Tag Archives: Conquistador

this day in the yesteryear: Vasco Núñez de Balboa Reaches Pacific Ocean (1513)


Vasco Núñez de Balboa Reaches Pacific Ocean (1513)

Balboa was a Spanish conquistador who, while fleeing creditors, hid on a vessel and wound up in Panama. Once there, he founded the Panamanian colony of Darién, the first stable settlement on the South American continent, and won the friendship of the indigenous people—which was unusual given the cruelty of most conquistadors. Balboa then crossed the Isthmus of Panama and reached the Pacific Ocean, claiming it and all shores washed by it for the Spanish crown. What did he call this ocean? More… Discuss

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This Day in History: Ecuador Gains Independence from Gran Colombia (1830)


Ecuador Gains Independence from Gran Colombia (1830)

Prior to the arrival of the Spaniards, Ecuador was controlled by the Inca empire. Francisco Pizarro‘s subordinate, Benalcázar, entered the area in 1533. Not finding the wealth of the mythical El Dorado, he and other conquistadors moved restlessly on, and the region became a colonial backwater. Ecuador remained under Spanish control until 1822, when it was joined to Gran Colombia. With the dissolution of that union in 1830, Ecuador gained its independence. Why is 1859 called the “Terrible Year”? More… Discuss

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