Allo' Expat Ecuador - Connecting Expats in Ecuador
Main Homepage
Allo' Expat Ecuador Logo


Subscribe to Allo' Expat Newsletter
 
Check our Rates
   Information Center Ecuador
Ecuador General Information
 
History of Ecuador
Ecuador Culture
Ecuador Cuisine
Ecuador Geography
Ecuador Population
Ecuador Government
Ecuador Economy
Ecuador Communications
Ecuador Transportations
Ecuador Military
Ecuador Transnational Issues
Ecuador Healthcare
Ecuador People, Language & Religion
Ecuador Expatriates Handbook
Ecuador and Foreign Government
Ecuador General Listings
Ecuador Useful Tips
Ecuador Education & Medical
Ecuador Travel & Tourism Info
Ecuador Lifestyle & Leisure
Ecuador Business Matters
  Sponsored Links


Check our Rates

History of Ecuador
 
 
 

Early History

Evidence of human cultures in Ecuador exists from c. 3500 BC. Many civilisations rose throughout Ecuador, such as the Valdivia Culture and Machalilla Culture on the coast, the Quitus (near present day Quito) and the Cañari (near present day Cuenca). Each civilisation developed its own distinctive architecture, pottery, and religious interests, although consolidated under a confederation called the Shyris which exercised organised trading and bartering between the different regions and whose political and military power was under the rule of the Duchicela blood line before the Inca invasion. After years of fiery resistance by the Cayambes and other tribes, as demonstrated by the battle of Yahuarcocha (Blood Lake) where thousands of resistance fighters were killed and thrown in the lake, the region fell to the Incan expansion and was assimilated loosely into the Incan empire. Through a succession of wars and marriages among the nations that inhabited the valley, the region became part of the Inca Empire in 1463.

By 1500 Tupa's son, Huayna Capac, overcame the resistance of these populations and that of the Cara, and thus incorporated all of modern-day Ecuador into Tawantinsuyu, as the Inca empire was known. The influence of these conquerors based in Cuzco (modern-day Peru) was limited to about a half century, or less in some parts of Ecuador. During that period, some aspects of life remained unchanged. Traditional religious beliefs, for example, persisted throughout the period of Inca rule. In other areas, however, such as agriculture, land tenure, and social organisation, Inca rule had a profound effect despite its relatively short duration.

Emperor Huayna Capac became very fond of Quito, making it a secondary capital of Tawantinsuyu and living out his elder years there before his death in about 1527. Huayna Capac's sudden death from a strange disease, described by one smallpox precipitated a bitter power struggle between Huascar, whose mother was Coya (meaning Empress) Mama Rahua Occillo and legetimate heir, and Atahualpa, a son who, borne to a Quitu princess, and reputedly his father's favourite.

This struggle raged during the half-decade before the arrival of Francisco Pizarro's conquering expedition in 1532. The key battle of this civil war was fought on Ecuadorian soil, near Riobamba, where Huascar's northbound troops were met and defeated by Atahualpa's southbound troops. Atahualpa's final victory over Huascar in the days just before the Spanish conquerors arrived resulted in large part from the loyalty of two of Huayna Capac's best generals, who were based in Quito along with Atahualpa.

Spanish Discovery and Conquest

As the Inca Civil War raged, in 1531 the Spanish landed in Ecuador. Led by Francisco Pizzaro, the conquistadors learned that the conflict and disease were destroying the empire. After receiving reinforcements in September 1532, Pizzaro set out to the newly victorious Atahualpa.

Arriving Cajamarca Pizarro sent an embassy, led by Hernando de Soto with 15 horsemen and an interpreter; shortly thereafter he sent 20 more horsemen led by his brother Hernando Pizarro as reinforcements in case of an Inca attack. Atahualpa was in awe of these men dressed in full clothing, with long beards and riding horses (an animal he had never seen). In town Pizzaro set a trap for the Inca and the Battle of Cajamarca began. The Inca forces greatly outnumbered the Spanish, however the Spanish superiority of weapons, tactics and the fact that the most trusted in Inca Generals were in Cuzco led to an easy defeat and the capture of the Incan Emperor.
During the next year Pizzaro held Atahualpa for ransom. The Incas filled the ransom room with gold and silver awaiting a release that would never happen. On August 29, 1533 Atahualpa was garrotted. The Spanish then set out to conquer the rest of Tawantinsuyu capturing Cuzco in November 1533.

Benalcázar, Pizarro's lieutenant and fellow Extremaduran, had already departed from San Miguel with 140 foot soldiers and a few horses on his conquering mission to Ecuador. At the foot of Mount Chimborazo, near the modern city of Riobamba (Ecuador) he met and defeated the forces of the great Inca warrior Rumiñahui with the aid of Cañari tribesmen who served as guides and allies to the conquering Spaniards. Rumiñahui fell back to Quito, and, while in pursuit of the Inca army, Benalcázar encountered another, quite sizeable, conquering party led by Guatemalan Governor Pedro de Alvarado. Bored with administering Central America, Alvarado had set sail for the south without the crown's authorisation, landed on the Ecuadorian coast, and marched inland to the Sierra. Most of Alvarado's men joined Benalcázar for the siege of Quito. In 1533, Rumiñahui, burned the city to prevent the Spanish from taking it, thereby destroying any traces of the ancient pre-Hispanic city.

In 1534 Sebastián de Belalcázar along with Diego de Almagro established the city of San Francisco de Quito on top of the ruins of the secondary Inca capital naming it in honour of Pizzaro. It was not until December 1540 that Quito received its first captain-general in the person of Francisco Pizzaro's brother, Gonzalo Pizarro.

Benalcázar had also founded the city of Guayaquil in 1533, but it had subsequently been retaken by the local Huancavilca tribesmen. Francisco de Orellana, yet another lieutenant of Francisco Pizarro from the Spanish city of Trujillo, put down the native rebellion and in 1537 re-established this city, which a century later would become one of Spain's principal ports in South America.

Spanish Colonial Era

Between 1544 and 1563, Ecuador was an integral Spain's colonies in the New World under the Viceroyalty of Peru, having no administrative status independent of Lima. It remained a part of the Viceroyalty of Peru until 1720, when it joined the newly created Viceroyalty of New Granada; within the viceroyalty, however, Ecuador was awarded its own audiencia in 1563, allowing it to deal directly with Madrid on certain matters. The Quito Audiencia, which was both a court of justice and an advisory body to the viceroy, consisted of a president and several judges (oidores).

The most common form in which the Spanish occupied the land was the encomienda. By the early 17th century, there were some 500 encomiendas in Ecuador. Although many consisted of quite sizeable haciendas, they were generally much smaller than the estates commonly found elsewhere in South America. A multitude of reforms and regulations did not prevent the encomienda from becoming a system of virtual slavery of the native Ecuadorians, estimated at about one-half the total Ecuadorian population, who lived on them. In 1589 the president of the audiencia recognised that many Spaniards were accepting grants only to sell them and undertake urban occupations, and he stopped distributing new lands to Spaniards; however, the institution of the encomienda persisted until nearly the end of the colonial period.


See more information on the next page... (next)


 

 
 
   



 


copyrights © AlloExpat.com
2017 | Policy