La Republica de Gran Colombia

By

Andrew Scott Levers

 

Simon Bolivar- founder of six South American nations

 

The Republica de Gran Colombia was founded in 1819 when Simon Bolivar fought for the independence of Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador from the Spanish. He joined all three countries to make Gran Columbia. It had always been his goal to unite all of South America. If he had done so, today it might be one of the strongest nations in the world. Bolivar could have united Peru and other countries, but instead he hoped that they would unite on their own and make a stronger republic. On December 17, 1819, Simon Bolivar , "El Libertador", was named president of the republic and Santander as the vice president.

In August of 1819 Bolivar left to liberate Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia from the Spanish. He left Santandar in charge of the new nation. The battles were intense, but he was able to liberate Ecuador in 1822. While Bolivar was gone, Venezuela started to revolt against Gran Colombia. In 1827 Bolivar returned from Peru. When he got back, there were many conflicts between him and Santandar. In August of 1828 Bolivar tried to make a new constitution for Peru and Bolivia. People did not like the idea. Later that year Venezuela separated from Gran Colombia and the following year Ecuador did the same thing. In January of 1830, Bolivar resigned and appointed Jose Domingo Caicedo as president. Later that year Bolivar died with his goal in life,to unite all of South America, not coming true.

Government and Constitution

(from left to right) Flags of present day Colombia and Ecuador

Flag of present day Venezuela

 

The government of Gran Colombia was divided into legislative, executive, and judiciary branches. The legislature had four senators chosen by electors. The executive power was the president. The president could only be president for four years. After the four years were up he could be re-elected. The provision consisted of a vice-president, who was also elected by the electors, a council, one justice of the supreme court, and the secretaries of state. The president got to choose the secretaries of state and supreme court justices. The president and vice-president were indirectly elected.

In 1822 a new constitution was written in Cucuta because Ecuador had just joined the republic. The constitution was based on popular representation. The constitution guaranteed freedom for children of slaves, freedom of the press, protection policies for industry and agriculture, and the abolition of the mita system of labor. The constitution was mainly based on the United States constitution. It also was adopted by Latin American constitutional assemblies. There was no mention of the Roman Catholic Church in the constitution.

The constitution was weakened by political jealousy. Venezuela didn't like being ruled by Santandar while Bolivar was away trying to liberate other countries.

Photo Gallery

Simon Bolivar(click for movie) "El Libertador"

Caracas, Venezuela This is the birth city of Simon Bolivar

Statue of Simon Bolivar in Colombia

 

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