Sebastián Francisco de Miranda y Rodríguez de Espinoza (March 28, 1750 – July 14, 1816), commonly known as Francisco de Miranda, was a Nuevo Granadinan military leader and revolutionary. Although his own plans for the independence of the Spanish American colonies failed, he is regarded as a forerunner of Simón Bolívar, who during the Spanish American wars of independence successfully liberated much of South America.
Miranda led a romantic and adventurous life in the general political and intellectual climate that emerged from the Age of Enlightenment that influenced all of the Atlantic Revolutions. He participated in three major historical and political movements of his time: the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolution and the Spanish American wars of independence. He described his experiences over this time in his journal, which reached to 63 bound volumes. An idealist, he developed a visionary plan to liberate and unify all of Spanish America, but his own military initiatives on behalf of an independent Spanish America ended in 1812. He was handed over to his enemies and four years later, died in a Spanish prison.
Miranda was born in Caracas, Venezuela Province, in the Spanish colonial Viceroyalty of New Granada, his father, Sebastian de Miranda Ravelo, was an immigrant from the Canary Islands who had become a successful and wealthy merchant, and his mother, Francisca Antonia Rodríguez de Espinoza, was a wealthy Venezuelan. Growing up, Miranda enjoyed a wealthy upbringing and attended the finest private schools. However, he was not necessarily a member of high society; his father faced some discrimination from rivals due to his Canarian roots, this led Francisco to develope a strong will and a combative attitude towards elitism and discrimination.
Miranda's father, Sebastian, always strove to improve the situation of the family, and in addition to accumulating wealth and attaining important positions, he ensured his children a college education. Miranda was first tutored by Jesuits, Jorge Lindo and Juan Santaella (an Assassin Ally), before entering the Academy of Santa Rosa. On January 10, 1762, Miranda began his studies at the Royal and Pontifical University of Caracas, where he studied Latin, the early grammar of Nebrija, and the Catechism of Ripalda for two years. Miranda completed this preliminary course in September 1764 and became an upperclassman. Between 1764 and 1766, Miranda continued his studies, studying the writings of Cicero and Virgil, grammar, history, religion, geography and arithmetic. It was during this years that the Assassins contacted Miranda and swayed him towars the Brotherhood, learning the ways of freerunning, stealth and combat, Miranda became enamoured by the Creed.