Before Spanish Explorers
Prior to the Spanish conquest, Colombia was inhabited by the Chibchas, and Cariban people, but the first people to establish villages were the Mesoamericans. They arrived around 1200 B.C. They introduced the farming of fruits and vegetables. The main things they farmed were potatoes and corn. They also made finally crafted artifacts from gold, and stone, and sometimes made baskets from grass. They were followed by a second wave of Mesoamericans around 500 B.C. By the 1500’s the most advanced culture was the Chibchas.
These Indian groups relied on agriculture, fishing and salt mining to live. They also made clothing and blankets to trade with other tribes. And lived in little very well organized towns connected by stone walkways.
The Invasion by the Spanish consisted of conquistadors, administrators, and clergymen from the Roman Catholic church. The first Spanish explorers to enter Colombian territory were Alonso de Ojeda in 1499 and Rodrigo de Bastidas in 1500. 1510 is when Ojeda found Acandi on the western side of the Gulf of Aruba. In 1538 Jimenez de Quesada found the city of Bogota, which is currently the capitol and largest city. Traveling from Peru a man by the name of Belalcazar found and established the cities of Popayan and Santiago for Spain.
During Colonial Rule
The social hierarchy was based in three parts: at the top was the people of Spanish decent, then the mestizos, people who were Spanish and Indian mixed, and the lowest class was the native Indians. In the colonies the person in charge was the viceroy. Next jurisdiction was the audiencia, this contained judges and a president, and they controlled the cities.
Colonial economy relied on cheap native
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Labor. The main thing
That helped Spanish economy was mining for precious metals, such as gold and copper. By the end of the 1700’s tobacco was one of the most exported goods from Colombia. The growth of agriculture was mainly due to the fact that a lot of the mineral and metal resources in Spain were starting to deploy.
The only religion permitted inside the colony was Roman Catholic. When the Spanish first came the clergymen forced all of the Indians to give up their gods and follow the Roman Catholic religion. Also they were forced to speak the Spanish language.
Struggle For Independence
Phillip V took up the throne in Spain he decided they were going to have more control in the colonies and demanded that a tribute from the Indians be paid to Spain. He also heavily increased the taxation. This led to a large a revolt in 1781. This was the largest and dealt the most damage until the war for independence. They declared they would not stop until there was a repeal of all new taxes and changes to policies.
The movement for independence started out as arguing whether the new colony should be federalist or centralist. This argument divided the two into rival groups. By the time they were independent the two parties were totally divided and had almost complete control over the political system. They didn’t let anyone compete for the running of the country. In these times they went through repression and absolute liberty.
The president at this time was a man named Nunez, during his presidency he died, and this broke out to a civil war and later the loss of panama. Panama got help from the United States of America. The reason we helped them is because they had given us permission to build the Panama Canal.
Between 1917 and 1936 the country of Colombia was solving problems they had with neighboring countries. Including Ecuador and Peru.
Today In Colombia
If you were to live in Colombia today chances are you would be poor considering that over half of Colombia’s inhabits are below the poverty line. On the up side only 20% of the people are unemployed. The main culture in Colombia is ethnic mosaic and they do a lot of pottery, gold work, arts, and crafts. Spanish is the main language in Colombia and almost everyone speaks it except for some Indian tribes.
Catholicism is still the main religion in Colombia, though lately there have been a lot of people starting to believe in other smaller religions.
Some of the problems that exist in Colombia today are drugs. Colombia produces 90% of the world’s cocaine, and is a big producer of opium and heroin. Dealers in the U.S. buy most of these drugs then they go and sell it to the general public.
Drugs are not the only problem in Colombia; they also have border disputes with Venezuela
Over land around the Gulf of Venezuela. Also they have disputes with Nicaragua over the Archipelago de San Andres y Providencia and Quita Sueno Bank.