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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Simon Bolivar - 637 words
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Throughout history there have been several leaders whoused their cunning and sly intelligence to trick the generalpopulation into following them and their beliefs. Eventually,these leaders had so much support, they could no longer becalled leaders, but absolute and dictatorial rulers. However,during the period of Enlightenment and of the FrenchRevolution, non-maleficent ideas, created by Locke,Montesquieu, Voltaire, and other EnlightenmentPhilosophes, were spread throughout the Europeanpopulation. They stated the opposition to absolutemonarchies as well as a new main focus on people's innaterights and freedoms. Many leaders after this period ofEnlightenment preached its ideas, while others simply usedthem to gain power. Simon Bolivar might have preachedopinions that mainly reflected the ideas of the FrenchRevolution.
However, his actions contradicted theseopinions, and revealed that his true intentions were selfishand illiberal.In several documents and speeches, Bolivar stated that hewas very fond of freedom, liberty and equality. Clearly, itwould seem that he desired democracy. This can be seen inhis 'Jamaican Letter', where he states 'More than anyone Idesire to see America fashioned into the greatest nation inthe world, greatest not so much by virtue of her area andwealth as by her freedom and glory.' However, he addsto this 'love of freedom' in saying that it is 'inconceivable'to set up such a government, simply because there is notenough political knowledge for a system such as that to run.Further, Bolivar says that he agrees with the ideas ofMontesquieu, who played a very important role during theEnlightenment period, and states that he is againstabsolutism. In looking at the beliefs Bolivar spoke of, onecould almost come to the conclusion that he directlylectured the ideas fought for in the French Revolution;opposition to absolute monarchies, natural rights andfreedoms, ideas of Montesquieu, and ruling for thepeople's best interest. Interestingly, however, Bolivar never actually put any of his'glorious ideas' into action
Instead of setting up ademocracy, ideas of which he praised, he arranged asystem in which his total control was made known. Hedeclared himself president until he died, created a weaklegislative body with almost no power, and limited the rightto vote to the Creoles, who were American-bornSpaniards. Not only did this contradict his great 'Love offreedom' that he originally spoke of, but also his hate ofmonarchy, a system of government not too far off from the'paternal constitution' he himself created. Furthermore, thisgovernment system doesn't reflect ideals fought for in theFrench Revolution, which he once agreed with. In adocument written by Bolivar, he states that he fears Blackand Indian 'insurrections.' Evidently, it can be seen that ifBolivar fears revolts of Black and Indian peoples, thenthese two groups are still being oppressed. Obviously, hisoriginal love of equality has faded if he is allowing thepersecution of two very populous groups in Latin America,the Blacks and the Indians.
And last, a passage from thediary of Louis Peru de la Croix suggests that Simon Bolivarwas 'not always tolerant.' If Bolivar was intolerant, hewouldn't have supported free speech, which again goesagainst his previous support of Enlightenment thinkers andof the French Revolution. In analyzing whether or not Bolivar was in support of idealsof the Enlightenment period and the French Revolution, onemust analyze the terms 'Beliefs' and 'Actions.' It is truethat Simon Bolivar talked of many beliefs which might havereflected these two periods of time. However, could it bepossible that he was just looking to gain more power sothat he could climb the political ladder and end up with totalcontrol? Once Bolivar did gain the power he needed, heseemed to reject all of his prior beliefs and take actionresembling that of a dictator. It is true that actions speaklouder than words, especially when the words gatherpower, then the actions abuse it. It can clearly be seen thatalthough Bolivar preached several beliefs of theEnlightenment era, his true intentions of being in totalcontrol were represented by his cruel and unjust practicesas president.
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