Pichincha, Battle of

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Pichincha, Battle of

Battle of Pichincha (23-24 May 1822), a major Andean clash during the Wars of Independence. Although Guayaquil, which had declared independence on 9 October 1820 and established a republic, repeatedly attempted to free the highland provinces of the Audiencia or Kingdom of Quito, it proved unable to dislodge Spanish forces with its limited resources. Therefore, it sought the support of both José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar. While San Martín sent supplies and a few officers, Bolívar, in 1821, dispatched seven hundred men under the command of General Antonio José de Sucre with the charge of annexing the region to Colombia. In the face of local opposition, Sucre only managed to declare Guayaquil a protectorate of Colombia.

After several unsuccessful attempts to liberate the highlands, Sucre raised an army of three thousand, including local forces and Colombians as well as Argentinians, Chileans, and Peruvians from San Martín's army. The patriots fought their way up the Andes in early 1822, reaching the heights west of Quito on the evening of 23 May 1822. After a hard-fought battle of several hours on 24 May, General Melchor Aymerich, the last Spanish president of the Kingdom of Quito, capitulated. Bolívar arrived in June with more Colombian troops and proceeded to incorporate the region into Colombia despite opposition from the ayuntamiento (city council) of Quito. Shortly thereafter, broadsides appeared in the city heralding "The last day of despotism and the first of the same thing."

See alsoWars of Independence, South America .


Julio Estrada Ycaza, La lucha de Guayaquil por el Estado de Quito, 2 vols. (1984).

Additional Bibliography

Archer, Christon I., ed. The Wars of Independence in Spanish America. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2000.

Bolívar, Simón, and Ayala Mora, Enrique. Simón Bolivar. Quito: Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar: Corporación Editora Nacional, 2004.

Himiob A., Santos. Sucre, época & épica, 1795–1995: Bibliografía del general en jefe y gran mariscal de Ayacucho Antonio José de Sucre: Homenaje en el bicentenario de su nacimiento. Caracas: Biblioteca Nacional, 1995.

Lemus Rojas, Jesús R. Pichincha: La libertad de Quito. Caracas, Venezuela: EGE, 1993.

                               Jaime E. RodrÍguez O.

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Pichincha, Battle of

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