The Conquest of the Inca

The Conquest of the Inca
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  • Francisco Pizarro made his first voyage to the New World in November 1524. November 1526 to late 1527) was much larger, with 160 men and several horses carried in two ships. After some initial probing, Pizarro's expedition split with Bartolomé Ruiz, the pilot, taking half the command. The Spanish boarded the vessel and, to their delight, saw many pieces of silver and gold, precious stones and intricately woven fabrics.
  • In 1528 Spanish anchored over what is now known as Puerto Pizarro. "When the indigenous people saw the ship coming on the sea they were amazed, as this was something they had never seen before," says Cieza de Leon, who had talked to Inca eye-witnesses. They prepared food for the Spaniards and sailed out to the ship to greet them with joy and wonder.
  • Pizarro returned elated to Panama and, there, the partners formulated their plan of conquest. He then took a ship to Spain, seeking backers and royal approval. In mid-1529, he was well received at court by Charles V and showed the king Peruvian pottery, metal vessels, fine clothing, embroideries, and small worked pieces of gold, winning "the applause of all the city of Toledo."
  • Pizarro returned elated to Panama and, there, the partners formulated their plan of conquest. He then took a ship to Spain, seeking backers and royal approval. In mid-1529, he was well received at court by Charles V and showed the king Peruvian pottery, metal vessels, fine clothing, embroideries, and small worked pieces of gold, winning "the applause of all the city of Toledo."
  • A year later, Pizarro returned to Tumbes to find it in ruins — a burned-out, ransacked victim of the civil war raging in the empire. Pizarro and his small army marched into the interior. All the way, "every day, every hour" almost, Atahuallpa received reports about their progress, but the war with his brother Huascar occupied all his attention. Although he debated with his leaders whether they should divert to attack the foreigners, all judged Huascar the greater threat.
  • Atahualpa arrived in great state surrounded by his officers. Great crowds of people crammed into the square. Pizarro sent one of his priests, Friar Vicente Valverde, to speak to Atahuallpa. He said he was an ambassador from a great king overseas. Friar Vicente explained that the Spanish ruler was a friend of God and called upon the Inca to renounce their gods. Atahualpa asked Friar Vicente what authority he had for his belief, and the friar told him it was all written in the book he was holding. The Inca then said: "Give me the book so that it can speak to me."
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