Venezuela Declares Independence

A painting by Martin Tovar y Tovar depicting Venezuelan deputies signing the declaration
A painting by Martin Tovar y Tovar depicting Venezuelan deputies signing the declaration

Historical Context

On July 5, 1811, representatives of the Venezuelan provinces met and signed a declaration of independence from the Spanish Empire. A civil war had been raging throughout the colony, and although total independence would not be achieved immediately, Venezuela was still the first Spanish American colony to declare independence.

The first government of Venezuela fell following an earthquake in the capital Caracas and a Spanish military victory. Latin American hero Simon Bolivar launched a campaign to reinstate the free republic but was also defeated. It would not be until 1823 that his efforts were finally successful, and Venezuela became an independent country known as Gran Colombia (along with modern day Colombia, Panama and Ecuador).

Photo Info


Photographer: Martin Tovar y Tovar
Location taken: Caracas, Captaincy General of Venezuela, Spanish Empire

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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Historical Photos