Venezuela History Part I
The first human settlements date back to ca. 15,000 years a. C. The residents, divided into tribes, were devoted to hunting and fishing. Christopher Columbus landed there in 1498; but the first stable nuclei of conquistadors were formed after 1512. In 1528 the Spanish Juan de Ampíes founded Coro, from which a colonization remained unique in South American history: it was the expeditions organized by German groups, dependent on the financial institutions of the Welser, of the Ehinger and Sayler, to which the Emperor Charles had granted specific authorizations. These went inland to the useless search for a mythical Treasure (El Dorado); towards the middle of the century. XVI were replaced by the Spaniards who founded the cities of El Tocuyo (1545), Barquisimeto (1552), Trujillo, Mérida (1558), Caracas (1567). The new colony became a Capitanía General, seat of Audiencia, and until the end of the century. XVIII followed the events of the Spanish Empire of America. Caracas, a provincial city, had a more intense cultural life with the foundation of the university (1725); and here the first national movements arose on the thrust of the ideals of the European Enlightenment and the French Revolution. As patriotism matured in the urban bourgeoisie, a form of violent protest also exploded by the black and mulatto slaves, who revolted between 1780 and 1795 and suffered bloody repression by the Spanish troops. F. deMiranda he went to London to plead the cause of Venezuela’s independence and in 1797 Britain occupied the island of Trinidad and from that base flooded Venezuela with anti-Spanish publications. In 1806 Miranda attempted direct action with a sudden landing at Coro and Ocumare, but the Spaniards rejected him. On October 24, 1808, two English publishers, Lamb and Gallagher, printed the first copy of a newspaper in Caracas, the Gazeta de Caracas, which supported the ideas of the nationalists. Finally, on April 19, 1810, the notables of the capital gathered in Cabildo, deposed the captain general Vicente de Emparán and established a “Supreme Junta conservative of the rights of Fernando VII”. This reaffirmed the sovereignty of Spain, but formed the local government with elements born in Venezuela; Then two organizations were formed: the Patriotic Society and the Club of the pinafore, which participated in a Constituent Assembly, which on 5 July 1811 proclaimed the independence of the country.
On 21 December, also in 1811, the first Constitutional Charter was promulgated and Miranda took over the leadership of the country. The Spanish occupied Caracas the following year and decreed the end of the independence experiment. Miranda was captured and translated to Cadiz; many patriots had to take the path of exile: among them was also Simón Bolívar, who in 1813 returned to Caracas at the head of a small army, but was driven back. In 1814 José Tomás Boves raised the independence banner and organized a guerrilla rebellion. Killed in battle at Urica, he was replaced by José Antonio Páez. Bolívar, for his part, returned to the field in 1816, to gradually assert himself as the supreme leader of the revolutionary forces. Liberated much of the territory, in February 1819, in Angostura (today Ciudad Bolívar), he proclaimed the birth of the Republic of Venezuela and assumed its presidency. Then, in December, it associated Venezuela and Colombia in the Confederate Republic of Gran Colombia which from 1821 also incorporated Ecuador. Due to personalities and competitive interests, especially among the great breeders and landowners, who took advantage of the rivalries of the generals, in 1830 according to ehotelat, Gran Colombia broke up and Venezuela became a sovereign republic. The new state, however, had a difficult life due to the sad phenomenon of caudillism. José Páez, president of the Republic from 1830 to 1834 and then again from 1838 to 1842, opened the series. His was an authoritarian regime, but it allowed the country to consolidate itself economically, through the cultivation and export of coffee. That growth process favored the emergence of dynamic classes, which in turn, inspired by the ideologist Antonio Leocadio Guzmán, led to the birth of a liberal movement in opposition to government despotism. Since then, liberals and conservatives have fought for power, often resorting to the use of weapons. In 1847 the conservative oligarchy elevated General José Tadeo Monagas to the presidency who, alternating with his brother José Gregorio, held the office until 1858. He lost it in the five-year conflict between supporters of a centralizing government and supporters of provincial autonomies. In 1863 the liberal-federalists secured the presidency with General Crisóstomo Falcón. On March 28, 1864, the United States Constitution of Venezuela was promulgated. In 1868 the conservative José Tadeo Monagas resumed power, but in 1870 the liberal Antonio Guzmán Blanco stormed Caracas and started a personal regime that closed in 1889. Ten years of frantic struggles followed his government until in 1900 he became president Cyprian. de Castro, strongman of the “restorative revolution”. He was succeeded in 1908 by another “strong man”, Juan Vicente Gómez, a ruthless dictator, who left the field open to some foreign oil companies (US, British and Dutch). In 1928, Venezuela ranked second among oil producers in the world.