When did Peru become a Spanish colony and How was the Inca civilization destroyed by Conquistador Francisco Pizarro?

Conquistador Francisco Pizarro (c. 1475-1541) conquered Peru in 1532-1535. Like Cortes, he did so by destroying a civilization, that of the Incas.

Since their civilization was founded about 1200, the Incas had built an empire that spread over two thousand miles, including present-day Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. The empire stretched like a long snake through the Andes Mountains region on the west coast of South America.

Like the Aztecs in Mexico, the Incas had impressive cities, highly developed art, and a religion of many gods.

At the top of their highly centralized society was the emperor Atahualpa. Pizarro treacherously captured and murdered him. With horses and firearms (both unknown to the Incas), Pizarro conquered the Inca capital of Cuzco in 1533. He founded a new capital, Lima, in 1535. Peru was made a viceroyalty in 1542.

The encomienda system of governing native laborers was put in place in Peru as in Mexico. Missionaries converted the people to Catholicism. The gold and silver of the Incas, like that of the Aztecs, was shipped back to Spain in great quantities.

After conquering Peru, Francisco Pizarro presented himself before Emperor Charles V of Spain. Under Charles V, Spain’s empire in the New World expanded greatly.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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