The Spanish Conquest
After the Inca Empire’s defeat in 1534, the Spanish colonists established themselves and became the new ruling elite. Almost three centuries of Ecuador’s history correspond to the colonial era and are marked by a continuous mixture of the European and native people and their cultures. This melting of cultures evolved differentent from both the aboriginal and the Spanish.
During the colonial era temples and monasteries were built and arts flourished with important works on sculpture and painting. Outstanding personalities like Charles Marie de la Condamine, French geographer and mathematician, and Alexander Von Humboldt, German scientist and geographer, travelled to Ecuador to conduct investigations.
In 1563 during the Colonial Period, Ecuador became the seat of the Royal Audience of Quito. A centralist and intolerant colonial administration was the most important reason for the beginning of South American independence movements. The Creoles were discriminated of the important positions, causing general displeasure, encouraged by the ideas of the French and the North American Revolutions.