If You Can Keep It: A Revolutionary Timeline

(Hi guys! Happy Colombian independence day. I've been working on this timeline for literally years, so I'm glad to finally post it here! Just FYI, this first chapter deals with Colombia, but the POD is actually in the United States, and a lot earlier. We'll get there in due time! I'll be glad to answer any questions, comments or concerns :) )

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Simón Bolívar’s Letter of Paris

My dear Friend Francisco de Miranda:

I have been proven wrong by you and the glorious lights of the Emperor Bonaparte, as much of a self-centred fool he is. In the greatness of his coronation I saw not only the usual attire of the traditional King, the pleasantries to please the hereditary aristocracy, but also the trappings of a new, Civilised World, one that puts the People over the Old Order, one that establishes the most Noble principles that the Enlightenment has taught us. I saw an Emperor of the French People, not an Emperor of the French Regime.

The people are often easily deceived and convinced by the trappings of popular democracy, I have agreed to that much before. And it’s clear that an indirect republican form of government has its own issues; we have seen that up North with the Jeffersonian folly, and here with the Reign of Terror of Robespierre. No, the best way to protect the Unalienable Rights of All Men is clearly in the way of the Constitutional Empire. The Napoleonic Model is to be emulated as the best protector of stability and republicanism.

I have seen the light your letters had tried to show me in regards to the follies of elected leaders.

-Written by Simón Bolivar, dated 1804, during his stay in Paris.


Francisco de Miranda (left) and Napoleon Bonaparte (right) were two fundamental figures in shaping the thinking of Simón Bolívar, Colombia's first emperor.

Simón Bolívar’s Letter of Guayaquil

I understand how many amongst the Enlightened Classes of the White Creole, born to be free and dignified above this here their American land, might see an Imperial form of government for our free and fair Colombia to be counterproductive, or even treasonous. Santander and the Federalist are amongst those who would rather die in the Perfidious Anarchy of Ochlocracy rather than give up their Freedoms to elect a Head of State. They'd rather have Anarchy than limited Freedom, rather return to the age of the Foolish Fatherland[1] than establish a single pretence of Order.

What Santander and his mob do not understand, what they never have understood, is that Colombia is much like those lands up to the North, only now getting out of their Internecine Conflict. Us Colombians have been subject to a triple yoke of Ignorance, Tyranny and Vice from which the English colonists were spared. The English tried to free their republic in establishment of three Core Beliefs and limit their government to the protection of these Beliefs. They are still trying to uphold that Noble Model that seems most optimistic, but have failed once, and will likely fail again. A Colombia republic in this model would just go the way of Venezuela’s First Republic, and the United Provinces of New Granada. The heterogeneous spirit of the Free Creole will not survive under a Pure Republic, which would just decay into pure mob rule.

All these points were made to me by our brother and Liberator José de San Martín, who met with me in this Fair City. On the face of instability and regionalism, our fair Colombian state needs someone above Politics. To unify our free American Nations into a Perfect and Perpetual Federation, San Martín and I have declared to establish an Empire, and to pool our forces to overthrow the villainous royalists that still reside upon the Upper Perú.

-addressed from Simón Bolívar to Antonio José de Sucre in July 26, 1822-

Simón Bolívar’s Letter of Panama

With Freedom more or less Certain after the end of Canternac’s forces in Junín[2], we must now turn our focus to the Unification of our Federation. the Colombian Empire, despite the monarchy, should be established in the principles of our popular allies in France; Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. There is no doubt that this Free State should be democratic for society.

Despite San Martín’s beliefs, it is clear from experiences in your Free State, which I hope will integrate into Colombia, that no European Prince will want to come to rule over the Continent. It is probably for the best; a switch from an European King to another European King might be too much for the Liberals to handle. It might be better to have a Creole Emperor as Yourself.
Your two Delegates (amongst them your son Agustín Jerónimo) have attended to our Anfictionic Congress[3] and will return to the City of Mexico so that your Congress might ratify our Treaty of Union, Alliance and Perpetual Confederation. I sincerely wish that we Free Creoles band together in front of the threat of the return of our former Tyrants of Spain (which still reside in the unliberated lands of Cuba and Porto Rico) and the attacks from our English Brethren, Brazil and England itself.

-Addressed from Simón Bolívar to Emperor Agustín de Iturbide of Mexico, 1824-


[1] The Foolish Fatherland is how the Colombian public adresses the first six years of the country's history, from its independence in 1810 until the Reconquista in 1816, in which the newly-freed Colombian patriots were mired in a civil war that didn't allow them fighting against the Spanish monarchy. Modern historiography, of course, contends that the situation is a lot more complicated. Things will also get a bit more complicated in this TL!
[2] The biggest leap in this timeline, in my opinion, is the butterfly net that allows Latin American independence to go more or less unchanged from OTL history until 1824, when all of America has been freed from Spanish rule. This timeline will once or twice require small suspensions of disbelief, but I don't think they're particularly large.
[3] Bolivar was really big on Greco-Roman imagery and named his Congress of Panamá the Anfictionic Congress, looking to create a new Anfictionic League of American countries mostly joined by common defense. The essential point of this timeline is this essentially being accomplished.
I love the premise, and can't help but get excited to see more timelines about Latin American independence. This is a great start, I'm intrigued to see more, and can I just say that I love the banner (and I love the flag on the left even more, if that's possible).

It's a bit peripheral, but was Haiti invited? I've always liked the idea of Haiti being better integrated into a community of latin american countries that came out all around in better shape from the independence wars.
I love the premise, and can't help but get excited to see more timelines about Latin American independence. This is a great start, I'm intrigued to see more, and can I just say that I love the banner (and I love the flag on the left even more, if that's possible).

It's a bit peripheral, but was Haiti invited? I've always liked the idea of Haiti being better integrated into a community of latin american countries that came out all around in better shape from the independence wars.

Thanks! I’m really glad you enjoyed it. There’s quite a bit written up so I’ll post the first update pretty soon, just need to fix up a couple of things.

Unfortunately, Haiti wasn’t invited to the Congress of Panama. That being said, this timeline will be better for Haiti than OTL as well. There’ll be an update on what’s going on over there eventually :)
I don't know a ton about revolutionary Era Latin American history. However, this looks really good, and I'm happy to be along for the ride :)
Chapter I - Hamilton’s Folly (The actual PoD)
A bit earlier, Up North…

“The War of 1798 was a pivotal event in the birth of the new nation, as one of the major events that would eventually lead to the major conflicts between the two major parties forming at the United States of the time, as well as the major source for political conflict between the nascent elites of the United States and the soon-to-be Colombian Empire.

Of course, in 1798 the conflict was not known for its momentousness. It was just a continuation in the breakdown of relationships between the increasingly-Federalist administration of John Adams, deeply influenced by George Washington’s right-hand man, the British-born (and, some might say, never fully American) Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. The increasingly pro-British administration, that seemed to forget that the Revolutionary War had been fought with the purpose of escaping British yoke and supporting France, went to conflict with the nascent revolutionary nation over issues with American trade vessels. Congress rescinded the treaties with France in 1798, and began open conflict with the Republic at sea immediately.

The French sinking of the American ships Montezuma, Merrimack and Norfolk in early 1799 brought this conflict into a new level, after which the United States Congress passed a declaration of war against France, effectively joining the First Coalition. Troops were soon sent to capture New Orleans and Florida, at the time controlled by French allies in the form of the Kingdom of Spain. (It should be noted that the United States did not join the British coalitions against France - instead acting independently of European efforts at the time). The American navy lay siege to San Agustín in July 15 of 1799, shortly followed by sieges against Havana and New Orleans (both of which were beaten back by those cities’ strong fortifications). Saint-Louis, however, did fall, almost without a fight, to American fighters led by Henry Dearborn.

The biggest act of the War of 1798, however, as well as the largest single piece of Hamilton’s folly, was the creation of the Sedition Act of 1800, which permitted the federal government to persecute those slanderous of the administration. This provoked rightful outrage from the Democratic-Republican Party, with Madison and Jefferson calling for nullification starting in 1800. The nullification party further intensified with their draftings of the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, which determined that federal law could be declared unconstitutional, or nullified, by part of state governments.”

Henry Lee James, Hamilton’s Folly and the First Civil War. Published by Virginia State University, August 12, 1954.


The Sinking of the Merrimack, painted by John Truxtun. News reaching Congress of this conflict between France and the United States in open sea were fundamental to the start of the conflict.


John Adams (left) is, to this day, seen as a weak and indecisive figure which failed the Union when it most needed strong and stable leadership, and propitiated the start of the first of many civil wars the United States would suffer throughout its history, by aligning more closely with Alexander Hamilton (centre), the most maligned figure in American historiography, in several political issues, rather than the more commonly-tolerated Thomas Jefferson (right). Many scholars correctly point out that, despite deep personal enemity, Adams felt like he was doing a service to the nation by allying with Hamilton, who he saw as more trustworthy due to his almost uncritical support of the Washington Administration.

“The single pivotal moment in the development of the early Republic was Adams heeding, for once, his enemy Hamilton’s advice, under support of several high-ranking Federalist legislators, to send the Federal military to occupy Virginia and force the acceptance of the Sedition Act. This act was met, of course, with absolute outrage not only from almost every Southern delegation and almost every Democratic-Republican but also from former President George Washington, who lamented that ‘The rivalry between Hamilton and Jefferson will tear the Union asunder and produce a level of conflict unheard till this moment’. The occupation of Virginia by the Union military was made even worse as it coordinated with the events of the Election of 1800, in which Jefferson ran against Adams, which decided to pick Hamilton as his running mate (despite deep personal hatred) in order to unify the Federalist Party under a single banner.

Jefferson argued that the election was invalid due to Hamilton-led influence by the Federal government over Virginia’s 21 electoral votes. Indeed, by the time of the Electoral College ruling, Federalist electors all voted for their parties tickets, with one caveat - Virginia’s electors, handpicked by the Federalists (on a safely Democratic-Republican state) did not vote for Adams, instead voting for Hamilton and casting their second vote for John Jay. Thus, to much popular outrage, Alexander Hamilton was sworn in as the third President of the United States.

Election of 1800 IYCKI.png

Results of the election of 1800.

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The division of the Federalist elector's second vote between Adams, officially the Federalist Party candidate, and John Jay, who was the candidate favored by Hamilton.

With an election perceived as invalid by most of the Democratic-Republicans and a very large faction of the Federalist Party, Hamilton angling for closer alignment to Britain and continuation with the already unpopular war with France, which had only achieved the capture of Saint-Louis and San Agustín and a bogging down of the conflict in battle after battle with native forces, and perceived (though probably overblown) views of abolitionism which offended the South, several States agreed to join Jefferson’s (who refused to be sworn in as Vice-President) call for nullification and the impeachment of Hamilton. The states of South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Maryland declared the “need of a State of Emergency” which nullified the Sedition Act and called for an impeachment of Hamilton.

Washington decided to prevent what seemed to be a possible breaking point for the Union at this point, meeting Hamilton and Jefferson (as well as mediator Aaron Burr, with ties both to Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans and Hamilton and the Federalists). Reportedly, Jefferson called for Hamilton to be tried and executed for treason to “democracy and these United States”, while Hamilton, who quickly lost his temper against Jefferson’s offense, soon reciprocated these calls. The peace deals between the two broke, and Washington sadly returned to obscurity in Mount Vernon, where he was to die of pneumonia within a few years, without ever knowing that his proposals for a peace deal were to bring upon the Compromise of 1803 that ended the conflict once and for all.”

Excerpt from “Nullification as a Constitutional Procedure in the Early United States” by David Johnson. Published by Harvard University, 1988.


Jon Nathaniel Gómez’s The Army South of the Potomac, 1847, shows a US contingent occupying the state of Virginia. This momentous event was almost unthinkable for Americans at the time and would deeply shake the American psyche. A depiction of the Army that is as neutral as Gómez’s is extremely rare, and not demonizing the Hamiltonian Army, as many people call it, would be almost unthought of outside the state of Wabash. Today, this painting is kept in the American Museum, Saint-Charles, Wabash.

”Thomas Jefferson after finding out the occupation of Virginia” said:
”Hamilton has forgotten Virginia’s Motto. Sic semper tyrannis, indeed!”
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Chapter II - Hamilton's Folly, Felt Through the Decades

-Opening to the Manifesto of the Patriot Party (Jacksonian), The Cry of Our People, 1923

“The people, especially the Patriots and Jacksonians, directly tied to the recent attacks upon the party offices of the American Socialist Party, who have long been such a threat to the United States and everyone who doesn’t accommodate their ways, which they call the way of the ‘decent white man’ but are more like the way of the Carolinian secessionist, will say that the downfall of the United States has been caused by Hamiltonianism, and Liberalism. Honorable senators, I completely agree that Hamilton was a terrible figure for the United States, one whose folly has caused extreme damage towards all of the population. However, the Jacksonians will be the first to supposedly point out an agreement between the Liberals and Alexander Hamilton; nothing could be further from the truth. While Hamilton was, as we know, an avowed monarchist [the official record shows that protests from both Wabash Whigs, Senators Charles C. Compton and John Peterson, were put down by the President pro tempore of the Senate], we support Liberty and Democracy throughout the world with all the strength we can muster. While Hamilton supported the reduction of demoratic means, through the Sedition Act and the occupation of Virginia [Senator Compton, at this point stormed off the Senate], we support the entirety of civil liberties and freedoms, to a far greater degree than Jacksonians do.

In any case, the Liberal government has not replicated anything near to Hamilton’s folly. After all, the biggest issue regarding Hamilton was the use of force against his enemies to try and assert his political goals [by this point, Senator Peterson has also stormed out of the Senate, thus making the quorum necessary to vote insufficient]. Our legacy does come from Hamilton, and we have inherited from him his most worthy policies, but in regards to the bloody legacy he has left behind, it is not us, but rather the Jacksonians who are today carrying on his folly.”

-Whig Senator from Michigan Forrest Charles, in the first debate regarding the voting of the Twenty-Third Amendment of the Constitution of 1888. Senate records, June 21 of 1923.
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Chapter III - The Colombian Empire
“The development of the American monarchy was one always led by the push of Simón Bolívar, seemingly following the footsteps written down by his mentor Francisco de Miranda in his journals[1] as well as in regards to his personal hero, Napoleon Bonaparte, who he had shortly met in Paris when young and by whom he was deeply impacted. The Colombian Empire’s establishment was clear proof to anyone who cared about it that Bolívar was establishing a Bourgeois state on the liberated colonies, rather than a fully popular one. He clearly envisioned our state to follow in the footsteps of the semi-liberal constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom rather than in the popular republics that had been established in the United States and Haiti.

The massive importance given to Bolívar’s mission to establish a united Colombian state was seen in the fact that after sending a contingent of 4000 drafted Quitoans south into Perú to help San Martín (something that he thought was sorely needed, with the extremely powerful Spanish military having remnants within the Upper Perú and the Charcas Audience[2]) under the leads of Antonio José de Sucre and José María Córdova. While he entrusted his two youngest generals to victory in Perú, he marched with the rest of his army north, where civil war was starting to boil over in Mexico.[3] The Bolivarian army moved north in a fleet probably granted to them by the British, and landed in Veracruz nearly three weeks after, where they met (and were victorious over) a large Republican contingent. Bolívar’s March to México was inspired by Hernán Cortes’ own, with him attempting to win over nahuatl caciques as well as local landowners on his way to relieve Iturbide’s forces.

The Battle of Iztapalapa broke out in May 5 of 1825, almost a year into the Mexican Campaign. With Iturbide’s trigarantista army and Bolivar’s forces coordinating a joint attack into the Republican flank, managing to kill the leaders of the insurgent army, Vicente Guerrero and Antonio López de Santa Anna, in a single blow. The Mexican Civil War, which had all the chances of being long and extremely drawn out, thus ended after the political decapitation of the liberal side. Bolívar managed, in his brilliant strategic gesture, to bring Mexico into his monarchic Confederation.”

Bolívar en México by Juan López Pérez. Alfaguara Editorial, 2010. Translated to English in Móbil, La Florida, 2011.


Iturbide and Bolivar’s famous March on Mexico asserted monarchism over the largest former Viceroyalty. Bolívar famously lamented that “the only thing that does not make this day perfect is that, unlike my last march in Quito, she is not there”; referring, of course, to his longlasting partner, the Dame of the Sun, Manuela Sáenz, who would eventually father his only child.

Constitution of the Colombian Empire - First Constitution (or Carta Magna de Tunja)
Accessed through the Colombian Legislative Database, accessed virtually through gobiernofederal.gob]
Select articles

Colombia is a free and democratic Monarchy composed of ten Member States; New Spain, Central America, New Granada, Venezuela, Perú, Charcas, La Plata, Chile, Paraguay, and the Antilles. [4]

The Member States are to themselves be decentralised into different Provinces. The Colombian State will have a decentralised function in regards to its Domestic Policy.

The Capital of Colombia will be in the Isthmus of Panama, in a new city: Las Casas. The member States of the Union will have their own Capitals, as will their member Provinces.

Colombia is a nation of Roman, Apostolic, Catholic Faith. The Confessional nature of the State is guaranteed. However, Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Press are fully guaranteed and the State shall differ in Institutions from the Church. The Inquisition will be abolished.

All men are born free and equal by God’s free Will, and to reduce their freedom is an unforgivable sin in the eyes of the Lord. There will be no slavery in Colombia. Current slaves and indentured servants will be freed over 15 years, with all of their children being born free.

Indians will be allowed a level of rule over themselves. They will be granted freedom of association as all other free landowning citizens and will be able to organise themselves in Free Cabildos. The miscegenation between the Republic of Spaniards and the Republic of Indians will continue, and their Resguardos will be respected. [8]

The Emperor of Colombia will rule for life, and has the powers over war and the military, as well as acting as the executive officer general. The Emperor will be elected by all landowners on a member-wide basis, with every state choosing a series of electors to choose who will succeed the dead Emperor. The Conclave must only end if a candidate has over half of the votes from the electors.

The executive force of Colombia will be shared by the Emperor with the President of Government, also elected by the Chamber of Tribunes. The President will rule for four years; in case of his death, he shall be replaced by the President of the Senate.

The legislative system in Colombia will be designed in a tricameral fashion.

The lower chamber, the Chamber of Tribunes, will have the powers related to regulate foreign affairs in peace, government finance (including foreign trade and taxation), introduce new legislation and the organisation of the Colombian state. The Chamber of Tribunes will be elected popularly every four years, with representatives coming from every member of the Confederation. Each member is entitled to at least one representative, and they will be arranged by the population of every state.

The middle chamber, the Senate, will have the ultimate judicial appeal as well as act as a check in the Chamber of Tribunes. They have the power to enact the legislation introduced by the Chamber of Tribunes, supervise the courts and Cabildos, resolve inter-member disputes, and approve the arrangement of regional officials. The Senate must be fully apolitical, and will be appointed by the Emperor.

The Upper House, the Censors, will act as a check and balance against the other houses of the Legislature. They will act as prosecutors to evade corruption and mismanagement of funds. They will act as Ombudsmen Generals for the entire nation, and will have impeachment powers over every government agency. To prevent abuses of power amongst the Censors, a three-fourths majority in the Senate will prevent an impeachment.

The Member States of Colombia and their Constituent Provinces will have their own regional assemblies which may be freely organised as their Constitutions ordain.

The Colombian military is under the organisation of the Emperor, the Supreme Commander of the forces. The Military is united amongst all members of the Confederation. No individual member can have its own army not responding to the general command


[1] It seems like Miranda was far more monarchistic than Bolívar or anyone else. iOTL, this is usually explained in Bolivarian historical circles by the fact that Miranda expressed a more primitive version of Latin American nationalism than Bolívar or the Santanderean liberals.
[2] OTL Bolivia and Paraguay, whose independence took a bit longer than the rest of the continent. We’ll get back to Paraguay sooner rather than later.
[3] OTL, this was not so much a civil war as it was the ousting of Agustín de Iturbide as Emperor of Mexico.
[4] Of course not all of these territories are currently occupied by Colombia. We’ll see.
Interesting, seems USA is self destructing, when i doubt an union so big like this could sucess, is still amazing work of Bolivar so far
Chapter IV - Growing Pains

The first Eight States of the Union, which retain enormous cultural and political significance, even now that most of them do not exist anymore. Note that this map does not include either the states of Paraguay and Antilles, claimed by Colombia but fully independent during the entirety of Bolívar's rule, as well as the then Cisplatine Region of Brazil, which composes most of Uruguay.

“The promulgation of the Tunja Constitution left the Santanderean faction of the Tunja Congress (those who, at the time, adhered to the ideals of Francisco de Paula Santander, the main legal mind of the independence process in New Granada, and the leader of the Santafe de Bogotá faction; eventually, these people, together with federalists and Republicans throughout the country, would become the framework for the all-powerful Liberal Party of Colombia) aghast at the establishment of a new monarchy. As they saw it, the promotion of monarchy in the new country, while not necessarily against their ideas of bourgeois democracy and Platonic republicanism, alluded to the undisputed taking of power by part of the Centralist faction of government. The fears of people like Santander or José María Córdova, noted parts of the liberal faction of Congress, were further worsened with the opening of the Tunja Congress, which determined that Antonio Nariño, former President of Cundinamarca, known for translating the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man to Spanish, and avowed centralist (and, according to many New Granadan Santandereans, the leader of a coup d'etat against the legitimate government of the United Provinces of New Granada, in order to end a Federal government), would be declared the first President. By the second day of the Tunja Congress, everything seemed in danger for the liberal wing of the Colombian government.

Fortunately for the unity of the new State, Santander and Córdova decided that the unity of the new state was more important than the squabbles of political systems. The Foolish Fatherland was still fresh on the minds of many people’s minds, and they were concerned that a civil war in the American Empire would end up destroying the young nation. As Santander himself put it, ’In the best of cases, we will end up like our brothers up north, torn asunder in fraternal warfare for motives of foolish pride; in the worst of cases, we would leave these young colonies adrift on the ocean, ready to be consumed by the English or the Metrople’. Santander seemed to accept a temporal Conservative hold on the Presidency, and the existence of the monarchy (at least for the duration of Bolivar’s life) in return for an unsaid assurance by part of Bolívar and Nariño that the Liberal faction would have ironclad control over the Senate and the Chamber of Censors and a dominance in the Chamber of Representatives.

With the Bolivarian rebellion done and Spanish forces, reforms to the military were done. While still under joint command by part of Bolívar specifically and the national monarchy generally, the funding towards the military would be taken care of by individual States. This was a master-stroke by Bolívar and the new Constitutional government - Southern states and Venezuela no longer felt alienated and threatened by a military that seemed under the dominance of the Neogranadines, while New Granada was relieved by the immense wealth needed to hold on to such a large army.

The first Imperial election started on January 1 of 1826, but didn’t end until September 12 of that year. The legislatures in the different States were asked to elect their delegates to an Electoral College modelled on the American model, with one major caveat - no vice-presidential vote; the electors had a single vote to choose their Emperor. This was due to the political quagmire that the second vote had brought upon the United States in the election of 1800, as well as the fact that whenever an Emperor would die a new one should be elected. The two major candidates for election were always the two heroes of South America; Simón Bolívar of Venezuela and José de San Martín of Argentina. (Agustín de Iturbide, at the time Emperor of Mexico, was for a short time a major contender due to Mexico’s delegation accounting for nearly 40% of all votes, but eventually conceded in favour of Bolívar). The election, due to Bolívar’s stronghold over northern South America as well as Iturbide’s aid, proved to be a landslide, with 85 of the 132 representatives that voted (14 electors, from the Antilles and Paraguay, withheld their vote, citing the lack of a proper local government to justify it on) voting for Bolívar, versus a meager 27 for San Martín (all but 8 of whom were from either Chile or Argentina). Besides the two major contenders, there were 12 electoral votes awarded to Iturbide by Mexican loyalists, 5 by radical Republican elements from the Liberal party awarded to Santander from New Granada, 2 from Mexico calling for Ferdinand VII of Spain being elected Emperor, and 1 Chilean casting his vote for Chilean general and war hero Bernardo O’Higgins. Bolívar was declared Emperor-elect, and with much fanfare was crowned in Cartagena de Indias in Christmas Day, 1826.

In retrospective, Bolívar was not a good choice for Emperor, due to his ailing health, which would ensue a new Imperial election within 6 years, on a much more tumultuous time for the young Empire. But at least at the time, it seemed like a no-brainer, and to this day, Bolívar is revered throughout America as a hero and an excellent Emperor.”

-Excerpt from El Nacimiento de una Nación by Juan Daniel Franco Mosquera, published by the University of the Rosary and the Xavierian University, Santafé de Bogotá, April 12, 1998. Translated to English in the University of Florida, Móbil, 2002.


The Crown of the Andes (left), the most notable symbol of Colombian unity, today used as the crown of the Virgin of the Nation statue in the National Congress, Las Casas. The repurposing of the Crown of the Andes to become the Imperial Crown of the nation resulted in the Crown Affair (right) of 1827.

The first scandal of the nascent American monarchy was the Crown Affair, in which the Crown of the Andes, one of the most magnificent votive crowns in the world, was repurposed by the Colombian monarchy, replaced with a replica made of copper in the convent in Popayán, and refashioned to be used for Simón Bolívar’s coronation. The Crown of the Andes was considered by many to be an important symbol of the Virgin Mary, and many convents in Popayán, a more or less Royalist city within New Granada that was, since the start, on the fence about independence. Within a few weeks, local Conservative military man José María Obando let a regiment to rebellion against the monarchy, declaring the Independent Republic of Popayán in June 12th of 1827 and taking over most of the lower Cauca basin.

The Obando regiments were small and disorganised, however, with their most loyal component being Spaniards who had not yet left the Cauca region expecting the collapse of the Colombian monarchy and the rise of the Second Reconquista and open battle ended as soon as the armies of El Libertador, together with those of the local governor Juan Samano, arrived in Popayán and "pacified" the convents in Popayán and throughout the Cauca River basin.

This pacification, it must be said, was rather brutal in regards to those who continued opposing the Government (much like the liberation of Pasto had been during the initial War of Independence). Despite the fact that convents were hallowed, and any widespread destruction of them would inevitably end up in further revolts, many convents were shut down and turned into public schools, and, in those where the monks were seen as supportive of the nascent rebellion, harsh judicial sentences ensued.

This would prove to be one of the hallmarks of the Colombian state; while nominally supportive of a free federation, and, in its more radical iterations, even of the right to revolt, any of these revolts was taken extremely seriously by the government, and crushed completely.

"The War of the Convents is not important only because it was one of the few rebellions present in the early Colombian monarchy, and one of the more seriously-taken ones up until the middle of the XIX Century, but also because of the fact that it created a fundamental precedent in Colombian history that would end up being momentous for its administrative and constitutional law. The first, the creation of the first legal justification for a forced expropiation by the Colombian state was secured through the 'Patente de Dominio Eminente', which officially justified the acquisition by the Colombian government of the Crown of the Andes in a concept that was extremely similar to that of eminent domain. This inital framework for eminent domain would be extremely widely cited later on by Colombian jurisprudence to justify the common acts of expropriation done by more socially-minded administrations later in the country's history.

Despite the momentousness of this precedent, the second one is even greater, considering the fact that the State Council, due to the political nature of the Affair and posterior rebellion, decided to assume its jurisdiction over any claim regarding compensation by monastic orders which sued the State due to the loss of their patrimony as Bolivar turned many convents into State-run schools. This would be the first origin of Administrative Jurisdiction in the country's history, as the State Council would, throughout the years, become a more and more important jurisdictional body."

-Excerpt from An Introduction to Administrative Law, by Pedro Antonio Ballestas. Published by the University of Mexico, 2017


An important fact in Jesuit history was its momentous decision not to support the convents' rebellion of 1827. Jesuit priests throughout the nation proved extremely loyal to the monarchy, trying to separate themselves from Colombian politics as much as possible throughout the period, correctly asuming that they had earned a large amount of goodwill from the new Colombian state, which saw them as fellow revolutionaries, and not willing to waste this goodwill over a throne; after all, the expulsion of the jesuits from Spanish territory in 1767 was still fresh in many people's minds.

We owe the continued existence of this University, the oldest continually operating one in this fair nation, to this momentous decision by our Jesuit brethren. BE MORE TO SERVE BETTER"

-Nuestra Historia. Official netsite of the Pontifician Xavierian University, Santafé de Bogotá.


The Palace of Saint Francis (left), in Santafé de Bogotá, remains the main building of the Pontificial Xavierian University, widely recognised to be the oldest extant university in New Granada and Colombia as a whole. The Xavierian University's traditional feud with the neighbor Rosary University (right) partially stems from both claiming the title, as the Rosary University, secular since the death of its founder Fray Cristóbal de Torres, has continuously operated as a university, while the Xavierian University was shut down due to the Spanish colonial expulsion of Jesuits.

“Let’s not exaggerate. Colombia wasn’t a single state out of nothing in 1826. All of the States of the Union were separate throughout their entire history before the unification under autochthonous rule in 1826, being independently ruled from the Courts of Seville in Spain. Trade and other relations were kept completely separate within the country. Due to this, it was a hard shock to suddenly integrate the Colombian Empire into a single country.

Due to this, the Colombian polity, at least at first, was not a single glorified state, despite the Constitution proudly boasting its unity and conjoined political system. The legislature acted as little more than a rubber stamp parliament meant to declare war and conduct the diplomatic relations that the Emperor required. The Emperor’s role, as well, was closer to that of a military archi-general, who commanded the joint armies of independent states, which additionally took a distinct position within their domestic policy - while some (notably Mexico) retained a monarchist government, at least until the death of Bolívar, others (especially New Granada and Argentina) lobbied for a Republican government and refused calling the Emperor so, with the State Governments referring to him instead as the Hegemon (Hegemonte), which was a matter of great contention especially between Bolívar and Santander, but also throughout the Empire.”

-TuVideo.net, "The History of Colombia in Seven Minutes, Gossip and All" by Kings and Emperors.

“It’s clear that the drafting of the Colombian monarchist system which initially took root in the majority of the American continent was a clear reaction to the Napoleonic system, which deeply inspired Bolivar during his stay in the European continent and which continued to haunt the European continent even after the defeat of Napoleon’s forces in Waterloo. Even more than that, the Colombian political system would be completely based on the image of a single man; Simón Bolívar. This element would be the founding element to one of Colombia’s most important political aspects; the extreme political proclivity to the support of individual leaders, known as caudillos in the American continent, which would become one of the biggest characteristics (and some might say, issues) of the nascent political system of the nation.

Although Colombian caudillismo would eventually - somewhat - subside, and would lead to the dominance of more institutional political processes, including the construction of stable political parties by the middle of the nineteenth century, and a completely composed party system by the middle of the twentieth, the extremely personalized political system would remain as the hallmark of Colombian politics almost nearly to the day. In fact, the degree of polarization remains such that Colombian politics, throughout specific periods of time, revolve around the particular political leaders of the time; for instance, despite the fact that the Liberal Party is a political juggernaut, over time its denomination has changed in the popular lingo, depending on the party leader of the moment.

The stability of Colombian institutions seem to depend on an extremely strong rule of law, based on a very independent judiciary, and the strength of the political powers of the States. It is important to have in mind that often this was not due to the fact that the Colombian States were free of any caudillos; in fact, very often regional politics are even more based on personality than national ones. Instead, it was often the case (as we can see for instance from the tensions between Santa Ana and Francia in the 1840s) that caudillos weakened each other, with the intention of achieving greater power for themselves, achieving a sort of impasse where no figure was strong enough to deliberately weaken the Colombian democratic system. In any case, this entails that Colombian institutions were notably more stable than those in the United States, Brazil, or in many other states.”

-Introduction to Personal Politics, Caudillismo and the Colombian Complex; an in-depth history of Colombian Politics. By Pedro Pereira, published in Salvador, Bahía, 2010. Translated to English by the Papist Studies Department of the Faculty of Social Studies, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.


The Statue of the Liberator, Caracas. The widespread adoration to Bolivar in Colombia rises to cult-like level, according to some political scientists. Every municipality in the country with a population greater than 25,000 must have at least one statue of Bolívar, San Martín and Iturbide.
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Interesting, seems USA is self destructing, when i doubt an union so big like this could sucess, is still amazing work of Bolivar so far

Yup! The USA is going in a very awry route.

Sure, the Colombian union right now seems reaaaally large. But have in mind, at this stage it's a glorified military alliance. We'll see how things develop down the road! :)
g the Emperor so, with the State Governments referring to him instead as the Hegemon (Hegemonte), which was a matter of great contention especially between Bolívar and Santander, but also throughout the Empire.”
Why this recall me of the Dynatoi of the late ERE? and a lot of some issues Ummayd and Abbasadid got with their Wali...And yeah the nation is just a military alliance so far, still amazing update buddy.
Man, if Colombia can consolidate it'll be pretty much monopolizing all the cool paleontology sites. I mean, Morrison, Hell Creek, and all of Argentina? Hardly seems fair.
Really enjoying this timeline so far! The Colombian system of government is very intriguing, and I love all the little references (like the websites and domain names) which foreshadow the influential role the nation will play in the future.
Hi, everyone! With the Colombian Empire now established, we can turn north again and finally catch up in the USA, where a lot has been going on. The next few chapters will be focused up north.

Why this recall me of the Dynatoi of the late ERE? and a lot of some issues Ummayd and Abbasadid got with their Wali...And yeah the nation is just a military alliance so far, still amazing update buddy.

I‘m really really glad you’re liking it so far, thanks! :) Yeah, the Colombian Empire isn’t universally acclaimed by all means. Creating new institutions is never easy!

Man, if Colombia can consolidate it'll be pretty much monopolizing all the cool paleontology sites. I mean, Morrison, Hell Creek, and all of Argentina? Hardly seems fair.

Hahahah, you’re totally right. They also have the Galapagos Island, so the XIXth Century’s most famous biology and paleontology are all very heavily Colombian-tinted. The thing is, as many Third World countries OTL with large archaeological or paleontological wealth would eventually find out, having a lot of sites doesn’t mean it’s gonna be you exploiting those sites :p

Really enjoying this timeline so far! The Colombian system of government is very intriguing, and I love all the little references (like the websites and domain names) which foreshadow the influential role the nation will play in the future.

Thank you so much!! The whole sourcing of tidbits is honestly my favourite part to write. It’s so entertaining!