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Ecuador History
(Page 2 of 3)

The arrival of the Spaniards

Francisco Pizarro left the island of Panama for the conquest of land for Spain in Peru.

The Spaniards founded San Miguel de Piura on November 17 in Cajamarca and took the Incan ruler, Atahualpa, prisoner. Atahualpa offered rooms filled with gold in exchange for his freedom.

The Spaniard Diego de Almagro, who financed the conquest of Peru by Pizarro, upon seeing the rooms filled with gold offered by Atahualpa for his freedom, decided to eliminate the Incan king and this way avoid the rebuilding of the empire. Once Atahualpa and his Incan troops were assassinated, Sebastián de Benalcázar along with Almagro left Piura to conquer Quito. On December 6, Benalcazar created the Villa San Francisco de Quito and on July 25, Santiago de Guayaquil.

Under the rule of Virreinato from Peru, the Real Audiencia de Quito was established which later formed part of Virreinato de Santa Fe. The Real Audiencia of Quito, inhabited by Spaniards and indigenous people, assumed control of the territory and communities that lived in what is now known as Ecuador.

Independence and Republic life
The movement of independence in Ecuador began on August 10, 1809 in the city of Quito where an organized group of rebels decided to not recognize the government of that time. These rebels were squashed four months later with the imprisonment of almost 70 patriots at the hands of the military and later with the massacre of these patriots and more than 300 Quiteños.

Later, with the Independence of Esmeraldas on August 5, 1820, the rest of the cities began seceding from what formed part of the Real Audiencia de Quito. On October 9, 1820, the independence of Guayaquil was won. On the 24th of May of 1822, the mariscal Antonio Jose de Sucre achieved independence for Quito and all of the territory of the Audiencia de Quito and thus of Ecuador.

Between the time of achieving independence until 1830, the territories that were independent joined with Gran Colombia. The proposal by Bolivar for Gran Colombia, however, failed and allowed the construction of a republican state called Ecuador. The Republic of Ecuador was characterized by constant internal political battles and it was difficult for the different regions to unite because each region was seeking its own economic independence.

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