Inca Empire 1438–1525

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Map Code: Ax00923

The Inca Empire mushroomed from the city-state of Cuzco in the Peruvian Andes, under the ruler Pachacuti (1438–71). He organized their territory into four administrative regions: Chinchasuyu, Cuntisuyu, Antisuyu and Collasuyu, and masterminded a tried and tested method of territorial aggrandizement. This involved bribing the rulers of target states with the promise of reward for peacefully joining the Inca empire: if this failed, the state would be invaded and the recalcitrant rulers slain. Understandably, peaceful annexation quickly became the norm. The Inca Empire lacked wheeled transport, draught animals, money or a written language: its administration was maintained by ‘taxes’ of goods and services. The Inca advance south would ultimately be halted by an alliance of Mapuche tribes in southern Chile; the rainforest tribes repelled their descent into Amazonia. Nevertheless, by the Spanish arrival in 1532, the Incas controlled the largest empire in the Americas.

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