Conquistadors – Peru (Incas) Essay Essay, Research Paper

The Incas lived in Peru, which is in western South America at the top of the Andes mountains, the longest mountain range in the world. At 12,000 feet, the temperatures were very cold, as they were like natural refrigerators. Temperatures in the day were terribly hot, but the temperatures cooled down at nighttime.

The conquistadors of Spain that conquered Peru consisted of 180 men. Hernan Cortez led his conquistadors to conquer the Aztecs of Mexico. This influenced Francisco Pizarro into asking the King of Spain for permission to explore and conquer Peru. The King of Spain said yes, and Pizarro and his 180 men set sail for Peru in early 1531. They made contact with the Inca ruler, Atahualpa. Francisco Pizarro invited Atahualpa to visit him in the town. Atahualpa thought Pizarro could do no harm to him with only 180 men, so he went, along with 6,000 servants, warriors, and nobles. In the town, Pizarro’s priest tried to persuade him to become a Christian and handed Atahualpa a prayer book. Atahualpa was not interested, and he threw the prayer book to the ground. Pizarro then gave a signal for attack and the Spanish conquistadors attacked the Incas. The conquistadors’ weapons were steel swords and firearms (cannons, muskets). The conquistadors had armor, along with horses. Horses gave the conquistadors an enormous advantage, since the Incas have never seen them before and thought they were savage beasts. Since the Incas were trapped within the town walls, most were killed, and very few escaped. Pizarro didn’t kill Atahualpa, though. Instead, he held Atahualpa prisoner. Atahualpa offered all of his riches and goods for Pizarro to spare his life. Pizarro accepted, but said that in order for Atahualpa to be spared of burning, he would have to convert to Christianity. Burning, to the Incas, meant that your soul is also killed along with your body. Atahualpa agreed, and gave the Spanish Conquistadors six tons of gold and converted to Christianity. Pizarro’s men strangled Atahualpa, and then burned his body.

There are many conflicts between a culture with technology and a culture without technology. First of all, a culture with technology has many advantages, such as more advanced weapons, better homes, more ways of making a living, and more ways of entertainment. People of a culture without technology probably live much simpler lives, and are not too preoccupied with discovering new things. If those two cultures would go to war, most likely the culture with technology would subdue the culture without it, because of the variety of weapons. This is why the technologically advanced Spanish conquistadors won against the simple Incas.

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