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Bolívar in New Granada
During the years 1815 and 1816, Spain had, during the Spanish Invasion of New Granada, reconquered most of New Granada (Colombia) from rebellious forces. Three years of indecisive defeats and victories followed. In 1817 Bolívar decided to set up headquarters in the Orinoco region, which had not been devastated by war and from which the Spaniards could not easily oust him. He engaged the services of several thousand foreign soldiers and officers, mostly British and Irish, established his capital at Angostura (now Ciudad Bolívar), began to publish a newspaper, and established liaison with the revolutionary forces of the plains, including one group led by José Antonio Páez and another group led by Francisco de Paula Santander. In the spring of 1819 he conceived his master plan of attacking the Spanish Viceroyalty of New Granada.
Bolívar's attack on New Granada will always be considered one of the most daring in military history. The route of the small army, about 2,500 men, including the British legion, led through flood-swept plains and icy mountains, over routes that the Spanish considered impassable. The Spaniards were taken by surprise, and in the crucial Battle of Boyacá on August 7, 1819, the bulk of the royalist army surrendered to Bolívar. Three days later he entered Bogotá. Bolívar urged the legislators to proclaim the creation of a new state: the republic of Gran Colombia, and three days later Republic of Colombia was established. It was a federation, but since two of its three departments, Venezuela and Quito (Ecuador), were still under royalist control, it was only a paper achievement. Bolívar continued his struggle for independent South America in Venezuela 1821
Bolívar's victory in New Granada was the major turning point in the history of northern South America.
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