V. The Modern Period, 1789–1914 > I. Latin America, 1806–1914 > 2. The Wars of Independence, 1806–1872 > g. Venezuela, Nueva Granada, and Quito (Gran Colombia)
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
g. Venezuela, Nueva Granada, and Quito (Gran Colombia)
In Bogotá, a junta convened to govern in the name of Ferdinand VII. Cartagena and other cities of Nueva Granada also formed juntas (1810). The captain general of Caracas blocked attempts by the cabildo to establish a junta.  1
In Quito, a revolt installed a junta in the name of Ferdinand VII, with the support of the Quiteño elite. An army, sent by the viceroy of Peru, suppressed the movement.  2
In Caracas, an extraordinary cabildo created a junta to govern in the name of Ferdinand VII and deposed the captain general. Conservatives in the junta forbade the entry of Francisco de Miranda (1750–1816), veteran proindependence conspirator, but the revolutionaries imposed him. The junta decreed free trade and abolition of the slave trade.  3
1811, July 5
A national congress with representatives from the landed class proclaimed VENEZUELAN INDEPENDENCE. It promulgated a constitution restricting the franchise to landowners and included federalist measures to attract provincial support. Pardos revolted for full citizenship rights. Violence from the lower classes alarmed the creole landowners, many of whom withdrew from the independence movement. Miranda was given command of the revolutionary forces, and Bolívar became one of his lieutenants. SIMÓN BOLÍVAR, born in Caracas of a creole cacao planter family, was a resolute republican. He was the greatest figure of the independence movement.  4
In Bogotá, the republic of Cundinamarca was inaugurated. The other provinces, refusing to join it, formed the Federation of the United Provinces of Nueva Granada. Popayán, Pasto, Santa Marta, and Panama remained loyal to Spain. Proindependence provinces favoring federalism waged war against proindependence provinces endorsing centralism.  5
A royalist army invaded patriot territory. Miranda capitulated. Royalists sent him as a prisoner to Spain, where he died in 1816. Spaniards seized Bolívar's properties but permitted him to go to Nueva Granada.  6
Bolívar launched the Campaña Admirable (Admirable Campaign). He entered Caracas in Aug. to inaugurate the second Venezuelan republic and assumed dictatorial powers. He proclaimed war to the death against Spaniards who did not support independence and promised amnesty to royalist creoles. Poorer Venezuelans remained aloof since they distrusted the creole landed elite and slaveholders. José Tomás Boves, a peninsular merchant and smuggler, organized a guerrilla war on behalf of the Crown, promising confiscated properties to the men who enlisted in his army. Llaneros enthusiastically followed Boves, angered by a law approved by the antiroyalist government of Caracas, which prevented llaneros from freely hunting on the plains. The war between patriots and royalists was waged with great violence; the killing of prisoners and the massacre of civilians became common practices on both sides.  7
Boves's royalist army defeated the revolutionary forces at La Puerta, where Boves died but destroyed Bolívar's control of Venezuela. Bolívar escaped to Nueva Granada.  8
Royalists took Cartagena. Bolívar abandoned Nueva Granada and went to Jamaica where he issued his “Letter from Jamaica.” In Haiti, he gained support from Pres. Alexandre Pétion, to whom he promised to abolish slavery in the future republic.  9
Royalists took Bogotá, and executed many patriot leaders. Peasants were subjected to forced labor, and Nueva Granada became a supply center for royalist reconquest.  10
In Venezuela, llaneros remained restless under royalist control, since their major demands had not been met. José Antonio Páez, a llanero chief based in the region of Apure, started to operate against the royalists.  11
Bolívar returned to the Orinoco region and sought popular support for the creole independence movement promoting pardo soldiers and promising freedom to slaves in the patriot army. He issued a decree ordering the distribution of confiscated properties among the patriot troops as payment for their services.  12
Once Francisco de Paula Santander (1792–1840) had organized patriot military support in Nueva Granada, Bolívar led a patriot army across the Andes and defeated the royalist forces at Boyacá River (Aug. 9). Patriots occupied Bogotá (Aug. 10). In this campaign, Bolívar definitively liberated Nueva Granada.  13
Dec. 17
The congress of Angostura approved the fundamental law creating Gran Colombia, a republic based on the union of Venezuela and Nueva Granada. Bolívar was made president and military dictator.  14
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.