The Bolivian Revolution
    In 1940 National Revolutionary Movement (MNR), a party composed mostly of the moderate left middle class was formed. After an attempt at a coup in 1947, the party gained a political victory in 1951 when their candidate for president, Victor Paz Estensorro, won the election. Estensorro was prevented from taking power by the military but the MNR seized power through a revolt in 1952. Despite the MNR's original moderate stances, they were forced into taking more revolutionary positions by the masses of tin miners who helped them win during the revolt. The MNR dropped literary requirements for voting and founded Comibol, a state run mining company. Peasants and the Indian masses also took advantage of revolutionary atmosphere and seized haciendas and began farming them. The government created sindicatos, groups of peasants, who were given the legal rights to the land taken over; however, many Indian communities received little or even lost land during the land redistribution process.  While the peasants became conservative after receiving land, the tin miners pushed for further reforms.  In 1964, a reorganized army overthrew the MNR.

The following are various websites dedicated to Bolivia and the Bolivian Revolution:

This site provides an over-all view of Bolivia as a country and gives background information on economy, government, geography and culture of Bolivia. The site also includes a history section, dating back to pre-Hispanic history with a large portion of the history section devoted to various stages of the revolution. It offers information on the prelude to the revolution, the Bolivian National Revolution itself and the following military rule. This site would be particularly useful for anyone who is unfamiliar with the revolution and is looking for the basic background of the revolution.

This site provides links to other sites on Bolivia including government, education, travel, history, art, etc. One part of the history section provides a summery of the history of Bolivia put out by the U.S Library of Congress, but this link was not functioning as of September, 1999. The history section also provides links to other web sites but the majority that are provided will take the reader to university web sites. This site contains links to universities with the e-mail addresses of some Bolivian historians and history professors.

This site is the media center for the University of Southern Florida at Tampa. It has an extensive collection of videos relating to Latin America, with a special concentration on recent history, social issues, and revolution. There are several videos on Latin American revolutions and some videos on Bolivia as a whole.

This site provides a list of books available through, an online bookstore. All of these books are written about Bolivia or by Bolivians. A number of the books deal with historical issues, many having to do with the revolution and the aftermath of the revolution. This site would be most useful for those who would like to do further reading on Bolivia or the revolution.

This site provides extensive articles; both published and unpublished on social revolutions around the world. A portion of this site, located at is dedicated entirely to the Bolivian revolution. It contains three articles with varying strong opinions on the revolution. This site would be useful for anyone interested in opinions or positions that have been taken by historians and political scientists on the revolution.

This document, “The Double Tragedy of Che Guevara” discusses Che and his ideology and his attempt to spark a revolution in Bolivia. It is reprinted text from a 1967 article by Raya Dunayevskaya. The original article was titled “Che Guevara, Revolutionary” and first appeared in News and Letters, November 1967.

This site contains information of Bolivia's geography, history, defense, government, people, and culture.  The Bolivian history, including the history of the Revolution, contained on this site is taken from the Library of Congress's website on Bolivian history discussed at the top of this page.  This site also plays the Bolivian National Anthem.

Questions or comments, email Jess Dance,Katie Kellett, or Dr.Marc Becker
Last Updated 10/15/99