Gran Colombia

Gran Colombia
Former South American republic (1822–30).

Formerly the Viceroyalty of New Granada, it included roughly the modern nations of Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, and Ecuador. Gran Colombia was formed in 1819 during the war for independence from Spain, with its capital at Bogotá. Revolutionary leader Simón Bolívar was its creator and first president. Gran Colombia had a vigorous existence during the war, becoming independent in 1822, but it was dissolved with the secession of Venezuela and Ecuador in 1830.

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▪ historical republic, South America
formal name  Republic of Colombia  

      short-lived republic (1819–30), formerly the Viceroyalty of New Granada (New Granada, Viceroyalty of), including roughly the modern nations of Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, and Ecuador. In the context of their war for independence from Spain, revolutionary forces in northern South America, led by Simón Bolívar (Bolívar, Simón), in 1819 laid the basis for a regular government at a congress in Angostura (now Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela). Their republic was definitely organized at the Congress of Cúcuta in 1821. Before then the government had been military and highly centralized with direct executive power exercised by regional vice presidents while President Bolívar was campaigning. It was reorganized as a centralized representative republic with its capital at Bogotá; Bolívar became president and Francisco de Paula Santander vice president. The constitution also called for a bicameral legislature elected from the three regions of the republic.

      Gran Colombia had a brief, vigorous existence during the war. Subsequent civilian and military rivalry for public office and regional jealousies led to a rebellion in Venezuela in 1826. After ruling as dictator from 1828 to 1830, Bolívar convoked a convention to frame a new constitution. It was recognized only in Nueva Granada (Colombia and Panama). Bolívar resigned and left for the northern coast, where he died, near Santa Marta, on December 17, 1830. By that time Venezuela and Ecuador had seceded from Gran Colombia. Thus the unrealistically conceived and rather unwieldy state died with its principal architect.

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Universalium. 2010.

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