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Ecuador history and independence

Ximena Zamora, Miss Ecuador 2005The history of pre-Inca Ecuador is lost in a misty tangle of time and legend, and the earliest historical details date back only as far as the 11th century AD. It is commonly believed that Asian nomads reached the South American continent by about 12,000 BC and were later joined by Polynesian colonizers. Centuries of tribal expansion, warfare and alliances resulted in the relatively stable Duchicela lineage, which ruled more or less peacefully for about 150 years until the arrival of the Incas around 1450 AD.

Despite fierce opposition, the conquering Incas soon held the region, helped by strong leadership and policies of intermarriage. War over the inheritance of the new Inca kingdom weakened and divided the region on the eve of the arrival of the Spanish invaders.

The first Spaniards landed in northern Ecuador in 1526. Pizarro reached the country in 1532 and spread terror among the Indians thanks to his conquistadors' horses, armor and weaponry. The Inca leader, Atahualpa, was ambushed, held for ransom, 'tried' and executed, and the Inca empire was effectively demolished.

Quito held out for two years but was eventually razed by Atahualpa's general, Rumiñahui, rather than be lost intact to the invading Spaniards. Ecuador was invaded and colonized by Spain from 1532.

Britney Spears in the beach

Above Britney Spear sun batting in Galapagos

Ecuador independence

It joined Venezuela, Colombia, and Panama in the confederacy of Gran Colombia in 1819. After joining other South American colonies in a revolt against Spain, Ecuador was liberated in 1822 by Antonio José de Sucre and became fully independent in 1830.With the support of the army, Ecuador was governed by Venezuelan Gen Juan José Flores 1830–45.

However. His lack of understanding of the country led him to hand over power to the revolutionary leader Vicente Rocafuerte. Flores was forced into exile in 1845. Power passed to a Liberal oligarchy based in Guayaquil. The next 15 years saw the ‘nationalization’ of both army and government. During the period 1861–75, Ecuadorian political life was dominated by Gen Gabriel Garcia Moreno, who promoted education and carried out important public works. A coastal-based liberal revolution in 1895 under Eloy Alfaro reduced the power of the clergy and opened the way for capitalist development.

The end of the cocoa boom produced renewed political instability and a military coup in 1925.The 1930s and 1940s were marked by populist politicians such as five-time president Jose Velasco Ibarra. In January 1942, Ecuador signed the Rio Protocol to end a brief war with Peru the year before.

Ecuador agreed to a border that conceded to Peru much territory Ecuador previously had claimed in the Amazon. continues...


Ecuadorian girl at Esmeraldas Ecuador

Ecuador history
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