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UNIT 11: Early Empires

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VIDEO SEGMENT: The Inka Empire

This segment focuses on the Inka Empire of South America, which rose to power under the leadership of prince Pachacuti in the fifteenth century. Unlike empires in Eurasia, the Inka Empire did not have the benefit of the horse, wheeled vehicles, metal tools, writing, or even superior military technologies. Instead, the Inka overpowered their adversaries through superior logistics and by fielding very large armies.

Once the Inka conquered a territory, they ensured its effective incorporation by bringing the sons of conquered elites to be educated at Cuzco, the Inka capital. This strategy socialized such children to accept Inka ways, and ensured they would serve the Inka Empire once they were returned to their homes.

Inkan rulers legitimized their rule with religion, and insisted that conquered areas adopt the Inkan creator god and recognize the Inka ruler as god's representative on Earth. The state ensured economic solvency by redistributing conquered land and resources, and by demanding labor — or mit'a — through military service or commodity production.

At its height, the Inkan Empire stretched from modern Chile to Ecuador and supported a network of roads nearly 30,000 kilometers long. Although the Inkan Empire collapsed completely in 1532, during its existence it created a unique and powerful system that connected peoples from a diverse array of ecological niches along the west coast of South America.

SELECTED IMAGES AND MAPS


Ken Hibbitts, MACHU PICCHU, HIGH VIEW (n.d.). Courtesy of Ken Hibbitts, www.alpacasbythesea.com.

Felipe Huaman Poma de Ayala, THE ACCOUNTANT (1615). Courtesy of the Publications Scientifiques du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France.


Anonymous, INCAN PRINCE PACHACUTI (n.d.) Courtesy of WorldArt Kiosk/Kathleen Cohen.

Hot Pepper Studios, created for Bridging World History, EXTENT OF THE INKAN EMPIRE 16TH CENTURY, AND CURRENT POLITICAL BOUNDARIES (2004). Courtesy of Oregon Public Broadcasting.



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