Grade: Middle
Subject: History

#2110. Great Empires of the Americas; part III: The Incan Empire

History, level: Middle
Posted Sat Jan 20 08:28:53 PST 2001 by Mr. C. F. Lawrence Jr. (

Frederick Douglass Academy, Manhattan, New York
Materials Required: World History: Patterns of Interaction. pp. 407 - 411, American History: The Early Years to 1877,
Activity Time: 1 week
Concepts Taught: Empirical government, Comparative Analysis

Mr. Lawrence 32
7th Grade Social Studies

Clark, L. (1996). Ice Mummies | Lost Empire. Retrieved April 5, 2000 from url:

(Really do not need the American Nation)
Davidson, J. W., Batchelor, J. E. (1994). The American Nation. Updated Edition. pp. 41-45. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall

Davidson, J. W., Stoff, M. B. (1995). The American Nation. (Purple book). pp. 70-77.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall

Main Source
Mcdougal Littell Inc. (1999). World History: Patterns of Interaction. pp. 407 - 411.
Evanston, IL: Mcdougal Littell Inc.

Ritchie, D. A., Broussard, A. S. (1997). American History: The Early Years to 1877. pp. 52 - 57. Westerville, Ohio: Glencoe-McGraw-Hill.

Sanchez, N. (1996). Introduction to Latino Studies. City University of New York Baruch
College: Summer 1996.

Instructions for presentation: 1. outline on the board 2. put nothing next to the letters and numbers with the asterisks. Dictate notes for numbers & letters w/asterisks.

Aim: The Great Empires of the Americas; part III: The Incan Empire, how did it form rise, and fall?
* = dictation

Main Idea: The Inca built a vast empire supported by taxes, governed by a
theo-bureaucratic monarchy, and linked by extensive road systems.

Relevance: The Inca system of government was similar to some socialist governments in the 20th century.

Setting the Stage: While the Aztecs were ruling in Mexico, another people--The Inca--
were creating an equally powerful state in South America. From their
capital in southern Peru, the Inca spread outward in all directions. various Andean peoples under their control and built the largest empire ever seen in the Americas.

Do Now questions: Where are the Andes Mountains located? South America
2. What is similar about the kings of Kemet & The Incan Empire ?
The king in both societies were believed to be the son of the sun god.
(Inca sun god = Inti; Kemetic sun god = Amen-Ra)

I. The Beginning
A. The original Inca
1. Inca was originally the name of the ruling family of a group of people living in a high plateau of the Andes mountains
B. The Early Inca
1. eventually settled on fertile lands in the Valley of Cuzco
2. borrowed aspects of culture from
a. Chimu, Moche, Chavin, Nazca
b. Tiahuanaco, Huari (southern Peru & Bolivia)
*C. Why did they settle in Cuzco and make it their capital? (Legend) - The Sun created a son & a daughter, set them upon an island in Lake Titicaca (tee tee KAH kah), gave them a staff of gold, and bade them to settle where the staff disappeared into the ground. The brother & sister - the future king Manco Capac & the future queen Mama Ocilo traveled north to the valley of Cuzco, where the golden staff disappeared into the ground. Here they stayed & founded the city of Cuzco A.D. 1200.

II. The Expansion
A. 1200 AD - established a small kingdom in the valley
B. The Road System: 10,000 - 14,000 miles
1. allowed for a postal system
a. 3,100 miles of road
b. chasquis - relay messengers (posted every mile)
(messages could travel 140 miles/day; were faster than Spanish on horses)
2. allowed easy movement of troops
C. 1400s - Cuzco was attacked by the people of Chanca
1.*Sapa Inca Viracocha & Urcon, his eldest/first son fled
2. Pachacuti (means Earthshaker/he who transforms)
a. defeats Chanca

b. what happened next? he seized the throne from his brother around 1438 becoming the new Sapa Inca
c. ruled for 29 - 31 years
d. responsible for making the Incan empire the largest in Mesoamerica
D. Incan process of conquest
1. the Incas would send ambassadors to the territory they wanted to conquer.
the ambassadors would ask the territory to surrender rather than face war;
if they surrendered peacefully, the territory was allowed to keep their rulers,
way of life, etc.; if they refused to surrender peacefully, then they were conquered
by military force, stripped of their way of life, and forced to accept Quechua
(the official Incan language)

III. The Government
A. Theo-bureaucratic monarchy
*1. a king is in charge due to religious connections; various governing duties
were delegated to different persons/bureaus
B. Cuzco was the heart of the empire
C. Government owned all food
1. stored in storehouses
a. for wars, feeding the elderly, famine, etc.
D. Kept records of families produce (used strings and knots to count: quipu)
E. How was tribute {aka mita (MEE-tuh)}paid?
1. tribute was usually paid in services in various sects of Incan society such as
building and maintaining public works ( stone roads, tunnels, bridges)
2. what did the people get in return?
a. food, clothing, military protection, and access to other empirical services

IV. Agriculture and Animal Domestication
A. Created terraces in the hillsides
1. primary crops: maize, quinoa,
a. potatoes - were freeze-dried and called chuo
2. primary animals: llama and alpaca
a. used for meat and wool
B. Cultivated in the valley
1. maize, squash, cacao beans, cotton

V. The Fall
A. 1525 - Huaya Capac died of disease in Quito, Ecuador ( what was his position?)
B. Sons fight over the throne: Atahualpa vs. Huascar
1. what two African kings have we studied, did this happen to?
a. Askia Muhammad (Songhai) and Mansa Musa (Mali)
2. Atahualpa became next king
C. 1531 - Franciso Pizarro (conquistador) and army
1. biological warfare
a. kills 2/3 of population; how many left? 3.3 - 5.3 million left
2. captures Atahualpa and held for ransom
a. $50 - $60 million in gold and silver
b. gets ransom and then kills Atahulapa by strangling
D. Rest of empire holds out for 40 more years
E. The empire of the Incas ends approximately in 1571

- Curtis F. Lawrence Jr., B.A., M.S.