Ecuador, a republic of South America, named from its situation under the equator. It lies between lat. 1° 50' N. and 5° 30' S., and Ion. 69° 52' and 80° 35' W., and is bounded N. by the United States of Colombia and Brazil, E. by Brazil, S. by Peru, and W. by the Pacific. The Ecuadorians assert their right to the province of Mamas, S. of the Maranon; but most geographers assign that river as the greater portion of the southern boundary, adopting for the northern a right line drawn from the northernmost mouth of the river Mira E. by S. to the Caqueta or Japura, some 30 m. below the confluence of the Mesai, the Caqueta itself forming the remainder of the boundary to Ion. 69° 52' W. The extreme length of the republic would thus be about 740 m. from E. to W., and the greatest breadth 520 m. from N. to S. The area, according to the best estimates, is about 252,000 sq. m., and that of the Galapagos islands 2,951, making a total area of 254,951 sq. m. - The coast presents a sinuous convex line, about TOO m. long, with a general bearing from S. W. to 1ST. E. Principal among the numerous indentations is that formed by the gulf of Guayaquil, 80 m. wide, at the mouth of the river of the same name.
Further northward are the bays of Santa Helena, Callo, Caracas, Mompiche, and Pailon. Mompiche bay is S. of Cape San Francisco, and Caracas S. of Cape Pasado. Point Santa Helena, a rocky promontory, is the most westerly land in the republic; and the whole coast from that point to Punta Galera, 850 m. northward, including the sinuosities, is of the same character as the promontory. Besides the Galapagos, which will be treated under that title, Ecuador possesses numerous islands, most of which are in the immediate vicinity of the coast. The principal of these are Puna, at the mouth of the Ria de Guayaquil (the landing place of Pizarro in 1531 when on his way to conquer Peru), Santa Clara, La Plata, and Tumaco. Of the three ports, that of Guayaquil, sheltered by the island of Puna, is the most important; it is one of the best on the Pacific, and monopolizes the maritime commerce of the republic. Es-meraldas, on the Rio Esmeraldas, has anchorage for ships of small draft. Manta is now abandoned to coasters. - No country in the world presents a more varied surface than that of Ecuador; about nine tenths of it is composed of snow-clad mountains, dense forests, and vast llanos or savannas.
To the east extend interminable forests and immense plains, intersected by rivers, lagoons, and marshes, and interrupted by mountain ranges stretching from the Andes obliquely to the banks of the Amazon. To the west the country is covered with extensive forests, with less lofty mountains, and cut by rivers of lesser magnitude. The centre swells into two Cordilleras separated by a valley 300 m. long, with snow-covered peaks, ranking among the loftiest of the earth. The valley is remarkable as being, next to the basin of Titicaca, the centre of the most ancient native civilization of America. The Andes enter the republic by the mountain knot of Loja, where they separate into two chains parallel to each other and to the coast, traversing the state in a N. N. E. direction, until the chains again unite in the mountain knot of Pasto, near the northern limit. At two points transverse ridges link the two parallel chains together, dividing the large valley into three smaller ones, named severally, commencing at the south, Cuenca, Alausi and Ambato, and Quito. The first of these cross ridges occurs about lat. 2° 27' S., and takes its name from the trachytic range of Asuay, which attains an elevation of 15,440 ft.; and the second, the Alto de Chisinche, only 500 ft. above the surrounding plain, about lat. 0° 40' S. This latter ridge forms the Ecuadorian watershed between the Atlantic and Pacific. The elevation of the valleys varies from 8,500 to 14,500 ft., that of Quito having a mean elevation of 9,540 ft.
None of the mountains bordering the southern valley, Cuenca, reach the line of perpetual snow. The principal summits are comprised between lat. 2° 27' S. and 1° N., the eastern range, or Cordillera Oriental, maintaining the greatest general elevation, although Chimborazo, the culminating point of the sys-tem, 21,422 ft. above the sea, is in the Cordillera Occidental or western range. The other noteworthy peaks in the Cordillera Occidental are: Iliniza (17,380 ft.), Pichincha (15,924), Carihuairazo (15,920), Chiles (15,960), and Cumbal, about 1,500 ft. above the snow line, which in Ecuador is a little above 14,000 ft. The principal summits of the Cordillera Oriental are Cayambi (19,813 ft.), the only volcano on the globe immediately under the equator; Sara Urcu or Supai Urcu (17,276 ft.), 35 m. E. of Quito, forming part of a ridge known by the name of Guamani; Antisana, 35 m. S. E. of Quito (about 19,200 ft.), Cotopaxi (about 19,-500), Llanganate (18,639), Tunguaragua (16,-424), Altar (17,126), and Sangay (16,138). Nowhere in the whole system of the Andes are more colossal mountains than those on either side of the valleys of Quito and Ambato, 2° S. and 0° 15' N. of the equator. Many of these are volcanoes, a few being extinct, and the others in activity.
The whole table land of Quito constitutes one vast volcanic hearth, the subterranean fire bursting sometimes from one and sometimes from another of the openings, which have generally been regarded as independent volcanoes. The country between the Andes and the Pacific is intersected by spurs detached from the western chain, and gradually sinking into low hills as they approach the coast, except the portion adjacent to the Ria de Guayaquil, which is a plain several miles in extent, and so low as to be inundated during the flood. Swamps prevail also in this region. - The Amazon, here called the Maranon, on the southern boundary, receives the waters of several tributaries taking their rise within the territory of Ecuador. The most important of these is the Napo, which, rising in the eastern declivities of Cotopaxi and Sincholagoa, holds a generally S. E. course through the plains of Oriente to its junction with the Amazon, a distance of about 600 m., receiving the Arajuno, Yasuni, Coca, Aguarico, Curaray, and other tributaries. It is navigable by steamers from its mouth to the confluence of the Coca, about 400 m.; above that point the natives navigate it in canoes.
Orellana, the first European who navigated the Amazon, embarked on the Coca, a few miles above its junction with the Napo. The Pastaza has a course of 540 m., about 270 of which are navigable by steamers, and 60 more by small craft; it takes its rise in the same region as the Napo, and joins the Amazon in lat. 4° 35' S., Ion. 76° 35'W. The upper part of this river is called Patate. The Santiago, flowing from the lakes Quinuas, Cajas, and Culebrillas, in the valley of Cuenca, maintains first an easterly and afterward a southeasterly course, and falls into the Maranon near, the town of its own name, and in the vicinity of the falls of Manseriche; its length is 500 m., and it may be navigated by steam for 300 m.; it receives the waters of the Zamora and oth-er important streams. Besides the foregoing there are the smaller rivers Chinchipe, Morona, Tigre, and a few others, navigable for greater or lesser distances. N. of the Napo are the Putumayo and the Caqueta or Japura, both of considerable magnitude, but neither wholly within the territory of Ecuador. The first enters it near San Miguel, and after traversing the northern portion of Oriente in a generally S. E. direction, flows through the Brazilian forests to the Amazon. The second constitutes part of the N. boundary line of the state.
All the rivers on the W. side of the Cordillera Occidental hurry by briefer courses to the Pacific. The Guayaquil is formed by the union of numerous streams issuing from the mountains adjacent to Chimborazo, and falls into the gulf of Guayaquil; it is navigable as far as Baba-hoyo, 75 m., and receives the waters of the Baba and the Daule. The Mira falls into the sea by several mouths at the northern extremity of the coast; the Esmeraldas into the Ancon de Sardincas; the Chones and the Charapoto into Caracas bay; and the Jubones and the Tumbez into the bay of Tumbez. All these, except the Guayaquil, are only navigable by boats, rafts, and small craft. Ecuador has no lakes properly so called; but there are many lagoons, some in connection with the various tributary streams of the Maranon, others in the elevated table land formed by the eastern and western Cordilleras, and a few in the high plains of the Cordilleras. The Yaguarcocha, in the plains of Imbabura, is one of the largest. In the province of Guayas numerous lagoons are formed in the rainy season, which dwindle into stagnant pools in the dry months. - Little has been done toward the examination of the special structure of the equatorial Andes. The characteristic syenitic rocks and porphyries occur here in as great abundance as elsewhere in the Andine system; yet several important ridges and peaks are observed to be of trachy-tic formation.
Chimborazo, Asuay, and many other mountains of either Cordillera, present the last named character; and extensive tracts in the vicinity of Sangay and Cotopaxi are covered with lava, pumice stone, and cinders; while ruined temples and causeways, the work of the incas, constructed almost wholly of freestone, attest the existence of this last in considerable quantities. Gold, silver, copper, iron, lead, zinc, and sulphuret of mercury occur in various parts. Gold is said to be washed down by most of the rivers descending from the eastern declivities of the Andes; but the gold mines of the elevated mesas of the Cordilleras were, in common with those of silver and mercury, long ago abandoned. At present there are few gold mines, and these only in the mountains near the coast. Antimony, manganese, sulphur, salt, coal, and petroleum are found. But the only productive mining operations are those of iron and copper. - The climate of Ecuador is as varied as The face of the country. In the wooded and marshy regions E. of the Cordilleras and in the lowlands on the west it is hot and moist; while in the great valley between the eastern and western chains, the climate and temperature vary with the elevation of the plains, or their proximity to the mountains.
There are but two seasons, summer and winter. The former, commencing in June and lasting till November, is the season of winds; and the latter, beginning in December and ending in May, is the rainy season. This regular succession of the seasons, however, is known only in the table land between the mountains, and on the plateaus along the declivities of the western Cordillera. Hail and snow storms are common in the elevated plains of the Cordilleras, and frosts destroy the unripe cereals. The direction of the wind changes with the localities. In the great inter-alpine valley, the prevailing wind is from the south, with an occasional norther; but in the more elevated regions the wind currents are almost constantly from the east, sometimes increasing to terrible tempests. In the coast region the south wind prevails in summer and the north wind in winter. In the latter season the copious rains at the head waters of the rivers cause them to inundate the surrounding districts. After the floods subside, the region is for some time covered with a pestilential marsh, which sends forth myriads of noxious insects. Fevers are prevalent during the wet season in the low country, which consequently has few inhabitants of European descent.
The climate on the whole is salubrious, particularly that of the valley between the Cordilleras. Intermittent and other fevers are frequent in the coast region; but they are unknown in the highlands, and pulmonary consumption is rarely heard of. Elephantiasis is common at Quito. - In consequence of the equatorial position of Ecuador and its varying elevation, it has in close proximity all the productions of the tropical and temperate zones. In the plains of Quito are produced sugar cane, cotton, and maize, and higher up European cereals and fruits. The low lands produce cacao, coffee, sugar cane, rice, cotton, pepper, tobacco, India rubber, copal gum, vanilla, sarsaparilla, and the tropical fruits, among which are chirimoyas, granadi-tas, aguacates, plantains, mameys, guavas, and a variety of melons. Besides cinchona (the original home of which is the southern frontier of Ecuador, and especially the region around Loja), there is an immense variety of medicinal roots and plants. The pita or American aloe, and the species of grass called pajon, from which are made the so-called Panama hats, are among the most useful productions of the country. The great forests present inexhaustible quantities of timber suitable for every purpose in ship building, house carpentry, and cabinet work.
Among the woods are the guachapeli, which hardens in water or in contact with the humidity of the atmosphere, and the sindi-caspi, which burns freely when fresh cut. Agriculture is in a low condition; the implements of the husbandman of to-day differ little from those used by his forefathers at the time of the conquest. - Three species of felidoe infest the great forests at the east, the jaguar, puma, and a kind of wild cat. There are also bears, tapirs, several varieties of wild hogs, deer, hares, rabbits, squirrels, armadillos, and monkeys. Among the reptiles are caymans, lizards, adders, and vipers; the great boa, the rattlesnake, coral, equis, tayas, and tigre. Mosquitoes and other noxious insects infest the marshes and coast region. The shores abound in turtles. There are two or three species of condor. Of fishing birds, the principal are the albatross, sea gull, and kingfisher; and there are cranes and ducks of many kinds, pheasants, partridges, pigeons, and a host of others. In the forests are the nightingale, blackbird, thrush, corregidor, and a variety of parrots, parroquets, and other birds of brilliant plumage. The rivers afford an abundant supply of excellent fish. Salt-water fishing is carried on to a considerable extent. Horses, asses, and mules are abundant.
The rearing of cattle and sheep forms an extensive industry; and numerous herds of llamas pasture on the paramos. - Manufacturing industry is not extensive in the interior, and still less so on the coast. The natives of the highlands make furniture, saddles, earthenware, and cotton and woollen goods. In Otabalo and elsewhere are factories for linen cloths, damasked quilts, carpets, and drapery for beds, highly esteemed for the delicacy and durability of their colors. About 6,000 ponchos are made monthly at Cotacache, Hatuntaqui, and Guano. There are a few silk-weaving establishments, for which the raw material is mostly imported from France; but some attempts have lately been made to acclimatize the silkworm, which are likely to prove successful. Gold lace is manufactured at Quito, where the women make fine embroidery, needlework, and lace. The manufacture of jipijapa hats constitutes an important industry; some of the hats bring $40 on the spot where they are made. Large quantities of cheese are made for exportation. Numerous sugar mills are in operation, as also tanneries and iron founderies. Cuenca has many sugar refineries, and is celebrated for its hams and sweetmeats.
In Esmeraldas and Guayas immense quantities of cacao are prepared, that of the latter province being among the most esteemed in America. Rum is made from the juice of the sugar cane, and chicha from the yuca and other plants. The production of indigo bids fair to become a source of wealth. Ropes, mats, sackcloth, hammocks, and other articles are made from the fibre of the pita or American aloe. Ship building is carried on to a limited extent at Guayaquil. The implements employed in the foregoing manufactures are for the most part very imperfect; but some of the factories, especially those for cotton, are fitted with American machinery. - The leading articles of export from Ecuador are cacao, hats, tobacco, cascarilla, leather, India rubber, timber, cundurango, and precious metals and stones. The export trade has been steadily increasing for the last few years; and the value of the exports in 1871 was $3,045,684, distributed as follows: cacao, $1,707,400; cascarilla, $92,102; hats, $74,256; India rubber, $693,376; cotton, etc, $30,816. There were exported in the same year 1,700 quintals of cundurango; and in 1870 precious metals and stones to the value of $681,280. The imports consist chiefly of manufactured goods, principally from Great Britain, the value of which in 1870 was $285,040. Cotton fabrics from the same country to the value of $64,505 were imported in 1871. The total value of the imports is about $2,500,000 per annum.
Some coarse cotton goods are imported from the United States; wines, liquors, cloths, fancy articles, glass, chinaware, hardware, cutlery, etc, from England and France; and, owing to bad mills and worse roads, flour from Chili, and lard from the United States, have to be imported, while wheat and lard are exported from the high lands. The number of vessels which entered the port of Guayaquil in 1870, inclusive of 66 British packets, was 125, with an aggregate of 55,310 tons. There is an important coasting trade between the ports of the republic and those of Chili, Peru, and Colombia. - Hitherto the roads of Ecuador have been among the rudest in South America, and especially those from the coast to the interior; the only one worthy of the name of highway being that from Quito to Bogota in Colombia. Three roads lead from Quito to the Amazon, and several from the more important cities of the highlands to those on the coast. All are extremely bad, even in the dry season, and become impassable in the wet. The roads to Guayaquil are mule paths; but those to the other seaports have to be traversed on foot. The government has recently decided to build suitable roads, of which some are in process of construction.
A cart road, the first in the republic, has been finished as far as Sibambe, where it will unite with the railway of Milagro, soon to be undertaken by the government. Other railways are projected. Steamers already ply between Guayaquil and Babahoyo. There are three joint-stock banks in Guayaquil, and many private banking houses. The national bank was abandoned in 1872 in consequence of an unfavorable banking law passed in 1871. - Ecuador is divided into 13 provinces, which with their respective capitals are as follows:
The population, according to the census of 1854, was 1,065,500; to which may be added 517,824 for the increase during 18 years, at the mean annual rate of 2 7/10 per cent., as computed by Villavicencio, and 200,000 savages inhabiting the province of Oriente; making a total population of 1,783,324 at the end of 1872. The chief towns are Quito, the capital (pop. about 70,000), Cuenca (32,000), Guayaquil (26,000), and Riobamba (20,000). The population consists of six classes: whites, Indians, cholos or mestizos, negroes, mulattoes, and zambos. The whites, who are the ruling class although comparatively very few, are almost exclusively descended from the early Spanish colonists, and constitute a species of aristocracy. As a rule they have preserved their European blood in tolerable purity, although here and there coarse black hair, particularly among the females, reveals the Indian element. They are shrewd, intelligent, generous, hospitable, and distinguished by extreme suavity of manner, but are averse to every species of manual labor. The few white Creoles engaged in commerce or industrial pursuits are infected with a mutual distrust which damps or precludes all spirit of enterprise. The Indians are divded into 11 great families, each subdivided into numerous tribes.
The Quitus, by far the most numerous, are the direct descendants of one of the most civilized aboriginal races of the continent. At the time of their subjugation by the Peruvian conqueror Huayna Capac, they constituted a powerful kingdom, and had attained a considerable degree of proficiency in some of the fine arts, such as architecture and painting. The victorious inca divided the kingdom of Quitu into provinces, under the charge of military governors chosen from his own army. Many modern writers confound the Quitus with the Peruvians, deceived by the similarity between the two languages. The other families are the Cayapos, Colorados, Jivaros, Za-paros, Anguteros, Encabellados, Orejones (or "Big Ears," so named from their habit of distending the lobes of the ears by inserting large disks of wood), Avijiras, Santa Marias, and Cofanes. Each of these families has a language of its own, though some of them speak the lengua general, or Quitu, and Spanish. A few of them have fixed habitations, profess Christianity, and have fairly entered upon the career of civilization, although little attention has been paid to their education. The so-called free Indians are mule drivers, guides, and the like, a very small number being engaged in industries on their own account.
Yet they may be said to be the husbandmen, herdsmen, miners, and even the manufacturers of Ecuador. They weave cotton and woollen stuffs, make the far-famed jipijapa or Panama hats, manufacture quilts and carpets esteemed for brilliancy and durability of color, and produce the best earthenware on the southern continent. Their skill as engineers is attested by their rope bridges, spanning rivers and chasms; and as mariners they are noted for their rafts or balsas, on which they navigate the rivers, and not unfrequently perform long sea voyages. Their dwellings are hovels, made in the lowlands of a sort of wild cane, and covered with palm-leaf; and in the highlands, of mud thatched with rushes. Slavery no longer exists nominally; but the planters hire the Indians at insufficient wages, and then grant them advances in order to have the right to retain them in virtual bondage. These Indians are called concertados or gananes. Some of the families are independent, roaming along the banks of the great rivers E. of the Andes, subsisting by hunting and fishing; while others cultivate maize and other plants, which, with meat and a poison used on arrows, they barter for tools, ornaments, and other commodities.
The cholos, from the union of white and Indian, number about 900,000, and constitute the chief element of the population. Here, as elsewhere, they are more comely than the pure-blooded Indians. A large portion of the retail commerce is in their hands; they are also shoemakers, tailors, carpenters, and blacksmiths, and not a few of them acquire distinction in the various liberal professions. The negroes, whose number is small, live for the most part in the seaports and along the coast; their occupations are analogous to those of their class in other American countries. Almost the entire population of Esmeraldas is composed of mulattoes. The zambos, a mixture of Indian and negro, are chiefly found in the small seaports of the north. The Ecuadorians are all fond of music and amusement. The chief pastime of the whites and cholos is bull fighting; gambling is common to all classes, and drunkenness is the besetting vice of the Indians. - The present constitution of Ecuador was framed in 1845, and has twice undergone modifications: once by the national assembly at Guayaquil in 1852, and again by the regular legislative body in 1853. The form of government is republican, and the supreme power is divided into executive, legislative, and judicial.
The executive power is vested in a president, elected for four years; the present executive, however, has been elected for six years. The legislature consists of a senate and a chamber of deputies, the first composed of 18 members and the second of 30, both elected by universal suffrage. The congress assembles annually on Sept. 15, at Quito. The nomination of the president takes place indirectly by 900 electors returned for that purpose by the people. At the same time the electors appoint a vice president, who in certain cases may be called upon by congress to take the place of the president before his term of office has expired. The president is assisted by three ministers (of the interior, of foreign affairs and finance, and of the army and navy), who, with the president and vice president, are responsible to the congress. The president has no power of veto, nor can he dissolve, shorten, or prorogue the sessions of congress. The judicial power rests in a supreme and superior courts, with parochial judges, commercial judges, and municipal alcaldes. Criminal cases only are tried by jury. Capital punishment is inflicted by shooting. There being no penitentiary, offenders are condemned to labor on public works.
In trials by jury, witnesses are examined, not by the attorneys, but by the judges; and if a witness fails to appear, his original deposition may be read even in criminal cases. A petit jury consists of nine members. - Nearly one half of the revenue is derived from the customs receipts. These were in 1865, $417,697; in 1866, $560,916; in 1867, $565,382; in 1868, $567,193; in 1869, $663,356; in 1870, $1,037,-247; and in 1871, $1,097,151. The total revenue in 1870 amounted to $1,451,096, and the expenditure to $1,119,737. Through increased imposts and the undertaking of public works, the revenue for the first half of 1872 was raised to $1,510,072, and the expenditure to $1,446,737. By a tariff law which took effect Jan. 1, 1872, excessive duties are laid upon many of the most indispensable articles of import. Articles for agricultural and educational purposes are admitted free of duty; firearms and all commodities of war are absolutely prohibited; and the publication, introduction, and sale of books and prints offensive to religion and good morals are prohibited. The foreign debt in 1865 was $5,634,332; the home debt $2,214,773. For some years past Ecuador has suspended payment of both debt and interest.
English bondholders in 1873 complained of this, and were assured that one fourth of the customs receipts would at an early day be applied toward the liquidation of their claims. In 1863 there were a university and 310 schools, attended by 14,000 pupils. In 1873 the number of schools was nearly doubled. An academy of arts and sciences and a school of agriculture were to be established in Quito, and the advantages of the Guayaquil normal school were to be extended to Indian children. In 1872 prospectuses were issued for a school of obstetrics and one of sculpture to be opened in Quito under the direction of European professors. The course of teaching in the primary schools embraces reading, writing, arithmetic, and religion; in the higher schools, Latin and sometimes Greek. The university course comprises the Spanish language and literature, Latin, Greek, law, medicine, etc. The income is small and the salaries of the professors very low. The established religion is the Roman Catholic, and no other is tolerated in public.
There is an archbishop at Quito, and bishops at Cuenca and at Guayaquil. - After the conquest of the inca dominions (see Peru, Pizakro, and Quito), the kingdom of Quito was made a presidency of the viceroyalty of Peru, and remained under Spanish rule from 1533 to 1822. It was one of the most productive of the Spanish colonies. In 1809 it revolted, and after many fruitless struggles achieved its independence by the battle of Pichincha, May 22, 1822. The territory was incorporated into the republic of Colombia, on the disruption of which in 1831 it became an independent republic under the name of Ecuador. But a series of civil wars ensued, lasting almost without intermission for more than 20 years. In 1852 a quarrel arose with Peru, whose government was accused of openly favoring a revolutionary expedition under Gen. Flores against Ecuador. Desultory hostilities continued for six years, and in 1858 Guayaquil was blockaded by sea and land. The contest was terminated in August of that year. In September, 1859, President Robles was compelled to quit the country, and in the same year Guayaquil was almost totally destroyed by fire, and Quito laid in ruins (March 22) by an earthquake. In 1862 Guayaquil again suffered from a conflagration.
Several important improvements were accomplished about this time, among which were the adoption of the French metrical system, the construction of a road and later of a telegraphic line from Guyaquil to Quito, and the paving of Guyaquil and supplying it with gas and water. In consequence of the interference of Mosquera, president of New Granada, who was endeavoring to bring about the reconstruction of the Colombian republic, Ecuador declared war against him, Nov. 20, 1863. The Ecuadorian army, under Flores, was completely routed, with the loss of all its baggage, 1,500 killed, and 2,000 prisoners; these, however, Mosquera released on their promise not to serve again in that war, and signing a petition in favor of the Colombian republic. Garcia Moreno, elected president in 1861, tendered his resignation March 23, 1864; but it was refused by the assembly. An unpopular measure of Moreno's was the concluding a concordat with the see of Rome, which gave the care of public education to the priests, and restricted the toleration of creeds hitherto enjoyed. He was forced to revise and modify the measure. He assumed the dictatorship Aug. 30, 1864, and perpetrated many cruelties in his efforts for the prevention of civil war.
Don Geronimo Carrion was elected president in May, 1865, and was inaugurated in August following. In January, 1866, the government joined with Peru and Chili in an alliance against Spain, and banished all Spaniards. Carrion, whose administration had become unsatisfactory to the congress, was censured, and resigned in November, 1867. Congress in its next session revoked the power of the president to imprison persons regarded as dangerous to public order, set at liberty all who were in confinement, and recalled those who had been expatriated. By a decree of Oct. 25, 1867, Bolivians, Chilians, Peruvians, and Colombians may become naturalized without a previous term of residence. Ecuador was visited in August, 1868, by one of the most awful earthquakes on record. It was especially destructive in the province of Imbabura, completely overthrowing the capital, Ibarra; 30,000 persons are said to have perished.
About the beginning of 1869, Dr. Javier Es-pinosa being president, the government was overthrown by a revolutionary movement under Garcia Moreno, who succeeded in establishing himself as president. One of his first acts was to order all schools to be closed except those under the control of the Jesuits. Imprisonment for debt, unless under special circumstances, was abolished. Rafael Carvajal was elected president May 16, Moreno having resigned; but the latter was reelected for a term of six years before the end of 1869.