A Guide to the United States’ History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Bolivia


Bolivia declared its independence from Spain on August 6, 1825. The United States recognized the Peru-Bolivian Confederation on March 16, 1837, by the appointment of James B. Thornton as Chargé d’Affaires. Thornton was commissioned to Peru but received by the Peru-Bolivian Confederation. The Confederation dissolved in 1839, but it was not until May 30, 1848 that the United States recognized Bolivia as a separate state and established diplomatic relations by the appointment of John Appleton as Chargé d’Affaires.

Modern Flag of Bolivia


U.S. Recognition of Bolivian Independence, 1848.

Though Bolivia was indirectly recognized as part of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation from 1837 to 1839, the United States officially recognized the Republic of Bolivia on May 30, 1848, when the Department of State appointed John Appleton as Chargé d’Affaires.

Diplomatic Relations

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, 1849.

Diplomatic relations were established on January 3, 1849, when American Chargé d’Affaires John Appleton presented his credentials to the Government of the Republic of Bolivia.

Establishment of the American Legation in La Paz, 1849.

The American Legation in La Paz opened on January 3, 1849, under Chargé d’Affaires John Appleton.

Elevation of American Legation to Embassy Status, 1942.

Following a joint announcement by the Government of Bolivia and the Government of the United States on January 4, 1942, the Legation of Bolivia in the United States and the Legation of the United States in Bolivia were both raised to the rank of Embassy. The change in status became effective on March 31, 1942, when the Ambassador of Bolivia, Señor Dr. Don Luis Fernando Guachalla, presented his letters of credence to the United States Government. U.S. Ambassador Pierre de L. Boal presented his credentials to the Government of Bolivia on May 23, 1942


  • Department of State Country Fact Sheet: Bolivia
  • Department of State Country Information: Bolivia