Greater Colombia

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República de Colombia
Republic of Colombia
1819 / 23-1830
Flag of Colombia
Colombia coat of arms
flag coat of arms
Official language Spanish
Capital Bogotá
Form of government Presidential Republic
Head of state , also head of government President Simón Bolívar (1819–1830)
President Domingo Caycedo (1830)
President Joaquín Mosquera (1830–1831)
President Domingo Caycedo (1831)
surface 2,172,609 (1825) km²
population 2,469,000 (1825)
Population density 1.1 inhabitants per km²
currency Piasters
independence December 17, 1819
Location GranColombia.png

Greater Colombia is a historical state structure that comprised the current states of Colombia , Ecuador , Panama and Venezuela as well as parts of Peru and Guyana and existed from 1819/23 to 1830. The official name of the state was República de Colombia , the designation "Greater Colombia" was introduced by historians to distinguish the republic at that time from the state that was established in 1830 and has been called Colombia since 1861.


In the course of the South American Wars of Independence , Venezuela and the First Republic of Colombia declared their independence on the soil of the Spanish viceroyalty of New Granada in 1810, but were again conquered by Spain by 1816 . By 1819, the rebels under Simón Bolívar were so successful again that a congress in Angostura (today Ciudad Bolívar in Venezuela) could be convened, on December 17th the union of the provinces of New Granada (today's Colombia and Panama) and Venezuela "bajo el título glorioso de República de Colombia ”( under the glorious name Republic of Colombia , after Christopher Columbus ).

In 1821 the Angostura Congress appointed Bolívar President and Francisco de Paula Santander Vice President. On May 24, 1822, the province of Quito joined, today's Ecuador including parts of Peru.

Bolívar's main goal remained the liberation of all of South America from Spain . For this purpose he marched into the viceroyalty of Peru in 1823 , where he waged war until 1826. Meanwhile, Santander took over the official business in Greater Colombia. Bolívar was dictator of Peru during the war, the previous Upper Peru named itself Bolivia in his honor after independence . The unification of the two countries with Greater Colombia under his leadership ( Pan-Americanism ), which he had planned, failed.

In Greater Colombia, too, the nationalist aspirations of the provinces increased. This led to Greater Colombia disintegrating shortly after Bolívar's death in 1830. Successor states were Venezuela , Ecuador and the Republic of New Granada (from 1861 Colombia ). Today's Panama declared itself briefly independent on September 26, 1830, but became a province of New Granada again on December 11. It was not until 1903 that it finally split off from Colombia under US pressure. The USA wanted to have territorial rights in the later Panama Canal zone to better control the Panama Canal , which Colombia had refused.

Territory and population

In addition to today's states of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama, Greater Colombia also claimed large areas that today belong to other states. The border with Peru was formed by the Marañón and the Amazon , in 1941 this region was finally ceded by Ecuador to Peru. In today's Guyana , Greater Colombia claimed the area west of the Essequibo , this claim was only given up by Venezuela in 1899 after an arbitration award. The border with Brazil was regulated in several border treaties between Brazil and Venezuela and Colombia between 1859 and 1907. Before that, there were claims to the western part of today's Roraima and to areas in the north of the Brazilian state of Amazonas .

Greater Colombia was only sparsely populated. According to estimates, around 1800 there were around 450,000 people in the province of Quito (Ecuador), 800,000 in New Granada, 60,000 of them in Panama today, and over 700,000 in Venezuela, a total of around 2 million. A first census in 1825 after the founding of the republic showed a total population of 2,361,112 people. At that time Caracas had 31,721 inhabitants, Cartagena de Indias around 12,000 to 15,000, Panama 7,587, Bogotá 18,161 and Quito 23,727.

Flags of the successor states

The former togetherness can largely be seen in the flags of the successor states of Greater Colombia.

Country location flag Remarks
Venezuela Venezuela in its region.svg Flag of Venezuela.svg The flag of Venezuela, which was first flown by Francisco de Miranda in 1806 , showed seven stars from 1817, then eight. While the flag of Greater Colombia and then the flag of Venezuela (from 1830) initially showed no stars, seven stars were shown on the flag from 1859, their representation varied until the final legal stipulation in 1954.
Colombia LocationColombia.svg Flag of Colombia.svg The flag of Colombia consists of three horizontal stripes and was adopted in 1861. The pattern of the flag was designed by Francisco de Miranda for Venezuela and later used for the Greater Colombia created by Simón Bolívar
Ecuador Ecuador in its region.svg Flag of Ecuador.svg On the flag of Ecuador , the top stripe is twice as high as each of the bottom two. In addition, the national coat of arms is shown on the national flag to differentiate.
Panama LocationPanama.svg Flag of Panama (Bunau-Varilla proposal) .svg The design for the flag of Panama differs considerably from the national flag used today.


  • Handbook of the History of Latin America , Volume 2, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-608-91496-X
  • Michael Zeuske: From Bolívar to Chávez , Rotpunktverlag, Zurich 2008, ISBN 978-3-85869-313-6
  • Ploetz, Great Illustrated World History, Volume 6

Web links

Commons : Greater Colombia  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Brockhaus 1911
  2. Handbook of the History of Latin America
  3. El Sitio de Morillo cumple 200 años (quoted estimates by Rodolfo Segovia). In: El Universal , August 13, 2015, accessed March 10, 2017.