Colombian political history from shaky Founding to near state failure (1810–1998)
This chapter talks about the agency of the weak state of Colombia and its pivotal role in the intervention of the United States in the internal affairs of the Colombian nation. It is argued that the US would not have intervened but for the invitation of the Colombian elite, who were concerned with the imminent failure of the state on their own territory. The chapter first reviews all the factors, including ideology, that have complicated the state's domestic agency. It proceeds to recount salient crossroads in the history of the state's debility and resulting external entanglement. The chapter continues with the Spanish Empire and Founding Era and ends with the Administration of the Ernesto Samper, whose debacle precipitated the state's late crisis. The partisan ideological polarisation which the Great Depression revealed to be raging undiminished would lead to the brink of state failure by the end of the twentieth century.