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The Story of the American Revolutions

What we call the American Revolution wasn't the only American Revolution. Instead, the real story is about the revolutions in "America," North and South. Because South Americans, inspired by the (North) American example started their own revolutions against Spain.

The "George Washington of South America" was a Venezuelan named Simon Bolivar. He tried twice, and failed to liberate his native country from Spanish rule. Upon his return from exile (in Haiti), for his third attempt, he first sought refuge with his little force among the llaneros or cowboys, of the back country llanas, or plains. This protected him from direct assault from superior Spanish forces, and gave him an arm, cavalry, that he had lacked in his previous endeavors.

At the same time, an uprising was occurring in New Granada (Colombia). Instead of liberating his own country, Bolivar decided to take his Venezuelan infantry to Colombia in a winter (1818) march across the Andes, a feat that has been likened to Hannibal's crossing of the Alps. He arrived with 1200 survivors, joining the 2,200 revolutionaries there against some 7,000 Spanish at the battle of Boyaca. The expenence of the revolutions  was that the revolutionaries could prevail against odds of one to two (but not significantly greater), which meant that Bolivar's reinforcements made all the difference. After this victory, the combined forces liberated Venezuela and Ecuador, bringing with them 1,000 llanero cavalry.

Far to the south, a young officer named Jose de San Martin was doing the same in Argentina. Buenos Aires was far from Spanish power in Peru, so liberating what was then Argentina was "easy," but San Martin foresaw that the Spanish would attack him if and when they crushed rebellions in Colombia and Chile. In a manner similar to Bolivar, he led a 4,000 man Argentine army across the Andes, where they were joined by less than two hundred Chilean revolutionaries under Bernardo O'Higgins.

O'Higgins had his own story to tell, having recently survived a siege by 1,200 men, nearly ten times his own number. Wounded and semi-delirious, he conceived a brilliant plan for escaping the death trap of a village called Rancaugua. With few men, he realized that he would have enough TROOPS to break out, if he rounded up the local farm animals and used them as cannon fodder, which he did.
San Martin and O'Higgins liberated Chile from south to north, once defeating an army of 8,000 men, twice their numbers on the way. They then invaded Peru and besieged the capital of Lima.