The Conquest of the Incas. Francisco Pizarro. He was an illiterate, impoverished soldier, of who little is known. Before his expedition to Peru, Pizarro went to Spain to obtain royal authorization for the enterprise of Peru.
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Pizarro proposed to win a quick and relatively bloodless victory by seizing the Inca Atahualpa, through whom he may have hoped to rule the country (similar to how Cortes had done with Moctezuma).
Unlike Moctezuma who believed that Cortes and his men were gods, Atahualpa’s mistake was to underestimate the striking power of the small Spanish force.
When Atahualpa and his escort appeared in the square of Cajamarca, he founded deserted, for Pizarro had concealed his men in some large buildings that opened onto the square.
Priest Vicente de Valverde came forward, accompanied by an interpreter; he began to lecture Atahualpa about his obligations to the Christian God and the Spanish king. The angry Atahualpa threw down a Bible that Valverde had handed him.
At a signal from Pizarro, his soldiers, supported by cavalry and artillery, rushed forward to kill hundreds and take the Inca (Atahualpa) prisoner.
Atahualpa begged for his freedom by offering to fill his spacious cell higher than a man can reach with gold objects as the price for his ransom.
Pizarro accepted the offer and hundreds of llama-loads of gold arrived from all parts of the empire until the room had been filled.
But Pizarro had no intention of letting the emperor go, he remained in “protective custody,” a puppet ruler who was to endure popular acceptance of the new order.
However, the Spaniards began to suspect that Atahualpa was becoming the focal point of a widespread conspiracy against them and decided that he must die.
Atahualpa was charged with treason and condemned to death by burning.