Why does Bolivia have two capital cities? If the Spanish colonized the Americas, they divided the continent into viceroyalties — large territories, each governed with a viceroy. Bolivia was first an element of that which was known as Viceroyalty of Alto Peru which included just what are now Peru, Bolivia, and regions of Chile.
In 1825, when Bolivia gained its independence, it had been founded being a Republic within the town of Sucre, from the central state of Chuquisaca, and Sucre was established as Bolivia’s capital.
During this period, silver and tin mining were the country’s largest industries. Tin and silver were being mined in Potosi, west of Sucre. A great number of silver mine owners lived in Sucre and lots of the tin mining families lived in La Paz, near which other tin mines were also being run. Silver had previously been mined for many centuries. Tin was actually a newer industry and 70 years later, had surpassed silver mining in terms of generating income.
Bolivia experienced a lot of upheaval during its first decades to be a sovereign nation. In 1899 Bolivia’s Liberal Party and Conservative Party clashed in the struggle for political power. Sucre’s silver owners and enormous landowners supported the conservatives. Tin mine owners threw their support behind the Liberal Party. The Liberals overthrew the Conservatives and immediately bid to relocate the country’s seat of government to La Paz.
Finally, an understanding was reached. La Paz became the seat of the executive and legislative branches of the Bolivian government as well as the judicial branch remained in Sucre. Today Sucre remains as the one and only bolivia capital, per the Bolivian constitution. However, La Paz may also be erroneously known as the administrative (or de facto) capital.
Should you read Bolivia’s constitution you’ll see the only capital of Bolivia is Sucre and La Paz is considered simply the seat of two branches of Bolivia’s government. However, the federal government employs huge amounts of people and of these two cities, La Paz benefits most out of this when it comes to wealth, infrastructure, city maintenance and beautification, and also international publicity, events, and tourism.
Since 2005, there has been a movement to return the 3 branches of government to Sucre. There have even been several violent confrontations and protests in regards to this matter over the last year or two. Since Evo Morales became president in 2005 the country’s West and East have been more ideologically and politically divided than before and also the citizens of Sucre (often known as Sucrenses) proposed reinstating Sucre (which is located in Bolivia’s geographic center and possesses fewer than 300,000 residents) as Bolivia’s capital as a way to provide some balance. This might also do much for Sucre’s economy but the people of La Paz, whose economy would greatly suffer if the happened, are naturally in opposition to this.
In September of 2008 a huge number of Sucrenses participated in protests and manifestations. The government accused them of promoting division and separatism in the united states. Over 2 million people from La Paz and El Alto marched in protest against this. Sucrenses were called enemies in the state.