Expeditionary Armies

Ferdinand VII wanted to extend his suppression to America by sending a Reconquista expeditionary Army in 1815 lead by General Pablo Murillo (Fuentesecas, Zamora, 1775-Baréges, France, 1837) with more than ten thousand man to pacify America, a territory that during those years was in relative calm.

The goal of the expedition is to consolidate his supremacy in Venezuela and New Granada, where there were still the revolutionary movements of Santa Fe de Bogotá and Cartagena de Indias, to later isolate Rio de la Plata.

On April 3, 1815, Morillo´s army arrives to Venezuela with hard and unstoppable actions. Creates a permanent Council for warfare against the revolt people, substitutes the Audience for a Court of appeal, establishes a Junta de Secuestros for the confiscation of the rebellious properties and demands a forced loan. His hardness turns a Venezuelan civil war into a national war, uprising the independence fights.

Morillo continuous moving towards New Granada and by August of 1815 he will block Cartagena de Indias, process that will last 106 days. Later, he will go inside the country heading Santa Fe de Bogotá. The troops of the Provincias Unidas de la Nueva Granada (United Provinces from New Granada) will be defeated and their president, Camilo Torres (Popayán, Colombia, 1766-Bogotá, 1816) resigns. The suppression is as hard as in Venezuela.

By the end of 1816 begins the independence movement lead by Simón Bolívar (Caracas, Venezuela, 1783-Santa Marta, Colombia, 1830) who promised freedom for the slaves that followed him. That reason made his troops grow with the incorporation of slaves, pardos and llaneros -llanero is a Venezuelan and Colombian herder from the western territories of Venezuela and the eastern territories of Colombia-. After the loss on the Semén or La Puerta and Cojedes, the celebration of the Congreso de Angostura in 1819 takes place, where Bolívar promotes the creation of the Gran Colombia. That same year, the independent troops turn victorious at Boyacá. In 1820 the troops of General Morillo occupy only Cartagena de Indias, Santa María, the coast of New Granada and an area of the Venezuelan coast.

At Rio de la Plata there are a series of events. There is a domestic fight between Centralists and Federalists and, in the international arena there are interventions at Banda Oriental, Upper Peru and Chile.

At the government of the united Provinces of Rio de la Plata succeed as High Directors: Gervasio Antonio Posadas (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1757-1833), Carlos María de Alvear (Santo Angel Custodio, Argentina, 1789-Washington, United States, 1852) and Ignacio Álvarez Thomas (Arequipa, Chile, 1787-Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1857).

On January 1814 the troops from Rio de la Plata invade Banda Oriental. They expel the realist and begin a series of confrontations between the Centralists (Buenos Aires) and the Federalists (Entre Ríos, Corrientes, Santa Fe, Misiones, Córdoba and Banda Oriental), lead by José Gervasio Artigas (Montevideo, Uruguay, 1764-Ibiray, Paraguay, 1850) On February of 1815 the people of Buenos Aires have to hand over Montevideo to Artigas. At Banda Oriental, Artigas encourages the trade with the British and tries to attract to him the slaves. In August of 1816, in Brazil, the Portuguese troops from Banda Oriental invade and Montevideo surrenders. Artigas gets to address a campaign of guerrillas from inside the country.

In 1816 a Constituent Congress is held in Tucumán due to the fear of new Spanish expeditionary armys arrival. Juan Martín de Pueyrredón (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1776-1850) is elected High Director and the independence is declared on July 9. At the Congress the centralists thesis of Buenos Aires turn victorious and as a result, Tucumán, Entre Ríos and Córdoba declared independent. Santa Fe and Entre Ríos defeat the Centralists at the Battle of Cepeda on February 1, 1820, turning victorious the federalist thesis.

José de San Martín (Yapeyú, Argetnina, 1778-Boulogne sur Mer, France, 1850) understand what it means to end with the territories held faithful to Ferdinand VII in order to eliminate the threat of a reconquest. In 1814, from his quarter, General Mendoza started organizing the Army of Los Andes, goal-oriented towards the independence of Chile. After three years preparation they are ready to cross the Andean range. On February 12, 1817, they defeat the realist troops from Chacabuco, getting them into Santiago de Chile. After being rejected for the position of High Director of Chile, the Chileans decide on Bernardo O´Higgins (Chillán, Chile, 1776-Lima, Peru, 1842) who declared the independence from Spain on February 12, 1818. The realists reaction takes place from the Viceroyalty of Peru but José de San Martín gets to defeat them once again in Maipú on April 5.

As a reaction to these independent movements, from the Peninsula there is a great expedition that will be head to Rio de la Plata. The process is slow even though there were important grants to officers to list on the expedition. At the end of 1819 there are more than 20,000 soldiers in the surroundings areas of Cadiz ready to cross the Atlantic. But on January 1, 1820 there is a liberal uprising among those troops lead by Lieutenant Colonel Rafael del Riego (Tuña, Asturias, 1784-Madrid, 1823). It is the famous uprising of Riego in Cabezas de San Juan (Seville) that turns victorious. The military expedition towards America is abandoned.