As with so many of the themes of independence-era Latin America, Simn Bolvar’s writings provide the best insight into the tensions and conflicts over governance in the immediate aftermath of independence. Bolvar believed that Latin America would be strongest if the different regions were united into a single nation, and he pushed for a centralized system of government that spanned the entire Northern Andes. He founded the republic of Gran Colombia, compromising what is today Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela, and strove to also integrate Bolivia and Peru (to which he had assumed the presidency as separate nations). Many other political and military leaders opposed Bolvars vision, accusing him of seeking to establish a personal dictatorship, and he suffered a series of setbacks in the years immediately following independence. By the time of his death from tuberculosis in 1830 he had faced a series of rebellions and assassination attempts, been forced to resign his presidencies and sent into exile, and watched the Gran Columbia union he had built dissolve.
The two documents excerpted here are among the most famous and revealing of Bolvars later writings. The first is a letter in which he expresses his frustration to Juan Jose Flores, who had served as a general in Bolvars army and who became the first president of Ecuador following the dissolution of Gran Colombia. The second letter is his final presidential address, and which he resigned his presidency. Together they highlight the challenges facing the leaders of independence in their struggle to establish postcolonial governments.
Read the attached document and answer the following questions:
1) How does Bolvar characterize his role in the struggle for independence? What reasons does he give for losing popular support?
2) What does he see as the most important threats to the regions development?