Armed clash between patriotic and royalist forces, which in 1821 ensured the independence of Venezuela and the consolidation of Greater Colombia. What is the battle of Carabobo
|Date||June 24, 1821.|
|Place||Shroud of Carabobo, Venezuela.|
|Belligerents||Patriots vs. Realistic.|
The battle of Carabobo was one of the main acts of arms of the war for the Independence of Venezuela . It took place on June 24, 1821 and ended with a resounding patriot triumph and the collapse of the enemy forces.
In the battle of Carabobo two sides clashed:
- Patriot Army : led by Simón Bolívar and José Antonio Páez, representing Gran Colombia , which had been established in 1819, during the Congress of Angostura .
- Realist army : led by the Spanish Miguel de la Torre, who represented the Spanish colonial Empire.
The war between patriots and royalists had begun in 1811 and had ceased with the signing of the Trujillo Armistice in 1820. This agreement established a cessation of hostilities for 6 months. However, the pact was broken earlier than planned, since on January 28, 1821 a patriotic uprising liberated Maracaibo and united it with Greater Colombia . This provoked the reaction of the royalists, who mobilized to attack the patriots.
The clash between the two forces took place on the Carabobo sheet and the overwhelming patriot victory allowed Venezuela to be definitively liberated from Spanish rule .
Development of the battle of Carabobo
The royalists managed to gather 4,000 soldiers, divided into 2,500 infantry and 1,500 horsemen. The patriot side was made up of about 10,000 men, made up of 7,000 infantry and 3,000 horsemen.
Before starting the fight, Bolívar divided his forces into three bodies:
- The first, commanded by José Antonio Páez , was made up of the Bravos de Apure battalions and the British Hunters, as well as 7 cavalry regiments.
- The second was led by Major General Manuel Cedeño , and was made up of the Tiradores and Vargas battalions, as well as a cavalry squad.
- The third was under the orders of Colonel Ambrosio Plaza and made up of 4 infantry battalions.
Bolívar realized that it was very risky to commit all his forces in a frontal attack, so he chose to send José Antonio Páez to the north, to attack the royalist right flank, and commissioned Ambrosio Plaza from the front.
The royalist chief, Miguel de la Torre, observing these movements divided his men and sent half his army north to confront Páez.
This one had to retreat in a pair of occasions, but when being supported by the British battalion he was able to rebuild and put the royalist troops to flight.
In the central zone, the battle line remained stable, but when the men fighting against Páez withdrew, it ended up breaking.
The battle concluded with the retreat in disarray of the royalist army , which was pursued by the patriots to the city of Valencia. The surviving royalists took refuge behind the walls of Puerto Cabello.
Causes and consequences of the battle of Carabobo
The main causes of the Battle of Carabobo were the following:
- The signing of the Act of Independence , on July 5, 1811, in which it was established that Venezuela ceased to belong to the Spanish Empire and was constituted as a sovereign and independent nation.
- The reaction of the Spanish colonial officials , who rejected the Independence of Venezuela and organized to suppress the independence movement and regain power.
- The proclamation by Bolívar of the war to the death to all those who opposed the Independence of Venezuela . This proclamation took place on June 15, 1813, during the Admirable Campaign .
- The breaking of the terms of the Trujillo Armistice , signed between the kingdom of Spain and Venezuela, in 1820.
Among the main consequences of the battle of Carabobo can be mentioned:
- The almost total annihilation of the Spanish army , which had 3,000 casualties among dead, wounded and prisoners. The patriots, on the other hand, only lost 300 men.
- The end of Spanish rule over the territory of Venezuela , thus ensuring its independence and its union with Greater Colombia.
- The weakening of the position of the royalists in Latin America , since the defeat suffered in Carabobo encouraged the resistance of the Ecuadorian, Peruvian and high Peruvian patriots.
- The beginning of the Campaign of the West , a military expedition commanded by Páez between 1821 and 1823, aimed to eliminate the royalist forces that had been dispersed on the Caribbean coast of Colombia and northwestern Venezuela. During this campaign the naval combat of Lake Maracaibo and the taking of Puerto Cabello took place, the last acts of arms of the war of independence.
- Bolívar was able to start the Southern Campaign that sought to liberate the territories of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia from Spanish domination.
Protagonists of the battle of Carabobo
Among the main protagonists of the battle of Carabobo are the following:
- Simón Bolívar (1783–1830) : Venezuelan patriot, who organized and led the patriot army in battle.
- Miguel de la Torre (1786–1843) : Spanish military and politician, field marshal of the royalist army defeated in the Carabobo savanna.
- José Antonio Páez (1790–1873) : leader of the Venezuelan plains, who commanded the battalions of the Bravos de Apure and those of the British and Irish volunteers.