Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro After an unsuccessful exploratory expedition led by Captain Pascual de Andagoya in 1522, Francisco Pizarro and two partners, Diego de Almagro and the priest Hernando de Luque, led a small expedition south in 1524. The expedition soon encountered hardships, famine and battles with hostile Indians, forcing it to return to Panama with no tangible gain. (Burkholder & Johnson, p. 52)
Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Luque and Diego de Almagro sign a capitulación (contract) of conquest in Panama on May 10, 1546. Pizarro and his men wait on the island of Gallo for Diego de Almagro to return with provisions. A second voyage was filled with both hardships and hope. Pizarro was forced to seek shelter for seven months on the island of Gallo while Almagro returned to Panama to obtain provisions. When the expedition resumed, the Spaniards captured a large oceangoing raft laden with gold and silver jewels, finely woven textiles and precious stones. Their greed aroused by this evidence that the rumored rich civilization existed, the adventurers pushed further south and discovered Tumbez, a northern outpost of the Inca Empire. (Burkholder & Johnson, p. 53)
In late December 1530, Pizarro set sail from Panama with fewer than two hundred men. Almagro agreed to fallow this vanguard with reinforcements and supplies. After advancing slowly down the coast, Pizarro reached Tumbez. (p. 53)
At Tumbez evidence of destruction and depopulation revealed that the Inca were engaged in civil war. Joined by a small force led by Hernando de Soto, the expedition proceeded about a hundred miles to the south. There Pizarro founded the city of San Miguel de Piura and awarded encomiendas to the Spaniards he would leave behind as a garrison to protect communications (Burkholder & Johnson, p. 53). Pizarro’s force challenged the Inca at a particularly propitious moment. The Road to Cajamarca
The arrival of the Inca in Cajamarca was a spectacle. Credit: Wamán Poma, Insititute of Ethnology, Paris, 1936
Capture of Atahualpa at Cajamarca, November 16, 1532
The Inca had never seen horses before the Spaniards came to Tawantinsuyo. Credit: Wamán Poma, Insititute of Ethnology, Paris, 1936
Capture of Atahualpa in Cajamarca. Probably more than 1,500 Indians perished and thousand more were wounded. Not an single Spaniard was killed. Without pikes or other means to stop the charging horses, the Inca foot soldiers were nearly defenseless. (Burkholder & Johnson, p. 55.)
Atahualpa’s Ransom Room, Cajamarca, Peru: It is the only Inca building still standing in Cajamarca. Although called the Ransom chamber, the room is where Atahualpa was imprisoned and not where the ransom was stored.
The march to Cuzco produced the conquest’s first large-scale pitched battles. Spanish mounted units of fewer than one hundred men defeated the same army that had easily crushed the forces of Huascar and taken Cuzco. In this conflict, Pizarro, like Cortés, had the support of indigenous allies. The Cañari and other ethnic groups that supported Huascar in the civil war seized the opportunity to take revenge on Atahualpa’s generals. By the time Pizarro reached the Inca capital, Atahualpa’s military leadership was demoralized. Unable to withstand the onslaught, the remnants of the Sapa Inca’s once proud army fled north toward Quito (Burkholder & Johnson, pp. 56-57).
The Inca Rebellion of 1536 In February 1536, Manco Inca, the last heir to Huascar's throne, led an army estimated at 200,000 Inca warriors to the capital of Cuzco. But the Inca failed because most supplies had been used up in civil war. Manco Inca retreated with his army into the Andes Mountains. There they continued to fight the Spanish until 1572, when the Spanish finally defeated them. Source: www.sbceo.k12.ca.us/~vms/carlton/spanish.htmwww.sbceo.k12.ca.us/~vms/carlton/spanish.htm
Inca Manco’s troops failed to dislodge the Spaniards from Peru. The inability of a Monco’s army of more than sixty thousand to force fewer than two hundred Spaniards to surrender in Cuzco demonstrated definitively the permanence of Pizarro’s victory. (Burkholder & Johnson, p. 58.) Inca Manco failed to dislodge the Spanish from Cuzco.
The Spaniards Counterattack An attack on Lima by the Inca army ended in the near massacre of some of Manco’s finest troops by a force led by Francisco Pizarro himself. (Burkholder & Johnson, p. 58.)
Vilcabamba As Inca Manco’s main force melted away for the planting season, the Sapa Inca lifted the siege and retreated toward Vilcabamba where an independent Inca kingdom was maintained until 1572. (Burkholder & Johnson, p. 58.)
Almagro succeeded in arresting Francisco Pizarro’s brothers, Gonzalo and Hernando. Gonzalo later escaped. Francisco accepted Almagro’s demand to allow him to govern Cuzco, but after Hernando was freed, tensions soon rose again and the Pizarros declared the agreement null and void. (Burkholder & Johnson, p. 58.) CIVIL WAR IN PERU
Pizarros forces defeats the forces of Almagro on the plain of Las Salinas in 1538
Death of Pizarro, 1541 In 1541, a group of twenty heavily armed supporters of the young Diego de Almagro (the executed Diego de Almagro’s mestizo son) stormed Pizarro’s palace, assassinated him, and then forced the terrified city council to appoint the young Amagro as the new governor of Peru. (Burkholder & Johnson, p. 59.)
Cristóbal Vaca de Castro Upon hearing of the civil war, Charles I sent Cristóbal Vaca de Castro to be governor of Peru, with the mission to end the political chaos. Reaching the colony soon after Pizarro’s assignation, Vaca de Castro quickly organized the Pizarro loyalists and in September 1542 defeated the young Almagro’s forces. Almagro was executed. (Burkholder & Johnson, p. 59.)
THE NEW LAWS In November 1542, Charles I issued the famous New Laws in an effort to improve conditions for the Indians and to prevent the encomenderos from becoming a true nobility. (Burkholder & Johnson, p. 59.)
Viceroy Blasco Núñez Vela Gonzalo Pizarro Pedro de la Gasca