Independence of Colombia


After hundreds of years under the horrors of the conquest and the colony caused by the Spanish Empire, the feelings and the desire to achieve independence gradually spread throughout the entire American continent . This feeling also reached Colombia, a place that fought to reach it and today, the country happily celebrates the Independence of Colombia with military parades and cultural events.

  • When was it: Between July 20, 1810 and August 7, 1819
  • Where was it: Viceroyalty of New Granada

What is the Independence of Colombia?

The Independence of Colombia was a process of struggle that managed to put an end to the rule that had been exercised for many years by the Spanish Empire in this territory. A conflict that lasted for several years with the sole purpose of achieving the emancipation of the Viceroyalty of New Granada.


Characteristics of the Independence of Colombia

Among the main characteristics of this movement to fight for freedom, we mention the following:

  • It was a process that took place between the years 1810 and 1819 .
  • He was part of the group of wars of independence in Spanish America .
  • It was given as a struggle to achieve the rights of the settlers
  • It was a struggle in which independent indigenous, mestizo, white, Afro-descendant and Spanish independentists participated.
  • It was characterized by experiencing major conflicts against the Spanish regime .
  • The first step towards independence was motivated by an event called El Florero de Llorente.


One of the main antecedents for the independence of Colombia were the wars of independence that had arisen in America and that had been inspired by the United States and Haiti . The French Revolution also played an extremely important role in the independence sentiment as well as the Declaration of the Rights of Man , a document that had been translated by Antonio Nariño in 1795 and that was key in the sentiment of thousands of citizens who started the fight for emancipation.

Summary of the independence process of Colombia

The story goes that on July 20, 1810, there was a great altercation between Creole groups and the Spanish Crown , all due to a loan of a vase , which ended up being a true popular revolt that began the process of Colombian liberation . Three important phases stand out throughout this process.

In the management stage , which took place between 1793 and 1809, the first attempts to achieve independence began. It was during these years that the insurrection of the comuneros and the rebellion of the American Spaniards or Creoles took place . Later the stage of armed struggle occurred , between the years 1810 and 1819 where the War for the Independence of Colombia was presented.

This stage of war began on July 20, 1810, when the famous Llorente vase detonated the insurrection of the people against the Spanish, that same gave the cry of independence to remove the Spanish viceroy Antonio Amar y Borbón from command . Finally, the consolidation stage where he founded Gran Colombia was presented . It was a time that was characterized by great political instability, civil unrest, and fights between liberals and conservatives.


Many Colombian experts and historians assure that it was not on August 7, 1819, the moment in which the Independence of Colombia was consolidated, for them, the correct date corresponds to October 10, 1821 when the liberation campaign finally ended.

Who proclaimed the independence of Colombia

The proclamation of the Independence of Colombia was in the hands of Simón Bolívar after the campaign that ended on August 7, 1819. The cry of independence was given in the Plaza Mayor of Santa Fe.


According to the story, the act was signed by a large number of people from the military, to priests and students. The original document was lost in a fire that took place in 1900, however, thanks to Simón José Cárdenas it was possible to know its content as he created a lithographic reproduction of the entire document.


The timeline that shows the events experienced before reaching the Independence of Colombia is as follows:

  • 1775 – American War of Independence
  • 1789: French Revolution
  • 1808: Invasion of Spain
  • July 20, 1810: Cry of Independence in Bogotá
  • April 1, 1811: Creation of the State of Cundinamarca
  • May 28, 1811: Battle of Lower Palacé where the royalists were defeated
  • November 11: Independence of Cartagena de Indias
  • December 15, 1812: Simón Bolívar’s Cartagena Manifesto
  • January 9, 1813: Triumph of Antonio Nariño in the Battle of Bogotá
  • December 6, 1815: the Reconquest of New Granada begins
  • February 15, 1819: Simón Bolívar proclaims the Republic of Colombia in the Congress of Angostura
  • August 7, 1819:  fall of the Viceroyalty of New Granada
  • August 10, 1819: entry of Simón Bolívar’s troops to Bogotá
  • September 17, 1819: proclamation of the Republic of Colombia
  • July 12, 1819: creation of the First Constitution
  • November 28, 1819: proclamation of independence and annexation of the territory of the Isthmus of Panama to Gran Colombia

Featured Battles

There were many important battles that took place to achieve the Independence of Colombia, including:

  • Battle of Cúcuta : a confrontation led by Simón Bolívar against the Spanish army to liberate the valleys of Cúcuta.
  • Battle of Boyacá : it is considered the most important fight because in it the complete independence of the country was achieved. It took place on August 7, 1819 and the total surrender of the group of royalists was achieved.
  • Battle of the Pantano de Vargas : it took place in the municipality of Paipa in Boyacá on July 24 and 25, 1819.
  • Battle of the Pasto ejidos : a confrontation between the troops led by Antonio Nariño and the royalists. The battle took place on May 10, 1814.
  • Battle of Laguna Salada, El Yagual, Cachiri, the Siege of Cartagena de Indias and the Battle of Pore among others.


Among the main external causes that provoked the struggle for the Independence of Colombia we find the different ideas that had arisen in the European continent which promoted equality , freedom , fraternity and sovereignty . The French Revolution and the influence of the Enlightenment were also causal because thanks to them it was possible to put an end to inequalities and excessive privileges. The independence of the United States It was a fact that had an important repercussion because it managed to show the Creoles that it was possible to achieve economic freedom and independence.

There were also several internal causes that motivated the independence movement, among them we can mention that the Creoles felt that they had been left in the background by the peninsular . The mestizos at that time were not taken into account for decision-making and the indigenous people had the desire to achieve emancipation from Indian laws . In addition, the pro-independence intellect began to form, which little by little gave us to understand the possibility of directing the destiny of the country.


During the process of the Independence of Colombia, great events took place that, at the same time, produced several consequences. Among the most important we mention the following:

  • He gave the abolition of slavery thanks to the different movements cimarronaje.
  • A totally new political order was established, which was later ratified through the Constitution of Colombia .
  • The entire tax burden was considerably reduced, reaching 5%.
  • Formulation of new laws and more modern regulations .
  • An important decline appeared in the Caribbean of the country due to the loss of economic power , which was in the hands of the Spanish.
  • The local economy remained under the command of Great Britain and the United States .
  • There was the destruction of the Viceroyalty of the New Kingdom of Granada .
  • The mining was finally displaced giving way to agricultural production .

Precursors of the Independence of Colombia

There were many men who had an important participation in the process to achieve the Independence of Colombia. Francisco José de Caldas was a great character during this event and was the director of the Astronomical Observatory of Bogotá, a place where several meetings of rebellious Creoles were held to prevent them from being discovered by the Spanish.

Francisco de Paula Santander was a recognized military and politician who also had a relevant role during the process to achieve independence. He always fought alongside Bolívar and all the men who participated in the fight. José Acevedo y Gómez was one of the most active participants during the mutiny of the July 20, 1810 .

Jorge Tadeo Lozano was a scholar who, after the Independence Act was signed , had an important participation in the drafting of the Constitution of Cundinamarca. Simón Bolívar is one of the most important figures in this entire process because he is considered the hero who managed to liberate America and who led all the armies of South America.

Antonio Nariño was a very prominent military and political figure during this process and he was in charge of translating the Rights of Man when the French Revolution occurred. Camilo Torres also participated in the process that led to the cry for independence.

Other characters

In addition to the aforementioned characters, the following men also participated in the Independence of Colombia:

  • Pablo Morillo : a Spanish military man who was known by the name of “El Pacificador” and who was under his command to lead the Spanish reconquest after the year 1810.
  • José Antonio Galán : participated in the rebellion movements against Spain.
  • José Félix Restrepo : professor of Francisco José de Caldas and Camilo Torres.
  • Antonio José de Sucre : of Venezuelan origin, he showed his military prowess with Bolívar in the campaigns for the independence struggle.
  • Antonia Santos : a woman who gave her support to Simón Bolívar. He managed to create a guerrilla group that sabotaged Spain’s military logistics .


The celebration of the Independence of Colombia takes place every July 20 , a day of national celebration that commemorates this important event.

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