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Civil War

Page history last edited by Adrian Signell 14 years, 6 months ago




The Incan Civil War


By Adrian Signell



The Incan Civil War started in 1527 due to the death of Hauyna Capac, the current Sapa-Inca of that time. Huayna Capac had many children (around 50) and many male heirs. The oldest of the heirs had died in his premature days, and that left the brothers Huascar and Atahualpa. Since Huascar was the older of the two, he was the rightful heir to the throne. Even though higher authorities did not agree with having Huascar as ruler, because of his mother not being of royalty, he still claimed the throne when his father passed away. Atahualpa, though, also wanted the throne to the Incan Empire. These two brothers fighting was the sole reason the Incan Civil War commenced.



When Huascar took control of the throne, he secretly put Atahualpa in prison because he suspected Atahualpa would try to overtake the throne that he possessed. Atahualpa later escaped from the prison to the city of Quito. Atahualpa then took control of Quito and formed strong alliances with the three major Incan generals of that time: Chalcuchima, Quisquis , and Ruminahui. With the three generals by his side, he took control over the Incan professional army. Since he had possession of the army, it seemed that Atahualpa’s uprising to the throne was intimate, meanwhile Huascar was busy making the citizens of the empire loyal to him. Huascar also allied with the neighboring Canari people.



The first attack came from Huascar  in 1531. He attacked with his army on Atahualpa’s city of Quito. Huascar’s attempt was easily repelled with the help General Quisquis. This attempt made Atahualpa change his stance in battle to a more aggressive form. Later in 1531, Atahualpa sent an army to Ambato, where he found and destroyed Huascar’s army and his general, Atoc. A few months later, Atahualpa sent two of his armies, with Chalcuchima and Ruminahui in charge, to the Canari lands. This was the most gruesome battle of the Civil War. All of the Canari lands were burned and devastated. The people of the Canari were almost all killed in a huge and disastrous massacre. With the Canari out of the way, Atahualpa’s army progressed towards the capital of Cuzco. On the way he gained more and more allies to stand by him, some of these even Huascar’s own soldiers.



On the beginning of 1532, the largest battle of the Incan civil War commenced outside the walls of Cuzco. It was between the two brothers and ended with Atahualpa as the victor. Huascar was taken captive, and put in prison. Atahualpa moved south to his newly acquired capital. Now as supreme ruler of the Incas, Atahualpa had control over the whole empire. In 1533 the Spanish conquistadors arrived, and Atahualpa had Huascar immediately executed. This is because Atahualpa suspected that Huascar had formed an alliance with the Spaniards and therefore would overthrow the throne.



As a result of the Civil War, the whole empire was in turmoil. Therefore, the Incan empire was in no state to fight another war, and was relatively easy conquered by the Spaniards when they invaded. It made it even easier for the Spaniards because the Incas were still not unified to fight one common enemy. Later in August 29, 1533, Atahualpa himself was killed by Pizzaro’s men and thus ending the Incan Empire.




                                                                                                                                 Atahualpa - The Last Incan Emperor        Huascar - Brother of Atahualpa               Fransisco Pizzaro taking Atahualpa captive (Painting)



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