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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. The government was a federation with a parliamentary system, consisting of a weak executive and strong congress. The country was reconquered by Spainmarker in 1816.


The Triumvirate

After two attempts at establishing a congress, the State of Cundinamarca managed to convene a Congress of the United Provinces, which met in late 1811. It issued an Act of Federation on November 27, 1811, which allowed Congress to establish a separate executive branch, if it felt it was required. An executive, consisting of a triumvirate, was created in 1814 after a royalist army from Pastomarker and Popayánmarker defeated one from Cundinamarca (which had not accepted the Union and, in fact, had even sent troops against it). Congress nominated Manuel Rodríguez Torices, President of the State of Cartagenamarker; José Manuel Restrepo, Antioquia's Secretary of State; and Custodio García Rovira, Governor of the Province of Socorromarker. At the time of the nomination, the nominated officials were exercising their jobs, so they were temporarily replaced by members of Congress: Joaquín Camacho, Representative for the Province of Tunjamarker, José María del Castillo y Rada and José Fernández Madrid, both Representatives for the Province of Cartagena. The triumvirate was inaugurated on October 5, 1814.

On January 12, 1815, Congress arrived in Santa Fe de Bogotá, after its army, headed by Simón Bolívar, had forced Cundinamarca into the Union in December 1814. The interim triumvirate was replaced on January 21, 1815, by the original nominated members, with the exception of Joaquín Camacho, who had turned down the nomination. The first president of the triumvirate was José Miguel Pey de Andrade, who at the moment was serving as the governor of Bogotá.

On August 17 García Rovira, who had presented his resignation as President of the Triumvirate to Congress on July 11, was replaced by Antonio Villavicencio.

Administrative Divisions

The Act was ratified by the provinces of Antioquia, Cartagenamarker, Neivamarker, Pamplonamarker and Tunjamarker. Under the Act of Federation each province was free to write its own constitution and form its own government. Other regions of the New Kingdom of Granada established their own governments and confederations (for example, the Confederated Cities of the Cauca Valley,1811-1812) or remained royalist.

At the beginning of the revolution, the larger Viceroyalty of New Granada consisted of 22 provinces. The provinces were under the jurisdiction of two audiencias. The Royal Audiencia of Quitomarker, whose president had executive powers, had jurisdiction over the provinces of Quitomarker, Cuencamarker, Loja, Ibarramarker, Riobambamarker, Pastomarker, Popayánmarker, Buenaventuramarker and parts of the Cauca River Valley. These provinces were located in what are now the Republic of Ecuadormarker and the southern part of Colombiamarker. The Royal Audiencia of Santafé de Bogotá, had jurisdiction over the provinces of Panamamarker and Veragua in what is now the Republic of Panamamarker, and the provinces of Antioquia, Cartagena de Indiasmarker, Casanare, Citarámarker, Mariquitamarker, Neivamarker, Nóvitamarker, Pamplonamarker, Ríohachamarker, Santafémarker, Santa Martamarker, El Socorro, and Tunjamarker.

The Audiencia of Quito, despite an attempt at establishing a junta in 1809, remained a royalist stronghold throughout the wars of independence.

The territory of the Captaincy General of Venezuela had been part of the viceroyalty, but had become independent of it when the captaincy general was established in 1776, and therefore, never became part of the United Provinces. The Captaincy General had jurisdiction over the Provinces of Cumanámarker, Guayana, Maracaibomarker, Venezuela or Caracas (central Venezuela), and Margarita Island, and it had its own audiencia and superintendancy based in Caracas. After the Revolution the captaincy general established itself as a republic.

See also



  • Gibson, William Marion (1948). The Constitutions of Colombia. Durham: Duke University Press.

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