HISTORY OF BOLIVIA

Archaeological discoveries indicate that the colonization of the Bolivian Andes by man date back to about 21,000 years. Since the 7th century BC to 1200 ad, the center of the Tiahuanaco Empire occupied the Bolivian high plateau, near Lake Titicaca and was populated by Quechua, Aymara and Chiquitos. Later, during the period ranging from the 13th century to the 16th, the region was incorporated into the inca Empire. These early civilizations were the source of prevailing cultural eras.
Bolivia, was conquered in 1538 by the Spanish conqueror Pizarro, and the region was incorporated into the Viceroyalty of La Plata river. With the installation of the Spanish colonists, many cities were founded: Chuquisaca (now Sucre), Potosí, La Paz and Cochabamba. They began to be exploited many silver mines and the territory became one of the most prosperous and most populous of the Spanish Empire. Potosí, which had very productive mines, was the center of this development.
However, Bolivia was one of the first Spanish colonies to rebel. The riots multiplied and it was finally after the victory of Sucre in Ayacucho that the region gained its independence on August 6, 1825, and took the name of Bolivia on 11 August of the same year. A Constitution drafted by Simón Bolívar, who had been at the forefront of the revolt, was adopted in 1826.
From the beginning of its existence as an independent state, Bolivia had periods of political instability. The first president, general Antonio José of Sucre, was expelled from the country after he had been supported for only two years.
The country suffered after several decades of struggles between various factions, revolutions and military dictatorships.
To this added were conflicts with neighboring countries such as Chile, Paraguay and Brazil.
In effect, the Atacama desert was the subject of conflicts between Chile and Bolivia, it was claimed by each one because of its rich deposits of nitrate. In 1879, Chile seized the Bolivian port of Antofagasta that was the starting point of the Pacific War (1879-1883). Its ally, Peru, and Bolivia were defeated by Chile. The Bolivian territory was then stripped of its possessions on the coast and lost all access to the sea. In 1935, the Chaco War ended with the transfer of a part of the Chaco to Paraguay.
In interior politics, the governments happened quickly, being characterized by the political instability, civil wars and revolutions.
In April 1952, one of the founders of the revolutionary nationalist movement (MNR), Víctor Paz Estenssoro became President of Bolivia. Under his leadership, the Government entered into an era of economic and social reforms, whose main characteristics were the nationalization of mining companies and the redistribution of land.
Paz Estenssoro sought to also establish universal suffrage (in particular with the extension of the right to vote to Indians) and develop the education system. However, the Bolivian economy suffered the regular fall in the world price of Tin, as well as inflation. Paz Estenssoro was overthrown by a coup d ' état in November 1964, then of an insurrection of miners. His Government was replaced by a military junta, led by general Lieutenant René Barrientos Ortuño.
The new military Government then established a conservative economic policy and cracked down on anti-Government guerrilla movements, concentrated in the mountainous mining regions. The Bolivian army thus defeated the revolutionaries in October 1967, in a battle near the town of Valle grande, in the course of which Che Guevara was captured and executed shortly afterwards.
In August 1971, Colonel Hugo Banzer Suárez took power, relying on the army.
In October 1982, Hernán Siles Zuazo was installed as President by the military power. He formed a Government of popular unity, but its action was paralyzed by social unrest.
In 1985, Victor Paz Estensoro returned to power, but faced a catastrophic economic situation. However, he managed to straighten the economy and reduce inflation, introducing austerity measures and resorting to foreign investors.
In 1989, it was Jaime Paz Zamora who became president of Bolivia. The presidential election of June 1993 was won by a mining entrepreneur, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada.
The current President of Bolivia is Evo Morales, since 22 January 2006. He was elected in 2005, and re-elected in 2009 under a new Constitution.

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