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Droughts and Scarcity before Independence in the Viceroyalty of New Granada, 1800–1810



This article offers an environmental perspective on the crisis preceding the independence of New Granada (present-day Colombia). The economic and political factors well known in the historiography are here complemented by weather and climate factors that changed the levels of precipitation, caused droughts, and were related to cattle mortality, loss of crops, and high prices. The author compares her own findings on the Province of Santafe, the capital city of New Granada, with some information about the situation on the Caribbean coast and in other viceroyalties of the Spanish Empire.