With the imposition of liberal ideas, the country entered fully into the capitalist system prevailing in the West. The Constitution of Rionegro (1863-1886) represents the triumph of free trade interests and the imposition of absolute individual freedom. The practice of these principles to the end of the century led to a rethinking of the ideological foundations of the state. It was decided then and protectionist system, governed by the Constitution of 1886 which lasted in Colombia for more than 100 years and was characterized by a rigid centralism, and the extensive powers granted to the executive. The Constitution established suffrage for all men, while women's suffrage was established until 1957. Colombia contemporary with the predominance of the conservative party in power since 1886 the protectionist policies established at the end of the nineteenth century helped to launch the process of industrialization.
The 30s meant to Colombia the initiation of a policy of import substitution, especially consumer goods. The expansion of the economy and especially the industrialization process led to political and social transformations. The demand for labor increased from the 40 urban migration while social conflicts intensified in the countryside (peasant agitation) and in the city (labor movement that led to the establishment of labor reform). During this period comes the Liberal leader Jorge Eliecer Gaitan as a defender of banana farmers in the area and strengthens the political party UNITE (Union of Revolutionary Left), representative of the masses. This political force achieved great success in all areas of country, making an important leader Gaitan.