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A Royalist stronghold.


As the first viceroyalty in Spanish South America, and long its political and economic center, Peru remained staunchly Royalist during the wars of Independence. Peru had seen bloody fighting just a few decades before, during the rebellion of Tupac Amaru II, and the Haitian Revolution likewise sowed dread among Peruvian elites. Viceroy Abascal y Sousa only grudgingly implemented the liberal reforms of the Spanish constitution of 1812, and succeeded in suppressing Republican armies sent from Buenos Aires through Upper Peru (present-day Bolivia). Only in 1821, after the Buenos Aires general José de San Martín marched up the Pacific coast and seized Lima, did the colony’s elites reluctantly declare independence. But fighting continued until the final defeat of the Royalist armies in 1824 at Ayacucho, 3000 meters above sea level in the Peruvian highlands.