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Invitation to World Literature

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Map & Timeline

It's hard to find one map that tells the entire story of this novel, which recreates the first human settlement of South America and the arrival of the Spaniards in the 1500s, and was written in Mexico by a Colombian author who was first published in Argentina. This map shows Colombia, where the author Gabriel Garcia Márquez was born in the small village of Aracataca, that country's position on the western frontier of the continent, and its proximity to Central America and the Atlantic Ocean.

1st – 15th centuries CE
The Tayronas and Muiscas dominate the region that would become Colombia.

1525
Spanish colonizers establish a permanent settlement at Santa Marta.

1549
The area that would become Colombia is named New Granada.

1717
A settlement at Santa Fé de Bogotá is created.

1796-1806 Internal political divisions spring up between federalists and centralists; provinces of New Granada set up their own political factions.

1810 Granada declares independence from Spain, renaming itself first Gran Colombia, then Cundinamarca.

1815-16
Spanish forces capture the city of Cartagena and retake control of New Granada.

1819
Simon Bolívar, from neighboring Venezuela, defeats the Spanish at the Battle of Boyacá, re-establishing the independence of Gran Colombia. Bolívar becomes the first president of Gran Colombia. The two main political parties, Conservative and Liberal, develop out of the followings of Bolívar (Conservative) and Francisco de Paula Santander (Liberal).

1830 Gran Colombia becomes the Republic of New Granada.

1863
Republic of New Granada becomes United States of Colombia.

1886 United States of Colombia becomes the Republic of Colombia.

1899-1902
The Thousand Days War, a civil war between Conservatives and Liberals, costs 100,000 lives.

1928 Gabriel García Márquez is born in Aracataca on March 6.

1940s-50s
"La Violencia", another civil war, begins after the assassination of a Liberal presidential candidate.

1946 García Márquez enrolls in law school at the Universidad Nacional in Bogotá.

1952 García Márquez becomes a reporter for El Espectador in Bogotá, and offends the government with his investigative reporting.

1953
A military coup brings down the Conservatives; General Gustavo Rojas rules until 1957.

1957-74 The National Front government unites Conservatives and Liberals.

1961
García Márquez moves his family to Mexico City.

1965-7
García Márquez writes and publishes One Hundred Years of Solitude.

1974-90s Growth of influence for drug cartels, notably the Medellin, in Colombia. Three presidential candidates are assassinated by the cartels.

1982
García Márquez receives the Nobel Prize for Literature.

1991 A new constitution is written, to bring about legal and institutional reforms.

1999
Plan Colombia is introduced to promote peace and combat the narcotics industry.

2002
Alvaro Uribe Vélez takes office as president.


© 2010 Map Resources, All rights reserved.
The small town of Aracataca, Colombia, could be a model for Macombo.
© 2010 JupiterImages Corporation
Modern-day Colombia, where the Tayronas and Muiscas settled
Explorer Rodrigo de Bastidas, who established a settlement at Santa Marta.
© 2010 JupiterImages Corporation
A map showing Colombia as New Granada
An early illustration of Santa Fé de Bogotá
19th-century depiction of Cartagena
Simon Bolívar
Maps Collection, Rare Books and Special Collections, Northern Illinois University.
Map of the new United States of Colombia
Soldiers in the Thousand Days War
Fighting during "La Violencia"
Bust of Rojas
Digital Vision/PunchStock.
Mexico City
The first page of the novel, in Spanish
© Bettmann/CORBIS
Gabriel García Márquez after receiving his Nobel Prize
www.whitehouse.gov
Colin Powell visiting Colombia in support of Plan Colombia
United States Department of Defense
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Vélez