Today's Ecuador has been populated for many
thousands of years. In the 15th century, the Incaricum
submerged the area, but in the middle of the 16th
century Spanish conquerors incorporated it into their
colonial rule. During the 18th century, a freedom
movement arose in Latin America and in 1830 Ecuador was
able to proclaim itself an independent republic. The
struggle for power then came for a long time to stand
between conservative landowners and liberal traders.
Much of the first half of the 20th century was
characterized by political and social concerns.
Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Ecuador, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
The area that is today Ecuador is believed to have
been populated about 10,000 years ago. The first
inhabitants were hunters who lived on the high plateau,
but already around 5000 BC corn and the root fruit were
grown maniac. Eventually the people became settled, and
in the 500s AD the different peoples began to approach
each other. Work and social life were organized via
ayllu, a collective system based on family ties.
In 1478, Incan Túpac Yupanqui incorporated the area
of the Inca empire with base in Peru. Native languages
were suppressed by quechua and local cultures were
eliminated. The northern part of the kingdom, where
Quito was the capital, soon gained great economic and
cultural significance. Succession battles between
Incan's sons Atahualpa from Quito and Huáscar from Cuzco
in today's Peru weakened the empire after Túpac
Yupanquis's death. It was Atahualpa who succeeded his
Spanish conquerors, conquistadors, reached
Ecuador in the 1520s. At a meeting between the conqueror
Pizarro and Atahualpa 1532, no one was captured.
Although the conquistadors got a huge ransom in silver
and gold, Atahualpa was killed. Two years later, Quito
was conquered, and the local social order was broken.
The indigenous people were forced to pay taxes and work
for the conquerors. Diseases and forced labor on large
goods and in mines reduced the domestic population by
half in just 100 years. In the 17th century there was a
shortage of labor and African slaves were shipped.
Ecuador was incorporated into the Spanish colonial
empire in 1544. The colonial economy was based on
textile and agricultural production for export. The
important trade laid the foundation for the port city of
The Republic of Ecuador is proclaimed
During the 18th century the ruling class in the
colonies began to demand independence from Spain. The
liberation wars spread across South America in the early
1800s. In 1822, Ecuador became part of Greater Colombia,
founded by the freedom hero Simón Bolívar. When his
state collapsed, the Republic of Ecuador was proclaimed
For a long time, the young republic was characterized
by a power struggle between liberal traders in Guayaquil
and conservative landowners in the Quito mountain
regions, which led to constant change of president and
military coups. The political chaos was interrupted by
the conservative president Gabriel García Moreno, who
modernized society to some extent between 1860 and 1875.
With hard methods and the help of the church, he paved
the way for a national consciousness. The church was
given responsibility for education and social protection
Just before the turn of the century, the merchants in
Guayaquil came to power represented by General Eloy
Alfaro and the landowners' dominance was broken. The
church was separated from the state, freedom of religion
and expression was introduced, literate men were given
the right to vote and certain laws on forced labor were
abolished. The economy was based on cocoa exports, which
allowed some industrialization and the construction of a
In the 1920s the price of cocoa fell and the country
plunged into an economic and social crisis. Strikes were
defeated by military - in a massacre 1,500 workers were
killed - and in 1925 the military reappeared in the
political arena, and landowners in Quito regained power.
The 1930s economic world depression became very
noticeable in Ecuador. Unemployment and inflation rose
as a result of social and political unrest. Between 1931
and 1948 the country had 21 governments.
In 1941, war broke out against Peru if part of the
Amazon and Ecuador lost a large tract of land through
the 1942 Rio Agreement.
The governor leaves
Central Bank Governor Pedro Delgado leaves his job after admitting he cheated
in connection with applying to a business college just over 20 years earlier.
President Correa, who is related to Delgado, calls it a severe blow to the
Correa candidate in the election
President Correa officially announces that he is running for president for a
third term. The statute's rule of just one re-election does not apply, with the
justification that Correa was elected for the first time before the constitution
came into force. Tens of thousands of supporters gathered at a sports stadium
cheer as he gives the message, as expected.
Left alliance ahead of the presidential election
A left-wing alliance, the Unidad Plurinacional de las Izquierdas
(approximately the left-wing unit), appoints Alberto Acosta as its candidate in
the February 2013 presidential election.
Assange is seeking asylum in London
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange seeks asylum at Ecuador's London Embassy to
avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he is suspected of sex crimes, and from
where he fears he will be sent to the United States. The government says it is
prepared to make a swift decision. The issue falls on the government's table
just as diplomatic relations with the United States are about to be normalized
(see April 2011). Correa had previously praised and been in
contact with Assange, which many regarded as ironic. Through Wikileaks, Assange
has struggled for freedom of information, while Correa has made himself known as
bitter opponents of all the media critical of him. In June alone, a regulator in
Ecuador has shut down six radio stations and two TV stations, formally because
they have not paid licensing fees. All stations operate in provinces that
opposed Correa's proposal in the referendum (see May 2011).
Indigenous people protest against huge mining project
Ecuador's largest Native American organization, Conaie, completes an
approximately two-week protest march from El Pangui to Quito, conducted in
protest of the government's presentation of the country's first large-scale
mining project. A $ 1.4 billion deal has been signed with a Chinese company to
extract copper in a huge mine near El Pangui in the Amazon. That means a huge
addition to the Treasury, which President Correa says will go to roads, schools
and hospitals. Ecuador has just secured a loan of the same size from China. But
Conaie fears the project will harm the environment and force people from their
homes. Several opposition parties support the protest, which President Correa
himself calls his biggest trial before the February 2013 presidential election.