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A Complete History of Ecuador

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Ecuador Galapagos Ecuador tours Galapagos cruises Galapagos trips Ecuador A Complete History of Ecuador:


Ecuador offers little archeological evidence of its preHispanic civilizations. Nonetheless, its most ancient artifacts-- remnants of the Valdivia culture found along the coast north of the modern city of Santa Elena in Guayas Province--date from as early as 3500 B.C.. Other major coastal archaeological sites are found in the provinces of Manabí and Esmeraldas; major sites in the Sierra are found in Carchi and Imbabura provinces in the north, Tungurahua and Chimborazo provinces in the middle of the Andean highlands, and Cañar, Azuay, and Loja provinces in the south. Nearly all of these sites are dated in the last 2,000 years. Large parts of Ecuador, including almost all of the Oriente, however, remain unknown territory to archaeologists.

.....

The first European to set foot on the territory of modern-day Ecuador was probably Bartolomé Ruiz de Estrada, the pilot for Pizarro on his second voyage, who pushed southward while Pizarro explored the Colombian coast and Almargo returned to Panama for supplies. Pizarro himself landed on the Ecuadorian coast later during his exploratory voyage and traveled as far as Tumbes in the extreme north of present-day Peru, in defiance of official orders to return to Panama.

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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 territory under the jurisdiction of Quito considerably exceeded that of present-day Ecuador, extending southward to the port of Paita in the north of present-day Peru, northward to the port of Buenaventura and the city of Cali in the south of present-day Colombia, and well out into the Amazon River Basin in the east.

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The struggle for independence in the Quito Audiencia was part of a movement throughout Spanish America led by criollos (persons of pure Spanish descent born in the New World). The criollos resentment of the privileges enjoyed by the peninsulares was the fuel of revolution against colonial rule. The spark was Napoleon's invasion of Spain, after which he deposed King Ferdinand VII and, in July 1808, placed his brother Joseph Bonaparte on the Spanish throne.

.....

Before the year 1830 drew to a close, both Marshal Sucre and Simón Bolívar would be dead; the former, murdered (on orders from a jealous General Flores, according to some historians), and the latter, from tuberculosis. Heartbroken at the dissolution of Gran Colombia, Bolívar is quoted as saying shortly before his death, "America is ungovernable. Those who have served the revolution have plowed the sea." These words would seem prophetic during the chaotic first thirty years in the life of the Republic of Ecuador.

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President García Moreno saw Roman Catholicism as the ingredient of Ecuadorian culture that, through its emphasis on order, hierarchy, and discipline, could unite the nation and save it from the multiple crises and disorder of the 1850s.

.....

This final ecclesiastical struggle for control of Ecuador was in vain, however. By the end of the Liberals' rule in 1925, Roman Catholicism was no longer the constitutionally mandated state religion, official clerical censorship of reading material had been suppressed, many powerful foreign clergy had been expelled, education had been secularized, civil marriage as well as divorce had been instituted, the concordat with the Vatican had been broken, most of the church's rural properties had been seized by the state, and the republic was no longer dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Roman Catholic Church in Ecuador would never again hold prerogatives as extensive as those it enjoyed during the late nineteenth century.

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The first of Velasco's five periods as president lasted only eleven months. He was overthrown by the military after attempting to assume dictatorial powers by dissolving Congress and jailing his congressional opponents.

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Arroyo del Río's undoing was the disastrous 1941 war with Peru. Although the prior sequence of events--the breakdown of talks aimed at resolving the boundary issues in 1938, followed by repeated border skirmishes--had given ample warning of a possible outbreak of large-scale hostilities, Ecuador was unprepared to meet the July 5 Peruvian invasion. Furthermore, the president's fear of being left unprotected from his opponents led him to keep the nation's best fighting forces in Quito while Peruvian troops continuously attacked the nation's southern and eastern provinces until a ceasefire went into effect on July 31.

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Galo Plaza differed from previous Ecuadorian presidents. The son of former President Plaza Gutiérrez, he had been born in the United States, where he also attended several universities. His ties to the United States grew even closer as a result of serving there as ambassador under President Arroyo del Río.

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Arosemena came from a well-known Guayaquil family; his father had briefly served as president following a previous anti-Velasco coup in 1947. In an attempt to allay concerns about his being a dangerous leftist (as Velasco's vice president he had expressed warm sympathy for Cuban leader Fidel Castro Ruz and made a much- criticized trip to the Soviet Union), Arosemena named a cabinet that included Liberals and even Conservatives and quickly sent former President Galo Plaza on a goodwill trip to Washington.

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The turning point came on June 22, 1970, when Velasco, in an action known as an autogolpe (self-seizure of power), dismissed Congress and the Supreme Court and assumed dictatorial powers.

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Rodríguez Lara's regime gave early emphasis to a campaign designed in part to exert firm control over the nation's petroleum resources and in part to consolidate the government's political authority. Several former political leaders, including ex-President Otto Arosemena, were tried for corruption in connection with oil concessions granted during the 1960s.

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The second round was finally held on April 29, 1979, with the Roldós-Hurtado ticket sweeping to an overwhelming 68.5 percent victory against a weak performance by Durán. Doubts persisted, however, up to the moment that the winners took office three months later, that the military would allow them to assume their duly elected offices.

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The right united for the 1984 elections in order to back León Febres Cordero Ribadeneyra, a businessman from Guayaquil, with Borja running a close second. As Febres Cordero entered office on August 10, there was no end in sight to the economic crisis nor to the intense struggle that characterized the political process in Ecuador.

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Text taken from: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/ectoc.html

INFORMATION CENTER

General information |An introduction to Ecuador
Costa | Highlands | Jungle
Galapagos Islands , descriptions
A Brief history of Ecuador
A Complete history of Ecuador
Presidents of Ecuador | Constitution of Ecuador
National Anthem | List of the mountains in Ecuador
National parks | National Reserves | Driving Distances
PHOTO GALLERY OF ECUADOR








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INFORMATION CENTER

General information |An introduction to Ecuador
Costa | Highlands | Jungle
Galapagos Islands , descriptions
A Brief history of Ecuador
A Complete history of Ecuador
Presidents of Ecuador | Constitution of Ecuador
National Anthem | List of the mountains in Ecuador
National parks | National Reserves
Driving Distances
PHOTO GALLERY OF ECUADOR
ESSENTIAL TOOLS

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