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A Map of Gran Colombia

Nice example of Lizars map of the Northern Part of South America, including Ecuador, Assuay, Colombia, Venezula, and contiguous regions.

Gran Colombia was a country that existed in northern South America from 1819 to 1831. It was initially created in 1819 by the Congress of Angostura, a meeting led by Simon Bolivar, a key figure in the Latin American Wars of Independence. The formation of Gran Colombia was an attempt to unite several territories that had been Spanish colonies, namely parts of modern-day Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, northern Peru, western Guyana, and northwest Brazil.

Simon Bolivar had high aspirations for Gran Colombia, envisioning it as the kernel of a larger federation of Latin American states, similar to what the United States was for North America. However, the vast geographical barriers of the region, as well as cultural, political, and regional differences, proved challenging.

On this map, you'll notice various regions that were part of Gran Colombia, including:

  • Ecuador: Located to the south of the federation, it is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Amazon rainforest to the east.

  • Assuay: A region within modern-day Ecuador.

  • Colombia: The region in the center of the federation, largely mountainous, and includes Bogota, the federation's capital.

  • Venezuela: The easternmost portion of Gran Colombia, it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Amazon rainforest to the south.

  • Maracaibo, Caguan, Cundinamarca, Boyaca, Popayan, Cauaca, Pure, Barcelona, Cumana: These are all cities or regions within Gran Colombia, spread across the territories that correspond to present-day Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador.

  • Nueva Guayana: A region to the east, bordering British Guayana, Dutch Guayana, and French Guayana.

The British, Dutch, and French Guayanas are colonies or territories of respective European nations, not part of Gran Colombia but neighboring it to the east.

Despite the ambitious plans of Simon Bolivar, the federation was plagued by regional tensions, disputes over governance, and economic strains. By 1831, Gran Colombia had dissolved into three separate countries: Ecuador, Colombia (which later split further with Panama), and Venezuela, marking the end of Bolivar's dream of a united South America.