The Incas are not usually associated with the history of Bolivia, but some of the higher parts of Bolivia were also once part of the Incan Empire. It is from these here that some of the indigenous people of the Andes originated from. Later, in the 16th century, Bolivia was taken over by the Spaniards and exploited for its silver that was found there, among other things. Spanish rule continued until the Bolivians followed other Latin American countries in fighting against their Spanish occupiers and for independence. Led by Simón Bolívar, they gained independence in 1825, following which the country had many years of political trouble and instability, where indigenous people were still marginalized by the higher classes. Only after the reforms of the 1950s did steps towards democracy begin to occur. Nowadays, despite the many changes in Bolivia, the native people and their cultures are now recognized more than ever as a symbol of national identity.
The history of Bolivia is a fascinating one, remains of which can be seen throughout Bolivia, through its museums, colonial buildings and ancient ruins. In the following section you’ll be able to look at Bolivian history in more detail and learn more about how it has affected Bolivian culture nowadays.