Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
NEW GRANADA. This was the name of the country now known as Colombia, or the United States of Colombia. Colombia is a federative republic in the northwestern part of South America. The United States of Colombia consists of nine states: Antioquia, Bolivia, Boyaca, Cauca, Cundinamarca, Magdalena, Panama, Santander and Tolima; besides which there are two territories. The area of the states and territories is 830,000 square kilometres, but a great part of this area is uninhabited. In 1877 the states had a population of 2,999,000 and the territories of 53,466, to which numbers must be added about 100,000 of yet uncivilized Indians. The federal capital is Bagota, with 40,883 inhabitants. The states of Colombia were, previous to 1810, under Spanish rule. After they had declared their independence they entered into political connection with other states. Thus, in 1819, together with Venezuela and Quito, they formed the republic of Colombia. Venezuela and Quito, however, dropped out of this union in 1830, and the remaining group of states assumed the name of the republic of New Granada, which gave place in 1861 to the present federative republic of the United States of Colombia. The constitution of Colombia dates from May 8, 1863. According to that constitution the government of the country has three branches: the executive, the legislative and the judicial powers. The executive power is lodged in a president, who is elected for two years. He is assisted by four secretaries. These are the secretary of home and foreign affairs, the secretary of finance and public works, the secretary of the treasury and of credit, and the secretary of war and of the navy. The legislative power is exercised by a congress, consisting of a house of representatives and of a senate. The senate consists of twenty-seven members, three from each state. The number of representatives is at present sixty-one. There is a supreme federal court at Bogota. The constitutions of the several states are similar to that of the Colombian union of states. At the head of each state there is a president or governor, assisted by a secretary general. The term of office of the governors is, in Antioquia four years, in the other states two. The federal army, in times of peace, consists of 3,000 men. In case of war, each of the states is required to furnish 1 per cent. of its population as a military contingent. The finances, according to the budget of 1878-9, show receipts amounting to $6,059,115. The expenditures amounted, in 1877-8, to $7,271,933. The national debt amounted, Feb. 1, 1875, to $15,999,304. The preponderant portion of the population are whites and mestizoes. A part are zambos, or the children of negroes and Indians. There are also some ladenos, or the descendants of whites and Indians, but with a greater proportion of Indian than of white blood. The religion of the country is the Roman Catholic, but other religions are tolerated.
—BIBLIOGRAPHY. Restrepo, Historia de la revolution de Colombia, 10 vols,. Paris, 1827; Karsten, Ueler die geognwät. Verhältnisse des westlichen Colombia, Vienna, 1856; Samper, Ensayo sobre las revoluciones politicas y la condicion de las republicas columbianas, Paris, 1861; Powles,New Granada, its Internal Resources, London, 1863; Mosquera, Memoria sobre la geografia fisica y politica de la Nueva Granada, New York, 1852, and Compendio de geografia general politica, flsica y special de los Statos unidos de Colombia, London,1866; Hall, Columbia, its Present State in respect of Climate, Soil, etc., Philadelphia, 1871; Hassaurek, Four years among Spanish Americans, New york, 1867; Marr, Reise nach Centralamerika, 2 vols., Hamburg, 1863; Zeltner, La ville et le port de panama, Paris, 1868.
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