Gran Colombia (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈɡɾaŋ koˈlombja], "Great 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 and 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.

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  • Gran Colombia (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈɡɾaŋ koˈlombja], "Great 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 and 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. At the time of its creation, Gran Colombia was the most prestigious country in Spanish America. John Quincy Adams, then Secretary of State and future president of the United States, claimed it to be one of the most powerful nations on the planet. This prestige, added to the figure of Bolívar, attracted to the nation unionist ideas of independence movements in Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, which sought to form an associated state with the republic. But international recognition of the legitimacy of the Gran Colombian state ran afoul of European opposition to the independence of states in the Americas. Austria, France, and Russia only recognized independence in the Americas if the new states accepted monarchs from European dynasties. In addition, Colombia and the international powers disagreed over the extension of the Colombian territory and its boundaries. Gran Colombia was proclaimed through the Fundamental Law of the Republic of Colombia, issued during the Congress of Angostura (1819), but did not come into being until the Congress of Cúcuta (1821) promulgated the Constitution of Cúcuta. Gran Colombia was constituted as a unitary centralist state. Its existence was marked by a struggle between those who supported a centralized government with a strong presidency and those who supported a decentralized, federal form of government. At the same time, another political division emerged between those who supported the Constitution of Cúcuta and two groups who sought to do away with the Constitution, either in favor of breaking up the country into smaller republics or maintaining the union but creating an even stronger presidency. The faction that favored constitutional rule coalesced around Vice-President Francisco de Paula Santander, while those who supported the creation of a stronger presidency were led by President Simón Bolívar. The two of them had been allies in the war against Spanish rule, but by 1825, their differences had become public and were an important part of the political instability from that year onward. Gran Colombia was dissolved in 1831 due to the political differences that existed between supporters of federalism and centralism, as well as regional tensions among the peoples that made up the republic. It broke into the successor states of Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela; Panama was separated from Colombia in 1903. Since Gran Colombia's territory corresponded more or less to the original jurisdiction of the former Viceroyalty of New Granada, it also claimed the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, the Mosquito Coast. (en)
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  • Gran Colombia (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈɡɾaŋ koˈlombja], "Great 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 and 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. (en)
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  • Gran Colombia (en)
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