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A Comparative Analysis of Integration Efforts in Europe and South America
Unformatted Document Text:  governments with a simple reply of “it is union, obviously.” (Bierck, 1951) It was in the Angostura Address on Feb. 15, 1819 that Bolivar saw his dreams of a unified Latin America start to develop. This speech was given at the National Congress of Venezuela to an audience that consisted of the legislators who were charged with the creation of the constitution of Gran Colombia. Gran Colombia was a union that would consist of present day Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and several territories that now belong to several nations (Bierck, 1951). In his address, Bolivar pointed out three reasons for unification. The first was the need for collective security. Bolivar feared an attempt at re-colonization from Spain but more importantly, he feared possible imperialistic intentions of the United States of America. These fears were later reinforced by the Monroe Doctrine in 1923. Secondly, Bolivar saw the economies of Latin America ruined by almost two decades of warfare. He had the foresight to see how difficult it would be to establish a new economic system free from the influence of colonialism that had ruled the land for over three centuries. A unified economic policy would have a better chance to lift Latin America above the ruinous influences of the past. The third justification was purely in the eyes of Bolivar. He wanted a free and democratic system of rule for all inhabitants of Latin America. With the ideas of the Enlightenment fresh on his mind, Bolivar believed in a free market and a government formed on the principles of natural rights and a social contract. Unfortunately, the idea of a unified Latin America soon fell apart. Bolivar blamed the failure on “the threefold yoke of ignorance, tyranny and vice.” (Bierck, 1951) . The independence movements of the early 19 th century were not social revolutions. The peninsulares were driven out only to be replaced by the criollos. The rigid class system and established hierarchy was still in place. The rich oligarchy opposed the ideas of free and democratic union purposed by Bolivar. The uneducated lower classes, who had known nothing but military authoritarian rule, had no concept of civic virtue or political participation that was required in Bolivar’s democratic dream. Bolivar died on Dec. 17, 1830 as an angry and bitter man. He saw his dreams ruined and all his life’s work as a failure. His dream of Gran Colombia died with him, with the union being officially abolished in 1831. II. A New World 2

Authors: Hardt, Brian.
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governments with a simple reply of “it is union, obviously.” (Bierck, 1951)
It was in the Angostura Address on Feb. 15, 1819 that Bolivar saw his dreams of a unified Latin America
start to develop. This speech was given at the National Congress of Venezuela to an audience that consisted of
the legislators who were charged with the creation of the constitution of Gran Colombia. Gran Colombia was a
union that would consist of present day Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and several territories that now
belong to several nations (Bierck, 1951). In his address, Bolivar pointed out three reasons for unification. The
first was the need for collective security. Bolivar feared an attempt at re-colonization from Spain but more
importantly, he feared possible imperialistic intentions of the United States of America. These fears were later
reinforced by the Monroe Doctrine in 1923. Secondly, Bolivar saw the economies of Latin America ruined by
almost two decades of warfare. He had the foresight to see how difficult it would be to establish a new economic
system free from the influence of colonialism that had ruled the land for over three centuries. A unified economic
policy would have a better chance to lift Latin America above the ruinous influences of the past. The third
justification was purely in the eyes of Bolivar. He wanted a free and democratic system of rule for all inhabitants
of Latin America. With the ideas of the Enlightenment fresh on his mind, Bolivar believed in a free market and a
government formed on the principles of natural rights and a social contract.
Unfortunately, the idea of a unified Latin America soon fell apart. Bolivar blamed the failure on “the
threefold yoke of ignorance, tyranny and vice.” (Bierck, 1951) . The independence movements of the early 19
th
century were not social revolutions. The peninsulares were driven out only to be replaced by the criollos. The
rigid class system and established hierarchy was still in place. The rich oligarchy opposed the ideas of free and
democratic union purposed by Bolivar. The uneducated lower classes, who had known nothing but military
authoritarian rule, had no concept of civic virtue or political participation that was required in Bolivar’s
democratic dream. Bolivar died on Dec. 17, 1830 as an angry and bitter man. He saw his dreams ruined and all
his life’s work as a failure. His dream of Gran Colombia died with him, with the union being officially abolished
in 1831.
II. A New World
2


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