The Inca empire


Students are required to write a four-page research paper (not counting graphics and works cited page). All research paper topics must be within the context of world history up to circa 1500. Using the books Hemming, John. The conquest of the Incas. Boston, MA, Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012.

Malpass, Michael Andrew. Daily life in the Inca empire. Westport, Conn., Greenwood Press, 1996.

Bauer, Brian S. Ancient Cuzco: heartland of the Inca. Austin, University of Texas Press, 2004.

Davies, N..The Incas . Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2007. Project MUSE.

Sample paper

The Inca empire

According to historians, past accounts and event of individuals help the readers and current generations to learn and understand the way of life of the forefathers. Notably, most empires and kingdoms came into existence back in the 12th century where clans and organized group of people would crash over land, other economic activities, farming areas or social differences. Most, if not all the accounts of past events are often transferred from one generation to another, through written diaries or even history books. One of the accounts that were and is still popular for most individuals, especially in South American countries is the rise and fall of the Inca Empire. According to history, the first Inca was first seen and identified back in the 12th century near the Andes region and successfully build a strong empire that through the military activities of their emperor, which went on to dominate the region for years (Newman, 55). Research shows that through their strong and aggressive emperors known as the Tawantinsuyu, the empire dominated the pre-Columbia and can only be described as one of the largest empires to have ever existed in the universe. Further research shows that the introduction of civilization, the Inca collapse after Spanish armies invaded the continent back in the 16th century. However, the fall of this great empire which now is a distant memory can be attributed to the great power and influence of civilization. Moreover, their failure to develop a written communication to provide insight into their lives significantly contributed to their failure. This assignment will attempt to examine and describe the rise and the fall of the Inca empire (Bauer,17).

According to history, the empire was made up of more than 12 million individuals from more than 100 ethnic organizations who lived in the present day Ecuador and Chile. Moreover, the administrative, political and military headquarters of the empire was based in Cusco which is currently known as Peru. According to historians, the use of military power, as well as the use of assimilations, were key to the growth and expansion of the empire. The empire consisted of the central government with the Emperor (Inca) as its leader who ruled the entire empire with the help of four provincial governments headed by strong and well-able leaders who would conquer and bring more people to the empire. To facilitate expansion and growth, the emperor often sent spies to those regions he felt were strategic to his expansion and growth. These spies often brought back messages regarding the political, military organization as well as the wealth of these regions (Williams, 4). After receiving the reports, the emperor would often extend an olive branch to their leaders to join his kingdom, promising riches for these leaders and their subjects. Despite the fact that most of them reluctantly joined them, failure to submit peacefully led to military conquest. If defeated, these leaders were often executed and their children taken to the capital to be taught about the administrative system of the empire and later taken back to their land to rule their people. This strategy was successful for many years considering that it promoted loyalty to be emperor and minimized the chances of resistance from the local people (Williams, 3).

It is believed that the Incas were expert mansion who spent most of their time crafting the locally mined stones into perfectly cut and shaped stones which would be fit together without the help of mortar. Notably, the best and high-quality stones were often reserved for temples and other religious buildings that were usually decorated with finely smoothed stones to denote the importance of these places to the empire. Apart from being expert masons, the Inca people were also known to be farmers, which allowed the alliance and integration between small property and state. The empire was divided into three major groups, namely the sun, the Inca and the people. The sun and the Inca were devoted to sustainable worship and priests, which meant that most of the products from these regions were meant for religious functions (Herring, 15). However, each family had their territory. Further research shows that some of the Incas were hunters and fishers who formed huge circles armed with sticks and spears to pick up all the animals in a region. Fishing was only practiced on the coast of Lake Titicaca which was the main source of water for the kingdom. It is worth noting that despite the fact most of the people lived in a traditional economy, they were forced to pay taxes in the form of labor and military services to the emperor. As a compensation package, the state provided security, emergency resources, and food in times of war and famine (Covey, 3743).

The Inca believed that death was a right of passage to the afterlife that was full of difficulties. Moreover, they also believed in reincarnation. They believed in heir god Viracocha whom they believed created the universe, the stars and all the plants, animals and the human being. According to their beliefs, Viracocha created the sun and the moon by plucking them from an island from Lake Titicaca. They also believed in Inti, the god of sun whom they believe to have sired their ruler Sapa Inca. Also, they believed in Lllapa, the god of rain, thunder, lightning, and war (Covey, 3745). They were made to believe that through the help they would conquer any other empire and kingdom in the region. On the other side, the oral transfer of messages was the primary mode of communication in the empire. Notably, Quechua was the official communication language of the empire, and this helped to transfer information and knowledge from one person to another. Finally, the age of marriage in the empire was different for both men and women. Men were allowed to marry at the age of 20 while women would be married as early as the age of 16 (Bauer, 10).

Unfortunately, the empire came to a sudden end in the 16th century with the invasion of the Spanish conquistadores under the leadership and stewardship of Francisco Pizarro. History shows that despite taking the credit for dismantling one of the massive empires in the history, the Spanish did not actually lead to its fall considering that the empire was already in disarray at the moment owing to the uprising from different ethnic groups (Williams, 6). The civil war within the empire was the source of its falling making it easy for Francisco Pizarro to conquer the remaining army. Despite just being a myth and distant memory, the inspiring remains of the empire unravel and show the mystery of the epic civilization. Moreover, the empire was composed by outsiders as per the history books.

Works Cited

Bauer, Brian S. “Vilcabamba and the Fall of the Inca Empire.” Voices from Vilcabamba: Accounts Chronicling the Fall of the Inca Empire, 2016, pp. 3-21.

Covey, R. A. “Inca State and Empire Formation.” Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology, 2014, pp. 3743-3751.

Herring, Adam. “Art and Vision in the Inca Empire.” 2015.

Newman, Sandra. The Inca Empire. Children’s P, 2010.

Williams, Patrick R. “Inca (Tawantinsuyu) Empire.” The Encyclopedia of Empire, 2016, pp. 1-6.