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The Independence Triumph

In the New Spain, in order to stop the groups of guerrilleros, Agustín Iturbide is chosen as realist military by Vicente Guerrero (Guerrero City, Mexico, 1782-Cuilapan, Mexico, 1831) and the viceroy Juan Ruiz de Apodaca (Cadiz, 1754-Madrid, 1835). Guerrero and Iturbide pacted the Iguala Plan on February 24, 1821 with the aim to find autonomy and proclaim independence. They unite all their armies and dominate the entire south region with the goal to protect the unions guarantee, the religion and the independence under the name of Ejército Trigarante (Army of the Three Guarantees). When the liberal Juan O´Donojú substitutes Apodaca, he has no choice but to sign, along with Iturbide, the Córdoba Treaty on August 24, 1821, which acknowledges an independent and monarchic Mexican state. With the triumphal entry of the Ejército Trigarante, the nation is proclaimed as independent with the signature of the Declaration of Independence.

The Governmental Board that is created calls up to Congress in 1822 without favoring Iturbide´s aspirations and as a result he proclaims himself as emperor of Mexico. The revolution explodes at the provinces. The former insurgents feel betrayed and with so, Antonio López de Santa Anna (Xalapa, Mexico, 1794-Mexico, D.F, 1876) issues the Veracruz and the Casa de Matas´ plans where he declares illegal the election of the emperor and pronounces in favor of the republicans. Iturbide is forced to abdicate and exile the country.

On January, 1824 the Acta Constitutiva Federal is declared and a few months after, on October 4th, the Constitution of the United Mexican States is promulgated.

During the first years of the Mexican independence, the events will help Santa Anna in its unstoppable ascent. With the elections in 1823, along the country different confrontations take place and it is Santa Anna the one that takes the lead of the national army. He will get to be president in 1833. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 will have negative consequences for Mexico who will lose the states of California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Texas and Colorado to The United States.

In the General Military Government of Guatemala, which was part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, its joining to the Mexican independence was debated by the initiative of Captain General Gabino Gainza (Pamplona, Navarra, 1753-Mexico, D.F, 1829). The delegations of Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Chiapas will proclaim their independence from Spain and will add themselves to the new state of Mexico until 1824, year in which Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Costa Rica create the United Provinces of Central America. It wont be long before each of these territories undergo through civil wars to become independent states.

At Costa Firme, the troops that were sent from Spain are in stoppage and this is a triumph for the independent dream of Simón Bolívar. The patriotic troops are exhausted and Morillo is forced to propose an armistice, the Armistice of Santa Anna on November 26, 1820 and, by doing so, the situation gets relieve. Peace is interrupted with the uprising Maracaibo on January 28, 1821. The fight extended to all Venezuela and finally, on June 24, the Battle of Carabobo takes place, in which Bolívar imposes to the realist troops in charge of Miguel de la Torre (Bernales, Bizkaia, 1786-Madrid, 1843). Bolívars triumph means the independence of Venezuela though Puerto Cabello wont release itself from the Spanish troops until 1823. Bolívars troops moved forward towards Colombia incorporating Cartagena de Indias and Popayán, but the South, Pasto, will resist itself from the new nation. The strategy taken was to come from the South, leading Antonio José de Sucre (Cumaná, Venezuela, 1795-Berruecos, Colombia, 1830) and coming from the North, Bolívar. Pasto will fall in 1822 and Sucre will defeat the Spaniards in Pichincha in 1823.

Bolívar also wanted to add the territories of Quito and Peru to the Gran Colombia. Back in the kingdom of Quito a series of events took place in order to declare themselves independent from Spain as well as from the Gran Colombia. In October 9, 1820 it was proclaimed the independence of Guayaquil. There was a call for a Congress by the end of that year and it was proclaimed the independence of Quito. The realist controlled the mountain range while the independent controlled the coast. The new state claim for Bolívar and San Martin´s help to finish expelling the realist. They finally end up adding themselves to the Gran Colombia on April 11, 1822.

While all of these military campaigns were happening the Gran Colombia was being shaped. The Congress moved from Angostura to Cucuta where the 1821 Constitution was promulgated. This constitution shapes a unified state, being Santa Fe de Bogotá the Capital. Bolívar accepted being president but decides to extend his project towards Peru through the Campaña del Sur (South Campaign) Once there were no chances from a Spanish reconquest, a great part of Venezuelan leaders started to manifest their opposition to the project of the Republic of the Gran Colombia.

The years 1825 and 1826 will be unstable. During this period there is a division between those in favor of a civil government and the militaries with a tendency to be in favor of an autocrat government. The Congress of Bogotá reclaims to itself the supremacy of the state of law and the acts upon the military government. Finally, Bolívar installs a dictatorship that would last until the new meeting of the congress in 1830. Chaos is all over Colombia for two years and after the holding of the Congreso Admirable, Venezuela, along with José Antonio Páez (Acarigua, Venezuela, 1790-Nueva York, United States, 1873) as head, declares its independence from the Gran Colombia on May 6, 1830.

After the declaration of the independence of Venezuela, the other territories claim freedom for themselves. On May 13, 1830, Quito declares their independence from Colombia, calling themselves Republic of Ecuador. After the independence of Ecuador and Venezuela, on October 20, 1831, Francisco de Paula Santander (Villa del Rosario, Colombia, 1792-Bogotá, 1840) leads the Gran Colombia under a presidential system. Two years later, in 1832, it becomes Neogranadina´s Republic. After following conservative governments, the Colombian liberals adopt a federal constitution, first in 1858 for the Granadina Confederation and after, for the United States of Colombia. In 1886 starts a period that historians have called the Regeneration that ends with the independence of Panamá in 1903.

Regarding Banda Oriental, the Brazilian occupation ends in 1828 after the wearing out of the attacks from Juan Antonio Lavalleja (Minas, Uruguay, 1784- Montevideo, Uruguay, 1853) that started in 1825. An independent state is created after a war between Portuguese-Brazilians against Argentines thanks to the intervention of Great Britain. It will be in August of 1828 when it is signed the Preliminary Peace Convention with Brazil where it would be established the creation of a new country independent from Argentina and Brazil. The national constitution from July 18, 1830 establishes the name of Republic of the Eastern State of Uruguay.

In Chile, Bernardo O´Higgins will resign and will take up exile to Peru in 1823. The anarchist period of the following years will take the country to a financial disaster that will only be relieved by the following conservative governments. Names that stand out are: Diego Portales (Santiago, Chile, 1793-Valparaiso, Chile, 1837) and Andrés Bello (Caracas, Venezuela, 1781- Santiago, Chile, 1865). Chiloé, which was defended by Antonio de Quintanilla (Pámanes, Cantabria, 1787-Almeria, 1863), will be the last territory to surrender in 1826.

Once Chile found its independence, José de San Martin invades the viceroyalty of Peru from the South Pacific. This expedition known as the Expedición Libertadora del Perú was sponsored almost all by the government of Chile, lead by Captain General Bernardo O´Higgins.

After several military confrontations, independence proclamations in different cities and frustrated negotiations, José de la Serna (Jérez de la Frontera, Cadiz, 1769-Cadiz, 1832) after a military uprising against the viceroy Joaquín de la Pezuela (Naval, Huesca, 1761-Madrid, 1830) takes the viceroyalty government of Peru, leaving Lima. On July 10, 1821 San Martin entries the city and on July 14, an open council will declare the independence. De la Serna will try to recover Lima, but will end up hiding at El Callao with the support of the Fortress of the Royal Philippe.

After the independence of northern Peru and Lima by José de San Martín, José de la Serna will establish his government at Cuzco. The coast and the north of Peru will be independent while the Peruvian mountain ranges and the Upper Peru will keep being from the realists. The independence of Peru will come along with the intervention of the Gran Colombia.

In Guayaquil, José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar will try to find a solution for the independence of Peru and the establishment of a monarchical constitutional political system as San Martin wanted, or republican as Bolívar wished. The meeting between them ends in favor of the interest of the Gran Colombia.

The realists army gets dismantle due to the rebellion of Antonio de Alañeta (Elgeta, Gipuzkoa, 1770-Tumusla, México, 1825) military chief of Upper Peru who upraises with the whole realist Peruvian army on January 22, 1824 against the viceroy of Peru José de la Serna. As consequence, the confrontations of 1824 will be favorable for the republicans. The Ejército Unido Libertador del Perú wins in the Battle of Junin on August 6, commanding Simón Bolívar and, in the Battle of Ayacucho on December 9, 1824 wins under the commands of Antonio José de Sucre, ending Perus war after the taken of the fortress of El Callao in 1826.

After the Victory of Ayacucho, Perus government is still on the hands of Simón Bolívar until his dismissal in 1827. Peru will start a period marked by military governments, lead by caudillos from the independence. During this period, the republic will confront a war with the Gran Colombia in 1829.

After the success of the Battle of Ayacucho in 1824, Bolívar entrusts the independence of Upper Peru to Antonio José de Sucre. This territory was a bastion of the realist army who was in constant fight with the independence troops. In 1824, back again with the absolutism of Ferdinand VII, Olañeta proclaims itself Commander of the Provinces of Rio de la Plata and disobeys the instructions set by the viceroy. As a result he gets to attract the leading creoles to his cause.

Little by little, Antonio José de Sucre conquests spots cornering the realist military Olañeta until he gets to add all of the territories. The native troops escape from the realist to the independence troops. On February 9, 1825, at La Paz, Sucre proclaims a decree that practically means the independence of Bolivia, which gets to be legal with the declaration of independence of the Congress on August 6 of the same year. Simón Bolívar will be the first president of the new state of Bolivia, but resigns to it and hands it over to Antonio José de Sucre until 1828. During these years, the nation has to confront the entrance of Brazil and conflicts with Peru. After the signing of the Treaty of Pezquiza (1828) these confrontations will end. The cost of it is the resignation of Antonio José de Sucre who exiles to Ecuador.

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