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|Thousand Days' War|
|Part of the Colombian Civil Wars|
Government soldiers at a banquet, 1899.
|Commanders and leaders|
Guillermo Quintero Calderón
José Domingo Ospina Camacho
Roberto Urdaneta Gómez
Alfredo Vásquez Cobo
Víctor Manuel Salazar
luis morales berti
| 5,000 (1899)|
| 15,000 (1899)|
|Casualties and losses|
|History of Colombia|
| Colombiaportal |
The Thousand Days' War (Spanish : Guerra de los Mil Días) was a civil war fought in Colombia from 17 October 1899 to 21 November 1902, at first between the Liberal Party and the government led by the National Party, and later – after the Conservative Party had ousted the National Party – between the liberals and the conservative government. Caused by the longstanding ideological tug-of-war of federalism versus centralism between the liberals, conservatives, and nationalists of Colombia following the implementation of the Constitution of 1886 and the political process known as the Regeneración (es), tensions ran high after the presidential election of 1898, and on 17 October 1899, official insurrection against the national government was announced by members of the Liberal Party in the Department of Santander. Hostilities did not begin until the 11th of November, when liberal factions attempted to take over the city of Bucaramanga, leading to active warfare. It would end three years later with the signing of the Treaty of Neerlandia and the Treaty of Wisconsin. The war resulted in a Conservative victory, and ensured the continued dominance of the Conservative Party in Colombian politics for another 28 years. Colombia's political structure as a unitary state has not been challenged since.
As an international conflict, the war extended into Ecuadorian and Venezuelan territories. Conservative and liberal factions of those two countries, as well as of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, backed their respective parties within Colombia. American interests in the Panama Isthmus led to an American intervention and naval deployment in Panama (then part of Colombia) under the guise of upholding the Mallarino–Bidlack Treaty.
With an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 fatalities, about 2.5 percent of the nation's population at that time, the conflict was the deadliest and most destructive war in the history of Colombia. It led to severe economic, political, and social repercussions for the country, including a partial collapse of the nation's economy, continued governmental instability, and the eventual loss of the Department of Panama as an incorporated territory of the republic in 1903.
Throughout the 19th century, Colombia was a politically unstable country. Different political forces – largely coalesced into conservatives and liberals – pushed for a unitary state on one side versus a federalized state on the other. Following the Civil War 1885, when radical factions of the Liberal Party rebelled but ultimately failed against the administration of Rafael Nuñez – a moderate liberal who had the backing of the Conservative Party – the federalized Constitution of Rionegro of 1863 was replaced by the Constitution of 1886, thus beginning a centralist political process known as the Regeneración.
The Regeneración brought relative peace to Colombia, but ultimately failed to resolve the internal political and economic disputes between the disparate departments of the country. Continued tensions, coupled with a power vacuum left by President Manuel Antonio Sanclemente's inability to lead his office due to illness, eventually boiled over once more, leading to open insurrection and active warfare. On 17 October 1899, official insurrection against the National government was announced by members of the Liberal Party in the Department of Santander, and hostilities began in earnest on 11 November with the Battle of Bucaramanga.
The intended date for the beginning of the civil war was October 20, 1899. However, due to the imprudence of some of the Liberal generals, especially Paolo Emilio Villar,who wished to begin the war on October 17, it was changed. The reaction of many Liberals was hesitant, since they believed that they did not have sufficient numbers or organization. Despite this, the rebellion began in the municipality of Socorro, Santander, and the rebels awaited military reinforcements from Venezuela.
The Conservative government, however, was not idle while this was occurring. They prepared a military force to be sent to Bucaramanga, the capital of Santander. The force never arrived, however, because the troops refused to accept payment by "tickets", which the government had to use due to the dire economic situation. No one expected, or was prepared for, a war that would last three years and would result in disaster to the country. With time, the war spread to every part of Colombia.
The first Liberal defeats came early during the war, with the Conservative victory at the Battle of Magdalena River on October 24. However, the Conservatives were in a delicate situation as well. The Conservatives had split into two factions, the Historical and National, in a frenetic attempt to bring order to the country. First, they dismissed President Sanclemente and replaced him with Jose Manuel Marroquin. In response, the Liberals nominated Gabriel Vargas Santos for the presidency.
The battles of Peralonso and Palonegro (in Santander) caused substantial damage. At Peralonso, the Liberals achieved victory by the direction of Rafael Uribe Uribe. At Palonegro (May 26, 1900) the Conservatives halted the enemy in what was an extraordinarily bloody encounter.
After Palonegro, the Liberals were divided into two different factions, this time pacifists and the warmongers. The Nationals of the Conservatives believed it was time to end the war, which by this time was mainly in the province of Panama and on the coast of the Caribbean Sea.
With that decision, internationalization of the war was avoided, though internationalization was promoted by Venezuelan president Cipriano Castro (who recognized Uribe Uribe as President of Colombia). Conservative troops commanded by Marroquín managed to reduce Venezuelan aid to the Liberals on 29 July 1901 during the Battle of San Cristóbal, who at this time were suffering defeats by the Conservative General Juan B. Tovar.
President Castro of Venezuela was the driving force of the war in late-1901, eventually pushing its continuation into 1902.In September 1901, Castro deployed 1,200 Venezuelan troops along with canons, rifles and a machine gun into Colombia, with Venezuelans comprising a large portion of Liberal troops in border area. During the Battle of Riohacha, Castro sent a gunboat to block Conservative reinforcements from entering the city's harbor and order Venezuelan general José Antonio Dávila to manage Venezuelan troops alongside the Liberals. Errors by Venezuelan forces resulted with Colombian reinforcements landing near Riohacha and countering the joint Liberal-Venezuelan forces, resulting in a mass retreat and a victory for the Colombian army.
Eventually, General Uribe saw that the Liberals would not be able to defeat the Conservatives, and therefore was inclined to surrender, albeit with certain conditions.
The first peace treaty, which formalized the cessation of hostilities, was signed on the plantation Neerlandia on October 24, 1902; the fighting had ended by the mid-point of that year in Panama. From late 1901, fighting occurred between the ships Admiral Padilla (Liberal) and the Lautaro (Chilean property, lent to the conservatives), which was defeated by the former in front of the City of Panama on January 20, 1902.
Later the threat was from the American navy, sent by the government of Theodore Roosevelt to protect the United States' future interests in the construction of the Panama Canal. The Liberals, commanded by General Benjamin Herrera, were then forced to surrender. The subsequent assassination of Victoriano Lorenzo is understood among indigenous Panamanians as the loss of their struggle for land rights.
The definitive peace treaty was signed on the American battleship Wisconsin on November 21, 1902. The Liberals were represented by General Lucas Caballero Barrera, who was in charge of the united army of Cauca and Panama, and Colonel Eusebio A. Morales, who was representing General Benjamin Herrera. The Conservatives were represented by General Víctor M. Salazar, governor of the Department of Panama, and General Alfredo Vázquez Cobo, Chief of Staff of the Conservative army on the Atlantic Coast, the Pacific, and Panama. Together, representing the entire government, they signed the end of the war.
The history of Colombia includes the settlements and society by indigenous peoples, most notably, the Muisca Confederation, Quimbaya Civilization, and Tairona Chiefdoms; the Spanish arrived in 1492 and initiated a period of annexation and colonization, most noteworthy being Spanish conquest; ultimately creating the Viceroyalty of New Granada, with its capital at Bogotá. Independence from Spain was won in 1819, but by 1830 the "Gran Colombia" Federation was dissolved. What is now Colombia and Panama emerged as the Republic of New Granada. The new nation experimented with federalism as the Granadine Confederation (1858), and then the United States of Colombia (1863), before the Republic of Colombia was finally declared in 1886; as well as constant political violence in the country. Panama seceded in 1903. Since the 1960s, the country has suffered from an asymmetric low-intensity armed conflict, which escalated in the 1990s, but then decreased from 2005 onward. The legacy of Colombia's history has resulted in a rich cultural heritage; while varied geography, and the imposing landscape of the country has resulted in the development of very strong regional identities.
Rafael Wenceslao Núñez Moledo was a Colombian author, lawyer, journalist and politician, who was elected president of Colombia in 1880 and in 1884. Núñez was the leader of the so-called "Regeneration" process which produced the Colombian Constitution of 1886 which was to remain until 1991.
Bucaramanga is the capital and largest city of the department of Santander, Colombia. Bucaramanga has the fifth-largest economy by GDP in Colombia, has the lowest unemployment rate and has the ninth-largest population in the country, with 581,130 people. Bucaramanga has over 160 parks scattered throughout the city and has been given the nickname "La Ciudad de Los Parques" and "La Ciudad Bonita de Colombia".
Enrique Alfredo Olaya Herrera was a Colombian journalist and politician, President of Colombia from August 7, 1930 until August 7, 1934 representing the Colombian Liberal Party.
Luis Carlos Galán Sarmiento was a Colombian liberal politician and journalist who ran for the Presidency of Colombia on two occasions, the first time for the political movement New Liberalism that he founded in 1979. The movement was an offspring of the mainstream Colombian Liberal Party, and with mediation of former Liberal president Julio César Turbay Ayala, Galán returned to the Liberal party in 1989 and sought the nomination for the 1990 presidential election, but was assassinated before the vote took place.
The Colombian Conservative Party is a conservative political party in Colombia. The party was formally established in 1849 by Mariano Ospina Rodríguez and José Eusebio Caro.
The Battle of Palonegro was a battle in the Santander Department of Colombia, than lasted from May 11—26, 1900, in the early days of the Thousand Days War. The commanding general of the Liberal armies, Gabriel Vargas Santos, ordered his troops to retire to Palonegro, near the city of Bucaramanga in the Santander Department of Colombia. After the battle, the war escalated, and became one of the most brutal conflicts in early 20th century South America.
Rafael Reyes Prieto was a Colombian politician and soldier who was the Chief of Staff of the Colombian National Army and President of Colombia (1904–1909).
Gran Colombia, or Greater Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia, was a state that encompassed much of northern South America and part of southern Central America from 1819 to 1831. It included present-day Colombia, mainland Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela, along with parts of northern Peru and northwestern Brazil. The terms Gran Colombia and Greater Colombia are used historiographically to distinguish it from the current Republic of Colombia, which is also the official name of the former state.
The constitutional history of Colombia is the process of formation and evolution of the different constitutions that Colombia has had since its formation.
Manuel Fernando Serrano Uribe was a Neogranadine statesman, lawyer, and officer who became Governor of the Province of Pamplona and wrote its Constitution in 1815. He also served as the last President of the United Provinces of the New Granada before its dissolution and complete Reconquista.
Guerrilla movements in Colombia refers to the origins, development and actions of guerrilla movements in the Republic of Colombia. In the context of the ongoing Colombian conflict, the term 'guerrilla' is used to refer to left-wing movements, as opposed to right-wing paramilitaries.
Rafael Victor Zenón Uribe Uribe was a Colombian lawyer, journalist, and general in the liberal party rebel army.
The Battle of the Magdalena River, also known as the Battle of Los Obispos or the Battle of Gamarra, was the first major battle of the Thousand Days' War. It took place on the Magdalena River on 24 October 1899, near the town of Gamarra, Magdalena, Colombia. The Liberal Party rebelled against the Conservative government of Manuel Antonio Sanclemente on 17 October 1899 and attempted to seize the Magdalena River in a bid to sever riverine transportation to Bogotá. A rebel flotilla composed of converted passenger steamships and a dredge temporarily impeded Conservative advances down the river, but on the night of 24 October two Conservative gunboats under General Diego de Castro destroyed the rebel flotilla.
The Battle of Bucaramanga was a battle in the Santander Campaign of the Thousand Days' War in Colombia. It took place between 11 and 13 November 1899. After an earlier defeat in a naval engagement on the Magdalena River, the Liberal rebels skirmished with the Conservative government around Piedecuesta in late October. The Conservative forces under General Juan B. Tovar conducted a fighting retreat to Bucaramanga.
The Battle of Peralonso, also known as the Battle of La Amarilla or the Battle of La Laja, was a major battle in the Santander Campaign of the Thousand Days' War in Colombia. It was fought between the Conservative government and the Liberal rebels between 15 and 16 December 1899, ending in an important Liberal victory. The Liberal rebels had suffered a series of major defeats culminating in the failed attack on Bucaramanga on 13 November. Afterward, the Liberal forces splintered into three autonomous forces, led by Rafael Uribe Uribe, Benjamín Herrera, and Justo L. Durán, but they first regrouped in Cúcuta. The autonomous rebel armies shifted to new positions on and around the heights of Cerro Tasajero, north of Cúcuta and close to the border with Venezuela.
The Colombian Civil War of 1895 was a conflict that took place in the Republic of Colombia in the late nineteenth century, then formed by the current countries of Colombia and Panama.
The Regeneration was a political movement that emerged in Colombia in the late second half of the 19th century, led by Rafael Núñez. Its goal was to reverse the social and legal implications of the Radical Olympus era of the 1863 Constitution of Rionegro which established the United States of Colombia, made the country a federal republic and enforced the separation of church and state. The motto of Regeneration was "one nation, one goal, one god".
The 1900 Colombian coup d'état occurred on 31 July of that year, and consisted of the peaceful seizure of power by Vice President José Manuel Marroquín, who, supported by the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party, overthrew Manuel Antonio Sanclemente, member of the National Party. The coup occurred in the context of the Thousand Days' War, and took advantage of President Sanclemente's delicate state of health, advanced age, and unpopularity.