Independence Period Timeline

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Independence Period Timeline


History and Culture

Art and Architecture


The Tupac Amaru Rebellion was led by José Gabriel Condorcanqui, also known as Túpac Amaru II



French explorer and geographer Charles Marie de La Condamine (1701-1774) leads an expedition in South America where he finds rubber.



The accession of King Charles III to the Spanish throne.



The American Revolution. Colonialists’ discontent with the British Crown aggravates due to increasing taxations and lack of political participation. Colonialist revolt against British officials and royal army.



The United States independence led by General George Washington (1732-1799).



Spanish priest and botanist José Celestino Mutis (1732-1808) leads the Royal Botanical Expedition to New Granada to study the flora and fauna of the region.




The Academy of San Carlos in Mexico is established.


Thomas Jefferson, in collaboration with others, writes The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.



The French Revolution. French citizens revolt as they seek to replace the long-standing institution of the Monarchy with a legislative assembly.




Mexican artist Andrés López paints the portrait of Don Matías de Galvez y Gallardo as Vice Protector of the Academy of San Carlos.


Slave revolt on the French island of Saint-Dominique (Haiti) that eventually leads to its independence.




All guilds are abolished in Quito.


The Colombian creole and military general Antonio Nariño (1765-1823) translates into Spanish the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.



Prussian explorer Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) and French botanist Aimé Bonpland (1773-1858) survey the territory of Latin America collecting and classifying thousands of plants unknown in Europe.



Napoleonic Wars. After declaring himself Emperor, Napoleon led a series of imperialist raids against various European powers. The Wars ended with Napoleon’s failed invasion of Russia in 1815.



Haiti gains its independence from France, under the leadership of Toussaint L’Ouverture (1743-1803).

Napoleon self-proclaimed himself emperor of France.


Portuguese royal family moves to Brazil to escape Napoleon.



The French invade Spain and Napoleon’s brother Joseph Bonaparte (1768-1844) seizes the Spanish throne.



First South American independence movement begins in Chuquisaca (Bolivia).



(September 16) Grito de Dolores Hidalgo. The priest Miguel Hidalgo issues a cry for independence near Guanajuato - Mexico.

Friedrich George Weitsch paints Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland at the Foot of the Chimborazo.


In Cuba, the Aponte Conspiracy is instigated by the Afro-Cuban activist José Antonio Aponte (d. 1812).



José Maria Morelos convokes the first Mexican Congress, which formally declares Mexican Independence. Slavery is also abolished.

Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland’s findings were published in Views of the Mountain Ranges and Monuments of the Indigenous Peoples of America.


A series of civil wars facilitated the temporary re-conquest of the United Provinces of New Granada by Spain.



Mexican Revolutionary leader José Maria Morelos (1765-1815) is defeated and executed.



Argentine General and Independence leader José de San Martín (1778-1850) liberates Argentina (1816), Chile (1818) and Peru (1921).



Construction of Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral ended with Manuel Tolsa’s Neoclassical contribution to the façade.


Chile gains its independence from Spain.



Battle of Boyacá – Venezuelan military and political leader Simon Bolívar initiates his fight for independence with a series of military victories and the expulsion of the viceroy of Nueva Granada, Juan José Francisco de Sámano (1753-1821).


ca. 1820


Colombian portraitist, Pedro José Figueroa (1780-1838) paints Simón Bolívar: The Liberator of Colombia.


The Republic of Gran Colombia (formerly the Viceroyalty of New Granada) was established at the Congress of Cúcuta. During the congress, Simón Bolívar was elected president.

Independence of Mexico and Guatemala.  


Don Pedro I – King of Portugal proclaims Brazilian Independence and crowns himself Emperor.



A rebellion led by Antonio López de Santa Anna (1794-1876) forces the abdication of independence leader and dictator Agustín de Iturbide establishing the Mexican Republic.

Peruvian portraitist Gil de Castro painted the Peruvian martyr of independence, José Olaya (1782-1823).


With the last patriot victories against the Spaniards, Simón Bolívar and Antonio José de Sucre liberate Peru.

Founding of the Academia Imperial de Bellas Artes in Brazil.


The French chemist Nicéphore Niépce (1765–1833) produces the first photographic negative and, the earliest surviving photographic image.



Bolivia declares independence.

Juan Manuel Blanes documents the Uruguayan war of independence from Brazil in his historical painting titled Oath of the Thirty-Three Orientals.


Simón Bolívar proclaims himself dictator following the self-imposed exile of the liberator of the Viceroyalty of La Plata, José Francisco de San Martín.



Democracy is established in Mexico with the election of the first president, Guadalupe Victoria (1786–1843).



The Republic of Gran Colombia dissolves due to internal political divisions between conservatives and the liberals. In the following years the countries of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama, are established.



Bolivia abolishes slavery.

Mexican artist Antonio Serrano paints Portrait of Miguel Hidalgo.


The United Kingdom abolishes slavery within the British Empire.




French painter Jean-Baptiste Debret (1768-1848) published the Picturesque and Historical Voyage of Brazil.


The State of Texas declares its independence from Mexico and begins a war against the central government.

German artist Carl Nebel (1805-1855) documented the people of the different regions of Mexico in his publication Most Interesting Part of Mexico.


United Provinces of Central America breaks into five republics: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.




British draftsman Frederick Catherwood (1799–1854) and American writer John Lloyd Stephens (1805–1852) publish the illustrated Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatán. Their work spurs interest in Maya ruins.


Mexican-American War. The expansionist ideals (Manifest Destiny) of U.S President James K. Polk leads U.S armies to invade Mexican territory after battles fought at Rio Grande.

Spanish artist Edward Walhouse Mark (1817-1895) paints the watercolor Plaza Mayor, Bogotá.


The Caste War – The Maya rebel against plantation owners in Yucatán, Mexico.


1848 -

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo cedes northern half of Mexico to the U.S after the Mexican-American Wars.

Costa Rica abolishes its army.

ca. 1850

Colombian artist and Chronicler José María Espinosa (1796-1883), who served as a correspondent in General Nariño’s Campaign of the South, paints The Battle of Palo River.


Agustín Codazzi leads the Comisión Corográfica (Corographic Commission) - a specialized expedition to survey the different territories of Colombia.

Mexican artist Juan Cordero (1822-1884) paints Columbus Before the Catholic Monarchs.



The Spanish-born sculptor Manuel Vilar (1812-1860) sculpts The Tlaxcalan General Tlahuicole Doing Battle on the Gladiator’s Stone of Sacrifice.


Peru, Argentina and Venezuela abolish slavery.



The Exposition Universelle is held in Paris with the aim of displaying the social, industrial, and cultural progress of France under Napoleon III.

Peruvian painter and politician José Francisco Domingo Laso (1823-1869) paints The Inhabitant of the Cordillera of Peru.


A new and liberal Constitution is approved in Mexico opposing the interests of the Church and Mexican conservatives.



Civil War breaks out in Mexico between the liberals and conservatives, and Benito Juárez (1806–1872) is elected president.



Francisco Oller moves to France where he studies under Thomas Couture and Gustave Courbet.



Charles Darwin published his book On the Origin of the Species inspired by his trip through the Pacific coast of South America.

American Landscape painter Frederic Edwin Church’s paints Heart of Andes.


The French Army, supported by Mexican Conservatives, invades Mexico. The War of the French Intervention (Maximilian Affair) begins when Napoleon invades Mexico to establish access to Latin American markets and exploit natural resources to finance his empire.



Cuba abolishes slave trade.

Photographer Désiré Charnay's (1828–1915) publishes his photo album Cités et Ruines Américaines, based on his expedition in 1857.



The Salon des Refusés is established in Paris to exhibit works rejected by the jury of the French Salon.


The French Army and Mexican Conservatives establish the Second Mexican Empire, crowning the Austrian archduke Maximilian von Hapsburg emperor of Mexico.



The U.S. abolishes slavery with the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.



The Mexican liberal army executes Emperor Maximilian I. Benito Juárez reestablishes the Republic.



Ten Years’ War - The fight for Cuban independence began with the cry of Yara, and an uprising led by Cuban-born planters and other wealthy natives including sugar mill owner Carlos Manuel de Céspedes (1819-1874).

The Académie Julian in Paris is founded by Rodolphe Julian. The Académie was a private studio school where independent training in the arts was offered.



Mexican Costumbrista artist José María Obregón (1832-1902) paints El Descubrimiento del Pulque.


Bananas are introduced as a cash crop to Costa Rica, and soon the fruit expands across Central and South America.



Death of Benito Juárez. Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada (1823-1889) becomes President of Mexico.



Porfirio Díaz overthrows Lerdo de Tejada and becomes President in Mexico. He will reelect himself seven times, and his dictatorship, the "Porfiriato," lasts thirty-four years (1876-1911).




Mexican costumbrista painter Félix Parra (1845-1919) paints Episodes of the Conquest: Massacre of Cholula.


War of the PacificArmed despite between Chile, Peru and Bolivia over territory.



Colombian portraitist Epifanio Garay (1849-1903) immortalizes the revolutionary martyr, Policarpa Salavarrieta (Colombian, 1795-1817) in a portrait of the heroine.


 Mexican landscape painter José María Velasco (1840-1912) creates Atlas Pintoresco e Historico de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos (Picturesque Historical Atlas of the United States of Mexico).


Cuba abolishes slavery for all.



Abolition of slavery in Brazil.

Mexican illustrator José Guadalupe Posada (1852–1913) opens his first print shop in Mexico City to illustrate and publish newspapers and broadsheets.


Brazil is proclaimed a republic with the abdication of Emperor Don Pedro II.

The Exposition Universelle is held in Paris. The Eiffel Tower, designed by Gustave Eiffel (1832–1923) is erected for the centennial celebration of the French Revolution.


Political activist and literati José Julián Martí Pérez (1853-1895) and Major General Máximo Gómez y Báez (1836-1905) write the Montecristi Manifesto where they laid out the arguments that inspired the Revolutionary Party in Cuba to pursue their Independence from Spain.



The Italian ethnologist Guido Boggiani (1861–1902) explores the indigenous people of the Gran Chaco (parts of Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil).

Venezuelan academic artist Francisco Arturo Michelena Castillo (1863-1898) paints Miranda in La Carraca.


Spanish-Cuban-American War ends with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, through which Cuba gains its independence and Puerto Rico becomes a territory of the United States.



The Brazilian Realist artist José Ferraz de Almeida Júnior (1850-1899) paints The Guitar Player.


The Foraker Act establishes civil government in Puerto Rico and allows for free trade between the island and the United States.



The Republic of Panama declares its independence from Colombia with the backing of the United States and France.




Colombian Impressionist artist Andrés de Santa Maria (1860-1945) paints Return from the Market.



Exposición Internacional del Centenario in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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