Peru History

First residents

They can only be seen from the air. The first traces of human presence in Peru date back at least 20,000 years before our era, but very few traces of this time have been preserved. From 1250 BC, several civilizations coming from the north, Chavinos, the Chimu, the Nazca and Tiahuanacos settled in the region. The city of Chanchan, whose ruins are still visible today, was built by the Chimus around 1000 BC.

The Incas, a warrior tribe from the southern highlands, moved little by little towards the north of the region to the fertile valley of Cuzco between the years 1100 and 1300. Their expansion began in 1438, with Pachacútec (Pachakutiq in Quechua), who undertook the conquest of neighboring lands.

Around 1500, the Inca Empire stretched from the Pacific Ocean to the origins of the Paraguay River and the Amazon, from the region of present-day Quito, Ecuador, to the Maule River, in Chile. This vast empire was led by an Inca, or emperor, who was worshiped as a divinity. Rich in gold and silver deposits, the kingdom of the Incas was to become the target of the imperial ambitions of the Spanish already settled in Panama.

Spanish invasion

In 1531, the Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro landed in Peru with 183 men and, using the civil war that divided the Incas, managed in less than five years to make his empire a Spanish possession.

The 16 of November of 1532 the Spaniards spent the night in view of the Real de Atahualpa and constant guard fearing a surprise attack, but nobody bothered them. The next day, at sunset, Atahualpa decided to enter the town. About four hundred men preceded the Inca, all with the same clothing, whose mission was to clean the road of stones and straw.

Pedro Pizarro, when narrating the Cajamarca episodes, points out that until then the Spaniards had not fought against the natives and did not know how they fought in the war since the events in Tumbes and La Puná were mere skirmishes.

At nightfall on that fateful 16 of November of 1532 had ended forever Tahuantinsuyu, the Sapa Inca was captive and his prison was ending the autonomy of the Indian state.

From that moment, transcendental changes transformed the Andean area, changes that not only affected the natural ones, but also produced profound consequences in Europe since the European economy was affected by the impact of the arrival of the huge contingents of Peruvian gold, and more. forward for the adaptation of the potato, a tuber that allowed the European demographic growth and ended the hunger that periodically threatened the old continent every time the crops dwindled.

Foreign domain

In 1542, the Viceroyalty of Peru was established, which initially encompassed a geographic space from what is now Panama to the southern tip of the continent.

After the conquest, Peru experienced the constant conflict of the conquerors and the resistance of the Incas of Vilcabamba. In the 1570s, Viceroy Francisco de Toledo reorganized the territory, pacifying the country from internal wars between the Spanish and culminating in Inca resistance.

According to BRIDGAT, the Spanish empire meant a profound social and economic transformation for Peru. A mercantilist system was established, sustained by the mining of gold and silver, mainly from Potosí, the commercial monopoly and the exploitation of indigenous labor under a mita form.

Beginning in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, the Crown’s revenue was slowly undermined by the decline in mining and the consequent economic diversification, as well as commercial smuggling.

In this context, the Bourbon Reforms were imposed in the country, which subtracted political power from the Lima elite and economically affected internal trade, which produced various uprisings; of which the one with the greatest repercussion was the rebellion of Túpac Amaru II ; the latter came to endanger the viceregal government in Cusco, but due to a lack of support from the Creoles and by not having assaulted Cusco, it precipitated its defeat. After the brutal murder of José Gabriel Túpac Amaru and almost all of his family, the indigenous culture or the Andean culture was fiercely repressed by the Bourbon authorities and they devastated the homeland liberation projects due to the terror that the peninsular and Creole elite sowed. [4]

Political independence

When born as an independent republic, Peru emerged with economic ties, with debts to Chile and England; then loans from France and England itself. And since the time of Leguía (15 years, porfiriato de los Andes), with practically unpayable loans from the United States, as progressive voices have denounced. Therefore, hardly with political independence.

The libertarian currents of the 18th century, which led to the independence of the United States and preceded the fall of the monarchy

French, they had repercussions in the countries of Latin America with protests, revolts and rebellions.

Fernando VII, King of Spain, had managed to stop any attempt at emancipation in the colonies. Thus, at the beginning of 1816, only the only sources of libertarian agitation remained: the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata (Argentina), and the Region of the Eastern Plains of the Orinoco (Venezuela). It was from these two historic places that the two Liberating Currents that converged towards Peru started: the South, under the command of José de San Martín (1820), and the North, commanded by Simón Bolívar.

A good part of the Peruvians fought in the ” Peruvian Legion ” battalion, in which General La Mar, officers Ramón Castilla, Miguel San Román and Narciso Tudela stood out, all of them distinguished by heroic action on the battlefield.

The 28 of July of 1821, the independence movement led by San Martin, from Chile, declared independence and established a new state: the Republic of Peru whose name the slogan tacitly the Act of Independence of this country. However, it was not until 1824 that Simón Bolívar and Antonio Jose de Sucre agreed on the definitive withdrawal of the royalist troops based in the southern highlands after the battles of Junín and Ayacucho, on August 6 and December 9, 1824. respectively. But it was not until 1826 that Rodil ceded the fort of Real Felipe (Callao) and all vestige of political power in Spain was withdrawn.
Unfortunately, the criollos – sons of Spaniards – and their descendants replaced the Spanish viceroy, judges and bishops and the exploitation of the natives became more acute and the large estates grew at the expense of the indigenous communities. Sad situation that disappeared with the Agrarian Reform of 1969, during the nationalist government of Juan Velasco Alvarado. Today, however, the socially owned agrarian cooperatives on the coast have become private partnerships with hired workers.

Militaristic republic

The struggles between caudillos, which characterized the first years of independence, continued until the first constitutional government of Marshal Ramón Castilla, who was able to restructure and order the State thanks to the economic boom generated by the export of guano from the coastal islands.

In 1865, there was a confrontation with Spain for the occupation of the Chincha Islands, to pressure the Peruvian government, which this government interpreted as an act of war.

Both Chile and Ecuador decided to support Peru for its defense, and while the Spanish squadron blocked the ports of Callao and Valparaíso. The conflict lasted until the final battle of the 2 of maypole of 1866, during which Spain attacked the port of Callao, but due to the large forces and railway Peruvian defender, who put in trouble serious to the Spanish fleet, this had to retire and leave the South American waters.

Chile aggression

In 1879, Chile declared war on Peru, which intervened in a tax problem between Bolivia and Chile in compliance with the Treaty of the Peru-Bolivia Defensive Alliance in 1873. This declaration of war became what is known as the War of the Pacific(War of guano and saltpeter) and that took place between 1879 and 1883.

The Guano and Saltpeter War developed in several stages, the first corresponding to the naval campaign and culminating on October 8 of that year with the naval combat of Angamos, where it blew itself up, fighting against six enemy warships, the Admiral Miguel Grau Seminario, maximum hero of the Peruvian Navy.

After defeating the Peruvian squad, Chile begins the land campaign of the war. This began with the landing of Pisagua and lasted for four years, until after the Manifesto of Montán, the illegitimate government of Miguel Iglesias, elected by the invading Chilean army, signed the Treaty of Ancón that ended the war, despite of the opposition of the government of Lizardo Montero and the resistance in the Peruvian highlands led by Andrés Avelino Cáceres. One of the most remembered battles is the Battle of Arica for the defense led by Francisco Bolognesi, on whose side the Argentine Roque Sáenz Peña fought, who later became president of Argentina.

Peru History