Inca Empire Between 1200 and 1535 AD, the Inca population lived in the part of South America extending from the Equator to the Pacific coast of Chile.
Geography Another thing that helped the Inca Empire grow so rapidly was its geography. The empire had three main geographical regions: 1. The Andes Mountains 2. The Amazon jungle 3. The coastal desert Each was a natural barrier. The Incas made their home between the jungle and the desert, high in the Andes Mountains of South America.
Inca Social Structure • The Inca society - strict hierarchical structure. • Farmers provided most of the food for the rest of the population. They had to pay tax in the form of gold, which were distributed to the higher classes.
Strict Government Control = little freedom for the common people • Local officials had the power to make all decisions about the lives of the people they ruled. • Inspectors • Breaking the law = death penalty. • Tight government controls kept the common people fed, clothed, and enslaved. • Examples of controls: • Commoners could not own or run businesses. • Assigned jobs. • No idleness - even the amount of time they had to sleep and bathe was controlled by a government official.
Inca Economy • The main resources: • agricultural land and labor • mines (producing precious and prestigious metals such as gold, silver or copper), and fresh water • Tributein the form of service (mita) played a crucial role in maintaining the empire and pressurizing its subjects into ambitious building and irrigation projects.
Inca Agriculture • Drainage systems and canals - increased production of potatoes, tomatoes, cotton, peanuts and coca. • Llama -meat and transportation. • Resources were plentiful = Increased subsistence levels = population increase.
Inca Technology • The Incas had an incredible system of roads. One road ran almost the entire length of the South American Pacific coast. • Roads required great engineering and architectural skill to build. • The Incas paved their highland roads with flat stones and built stone walls to prevent travelers from falling off cliffs.