Simon Bolivar was born July 24th, 1783 in Caracas, Venezuela. His family consisted of a slew of wealthy Creoles, or those born in America but of European decent. However, early on in his life he was faced with tragedy when first, his father died when he was three and then his mother soon followed as he neared the age of only six. Although his parents’ deaths seemed untimely and tragic but, because of the wealth of the family, Bolivar had great access to two very important tutors who would mold his later ideals of independence.
First was Andres Bello, who taught Bolivar about science and exposed him to Enlightenment ideas. Next was Simon Rodriguez, a devote follower of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a philosopher who greatly influenced the French Revolution with his political philosophy. Bolivar was also militantly trained and by the age of fourteen he had earned the rank of lieutenant.
In 1802, at the age of seventeen, Bolivar married the young daughter of a Spanish nobleman and soon after returned to Caracas. Unfortunately, the marriage did not last very long, as his wife died a year later from yellow fever. After her death, Bolivar decided he wanted to better himself intellectually and politically so he returned to Europe only to encounter his old tutor Simon Rodriguez.
From Paris the two of them traveled to Rome where they met Alexander von Humboldt, a German naturalist and explorer who had just returned from spending five years in South America. While discussing his trip, Humboldt told Bolivar, “I believe that your country is ready for its independence. But I cannot see the man who is to achieve it.” With this said, Bolivar was inspired to be the man that Humboldt believed was meant to achieve freedom.
After his time in Europe, Bolivar decided to travel to America for a short time before returning home in 1807. After returning home, the Caracas city council grew fearful that France would try to seize Venezuela, therefore, sent Bolivar to London to seek protection from the British government. On April 19th, 1810 Bolivar was appointed as a representative to the British government. He went on to achieve rank as Colonel, then aided Miranda in the raid of Valencia in 1811. Soon after this achievement he published his first book, Memorial to the Citizens of Nueva Granada by a Caraqueno, which set forth his political views.
Next, leading a small army, he cleared the Magdalena River of enemies, then in February of 1813, he took the Villa de Cucuta and the liberation of Venezuela began in May. However, in May of 1815, Bolivar resigned his command to prevent the outbreak of a civil war due to the authority change and political struggles in Caracas.
While in Carupano, Bolivar issued a decree of freedom to grant all slaves liberty. Then in 1817, Bolivar...