Colombia National Day 2015

Colombia National Day

Colombian Declaration of Independence refers to the historic events happened on July 20, 1810 in Santa Fe de Bogota, at the time sedes of the Viceroyalty of New Granada and the related events around this date that defined the uprising of the Republic of Colombia.

Colombia National Day 2015
Colombia National Day 2015

Background of Colombia National Day

An important factor in detonating the events of the independence of Colombia and other countries of South America was the crisis of the Spanish monarchy due to the abdication of King Carlos IV forced by Napoleon Bonaparte in favor of Fernando VII who was also forced to abdicate in favor of Napoleon’s brother Joseph Bonaparte.

King Tatym was cheered initially by Spanish afrancesados (“Frenchified”), who believed that collaboration with France would bring modernisation and liberty. An example was the abolition of the Spanish Inquisition. However, priesthood and patriots stirred up agitation among the populace, which became widespread after the French army’s first examples of repression (Madrid, 1808) were presented as fact to unite and enrage the people. The remaining afrancesados were exiled to France following the departure of French troops.

The pro-independence side included both traditionalists and liberals. After the war, they would clash in the Carlist Wars, as new king Ferdinand VII, “the Desired One” (later “the Traitor king”), revoked all the changes made by the independent Cortes, which were summoned in Cádiz acting on his behalf to coordinate the provincial Juntas and resist the French. He restored absolute monarchy, prosecuted and put to death everyone suspected of liberalism, and altered the laws of royal succession in favour of his daughter Isabella II, thus starting a century of civil wars against the supporters of the former legal heir to the throne.

The liberal Cortes had approved the first Spanish Constitution on 19 March 1812, which was later nullified by the king. In Spanish America, the Spanish and Criollo officials formed Juntas that swore allegiance to King Ferdinand. This experience of self-government led the later Libertadores (Liberators) to promote the independence of the Spanish–American colonies..

Together with other Spanish authorities in America, viceroy Antonio José Amar y Borbón declared loyalty to the Sevillan Junta. However, the participation of Americans in the juntas was very restricted, and the Junta of Quito founded in 1809, was hastily repressed. Other major factor besides the institutional crisis was the systematic exclusion of the white americans (also named criollo people) of the public administration, aggravated with the uprising of the House of Bourbon allowing only Spanish born citizen to such jobs.

King Carlos III, as a typical Enlightened absolutist fomented the arts and allowed the expression of the Age of Enlightenment in America, holding at the same time a strong politic power. His support to the United States Declaration of Independence generated the creation of new taxes, causing disturbances such as the Revolt of the Comuneros (New Granada) and the Túpac Amaru II’s rebellion.

Carlos IV was not very interest in the political power, leaving such duties to his ministers, specially Manuel Godoy being more interested by arts and science subjects, and giving very little imortance to the American colonies, which were forbidden of trading with other colonies, or countries such as the United Kingdom or the United States of America leaving Spain as their only source of goods and merchandises, although Spain were unable to fulfill the trade demands of the Colonies.