Book Report: Readings on the Inca Empire

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¶ … Inca

Reaction- After reading the material from both Mann and Wright, I was struck by the sheer luck that the Spanish experienced in the conquest of the Inca. It is almost mind-boggling that the Incan Empire; over 3,000 miles in length, with tens of thousands of trained warriors, would be crushed in a few years. However, once one understands that it was likely a combination of diseases brought by the Spanish and alliances Pizarro made with unhappy chieftans who wanted to topple the central government, that allowed such a small force to win over the vast Incan empire. It also seems we tend to become a bit nostalgic about certain historical issues -- and find that actually, the truth is far from black and white.

For instance, we tend to feel sorry for the Inca -- here they had a great empire, superb technology, and what seemed to be a system that was working. However, the way that empire came about was through treachery, cruelty, and even subversion. The Inca were not kind to their own people; there was a strict hierarchy between the rich and the poor, and certainly life was not great for any class except the wealthy. However, it is important that we do not put 21st century values on a civilization that peaked over 600 years ago. Still, I am slightly reminded of Mel Gibson's Apocalypto about the Maya, and wondered if his view that the Mayan civilization collapsing from within and being more vulnerable to the Spanish has similarities to the Inca? Still, the material was not only informative, it was thought-provoking and makes me want to read more "alternative" history about what really happened to these ancient empires.

Part 2 -- Basic Characteristics of the Incan Empire -- the Incan Empire was one of the largest in New World (Pre-Coloumbian America). It probably began around the 12th century and was a merging of a number of tribes up and down the western coast of South American;… [END OF PREVIEW]

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