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African Civilization and Peoples in the Americas

Terms in this set (70)

a people who created a powerful state in South America. Their capital was Cuzco, and they spread out from there into Peru. Brought various people from around the Andes mountains into the state until their empire stretched from Chile in the south to Ecuador in the northern part of the continent. Originally lived in the northern plateau of the Andes mountains, but they finally settled in the Valley of Cuzco because of the fertile lands it offered. Early on, they developed traditions and beliefs that both unified and launched their empire, one of which was that the Incan ruler was descended from the sun god, Inti, and only men from the eleven noble lineages (those descended from the god) could be chosen as a ruler. Had a powerful military, but only used force when absolutely necessary. When an area had been conquered, they made every effort to make the conquered people loyal to them. The rulers divided the territory into manageable units since the empire was so huge, but they were all governed by a central bureaucracy. Created a successful economic system and had a single language, Quechua. Also created schools to teach the culture. Built many cities in conquered areas. The people were masters of engineering and stonemasonry. The state exercised almost complete control over both the economy and the citizen's social life. Demanded tribute from its people, usually in the form of labor, to help with its ambitious public works program, which produced the road system and other important parts of the empire. Never developed a writing system but had 2 types of calendars. Religion was important, but they worshipped fewer gods than other civilizations. Their primary god was Viracocha, and next in line was Inti. Some of their greatest cities were Cuzco and Machu Picchu. The empire was at its peak in the early 1500s during the reign of Huayna Capac. However, after his death the empire was split among his sons, who began a civil war that tore apart the empire. The Spanish were there in the last days of the empire.

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