The Fall of the Inca Empire

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The Inca Empire, the massive nation that extended 2,500 miles along the western coast of South America and had a population of over 7 million at its peak. It included all of what is now Ecuador and Peru and most of Chile. Known as “The Children of the Sun”, they excelled at craftsmanship, weaving, and culture (“Children of the Sun”). A very religious people, they worshiped the Sun as their supreme god and held religious festivals monthly to appease these gods. Although they did not value it aside from its beautiful appearance, the Inca Empire was home to millions of pounds of solid gold and silver. The Inca had no use for it except to use it to craft decorations and statues. In fact, an Inca citizen valued cloth more than they valued gold or silver. Their collapse would be brought about because of the Spanish invasion, a brutal civil war that weakened the empire, and deadly disease brought over from Europe.

The Inca Empire was a combination of many small tribes and nations that the Inca had conquered and placed under their rule. Their government was very well organized and efficient at ruling their subjects. The entire empire, however, was led by an emperor that was recognized by the Inca people as the “Son of the Sun”. The emperor selected his advisors and appointed governors for all of the territories under Inca control. They also had a very large, highly organized military consisting of around 500 thousand men. The Empire could have lasted centuries, if not for the Spanish invasion. Led by Hernando Pizarro, an accomplished conquistador, the Empire would be brought to its knees in just under thirty five years

Before any conquistador had ever step foot in Inca lands, issues that would lead to the Inca’s downfall had been buil...

... middle of paper ... died and the civil war would not have occurred. Who knows, Huyana Capac may have been a much stronger, brutal leader than Atahualpa and would have killed the Spanish as soon had he heard that they had landed in Peru.

Pizarro, being the decisive, military leader that he was, would take advantage of the terrible plague and use it against the Inca. As he traveled from village to village, he would leave a person infected with smallpox in the village so that the whole village would become infected and die. When his men were in Cuzco while it was under siege from Manco Inca, he ordered dead bodies infected with small pox to be thrown into the Inca camps at night. Huge number of Inca soldiers died because of attacks like these. Pizarro and his men were from Europe, so they had some resistance to the diseases they brought with them, so they were not affected by them.
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