This animated map (click to animate) shows the progress of the independence movements in South America. In a few short years, Spain lost all of its colonies there with just a few small exceptions.
Red: Royalist reaction
Blue: Under the control of separatists
Dark blue: Spain during the French invasions
Green: Spain during the liberal revolt
Guerra independencia hispanoamericana, 2007, author: Resvoluci; image source: Wikimedia Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Independencia.gif, public domain.