Inca Civilization of South America

Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almaro, two Spanish adventurers, led the conquest of inca empire, which had many parallels, to the Mexican episode. The Inca Civilization was, in some ways, even more impressive than the Maya or Aztec. The Incas were a ruling class, a preferred people, who governed over an estimated 3.5 million or more persons. Centered in Cuzco, in the highlands of today's Peru, their empire extended southward to the River Maule, in Chile, throughout Bolivia into the eastern portion of the Amazon Basin, and as far north as Ecuador where a second capital had been built at Quito. It was the most highly organized empire of pre-Colombian America. Indeed, it was one of the great empires of the world.

Numerous monuments and cities have revealed a great deal not only about the Incas but also about the pre-Inca peoples whom the Incas conqueredand absorbed and who themselves were highly accomplished in agriculture and the arts. Some of these people built intricate systems of irrigation. They were expert in the use of fertilizers. The Incas themselves were expert engineers. They diverted streams by cutting tunnels through the mountains, sometimes starting at both ends and meeting in the middle, precisely as calculated. Roads and bridges connected Cuzco with the farthest reaches of the empire, and a system of signals permitted messages to be sent a thousand miles in a few hours. The Incas, and also some of the pre-Incas, were skilled in medicine and surgery. They were familiar with the use of quinine. They trepanned skulls without infection.

The descendants of the incas, and of the Maya and the Aztecs, show little evidence of the exceptional capabilities their ancestors had, but they surely posses them in latent form.

Though the Inca brutally suppressed any who opposed them, basically they acted as benevolent rulers, wanting only to employ and tax the people of Kollasuyo. The natives worked as miners, construction laborers and soldiers.

As time went on, there were a few rebellions between the groups living in the highlands of Inca rulers from Cuzco had to settle the disputes by sending in Queechua soldiers and administrators. The activity caused a lot of animosity so that, when the Spanish arrived in 1532, it was easy for them to turn one group against the other. This eventually resulted in the fall of the entire Inca civilization.


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