[6.9] Conquest of the Inca Empire

conquest of inca empireDeSoto Intimidates AtahualpaToday you will be able to examine why 168 Spanish Conquistadors were able to conquer the great Inca Empire (h5.6b).

Homework: Conquest Comic

(50:00) Video: Guns, Germs, & Steel

  • As you watch, complete Decline of Civilization – Inca notes in your graphic organizer packet

 Homework: Create a comic strip (3 or more scenes) to explain the fall of the Incas. Show or describe at least three factors (or reasons) that led to Inca defeat. Use the reading below if you were/are unable to view the video.


Conquest of Peru

Francisco Pizarro was born a poor man in Extremadura. Which in 1470s Spain pretty much amounts to the middle of nowhere. When he heard about a land brimming with gold and riches up for grabs, he obviously found a new meaning to life. Of all the things there is to know about Peru, which then were not many, he decided to stick to that. He went there several times until he got permission from the Queen to carry out the conquest of Peru and become its Governor, in 1532.

However, his presence in the Empire had already brought it to a near-halt. The civil war was raging and the diseases. Pizarro himself had brought with him from the Old World were wreaking havoc among the population. If he wanted to do away with all of Peru’s population, his job was already half done.

In any case, he wanted to meet with Atahualpa. He sent his captain, Hernando de Soto, to meet with him on a horse. Atahualpa had never seen one before and was clearly surprised and impressed. He listened to De Soto’s prepared speech and agreed to see Pizarro in person the following day in Cajamarca.

The meeting at Cajamarca turned into a massacre. Pizarro had his 168 men strategically hidden in corners (62 of them on horseback) and tried to convince Atahualpa to convert to the “one true religion”, Catholicism. He offered the Inca a Bible, claiming it had all the answers.

Atahualpa had never seen a book, so he put it next to his ear and waited for it for to give him the promised answers. When it didn’t, he threw the Bible to the ground, exasperated. This was either perceived as an offense or as an excuse to start the attack.

In any case, Pizarro’s used their advance weaponry (fine swords, firearms, armor, and horses) to kill 2,000 men that day, and kidnap the Inca ruler, Atahualpa.

As a ransom, Atahualpa offered Pizarro what he knew he would like best — tons of gold and even more silver. Pizarro gladly accepted the offer but never released Atahualpa. In his confinement, Atahualpa began to fear Huáscar would strike back, so he ordered to have him killed. The Spaniards had similar concerns with him, and took a similar approach: after converting him to Christianity (and baptizing him as Francisco in one of those displays of irony history is so fond of), he was garrotted and killed.

Spanish troops then proceeded to murder whatever their diseases had left of the Inca Empire population. They extinguished their culture, destroyed most of their cities to build new ones with new names (Pizarro himself created the now-capital, Lima) which paved the way for thousands of their citizens to move there.



This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.