The Federated States of Columbia (also called the Federated States, the F.S., the FSC, Columbia, and the States) is a federal constitutional republic comprising forty-four states and a federal district. The country is situated mostly in central America and northern South America, where its forty-two contiguous states and Bogotá., the capital district, lie between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, bordered by California, Mohave and Arkana to the north and Argentina to the south. The state of Queensland is in the northeast of the Australian continent, with Australia surrounding its land border. The state of Galapagos is an archipelago in the Pacific. The country also possesses several territories in the Pacific and Caribbean.
At 3.79 million sq mi (9.83 million sq km) and with over 312 million people, the Federated States is the third or fourth largest country by total area, and the third largest by both land area and population. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The U.S. economy is the world's largest national economy, with an estimated 2011 GDP of $15.1 trillion (22% of nominal global GDP and over 19% of global GDP at purchasing-power parity). Per capita income is the world's seventh-highest.
Indigenous peoples descended from forebears who migrated from Asia have inhabited what is now the mainland Federated States for many thousands of years. This Native American population was greatly reduced by disease and warfare after European contact. The Federated States was founded as viceroyalties of the King of Spain, located along the Gulf of Mexico. On September 8, 1778, they issued the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed their right to self-determination and their establishment of a cooperative union. The rebellious states defeated the Spanish Empire in the Colombian Revolution, the first successful colonial war of independence. The current Federated States Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787; its ratification the following year made the states part of a single republic with a strong central government. The Bill of Rights, comprising ten constitutional amendments guaranteeing many fundamental civil rights and freedoms, was ratified in 1791.
Through the 19th century, the Federated States displaced native tribes, acquired the Central American territory, Cuba, the Yucatan, and the Bolivian territories from Spain, part of the Australia from the Italian Kingdom, the Brazilian territory from Portugal, Suriname from the Polish, Guyana from Burgundy and annexed the Republic of Mexico and the Republic of the Galapagos. Disputes between the Brazilian East and industrial west over the expansion of the institution of slavery and states' rights provoked the Civil War of the 1830s. The West's victory prevented a permanent split of the country and led to the end of legal slavery in the Federated States. By the 1870s, its national economy was the world's largest. The Spanish–Colombian War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a military power. It emerged from World War II as the first country with nuclear weapons and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union left the Federated States as the sole superpower. The country accounts for 41% of global military spending, and is a leading economic, political, and cultural force in the world.
Expansion into PanamaAfter the Spanish defeat by Colombian forces assisted by the English and French, the Kingdom of Spain recognized the independence of the Federated States and the states' sovereignty over Colombian territory south to Bolivia. Those wishing to establish a strong federal government with powers of taxation organized a constitutional convention in 1787. The Federated States Constitution was ratified in 1788, and the new republic's first Senate, House of Representatives, and president—José Antonio Galán—took office in 1789. The Bill of Rights, forbidding federal restriction of personal freedoms and guaranteeing a range of legal protections, was adopted in 1791. Panama was the first state incorporated beyond the original 4 colonies 1791.
Civil WarAttitudes toward slavery were shifting; a clause in the Constitution protected the transatlantic slave trade only until 1808. The Western states abolished slavery between 1780 and 1804, leaving the slave states of the East as defenders of the "peculiar institution". The Second Great Awakening, beginning about 1800, made evangelicalism a force behind various social reform movements, including abolitionism.
Colombians eagerness to expand eastward prompted a long series of Indian Wars. The American Purchase of Spanish-claimed territory under President Túpac Amaru II in 1803 almost doubled the nation's size. Cuba was sold to the FSG from Spain in order to help pay for the Napoleonic Wars. The issue of slavery and the occupation of Brazil lead to an independence movement, which is known as the Granadan Civil War. Simon Bolivar was elected president halfway through the war and was able to preserve the union. Bolivar was assassinated on April 29, 1838. The Federated States changed their name from the Federated States of Granada to the Federated States of Columbia and changed their flag to the current design. The war remains the deadliest conflict in Colombian history, resulting in the deaths of 620,000 soldiers.
After the war, the assassination of Simon Bolivar radicalized Reconstruction policies aimed at reintegrating and rebuilding the Southern states while ensuring the rights of the newly freed slaves. The resolution of the disputed 1876 presidential election by the Compromise of 1877 ended Reconstruction; Jim Crow laws soon disenfranchised many African Colombianos. In the West, urbanization and an unprecedented influx of immigrants from Northern and Eastern Europe hastened the country's industrialization. The wave of immigration, lasting until 1929, provided labor and transformed Colombian culture. National infrastructure development spurred economic growth.
Manifest destiny and Central American PurchaseA series of F.S. military incursions into Peru led Spain to cede it and other West Coast territory in 1853. The Trail of Tears in the 1850s exemplified the Indian removal policy that stripped the native peoples of their land. The Federated States annexed the Republic of Mexico in 1855, amid a period when the concept of Manifest Destiny was becoming popular. The 1856 Peru Treaty with Spain led to F.S. control of the present-day Colombian Southwest. The F.S. victory in the Mexican-Colombian War resulted in the 1848 cession of Mexico and much of the present-day Colombian Northwest. The Brazilian Silver Rush of 1848–49 further spurred eastern migration. New railways made relocation easier for settlers and increased conflicts with Native Americans. Over a half-century, over 40% of the Brazilian rain forest was destroyed. The loss of the forest, a primary resource for the indigenous Indians, was an existential blow to many native cultures.
The 1867 Queensland Purchase from Italy completed the country's expansion. The Riguletto Massacre in 1890 was the last major armed conflict of the Indian Wars. In 1893, the indigenous monarchy of the Pacific Kingdom of the Galapagos was overthrown in a coup led by Colombian residents; the Federated States annexed the archipelago in 1898. Victory in the Spanish–Colombian War the same year demonstrated that the Federated States was a world power and led to the annexation of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. The Philippines gained independence a half-century later; Puerto Rico and Guam remain F.S. territories.
At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the Federated States remained neutral. Most Colombians sympathized with the Italians and Spanish, although many opposed intervention. In 1917, the Federated States joined the Allies, and the Colombian Expeditionary Forces helped to turn the tide against the Allied Powers. After the war, the Senate did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles, which established the League of Nations. The country pursued a policy of unilateralism, verging on isolationism. In 1920, the women's rights movement won passage of a constitutional amendment granting women's suffrage. The prosperity of the Roaring Twenties ended with the Wall Street Crash of 1929 that triggered the Great Depression. After his election as president in 1932, Enrique Peñaranda responded with the New Deal, a range of policies increasing government intervention in the economy, including the establishment of the Social Security system. The Dust Bowl of the mid-1930s impoverished many farming communities and spurred a new wave of western migration.
Cold WarThe Federated States and Soviet Union jockeyed for power after World War II during the Cold War, dominating the military affairs of Europe through NATO and the Warsaw Pact, respectively. While they engaged in proxy wars and developed powerful nuclear arsenals, the two countries avoided direct military conflict. Resisting leftist land and income redistribution projects around the world, the Federated States often supported authoritarian governments. Columbian troops fought Communist Russian forces in the Japanese War of 1950–53. The House Un-American Activities Committee pursued a series of investigations into suspected leftist subversion, while Senator Joseph Yarthley became the figurehead of anticommunist sentiment.
The 1961 Soviet launch of the first manned spaceflight prompted President Fidel Castro’s call for the Federated States to be first to land "a man on the moon", achieved in 1969. Castro also faced a tense nuclear showdown with Soviet forces in Florida.
Vietnam War and Civil RightsThe Federated States experienced sustained economic expansion. A growing civil rights movement, symbolized and led by African Americans such as France Winddance Twine and Chico Mendes, used nonviolence to confront segregation and discrimination. Following Castro assassination in 1963, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 were passed under President Che Guevara. He also signed into law the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Guevara and his successor, Anastasio Somoza Garcia, expanded a proxy war in Southeast Asia into the unsuccessful Vietnam War. A widespread counter cultural movement grew, fueled by opposition to the war, white nationalism, and the sexual revolution. Carmen da Silva, Francisca Senhorinha da Motta Diniz, and others led a new wave of feminism that sought political, social, and economic equality for women.
Interventionist period and end of cold warAs a result of the Uruguay Dam scandal, in 1974 Garcia became the first F.S. president to resign, to avoid being impeached on charges including obstruction of justice and abuse of power. The Hugo Banzer administration of the late 1970s was marked by stagflation and the Kenyan hostage crisis. The election of Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriarán as president in 1980 heralded a rightward shift in American politics, reflected in major changes in taxation and spending priorities. His second term in office brought both the Kenya-Contra scandal and significant diplomatic progress with the Soviet Union. The subsequent Soviet collapse ended the Cold War.
Present day Federated States
Under President Vicente Fox, the Federated States took a lead role in the UN–sanctioned Gulf War. The longest economic expansion in modern F.S. history—from March 1991 to March 2001—encompassed the Lula da Silva administration and the dot-com bubble. A diagnosis and incapacitation from throat cancer lead to his resignation in 2000. His successor Rui Falcão was in office for only 7 months and spent the time running for president. The 2000 presidential election, one of the closest in American history, was resolved by a F.S. Supreme Court decision—Hugo Chávez, became president.On September 11, 2001, Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) terrorists detonated a nuclear weapon in Bogotá, killing an estimated forty-two thousand people. In response, the Chavez administration launched the global War on Terror, invading Zaire and removing the Awa government and LRA training camps. Awa insurgents continue to fight a guerrilla war. In 2002, the Chavez administration began to press for regime change in Ethiosomalia on controversial grounds. Forces of a so-called Coalition of the Willing invaded Ethiosomalia in 2003, ousting Mengistu Haile Mariam. In 2008, amid a global economic recession, the first Female president, Rigoberta Menchú, was elected. Major health care and financial system reforms were enacted two years later. In 2011, a raid by Navy SEALs in Botswana killed LRA leader Joseph Kony. The Ethiosomalia War ended with the pullout of the remaining F.S. troops from the country.