Palacios called off the venture unwilling to press a case that could reveal unwanted blood in the Bolvars and potentially smear them all To be sure managing the Bolvar fortunes had become a cash cow for the Palacios The income from the properties that stood to be inherited by Juan Vicente and Simn was supporting their mothers siblings The in laws had been living on Bolvar assets for years On one of her long recuperative visits to San Mateo Doa Concepcin stayed into the rainy season and her affliction took a grave turn for the worse She returned to Caracas and died of acute tuberculosis on July leaving her four children in her elderly fathers care Not entirely well himself Don Feliciano Palacios took up his pen and wrote to Esteban in Madrid delivering the news with admirable euanimity Concepcin decided to lay her illness to rest and she expelled a great deal of blood through her mouth continuing her deterioration until this morning at eleven thirty at which point God took it upon Himself to claim her It had been a long and grueling death she had bled for seven days Once his daughter was interred in the Bolvar family chapel Don Feliciano dedicated himself to arranging the marriages of his orphaned granddaughters Within two months he married fifteen year old Mara Antonia to her distant cousin Pablo Clemente Francia Three months after that he wed Juana who was only thirteen to her uncle Dionisio Palacios As for his grandsons Don Feliciano decided to leave Simn and Juan Vicentethen nine and eleven respectivelyin the house on San Jacinto Street under the supervision of the Bolvar family servants He had a connecting passageway built from that house to his own so that the boys could spend days with him and then retire to their old familiar beds at night It seemed a rational enough solution comforting the children with an illusion of permanence and stability That flimsy solace did not last long however Don Feliciano Palacios died the following year leaving his grandsons to face yet another loss in their waning family universe The boys were immensely wealthy with a net worth euivalent today to at least million and because of it they would never go ignored But money had bought them little happiness Within the first decade of life Simn had lost his father mother grandparents a sister and most of his aunts and uncles on the Bolvar side That so few Bolvars had survived to lay claim to the family fortune convinced the Palacios it was theirs to take So confident was Don Feliciano Palacios of this rightful heritage that he took care before his death to make sure that all the wealth eventually flowed to his own children He drew up a will making his sons legal guardians of the Bolvar boys Twelve year old Juan Vicente was put in the custody of his uncle Juan Flix Palacios and transferred to a hacienda fifty miles away Ten year old Simn was entrusted to his uncle Carlos an ill hud lazy and grasping bachelor who lived with his sisters in Don Felicianos houseat the other end of the passageway So busy did Carlos become in the venture of suandering Bolvar profits that he had little time for his impressionable young charge He relegated the boys welfare to his sisters and servants Ever headstrong Simn began to spend time in the company of street boys neglecting everything his tutors had tried to teach him learning the vulgar language of the time Whenever he could he headed for the back alleys of Caracas or took a horse from the family corral and rode out into the surrounding countryside He avoided his studies and turned his attention instead to the highly imperfect world around him a world that Spain had made He would not understand much of what he saw until later until he had crisscrossed the continent as a full grown man But it was an education that would serve him for the rest of his life FOR TWO HUNDRED YEARS FROM the mid s through the mid s the world that Spain had made had struggled against fiscal failure The empire whose motto had once been a rousing Plus Ultra had glutted world markets with silver thwarted the economic growth of its colonies and brought itselfthan once to the brink of financial ruin Nowhere was Spains misguided fiscal strategyevident than in the streets of Caracas in the late s where a deep rage against the madre patria was on the rise The case of the Spanish American colonies had no precedent in modern history a vital colonial economy was being forced at times by violent means to kowtow to an underdeveloped mother country The principalas Montesuieu had predicted a half century beforewas now slave to the accessory Even as England burst into the industrial age Spain made no attempt to develop factories it ignored the road to modernization and stuck stubbornly to its primitive agricultural roots But the Bourbon kings and their courts could not ignore the pressures of the day Spains population was burgeoning its infrastructure tottering there was a pressing need to increase the imperial revenue Rather than try something new the Spanish kings decided to hold on firmly to what they had At midnight on April all Jesuit priests were expelled from Spanish America Five thousand clerics most of them American born were marched to the coast put on ships and deported to Europe giving the crown unfettered reign over education as well as over the widespread property of the Churchs missions King Carlos IV made it very clear that he did not consider learning advisable for America Spain would be better off and its subjects easier to manage if it kept its colonies in ignorance Absolute rule had always been the hallmark of Spanish colonialism From the outset each viceroy and captain general had reported directly to the Spanish court making the king the supreme overseer of American resources Under his auspices Spain had wrung vast uantities of gold and silver from the New World and sold them in Europe as raw material It controlled the entire world supply of cocoa and rerouted it to points around the globe from storehouses in Cdiz It had done much the same with copper indigo sugar pearls emeralds cotton wool tomatoes potatoes and leather To prevent the colonies from trading these goods themselves it imposed an onerous system of domination All foreign contact was forbidden Contraband was punishable by death Movement between the colonies was closely monitored But as the years of colonial rule wore on oversight had grown lax The war that had flared between Britain and Spain in had crippled Spanish commerce prompting a lively contraband trade A traffic of forbidden books flourished It was said that all Caracas was awash in smuggled goods To put a stop to this Spain moved to overhaul its laws impose harsher ones and forbid Americans even the most basic freedoms The Tribunal of the Inuisition imposed in by Ferdinand and Isabel to keep a firm hold on empire was givenpower Its laws which called for penalties of death or torture were diligently enforced Books or newspapers could not be published or sold without the permission of Spains Council of the Indies Colonials were barred from owning printing presses The implementation of every document the approval of every venture the mailing of every letter was a long costly affair that reuired government approval No foreigners not even Spaniards could visit the colonies without permission from the king All non Spanish ships in American waters were deemed enemy craft and attacked Spain also fiercely suppressed American entrepreneurship Only the Spanish born were allowed to own stores or sell goods in the streets No American was permitted to plant grapes own vineyards grow tobacco make spirits or propagate olive treesSpain brooked no competition It earned million a year after all the euivalent of almost a billion today by selling goods back to its colonies But in a bizarre act of self immolation Spain enforced strict regulations on its colonies productivity and initiative Creoles were subject to punishing taxes Indians or mestizos could labor only in menial trades black slaves could work only in the fields or as domestics in houses No American was allowed to own a mine nor could he work a vein of ore without reporting it to colonial authorities Factories were forbidden unless they were registered sugar mills Basue businesses controlled all the shipping Manufacturing was rigorously banned although Spain had no competing manufacturing industry Most galling of all the revenue raised from the new exorbitantly high taxesa profit of million a yearwas not used to improve conditions in the colonies The money was shipped back in its entirety to Spain Americans balked at this Nature has separated us from Spain by immense seas exiled Peruvian Jesuit Viscardo y Guzmn wrote in A son who found himself at such a distance would be a fool if in managing his own affairs he constantly awaited the decision of his father It was as potent a commentary on the inherent flaws of colonialism as Thomas Jeffersons A Summary View of the Rights of British America A rich orphan boy wandering the streets of Caracas would not have understood the economic tumult that churned about him but the human tumult he could not fail to see Everywhere he looked the streets were teeming with blacks and mulattos The colony was overwhelmingly populated by pardos the mixed race descendants of black slaves European slave ships had just sold Africans into Caracasthe largest infusion of slaves the colony would ever experience One out of ten Venezuelans was a black slave half of the population was slaves descendants Though Spain had prohibited race mixing the evidence that those laws had been flouted was all about him Caracass population had grown bythan a third in the course of Simn Bolvars young life and its ranks swarmed as never before with a veritable spectrum of color There were mestizos mixed race offspring of whites and Indians almost always the product of illegitimate births There were also pureblood Indians although they were few their communities reduced to a third of their original numbers Those who werent killed off by disease were pushed deep into the countryside where they subsisted as marginal tribes Whites on the other hand were a full uarter of the population but the great majority of these were either poor Canary Islanders whom the Creoles considered racially tainted and markedly inferior to themselves or light skinned mestizos who passed themselves off as white Even a child kicking stones in the back alleys of this crowded city could see that a precise color coded hierarchy was at work The uestion of race had always been problematic in Spanish America The laws that forced Indians to pay tribute to the crown either through forced labor or taxation had provoked violent race hatreds As centuries passed and colored populations grew the system for determining whiteness became evercorrupt generatinghostility Spain began selling Cdulas de Gracias al Sacar certificates that granted a light skinned colored person the rights every white automatically had the right to be educated to be hired into better jobs to serve in the priesthood to hold public office to marry whites to inherit wealth The sale of Cdulas created new income for Madrid but it was also a canny social strategy From Spains point of view the ability to buy whiteness would raise colored hopes and keep Creole masters from getting cocky The result however was very different Race in Spanish America became an ever greater obsession By the time of Bolvars birth a number of race rebellions had erupted in the colonies The trouble began in Peru in when a man who called himself Tpac Amaru II and claimed to be a direct descendant of the last ruling Inca kidnapped a Spanish governor had him publicly executed and marched on Cuzco with six thousand Indians killing Spaniards along the way Diplomacy hadnt worked Tpac Amaru II had first written to the crowns envoy imploring him to abolish the cruelties of Indian tribute When his letters went ignored he gathered a vast army and issued a warning to the Creoles I have decided to shake off the unbearable weight and rid this bad government of its leaders If you elect to support me you will suffer no ill conseuences not in your lives or on your plantations but if you reject this warning you will face ruin and reap the fury of my legions which will reduce your city to ashes I have seventy thousand men at my command In the end the royalist armies crushed the rebellion costing the Indians some lives Tpac Amaru II was captured and brought to the main suare of Cuzco where the Spanish visitador asked him for the names of his accomplices I only know of two the prisoner replied and they are you and I You as the oppressor of my country and I because I wish to rescue it from your tyrannies Infuriated by the impudence the Spaniard ordered his men to cut out the Indians tongue and draw and uarter him on the spot But the four horses to which they tied his wrists and ankles would not comply The soldiers slit Tpac Amarus throat instead cut off his head hands and feet and displayed these on stakes at various crossroads in the city The torture and execution were repeated throughout the day until all members of his family were killed Seeing his mothers tongue ripped from her head Tpac Amarus youngest child issued a piercing shriek Legend has it that the sound of that cry was so heartrending so unforgettable that it signaled the end of Spanish dominion in America Word of Tpac Amaru IIs fate reverberated throughout the colonies inflaming and terrifying all who would contemplate a similar rebellion For blacks for whom slaverys depredations were everuntenable the urge for an uprising only grew they had nothing to lose But for Creoles the thought of insurgency now spurred a fear that revenge would come not only from Spain but from a massive colored population Those fears were tested in New Granada months later when a Creole led army of twenty thousand marched against the viceroyalty in Bogot to protest high taxes One of the leaders Jos Antonio Galn swept by the fever of the moment proclaimed the black slaves free and urged them to turn their machetes against their masters Galn was executedshot and hangedas were his collaborators and for the moment at least Spain succeeded in uashing the malcontents with a brutal hand But Spain could hardly uash the elouent calls for liberty that were issuing from the European Enlightenment and traveling despite all injunctions against foreign literature to the colonies In the Declaration of the Rights of Man was published in France Five years later one of the leading intellectuals in the viceroyalty of New Granada Antonio Nario secretly translated it along with the American Declaration of Independence and smuggled the documents to like minded Creoles throughout the continent Linjustice la fin produit lindpendance was the rallying cryInjustice gives rise to independence a line from Voltaires Tancrde Nario was arrested and sent to the dungeons of Africa But in the interim as French republicans stormed the Bastille and guillotined the royal family as Marie Antoinettes severed head was held high for all Paris to see a bloody echo resounded on the streets of Santo Domingo and Venezuelans too took up the battle cry It wasnt the stately ascent to independence that intellectuals like Nario had envisioned It was an insurrection led by the son of slaves Jos Leonardo Chirinohalf black half Indianhad traveled from Venezuela to Santo Domingo and seen firsthand how the slave revolt there had virtually exterminated the islands whites and transformed that colonyonce the most productive in the New Worldinto the black Republic of Haiti He returned to Venezuela in and raised a revolutionary force of three hundred blacks who plundered the haciendas killed white landowners and terrorized the city of Coro But it didnt take long for the Spanish to subdue them Chirino was chased down and decapitated his head displayed in an iron cage on the road between Coro and Caracas his hands sent to two different towns due west There was a crystal clear lesson in this for the disgruntled Mantuanos those willing to lay down their lives for liberty might also want euality A revolution could truly turn Simn Bolvar doubtless heard news of these events in the street in the stables in the kitchen as he listened to the frightened servants He was all of twelve years oldFinally Bolivar gets the sweeping biography he deserves He was the greatest leader in Latin American history and his tale is filled with lessons about leadership and passion This book reads like a wonderful novel but is researched like a masterwork of history Walter Isaacson author of Steve Jobs This is a magnificent story Deeply researched and written with clarity honesty and verve Marie Aranas book tells the life of one of the greatest heroes and founders in world history North Americans who know only of George Washington will thrill to read the epic adventures of his South American counterpart As fantastic as Bolivars life appears it is not as Arana says of Latin Americas bloody past in general magical realism It is history It is true Gordon S Wood author of Empire of Liberty A History of the Early Republic Alva O Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University With the eye and ear of a novelist Marie Arana chants the epic of Bolivar with love zest and compelling authority Walter A McDougall Pulitzer Prize winning historian and Alloy Ansin Professor of International Relations University of Pennsylvania Simon Bolivar has found the perfect biographer in Marie Arana a literary journalist brilliant novelist of South America and wise historian as well Her portrait of Bolivar is human and moving she has written a powerful and epic life and times Evan Thomas author of Ike s Bluff President Eisenhower s Secret Struggle to Save the World Most North American historians have mentioned Bolivar only in passing usually making the George Washington of Latin America reference That conception obviously needed correction in the form of a comprehensive biography that makes Bolivars life accessible to a large readership in the United States Bolivar is unuestionably that book Bolivar is magisterial in scope written with flair and an almost cinematic sense of history happening A monumental achievement destined to win some major literary prizes Joseph J Ellis Washington Post Book World Wonderful In Arana s energetic and highly readable telling Bolvar comes alive as having willed himself an epic life She brings great verve and literary flair to her biography of Bolvar Hector Tobar The Los Angeles Times The George Washington of South America who freed various countries from Spanish colonial rule emerges in this account as a complex hero Arana offers a clear eyed assessment of the ideals alliances and human frailtiesthat drove Bolvars choices and shaped the Americas The New Yorker Inspired Arana ably captures the brash brilliance of this revered and vilified leader Kirkus Reviews Arana is an indefatigable researcher a perceptive historian and a luminous writer as shown in her defining exhilarating biography of the great South American liberator Simn Bolvar Her understanding of the man behind the fameand behind the hostility that enveloped him in his later yearsbrings this biography to the heights of the art and craft of life writing Booklist starred review Top Biographies of the YearArana s vivid portrait shows us a charismatic man of high ideals fiery oratory unflagging energy and resolve bold strategies and a romantic aura Aranas dramatic narrative is appropriately grand and enthrallingand it makes Bolvar an apt embodiment of the ambitions and disappointments of the revolutionary age Publishers Weekly.Review Þ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ô Marie Arana
Review Þ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ô Marie Arana Marie Arana Ô 2 Free download Read & download Bolivar: American Liberator Bolvar CHAPTER The Road to Bogot We who are as good as you make you our lord and master We trust you to defend our rights and liberties And if not No Coronation ceremony Spain They heard him before they saw him the sound of hooves striking the earth steady as a heartbeat urgent as a revolution When he emerged from the sun dappled forest they could barely make out the figure on the magnificent horse He was small thin A black cape fluttered about his shoulders The rebels eyed him with unease All four had been riding north fully expecting to come upon a royalist fleeing in the other direction away from the battle at Boyac Three days before the Spaniards had been surprised by a lightning strike of revolutionariesbarefoot wild eyedswarming down over the Andes The Spanish were running now scattering over the landscape like a herd of frightened deer Here comes one of those losing bastards said the rebel general Hermgenes Maza was a veteran of the wars of independence in Spanish America He had been captured and tortured by royalists had honed a hunger for revenge He spurred his horse rode forward Halt he cried out Who goes there The rider pressed on at full gallop General Maza raised his lance and bellowed his warning onetime But the stranger only advanced ignoring him When he got near enough to render his features sharp and unmistakable he turned coolly to glare at the rebel general Soy yo the man shouted Dont be a dumb sonofabitch The generals jaw went slack He lowered his lance let the horseman pass So it was that Simn Bolvar rode into Santa Fe de Bogot the capital of the New Kingdom of Granada on the sweltering afternoon of August He had spent thirty six days traversing the flooded plains of Venezuela six days marching over the vertiginous snows of the Andes By the time he reached the icy pass at thirteen thousand feet called the Pramo de Pisba his men were barely alive scarcely clothed flogging themselves to revive their failing circulation He had lost a third of them to frost or starvation most of his weapons to rust every last horse to hypothermia Even so as he and his scruffy troops staggered down the cliffs stopping at villages along the way he had rallied enough fresh recruits and supplies to win a resounding victory that in time would link his name to Napoleons and Hannibals As news of his triumph spread it uickened the rebels hopes and sent a cold prick of fear through the Spaniards The capital of the viceroyalty was the first to react On hearing of Bolvars advance agents of the crown abandoned their houses possessions businesses Whole families took flight with littlethan the clothes on their back Maza and his companions could hear the deafening detonations as Spanish soldiers destroyed their own arsenals and hurried for the hills Even the cruel and ill tempered viceroy Juan Jos de Smano disguised as a lowly Indian in a poncho and grimy hat fled the city in a panic He knew that Bolvars retribution would be swift and severe War to the Death had been the Liberators battle cry after one battle he had called for the cold blooded execution of eight hundred Spaniards Smano understood that he too had been ruthless ordering the torture and extermination of thousands in the name of the Spanish throne Reprisals were sure to follow The kings loyalists flowed out of Santa Fe as Bogot was then called flooding the roads that led south emptying Santa Fe until its streets were eerily silent and the only residents left were on the side of independence When Bolvar got word of it he leapt on his horse ordered his aides de camp to follow and raced ahead virtually alone toward the viceroys palace Although Maza had fought under the Liberator years before he hardly recognized the man passing before him now He was gaunt shirtless his chest bare under the ragged blue jacket Beneath the worn leather cap his hair had grown long and grizzled His skin was rough from wind bronzed by the sun His trousers once a deep scarlet had faded to a dull pink his cape which doubled as a bed was stained by time and mud He was thirty six years old and although the disease that would take his life already coiled in his veins he seemed vibrant and strong filled with a boundless energy As he crossed into Santa Fe and made his way down the Calle Real an old woman rushed toward him God bless you phantom she called sensingdespite his dishevelmenta singular greatness House by house others ventured out at first tentatively and then in a surging human mass that followed him all the way to the plaza He dismounted in one agile movement and ran up the palace steps For all his physical slightnessfive foot six inches and a scant poundsthere was an undeniable intensity to the man His eyes were a piercing black his gaze unsettling His forehead was deeply lined his cheekbones high his teeth even and white his smile surprising and radiant Official portraits relay a less than imposing man the meager chest the impossibly thin legs the hands as small and beautiful as a womans But when Bolvar entered a room his power was palpable When he spoke his voice was galvanizing He had a magnetism that seemed to dwarf sturdier men He enjoyed good cuisine but could endure days even weeks of punishing hunger He spent backbreaking days on his horse his stamina in the saddle was legendary Even the llaneros roughriders of the harsh Venezuelan plains called him with admiration Iron Ass Like those men he preferred to spend nights in a hammock or wrapped in his cape on bare ground But he was eually comfortable in a ballroom or at the opera He was a superb dancer a spirited conversationalist a cultivated man of the world who had read widely and could uote Rousseau in French and Julius Caesar in Latin A widower and sworn bachelor he was also an insatiable womanizer By the time Bolvar mounted the stairs to the viceroys palace on that sultry August day his name was already known around the world In Washington John uincy Adams and James Monroe agonized over whether their fledgling nation founded on principles of liberty and freedom should support his struggle for independence In London hard bitten veterans of Englands war against Napoleon signed on to fight for Bolvars cause In Italy the poet Lord Byron named his boat after Bolvar and dreamed of emigrating to Venezuela with his daughter But there would be fiveyears of bloodshed before Spain was thrust from Latin American shores At the end of that savage and chastening war one man would be credited for single handedly conceiving organizing and leading the liberation of six nations a population one and a half times that of North America a landmass the size of modern Europe The odds against which he foughta formidable established world power vast areas of untracked wilderness the splintered loyalties of many raceswould have proved daunting for the ablest of generals with strong armies at his command But Bolvar had never been a soldier He had no formal military training Yet with littlethan will and a genius for leadership he freed much of Spanish America and laid out his dream for a unified continent Despite all this he was a highly imperfect man He could be impulsive headstrong filled with contradictions He spoke elouently about justice but wasnt always able to mete it out in the chaos of revolution His romantic life had a way of spilling into the public realm He had trouble accepting criticism and had no patience for disagreements He was singularly incapable of losing gracefully at cards It is hardly surprising that over the years Latin Americans have learned to accept human imperfections in their leaders Bolvar taught them how As Bolvars fame grew he became known as the George Washington of South America There were good reasons why Both came from wealthy and influential families Both were ardent defenders of freedom Both were heroic in war but apprehensive about marshaling the peace Both resisted efforts to make them kings Both claimed to want to return to private lives but were called instead to shape governments Both were accused of undue ambition There the similarities end Bolvars military action lasted twice as long as Washingtons The territory he covered was seven times as large and spanned an astonishing geographic diversity from crocodile infested jungles to the snowcapped reaches of the Andes Moreover unlike Washingtons war Bolvars could not have been won without the aid of black and Indian troops his success in rallying all races to the patriot cause became a turning point in the war for independence It is fair to say that he led both a revolution and a civil war But perhaps what distinguishes these men above all can be seen most clearly in their written work Washingtons words were measured august dignifiedthe product of a cautious and deliberate mind Bolvars speeches and correspondence on the other hand were fiery passionate They represent some of the greatest writing in Latin American letters Although much was produced in hasteon battlefields on the runthe prose is at once lyrical and stately clever but historically grounded electric yet deeply wise It is no exaggeration to say that Bolvars revolution changed the Spanish language for his words marked the dawn of a new literary age The old dusty Castilian of his time with its ornate flourishes and cumbersome locutions in his remarkable voice and pen became another language entirelyurgent vibrant and young There is yet another important difference Unlike Washingtons glory Bolvars did not last unto the grave In time the politics in the countries Bolvar created grew everfractious his detractors evervehement Eventually he came to believe that Latin Americans were not ready for a truly democratic government abject ignorant suspicious they did not understand how to govern themselves having been systematically deprived of that experience by their Spanish oppressors What they needed in his eyes was a strong hand a strict executive He began making unilateral decisions He installed a dictator in Venezuela he announced to Bolivia that it would have a president for life By the time he was forty one his wisdom began to be doubted by functionaries in every republic he had freed and founded His deputiesjealous and wary of his extraordinary powerdeclared they no longer supported his dream of a unified Latin America Regionalisms emerged followed by border suabbles civil wars and in Bolvars own halls cloak and dagger betrayals Trumped at last he had no choice but to renounce command His forty seventhand finalyear ended in poverty illness and exile Having given away the sum total of his personal fortune to the revolution he died a poor and ravaged man Few heroes in history have been dealt so much honor so much powerand so much ingratitude But on the afternoon of August as he stood at the viceroys splendid desk in the palace in Santa Fe de Bogot there was no limit to the possibilities of Bolvars America The Spanish despot had left the room in such alarm that he had neglected to take the bag of gold on his table Indeed as Bolvar lay claim to the hoard of pesos left behind in the viceregal treasury he understood that the tide had finally turned his revolution stood to inherit all the abandoned riches of a waning empire It would also inherit a whirlwind of political and social chaos In a matter of a few years Spains three century yoke on the Americas would be sundered and the truly difficult journey toward freedom would begin THE JOURNEY OF SIMN BOLVARS life began in a year that was rife with incident In an otherwise unremarkable building in Paris Benjamin Franklin and John Adams signed a treaty with the king of England that effectively ended the American Revolution In the radiant palace of Versailles an emotionally fragile Marie Antoinette lost the much awaited child she was carrying In an austere military academy in northeastern France an adolescent Napoleon was developing a keen interest in war games In the ancient city of Cuzco the cousin of Tpac Amaru II led a violent insurrection against the Spanish for which he was tortured killed and dismembered In a drinking establishment in Manhattan George Washington ended his command of the Continental Army by bidding a warm farewell to his officers But in the balmy city of Caracas walled from the vicissitudes of the Caribbean by a string of green mountains life was a sleepy affair On July as dawn filled the windows of the Bolvar familys stately mansion in the center of the city the only sound was the serene trickle of drinking water filtering through rock into a pantry jar Before long the cock would crow the horses neigh and a whole bustling household complete with children and slaves would burst to noisy life as Doa Mara de la Concepcin Palacios y Blanco went into labor She was a dark wavy haired beauty whose will and fortitude belied her twenty three years She had been married at fourteen to Colonel Don Juan Vicente de Bolvar a tall self possessed blond bachelor thirty two years older whose predatory sexual escapades had often landed him before the bishop of Caracas Both man and wife brought long traditions of wealth and power to their marriage their elegant manse on San Jacinto Street and the extensive properties they had inherited over the years were a measure of their station in a privileged world On that summers day as they awaited the birth of their fourth child they owned no fewer than twelve houses in Caracas and the port of La Guaira a sprawling hacienda in the valley of Aragua a copper mine sugar fields fruit orchards a rum distillery a textile business cacao and indigo plantations as well as cattle ranches and hundreds of slaves They were among the most prosperous families of Venezuela As Latin American custom has it in a ritual that goes back five hundred years no sooner had word of Doa Concepcins labor spread from the servants to the neighbors than friends began to gather in the houses parlor to await the birth By the time the child was born that night a festive crowd of well wishers was toasting his health among them the bishop the judge the velvet sleeved patriarchs of Caracass old families and a rich priest who would baptize the boy and within a matter of months beueath him a fortune They stood in the great room resting their elbows on ponderous carved mahogany chests and tables The chairs were covered in dark upholstery the mirrors heavy with decoration the damask curtains a deep gleaming purple crowned with cornices of burnished gold The servants offered refreshments from trays and under the glittering chandeliers the conversation was jovial and lighthearted One by one intimate family members were admitted to the chamber next to the living room where they saw the pale mother bedecked in white lace sitting up in bed under a brocade canopy Beside her in a lavish cradle was the sleeping child Although she previously had borne three healthy childrenMara Antonia who was then six Juana five and Juan Vicente twoDoa Concepcin was well aware that she was ailing As soon as she told Don Juan Vicente of her pregnancy he arranged for one of their prized female slaves to marry conceive and deliver a child at about the same time so that his wife could be relieved of the responsibility of nursing the newborn It was a common enough practice at the time The black slave Hiplita would prove to be a devoted nursemaid whose tender attentions to the boy would later be vividly remembered even glorified but on July she had yet to give birth and had no milk to offer her masters child For the first few weeks of the infants life Doa Concepcin had to rely on one of her closest friendsIns Mancebo the Cuban wife of Fernando de Miyares who later became governor general of Venezuelato do the nursing Frail but determined Doa Concepcin was making the best of things She did not yet evince the yellow waxen skin that betrays the victims of tuberculosis The small circle of intimates who gathered in her bedroom had every expectation that mother and boy would thrive Though Don Juan Vicentes lively blue eyes shone as he chatted with friends and relatives in the parlor those eyes too were lit with his wifes fever Consumption as it was known was prevalent in the world at that time but in few places was itrampant than in the sweltering South American tropics The colonel was nearing sixty and looked far older than his years yet when the priest asked him what name he wanted to give his son he replied with youthful energy Simn he said and pointed to the image of the man whose bold confident face dominated the room THE PORTRAIT IN THE ELABORATE gold frame above Don Juan Vicentes sofa was of Simn de Bolvar El Viejo The Old Man who almost two centuries earlier had been the first Bolvar to emigrate from Spain The Old Man was by no means the first of the Liberators ancestors to reach the New World Through Doa Concepcin the newborn was also a descendant of the powerful Xedlers a family of German nobles who had settled in Almagro Spain and acuired interests in the Americas In Charles V had granted a select group of German bankers the right to conuer and exploit the northern coast of South America Their advent marked the start of a ruthless era dominated by the relentless pursuit of riches and especially the legendary El Dorado the lost city of gold Another of the familys distant relatives Lope de Aguirrethe infamous Basue conuistador also known as El Locohad wreaked murderous havoc up and down the continent in search of the same dazzling chimeras But Simn de Bolvar a Basue from the town of Maruina had come on a very different mission He arrived in Santo Domingo in the s as a member of Spains royal civil service whose express purpose during those years was to impose some measure of discipline on the wild bonanza that Spanish America had become Santo Domingo was the capital of the Caribbean island of Hispaniolanow Haiti and the Dominican Republic As the first seat of colonial rule in the Americas Santo Domingo was during that period the staging area for a new brash initiative to tame the unruly coast of Venezuela where hostile Indian tribes and rapacious pirates were playing havoc with Spains efforts at colonization Toward that purpose in King Philip II bestowed on the islands governor Diego Osorio the additional responsibility of governing the province of Venezuela Osorio decided to take de Bolvar by then his trusted aide and scribe to Caracas with him to carry out the kings wishes Accompanied by his wife and son de Bolvar set himself up handsomely in that emerging city and went about acuiring enormous tracts of land even as he did the governors bidding Under Osorios auspices de Bolvar became regent and procurator of Caracas and accountant general of Venezuela and in those capacities sailed to Spain to report on the status of Tierra Firma as South America was known to King Philip II himself De Bolvar turned out to be a fairly civic minded leader He introduced large scale agricultural projectsuntil then unknown in that area of South Americaand with the collaboration of the Church established a system of public education With Osorio he conceived and built the port of La Guaira which would increase Venezuelas fortunes into the unbounded future In he helped found the seminary that would eventually become the University of Caracas De Bolvar built haciendas and created new wellsprings of commerce he gave the city its first coat of arms He also regulated the annual shipment of goods between Spain and the port of La Guaira including the transport of one hundred tons of black slaves from Africa In such ways did Americas first Bolvar step into the continents roiling historynot as an adventurer or settler but as a high ranking emissary of the Spanish crown Alongside this march of history however was the steady hardening of a racial hierarchy that would define South America into the modern age It had begun when Christopher Columbuss men had landed on Hispaniola and imposed their will over the Tano people At first ueen Isabel and the Church roundly censured the capture and massacre of Indians Columbuss men had committed harrowing atrocities burning and destroying whole tribal villages abducting natives as slaves unleashing murderous plagues of syphilis and smallpox on the population The priests who accompanied the crowns civilizing missions made a point of recording it all As a result the state tried to take a strong stance against any kind of institutionalized violence It introduced a system of encomiendas in which Spanish soldiers were assigned allotments of Indians and in exchange for the task of instructing them in the Christian faith were given the right to put them to work on the land or in the mines The soldiers were often harsh and corrupt killing natives who did not comply with their brutal demands and eventually the system of encomiendas had to be abolished But the notion of encouraging soldiers to work the land rather than live from plunder opened the way for a new era of plantation life Throughout the state had a hard time enforcing laws that prohibited slavery Even the ueen had to agree that without the use of physical force the Indians would refuse to work and the mines so necessary to Spains economy would cease to function There could be no gold no silver no sugar without the systematic subjugation of American Indians In a mere decade after Columbus stepped foot in America the ueen hedged on her initial disapprobation of slavery and decreed Forasmuch as my Lord the King and Myself have ordered that the Indians living on the island of Hispaniola be considered free and not subject to slavery I order you Our Governor to compel the Indians to cooperate with the Christian settlers on the said island to work on their buildings to mine and collect gold and other metals and to work on their farms and crop fields In other words killing was a Christian sin and genocide would not be tolerated but compelling rebellious natives was a necessary evil The Spanish colonizers understood the tacit approval in this Despite the official condemnation of slavery the state had conceded it would turn a blind eye Indians continued to be a commodity to be owned and traded And though Spanish sailors and Indian women had propagated freely from the start a psychology of superiority and inferiority was established It was best to be Spanishunfortunate to be indigenousin the New World that Europe had made The Dominican priest Bartolom de Las Casas took issue with all this especially the moral dithering about slaves A former slave owner who had undergone an emphatic change of heart he fumed about the brutalities Spaniards had visited on the Tano people and the boatloads of indigenous slaves that Columbus was transporting regularly to Spain Slaves are the primary source of income for the Admiral Las Casas wrote of Columbus Finally in an impassioned plea to Charles V he argued that institutionalized barbarism had cruelly decimated the Indian population Spaniards are still acting like ravening beasts killing terrorizing afflicting torturing and destroying the native peoples In Hispaniola they had reduced three million people to a population of barely two hundred on the mainland of South America they had stolenthan a million castellanos of gold and killed some souls A Deep Bloody American Tragedy he called it choakt up with Indian Blood and Gore To mitigate the damageto prevent the depletion of these humble patient and peaceable nativeshe advocated that Spain begin the importation of African slaves Eventually Las Casas was to see the hypocrisy of that proposal but not before the colonies had swung into a lively commerce By the time Simn de Bolvar had made his children and grandchildren indisputably the richest landowning aristocrats of Caracas there were ten thousand African slaves working the fields and plantations of Venezuela The Indians less able to toil in the sun too easily affected by heat prostration were sent off to work in the mines As soon as the crown was able to impose some semblance of control it moved to enforce strict divisions between the races A ruthlessly observed system of racial dominance wa.
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Review Þ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ô Marie Arana Marie Arana Ô 2 Free download Read & download Bolivar: American Liberator S put in place At the top were the Spanish born crown appointed overseers such as Simn de Bolvar below them the Creoleswhites born in the coloniessuch as de Bolvars own son After that came the pardos an ever burgeoning mixed race population that was either mestizo part white part Indian or mulatto a mixture of white and black or sambo a combination of black and Indian As in most slave societies labels were fashioned for every possible skin color uadroons uintroons octoroons moriscos coyotes chamisos gbaros and so on For each birth a church registry would meticulously record the race for there were concrete ramifications for the color of a childs skin If he were Indian he would be subject to the Spanish tribute a tax imposed by the crown if he were unable to pay he was forced to meet his debt through hard labor Indians were also subject to the mita a period of compulsory toil in the mines or fields Many of them didnt survive it Chained herded in gangs separated from their families those serving the mita would often be shipped great distances to satisfy the viceroys demands Indians were also forced to buy goods according to laws of repartimiento The governors would sell them food and supplies and expect them to pay with gold or silver Often the result was a disgraceful trafficking of sick mules spoiled food or faulty goods sold at double or triple the normal prices Sometimes these commodities were absolutely useless Indian men who had no facial hair were made to buy razors Women who wore tribal wraps were forced to buy silk stockings The proceeds were gathered dutifully and sent off to the royal coffers in Madrid For blacks life in Spanish America was eually punishing Severed from family country language they were brought as fishermen pearl divers cacao and sugar field workers They were Bantu from Angola and the Congo Mandingo from the Gold Coast In the course of a littlethan two hundred years an estimated one million slaves were sold into South America by the Portuguese Spanish and English Uniformly disdained as the lowest rung in the human hierarchy they nevertheless left an indelible imprint on the culture They worked their way from field hands to skilled craftsmen from house slaves to beloved nursemaids but it wasnt until after Bolvars revolution that they were released into the mainstream of possibility For all of Spains attempts to retain absolute control of its colonies it could not prevent the interracial mixing that was inevitable in a world forged by male conuistadors The crown uicklyand by necessitytook the attitude that marriage between races was acceptable as long as Spanish men could persuade non Spanish women to be baptized Christians In truth the Spaniards were hardly racially pure Europeans After centuries of tumultuous history the bloodline contained traces of Arab Phoenician African Roman Basue Greek Ligurian Celt German Balkan and Jew But once they began mixing with Indians and blacks in the Americas a cosmic race representative of all continents began to emerge When Simn de Bolvar the Spanish overlord arrived in Venezuela in the late s the population counted Spaniards Africans and native Indians in the country Two hundred years later when the Liberator was born according to anthropologist Alexander von Humboldt Venezuela had inhabitants of whomthan half were mestizo or mulatto Todaythan two thirds of all Latin Americans are mixed race Nowhere else on earth has a civilization of such ethnic complexity been wrought in such a short span of time IN THE PATRICIAN HOUSEHOLD TO which Simn Bolvar was born race was hardly a preoccupation Marriages had long been arranged in order to ensure future generations all the privileges an aristocratic bloodline could afford But in when Doa Concepcin decided to seek official approval for a title of nobility her father in law had bought sixty years earlier Spains rigorous wheels of justice went into motion and secret doubts about the familys racial purity began For Creoles like the Bolvars a title of nobility was an enormously valuable asset In spite of the wealth and comfort they enjoyed Creoles were second class citizens barred from the governments most powerful positions Many of them yearned for the singular advantagesthe opportunity to hold office the possibility of higher income the ability to hand down hereditary rightsa maruisate or baronetcy might bring When the Liberators grandfather Juan de Bolvar learned in that King Philip V had donated a maruisate to a Spanish monastery in order to raise money for the monks he bought the title outright It cost him ducats In such ways were noblemen made Juan Vicente de Bolvar his son had every right to use that title and call himself the Maruis of San Luis but he didnt For him it was enough to be a Bolvar the descendant of so many rich and illustrious Bolvars before him it was enough to lord over the vast holdings he had inherited But when Juan Vicente died and Doa Concepcin decided to try to make the maruisate official for her sons she learned that the Bolvar family tree wasnt so pristine after all It turned out that Juan de Bolvars grandmother had been the illegitimate daughter of a liaison between his great grandfather Francisco Marn de Narvez and a chambermaid Whether the servant was white or brown or black was uncertainno one was able to say But Spains strict laws of succession did not allow for such aberrations uite apart from the prickly uestion of race The title remained in official limbo unavailable to Juan Vicente de Bolvars sons They hardly seemed to care In time they would drop the de from the Bolvar surname ignoring that last marker of peerage Bolvars racial makeup has been a subject of endless fascination for generations of historians but ultimately the debate comes down to the color of this one servant and in the end it is a matter of conjecture Some claim that the personal chambermaid of a rich seventeenth century Caracas matriarch would most likely be white others say that she was bound to be mulatta or mestiza One thing is sure no mention of race is made in the familys papers or letters Andupon the illegitimate childs seventh birthday she inherited much of her fathers vast estate Whatever her mothers skin color might have been when little Josefa Marn de Narvez reached fourteen she became a highly marriageable young woman Historians are not the only ones who argue over the knot of Josefa Marn Simn Bolvars political boosters and detractors alike have used it to support opposing points of view For some Josefas mother was an Indian from Aroa for others she was a black slave from Caracas Bolvars critics have often raised the uestion of race to impute a character flaw His disciples see it as a way to identify an ethnic group with greatness But if Bolvar had African blood in his veins it very well might have been in the family before his Spanish ancestors ever set foot in America If he had traces of Indian blood he was probably no different from many Latin Americans who have it yet consider themselves pristinely white In the end the uestion of Josefas race servesas a mirror on historys polemicists than as any possible insight into the man For all the ink that has been expended on the subject the knot of Josefa Marn is littlethan unsubstantiated gossip There was however very real reason for gossip in the house where Don Juan Vicente presided over guests and Doa Concepcion cooed over their newborn baby Little Simns great great great grandfather hadnt been the only one in the family to exercise his droit de seigneur over the female servants His father Don Juan Vicente had been doing it for years Don Juan Vicente de Bolvar y Ponte had been born into a considerable fortune the careful accrual of many generations of Creole wealth He had inherited the splendid house on San Jacinto Street and the lucrative cacao plantations from none other than Josefa a side chapel in the Cathedral of Caracas from his great grandfather Ponte and the sprawling sugar estate in San Mateo from a legacy that dated all the way back to the original Simn de Bolvar As a youth he had trained in the military arts and at the age of sixteen served the Spanish king by defending Venezuelas ports against marauding British invaders At twenty one he was appointed procurator of Caracas and was held in such high esteem by Spanish authorities that he was called to the Court of Madrid for five years He returned to Venezuela in an educated sophisticated man and so was rewarded with evenprominent responsibilities By the age of thirty two he had become a veritable institution He had also become something of a sexual profligate He came home to his bachelors empire flush with a sense of license He began to molest his female servants demand that they surrender physical favors He singled out the most attractive and sent their husbands on faraway expeditions He waylaid the women in bedrooms boudoirsin the secluded alcoves of his capacious house The transgressions were so flagrant so persistentverging on outright rapethat his victims could no longer remain silent When the bishop of Caracas made a pastoral visit to the plantation of San Mateo in he began to hear a litany of complaints from Don Juan Vicentes housemaids as well as from the wives of male employees One claimed she had been forced to be his love slave for three yearsto be at his beck and call whenever he fancied her She testified that there were at least two other servants he was abusing similarly at the same time he would choose among them at whim summon the unfortunate woman to his bedroom then lock the door and defile her Another witness named Margarita claimed he had assaulted her in a corridor and was in the process of dragging her into his room but when he was told a visitor was on the way he thought better of it Even though she had been spared on that particular occasion Margarita admitted that she eventually succumbed she didnt dare lock her room against him fearing his power and violent temper Margaritas sister Mara Jacinta too wrote a petition to the bishop begging him to intercede on her behalf against this infernal wolf who is trying to take me by force and consign us both to the Devil She claimed that for days Don Juan Vicente had been importuning her to sin with him going so far as to send off her husband to a remote cattle ranch so as to better carry out his designs Sometimes I wonder how I can defend myself against this wicked man she told the bishop and sometimes I think it best for me simply to say yes to him take a knife in with me and kill him outright so as to liberate us all of this cruel tyrant The bishop was so appalled by the accusations that he was moved to address them with Don Juan Vicente himself He suggested to the colonel that his loose ways with women were growing too obvious to go ignored by the Church that it was known far and wide that he lived in a state of moral disorder The bishop had been careful to warn each of the witnesses that it was of utmost importance that their accounts be absolutely accurate but as the testimonies emergedutterly compelling mutually corroboratingthere could be no doubt Don Juan Vicente was a moral reprobate He had to be stopped But the bishop also knew that the man who stood accused was no ordinary citizen Don Juan Vicentes station among Creoles in Venezuela had few euals his honors and titles flowed directly from the Court of Spain The bishop decided to recommend that the women commit themselves to prayer avoid contact with their tormentor and take up a strict vow of silence To Don Juan Vicente he intimated that he really did not believe the witnesses but that if similar violations continued to be reported he would be obliged to correct his lordship by force of law He advised him to cease all commerce with females and to contact them only through the offices of a priest The bishops warning had a clear and unavoidable implication the Church would brook nocomplaints It was time for Don Juan Vicente to get married WHEN MARA DE LA CONCEPCIN Palacios y Blanco married Don Juan Vicente at the age of fourteen she was no younger than other brides of her class in Venezuela American aristocrats were known to marry off daughters as early as twelve A girl might be sent to the convent at four and then emerge eight years later to exchange lifelong vows with a boy of sixteen These were the Mantuanos the highest class of Creoles to which the Bolvars and Palacios belonged Wealthy white and exceptionally favored they were the backbone of Spains empire in Venezuela and oversaw all of the colonys assets commanded all the colonys troops In Caracas their ranks were said to consist of nine families The Mantuanos displayed their coats of arms carved into great slabs of stone over their doorways They wore fancy hats and carried canes Their wives were the only women permitted to wear mantillas or mantuas veils that marked their status as they rode through the city on elaborate gilded litters borne by black slaves Wherever they walked tiny bells sewn into their skirts announced their approach We will never know with any certainty how Concepcins parents managed to arrange her marriage to the prominent powerful forty six year old rou that was Don Juan Vicente except that there was one strategic advantage they were his neighbors The Palacios lived just behind the Bolvars on the corner of Traposos Streetonly a few meters away The city of Caracas was small no longer than fourteen blocks in one direction and twelve in the other In the tiny uadrant the Palacios and Bolvars inhabited the elite were close acuaintances often related to one another through generations of intermarriage It is safe to assume that in the close insular world of eighteenth century Caracas life Don Juan Vicente learned on his return from Madrid that a baby had just been born to the Palacios family The father was a mere four years younger after all and a fellow military man Both were eminent Mantuanos active in the public life of Caracas Having so much in common with the father Don Juan Vicente certainly had opportunities to glimpse the daughter As years passed and Concepcin grew to puberty Don Juan Vicente noticed that she was a lively and beautiful child However the subject of marriage materialized nuptial agreements were made two influential families were joined and Don Juan Vicente settled down to a uiet even sedate connubial life Doa Concepcin proceeded to dedicate herself to wifely duties As someone who had grown up in a bustling household with ten siblings she must have found the Bolvar house for all its handsome rooms a dour place as dark and forbidding as a tomb She opened the doors to its patios and brightened its halls with light She decorated the heavy sideboards with an abundance of flowers She filled the air with music By the time she was eighteen she began to populate the many rooms with children Mara Antonia the first was most like herpetite brunette and determined Threefollowed uickly thereafter Juana a languid fair haired girl whoresembled her father Juan Vicente a sweet blond boy with blue eyes and last Simn the scamp with curly black hair For all the differences Doa Concepcin had one characteristic in common with her husband Her ancestry was as renowned and illustrious as his Her mother Francisca Blanco Herrera was a descendant of medieval kings and princes Her father Feliciano Palacios y Sojo came from a family with a pronounced intellectual bent From her uncle Pedro Palacios y Sojo a celebrated priest musician and founder of the Caracas School of Music she learned she had a natural gift for music She was skilled at the harp which was her preferred instrument but she also loved to sing play the guitar and dance Although fate would allow Simn Bolvar only a fleeting time with his mother there were two traits he would inherit from her a vibrant affirmative energy and a hearty passion for dance AS DON JUAN VICENTE SETTLED into his new life he began to be alarmed by Spains dominion over it For fifty years he had been a loyal subject of the king a trusted judge governor and military commander but by just as the British colonies declared their independence Don Juan too was dreaming of insurrection He had good reason to Spains Bourbon regime which had high ambitions had decided to impose a strict rule over its colonies It put into place a number of anti Creole laws that had a direct effect on Don Juan Vicentes businesses First Venezuela was separated from the viceroyalty of New Granada a sprawling region that originally reached from the Pacific to the Atlantic over the northern territories of South America next an intendant was installed in Caracas to administer economic affairs and a captain general to rule over political and military matters With a direct umbilical to Madrid now Venezuela began to suffer tighter restrictions on its ranches mines and plantations The Council of the Indies which governed the Americas from Madrid and Seville strengthened its hold Taxes were increased A ubiuitous imperial presence was felt in all transactions The Guipuzcoana Company a powerful Basue corporation that monopolized imports and exports was reaping great profits on every sale If Don Juan Vicente feared the impact of these new regulations he saw that the blow would bethan financial Creoles were being sueezed out of government roles Throughout the Spanish Americas from California to Buenos Aires Spain began appointing only peninsularesthose born in Spain or the Canary Islandsto offices that decided important affairs This was a sweeping ultimately radicalizing change reversing a culture of trust between Creoles and Spaniards that had been nurtured forthan two hundred years In Italy an exiled Peruvian Jesuit priest Juan Pablo Viscardo y Guzmn wrote angrily that it was tantamount to declaring Americans incapable of filling even in our own countries places which in the strictest right belong to us The most infuriating aspect of this for Creoles such as Don Juan Vicente was that the peninsulares being assigned the highest positions were often inferior in education and pedigree This was similar to a sentiment held for years in British America Both George Washington and Benjamin Franklin had registered strong objections to preferences given to British born subjects when it was clear that the American born were farskilled In the Spanish colonies the new emissaries of the crown were largely members of Spains middle class merchants or midlevel functionaries with little sophistication As they took over the most coveted seats of power their inadeuacies were not lost on Creoles who now had to step aside In Spain not everyone was blind to the implications A Bourbon minister mused that colonial subjects in the Indies might have learned to live without freedoms but once they acuired them as a right they werent going to stand by idly as they were taken away Whether or not the court in Madrid understood the ramifications Spain had drawn a line in the sand Its colonial strategy shifted from consensus to confrontation from collaboration to coercion and to ensure its grip on the enormous wealth that America represented it put a firm clamp on its laws Don Juan Vicente and his fellow Mantuanos may not have been fully aware of it but their disgruntlement was part of a rebellious spirit sweeping the world It was called the Enlightenment Its seeds had been planted much earlier by the scientific revolution in Europe which had challenged laws authority even faith itself But by the time Don Juan Vicente and Doa Concepcin began having children the wheels of an extended American revolutionnorth and southwere already in motion Adam Smith had published his Wealth of Nations which advocated tearing down artificially imposed economic controls and freeing people to build stronger societies Thomas Paine in Common Sense had posited that monarchies in Europe had done littlethan lay the world in blood and ashes In France Jean Jacues Rousseau and Voltaire argued elouently for freedom euality and the will of the people In his Spirit of the Laws Montesuieu had anticipated Don Juan Vicentes resentment The Indies and Spain are two powers under the same master but the Indies are the principal while Spain is only an accessory It made no sense for political forces to try to shackle a principal to an accessory he argued The colonies were now inherently thepowerful of the two On February a year and a half before the birth of the child who would bring luster to his family name Don Juan Vicente met with two fellow Mantuanos composed a letter proposing revolution and sent it off to Francisco de Miranda a Venezuelan colonel and dissident who had been bold enough to say publicly that his homeland should shuck its allegiance to the crown Miranda had fought in a Spanish regiment in the Battle of Pensacola been reprimanded by his superiors for exceeding his mandate and had since turned against Spain making no secret of his rancor The letter addressed to him by the elder Bolvar reported that the noblemen of Caracas were exasperated with the insults heaped on them by Spanish authorities The new intendant and captain general were treating all Americans no matter what class rank or circumstance as if they were vile slaves The three Mantuanos urged Miranda to take up their cause of rebellion but went on to express a certain trepidation given Spains ruthless uashing of rebels elsewhere We want to take no steps nor shall we take any without your advice for in your prudence have we set all our hopes So it was prudence not valor that was the animating spirit behind this sedition The Mantuanos were not ready to topple their world DON JUAN VICENTE WOULD NEVER have imagined that the child in the cradle under his own roof would be the one to wrest independence from the colonizers not for Venezuela alone but for much of Spanish America What he did know by the time his son reached a mere one and a half was that even if the family estate crumbled the boy would grow up to be a rich man A priest had ordained it Juan Flix Jerez de Aristiguieta who had baptized the boy was like many powerful clerics of the day a wealthy landowner with valuable properties He was also Don Juan Vicentes nephew When he died in with no direct heirs he surprised everyone by leaving the diminutive Simn his entire fortune including a magnificent house next to the cathedral three plantations a total of cacao trees and all his slaves The following year Don Juan Vicente too would die The tuberculosis that had fevered him for years finally took him one warm January night in as he lay in the house on San Jacinto Street He was not yet sixty His son Simn was not yet three His wife was pregnant with a fifth child who would not see much light of day Don Juan Vicentes will and testament which he had the presence of mind to prepare even as he lay dying was a model of diligence In it he reported that he owed money to no one He laid out his ancestry and described the lofty positions he had held during his long and illustrious career Despite his brief halfhearted flirtation with rebellion he insisted that his remains be buried in the family chapel in the Cathedral of Caracas decorated with my military insignia and interred with the privileges which I enjoy under military law He distributed his holdings evenly among his five children including the one unborn gave power of attorney to his wife and father in law and added a special clause that reuired Doa Concepcin to carry out what I have imparted to her in order to relieve my conscience The phrase could only mean one thing he had arranged for her to distribute money to his illegitimate children The will went on to specify how many priests and friars were to accompany his coffin to its final resting place and how many fervent Masses were to be said for his soul as it approached reckoning day Clearly he died a worried man His departure might have thrown the household into turmoil had his wife not had a practical and business minded nature Doa Concepcin buried her husband carried her pregnancy to term lost the baby girl a few days later and then.
- Format Kindle
- Bolivar: American Liberator
- Marie Arana
- 22 November 2018