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Historical Overview

In this section of the website we will display how the independence process of different Latin American territories such as Saint-Domingue´s Island and Continental America, including Brazil, took place, using a selection of documents held by the Spanish archives.

We begin with a general overview on how the Spanish Empire in America was founded and organized: Its origins, its discovery and conquest its governmental institutions as well as its political, economical and social organization.

We continue by displaying the most relevant causes of the independence process: political centralism, monopoly trade and social conflicts and, as an immediate predecessor for being the Father of America´s Independence, we expose the role that Francisco de Miranda played in his Liberation Expedition to Venezuela in 1806.

We will talk about the different processes, focusing on the Spanish America, starting with the Independence of Haiti. The Independence of the Spanish America begins with the great institutional crisis that took place in Spain with the beginning of the Peninsular War in 1808. The Spanish´s Monarchy´s territories will rise against Napoleon, but some of the government´s institutions that born at the Peninsula will not be acknowledged in America for considering them illegitimate, and that is the beginning of the process.

Ferdinand VII returns to the power in 1814. His exacerbated absolutism generated the reactive response of the liberals from the Peninsula as well as from America. To this reaction some exceptional leaders appeared as a patriotic response: Simón Bolívar and José de San Martín, who will achieve the independence of almost all Spanish South America.

The other great process of independence that takes place in South America is the Brazilian one that starts with the same reason as the Spanish America: Napoleon´s invasion at the Peninsula.

We will also show other important aspects, such as: a) the role of other international actors like The United Kingdom, The United States and the Holy Alliance; b) the acknowledgement on behave of Spain of the independence of its formers territories and c) the process of the overseas territories that were kept as part of Spain for a few more decades

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