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Combat of Maiquetía, during the beginning of the Federal War, 2 September 1859.
|Commanders and leaders|
Juan Crisóstomo Falcón
Antonio Guzman Blanco
|José Antonio Páez
The Federal War (Spanish: Guerra Federal) - also known as the Great War or the Five Year War - was a civil war (1859–1863) in Venezuela between the conservative party and the liberal party about the monopoly of the conservatives of the land and the government positions, and their reluctance to grant any reforms. This drove the liberals to look for greater autonomy for the provinces. It was the biggest and bloodiest civil war Venezuela had had since its independence. Hundreds of thousands died in the violence of the war, or from hunger or disease, in a country with a population of just over a million people.
The Federal War was mainly a guerrilla war largely without a centralized command for the Federalists, who professed to ride on social resentment. Just three major conventional battles were fought: The Battle of Santa Inés (10 December 1859), in which Ezequiel Zamora and 3,400 men defeated the Central Army of 2,300 men, with about 1,200 casualties altogether both sides; the Battle of Coplé (17 February 1860), victory of the government forces of general León de Febres Cordero over a Federalist army of 4,500 men, commanded by Falcón, and the Battle of Buchivacoa (26–27 December 1862). The hostilities ended with the signing of the Treaty of Coche in April 1863.
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