During its , as part of the Viceroys of Peru and Nueva Granada, the people of what is now Ecuador saw a rise in exotic disease, forced labor and inequality. The economic decline of Spain, the rise of Enlightenment ideals, and a spreading South American independence movement coincided to help revolutionaries win independence from Spain on May 24, 1822. During its , Ecuador belonged to Simón Bolívar’s , which also included present-day Venezuela and Colombia. This association did not last long however, and the Ecuador’s establishment as a republic precipitated a period of strong influence by the Catholic church. and followers fought for many secular reforms during the .
The convinced to visit the in the Hills. By capturing local leaders,the Spanish reached the where corn andshelter were common. By now, the greed for wealth was the major motive for theconquistador.
When he found the land he brought along a Roman Catholic clergy.
Unknown to the Indians of Florida, their destiny was beingdetermined by political and economic forces taking place across the AtlanticOcean in . At the end of the fifteenthcentury, thousands of daring adventurers would be crossing the ocean to conquerwithin a few centuries what had taken the Indians thousands to years toinhabit.
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He realized that was more than a large island. He sawthe chief village near Mound Key anddiscovered this tribe was unfriendly. He selected to repair his vessel and escaped as bands of descended on the intruders.
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In the winter of 1521, de Leon headed for with a 500 man force,including 'sfirst priests, farmers, and artisans. They landed on the Gulf beaches between and . His goal was to establish apermanent colony in .
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The choice of location proved weak. Requiringfood and fresh water, de Leon led some troops into the dense coastal forest for a spring. Suddenly,the conquistadors were ambushed from all sides by warriors. The European weapons were rendered ineffective by the close combat. de Leon was piercedin the thigh by a reed arrow.
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The soldiers carried their wounded to the ships. The colonists agreed to return to and evacuate the project. Ponce de Leon promised to return, but his healthdeteriorated and he never saw his discovery again.
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In 1520, another merchant in search of Indianslaves for Caribbean mines, Vasquez de ,mapped the coast. claimed theentire region as part of .