History of Columbia

The People’s Republic of Colombia is an independent state located in the northwest of South America with some of its territories in Central America. It shares its borders with Panama to the northwest, Venezuela and Brazil to the east and Ecuador and Peru to the south. Its capital is situated in Bogota and its official language is Spanish.

Early Colombia

Colombia has been inhabited by various ancient people since 12000BC. Most of these groups of people practiced fishing and hunting while others practiced farming. The Spanish arrived in at around 1499 and later established the kingdom of Granada with its capital at Santafe de Bogota. Alonso de Ojeda was the first Spaniard to land in Colombia. Self-rule from Spain was gained in 1819 but later the Gran Colombia was dissolved with the present day Colombia and Panama emerging as the Republic of Granada.

The new nation practiced federalism as the Granadine Confederation and the United States of Colombia before being declared the People’s Republic in 1866. Colombia’s present borders were gained after Panama seceded in 1903 to become sovereign.

In the 1960s, the country was rocked with political violence and armed conflict. The violence escalated in the 1990s with civil wars totaling to around eight civil wars all over the country. By 1849, there were two political parties in the country namely the conservative party which represented landowners and the Catholic Church and the liberal party which represented merchants and craftsmen.

Among the most natively and linguistically distinct states in the world, the Republic of Colombia is regarded as one of them. Its rich ancestry is mainly influenced by the ancient people that had settled there which include the settlers from Europe, African migrants who worked as slaves and also the migrations from European countries and those from Asia – read article on unique places in colombia.

Modern Colombia

The beginning of the 20th century saw the country experience a generally peaceful and calm period which contributed to the development of the economy, even coffee exports went up by a higher percentage. However, another civil war broke out in around 1948 which was infamously referred to as La Violencia.

The division of the country into liberals and conservatives was considered to be dangerous for the country but what really sparked the already lit fire was the assassination of liberal politician Jorge Eliecer Gaitan in 1948. Later in 1957, Liberal and Conservative parties agreed to share power and in the period of 1957 and 1974 the presidency was alternated between them.

In the 21st century, peace and tranquility was experienced in Colombia. After 2002, violence and conflicts had declined by a higher percentage. The economy of the country improved greatly which contributed to the decline of poverty and unemployment. The government also began a process of attention and reparation for conflict victims. It has also tried to show some progress in trying to defend human rights, although some of the victims are too scared to come out and report while others have completely lost faith in the authorities.


Like the rest of the world, the Colombian economy suffered a recess in 2009 but soon recovered again. The country has also experienced flooding in the recent past. Despite all these negatives, tourism in the country has been growing and the country is developing steadily. Today the total population of the Republic of Colombia is estimated to be around 47 million people.