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Venezuelan War of Independence

Jan Ullrich

Subject Imperial, Colonial, and Postcolonial History » Colonial History

Place South America » Venezuela

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1800-1899

Key-Topics abolitionism, freedom, nation, nationalism, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01536.x


Venezuela's War of Independence (1811–21) was one of many Latin American revolutionary uprisings between 1810 and 1825 that brought three centuries of colonial domination by the Spanish monarchy to an end. An aspiring Creole social and economic elite, tired of the political domination of the royalist aristocracy and inspired by the conflictive transformations in Europe at that time, realized the vulnerability of the Spanish monarchy and rose to play a fundamental role in developing a republican movement in Venezuela. Certainly the War of Independence profoundly changed Venezuelan society when the Congress of Cucutá founded the independent Great Columbian Republic in 1821. Whether or not the Venezuelan process of independence was also a social revolution remains the object of historical disputes and ideological conflicts today. The social and economic structures in colonial Spanish America changed fundamentally during the second half of the eighteenth century. The increased production of export goods outside the mining sector, in Venezuela the production of cacao, was now changing the integration of the colonies in the European metropolis. The renovation of the Spanish colonial pact in the second half of the eighteenth century had opened new opportunities within the colonial economy, but the reluctant administrative reform had not resolved the antagonism of the colonial racial and ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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