Category Archives: Short Research Assignment

Sources for Week 4 Video

Source 1: Simon Bolivar

The document “Simon Bolivar” provides a summary of the lifespan of Bolivar, from his adolescence to his death. The summary is written by Manuel Perez Vila who is a Venezuelan historian and professor, making it a reliable source. The source is useful because the chapter in the textbook only briefly describes Bolivar’s upbringing. This document provides a more in depth insight into the origins and development of the historical figure.

From early in life, Bolivar’s lifestyle was constantly changing. His father passed away before Bolivar turned three years old. He was homeschooled by his mother until he was nine when she too passed. He then lived and was taught by his grandfather, who also died soon after. Unhappy in the care of his uncle, Bolivar ran away and eventually game into the care of Don Simon Rodriguez, an elementary school headmaster. Bolivar soon became his pupil and began a critical period of his education in which he discovered his love for knowledge. At fourteen years old, Bolivar found success in the Battalion by combining his military knowledge with his subject knowledge. It is evident these were the early developmental stages of Bolivar becoming a leader.

His education continued in Spain in both the arts and subjects. Here he met his future wife with whom he decided to return to Venezuela with after getting married. She passed away after only a year of marriage, leading Bolivar to leave Venezuela once more and return to Europe. His used this time to continue expanding his political and literary knowledge. It was during these years he realized his dream of ending Spanish rule in South America. A series of actions derived from this realization, including returning to Venezuela and beginning discussions of independence with others.

Many initiatives followed, beginning with joining the military service. He took part in the raid of Valencia in 1811, freeing the Magdalena River and the beginnings of liberating Venezuela. During this time, he published “Memorial to the Citizens of Neva Granada by a Caraqueno”, an important documentation of his beliefs, and he also earned the title of “the Liberator”.

After losing La Puerta battle, Bolivar and other patriots were forced to leave Caracas. After multiple political struggles, Bolivar leaves his position of command and stood by in Jamaica until he found a new movement to fight for. It is here he wrote the famous “Letter from Jamaica”. His next important moment was after the formation of the Second Venezuelan Congress where he proposes a Constitution and delivers one of his most memorable speeches. The efforts of this congress, lead by Bolivar, results in the independence of Venezuela in 1821. He goes on to liberating Ecuador, becoming dictator of Peru, creating a nation called “Bolivar Republic” (now Bolivia) and escaping an assassination attempt. His death occurs shortly after stepping down from his position of power.

The document contains great detail about the momentous endeavors in Bolivars political and military career and will be extremely useful in providing relevant background information in the video presentation.


Source 2: Latin American Icon Simon Bolivar Gets Biopic Treatment In ‘Liberator’

One goal for our video presentation is to share present day perceptions and interpretations of Simon Bolivar. Bolivar is an extremely important historical figure to many in Latin America and the article explains a unique way in which Bolivar is displayed as an icon.

In 2013, the movie “The Liberator” was released. It tells the story of Bolivar’s political and military feats in the nineteenth century and aims to reach both local and international audiences. The movie shares a significant time in Latin American history while promoting the land and culture. It is clear the quality of the film is of great importance as it is one of the most expensive productions in Latin American history. A goal in making the movie was remaining true to the nation and its culture. They achieved this by getting finance from Spanish and Venezuelan producers, hiring a Venezuelan actor to play Bolivar and the using music by a Venezuelan conductor.

While the article emphasizes the positive outcomes of creating a movie that informs others of such an iconic figure, it also criticizes the interpretation of Bolivar. Marie Arana, a biographer of Bolivar, explains the historical inaccuracy of the film. The most obvious issue was the physical appearance of the actor playing Bolivar. He was tall, handsome and strong while Bolivar was known to be a small, skimpy man. She stated there also lacked some depth in the storytelling of Bolivar’s life and accomplishments, which she claims is a common mistake that needs to be resolved. His legacy has been left open to interpretation and manipulated over time, so

Arana feels Bolivar’s true story needs to be clarified to the public. However, Bolivar’s biographer notes the historically correct facets of the film. The display of race, inequality and hierarchy in the colonial systems was well represented.

The article continues by relating the issues of colonial Latin America to the similar ones that exist today. Bolivar fought for liberty and equality for the people within Latin America and hoped for a future in which society would not be separated by social standing. Unfortunately, as the actor Edgar Ramirez says in the article, a gap still exists between the rich and the poor, with the past systems having a major effect on how modern Latin America developed. The movie “The Liberator” is an opportunity to spread the messages of Bolivar and raise awareness of the imbalances that remain to this day.



“SIMON BOLIVAR.” SIMON BOLIVAR. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.

“Latin American Icon Simon Bolivar Gets Biopic Treatment In ‘Liberator'” NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.