Dave Martin History 140 Tuesday, February 22, 2011Francisco Pizarro and the Inca Conquest In the fall of 1532, the five Pizarro brothers, 15 survivors of Pizarro’s first expedition, those who crossed the line in the sand, and some home town friends left Panama and returned to Peru. They were a Family of Conquistadors as closely knit as a Mafia clan. Pizarro’s small private army consisted of 62 horses, 152 foot soldiers and some natives. They were after gold, silver, jewels and anything else of value they might confiscate including the Great Inca himself. Atahualpa was the Royal leader of 5-10 million people, an empire stretching from Ecuador to Chili. Pizarro must have been impressed as he traveled from Tumbes to Cajamarca andfinally to Cuzco on the Inca Royal Road. This road was lined on both sides with an adobe wall andmanned by relay stations, small forts spaced at regular intervals which housed the Kings Royalmessengers.Atahualpa told the people to feed the Spanish. Pizarrotaught Spanish to two Indians so they could translate forhim.The Incas revered their mountain ancestors andworshiped the Sun. The Spanish saw Inca religion as DevilWorship and used it as an excuse for a War of Aggressionto save Inca souls.In early November, Pizarro left the Pacific coast andmarched inland and up into the Andes. The road led to theCity of Cajamarca where Pizarro had heard that Atahualpa was camped. Atahualpa never really saw theSpanish as much of a threat, though the Inca’s had never seen horses. After all, they were only a few.Pizarro was a middle aged, illiterate soldier, “Tough as Old Boots”. He was very cagy and he understoodthat the Inca Empire was an early Bronze Age civilization and that with Steel and Guns he could strikewhere it really hurt.The Spaniards followed a narrow, steep path up the mountain peaks. It still existswith its Inca steps to this day. Pizarro’s Secretary wrote: “Steep pass, when they gotto the top, it was defended by a fortress surrounded by stone walls built on a hillwith very steep rocks on either side.” All the Incas had to do was roll rocks down onthem. One of Pizarro’s brothers led the expedition. After five days march through themountains, they came out at the city of Cajamarca.
Dave Martin History 140 Tuesday, February 22, 2011Pizarro’s Secretary: “The Campfires of the enemy were a terrifying site. Like brilliantly star studded sky.Few of us slept that night. We just talked about what we should do. All were full of fear, for we were sofew and so deep into the land and with no hope of rescue.” Atahualpa’s army was guessed at 30,000.Atahualpa was relaxing in the hot springs outside of Cajamarca. Pizarro’s advance party met Atahualpaand told him that Pizarro loved him dearly and would fight for him against his enemies. Atahualpasmiled at them as if he didn’t think much of them.Atahualpa told them they could stay in the town. When the Spanish entered the town, they found itdeserted. They occupied a building on the square and wanted to see what the Inca would do.Atahualpa’s spies had been watching them all the way. His chief spy reported back. “They are not gods.They get sick and die. They mate with women. They eat food.”The Inca decided to kill them all except for three of them. They would keep the Horse Breaker, theBlacksmith and the Barber. These they deemed as useful. They saw men looking pale and sickly goinginto the Barber’s tent and coming out, refreshed and full of vigor. So these captives they would castrateand keep as slaves to perform their valuable work.“Atahualpa wanted to have Pizarro for lunch but Pizarro had Atahualpa for breakfast.” Atahualpa was young, in his 30’s. He wore a cloak made from the skins of Vampire Bats with the Royal Inca tassel on his forehead. His people welcomed him with a lilting song still sung today at festivals. Atahualpa sat on his throne in the center of the square. Pizarro’s priest made a speech about Christ, the Pope and how the Inca needed to abandon their false religion and join the Catholic Church. The Inca were of course insulted by this. “I follow my religion, the undying sun and theancient gods of the Incas. What is your authority for your religion?” The priest handed Atahualpa theBible and told him it speaks to them of their religion. “Why doesn’t it speak to me?” and he threw it onthe ground.Pizarro uses this action as his pretense to attack. The Spanish open fire from all the buildingssurrounding the square killing hundreds of people and capturing Atahualpa. Inca sticks and fans were nomatch for Spanish guns and steel. In the end, over 6000 peoplewere killed, Atahualpa was captured alive and taken in chains toa prison nearby. This prison still exists.At this point, Atahualpa makes an offer to ransom himself. Hetells Pizarro if they would set him free, he would fill the roomwith gold. He ends up giving the Spanish over seven tons of goldin this room. Why he thought the Spanish would honor this
Dave Martin History 140 Tuesday, February 22, 2011agreement I can’t imagine. The Spanish were ruthless; they took what they wanted, desecrated temples,and raped women. They murdered anyone who got in their way.Atahualpa thought that if he gave the Spaniards the gold they would simply go away. To gather the gold,Atahualpa ordered his people to allow the Spaniards to travel freely through his empire. Pizarro set outon the greatest plundering raid in history.When they were through, Pizarro put Atahualpa on trial for treason. Again, how could an enemy betreasonous? Pizarro needed to get rid of the leaders, anyone who might oppose his take over. ThePizarro brothers and their friends were the jury. The only verdict they could possibly arrive at? Guilty!The Inca must die. So they cut his head off. The Indians have a saying, Pachacuti (sp?), “The world turned upside down.” Pizarro’s men traveled across Peru looting the greatest shrines in the Americas. Hernando Pizarro, the youngest brother marched straight into the holiest of temples, Pachacamac on the Pacific Coast, only to find a plain wooden idle. They thought it was proof of Devil Worship. Other temples in Peru were literally covered in gold and the Spaniards stripped all they found. Pizarro marched to Cuzco, the richest of all the Inca cities, the Inca capital. They looted everything they found. Ultimately, they sent over seven tons of gold back to Spain. They ballasted their ships with gold. Now Pizarro fully controlled Peru. He put Atahualpa’s half brother Manco, on the throne.The Pizarro’s abused the Inca, raped Manco’s wife and abused the women of the Inca Royal court.Discontent spread. Talk of a war of liberation was wide spread. Manco summoned his leaders, his wordsrecorded by his son, Titu Cusi Yupanqui.“I summoned you all here because we now know clearly who these foreigners are. They’re not worthypeople sent by God but children of the devil. We’ve endured 1000 insults; they’ve treated us like dogs,while swearing to be our friends. Now I want you to send your messengers throughout the wholecountry and summon all your forcesto gather here in Cuzco in twentydays time to attack them. Make surethat the bearded ones hear nothingabout this. And we will kill every lastone of them. Then perhaps we’llwaken from this nightmare.”When the army arrived, Pizarro tookrefuge in a fortress. He sent franticpleas for help from Mexico. Three relief columns were wiped out. Pizarro fought a desperate battle inwhich Juan Pizarro was killed. But in the end, the Spaniards out gunned the Inca.
Dave Martin History 140 Tuesday, February 22, 2011Pizarro took reprisals against the civilians, women and children, who were helping Manco’s army. Amassive exodus followed. All who could flee fled north intothe Andes to the sacred valley in the Inca heartland. Machu Picchu was the city in the clouds. Manco boasted he had made this the strongest fortress in all Peru. They built housing and water channels for all the refuges. The Pizarro brothers launched their next attack here. They fought through the narrow lanes of the town. Then they attacked the fortress. They sent a force of commandos to the top of the fortress to fight their way down in order to seize thefortress.Armando Pizarro led the assault up the steep steps while the Incas rained down missiles. Manco urgedon his warriors by riding a white Spanish horse across the top of the walls. The Indians hit Pizarro fromevery side. For the first time the Spanish were defeated in a pitched battle. However, Manco knew theSpanish were pouring into the ports. Colonists would flood the valleys and partition Peru. He decidedthe Inca would have to move across the Andes into the jungle to avoid the Spaniards.But the Pizarro brothers wanted revenge and stuck tohis trail. They followed Manco across the high Andes,loosing men and horses to freezing weather. Theyfollowed them down the trails, down the mountainsand into a well planned ambush. The Incas rolledboulders down on the Spaniards. There are still piles ofrocks on the upper trail. Still, the Pizarro’s didn’t giveup. They followed the Inca through the jungle to they’renew city. When they arrived, they had missed the Incaagain. Manco had slipped off into the jungle never to beseen again.Before he left, Manco told his people; “Do what they tell you. Worship their god. But when they areasleep, when they aren’t looking, remember our gods.”
Dave Martin History 140 Tuesday, February 22, 2011 The end for Francisco Pizarro was a cross between Cesar’s assignation and a mob killing. He was stabbed to death by a rival family. Chaos was replaced with order as the King of Spain appointed a new Viceroy to Peru. As with the other Spanish possessions, gold and silver, tobacco and potatoes were exported to trade for spices, porcelain, silk and slaves, creating the Columbian Exchange and making Spain the wealthiest Empire on earth.