Ecuadorian War of Independence | Ecuador Revolution

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Independence of Ecuador | Ecuadorian War of Independence

Independence of Ecuador: Process of liberation from the colonial domain of the Royal Court of Quito.

What was the Independence of Ecuador?

The Independence of Ecuador is known as the process of liberation from the colonial rule of the Royal Court of Quito, which since 1563 belonged to the Spanish Empire.

This process of emancipation began on October 9, 1820, with the seizure of power by the revolutionary Creoles of the city ​​of Guayaquil.

Liberation was assured after the battle of Pichincha, in 1822, after which Ecuador became part of Gran Colombia, of which it was a part until 1830, when it proclaimed its own independence.

Background of the Independence of Ecuador

When news of the Napoleonic wars reached America, a group of Creoles from the city of Quito began to conspire to seize power.

On August 10, 1809, these Creoles, led by Juan Pío Montúfar, besieged the Royal Palace and replaced the president of the Audiencia with a government junta that swore allegiance to Fernando VII.

Haunted by internal conflicts and attacked by the royalists, the Supreme Junta of Quito was dissolved on October 24. After regaining power, the royalists imprisoned the leaders of the rebellion. Some of them were sentenced to prison, while others died on August 2, 1810, during a popular riot that sought to free them.

A second autonomous government junta, led by Carlos de Montúfar, son of the leader of the 1809 insurrection, settled in Quito on September 22, 1810. This junta ignored the Regency Council and convened a congress that on February 15, 1812 proclaimed independence and sanctioned a constitution.

The State of Quito had a short life, since in November 1812 troops from Lima and Bogotá defeated the patriotic forces in the battle of El Panecillo and occupied the capital. In this way, the Audiencia of Quito returned to the hands of the royalists, who kept it until 1820.

Image of the meeting of the Quito conspirators of 1809

Meeting of the Quito conspirators of 1809 in the house of Manuela CañizaresOil on canvas from the beginning of the 20th century, unknown author.

Development of the Independence of Ecuador

In September 1820, the liberating expedition commanded by José de San Martín landed in southern Peru. This news alerted the revolutionary Creoles of the city of Guayaquil, who on October 9, 1820 took up arms and seized various military installations. That same day they formed a governing board that proclaimed the Independence of Guayaquil.

The example of Guayaquil was imitated by the cities of Samborondón, Daule, Baba, Jipijapa, Naranjal, Portoviejo and Montecristi, which joined the independence movement.

On November 8, representatives of the peoples of the new state met in the Constituent Assembly. This Assembly elected the Creole José Joaquín de Olmedo as president of the Free Province of Guayaquil and issued a Provisional Government Regulation.

To free Quito, which remained faithful to the royalists, Olmedo requested the help of Simón Bolívar, who had made Venezuela and New Granada independent. The liberator sent his lieutenant, Antonio José de Sucre, who on May 24, 1822 managed to defeat the royalists at the battle of Pichincha. This victory ensured independence and the end of Spanish rule.

Causes and Effects of the Ecuador Revolution War

Causes of the Ecuadorian War of Independence

Among the causes of the Independence of Ecuador, the following stand out:

  • The Independence of the United States, which was a model to be imitated by the patriots of Quito and Guayaquil.
  • The influence of the ideas spread by the French Revolution, especially those of liberty, equality before the law and brotherhood among peoples.
  • The Napoleonic invasion of Spain, which in 1808 put the Spanish monarchy in crisis by replacing King Ferdinand VII with the French José Bonaparte.
  • The rivalry between the peninsulares and the local creoles, who competed to monopolize the most important positions of the colonial administration.
  • The autonomist wishes of the Creoles of Quito and Guayaquil, who did not want to depend on either Bogotá or Lima.
  • The proximity of the liberating expeditions led by Bolívar and San Martín, which encouraged the Guayaquil Creoles to rebel against the Spanish authorities.

Consequences of the Independence of Ecuador War

Among the main consequences of the Independence of Ecuador are:

  • Conducting the Guayaquil interview, on July 27, 1822, in which San Martín and Bolívar discussed the most convenient way to end the emancipatory war in Peru.
  • The forced integration of Ecuador into Gran Colombia, a multinational state created by Bolívar and of which it was part until May 13, 1830, after which it sanctioned its own constitution and appointed its own government.
  • The increase in rivalries between the cities of Quito and Guayaquil, which mutually attributed the main role in the struggles for independence.

Battles for the Independence of Ecuador

Among the main acts of arms of the Independence of Ecuador, the following stand out:

Name Date Outcome
Battle of the Royal Road November 9, 1820 Patriot victory.
First battle of Huachi November 28, 1820 Realistic victory.
Battle of Tanizagua January 3, 1821 Realistic victory.
Battle of Yaguachi or Cone August 19, 1821 Patriot victory.
Second Battle of Huachi September 12, 1821 Realistic victory.
Riobamba Combat April 21, 1822 Patriot victory.
Pichincha Battle May 24, 1822 Patriot victory.

Battle of the Camino Real painting

Battle of the Camino Real, on November 9, 1820, which ended with the defeat of the royalists at the hands of the patriots of Guayaquil, who were advancing towards the city of Quito.

Protagonists of the Independence of Ecuador

Among the most prominent protagonists of the Independence of Ecuador are:

  • José de Antepara y Arenaza (1770-1821): Guayaquil businessman and politician, one of the precursors of the 1820 Revolution.
  • José Joaquín de Olmedo y Maruri (1780-1847): Guayaquil jurist and politician. Between 1810 and 1812 he was a deputy before the Cortes of Cádiz, which sanctioned the Spanish Constitution of 1812. He participated in the conspiracy of October 1820 and was appointed president of the Free State of Guayaquil.
  • Carlos de Montúfar y Larrea (1780-1816): Quiteño politician and military man, nicknamed El Caudillo, who promoted the Independence of the State of Quito and fought in the war for the emancipation of New Granada, during which he was shot by the royalists.
  • José de Villamil (1788-1866): American politician and military man, born in Spanish Louisiana. He was one of the precursors of the Independence of Ecuador.
  • Manuela Sáenz de Vergara y Aizpuru (1797-1856): Quito patriot who participated in the wars for the Independence of Ecuador and New Granada. She was known by the nickname of Libertadora del Libertador, for having saved Bolívar‘s life during an attack.
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