The territory of what is now Colombia was originally inhabited by indigenous peoples including the Muisca, Quimbaya, and Tairona. The Spanish arrived in 1499 and initiated a period of conquest and colonization ultimately creating the Viceroyalty of New Granada, with its capital at Bogotá. Independence from Spain was won in 1819, but by 1830 "Gran Colombia" had collapsed with the secession of Venezuela and Ecuador. What is now Colombia and Panama emerged as the Republic of New Granada. The new nation experimented with federalism as the Granadine Confederation, and then the United States of Colombia, before the Republic of Colombia was finally declared in 1886. Panama seceded in 1903.
Colombia was the first constitutional government in South America, and an important promoter of the Pan American organizations, initially through the Congress of Panama and later as founder of the Organization of American States. Colombia was engulfed in the Year-Long War with Peru over a territorial dispute and entered the Korean War as an ally of South Korea. Since the 1960s, the country has suffered from an asymmetric low-intensity armed conflict. The conflict escalated in the 1990s, but since 2000 the conflict has decreased considerably.
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