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by romijnmimi
Last updated 6 years ago

Social Studies
World History

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Machu Picchu was a city of the Inca Empire. It is sometimes called the "lost city" because the Spanish never discovered the city when they conquered the Inca in the 1500s. Today the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Origins The Inca Empire originated from a small tribe, who lived in the village of Cuzco, high in the Andes Mountains of South America. In 1300 people living in the valley of Cuzco began to grow and gain power, through time they began to conquer other nearby groups thus forming, expanding and settling the Incan Empire.

PurposeThe Inca were known to be a flourishing and powerful empire. They were strong and controlled most of the land that they won battles against. Pachacuti whose name means “reformer of the world,” was the first Incan ruler that historians can actually confirm existed and he is widely regarded as the greatest Incan emperor for his conquests, social reforms, and civic planning. Pachacuti founded and maintained the Empire mainly by force. Under Pachacuti the Incas expanded their territory. Propelled by the wealth, resources and the power that came with land motivating the Incas to broaden the empire.

EvaluationThe Incan Empire is considered one of the world’s greatest Empires because it encompassed a lot of territory and people and left behind a legacy throughout the country. Entailing conquest, subjugation and partial exploitation the Incan Empire was the biggest in the Americas before the arrival of the Europeans, at its height in 15th century, over ten million people were under its rule. Renowned for their unique art and architecture, their construction of finely-built and imposing buildings wherever they conquered, and their spectacular adaptation to natural harsh environments with terracing, roadways, and mountaintop settlements, the Incas were undaunted by the Andean landscape and understood the advantages of these settings. Utilising the vertical landscape to farm upwards, manipulating crops by growing them at different elevations which created a diverse healthy range of produce which was appealing and willed people to want to be part of the empire. The advanced sophisticated and wealthy Inca Empire had a centralised religion and language, and a well-developed societal structure which helped maintain a cohesive kingdom and kept the empire running smoothly. The Inca civilisation left no written history, most of what is known of their culture comes from early Spanish accounts and archeological finds, with many aspects of Incan life remaining unknown or controversial. Perspectively historians differentiate the Incan Empire principally based their fall and on their regularities/normalities; the details of their calendar, festivals/ceremonies, burial practices, sacrifices, education, gender status and worshiping customs/rituals. Some believe that while the Spanish conquest was undoubtedly the proximate cause of the fall of the Empire, the Empire may have been past its peak and already in the process of decline and there is uncertainty as to whether a united Inca could have defeated the Spaniards. Some concluding that as many has ninety percent of the Incan population died as an result of the Spanish conquest. Scholars suggest that before the conquest Andean woman could be leaders and warriors as well as wives and mothers. Archaeological evidence found on distant mountain summits has established that the burial of offerings was a common practice among the Incas and that human sacrifice took place at several of the sites. The excellent preservation of the bodies and other material in the cold and dry environment of the high Andes provides revealing details about the rituals that were performed at these ceremonial sites. As with other ancient Americas cultures, the historical origins of the Incas are difficult to disentangle from the founding myths they themselves created. We know that Incas tampered with their histories, that each of the different ruler groups had its own version of Inca history, and they were competing with one another. Understanding the Inca history is about comprehending that space and hierarchy was more significant to the Incas construction of their history that linear sequences of events.

FallThis advanced civilisation was successful and well organised although it only lasted a very short time of around 100 years. Between 1525 and 1532 there was a civil war in the Empire, as the two sons of Sapa Inca Huayna Capac (the sole ruler and leader - unique Lord) - Huascar and Atahualpa - fought for power. Huayna Capac, his oldest son and thousands of other Incas died of disease brought by the Spanish. In 1532 Atahualpa defeated Huascar and became Sapa Inca. With the arrival of Spain later in 1532 of Francisco Pizarro and his entourage of around 160 soldiers the Inca Empire was seriously threatened. After an organised invitational meeting the Incas were defeated as the Spaniards were better armed with guns and swords. Atahualpa was captured and numerous Inca soldiers and nobles were killed. In 1533 Atahualpa was killed by the Spanish and they chose his half brother Manco Inca to become the Sapa Inca, with the objective to control the Inca Empire through Manco. Gradually the Spanish invaders spread all over the Inca Empire stealing treasures and destroying temples and palaces, leading to the fall of the Empire as Manco fled out of Cuzco.


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