Ecuador (the Spanish term for Equator), a republic in South America. In lat. it extends from 1° 23' N. to 40 45' S., while in W. long it stretches from 790 to 81° 20'. It measures, therefore, from north to south fully 400 miles, and from east to west nearly 850, presenting an area of about 100,000 square miles. It is bounded by the United States of Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and the Pacific. The population in 1885 was given at 1,004,651, in which the savage and heathen Indians of the eastern province were not included, although estimated at from 100,000 to 150,000. Six cities have a population of more than 10,000. The majority of the population is of the aboriginal race, speaking the Quichua or some cognate language. Ecuador, until the beginning of the present century, belonged to the Spanish viceroyalty of New Granada. After the establishment of the independence of the Spanish colonies, Ecuador formed part, until 1830, of the federal republic of Colombia. Since 1830 it has been an independent republic. The chief cities are Quito, the capital, and Guayaquil, the emporium of foreign trade. The government appears to have been constituted on the model of the United States of North America, having a president and vice-president, with a Senate and a House of Representatives. All the inhabitants belong to the Roman Catholic Church, which contains the following dioceses: 1. The archbishopric of Quito, established as an episcopal see in 1545, erected into an archbishopric in 1861; 2. the bishopric of Guayaquil, established in 1838; 3. the bishopric of Nueva Cuenga. The public exercise of no other religion is allowed by the Constitution of the state. There were, in 1855, 277 parochial and 106 vice-parochial churches, 534 secular priests, 262 monks in 36 and 202 nuns in 11 convents. The University of Quito, established in 1586 by the Jesuits, has 4 colleges and several seminaries. There were 11 high schools, called colleges or seminaries, and 290 primary schools, of which 30 were for girls. Nearly all the scholars were the children of the whites and mulattoes; the Indian population grows up almost without education. — Allgemeine Real-Encycl. 4:1018; Vilavicencio, Geographia de la Republica del Ecuador (N.Y. 1858). (A.J.S.)

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