The city of La Paz, in the region of Upper Peru (now in Bolivia but then in the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata), experienced a revolution in 1809 that deposed Spanish authorities and declared independence. The revolution is considered one of the early steps of the Spanish American Wars of Independence and a predecessor of the Bolivian War of Independence. However, the revolution was defeated shortly it had started, and the city returned to Spanish rule.

La Paz revolution
Pedro Murillo, leader of the revolution.
DateJuly 16, 1809
LocationLa Paz, Upper Peru (modern Bolivia)
ParticipantsCriollos from La Paz
OutcomeTemporary removal of Spanish authorities and declaration of independence. Spanish rule restored by Goyeneche

Background edit

In 1781, for a total of six months, a group of Aymara people laid siege to La Paz. Under the leadership of Túpac Katari, they destroyed churches and government property. Despite the failure of the indigenous people, who were eventually crushed by the military alliance of Spanish and Creoles, thoughts of independence continued flourishing. Thirty years later, indigenous people laid a two-month siege on La Paz, and the legend of the Ekeko is set there.

It was not until fall 1807, when Napoleon moved French troops through Spain to invade Portugal, and Spanish authority had been fatally weakened, that the prospect of independence re-emerged in the native imagination. The 1776 United States Declaration of Independence certainly an inspirational example of empowered colonists deposing unpopular foreign rule. With Spanish authority deteriorating, as Charles IV of Spain renounced the throne in favor of Ferdinand VII, who did the same in favor of Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother, La Paz felt that the time was ripe for revolution.

Development edit

On July 16, in the city of La Paz, as celebrations for the Virgin of Carmen were unfolding, a group of revolutionaries, led by Colonel Pedro Domingo Murillo, and other individuals besieged the city barracks and forced Governor Tadeo Davila and the Bishop of La Paz, Remigio de la Santa y Ortega, to resign. On July 16, 1809, a mestizo, Pedro Domingo Murillo, famously said that the Bolivian Revolution was igniting a lamp that nobody would be able to extinguish. Many historians agree that to mark the beginning of the independence of South America from Spain. Political power went to the local cabildo until the "Junta Tuitiva de los Derechos del Pueblo" ("Junta keeping the Rights of the People"), headed by Murillo, was formed.[1] On July 27, the junta proclaimed colonial independence.

José Manuel de Goyeneche, despite suspected of having Carlists sympathies, was called forward to lead royalist forces against the insurgents. While many revolutionaries enlisted and marched to Chacaltaya to await enemy troops, a counter-revolution, led by Pedro Indaburo, broiled in the capital.

La Paz was defended by Murillo, who maintained a military force of approximately 800 men Viceroy José Fernando de Abascal sent troops from Lima to repress the revolt and seized the opportunity to decree the reannexation of Upper Peru to his jurisdiction of Peru. Royalists there formed a clear majority, even among those born in the Americas. In Lima, in particular, whose wealth and influence had declined since the Bourbon repartitioning of South America, people placed their hopes not in the seemingly-illusory promises of independence but rather in the rewards that could be secured by loyalty to the Spanish Crown.[1][2]

Murillo and the other rebel leaders were beheaded, and their heads were exhibited to the people as deterrent.[1]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c Abad de Santillán, Diego (1965). "Chuquisaca y La Paz". Historia Argentina (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: TEA (Tipográfica Editora Argentina). p. 398.
  2. ^ Sarah C. Chambers; John Charles Chasteen (30 September 2010), Latin American Independence: An Anthology of Sources, Hackett Publishing, ISBN 978-0-87220-863-6, retrieved 3 January 2013 [page needed]