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Exploration of the History of Ecuador

Updated on March 6, 2012

Ecuador is one of those countries that do not pop up in people’s minds very often. They miss the opportunity to explore 8000 years of history. The rich culture you see today is a direct result of this history combined into a fantastic set of traditions and unique culture. Ecuadorian history is broken up into five major time periods from the pre Colombian to the current republican era.

The pre Colombian age in Ecuadorian history is very complex. The major population of the country at first was very remote tribes that populated the jungles and mountains of Ecuador. During this period, the tribes and separate communities were brought together under the Incan empire. They were conquered in the early 1460s, The leader of the conquering tribe was named Pachacuti Inca Ypanqui. His son was a general in the army that took over the major areas of Ecuador. The tribes banded together to resist these new found invaders but in the end were unsuccessful. The Incans ruled the area for a great period of time, but they also brought science, mathematics, and peace to the region.

It was not until the Spanish conquistadors that the Incan empire was threatened. The Spanish brought with them great technology never before seen. They also brought with them disease that had never before been seen. This germ warfare that the Spanish played in the war against the Incas greatly lead to the downfall of this once great people.

The Colonial period of the Spanish conquest lasted for some time. Their goal was to rape the entire land of precious metals, gold being the largest. They waged genocide on the native people and turned them into slaves to mine their gold ores. This dealt a huge blow to the native population where thousands died as a result of being worked to death, disease, and sickness ravaged the native population of Ecuador. This policy was known as Encomienda in Spain.

With the destruction of so many, the Ecuadorian people rose up against the in states of Spanish rule in their country. This war of independence was started as a rebellion in 1812, because Spain had kindly asked Peru its closest neighbor to intervene. Later on several years later the independence fight was full on and after only several months Peru gained its independence due to Spain’s influence in the region waning.

The next major hurdle in Ecuador’s transformation to the wonderful country is today was transforming it into a republic. Ecuador had a significant edge in building a nation. They had Gabriel Garcia Moreno one of Ecuador’s greatest visionaries of his time. He helped the country build out of the ruins that the Spanish colonists left.

Ecuador remains one of the finest countries in the world that continues to have a unique tradition, culture and lifestyle. There warm and welcome to foreigners is overwhelming after such a turmoil history. So, come and visit this wonderful country and enjoy all it has to offer.


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