History of Bolivia

By | April 28, 2022

From ancient times, the territory of modern Bolivia was inhabited by Indian tribes, who created the highly developed cultures of Viscachan (10-8 centuries BC) and Tiwanaku (1st millennium BC – 1st millennium AD). In the 14th century a significant part of present-day Bolivia was conquered by the Incas and became one of the provinces of the state of Tahuantinsuyu, conquered by the Spaniards in 1532–38.

According to historyaah, the struggle for independence began with the Chuquisac uprising of 1809. On December 9, 1824, S. Bolívar’s associate A. Sucre won a decisive victory over the royal troops at Ayacucho; on August 6, 1825, the independence of the Spanish colony of Upper Peru was proclaimed. The new republic is named after S. Bolívar. In the 19th century The internal political situation was characterized by extreme instability and frequent coups d’état. As a result of territorial conflicts with neighboring countries, Bolivia lost part of its territory. After the Pacific Wars (1864–66 and 1879–84) against Chile, Bolivia lost access to the Pacific Ocean.

During World War I, Bolivia officially remained neutral, but supplied the Entente countries with mining products; in 1917, diplomatic relations with Germany were severed.

As a result of the Chaco War with Paraguay (1932–35), Bolivia lost two-thirds of the disputed territory of the Chaco Boreal oil region.

During the reign of H. D. Toro Ruilova (1936–37) and H. Bush Becerra (1937–39), who came to power as a result of a military coup, the activity of foreign monopolies was limited.

The Bolivian Revolution of 1952 had a noticeable imprint on the political development of the country, as a result of which the tin mines were nationalized and worker control was established on them, agrarian reform was carried out and pre-capitalist relations in agriculture were eliminated, universal suffrage was introduced, the army was reorganized, equal rights were granted to the Indian population, democratized the education system. The Nationalist National Movement (MNR), which came to power as a result of the revolution, led by V. Paz Estenssoro (president of the country in 1952-56 and 1960-64), in the face of worsening economic difficulties, gradually moved away from nationalist slogans, began to privatize the public sector and went to cooperation with US and international financial institutions. See ehistorylib for more about Bolivia history.

In the 1960s the domestic political situation was sharply destabilized. From 1964 to 1982, military regimes of various political orientations frequently succeeded each other. (There have been more than 190 coups d’état in the country since independence). The longest period of the military’s stay in power fell on the rule of the junta headed by Colonel and then General W. Banzer Suarez (1971–79), who established a right-wing authoritarian regime.

In October 1982, the Armed Forces handed over the reins of power to the center-left government of Democratic Popular Unity, which won elections back in 1980, but the left was unable to develop a coherent strategy to get the country out of a deep economic and political crisis. As a result of aggravated disagreements within the ruling bloc, in 1985 the government went to early elections, which ended in the victory of the Nationalist revolutionary movement, headed by V. Paz Estenssoro, who became president for the fourth time (1985–89). The policy pursued by him provided for the recovery of the economy on the basis of the neoliberal model.

The program of President J. Paz Zamora (1989-93) was based on the doctrine of social democracy, but the need for compromises with the right-wing forces led to the continuity of the neoliberal strategy, which did not make it possible to solve urgent social problems and satisfy the economic demands of wage workers. The continuity of the political and economic course was also maintained during the presidency of G. Sanchez de Lozada (1993-97).

In 1997, the former dictator U. Banser Suarez was elected president of the country, who was forced to resign in August 2001 for health reasons (he died in May 2002). Until the next elections, the post of head of state was held by Vice President J. Quiroga. In 2002, Sanchez de Lozada was elected president, who in October 2003, after mass protests, accompanied by human casualties, was forced to resign. He was replaced by Vice President K. Mesa.

History of Bolivia