The first decisive attempt by a Spanish American colony to gain
independence from Spain was made by Venezuela. In 1808 the armies
of French emperor Napoleon I overran Spain and Portugal. They deposed
Ferdinand VII of Spain.
In 1810 the Creoles in the cabildo, or town council, of Caracas
overthrew the Spanish authorities and formed a junta, or governing
body, to rule in the name of the king. However, the junta soon threw
aside all pretense of loyalty to the Spanish crown and issued a
formal declaration of independence on July 5, 1811.
The dominant influence on the culture of Venezuela was that of the
The Native Americans of the country, lacking any political or cultural
unity of their own, were assimilated by the immigrant groups and
had only a slight influence on the national culture.