Wednesday, February 25, 2009

History of Peru ... a quick one

History of Peru ... a quick one

Of course the history of Peru is quiet lengthy, and besides not having the time to research is all you probably don't want to read it all ;) However here a quick summary from Wikipedia, to make my history teacher proud - Herr Wichmann ;)

When the Spanish landed in 1531, Peru's territory was the nucleus of the highly developed Inca civilization. Centered at Cuzco, the Inca Empire extended over a vast region, stretching from northern Ecuador to central Chile (about 5500 km - comparable from the coast of Portugal into Russia ... but it was a fairly slim territory compared to the Roman empire).

Francisco Pizarro and his brothers were attracted by the news of a rich and fabulous kingdom.In 1532, they arrived in the country, which they called Peru. At that moment, the Inca Empire was preoccupied by a five-year civil war between two princes, Huáscar and Atahualpa. (Their farther had passed away - due to Malaria (some say it was small pox), supposedly introduced by the Spanish to weaken the Incas, appointing a third prince to be the king of the Incas. However the appointed son passed away shortly after his father, which caused the two brothers next in line to fight over the the leadership role, dividing the army and the kingdom).

After this the stories differ .., Wikipedia writes:Taking advantage of this, Pizarro carried out a coup d’état. On November 16, 1532, while the natives were in a celebration in Cajamarca, the Spanish in a surprise move captured the Inca Atahualpa during the Battle of Cajamarca, causing a great consternation among the natives and conditioning the future course of the fight. When Huascar was killed, the Spanish tried and convicted Atahualpa of the murder, executing him by strangulation.

The locals tell the story a bit different ... In face Atahualpa won the war against his brother, which was killed. One his way to Cuzco, the inca capital, he crossed path with Pizarro. Atahualpa unwilling to negotiate with anybody but the king himself, was told by Pizarro to come to Cuzco without his army to meet the leader (the Bishop at the time). Atahualp, being a bit naive (and arrogant) did actually do so and was captured by the Spanish ... the rest is history.

One of the reasons the Inca empire was weakened so fast was do to Spanish introduced sicknesses (most likely small pox) ... only recently I learned that the British tried similar tactics, unsuccessfully in New Zealand due to the long travel time of sick passengers from Britain to Oceania, most of them past away before they ever made to this beautiful country. nevertheless, it is said that about 20% of the Maori died do to the sickness introduced by the British.

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