May 13th

On the 13th of May in 1830, The Republic of Ecuador is founded, but eventually crumbled in 1860.

Beginning with the collapse of the nation of Gran Colombia in 1830, followed by the assassination of Antonio José de Sucre and the death of Simón Bolívar from tuberculosis the same year. Heartbroken at the dissolution of Gran Colombia, Bolívar is quoted to have said 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 existence of Ecuador.

General Juan José Flores became the first President of Ecuador, ruling from 1830 to 1834. In 1834, facing a rebellion, he co-opted its presidential choice, José Vicente Rocafuerte y Rodríguez de Bejarano, and supported his presidency, while retaining considerable power as the commander of the military. In 1839, Rocafuerte retired, and Flores regained the presidency. In 1845, the Marcist Rebellion forced him into exile.

General Juan José Flores, first President of Ecuador, pictured below.

The next fifteen years saw much turmoil, as various factions struggled for supremacy. Matters came to a head in 1859, the “Terrible Year” in Ecuadorian history. Then President Francisco Robles faced several opposition movements. Neighbouring Peru, under President Ramón Castilla, began negotiating with all factions and imposed a blockade. On Castilla’s suggestion, the four competing Ecuadorian governments selected General Guillermo Franco to negotiate with him. When the various factions realised that Franco had betrayed them, they banded together. At the Battle of Guayaquil, fought between September 22–24, 1860, Franco was defeated, and The Provisional Government of Quito assumed power, a new conservative era of government, was ushered in.

General Guillermo Frano, pictured above.

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