Peru Travel Confidential

The Incas vs Spaniards

The Incas lost their empire against 150 Spaniards because there were many circumstances that work against them; here we will explain you what happen. You may think the Spaniards arrival was the reason of their destruction, but it’s not true. Long before the Spaniards arrival, the Indians were inside a spiral of violence and fight for power that point them into a self-destruction path.

The hard truth is that their empire was about to collapse by itself. The responsible for this crime was the king Huayna Capac. He let the society to corrupt and didn’t do anything to solve the growing problems. After his death the fight for power complicated the future of the entire Kingdom.

Huayna Capac was the first responsible of the decadence of the empire. The Incas culture was base in their community work; they work for the community and the community shares everything. But Huayna Capac broken this balance by allowing local lands lords. The result was the standard citizen start to feel more slave than citizen, so the feeling pro revolution begin.

The elite force of warriors named (Los Orejones) were the symbol of war power, virility and honor. With Huayna Capac they became lazy and weak, so the rest of the army follows their bad example. The weak armies damage the health of the empire, resulting in revolutions in provinces on the borders of the empire.

Huayna Capac has two sons that were competing for the throne. The first son was Huascar; he born in Cusco and he was a good politician but weak. The second son was Atahualpa; he was merciless and tyrant. The two brothers take part in the most dramatic and crucial moment of the Incas history.

If the empire was unstable when Huayna Capac was on power, imagine when he die; a civil war begun. A war after a king die was normal, because the Incas didn’t have a ruler succession method like in Europe, where the first son will inherit the kingdom. The succession method was base on the strongest candidate, with the biggest power among the society. The competitors will fight for the throne and the winner will become king.

Atahualpa, second son of Huayna Capac won the war and kill Huascar. But it wasn’t enough for him, he decide to kill all Huascar family. He orders to execute women and children in horrible ways. All executions were in public, in the main plaza of Cusco city. It was the moment when the image of Atahualpa was transform into a merciless tyrant.

From the north of the country came news of a group of foreigners attacking the kingdom. They were the Spaniards. Then, Atahualpa send scouts to find out who were these estranges people. The information the scouts brought back to Atahualpa was wrong. The scouts told Atahualpa that they were gods and he believed it. That was simply the Incas history most crucial moment, when the destiny of the entire empire will change.

The scouts told Atahualpa the foreigners have white faces and magic animals. And one of them looks like the supreme god Wiracocha from the Incas mythology. Atahualpa was curious about the god Wiracocha, that’s why he didn’t attack them in instead he send a messenger to setup a peaceful meeting.

When the Spaniards find out about the invitation, they got scare. They thought that Atahualpa wants to kill them. So the Spaniards prepare an ambush for Atahualpa. The ambush was a success, they took hostage Atahualpa and during the fight they kill 5000 warriors that were protecting Atahualpa.

The Incas weapons were no match against the firearms of the Spaniards. But, in battle the warriors outnumber the Spaniards. At the beginning the Indians were afraid of horses, but soon they learn how to stop them. Before a fight, they make holes in the battlefield, obligating the horse to slow down. Then, few warriors hold the horse from the tale and other warriors attach the rider.

During the Spanish invasion, the Spaniards have contact with many people. Such contact was a harmful circumstance that helps the Incas empire collapse. Here we explain: The Spaniards brought with them sicknesses like smallpox and influenza. These sicknesses spread out around all the empire, killing people for hundreds of thousands.

The population before the Spanish arrival was 9 million people. One hundred years after the Spanish invasion the Incas population drops down to 600,000. More than 8 million people die, by the direct or indirect hands of the Spaniards. Few people know, but it probably was one of the biggest genocides of the human history.

After the Spaniards kidnap and kill the last king Atahualpa, taking over the country was easy. It’s because the regular people were grateful to be free from such merciless ruler. Plus the Spaniards use the help from several local tribe armies that fight against the Incas empire army. Sooner they will realize their big mistake.

The Spaniards learn how to conquer indigenous civilizations with the Aztecs in Mexico. They use the ingenuity of the local tribes to fight and destroy each other. After the Spaniards kill the last king Atahualpa, they manipulate the election of the next king. He was a simple puppet under Spaniard control.

It’s sad to finally understand the wonderful Incas culture was destroy from inside to outside. Add the sickness outbreaks and the general dissolution of the government. The Spaniards couldn’t have chosen a better time to strike.