Why did Greater Colombia Collapse?


in this article we will talk about that why did Greater Colombia Collapse? numerous countries unions and sovereign states have risen and fallen over the many years of our history one of these collapsed states is known by the name of grand colombia or greater colombia and lasted from 1819 to only 1831.mgrand columbia which was at that time known simply as colombia was made up of today’s republic of colombia ecuador panama and venezuela.

Why did Greater Colombia Collapse

in addition to also including bits of both peru and brazil when the state existed it was widely respected and viewed as one of if not the most important and esteemed nations in the spanish americas the u.s secretary of state at the time of grand columbia’s birth which was then john quincy adams even considered the state to be one of the most powerful countries across the globe.

the positive view of grand colombia from the neighboring america international recognition was not easy to gain from the european world for one there was disagreement between the leadership in grand columbia and some european states as to how much territory the former technically had authority over specifically france russia and austria were unwilling to acknowledge the new nation’s independent existence unless it along with any other country hoping for the same recognition in the americas was willing to accept a monarch from a european dynasty.

nonetheless grand colombia was formally proclaimed with the fundamental law of republic of colombia which came from the congress of angostura in 1819. in 1821 the congress of kukuta promulgated the constitution of kukuta and officially established the new sovereign state problems unfortunately arose fairly quickly within grand colombia though as the nation was split between those who favored a strong centralized government meanwhile the rest preferred the idea of a decentralized federal government similar to what can be seen.

in the united states furthermore some of the population that was against a centralized powerful presidency went so far as to pushing for the brand new state to split up into multiple smaller republics putting themselves into direct opposition to those who wanted to strengthen the presidency even more as well as another faction which was the only one of the three to support the current constitution of kokuta contemporarily the government of grand colombia was governed by the very constitution that some of its citizens opposed and simon bolivar had been named president with francisco de paula santander.

as his vice president the president was essentially the head of the central and local executive branches and the vice president existed in case the president were to be absent impeached fall ill or die within the local branches of government the country was divided into twelve departments who were each headed by an intendent and those departments were divided further into 36 provinces which were subsequently overseen by a governor whose power overlapped with the relevant intended each intended and governor were hand picked by the central government.

which itself consisted of the president vp a bicameral congress and a high court the election of president and vp was done through indirect elections as well though the government was fairly stable putting aside the political division of course one major mistake that grand colombia may have made was its decisions to become quickly involved in the fight for freedom from the spanish of the surrounding provinces venezuela panama pasto quito and other spanish-american states were assisted by grand colombia and most ended up joining the federation between 1821 to 1822 and peru became the next neighbor to gain independence from spain.

in 1824 thanks to aid from grand colombia as political unrest within the new state had been put aside and bolivar and santander had proved themselves to be heroes for spanish america the duo was re-elected in 1826. regardless of the temporary unity against the spanish the federalist and regionalist factions within grand colombia were nowhere near non-existent as the war against spain ended the political discord was reinvigorated furthermore economic and commercial disagreements began to develop from pre-existing tensions.

The Greater Colombia Collapse


the region of modern day’s ecuador in particular had significant economic concerns that had been prevalent since the 18th century when their textile industry had been negatively impacted by competing cheaper textile imports while grand colombia had decided to adopt a low tariff approach to help regions such as today’s venezuela with the agricultural industry president bolivar was too preoccupied with defeating the royalists in peru then helping the struggling ecuador region ecuador also had political grievances being vastly unrepresented by the government.

which at a local level was generally made up of venezuelans and new granitins thankfully for bolivar despite these problems never being fixed ecuador was never really a culprit for the anti-central government movements instead and somewhat surprisingly venezuela was one of the main instigators of this sentiment and jose antonio paez who had previously fought against the spanish monarchy for president bolivar was now the commandant general of the department of venezuela and served as a leader in the movement against the central government by 1826.

the congress grew weary of piuz’s new stance and began the process of impeaching him in a clear statement of defiance he first stepped down from his position but only two days later he decided to reassume the role with the support of the local people who also opposed the central government to make matters worse for the president and his administration ahunta pledged their support for paez and his movement president bolivar attempted to counteract.

this push against him and his government by promoting a new constitution that he’d written for bolivia but for the most part his tactic backfired and he either faced indifference or aggressive opposition from many groups and most remarkably from his own vice president santander this situation escalated and two assemblies ended up meeting in venezuela to consider the possibility of independence or other alternatives they may have for their future in terms of independence from grand colombia no decision was yet made but the thought was not forgotten armed conflict.


even broke out at one point in different regions of venezuela as the supporters of the president clashed with pisa’s followers the discord continued until president bolivar offered amnesty and a promise that a new constituent assembly would be convened to discuss the concerns of his venezuelan adversaries piez agreed to the deal and finally recognized the authority of the president reforms were made but not to the satisfaction of his supporters which would significantly harm.

the unity of grand colombia in the long run in fact this was around the time that the federation truly began to crumble doomed from the start by political disunity and a poor governmental structure in the eyes of many grand colombia started its descent into abolition around 1828 this year a new constituent assembly known as the convention of orcanya began to discuss the union’s future president bolivar tried to push his bolivian constituents yet again hoping to base.

a new grand colombian constitution on his work but still he did not find many who were in agreement with this idea a new federalist constitution was instead proposed but those in favor of the president were in such disagreement that they not only refused to sign this constitution but they even went as far as flatly walking out of the deliberations this essentially ended the convention and put president bolivar.

in a precarious position in desperate need to restabilize his nation in a disastrous blunder on his part bolivar tried to prevent the union from falling apart which he felt vice president francisco de paula santander jose maria obando and jose antonio paez were going to bring about by centralizing his own constitutional powers even further he failed in every way possible and the nation was on an undeniable path toward dissolution in 1830 bolivar resigned in shame knowing that there was nothing more he could do the political conflict only worsened after his exit and finally in 1831.

the federation of grand colombia was completely abolished in its place the republics of venezuela ecuador and new grenada were birthed although the republic of new grenada would later become the grenadine confederation in 1858 and later the united states of colombia in 1863. finally in 1886 the modern day name the republic of colombia was adopted panama then remained a department of the republic of colombia.

after choosing to join grand colombia back in its prime until 1903 when it gained independence in large part due to pressure from the u.s this essentially was the final end of all that remained from the federation grand colombia was set up for failure from the moment it came into existence the political discord was strong from the start and not enough was ever done in an attempt to quell the growing disdain for the opposing sides.


additionally the young nation’s president and vice president being at odds only exacerbated the problems and gave more credibility to both stances as well as never being able to resolve the disunity themselves while john quincy adams saw grand colombia as a powerful and respectable nation in reality it was merely a temporary federation that spent most of its existence barely holding itself together.

Read More:: History of Great Colombia | The History of Colombian


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