Why does Bolivia have two capitals

Bolivia, a country in South Central America, is one of the very few nations in the world with two capital cities: Sucre and La Paz. Sucre is the constitutional capital which deals with the judicial aspects while La Paz deals with the administration, a place where the president and the congress are stationed.

There is a reason as to why the country has two capitals. During the time the Spanish turned the Americas into colonies in 1524, they spilt it into viceroyalties or large territories, each of which was administered by a viceroy. To begin with, Bolivia was a part of the Viceroyalty of Alto Peru, which had three parts, Bolivia, Peru and some areas of Chile.

When Bolivia achieved its independence in 1825, Sucre became its capital. At this time, the largest industries in the county were tin-mining and silver. They were mined in Potosi, a city to the western part of Sucre. Now, a lot of silver miners and their owners lived in Sucre while La Paz was home to many tin mining families. In La Paz, there were other people tin mines also operating prosperously. As times went by, the relatively new tin industry began to surpass silver and by the next seventy year, it turned out to be the biggest source of revenue produce for the country.

During its first few years as a sovereign nation, Bolivia experienced a lot of turmoil. In 1899, there was a fight for political power between the Conservative Party and Liberal Party. The conservatives were backed by the silver owners and affluent landowners while the tin mine owners rallied behind the Liberal Party. When the results were announced, the Liberal Party defeated the Conservative Party and right away put in a formal proposal to move Bolivia’s seat of governance to La Paz. This was opposed by Sucre and there was a wide-spread debate in the country.

Why does Bolivia have two capitals

Finally, a pact was formed in which it was announced that the judicial branch would remain with Sucre and La Paz would become the center for Bolivia’s legislative and executive branches. So now, we have Sucre as the constitutional capital and La Paz as the de factor, administrative capital of Bolivia.