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HISTORY OF LATIN AMERICA > 5. LAST DAYS OF THE INCAS ~ SEVEN – THE PUPPET KING – (May 5th – May 11th) ~ (138-164) ~ No Spoilers

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message 1: by Aly (new)

Aly Steve that's a good point. Thank you for that. The author says a few times that Pizzaro may have learned also from the past conquest of Cortez. But you bring up a good point that he must've had a gift since he had no education.


message 2: by Ann D (last edited May 06, 2014 06:41AM) (new)

Ann D I thought this chapter was very interesting because it described more how the Inca ruled and what their society was like.

Kathy, I think most of the Indians joined the Spanish side willingly. Some felt oppressed by the Inca; others simply wanted to be on the winning side.

The Inca were only a small portion of the population, after all, but they succeeded because they ensured their people security and storehouses of food. Now, with the arrival of the Spanish, nothing was secure anymore. According to MacQuarrie, Manco was the fifth Inca emperor in roughly six years. They had just experienced a horrible civil war. The Spanish had brought disease to the New World and had vastly superior weapons. Many of the Indians looked at them as almost divine.

Pizarro had learned from Cortes the value of enlisting native support. Without this additional manpower, the Spanish in Peru might have been (at least temporarily) wiped out.


message 3: by Ann D (last edited May 06, 2014 06:46AM) (new)

Ann D I was fascinated by the description of the worship of ancestral Inca mummies. You would think that the mummies would have been too fragile to carry around like that!

I also thought that the author did an excellent job in this chapter of describing the military advantages that the Spaniards had over the Incas. The Incas were a bronze age culture up against a much more technologically advanced culture.

This is an interesting PBS multimedia description of the Inca weapons and armor:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/...


message 4: by Stevelee (new)

Stevelee Ann wrote: "I was fascinated by the description of the worship of ancestral Inca mummies. You would think that the mummies would have been too fragile to carry around like that!

I also thought that the auth..."


Ann,

Thanks so much for the link. Took a few minutes to browse through it. Was amazed at the size of the Inca road network, estimated at some 40,000 kilometers (if my math is correct, approximately 24,800 miles). This would have been essential to link together such a dispersed Empire -- allowing for goods and services to be moved, the various administrative entities to be connected, and for the military to deploy where most needed in a timely fashion. Reminds one of the Roman Empire. The building and effective maintenance of infrastructure seems to be a trait of all great civilizations.

Steve


message 5: by Ann D (last edited May 06, 2014 10:42AM) (new)

Ann D I'm glad you enjoyed it, Steve. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words - at least when you are trying to envision something you have never seen before.

Obviously, I have too much time on my hands to browse the internet. :-)


message 6: by Mark (new)

Mark Owens | 5 comments I thought it was interesting that Manco Inca was a bit shortsighted in thinking that the Spaniards could give him a technical advantage over his rivals. However if I were that close to being exterminated and not really have that much leverage against greater opponents I think I might've done the same thing as Manco. That strategic alliance between Manco and the Spanish, among other short sighted decisions, seems to have added one more step toward the fall of the Inca empire.

An interesting historical lesson about being careful in bringing into the fold something you think is small and manageable but later could turn out to be not the case.


message 7: by Mark (new)

Mark | 11 comments Kathy wrote: "I moved this comment from Stevelee, from our Chapter 4 thread to this one:

I find it fascinating that Pizarro, lacking formal education, demonstrated such strong a grasp of strategic concepts. Mac..."


Steve raises an interesting point. I think even now that strategic thinking is not as much the the result of being educated in the art of strategy as it is an intuitive thought process that some people are fortunate enough to have. Certainly experience and learning from other as to what worked for them or failed them is very valuable and can form the basis of a formal or informal education.
As we read on I think that there are examples of Pizarro's failure to think strategically which, despite their ultimate success, made the path he choose seem not so deftly managed. The later treatment of the "rebellion" I think offers some interesting insights into strategic behavior on both the Spanish and Incan sides.
It will be interesting to see how he learns from his "mistakes" and how Manco does as well. The Incas make some significant strategic, or at least tactical, innovations as the crises matures in later chapters. I wonder how the Spanish will react. Thoughtfully? Or do they get "lucky".


message 8: by Kressel (new)

Kressel Housman | 917 comments Mark wrote: "I thought it was interesting that Manco Inca was a bit shortsighted in thinking that the Spaniards could give him a technical advantage over his rivals. . . An interesting historical lesson about being careful in bringing into the fold something you think is small and manageable but later could turn out to be not the case."

The German industrialists made a similar mistake with Hitler. They thought he'd be the puppet to serve their interests. But in the end, they were forced to see who was controlling who.


message 9: by Stevelee (last edited May 08, 2014 04:09AM) (new)

Stevelee Manco Inca -- seems as if he really had no other alternative. The Spanish offered him a way to the throne, a path that seemed all but impossible before meeting Pizarro. The Spanish at that point with their weapons, armor and horses surely must have appeared invincible.

Steve


message 10: by Kressel (new)

Kressel Housman | 917 comments Kathy wrote: "I am wondering if at this time in the story if Manco Inca truly believes the Spanish promises, or if he is just trying to get his feet under him and then deal with the Spanish?"

I think he believed them, just as his older brother did. And he has more of an excuse. He was only seventeen!


message 11: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaelbl) | 403 comments Mark wrote: "I thought it was interesting that Manco Inca was a bit shortsighted in thinking that the Spaniards could give him a technical advantage over his rivals. However if I were that close to being exterm..."

Perhaps examples such as this in the historical record should remind us of the wisdom behind President Washington's admonitions about avoiding foreign entanglements. Not exactly the same thing but some of these sorts of partnerships can obviously go very wrong.


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