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The battle of Boyacá, the two-hour confrontation that sealed the destiny of Colombia on August 7, 1819

(CNN Spanish) — Two hours. That was how lengthy the battle of Boyacá lasted, the confrontation between the royal troops and the liberators that marked the top of Spanish rule over the territory of what was then New Granada on August 7, 1819 and gave technique to the creation of the “Nice Colombia” by Simón Bolívar.

“How is such an essential factor going to be outlined on that little bridge?” That’s the query that, because the historian Diana Uribe says, one asks oneself when visiting the Boyacá bridge, within the Colombian metropolis of Tunja, the scene of a brief however intense battle, the fruits level of a battle for independence that had begun on the finish of the 18th century.

How did the battle of Boyacá occur?

By mid-morning on August 7, 1819, the liberating military had positioned itself on a hill close to the Boyacá bridge, in El Tobal. After midday, the royalist military appeared and despatched an advance social gathering to scare away the independentistas, historian Marie Arana remembers on this article. The navy commander “ordered his second-in-command to drive them away, in order that the principle physique of his troops may move. However Bolívar accelerated the patriotic march and earlier than lengthy his complete military—wave after wave of roaring troopers—crossed the hill “.

By 4 within the afternoon, simply two hours after the beginning of the confrontation, the liberators had already achieved victory.

About 1,600 prisoners from the ranks of the crown and 66 deaths among the many independentistas was the stability of Boyacá, in keeping with the evaluation of the Nationwide Museum of Colombia. In line with the liberating military, 90% of the members of the Third Division of the royalist military have been killed or captured, together with Common Barreiro who was answerable for the vanguard.

Bolívar was “current in any respect factors of motion, gave exact orders to spotlight the braveness of the troops, the trouble of the chiefs and officers, and end as soon as and for all of the work that he had taken on,” Common Francisco wrote. de Paula Santander, answerable for two battalions and the rearguard guides through the battle, in her autobiographical writings concerning the battle.

Commemoration of the Battle of Boyacá on the bridge in Tunja, 130 km northeast of Bogotá, on August 7, 2013. (Credit score: Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Photos)

Excessive morale and the help of the native inhabitants, keys to the triumph of the liberators within the Battle of Boyacá

The assault of the liberating military, in contrast to methods that had been applied beforehand, didn’t take the royalists without warning, who even knew of Bolívar’s arrival in Tunja and had acquired ammunition, says the Museum.

And there was no important numerical distinction between the edges both: there have been some 2,700 royalists and barely 100 extra on the aspect of the independentistas, equally victims of the rains, starvation and distress. Nevertheless, says the Nationwide Museum, the important thing was within the completely different means by which the armies assumed the circumstances they confronted.

“The boys beneath Barreiro’s command confirmed little loyalty to the Crown and, consequently, much less dedication to their navy aims,” he explains. There was a excessive variety of deserters —some even went over to the alternative aspect— and the hostility of the settlers in direction of his marketing campaign was additionally infamous.

On the aspect of the liberators, in the meantime, morale was excessive and “fueled by the help of the civilian inhabitants” in keeping with the writings of the navy leaders of the time. The inhabitants performed a key position as a result of they acquired them of their houses, fed them, took care of them and supplied them with requirements comparable to clothes and even horses within the case of the peasants.

Santander mentioned this about his troopers: “With a meager ration and solely with that, our troopers, in whose coronary heart there was no different curiosity than to destroy the Spaniards, manifested themselves glad, proud of their destiny, agency of their decision, fixed of their labors and superior to all risks and privations”.

Boyacá, the place the power of the Spanish military broke

“I confess to your majesty that I used to be extraordinarily shocked, as a result of though I had foreseen the damage of the dominion, I had by no means imagined {that a} small motion would outcome within the lack of the capital and practically 300 leagues, but it surely has occurred.”

These phrases of Gabriel de Torres, who was serving as governor of Cartagena on the time, present how the implications that Boyacá had had have been clear to the Spanish. And there have been many.

On August 10, simply three days later, the liberators took Santa Fe—which the Spanish deserted upon listening to of their defeat in battle—and thus started the top of Spain’s management of the viceroyalty of New Granada.

This battle concluded a marketing campaign that had begun within the late 18th century. After Boyacá, the territories now occupied by Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama fashioned “Nice Colombia” that endured till 1830.

So why does Colombia have fun independence on July 20? On July 20, 1810 there was an rebellion (with a set off often called “Llorente’s vase) that triggered the signing of the Santafé Independence Act and is symbolically thought-about the day of independence. Nevertheless, the reality is that That date marked the start of a course of whose definitive second, in actuality, was exactly August 7, 1819.

Within the years that handed between each milestones, in keeping with the Ministry of Tradition, it was when a very good a part of the inhabitants was unified beneath the thought of ​​independence and when the management of figures comparable to Bolívar and Santander took form.

In Boyacá “we managed to interrupt the power of the Spanish military within the north of the continent. From then on there shall be resistance, there shall be areas the place they may take refuge, however the bulk of the military is already defeated,” summarizes Uribe. In Arana’s phrases, that was the place “the stability of energy modified fully.”

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