Independence Day in Peru is held every 28 July to mark the day in 1821 that Argentine General Jose de San Martin declared Peru an independent nation.
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Like many Spanish colonies, Peru’s fight for independence began with the Napoleonic invasion of Spain which led Creoles – Spanish people born in the colonies – to fight for their own freedom between 1810 and 1821. However, Peru, which had a large conservative aristocracy, was not actually fought for by its own people, but independence was achieved by the actions of outsiders.
General Jose de San Martin of Argentina wanted to secure control of Upper Peru’s silver mines in order to insure Argentina’s independence. Because the Argentinian forces had been defeated once already, General San Martin chose to surround the Spanish there by liberating Chile, something he achieved in 1818.
A fleet was created, enabling General San Martin to occupy Pisco, a Peruvian port in 1820. When the viceroy withdrew inland, General San Martin occupied Lima and declared independence on 28 July 1821.
However, because he lacked power, General San Martin attempted to enlist the assistance of Simon Bolivar who had recently liberated South America, but was turned down as Bolivar did not want to share in leading Peru. The general withdrew and Bolivar assumed power, finally obtaining complete independence on 6 August 1824.
Independence Day in Peru begins with a speech to the nation by the president after which he raises the national flag. This is followed by a day of celebration that includes bullfights, military parades and fireworks.