United States of Colombia

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United States of Colombia

Estados Unidos de Colombia (Spanish)
United States of Colombia (orthographic projection).svg
Roman Catholic
Government Federal republic
Dominant-party (1863 to 1880)
Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera (first)
José María Campo Serrano (last)
8 May 1863 [1]
Currency Peso
ISO 3166 code CO
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of New Granada.svg Granadine Confederation
Colombia Flag of Colombia.svg
Panama Flag of Panama.svg
Today part ofFlag of Brazil.svg  Brazil
Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia
Flag of Panama.svg  Panama

The United States of Colombia (Spanish : Estados Unidos de Colombia) was the name adopted in 1861 [2] [3] by the Rionegro Constitution for the Granadine Confederation, after years of civil war. Colombia became a federal state itself composed of nine "sovereign states.” It comprised the present-day nations of Colombia and Panama and parts of northwestern Brazil. After several more years of intermittent civil wars, it was replaced by the more centralist Republic of Colombia in 1886, predecessor to modern Colombia.

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian is a Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

Granadine Confederation 1858-1863 federal republic in Central and South America

The Granadine Confederation was a short-lived federal republic established in 1858 as a result of a constitutional change replacing the Republic of New Granada. It consisted of the present-day nations of Colombia and Panama and parts of northwestern Brazil. In turn, the Granadine Confederation was replaced by the United States of Colombia after another constitutional change in 1863.

Colombia Country in South America

Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia, is a sovereign state largely situated in the northwest of South America, with territories in Central America. Colombia shares a border to the northwest with Panama, to the east with Venezuela and Brazil and to the south with Ecuador and Peru. It shares its maritime limits with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Colombia is a unitary, constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments, with the capital in Bogota.



The civil war of 1860-1862 resulted in the dissolution of the Granadine Confederation which had been subjected increasingly to efforts by conservatives to centralize rule over the federal states. The liberal General Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera defeated the conservative government of President Bartolomé Calvo during 1862 and was installed as new president. Much power was distributed back to the states from the government in Bogotá.

Colombian Civil War (1860–1862) 1860-1862 civil war in the Grenadine confederation

The Colombian Civil War began on May 8, 1860, and lasted until November 1862. It was an internal conflict between the newly formed conservative Granadine Confederation and a more liberal rebel force from the newly seceded region of Cauca, composed of dissatisfied politicians commanded by General Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, its former president. The Granadine Confederation, created a few years earlier in 1858 by Mariano Ospina Rodríguez, was defeated in the capital Bogotá, with Mosquera deposing the newly elected president Bartolomé Calvo on July 18, 1861. Forming a provisional government, with himself as president, Mosquera continued to pursue the conservative forces until their final defeat in 1862. The resulting formation of the new United States of Colombia would have significant cultural and economic consequences for Colombia.

States of Colombia Wikimedia list article

States of Colombia existed from February 27, 1855, in the Republic of New Granada and the Granadine Confederation, where they were called "federal states". In the United States of Colombia they were called "sovereign states".

Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera Colombian general and political figure

Tomás Cipriano Ignacio María de Mosquera-Figueroa y Arboleda-Salazar was a Colombian general and political figure. He was president of Colombia four times. The first time was as president of Republic of New Granada from 1845 to 1849. During the Colombian Civil War of 1860–1862 he led liberal forces in a civil war against conservative factions. After the liberals won, a new, federalist constitution was implemented, which established a two-year presidency, and the nation renamed the United States of Colombia. Mosquera served twice as president of the new government. From 1861 to 1862 he served in a non-elected, interim manner, while the constitution was written. From 1862 to 1864 he served in an elected manner. He had a fourth term from 1866 to 1867. Due to the liberal reforms carried out under his leadership, he is considered one of the most important persons in Colombian history of the 19th century.

Colombian Constitution of 1863

On 3 February 1863, Congress approved the name United States of Colombia for the country,[ citation needed ] and on 8 May, the Rionegro Constitution was promulgated. It established a federal system with a central presidency[ citation needed ] with a term of two years and without the possibility of immediate re-election. The president was elected by the states. On 12 May, Mosquera was chosen to be the first president.[ citation needed ]

The liberals attempted to establish the United States of Colombia with a decentralized, free market system. As with previous liberal presidencies, such as Mosquera's first two terms as president, a tough policy towards the Catholic Church was taken, much to the dismay of conservatives. Land possessed by the Church was seized and transferred to industrialists and the influence and rights of the Church was limited severely.

Colombian Liberal Party political party

The Colombian Liberal Party is a centrist and social liberal political party in Colombia. It was founded as a classical liberal party but later developed a more social-democratic tradition, joining the Socialist International in 1999.

Catholic Church Christian church led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's "oldest continuously functioning international institution", it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

During 1871, attempts at modernization and economic reform resulted in the Colombian peso being associated with the French franc as part of the international gold standard.


After several years of intermittent civil wars, during 1886 the Colombian Conservative Party directed by President Rafael Núñez proclaimed a new constitution of centralist character that abolished the United States of Colombia and created the Republic of Colombia. The conservatives immediately withdrew Colombia from the gold standard and the subsequent increase of printed currency resulted in troubling inflation.

Meanwhile, the new state would continue to be plagued by conflict between liberal and conservative factions, which eventually would result in the secession of Panama during 1903.


The nine original states that formed the confederation were:

and the territories were:

Related Research Articles

The term federalist describes several political beliefs around the world. It may also refer to the concept of parties; its members or supporters called themselves Federalists.

Colombian Conservative Party traditional political party in Colombia

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.

Reform War 1858-1861 armed conflict in Mexico

The War of Reform in Mexico, during the Second Federal Republic of Mexico, was the three-year civil war between members of the Liberal Party who had taken power in 1855 under the Plan of Ayutla, and members of the Conservative Party resisting the legitimacy of the government and its radical restructuring of Mexican laws, known as La Reforma. The War of the Reform is one of many episodes of the long struggle between Liberal and Conservative forces that dominated the country’s history in the 19th century. The Liberals wanted to eliminate the political, economic, and cultural power of the Catholic church as well as undermine the role of the Mexican Army. Both the Catholic Church and the Army were protected by corporate or institutional privileges (fueros) established in the colonial era. Liberals sought to create a modern nation-state founded on liberal principles. The Conservatives wanted a centralist government, some even a monarchy, with the Church and military keeping their traditional roles and powers, and with landed and merchant elites maintaining their dominance over the majority mixed-race and indigenous populations of Mexico.

Thousand Days War 1899–1902 civil war in Colombia

The Thousand Days' War (1899–1902), was a civil armed conflict in the Republic of Colombia, between the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party and radical factions. During 1899 the ruling conservatives were accused of maintaining power by fraudulent elections rather than democratic procedure. The situation was worsened by an economic crisis caused by decreasing international coffee prices. This mainly affected the opposition Liberal Party, which had lost power.

Republic of New Granada former republic in South America and Central America between 1831–1858

The Republic of New Granada was a centralist republic consisting primarily of present-day Colombia and Panama with smaller portions of today's Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, and Brazil. It was created after the dissolution in 1830 of Gran Colombia, with the secession of Ecuador and Venezuela and was formed by the departments of Boyaca, Cauca, Cundinamarca, Magdalena, and Istmo, all parts of the present Republic of Colombia. except Istmo, which is part of present-day Panama). In November 1831, those departments created the Republic of New Granada, but nothing was established about a flag. Old flags were confirmed provisional by the National Convention of 17 December 1831. However, it is not clear what flag it was: Restrepo believes that it is the flag with two cornucopias of Gran Colombia. While new flags were discussed, some proposals were issued. On 9 May 1834, the national flag was adopted and was used until 26 November 1861, with the Gran Colombian colors in Veles' arrangement. The merchant ensign had the eight-pointed star in white.

Eustorgio Salgar President of Colombia

Eustorgio Salgar Moreno Salazar (1831–1885) was a lawyer, Colombian general and political figure, who was president of the United States of Colombia from 1870 until 1872. Elected at age 39, he was the youngest President of Colombia.

Bartolomé Calvo President of Colombia

Bartolomé Calvo Díaz de Lamadrid was a Colombian lawyer, journalist, and statesman, who became President of the Granadine Confederation, in what is now Colombia, in 1861 in his role as Inspector General, because no elections were held on that year to decide the presidency. He also served as Governor of Panama and Ambassador to Ecuador, and worked in a number of newspapers.

Gran Colombia Former republic

Gran Colombia is the name historians use to refer to the state that encompassed much of northern South America and part of southern Central America from 1819 to 1831. The state included the territories of present-day Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela, and parts of northern Peru, western Guyana and northwestern Brazil. The term Gran Colombia is used historiographically to distinguish it from the current Republic of Colombia, which is also the official name of the former state.

Constitutional history of Colombia

The constitutional history of Colombia is the process of formation and evolution of the different constitutions that Colombia has had since its formation.

Colombian Constitution of 1886

The Colombian Constitution of 1886 was the constitution that created the Republic of Colombia. Before 1886, the country was called United States of Colombia. The coalition of moderate Liberals and Conservatives that ended the liberal hegemony and placed Rafael Nuñez in power repealed the Constitution of Rionegro and substituted the constitution of 1886. From then on, the country was officially called the Republic of Colombia.

Aquileo Parra Ex President of Colombia

José Bonifacio Aquileo Elias Parra y Gómez de la Vega was a Colombian soldier, businessman and political figure. He was the President of Colombia between 1876 and 1878.

Antioquia State

Antioquia State was one of the states of Colombia. Today the area of the former state makes up most of modern day Antioquia Department, Colombia.

Panama State

Following independence from Spain in 1821, Panamá State was one of the states of the Republic of Gran Colombia. Created 27 February 1855 under the name Estado Federal de Panamá. It later was recognized as Estado de la Federación in the constitution of the Granadine Confederation of 1858, and in the constitution of 1863 renamed as Estado Soberano in the national and state constitutions of 1863. Since 1903, most of its territory has become the Republic of Panama.

Second Federal Republic of Mexico

The Second Federal Republic of Mexico is the name given to the second attempt to achieve a federalist government in Mexico. Officially called the United Mexican States, a federal republic was implemented again on August 22, 1846 when interim president José Mariano Salas issued a decree restoring the 1824 constitution. Like the Mexican Empire, the First Federal Republic and the Centralist Republic it was a chaotic period, marked by political instability that resulted in several internal conflicts. Mexico's loss of the war with the United States saw half the territory Mexico claimed become part of the United States. Even though Antonio López de Santa Anna played a major role in much of this history, he returned to the presidency yet again, selling northern territory coveted by the United States contiguous to territory it just gained in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The sale of the Mesilla Valley was for many the final straw, and liberals promulgated of the Plan of Ayutla, calling for the overthrow of Santa Anna. Santa Anna went into exile and the liberals set about implementing their vision of Mexico.

1860 Colombian presidential election

Presidential elections were held in the Granadine Confederation in 1860, the first under the 1858 constitution. The elections were held during the 1860–62 civil war, but not in the parts of the country controlled by the Liberal Party, and the Liberal Party did not put forward a candidate in the remainder of the country. As a result, the election was a contest between two Conservative Party candidates, with Julio Arboleda Pombo emerging as the winner.


  1. Constitutional history of Colombia#The constitution of 1863 - United States of Colombia
  2. Wikisource-logo.svg Edmundson, George (1911). "Colombia"  . In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica . 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 171.
  3. http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/KingListsAmericas/SouthColombia.htm Retrieved 29 December 2010.

Coordinates: 4°39′N74°03′W / 4.650°N 74.050°W / 4.650; -74.050