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Andrés de Santa Cruz was a talented governor who could have managed to create a confederation in more favorable settings. He was an inspiring leader who tried his best to make his country prosper. He was an energetic leader who never stopped and tried a variety of ways to help his country develop.
He understood that to form a confederation, he needed to introduce changes in different areas of life. He contributed greatly to the development of economy, education, armed forces, etc. in Peru and Bolivia. It is necessary to note that many of Santa Cruz’s reforms were effective and if he had had more time, he would have managed to create a strong confederation.
It is necessary to note that the two countries had quite close ties in the first part of the 19th century and Santa Cruz strived for creating a union of the two countries. However, he did not invade Peru. Even when people from Peru asked him to come and help them rule the country, he wanted to make sure he had support in Peru and he wanted to be invited “preferably by the National Convention”1.
Therefore, he understood that being an invader would not help create a strong confederation. Admittedly, people tend to resist invaders and, therefore, this was a very wise decision.
One of the most effective strategies employed by Santa Cruz was his involvement in the administration. He assigned administrators and governors. More so, he never hesitated and fired those he suspected of being corrupted.2 He also took active part in managing the confederation. Thus, he developed a specific route to travel and check on the situation in different parts of the confederation.
That was a very effective measure as such an inspiring leader could meet many people.3 Clearly, Santa Cruz managed to inspire those who trusted him. He could also make sure his strategies work in different places. He could also meet people from different backgrounds to address needs of different groups of population.
Furthermore, Santa Cruz paid a lot of attention to development of armed forces. Thus, he welcomed creation of the National Guard as he thought that such forces were an illustration of “patriotism and pride in the rule of the law”.4 Santa Cruz made sure the army got enough funding. Moreover, he paid a lot of attention to education in the army.
The art of war was one of the disciplines, which higher ranks as well as soldiers tried to master. Admittedly, this specific attention to the army was also an effective strategy as any state needs a strong army that is loyal to the existing regime.
Finally, Santa Cruz also paid attention to development of education. He knew that the confederation needed well-educated professionals who could contribute to development of the country’s economy.5 Santa Cruz introduced programs for different people who could go to European educational establishments. He also invited many talented educators, healthcare professionals form different countries.
Santa Cruz allocated a lot of funds in education infrastructure. Schools as well as higher educational establishments were built for boys and girls.6 Of course, this positively affected the development of the confederation as education is the basis for the country’s prosperity.
To sum up, Santa Cruz was a very inspiring and thoughtful leader who did a lot for Peru and Bolivia. He sought for creation of the confederation which could have prosper and develop. He paid attention to such important spheres as administration, armed forces and education. All his incentives were effective and the confederation could have become strong if there had not been interference from the outside.
Perea, Natalia Sobrevilla. The Caudillo of the Andes: Andrés de Santa Cruz. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
1. Natalia Sobrevilla Perea, The Caudillo of the Andes: Andrés de Santa Cruz (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 115.
2. Ibid, 119.
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3. Ibid., 119.
4. Natalia Sobrevilla Perea, The Caudillo of the Andes: Andrés de Santa Cruz (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 117.
5. Ibid, 120.
6. Ibid, 120.