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Simon Bolivar Essay



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    Simon Bolivar and his Address to Congress In Simon Bolivar’s message to the Congress of Bolivia, he introduced new concepts that he felt would provide a better outcome for the country and the people of Bolivia. He shared his views on what he considered the necessary changes for the Bolivian government. He proposed a new system of representation, which were the four political powers. The four political powers are similar to a federal system. He suggested that the people would be the ones who appoint the legislators, magistrates, judges, and pastors, through elections.

    Bolivar states that in the political powers it is necessary for mutual respect. The people who hold positions in the political powers must have complete control over themselves in a calm manner, which means they could not possess any passion during their deliberations. The electoral power allowed the citizens to elect the officers. Unlike in the colonial period, where the people in power were there because of wealth. Bolivar thought there should be regulations in order for the citizens to vote.

    The citizens must know how to write, sign their names, and read. They also needed to be able to make an honest living through practicing a trade or skill. Citizens would be disqualified if they could not meet these regulations or if they engaged in crime, idleness or were ignorant (O’Connor 14). The judicial power is of absolute independence. The citizens would choose qualified persons to represent them, and the legislature would choose who would be in the court. This specific power provides safety to the individual rights of the citizens.

    It also guarantees the safety to “the freedom, equality and security in the social contract” (O’Connor 15). The social contract which pertains to the agreement between the principals of the political rights. Bolivar thought the judicial power should create strong and definitive laws. He also wanted the Bolivian government to include a law that prohibits torture. To better protect the people, he wanted the government to establish another law, which would apply a strict and formal annual accounting of the actions of the officials (O’Connor 15-16).

    The legislative body was the third party. Bolivar thought this would be better than a two house system, because if the two houses have a dispute or disagreement the legislative body would help determine the outcome. However, if there was a dispute over a useful law, it would not be discarded. They would have to test the law several times in order to make a decision. Simon Bolivar wanted one person as the main political figure, which would be the President of the Republic.

    The President’s power was to appoint ministers of departments of the treasury, peace and war, he would be the head of the army and choose his Vice President. He would not have any influences over the magistrates or judges. All other public authorities would be elected into their positions. The Vice President would need certain qualities in order for the President to completely trust him. The Vice President should have a pure heart. He should advance through good deeds and merit, according to Bolivar (O’ Connor 15).

    It is well known that many political figures abused their power in the colonial period. Most of the officials in power were there, because of the wealth. Simon Bolivar wanted to prevent the positions in power to be elected through wealth and constituted that they should be elected for obtaining their postitions through their knowledge and honesty. In the colonial period, encomiendas were basically employees of the Spanish crown to control the Native American labor.

    The encomienda enslaved Indians and forced them to pay tribute and provide labor for the Spanish crown although, the crown was already wealthy. This enslavement was terrible for the native people. Many natives died because they were literally worked to death. Christian missionaries wrote reports about the high mortatlity rate of the indians and complained that they had been worked to death, before they could be converted to Christianity. As a result, the slavery of Indians became outlawed in 1544, but this did not pertain to the slavery of african descendants.

    According to Bolivar, he believed that no man should be enslaved by another man. The Indians had worked their lives away, and gave tribute and taxes to the Spaniards, in exchange for religious religious instruction. Simon Bolivar message to Congress, suggest a preference over any religion, which means he wanted the people to choose their religion. He did not want the government to establish one set religion. Religion would be protected by civil rights. Simon Bolivar wrote the message to Congress to attempt to create a better government for society.

    He did not want the political authorities to continue to abuse their power like they had done in the colonial period. Bolivar introduced many new liberties to the people of Bolivia such as civil liberty, security of the individual, property, and equality. The most important liberty would be equality. Without equality, the laws could not exist. “{T}he Sovereignty of the People {is} the sole legitimate authority of any nation”(O’Connor 16). Works Cited O’Connor, Erin E. “The many views of Simon Bolivar. ” Documenting Latin America . 2. Leo J. Garfalo. Upper Saddle River: Pearson, 2011. Print.

    Simon Bolivar Essay. (2019, May 02). Retrieved from

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