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Pizarro and the Incas

Which was more important in helping the Spanish conquistadors defeat the Incas: Spanish weapons, the Inca civil war, or the smallpox epidemic?

The technology of Spanish crossbows and horses against Inca spear-throwers and cotton armor, the five-year civil war in the Inca Empire, and the devastating effects of the smallpox epidemic all played a part in the Spanish Conquest of the Incas.

What we think about Pizarro

Author: Juan and Rafael from Peru
Date: 11-22-00 11:26

Francisco Pizarro, was he a Hero or a Villain? By Juan Francisco Berckemeyer and Rafael Urbina.

It is very difficult to say whether Francisco Pizarro was a hero or a villain. In the specific case of Peruvian history, to provide an opinion of this important character is not as simple as if things were black or white. The fact that Francisco Pizarro wasn't a god, doesn't turn him into a devil. We have to give credit to Pizarro because he was born in a very poor environment, and for a bastard boy that used to raise pigs in Spain, he became the Supreme Chief of the Peruvian territory.

It's undeniable that during the Conquest of Peru, abuses and injustices against the native people were committed. We have to understand that during those times, ideas and beliefs were very different from nowadays.

Francisco Pizarro, because of ignorance or the lack of a modern spirit, was convinced that his conquest would bring the light and truth of the civilized world to the Peruvian people who, for geographic or ethnical reasons, were in inferior conditions in terms of culture and religion. Also, we should take into consideration that men consider it to be a moral duty to share their culture with people who lack it. This man had the courage to conquer an underdeveloped world and he felt he could open the eyes of those who "couldn't see". The conquerors treated the indians badly, not because of cruelty, but because of the undeveloped and different people that they saw there, that made them believe that they didn't have souls. It is true that they did have souls, but you can't expect that to be believed by men who didn't accept any other customs than the ones that the powerful Catholic Church in that time imposed. For example, the Spanish did not agree with the Incan beliefs in many gods and marriage with more than one woman, and other things that we do not pretend to explain in this composition. It would be false to say that Pizarro didn't have any personal interests, but the fact that he had them, doesn't mean that he didn't do what he believed was right.

We are sure that nowadays, if you ask a Peruvian if he would prefer to live like in ancient Peru or in the present conditions, the answer would be definitely that they prefer the present.

Some years ago, a Peruvian politician, pretended to remove the statue of Pizarro that is in front of Lima's Main Square. To do so, would have been not only to deny an important part of our history, but also to deny the great labour of a fighter with an adventurous spirit that worked with good faith for a country that wasn't his.

by Juan Francisco Berckemeyer and Rafael Urbina High School Students, Santa Maria Marianistas, Lima, Peru

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