New Granada, United Provinces of

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New Granada, United Provinces of

United Provinces of New Granada. The first general government created by New Granadan patriots was the United Provinces of New Granada, established in November 1811. The pact of union was signed by representatives of only five provinces, the most important being Cartagena. Bogotá was conspicuously absent, as were several others. The failure to include all of New Granada reflected the intensity of the interprovincial rivalries that had erupted since the independence movement began in 1810. Rejection by Bogotá further reflected the insistence of the former colonial capital on adopting a highly centralized system of government. The United Provinces, by contrast, was a loose confederation whose members retained full control of their internal affairs and alone could implement (or not implement) the policies of the federal authorities, who lacked administrative agencies of their own.

By the middle of 1812 the United Provinces were engaged in civil warfare with the centralists of Bogotá, led by Antonio Nariño. The conflict sputtered on and off until 1814, when Bogotá was subdued by federalist forces led by Simón Bolívar. Still unable to assert effective control over New Granada, the union easily fell victim to the Spanish reconquest of 1815–1816.

See alsoWars of Independence, South America .


Manuel José Forero, La primera república (1966).

Thomas Blossom, Nariño: Hero of Colombian Independence (1967).

Additional Bibliography

Santos Molano, Enrique. Antonio Nariño, filósofo revolucionario. Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia: Planeta, 1999.

                                         David Bushnell

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New Granada, United Provinces of