1438 to 1533
Western South AmericaThe Inca Empire, also known as the Incan Empire and the Inka Empire, was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was in the city of Cusco. The Inca civilization arose from the Peruvian highlands sometime in the early 13th century. The Spanish began the conquest of the Inca Empire in 1532 and its last stronghold was conquered in 1572.
The Inca Empire was preceded by two large-scale empires in the Andes: the Tiwanaku (c. 300–1100 AD), based around Lake Titicaca, and the Wari or Huari (c. 600–1100 AD) centered near the city of Ayacucho. The Wari occupied the Cuzco area for about 400 years. Thus, many of the characteristics of the Inca Empire derived from earlier multi-ethnic and expansive Andean cultures.
Sinchi Roca, Sinchi Rocca, Cinchi Roca (in Hispanicized spellings), Sinchi Ruq'a or Sinchi Ruq'a Inka (Quechua for "valorous generous Inca") was the second Sapa Inca of the Kingdom of Cusco (beginning around 1230 CE, though as early as 1105 CE according to some) and a member of the Hurin dynasty (first dynasty).
The second dynasty was affiliated with the Hanan moiety and was founded under Inca Roca, the son of the last Hurin Sapa Inca, Cápac Yupanqui. After Cápac Yupanqui's death, another of his sons, Inca Roca's half-brother Quispe Yupanqui, was intended to succeed him. However, the Hanan revolted and installed Inca Roca instead.
In 1438 AD, under the command of the Sapa Inca (paramount leader) Pachacuti, the Incas began a far-reaching expansion. The land which Pachacuti conquered was about the size of the Thirteen Colonies at the outbreak of the American Revolution of 1776 and consisted of nearly the entire territory of the Andes mountain range.
Most archeologists believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often mistakenly referred to as the "Lost City of the Incas", it is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The Incas built the estate around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish conquest.
Túpac Inca's son Huayna Cápac added a small portion of land to the north in modern-day Ecuador. At its height, the Inca Empire included Peru, western and south-central Bolivia, southwest Ecuador and a large portion of what is today Chile, north of the Maule River. Traditional historiography claims the advance south halted after the Battle of the Maule where they met determined resistance from the Mapuche.
Topa Inca Yupanqui or Túpac Inca Yupanqui translated as "noble Inca accountant," (c. 1441–c. 1493) was the tenth Sapa Inca (1471–93) of the Inca Empire, the fifth of the Hanan dynasty. His father was Pachacuti, and his son was Huayna Capac. Topa Inca belonged to the Qhapaq panaca (one of the clans of Inca nobles). His wife was his older sister, Mama Ocllo.
Huayna Capac was the third Sapan Inka of the Inca Empire, born in Tumipampa sixth of the Hanan dynasty, and eleventh of the Inca civilization. As other Sapa Inkas, Huayna Capac subjects commonly approached him adding epithets and titles when addressing him, commonly as Wayna Qhapaq Inka Sapa'lla Tukuy Llaqt'a Uya "Unique Sovereign Wayna Qhapaq Listener of All Peoples". His original name was Titu Kusi Wallpa. He was the successor to Tupaq Inka Yupanki.
The empire's push into the Amazon Basin near the Chinchipe River was stopped by the Shuar in 1527. The empire extended into the corners of Argentina and Colombia. However, most of the southern portion of the Inca empire, the portion denominated as Qullasuyu, was located in the Altiplano.
It was clear that they had reached a wealthy land with prospects of a great treasure, and after another expedition in 1529 Pizarro traveled to Spain and received royal approval to conquer the region and be its viceroy. This approval was received as detailed in the following quote: "In July 1529 the Queen of Spain signed a charter allowing Pizarro to conquer the Incas. Pizarro was named governor and captain of all conquests in Peru, or New Castile, as the Spanish now called the land."
The Inca Civil War, also known as the Inca Dynastic War, the Inca War of Succession, or, sometimes, the War of the Two Brothers, was fought between half-brothers Huáscar and Atahualpa, sons of Huayna Capac, over succession to the throne of the Inca Empire. The war followed Huayna Capac's death in 1527.
When the conquistadors returned to Peru in 1532, a war of succession between the sons of Sapa Inca Huayna Capac, Huáscar, and Atahualpa, and unrest among newly conquered territories weakened the empire. Perhaps more importantly, smallpox, influenza, typhus, and measles had spread from Central America.
Hernando de Soto was sent inland to explore the interior and returned with an invitation to meet the Inca, Atahualpa, who had defeated his brother in the civil war and was resting at Cajamarca with his army of 80,000 troops, that was at the moment armed only with hunting tools.
Atahualpa offered the Spaniards enough gold to fill the room he was imprisoned in and twice that amount of silver. The Inca fulfilled this ransom, but Pizarro deceived them, refusing to release the Inca afterward. During Atahualpa's imprisonment, Huáscar was assassinated elsewhere. The Spaniards maintained that this was at Atahualpa's orders; this was used as one of the charges against Atahualpa when the Spaniards finally executed him, in August 1533.
Manco Inca Yupanqui (c. 1515 – c. 1544) (Manqu Inka Yupanki in Quechua) was the founder and monarch (Sapa Inca) of the independent Neo-Inca State in Vilcabamba, although he was originally a puppet Inca Emperor installed by the Spaniards. He was also known as "Manco II" and "Manco Cápac II". He was one of the sons of Huayna Capac and a younger brother of Huascar.
The siege of Cusco (May 6, 1536 – March 1537) was the siege of the city of Cusco by the army of Sapa Inca Manco Inca Yupanqui against a garrison of Spanish conquistadors and Indian auxiliaries led by Hernando Pizarro in the hope to restore the Inca Empire (1438–1533). The siege lasted ten months and was ultimately unsuccessful.
Sayri Túpac (c. 1535–1561) was an Inca ruler in Peru. He was the son of siblings Manco Inca Yupanqui and Cura Ocllo. After the death of his mother in 1539 and of his father in 1544, both at the hands of Spanish conquerors, he became the ruler of the Neo-Inca State in Vilcabamba. He ruled until 1560.
Diego de Castro Titu Cusi Yupanqui (1529 – 1571) was an Inca ruler of Vilcabamba and the penultimate leader of the Neo-Inca State. He was a son of Manco Inca Yupanqui, He was crowned in 1563, after the death of his half-brother, Sayri Tupac. He ruled until his death in 1571, probably of pneumonia.
Túpac Amaru was the last legitimate Inca to rule (in the Vilcabamba region as the Neo-Inca State). With the death of his elder brother Titu Cosi, he ordered the execution of all Spanish people living in Vilcabamba and led an unsuccessful and poorly planned rebellion against the colonists. This resulted in his death and the end of Incan sovereignty, for Vilcabamba was occupied and the survivors enslaved.