Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Atahuallpa and Pizarro- when Old World collides with New World

Atahuallpa and Pizarro- when Old World collides with New World

The fate of the 2 men in the pixs below helped to shape the world as we know it today

Pix 1- Atahuallpa (20 March 1497–29 August 1533) - he was the last sovereign Emperor of the the Inca Empire before the Spanish conquest.

He became emperor when he defeated and executed his older half-brother Huáscar in a civil war sparked by the death of their father, Inca Huayna Capac, from an infectious disease (possibly smallpox).

Scholars estimate that the population of the Inca Empire probably numbered over 16,000,000

The empire spanned the whole of Peru, large parts of modern Ecuador, western and south central Bolivia, northwest Argentina, north and central Chile, and a small part of southern Colombia. Pix 3

Thus Atahuallpa was leader of the largest and most advanced state in the New World, the Inca Empire.

Pix 2 -Francisco Pizarro (1476 – 26 June 1541) Spanish Conquistador who represented the Holy Roman Emperor,King Charles I of Spain, monarch of the most powerful state in Europe at the time

Atahuallpa had an army of 80000

Francisco Pizarro, had only 168 soldiers

Battleground- Peruvian highland town of Cajamarca on November 16, 1532.

You'd think that this was a mismatch.

You'd be right in your mismatch thinking but you'd be wrong in the prediction of the outcome.

Atahuallpa and his men walked into an ambush.

Pizarro captured him alive.

Casualties- on the Spanish side 0-5 men

Casualties on the Inca side- several thousands

Check out this YouTube clip describing events on the day-

Immediate reasons for Pizarro's success included:

1. military technology based on guns, steel weapons, and horses ( the Incas had never seen any of these things before)

2. infectious diseases endemic in Europe, which the Europeans were already immune to, but which decimated the Incans when introduced by the former to the latter's continent. In 1519, Small pox had been introduced to the continent by another Spanish conquistador, Hernando Cortes, who defeated the Aztecs of Mexico

The disease killed Atahuallpa's father and set off a war of succession among his sons. Atahuallpa won but you'd think there would be some disunity among his people as a result of this. This might have weakened their defences

3. The Incans also had a highly centralised chain of command, which meant that Atahuallpa was viewed as an 'invincible' god. He was revered by his men. So, once he was captured, it effectively paralysed their forces.

Other factors included:

European maritime technology; the centralized political organization of European states ( King Charles I of Spain sanctioned Pizarro's voyage to the New World and probably arranged the finance ) and writing ( the significance of this last point cannot be underestimated. It is crucial to understanding precedence and it's role in development)

Atahuallpa was hanged after a period of captivity ( he also naively gave the Spanish enormous Gold and silver as ransom. He thought this was a temporary occupation. He didn't know that the Europeans had colonisation in mind)

Despite some resistance by the Incans, the Spanish pillaged the land- taking their gold, silver, their women and colonised South America.

The Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire was one of the most important campaigns in the Spanish colonization of the Americas.

It set the precedence for European colonisation of the United States of America, farther North, later on

Tupac Amaru was actually the the last Inca emperor, he was captured and executed in 1572 by Spanish Conquistadors. His Inca stronghold was the last to fall.

The late Rapper, Tupac Shakur got his name from this Emperor



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