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Colombian Domestic Disturbances

The Governments of New Granada and of its successor, Colombia, were in a constant state of flux. Had it not been for the exercise by the United States of the police power in her interest, her connection with the Isthmus would have been sundered long ago. In 1856, in 1860, in 1873, in 1885, in 1901, and again in 1902, sailors and marines from United States warships were forced to land in order to patrol the Isthmus, to protect life and property, and to see that the transit across the Isthmus was kept open. In 1861, in 1862, in 1885, and in 1900, the Colombian Government asked that the United States Government land troops to protect its interests and maintain order on the Isthmus. It is not possible to give a complete list, and some of the reports that speak of "revolutions" must mean unsuccessful revolutions.

  1. May 22, 1850 - Outbreak; two Americans killed. War vessel demanded to quell outbreak.
  2. October, 1850 - Revolutionary plot to bring about independence of the Isthmus.
  3. July 22, 1851 - Revolution in four Southern provinces.
  4. November 14, 1851 - Outbreak at Chagres. Man-ofwar requested for Chagres.
  5. June 27, 1853 - Insurrection at Bogota, and consequent disturbance on Isthmus. War vessel demanded.
  6. May 23, 1854 - Political disturbances; war vessel requested.
  7. June 28, 1854 - Attempted revolution.
  8. October 24, 1854 - Independence of Isthmus demanded by provincial legislature.
  9. April, 1856 - Riot, and massacre of Americans
  10. May 4, 1856 - Riot.
  11. May 18, 1856 - Riot
  12. June 3, 1856 - Riot.
  13. October 2, 1856 - Conflict between two native parties. United States forces landed.
  14. December 18, 1858 - Attempted secession of Panama.
  15. April, 1859 - Riots.
  16. September, i860 - Outbreak.
  17. October 4, i860 - Landing of United States forces in consequence.
  18. May 23, 1861 - Intervention of the United States forces required, by intendente.
  19. October 2, 1861 - Insurrection and civil war.
  20. April 4, 1862 - Measures to prevent rebels crossing Isthmus.
  21. June 13, 1862 - Mosquera's troops refused admittance to Panama.
  22. March, 1865 - Revolution, and United States troops landed.
  23. August, 1865 - Riots; unsuccessful attempt to invade Panama.
  24. March, 1866 - Unsuccessful revolution.
  25. April, 1867 - Attempt to overthrow Government.
  26. August, 1867 - Attempt at revolution.
  27. July 5, 1868 - Revolution; provisional government inaugurated.
  28. August 29, 1868 - Revolution; provisional government overthrown.
  29. April, 1871 - Revolution; followed apparently by counter revolution.
  30. April, 1873 - Revolution and civil war which lasted to October, 1875.
  31. August, 1876 - Civil war which lasted until April, 1877.
  32. July, 1878 - Rebellion.
  33. December, 1878 - Revolt.
  34. April, 1879 - Revolution.
  35. June, 1879 - Revolution.
  36. March, 1883 - Riot.
  37. May, 1883 - Riot.
  38. June, 1884 - Revolutionary attempt.
  39. December, 1884 - Revolutionary attempt.
  40. January, 1885 - Revolutionary disturbances.
  41. March, 1885 - Revolution.
  42. April, 1887 - Disturbance on Panama Railroad.
  43. November, 1887 - Disturbance on line of canal.
  44. January, 1889 - Riot.
  45. January, 1895 - Revolution which lasted until April.
  46. March, 1895 - Incendiary attempt.
  47. October, 1899 - Revolution.
  48. February, 1900, to July, 1900 - Revolution.
  49. January, 1901 - Revolution.
  50. July, 1901 - Revolutionary disturbances.
  51. September, 1901 - City of Colon taken by rebels.
  52. March, 1902 - Revolutionary disturbances.
  53. July, 1902 - Revolution.
By 1910 Colombia had twenty-seven civil wars, which had cost thirty-seven million pesos (gold). The civil wars in Colombia had been fought for principle perhaps more than those of the other republics. Calderon thus characterizes RevoTutions Colombia's political history: "In Colombia exalted convictions are the motives of political enmities; men abandon fortune and family, as in the great religious periods of history, to hasten the defense of a principle. These hidalgoes waste the country and fall nobly, with the Semitic ardor of Spanish crusaders. . . . Colombia perishes, but the truth is saved."



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