The history of the Incan Empire centered at modern day Cusco spans hundreds of fascinating years until their end in the 16th century. Beginning in the 13th century, the Incan Empire is a conglomeration of the many Andean civilizations who were known as one of the five “pristine” civilizations which means that they were not a “spinoff” of any other culture. They arrived on the scene as a completely unique culture of their own.
Learning All About the History of the Incan Empire
It is according to legend that a small city state known as the Kingdom of Cusco was founded by a man named Manco Cápac in the 12th century. From small beginnings, Manco and his successors through both peaceful and violent means slowly expanded the kingdom. This expansion sped up once a man named Pachacuti came to leadership, conquered what is most of modern day Peru and Ecuador, reformed the government, and began in 1438 what is known as the Incan Empire.
It was also Pachacuti who built the famed architectural feat of the Incan Empire known as Machu Picchu. While it is popularly known as the “Lost City of the Incas,” it was actually just an estate house for him and his family.
The Incan Empire administered their domain in a simple manner. A central government with Pachacuti at the head oversaw four branches that each covered a certain section of the Incan Empire. The northwest, northeast, southwest, and southeast was ruled by the Chinchasuy, Antisuyu, Kuntisuyu, and Qullasuyu branches respectively.
When most smaller kingdoms came into contact with the Incan Empire, they would surrender. Those who did not would face a harsh punishment as they would have their rulers killed and their ruler’s children sent off to the capital to learn how the Incan Empire worked. It was a lucky break for the children since once they finished their education they would be sent back to rule their own native homelands.
It was not until 1526 that the famous Spanish Conquistadors brought pestilence and devastation to the Incan Empire. Leveraging technical superiority and recruiting natives to get their lands back (a false promise), these European explorers wrote the final chapter to the history of the Incan Empire in 1533 as they brought it to its knees in search of riches.
To learn more about the history of the Incan empire, get in touch with Alpaca Expeditions. Alpaca Expeditions is a Peruvian travel operator with a main office in located in Cusco, Peru, and we are the top-rated tour operators of the Inca Trail.