NEW GRANADA (Span. Nueoa Granada), the title under Spanish colonial administration of that part of South America now known as the republic of Colombia, which at one time was extended to include Venezuela and Ecuador. It also was for a time the title of the united territories of Panama and Colombia under republican auspices. The Bogota plateau, then inhabited by a partly civilized Indian nation known to the Spaniards as Chibchas, or Muyscas (the second name seems to have been applied to them through a misunderstanding, the word meaning " men "), was invaded from the Caribbean coast and conquered in 1537 by Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada, who, in honour of his native province, called it the " Nuevo Reino de Granada." The title at first applied only to the plateau regions of Colombia, as the coast provinces had been previously occupied and named. In 1550 an audiencia real under the viceroyalty of Peru was established at Santa Fe (Bogota), but in 1564 this isolated group of Spanish settlements was transformed into a presidency. In 1718, owing to the unmanageable size of the viceroyalty of Peru, it was divided and a new viceroyalty was created from the various provinces lying in the north-western angle of the continent, extending from Tumbez northward to the northern limits of Panama, and eastward to the Orinoco, to which the name of Nueva Granada was given. The first viceroy was Pedroza y Guerrero, but his successor, Jorge Villalonga, resumed the title of president, and it was not until 1739 that the title of viceroy was definitely established. The new viceroyalty included the provinces of Tierra Firma (now the republic of Panama); Maracaibo, Caracas, Cumana and Guyana (now included in Venezuela); Cartagena, Santa Marta, Rio Hacha, Antioquia, Pamplona, Socorro, Tunja, Santa Fe, Neiva, Mariquita, Popayan and Pasto (now included in Colombia); and Quito, Cuenca and Guayaquil (now included in Ecuador). In 1777 the provinces of Maracaibo, Caracas, Cumana and Guyana were detached from the viceroyalty to form the captaincygeneral of Caracas; otherwise it remained as above until the termination of Spanish rule in South America.
For the republic of Colombia (1819-1830), the republic of New Granada (1831-1861), the United States of Colombia (1861-1886), and the republic of Colombia (1886 to date), see COLOMBIA.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)