Colombia is primarily an agricultural country, and its biggest export crop is coffee beans. Native Amerindians were active in the area around 1450 BCE, and had developed a sophisticated political system by 1000 BCE. The Spanish arrived in 1500 CE, bringing war, disease, and exploitation.
Simon Bolivar was instrumental in achieving independence in 1819 when he united Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela as the Republic of Gran Colombia. Ecuador and Venezuela went their own way a decade later, and Panama hung in until 1903.