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Social Studies for 9 th E.G.B.THE INCAN EMPIRE Teacher: Mauricio Torres
WHO WERE THE INCAS? Before they created an Empire, the Incas lived as a small tribe in the city of Cuzco, in Perú. In the mid 1400s, Pachacuti rose as a leader and began conquering neighboring territory in the Andes. His successors followed the same lead and quickly built an Empire The Empire stretched from what we know today as northern Ecuador to central Chile. 12 million people lived in it in various types of terrain such as: coastal deserts, snowy mountains and fertile valleys. They didn’t keep written records of their history, but instead relied on oral tradition.
KEEPING A TIGHT GRIP Power was held from Cuzco. To avoid losing control of his new empire, Pachacuti replaced leaders in the conquered villages by people from his own territory. Also, children from newly conquered lands were sent to Cuzco to learn the Inca way of life. Quechua was the of ficial language and thus was spoken throughout the empire.
ECONOMICS Of ficials kept a tight control on economy. Each household was told was work they had to do. This way they worked for themselves as well as the central government. People worked, soldiered or mined. This was a way of paying tribute to the emperor. It was a tax through labor and not money. It was called “ mita”. There were no markets or merchants, so it was up to the of ficials to distribute goods among the population. Even though the government took a lot of production away form its people, it also looked out for them. The surplus was used for emergencies or for people who could not care for themselves.
BEING AN INCA The rulers controlled daily life very closely, leaving little space for personal freedom. Even so, they looked up for the welfare of everyone in the empire.
BEING AN INCA Social Divisions Upper class: Emperor, priests and governments officials. They wore the best clothes Lived in stone houses Didn’t have to work or tribute tax. Went on vacations to Macchu Picchu (same as today, right?) Lower class: artisans, farmers and servants. Dressed in plain clothes Lived simply By law they couldn’t more goods than what they needed to survive. Religion Incas believed their rulers were related to the sun god, and never really died. They were mummified when they died. Ceremonies included sacrifices, not human (not always), but rather animals. Certain areas, as mountain tops, had special religious value and thus were worshipped. Near Cuenca, you can find Cojitambo, which has old ruins, an odd shape for a mountain and is used today as a climbing spot.
ACHIEVEMENTS Masonry: Stonework. They would cut and carve stone so perfectly, that when they built their grand palaces, they didn’t need anything like cement to keep them in place. Road networks: They stretched north to south and were used as ways for the army or mail couriers ( chasquis) to move around the empire. Artwork: They worked with gold and silver, as well as doing pottery. Textiles were also made by them.
FARMING Most of the empire was based on the Andes on steep slopes. They developed a “terrace system” to farm and keep the soil well irrigated. The Incas also domesticated the llama.
DEMISEThe Tauantinsuyu In the 1520s, when the ruler passed away, his two sons (Atahualpa and Huascar)star ted a civil war to see who would rule the empire. Atahualpa won, but the fierce fighting had weakened the army. The Spanish, led by Francisco Pizarro, arrived at Cuzco. They attacked the Incas (even though greatly outnumbered), captured Atahualpa and killed thousands. They asked for a ransom (a room filled with gold and silver) in order to secure his release, but killed him anyways. The Incas fought back , but they were eventually defeated by Pizarro and his men. They were to rule for the next 300 year s.
ASK YOURSELFThe Tauantinsuyu Why do you think the Spanish murdered Atahualpa?
ASK YOURSELFThe Tauantinsuyu Why do you think the Spanish murdered Atahualpa? They feared he would lead his people into rebellion .
BIBLIOGRAPHY Burstein, S. M., & Shek, R. (2012). World Histor y (Teacher ´s Edition) (1st Edition ed.). (H. McDougal, Ed.) Orlando, Florida, US.: Houghton Mif flin Harcourt Publishing Company. Images taken from Google.