Ecuador history facts origin revolution and independence

Ecuador history

The Republic of Ecuador is a country with a history behind it of several centuries. A nation whose customs, traditions and its rich culture come from time immemorial. A territory that has passed over the years through different stages and interesting historical eras . At Curio Sfera -Historia.com , we explain the history of Ecuador and its origin . In this article we will provide you the Ecuador history facts.

Origin of Ecuador

If you want to know well the history and origin of Ecuador, you must first know what it is like and its geographical location.

The smallest of the Andean countries, Ecuador is located in northwestern South America. It limits to the north with Colombia , to the east and south with Peru, and to the west with the Pacific Ocean.

In the northern region it is crossed by the equator for a length of about 600 km. During colonial times , its main fortune came from an elastic resin that had been discovered in the 18th century in Cayenne and which La Condamine baptized with the name of rubber.

Along with  coffee  and tobacco , the Andean highlands and coastal plains were filled with these crops, which provided wealth to the Creole populations and made this country one of the most prosperous in the area.

On the other hand, Ecuador was located between the viceroyalties of Peru and New Granada , and through its territory all transits between the two were carried out.

After independence, Ecuador experienced an alternation between liberals and conservatives that allowed the modernization of the country during the course of the 19th century.

The following century became the world’s leading cocoa producer, and since 1934 it was dominated by the personality of José María Velasco Ibarra , a protagonist of the political scene for several decades.

It was this man who had to face the war against Peru in 1941 over the  border territories of Tumbes, Jaén and Maynas, which he ended up losing.

  • Continent : America.
  • Surface : 283,561 km².
  • Capital : Quito.
  • Population : 16,685,245 inhabitants.
  • Currency : US dollar.
  • Official languages : Spanish and English.

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10 brief Historical facts of Ecuador

1.- War of Independence of Ecuador: Carried out between the years 1820 and 1822 between the Spanish Empire and the Royal Court of Quito.

2.- Annexation of Quito to Gran Colombia: It was carried out by military means on May 29, 1822.

3.- Separation from Gran Colombia: When Gran Colombia was dissolved in 1830, a new country was born known as the State of Ecuador, which lasted only 5 years.

4.- Marcista Revolution: It was the first anti-government movement that occurred in Ecuador after its founding as a country. It was carried out in 1845 against President Juan José Flores.

5.- Peruvian-Ecuadorian War of 1858: Diplomatic and territorial conflicts caused Peru to declare war against Ecuador by sending a ship to block the coast of the latter.

6.- Peruvian-Ecuadorian War of 1941: Again the hostilities between these two countries occurred between 1941 and 1942 due to territorial conflicts. War was not declared by any of the countries.

7.- Economic crisis of 1999: The hyperinflation of prices in goods of all kinds in Ecuador, the devaluation of the sucre led the country to the worst economic and migration crisis, also to its dollarization that is still in force to date.

8.- Coup d’état in 2000: As a result of the economic crisis, the government of Jamil Mahuad takes measures and decisions that cause his overthrow.

9.- Political crisis of 2005: The overthrow of the government of Lucio Gutiérrez by a civic-military movement known as the outlaw rebellion, which accused him of being corrupt and traitorous.

10.- Visit of Pope Francis: It occurred in 2015 and it was the second time that a Pope visited Ecuador, the first was Juan Pablo Segundo in 1985.

History of Ecuador – Inca period

The current Republic of Ecuador is in the heart of the region where the higher megalithic civilizations of the New World were born and developed. .

The populations of the pre-Inca period lived in clans, which formed exogamous collectives.

Some of these clans formed large tribes , and some tribes even allied with each other to form powerful confederations, on the Chibcha model . But none of these confederations resisted the formidable push of the Quechuas .

Inca penetration (15th century) was very painful, and many tribes remained insubordinate. However, once Quito was occupied by the hosts of Cápac Yupanqui , the Incas developed extensive administrative and colonizing work.

Huayna Cápac (1493-1525) pacified the country and transferred to Quito the capital of the immense Inca empire , which reached its peak under his reign.

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Spanish colonization of Ecuador

When the Spanish arrived, the empire was divided, according to the last will of Huayna Cápac, between his sons Huáscar and Atahualpa . The two fought each other, and the second triumphed.

Almost immediately, Francisco Pizarro lured him into an ambush in Cajamarca and took him prisoner. Despite the fact that the indigenous monarch paid a large ransom, he was sentenced to death and executed, after receiving baptism.

The sector corresponding to the Kingdom of Quito was effectively occupied by Sebastián de Belalcázar , to whom the foundation of San Francisco de Quito (December 1534) and other cities is also owed .

Some members of an expedition that left Quito, under the command of Gonzalo Pizarro, discovered the Amazon River in 1542. Three decades later an Audiencia was founded in Quito (1563). That it depended on Lima (except for the brief period of 1717-23) until 1740, when it was placed under the subordination of the viceroyalty of New Granada .

The colonial system imposed by Spain caused tensions that resulted in riots against taxes, or against certain trade obstacles (alcabalas: 1592-1593 or tobacconists in 1765).

Revolution and independence of Ecuador

At the beginning of the 19th century , the insurrections already adopted clearly independentist forms, as a result of the revolutionary preaching of Eugenio Espejo. in the previous decade.

The insurrectionary preparations of 1808, led to the proclamation of independence in August 1809 , but the Autonomous Board of landowners, was defeated by the troops sent from Bogotá and Lima, and many of those committed perished during the massacre of 2 August 1810.

A second Junta lasted somewhat longer, but successive military failures disintegrated it in 1812. On October 9, 1820, Creoles and individuals from the Guayaquil and Quito garrisons rebelled and expelled the Spanish authorities .

The revolutionary Junta that was immediately formed asked Bolívar for help , who sent Sucre and a few hundred soldiers; the campaign on the Sierra advanced laboriously until Sucre prevailed in the battle of Pichincha , fought on the foothills of this volcano, towards the western part of Quito (May 24, 1822).

Shortly after, the old Audiencia joined the Gran Colombia , led by Bolívar, but when the Liberator’s vast project failed, a group of notables meeting in Quito decided to organize the new country as an independent state on May 13, 1830 and surrendered power. Venezuelan General Juan José Flores .

History of the Republic of Ecuador

The Constituent Assembly of Riobamba (August-September 1830) issued a Charter, which established the form of a unitary State, the form of democratic Government and the separation of powers (legislative, executive and judicial), as well as the census vote and the granting of the nationality of those who have been part of the emancipatory armies.

Flores was confirmed as constitutional president , but his erroneous economic policy, the privileges he granted to the military (many of them born outside Ecuador) and the virtual suppression of public liberties alienated his sympathies, organizing the opposition around societyThe Free Quiteño , which published a famous newspaper in its time.

Once the group was dispersed, Vicente Rocafuerte emerged as a dangerous rival , until the moment he made a pact with Flores and replaced him in command. Rocafuerte promoted cultural development. He was replaced by Flores himself (1839-1843), who tried to continue in the presidency, but in 1845 he had to accept exile.

From that year until 1860 the most important figure was that of General José María Urbina . The crisis of 1858-1860 ended its influence; he had to take refuge in Peru, giving way to Gabriel García Moreno .

This president tried to organize the country on a Catholic basis; He unfolded a harsh repression of his adversaries, executing at the same time basic road works and education and improving public finances.

When he was about to start a third presidential term, Gabriel García Moreno was assassinated at the entrance to the Government Palace (1875).

Antonio Borrero succeeded him , and to him General Ignacio de Veintimilla , who distinguished himself by his personalist authoritarianism and was ousted from power thanks to the Restoration campaign, which united conservatives, liberals and progressives. The latter were ultimately made in command.

Liberal presidents of Ecuador

During the presidencies of Caamaño , Flores Jijón and Cordero , road works were advanced, culture progressed and some tax defects were corrected.

However, ” progressivism ” never enjoyed broad popular support. And the scandal called ” the sale of the flag ” was enough to overthrow him, and liberalism replaced him in the government , under the leadership of Eloy Alfaro .

With this caudillo, who led peasant sectors of the Coast and tried to establish secularism, the Guayaquil-Quito railway reached its conclusion.

Alfaro also tended to annul political freedoms and faced a dissident tendency from his own party, led by General Leónidas Plaza and made up of the Guayaquil upper bourgeoisie.

The confrontation ended with the tragic death of Alfaro and a stage of accused economic liberalism (1912-1925), which allowed the banks to acquire almost complete control of the country.

Popular discontent in the face of inflation facilitated the coup d’état of the young military (July 1925), who proposed to undertake substantial reforms, later partially executed during the presidency of Isidro Ayora (1926-1931), by reordering the economy, establishing the Bank Central as the only one authorized to issue currency and create a new budget and customs system.

It was by Velasco Ibarra

Starting in the 1930s, the political life of Ecuador was dominated by the figure of José María Velasco Ibarra , who began his first presidential term in 1934, and later held the presidency four more times, although he was only able to complete the term in the third occasion (1952-1956).

Despite his deficiencies as an administrator and his ties to oligarchy groups, he promoted ambitious road and educational works and maintained a foreign policy of independence.

After the fall of Velasco in 1961 , he was replaced by his vice president Carlos Julio Arosemena , who in turn was overthrown in July 1963 by a Military Junta.

The economic failure determined the appointment (March 1966) of a provisional president, Clemente Yerovi , and eight months later the new Constituent Assembly entrusted the direction of the country to Otto Arosemena .

At that time, rich oil deposits were discovered in northeastern areas. The presidential elections of 1968 returned Velasco Ibarra to power once again, who was once again dismissed by a military coup (February 1972).

Then General Guillermo Rodríguez Lara assumed the supreme leadership , deposed in turn in 1976 by a Military Junta. The Junta restored democratic freedoms and a new Constitution (1978) was approved through a referendum.

Recent history of Ecuador

In the 1978-1979 elections, the candidate of the Concentration of Popular Forces triumphed. Jaime Roldós Aguilera , replaced after his death by Vice President Osvaldo Hurtado Larrea .

After this, the presidencies of the conservative León Febres Cordero (1984-88) followed . That he suffered several coups d’état, by the social democrat Rodrigo Borja (1988-92). And the conservative Sixto Durán Ballén (1992-96), who imposed a harsh economic adjustment. And he managed, through a referendum, to reform the Constitution .

In January 1995 there were armed confrontations with Peru in the Sierra del Cóndor, derived from the lack of definition of the border between the two countries in the Rio de Janeiro protocol of 1942 .

After several skirmishes, Peru and Ecuador signed a double declaration of peace in Brasilia (February 17 and Montevideo February 28) that did not resolve the merits of the dispute.

The populist Abdalá Bucaram won in the 1996 presidential elections, but his disastrous economic management caused Congress to remove him from office, and in the early elections of 1998 Jamil Mahuad , candidate of the Popular Democracy, won, who signed a definitive peace agreement with Peru to resolve the border conflict.

In January 2000, Jamil Mahuad decreed a state of emergency in the face of protests by indigenous organizations against the degradation of the country’s economy and the government project to exchange the national currency, the sucre, for the US dollar (which finally took place in September of 2000 ).

The riots led to a military coup and the president left the country. The military handed over the power of the Ecuadorian government to its vice president, Gustavo Noboa , whose appointment was ratified by Congress, and in November 2002 the ex-coup general Lucio Gutiérrez became president of the country.

More information about the history of Ecuador

In the following video and audio, you have more information about events in Ecuador :

History of the flag of Ecuador

If you are interested in knowing the origin and history of the Ecuadorian flag, you should know that at the beginning of the 19th century Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia, at that time still Spanish colonies, fought for their independence under the same colors.

Ecuador, a small country in South America to which the Galapagos archipelago belongs, made its flag official in 1861.

If you wonder what the colors of the flag of Ecuador mean :

  • The blue color symbolizes the Pacific Ocean, rivers and the sky, under the gaze of the sun.
  • The yellow color represents natural wealth and prosperity.
  • The red color alludes to the blood shed by the patriots.

Regarding the symbolism of the coat of arms that appears in the center: the condor of the Andes, a symbol of independence and courage, spreads its wings over the perpetual snows of Chimborazo, the highest volcano in Ecuador.

The sun also appears, which is surrounded by the signs of the zodiac for the months of March, April, May and June, the month of the 1845 revolution.

We can see, in the same way, a boat sailing on the Guayas River. It is the first South American steamship, built in 1814.

Boat that is a witness to the dynamism of commercial activities and the relations between the interior lands and the coastal regions. The symbolic landscape of the coat of arms surrounded by flags reminds us that the duty of the people is to defend their homeland.

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