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Ecuador History & Government
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The history of Ecuador is varied and interesting due to the tremendous changes that the region has undergone during the last 500 years. Historically, Ecuador was divided into different Amerindian communities that succumbed to the Incan invasion from the south. The Incans triumphed and dominated the Ecuadorian territory for approximately 50 years. The Spanish Conquistadors, under the command of Francisco Pizarro, enslaved the victorious Incan Atahualpa and ended his reign and established a Spanish viceroy

On May 24, 1822 after 200 years or more of Spanish occupation, Ecuador proclaimed its independence. In 1942, Ecuador fought with Peru and lost a large extension of its territory, especially the entrance to the Amazon river. In the 1990's, there was a second war with Peru. In 1999, the country fell into the worst economic crisis of its history and this is why the country changed to the US dollar in the year 2000. Now with a growing economy thanks to a period of oil prosperity and economic adjustments, Ecuador is trying to open itself to the world hopefully via the principles of eco-tourism and the protection of its traditional agricultural industry and not through the selling out of its citizens to unfair Free-trade agreements.

Pre-Incan and Incan period
The first signs of native communities in the Ecuadorian territory date back to 16,000 to 18,000 years ago. Several native communities inhabited Ecuador during the Pre-Incan era, including the cultures of Valdivia, Chorrera, Machalilla, Cotocollao, Carchi and Otavalo. Some of these communities united to form more complex communities like the Huancavilca, Cañarí, Puruhá, Caranqui, Otavalo, Pastos, Napo, and etcetera.

These better organized communities united in the North-Andean Confederation and fought against the Incan invasion from Peru. The Incan Tupac Yupanqui initiated the conquest of the north and his son Huayna Capac continued it. Huayna Capac managed to defeat the resistance and enlarged the Incan empire as far as Quito. Huayna Capac died in the newly conquered city of Quito and his two sons, Atahualpa born in Quito and Huascar born in Cuzco, divided the empire in two, the north, now Ecuador, was governed by Atahualpa and the south, Peru, by Huascar. In 1531, after fighting several times with Huascar for the rule of the empire, Atahualpa wins and proclaims himself chief of the Incan empire. While resting in Cajamarca, he was ambushed by the Spaniards led by Francisco Pizarro and executed a few days later.

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