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COLOMBES—COLOMBIA

idea of his teaching was that naval supremacy is the condition precedent of all vigorous military offensive across the seas, and, conversely, that no vigorous military offensive can be undertaken across the seas until the naval force of the enemy has been accounted for—either destroyed or defeated and compelled to withdraw to the shelter of its own ports, or at least driven from the seas by the menace of a force it dare not encounter in the open. This broad and indefeasible principle he enunciated and defended in essay after essay, in lecture after lecture, until what at first was rejected as a paradox came in the end to be accepted as a commonplace. He worked quite independently of Captain Mahan, and his chief conclusions were published before Captain Mahan’s works appeared.

He died quite suddenly and in the full swing of his literary activity on the 13th of October 1899, at Steeple Court, Botley, Hants. His latest published work was a biography of his friend Sir Astley Cooper Key, and his last article was a critical examination of the tactics adopted at Trafalgar, which showed his acumen and insight at their best.

His younger brother, Sir John Colomb (1838–1909), was closely associated in the pioneer work done for British naval strategy and Imperial defence, and his name stands no less high among those who during this period promoted accurate thinking on the subject of sea-power. Entering the Royal Marines in 1854, he rose to be captain in 1867, retiring in 1869; and thenceforth he devoted himself to the study of naval and military problems, on which he had already published some excellent essays. His books on Colonial Defence and Colonial Opinions (1873), The Defence of Great and Greater Britain (1879), Naval Intelligence and the Protection of Commerce (1881), The Use and the Application of Marine Forces (1883), Imperial Federation: Naval and Military (1887), followed later by other similar works, made him well known among the rising school of Imperialists, and he was returned to parliament (1886–1892) as Conservative member for Bow, and afterwards (1895–1906) for Great Yarmouth. In 1887 he was created C.M.G., and in 1888 K.C.M.G. He died in London on the 27th of May 1909. In Kerry, Ireland, he was a large landowner, and became a member of the Irish privy council (1903), and in 1906 he sat on the Royal Commission dealing with congested districts.


COLOMBES, a town of France in the department of Seine, arrondissement of St Denis, 7 m. N.N.W. of Paris. Pop. (1906) 28,920. It has a 16th-century church with 12th-century tower, a race-course, and numerous villa residences and boarding-schools. Manufactures include oil, vinegar and measuring-instruments. A castle formerly stood here, in which died Henrietta Maria, queen of Charles I. of England.


COLOMBEY, a village of Lorraine, 4 m. E. of Metz, famous as the scene of a battle between the Germans and the French fought on the 14th of August 1870. It is often called the battle of Borny, from another village 2½ m. E. of Metz. (See Metz and Franco-German War.)


COLOMBIA, a republic of South America occupying the N.W. angle of that continent and bounded N. by the Caribbean Sea and Venezuela, E. by Venezuela and Brazil, S. by Brazil, Peru and Ecuador, and W. by Ecuador, the Pacific Ocean, Panama and the Caribbean Sea. The republic is very irregular in outline and has an extreme length from north to south of 1050 m., exclusive of territory occupied by Peru on the north bank of the upper Amazon, and an extreme width of 860 m. The approximate area of this territory, according to official calculations, is 481,979 sq. m., which is reduced to 465,733 sq. m. by Gotha planimetrical measurements. This makes Colombia fourth in area among the South American states.

The loss of the department of Panama left the republic with unsettled frontiers on every side, and some of the boundary disputes still unsolved in 1909 concern immense areas of territory. The boundary with Costa Rica was settled in 1900 by an award of the President of France, but the secession of Panama in 1903 gave Colombia another unsettled line on the north-west. If the line which formerly separated the Colombian departments of Cauca and Panama is taken as forming the international boundary, this line follows the water-parting between the streams which flow eastward to the Atrato, and those which flow westward to the Gulf of San Miguel, the terminal points being near Cape Tiburon on the Caribbean coast, and at about 7° 10′ N. lat. on the Pacific coast. The boundary dispute with Venezuela was referred in 1883 to the king of Spain, and the award was made in 1891. Venezuela, however, refused to accept the decision. The line decided upon, and accepted by Colombia, starts from the north shore of Calabozo Bay on the west side of the Gulf of Maracaibo, and runs west and south-west to and along the water-parting (Sierra de Perija) between the drainage basins of the Magdalena and Lake Maracaibo as far as the source in lat. 8° 50′ N. of a small branch of the Catatumbo river, thence in a south-easterly direction across the Catatumbo and Zulia rivers to a point in 72° 30′ W. long., 8° 12′ N. lat., thence in an irregular southerly direction across the Cordillera de Mérida to the source of the Sarare, whence it runs eastward along that river, the Arauca, and the Meta to the Orinoco. Thence the line runs south and south-east along the Orinoco, Atabapo and Guainia to the Pedra de Cucuhy, which serves as a boundary mark for three republics. Of the eastern part of the territory lying between the Meta and the Brazilian frontier, Venezuela claims as far west as the meridian of 69° 10′. Negotiations for the settlement of the boundary with Brazil (q.v.) were resumed in 1906, and were advanced in the following year to an agreement providing for the settlement of conflicting claims by a mixed commission. With Ecuador and Peru the boundary disputes are extremely complicated, certain parts of the disputed territory being claimed by all three republics. Colombia holds possession as far south as the Napo in lat. 2° 47′ S., and claims territory occupied by Peru as far south as the Amazon. On the other hand Peru claims as far north as La Chorrera in 0° 49′ S. lat., including territory occupied by Colombia, and the eastern half of the Ecuadorean department of Oriente, and Ecuador would extend her southern boundary line to the Putumayo, in long. 71° 1′ S., and make that river her northern boundary as far north as the Peruvian claim extends. The provisional line starts from the Japura river (known as the Caqueta in Colombia) in lat. 1° 30′ S., long. 69° 24′ W., and runs south-west to the 70th meridian, thence slightly north of west to the Igaraparana river, thence up that stream to the Peruvian military post of La Chorrera, in 0° 49′ S. lat., thence west of south to Huiririmachico, on the Napo. Thence the line runs north-west along the Napo, Coca and San Francisco rivers to the Andean watershed, which becomes the dividing line northward for a distance of nearly 80 m., where the line turns westward and reaches the Pacific at the head of Panguapi Bay, into which the southern outlet of the Mira river discharges (about 1° 34′ N. lat.).

Physical Geography.—Colombia is usually described as an extremely mountainous country, which is true of much less than half its total area. Nearly one half its area lies south-east of the Andes and consists of extensive llanos and forested plains, traversed by several of the western tributaries of the Amazon and Orinoco. These plains slope gently toward the east, those of the Amazon basin apparently lying in great terraces whose escarpments have the character of low, detached ranges of hills forming successive rims to the great basin which they partly enclose. The elevation and slope of this immense region, which has an approximate length of 640 m. and average width of 320 m., may be inferred from the elevations of the Caqueta, or Japura river, which was explored by Crevaux in 1878–1879. At Santa Maria, near the Cordillera (about 75° 30′ W. long.), the elevation is 613 ft. above sea-level, on the 73rd meridian it is 538 ft., and near the 70th meridian 426 ft.—a fall of 187 ft. in a distance of about 400 m. The northern part of this great region has a somewhat lower elevation and gentler slope, and consists of open grassy plains, which are within the zone of alternating wet and dry seasons. In the south and toward the great lower basin of the Amazon, where the rainfall is continuous throughout the year, the plains are heavily forested. The larger part of this territory is unexplored except along the principal rivers, and is inhabited by scattered tribes of Indians. Near the Cordilleras and along some of the larger rivers there are a few small settlements of whites and mestizos, but their aggregate number is small and their economic value to the republic is inconsiderable. There are some cattle ranges on the open plains, however, but they are too isolated to have much importance. A small part of the northern Colombia, on the lower courses of the Atrato and Magdalena, extending across