Ecuador Independence

Ecuador Independence from under the Spanish rule marks the beginning of a new era for the Ecuadorians.

After nearly three hundred years of colonization, the Spaniards were finally defeated on 24 May, 1822.


What is now Ecuador formed part of the northern Inca Empire until the Spanish conquest in 1533.

Quito became a seat of Spanish colonial government in 1563 and part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717. The 18th century proved to be economically bad for Spain and also for most of its colonies.

During this period, Ecuador faced a severe economic depression under the Spanish rule.

Textile production in the highlands of Ecuador, fell to less than half of its seventeenth century height.

As the Spanish Economy started to disintegrate gradually, the importance of freedom started to sink in within the people living in Quito Ecuador which was ultimately spread to the rest of the country.

The important concepts of nationalism and freedom also penetrated Ecuador in the wake of the Enlightenment, which started to gain momentum. All this set the initial stage for Ecuador independence.

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Messages of the Enlightenment in Europe penetrated Quito's cultural isolation and began to be disseminated throughout the country on the backs of missionaries.

Enlightenment ideals embodied notions of nationalism and individualism and the concepts of equality and freedom.

The failing economy and flagging administrative authority of the Quito Audencia combined with the introduction of Enlightenment ideals set the stage for Ecuador independence.

First Cry for Independence

On 10 August 1809 a group of men in Quito, in what is now the Republic of Ecuador, participated in Latin American First Cry for the independence of Ecuador.

This act was a cry for independence from the rule for the Spanish King and was the first of many all across the region by those wanting the same independence.

Even though Ecuador did not achieve full independence until 1822, the cry helped start the Ecuadorian War against Spain for Independence.

On the night of August 9 1809, there was a great amount of activity throughout the city of Quito, and many went to the house owned by Ms. Manuela CaƱizares.

The next morning, many of the most important people in Quito at the time, assembled and created the Government Sovereignty Board and elected its officers.

Later on August 16, 1809 a General Assembly was convened and the first document for the Independence of Quito was signed.

These important Quito people where an organized group of rebels decided to not recognize the Spanish government of that time.

These rebels were defeated four months later with the imprisonment of almost 70 patriots at the hands of the Spanish military and later 2 August 1810 with the massacre of these patriots and more than 300 Quito citizens.

After the first uprising, the city of Quito was given the name of Luz de America (Light of America) and served as an inspiration to other nations striving for independence.

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Final Ecuador Independence

On the 24 May of 1822, at the Battle of Pichincha right on the slopes of Pichincha volcano, 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 of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia that were independent joined with the Gran Colombia.

The proposal by Bolivar to create the Gran Colombia, however, failed and allowed the construction of a republican state called Ecuador.

Ecuador remained part of Gran Colombia for eight years. After Venezuela withdrew from Gran Colombia, Ecuador followed suit, drafted the first of its many constitutions to come, and formally dissolved its association with Gran Colombia.

After 1830 The Republic of Ecuador was characterized by constant internal political battles and it was difficult for the different regions (mainly the Highlands and the Coast) to unite because each region was seeking its own economic independence.

This year, Ecuador independence is celebrating the Bicentennial in remembrance of the event that took place 200 years ago.

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