Viceroyalty of New Granada

The Viceroyalty of New Granada (Spanish: Virreinato de Nueva Granada [birei̯ˈnato ðe ˈnweβa ɣɾaˈnaða]) was the name given on 27 May 1717,[1] to the jurisdiction of the Spanish Empire in northern South America, corresponding to modern Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela. The territory corresponding to Panama was incorporated later in 1739, and the provinces of Venezuela were separated from the Viceroyalty and assigned to the Captaincy General of Venezuela in 1777. In addition to these core areas, the territory of the Viceroyalty of New Granada included Guyana, southwestern Suriname, parts of northwestern Brazil, and northern Peru.

Viceroyalty of New Granada

Virreinato de la Nueva Granada
Motto: Vtraque Vnvm
"Out of two (worlds) one"
Anthem: Marcha Real
"Royal March"
Viceroyalty of New Granada
Viceroyalty of New Granada
StatusViceroyalty of the Spanish Empire
CapitalSantafé de Bogotá
Common languagesCastilian Spanish
Christianity (Roman Catholicism)
• 1717–1724 (first)
Philip V
• 1813–1821 (last)
Ferdinand VII
• 1718–1719 (first)
Antonio Ignacio de la Pedrosa y Guerrero
• 1819–1821 (last)
Juan de la Cruz Mourgeón
Historical eraSpanish colonization of the Americas
• Established
27 May 1717
• Suppressed.
5 November 1723
• Reestablished.
20 August 1739
8 September 1777
20 July 1810
3 September 1816
• Disestablished
7 August 1821
CurrencySpanish colonial real
Preceded by
Succeeded by
New Spain
New Kingdom of Granada
Venezuela Province
Viceroyalty of Peru
Venezuela Province
Captaincy General of Venezuela
Gran Colombia
Trinidad and Tobago

Colonial history

Nearly two centuries after the establishment of the New Kingdom of Granada in the 16th century, whose governor was dependent upon the Viceroy of Peru at Lima, and an audiencia at Santa Fé de Bogotá (today capital of the republic of Colombia), the slowness of communications between the two capitals led to the creation of an independent Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717 (and its reestablishment in 1739 after a short interruption). Other provinces corresponding to modern Ecuador, the eastern and southern parts of today's Venezuela,[2] and Panama came together in a political unit under the jurisdiction of Bogotá, confirming that city as one of the principal administrative centers of the Spanish possessions in the New World, along with Lima and Mexico City. Sporadic attempts at reform were directed at increasing efficiency and centralizing authority, but control from Spain was never very effective.

The rough and diverse geography of northern South America and the limited range of proper roads made travel and communications within the viceroyalty difficult. The establishment of an autonomous Captaincy General in Caracas in 1777 and the preservation of the older Audiencia of Quito, nominally subject to the Viceroy but for most purposes independent, was a response to the necessities of effectively governing the peripheral regions. Some analysts also consider that these measures reflected a degree of local traditions that eventually contributed to the differing political and national differences among these territories once they became independent in the nineteenth century and which the unifying efforts of Simón Bolívar could not overcome.

Imperios Español y Portugués 1790
Spanish and Portuguese empires, 1790.

Guajira rebellion

Map of La Guajira 1769
Map of La Guajira in 1769

The Wayuu had never been subjugated by the Spanish. The two groups were in a more or less permanent state of war. There had been rebellions in 1701 (when they destroyed a Capuchin mission), 1727 (when more than 2,000 Wayuus attacked the Spanish), 1741, 1757, 1761 and 1768. In 1718, Governor Soto de Herrera called them "barbarians, horse thieves, worthy of death, without God, without law and without a king". Of all the Indians in the territory of Colombia, the Wayuu were unique in having learned the use of firearms and horses.[3]

Pedro Messía de la Cerda2
Pedro Messía de la Cerda, Viceroy of New Granada

In 1769 the Spanish took 22 Wayuus captive, in order to put them to work building the fortifications of Cartagena. The reaction of the Wayuus was unexpected. On 2 May 1769, at El Rincón, near Riohacha, they set their village afire, burning the church and two Spaniards who had taken refuge in it. They also captured the priest. The Spanish immediately dispatched an expedition from El Rincón to capture the Wayuus. At the head of this force was José Antonio de Sierra, a mestizo who had also headed the party that had taken the 22 Guajiro captives. The Guajiros recognized him and forced his party to take refuge in the house of the curate, which they then set afire. Sierra and eight of his men were killed.[3]

This success was soon known in other Guajiro areas, and more men joined the revolt. According to Messía, at the peak there were 20,000 Wayuus under arms. Many had firearms acquired from English and Dutch smugglers, sometimes even from the Spanish. This enabled the rebels to take nearly all the settlements of the region, which they burned. According to the authorities, more than 100 Spaniards were killed and many others taken prisoner. Many cattle were also taken by the rebels. The Spaniards took refuge in Riohacha and sent urgent messages to Maracaibo, Valledupar, Santa Marta and Cartagena, the latter responding by sending 100 troops. The rebels themselves were not unified. Sierra's relatives among the Indians took up arms against the rebels to avenge his death. A battle between the two groups of Wayuus was fought at La Soledad. That and the arrival of the Spanish reinforcements caused the rebellion to fade away, but not before the Guajiro had regained much territory.[3]

Separation of Venezuela


New Granada was estimated to have 4,345,000 inhabitants in 1819.[4]

Main cities

By population

Independent history

The territories of the viceroyalty gained full de facto independence from Spain between 1819 and 1822 after a series of military and political struggles, uniting in a republic now known as Gran Colombia.

With the dissolution of Gran Colombia, the states of Ecuador, Venezuela, and the Republic of New Granada were created. The Republic of New Granada, with its capital at Bogotá, lasted from 1831 to 1856. The name "Colombia" reappeared in the "United States of Colombia"; the new name for the country having been introduced by a liberal government after a civil war. The use of the term "New Granada" survived in conservative circles, such as among ecclesiastics.

As is typical in Spanish, older adjectives of places are used as demonyms for people from those areas. Today, it is typical in Spanish to refer to Colombians as neogranadinos ("New Granadians"), especially in neighboring Venezuela.

See also


  1. ^ "El archipiélago de Los Monjes y las relaciones diplomáticas con Venezuela: Historia de una cesión territorial cuyas consecuencias siguen vigentes -".
  2. ^ (in Spanish) Diccionario de Historia de Venezuela. Caracas: Fundación Polar, 1997.
  3. ^ a b c "La rebelión Guajira de 1769 : algunas constantes de la Cultura Wayuu y razones de su pervivencia -".
  4. ^ World Population, GDP and Per Capita GDP, 1-2003 AD


  • Fisher, John R., Allan J. Keuthe and Anthony McFarlane, eds. Reform and Insurrection in Bourbon New Granada and Peru. Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press, 1990. ISBN 978-0-8071-1654-8
  • Kuethe, Alan J. Military Reform and Society in New Granada, 1773-1808. Gainesville, University Presses of Florida, 1978. ISBN 978-0-8130-0570-6
  • McFarlane, Anthony. Colombia Before Independence: Economy, Society and Politics under Bourbon Rule. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1993. ISBN 978-0-521-41641-2
  • Phelan, John Leddy. The People and the King: The Comunero Revolution in Colombia, 1781. Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 1978. ISBN 978-0-299-07290-2

External links

Coordinates: 4°39′N 74°03′W / 4.650°N 74.050°W

Bolívar's campaign to liberate New Granada

Bolívar's campaign to liberate New Granada of 1819-1820 was part of the Colombian and Venezuelan wars of independence and was one of the many military campaigns fought by Simón Bolívar. Bolívar's victory in New Granada (today, Colombia) secured the eventual independence of northern South America. It provided Bolívar with the economic and human resources to complete his victory over the Spanish in Venezuela and Colombia. Bolívar's attack on New Granada is considered one of the most daring in military history, compared by contemporaries and some historians to Napoleon's crossing of the Alps in 1800 and José San Martín's Crossing of the Andes in 1817.

Captaincy General of Venezuela

The Captaincy General of Venezuela (Spanish: Capitanía General de Venezuela) also known as the Kingdom of Venezuela (Spanish: Reino de Venezuela) was an administrative district of colonial Spain, created on September 8, 1777, through the Royal Decree of Graces of 1777, to provide more autonomy for the provinces of Venezuela, previously under the jurisdiction of the Audiencia of Santo Domingo (and thus the Viceroyalty of New Spain) and then the Viceroyalty of New Granada. It established a unified government in political (governorship), military (captaincy general), fiscal (intendancy) and judicial (audiencia) affairs. Its creation was part of the Bourbon Reforms and laid the groundwork for the future nation of Venezuela, in particular by orienting the province of Maracaibo towards the province of Caracas.

Colombian Declaration of Independence

The Colombian Declaration of Independence refers to the events of July 20, 1810, in Santa Fe de Bogota, in the Spanish colonial Viceroyalty of New Granada. They resulted in the establishment of a Junta de Santa Fe that day. The experience in self-government eventually led to the creation of the Republic of Gran Colombia.

First Republic of Venezuela

The First Republic of Venezuela (Primera República de Venezuela in Spanish) was the first independent government of Venezuela, lasting from 5 July 1811, to 25 July 1812. The period of the First Republic began with the overthrow of the Spanish colonial authorities and the establishment of the Junta Suprema de Caracas on 19 April 1810, initiating the Venezuelan War of Independence, and ended with the surrender of the republican forces to the Spanish Captain Domingo de Monteverde. The congress of Venezuela declared the nation's independence on 5 July 1811, and later wrote a constitution for it. In doing so, Venezuela is notable for being the first Spanish American colony to declare its independence.

Foolish Fatherland

The period between 1810 and 1816 in the Viceroyalty of New Granada (which included present-day Colombia) was marked by such intense conflicts over the nature of the new government or governments that it became known as la Patria Boba (the Foolish Fatherland). Constant fighting between federalists and centralists gave rise to a prolonged period of instability. Similar developments can be seen at the same time in the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata. Each province, and even some cities, set up its own autonomous junta, which declared themselves sovereign from each other.

Free and Independent State of Cundinamarca

The Free and Independent State of Cundinamarca (Spanish: Estado Libre e Independiente de Cundinamarca) was a rebel state in colonial Colombia, replacing the Spanish colonial Viceroyalty of New Granada from 1810 to 1815. It was part of the Foolish Fatherland (Patria Boba) period at the beginning of the Spanish American wars of independence. Its capital was Bogotá, the former capital of the Viceroyalty of New Granada.

Following the occupation of Spain during the Napoleonic Wars, Cundinamarca was one of the states (such as United Provinces of South America (Argentina) and the First Republic of Venezuela) who replaced its viceregal government with a local junta in the name of the deposed Ferdinand VII. The first president was Jorge Tadeo Lozano, but Antonio Nariño forced his resignation and replaced him. Cundinamarca was initially conceived as an enclave of the Spanish kingdom, but full independence was declared in 1813.

While Cundinamarca, including the old capital and administrative machinery, advocated the establishment of a strong centralist government, other parts of the old viceroyalty banded together as the United Provinces of New Granada to support a federal structure. The region remained embroiled in a largely static civil war until the defeat of a Cundinamarcan expedition against Quito allowed General Simón Bolívar of the United Provinces to force terms in December 1814. By mid-1815, however, Pablo Morillo arrived with a large Spanish force and returned the region to submission to the since-restored Ferdinand.

La Calera, Cundinamarca

La Calera is a municipality and town of Colombia in the Guavio Province, part of the department of Cundinamarca.

La Calera is a common weekend destination, mainly for the many restaurants, as it is approximately 18 kilometres (11 mi) over land from Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia. La Calera is located in the Eastern Ranges of the Colombian Andes, east of the capital and overlooking part of it. La Calera borders Guasca, Sopó and Chía in the north, Guasca in the east, Bogotá in the west and Choachí and Bogotá in the south.

La Uvita

La Uvita is a town and municipality in the Northern Boyacá Province, part of the Colombian Department of Boyacá. The urban centre is located at an altitude of 2,700 metres (8,900 ft) in the Eastern Ranges of the Colombian Andes. La Uvita borders San Mateo in the north, El Cocuy and Chita in the east, Chita and Jericó in the south and Boavita in the west.

List of Viceroys of New Granada

Spanish viceroys of the colonial Viceroyalty of New Granada (1717−1819) located in northern South America.

Manuel Antonio Flórez

Manuel Antonio Flórez Maldonado Martínez Ángulo y Bodquín (in full, Manuel Antonio Flórez Maldonado) (May 27, 1723 in Seville, Spain – March 20, 1799 in Madrid) was a general in the Spanish navy and viceroy of New Granada (1776 – November 26, 1781) and New Spain (August 17, 1787 to October 16, 1789).

Revolt of the Comuneros (New Granada)

The Revolt of the Comuneros was a popular uprising in the Viceroyalty of New Granada (now Colombia and parts of Venezuela) against the Spanish authorities from March through October 1781. The revolt was in reaction to the increase in taxation to raise funds for defense of the region against the British, a rise in the price of tobacco and brandy, which were part of the late eighteenth-century Bourbon reforms. The initial revolt was local and not well known outside the region of Socorro, but in the late nineteenth century, historian Manuel Briceño saw the massive revolt as a precursor to independence. Prior to the 1781 revolt, residents in New Granada had protested, at times violently, crown policy implementation there between 1740 and 1779.

San Agustín, Huila

San Agustín (Spanish pronunciation: [san aɣusˈtin]) is a town and municipality in the southern Colombian Department of Huila. The town is located 227 km away from the capital of the Department, Neiva. Population is around 30,000. The village was founded in 1752 by Alejo Astudillo but attacks by indigenous people destroyed it. The present village was founded in 1790 by Lucas de Herazo and Mendigaña.

The mean temperature year round is 18 °C.

Second Republic of Venezuela

The Second Republic of Venezuela (Segunda República de Venezuela in Spanish) is the name used to refer to the reestablished Venezuelan Republic declared by Simón Bolívar on August 7, 1813. This declaration followed the defeat of Domingo Monteverde by Bolívar during the Admirable Campaign in the west and Santiago Mariño in his campaign in the east. The republic came to an end in the following year, after a series of defeats at the hands of José Tomás Boves.

Spanish Main

In the context of Spain's New World Empire, its mainland coastal possessions surrounding the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico were referred to collectively as the Spanish Main. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the southern portion of these coastal possessions was known as the Province of Tierra Firme, or the "mainland province" (as contrasted with Spain's nearby insular colonies).

Spanish colonial real

The silver real (Spanish: real de plata) was the currency of the Spanish colonies in America and the Philippines. In the seventeenth century the silver real was established at two billon reals (reales de vellón) or sixty-eight maravedís. Gold escudos (worth 16 reales) were also issued. The coins circulated throughout Spain's colonies and beyond, with the eight-real piece, known in English as the Spanish dollar, becoming an international standard and spawning, among other currencies, the United States dollar. A reform in 1737 set the silver real at two and half billon reals (reales de vellón) or eighty-five maravedís. This coin, called the real de plata fuerte, became the new standard, issued as coins until the early 19th century. The gold escudo was worth 16 reales de plata fuerte.

Spanish reconquest of New Granada

The Spanish Invasion of New Granada in 1815–1816 was part of the Spanish American wars of independence in South America. Shortly after the Napoleonic Wars ended, Ferdinand VII, recently restored to the throne in Spain, decided to send military forces to retake most of the northern South American colonies, which had established autonomous juntas and independent states. The invaders, with support from loyal colonial troops, completed the reconquest of New Granada by taking Bogotá on May 6, 1816.

Third Republic of Venezuela

The Third Republic of Venezuela is the name commonly used to refer to the reestablished Republic of Venezuela declared by Simón Bolívar in the year 1817, during the Venezuelan War of Independence. The beginning of the Third Republic of Venezuela is attributed to the period after the Guyana Campaign, during which the republicans restored democratic institutions in Angostura. The Republic ended after the Congress of Angostura of 1819 decreed the union of Venezuela with New Granada, to form the republic of Gran Colombia.

Venezuela would become once again an independent republic after its separation from Gran Colombia in 1830, with José Antonio Páez as President.

United Provinces of New Granada

The United Provinces of New Granada was a country in South America from 1811 to 1816, a period known in Colombian history as the Patria Boba. It was formed from areas of the New Kingdom of Granada, roughly corresponding to the territory of modern-day Colombia. The government was a federation with a parliamentary system, consisting of a weak executive and strong congress. The country was reconquered by Spain in 1816.

Venezuelan Declaration of Independence

The Venezuelan Declaration of Independence (Cinco de Julio) is a statement adopted by a congress of Venezuelan provinces on July 5, 1811, through which Venezuelans made the decision to separate from the Spanish Crown in order to establish a new nation based on the premises of equality of individuals, abolition of censorship and dedication to freedom of expression. These principles were enshrined as a constitutional principal for the new nation and were radically opposed to the political, cultural, and social practices that had existed during three hundred years of colonization.

Seven of the ten provinces belonging to the Captaincy General of Venezuela declared their independence and explained their reasons for this action, among them, that it was baneful that a small European nation ruled the great expanses of the New World, that Spanish America recovered its right to self-government after the abdications of Charles IV and Ferdinand VII at Bayonne, and that the political instability in Spain dictated that Venezuelans rule themselves, despite the brotherhood they shared with Spaniards. The seven provinces were Caracas Province, Cumaná Province, Barinas Province, Margarita Province, Barcelona Province, Mérida Province and Trujillo Province.

The three remaining provinces (Maracaibo Province, Coro Province and Guayana Province) which did not take part in the Venezuelan congress opted to stay under Spanish rule.

The declaration proclaimed a new nation called the American Confederacy of Venezuela and was mainly written by Cristóbal Mendoza and Juan Germán Roscio. It was ratified by Congress on July 7, 1811, and recorded in the Congress's Book of Minutes on August 17, 1811, in Caracas.

The anniversary of this declaration is celebrated as Independence Day. The original Book of Minutes of the first Congress of Venezuela is in the Federal Legislative Palace in Caracas.

The document is kept at the museo de la Casa de las Primeras Letras Simón Rodríguez. The signature of president Hugo Chávez was added to an exhibited copy of the document on May 31, 2013, by the Maduro administration, as an homage to the former president. This resulted in outrage among various sectors opposing said administration.

Americas and East Indies

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