First Proclamation of Independence Ecuador
The Ecuadorian War of Independence was fought from 1820 to 1822 between several South American armies and Spain over control of the lands of the Royal Audience of Quito, a Spanish colonial administrative jurisdiction from which would eventually emerge the modern Republic of Ecuador. The war ended with the defeat of the Spanish forces at the Battle of Pichincha on May 24, 1822, which brought about the independence of the entire Presidencia de Quito. The Ecuadorian War of Independence is part of the Spanish American wars of independence fought during the first two decades of the 19th century.
The military campaign for the independence of the territory now known as Ecuador from Spanish rule could be said to have begun after nearly three hundred years of Spanish colonization. Ecuador’s capital Quito was a city of around ten thousand inhabitants. It was there, on August 10, 1809 that one of the first calls for independence from Spain was made in Latin America (“Luz de América, el Primer Grito de la Independencia”), under the leadership of the city’s criollos, including Carlos Montúfar, Eugenio Espejo and Bishop Cuero y Caicedo. Luz de America was the nickname given to Quito. The nickname served the urge for the call of independence that was heard around the continent.
Then on October 9, 1820, the port-city of Guayaquil proclaimed its independence after a brief and almost bloodless revolt against the local garrison. The leaders of the movement, a combination of Venezuelan, Ecuadorian, and Peruvian pro-independence officers from the colonial Army, along with Ecuadorian intellectuals and patriots, set up a Junta de Gobierno and raised a military force with the purpose of defending the city and carrying the independence movement to the other provinces in the country.
By that time, the tide of the wars of independence in South America had turned decisively against Spain: Simón Bolívar’s victory at the Battle of Boyacá (August 7, 1819) had sealed the independence of the former Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada, while to the south, José de San Martín, after landing his Army on the Peruvian coast on September 8, 1820, was preparing the campaign for the independence of the Viceroyalty of Perú.
The news of the proclamation of independence of Guayaquil spread rapidly to other cities in the Presidencia, and several towns followed the example in quick succession. Portoviejo declared its independence on October 18, 1820, and Cuenca—the economic center of the southern highlands—did the same on November 3, 1820. The stage was set for the campaign of liberation of Quito.