What if Gran Colombia Reunited Today?
Last updated: Monday January 31st, 2022
Just after its creation in 1821, and its territorial height, Gran Colombia, or Greater Colombia as many people call it was a key world power in the Americas and one of the most significant countries in South America in the early 19th century during its very brief existence. Despite this, the union still managed to retain the title as a powerful nation and controlled a big portion of South America, stretching from modern-day Guyana, on the Atlantic coast, to modern-day Ecuador, on the Pacific Coast. However, from the beginning, the creation of Gran Colombia sparked a very unstable country with many different rebel groups like Nationalists and Separatists that wanted to break away from the union. Gradually, these groups gained more momentum causing chaos around the country and internal crisis until finally in 1831, it finally collapsed after the resignation of the president, marking the end of the short-lived, experiment of a union. But what if it reunited today?
Population and Land
If it reunited today, the first thing we would have to overview and think about is the population, land and cities of the new country and how it would compare to other countries in the world. For starters, a small number of just 7 modern-day countries would lose all or some of their territory to the re-emerging union: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Panama, Peru, Venezuela, which would all be located in South America, with just Panama being located in Central (or North) America.
Even though it would only made up of a small amount of countries, Gran Colombia would still have a big land area if you think about how big these countries actually are. In total, the land area of the entire country would stand at a huge 3,118,600 Square Kilometres (1,204,100 Sq mi), which would make it the 8th largest nation in the world, ahead of nearby Argentina (2,780,400 Sq km) and Kazakhstan (2,725,000 Sq km), but slightly smaller than India (3,287,500 Sq km) and still less than half the size of Australia (7,692,000 Sq km).
Despite being less than half the size of Australia in sheer land area, the population of Gran Colombia today would be more than 4x larger standing at 112 Million compared to Australia's 27 Million. When comparing this to the whole world, the country would be the 13th most populous country in the world, even ahead of some other very populated countries such as the Philippines (109 Million), Egypt (102 Million) and Vietnam (97 Million), but behind Ethiopia (114 Million) and Japan (126 Million). Colombia, alone would account for just about half of the whole union's territory with a big population, alone of 50 Million people.
Lastly in this section of hypothesising what a reunited Gran Colombia would look like we come to the cities that would be present and significant within its borders. If we had to choose a capital city for the union, Bogota would be the the most highly likely option as not only was it the historic capital of the country, but is also still a thriving urban area close to a megacity-status today and is also practically located in the exact centre of Gran Colombia as well. Bogota would also be the biggest city in the whole country by population with a significant 9,800,000 people. Here would be the rest of the top 10 biggest cities within its borders:
- Bogota (9,800,000)
- Caracas (5,800,000)
- Medellin (3,500,000)
- Guayaquil (3,100,000)
- Quito (2,700,000)
- Cali (2,500,000)
- Maracaibo (2,300,000)
- Barranquilla (2,000,000)
- Valencia (1,600,000)
- Panama City (1,250,000)
Money and Economy
The next thing we need to think about a reunited Gran Colombia after its population and land, is its economy and wealth of its citizens. Starting off with its economy, or specifically its entire wealth in total, the country's Nominal GDP would stand at $918 Billion, which would be very close to $1 Trillion and the 19th largest overall in the world beating up other significant economies such as Saudi Arabia ($842 Billion), Switzerland ($810 Billion) and Turkey ($795 Billion), but remaining behind the Netherlands ($1.007 Trillion) and Iran ($1.081 Trillion).
Now focusing on the individual wealth on the country's citizens, the living standards of the union wouldn't be very high mainly due to its large population and some very poor areas in it like Venezuela. When taking all of this into consideration, the country's Nominal GDP Per Capita would stand at $8,196. This would make it have the 104th highest living standards in the world ahead of many different countries, though, like Thailand ($7,809) and Dominica ($7,777), but behind the Dominican Republic ($8,492) and Gabon ($8,569).
On top of all of this, a reunited Gran Colombia would also actually control the largest oil reserves that would be located in the Venezuelan part of the country, containing a huge amount of 300.9 Billion barrels which would definitely make it the largest oil exporter in the world and would probably become its biggest export.
Religious and Ethnic Groups
The Religious and Ethnic groups of a reunited Gran Colombia would also be a very interesting thing to talk about, bringing us to the next topic.
Starting off with Religious groups, Christianity would by far be the most followed religion in the country collectively at 93%, divided between Roman Catholicism at 84%, Protestantism at 7% and other variations 2%. Islam would be represented at a small 2.4% which mainly includes immigrants and small communities originating in its borders, and with Hinduism being the last major religion in Gran Colombia at 0.8%. Lastly, the final 3.8% of the population would be a mix of various other small religions and Atheists and irreligious people.
Now looking at Ethnic groups, Mestizos, which are people of mixed Amerindian and European heritage, would predominantly be the largest ethnicity in the country being represented at 72% of the population. Next, being the largest minor ethnicity, would be people that identify as exclusively White at 11%, followed by Amerindians, meaning people native to the American continent, and indigenous groups at 6%, people with exclusively African ancestry not far behind at 5.2%. The remaining 5.8% of the population would be a mix of many different small ethnicities.
Purple = Christianity
Orange = Hinduism
Pink = Indigenous Religions
Carrying on off of Gran Colombia's Religious and Ethnic groups, we come to its Linguistic groups. Starting with the most spoken language, Spanish would obviously and by far be the most spoken of them all with pretty much the whole population (98.3% to be precise) speaking it as a first language. Despite this, hundreds of Amerindian and indigenous languages would also be spoken with just under 500,000 speakers of these native languages.
Spanish would also most likely become the sole official language of the country due to obvious reasons and also the fact that all of the modern-day countries making Gran Colombia up with just the exception of Guyana.
The last significant thing we have to think about a reunited Gran Colombia is its military strength and firepower it would control.
Starting with its manpower, the union would possess a significant 466,450 active-duty personnel, which would be the 10th largest force in the world, larger than the armies of Egypt (438,500 troops) and Myanmar (406,000 troops), but smaller than either Vietnam's (482,000 troops) or South Korea's (599,000 troops). In addition to this, the country would also find in possession an extra 166,620 troops in reserves, bringing its army to a total of 633,070 troops.
The budget to fund this military would also be at a modest amount of $14.55 Billion, which would be the 18th highest in the world, higher than the budgets of Poland ($14.5 Billion) and the Netherlands ($14.26 Billion), but smaller than the budgets of Taiwan ($16.8 Billion) and Israel ($17.8 Billion).
In the beginning, a reunited Gran Colombia wouldn't start off with any Nuclear Weapons upon creation but may theoretically develop them if they wanted to as they could have the power and capability to attempt it, but it would be unclear how the rest of the world would react to a 10th Nuclear power.
Qing Dynasty | Belgian Colonial Empire | A united Latin America | Rashidun Caliphate
And finally, that brings us to the end of this part of the series. If you have any other new suggestions for any empires you want me to cover, that I have not yet, then please let me know in the comments. But for now, I would like to thank you all so much for reading and goodbye! :)