Independence of Colombia
Political and military process that liberated the Colombian territory from Spanish rule. In this article we will present the facts When did Colombia gain independence?
The Independence of Colombia includes the political and military process, which occurred between 1810 and 1819, which liberated the territory of present-day Colombia from Spanish rule.
After the emergence of liberating ideas in Europe, the independence movements in America and the Napoleonic invasions in Spain , an ideal moment was created to carry out this process in the then so-called viceroyalty of New Granada .
Although 3 periods are distinguished, the war phase that defined the liberation of Colombia took place between July 20, 1810, when the Act of Independence was signed, and 1819, when the military process of emancipation ended.
On August 10, 1819, Simón Bolívar arrived in the current city of Bogotá and took control of it. From that moment on, the viceroyalty of New Granada was renamed the Republic of Colombia, together with the territories of Ecuador and Venezuela.
This imposing State was given the name of ” Gran Colombia “ which would later dissolve in 1830 and give rise to three separate countries.
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Causes and consequences
Among the main causes of the independence of Colombia we can highlight:
- The ideals of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution , of freedom and equality for all individuals, which had spread throughout the American continent, leading its inhabitants to begin a process of revolution in the metropolises.
- The Independence of the United States , which represented the victory of an independence movement over a European power, which served as motivation not only for Colombia, but also for the rest of the American continent.
- The Board of Quito was established , beginning a process of independence in said city and establishing limits with the viceroyalties of New Granada and Peru.
- Napoleon’s invasions in Spain, which weakened the power of King Ferdinand VII and led to the American colonies organizing themselves politically and militarily, to carry out a process of independence.
- The discontent of the inhabitants of the Colombian colonies, due to the increase in taxes and the political and social mismanagement of the viceroyalty authorities. This caused internal revolutions, such as the “commune revolution” , derived from the differences between the Spanish and the rest of the population.
The main consequences of the Independence of Colombia were the following:
- Political instability . The independents had to form a completely new government, which caused some disputes between liberals and conservatives, and led to a period of civil revolutions .
- Slavery was abolished along with several demonstrations against discrimination and new state policies, with liberal ideas.
- The first constitutions and laws were created for a completely renewed nation.
- There was a decrease in taxes and tributes , for example to the Catholic Church .
- There were big changes in international trade and economic activities , for example in mining and agriculture.
- In 1830 “Gran Colombia” was dissolved and the independent nations of Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia were formed.
Stages of the Independence of Colombia
We can differentiate 3 stages during the process of the Independence of Colombia: gestation, armed struggle and consolidation.
This stage is understood between 1793 and 1809 , when the first attempts to consolidate an independence of the Spanish metropolis began.
The so-called insurrection of the comuneros stands out from this period , whose beginnings date back to 1781, which began in the current department of Santander and spread through many towns in Gran Colombia.
During this period a rebellion also occurred on the part of the American or Creole Spaniards , who demanded their equality with the peninsular Spaniards. This was drawn up in 1809 in a document called a “grievance memorial . “
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Stage of armed struggle
This stage, which occurred between 1810 and 1819, includes the period when the war for the Independence of Colombia took place.
The initial event was the revolt of July 20, 1810, by Llorente’s vase, which served as an excuse and trigger for the people’s insurrection against the Spanish. That same day the so-called “cry of independence” took place to overthrow the Spanish viceroy Antonio Amar y Borbón and form a provisional government junta.
There, a period of harsh armed conflicts began throughout the territory , among which the following stood out:
- Battle of Cúcuta in 1813.
- Battle of Pantano de Vargas in 1819.
- Battle of Gámeza in 1819.
- Battle of Boyacá in 1819, when the troops entered Bogotá while the royalist army fled.
This last stage includes the founding of Gran Colombia , until its dissolution in 1830, when 3 departments were created.
During this time, which was characterized by certain political instability in the new nation, where there were civil unrest and disputes between liberals and conservatives, the Constitution of the Republic of Colombia was drafted and promulgated.
Main characters of the Independence of Colombia
The protagonists of the Independence of Colombia were:
- Simón Bolívar (1783 – 1830) : politician and military man from Venezuela, founder of Gran Colombia, who led the independence process throughout South America.
- Francisco de Paula y Santander (1792 – 1840) : Colombian politician and military man, who had an active participation in the process of Independence of Greater Colombia and participated in many battles against the royalists.
- Antonio Nariño (1765 – 1823) : prominent politician and military man in the Independence of Gran Colombia.
- Francisco José de Caldas (1768 – 1816) : Colombian scientist, engineer, military, journalist and scholar, considered a hero of the Independence of Colombia and a wise man for his knowledge of many disciplines.