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History


Peru is the country on the south american continent with the best conserved archeological sites. There are plenty of well conserved cultural treasure around the country from the pre-inca time, as well as from the great inca-empire. All these excavations that has been found here has been a great source for historians, archeologist, and scientists, but in the lack of written language from the precolumbian cultures has also made it one of the most mysterious historical site. There has been many discussions amoung the historians about the past of this country, and much of it are different theories, most of them are based on archeological findings and written texts from the spanish when they conquisted Peru.


The first people who settled down in Peru, was problably nomades who came to the area about 14000 years before christ. Around year 4000 bc, the first agriculture took place at the coastline, sowing some vegetables, and cotton for clothes. Between 2000-1000 bc, some more advanced civilization grew up, and they made high-quality ceramics, and some stone-constructions like temples etc. In the period between 1000-300 bc, the culture Chavin had its golden era. This is what most historians recognize as the first civilized culture of Peru. The characteristics of the Chavin people was their progress in textiles, agriculture, ceramics, religion and architecture. This culture disappeared 500 years later, and there are no evidences proving why it died out.


in the next centuries, some important civilizations was developed simultanously in the south coast and the north coast. In the South coast the Paracas- and Nazca cultures grew up. The paracas culture is famous for its colorful textiles, their mumification, and their medical technology. The Paracas was fishermen and warriors, and they were feared in all the nearby area. When they defeated the enemy they stuck the eyeball out, and put it in a small bag, and hung it out from the pocket. If it was a hard fight they put eye high up, and if not, they put it at foot-height. There has been found different mummies in the Paracas area, and they were always burried in the foster-position. The Paracas also did advanced type of brain-surgery, which is the most sensational at that time. They made holes in the cranium, and operated. The historians are yet not sure they did it for curing, or for lobotomy. Some centuries after the Paracas, the Nazca culture took over. They dominated big area south of Lima, at least what is Ica, Nazca and Paracas today. They developed advanced water irrigation system for their agriculture, impressive textiles and ceramics. But the most impressive of all is "The Nazca lines", the huge figures "printed" on the surface, that only can be seen from the air. This is still so enigmatic, and there are not enough evidences to give the Nazca-culture the credit for this mysterious phenomenon.


At about the same time, two important cultures was establish in the north coast, around Trujillo and Chiclayo, the Moches and the Chimus. The Moches was the first ones, and they ruled all the area between Trujillo and Chiclayo. In Trujillo they buildt big Pyramides as religious centers, while in Chiclayo the emperor "Señor de Sipan" was burried. Years later the Chimus took over the control of the area, and they expanded the territory even more. Their capital was the fantastic adobe-city chan chan, that still keeps intact, and from here they ruled their empire. The Chimus ruled the north coast area, and the Nazcas the south coast untill the incas conquisted both of them.


In the 12th century after christ, began the unique expansion of the Inca-empire. The Inca was the King of the empire, while the name of their people was quetchuans.Totally there were 13 incas ruling the empire untill the spanish conquist. The first ones was legendaries, because the only evidence of their existence was stories told by the quetchuan people. The legend said that the first Inca, Manco Capac rised up from Lake Titicaca with his wife, on a mission from the God of the Sun, to found the inca empire. He was very well dressed, and he had a golden stick in his hand. The first place where he could put his stick down in the earth was supposed to be the capital of the "world". He crossed the highland and the mountains, searching for the ideal place, and finally he found it, put down his stick and named the city Cusco, which means in quetchua "the bellybutton of the world". Manco Capac and his wife taught the people in the villages how to work efficiant, and to do housework, and they got very popular. Later there were different Incas that developed Cusco, and maintained the control over this important city, but the expansion did not take place untill the 9th Inca, the great master of all Incas, Pachacutec, came to power. He organized all men to do different kind of work. Some worked in construction, others in agriculture, some in religious activitities etc.It was all so structured and detailed, the villages were divided into groups of 500, 100, 50, 10 to always have the correct number of workers in the different areas. Pachacutec was a strategic genious as well. When he started his expansion he took the power of the nearby villages, but instead of using his men trying to control the area he moved all men of the conquisted village to Cusco to train them up to be Inca warriors, and all the time his force grew bigger and stronger. He went to the south-coast, conquisted the Nazca empire, later on Pachacamac(Lima), and headed north to Trujillo y Chiclayo and conquisted the Chimu empire. Later he retired from the fighting,and went back to Cusco to organize the "new world", and let his son Tupac Yupanqui, continue the conquist. Yupanqui, continued north up to Quito, Ecuador, before he headed back to Cusco. Pachacutec was about to die, so he went back to take over the leadership after his father. Later he continued south, and conquisted all the area of Lake titicaca, and further south, and took control over the northern part of what today is Chile and Argentina. The next two incas continued a little bit furhter north, up to southern Colombia, beforer Huayna Capac took over. Huayna Capac was a pacific man, and said mission accomplished, and the world was definate. He dedicated his time as emperor to develop the infrastructure, for instance building "roads", educate the people and improve the technology. But after his death began a conflict that was fatal for the existance of the empire. The two sons Atahualpa and Huascar both claimed beeing the new Inca, which resulted in dividing the empire in two, Huascar ruling the southern part from Cusco and Atahualpa the northern part from Quito. This caused civil war and the Inca-empire was no longer united, and made an easy way for the spaniards to conquist the quetchuan territory.


In 1528 Fransisco Pizarro and his men came to northern Peru, to conquist this country they had been told about with all its richness. He did not have enough men the first time, so he had to return to spain to reforce, before he went back in 1532. He founded his first colonial city, piura in the north of Peru, and later he marched into Cajamarca where he made a deal with Atahualpa to go to Cusco to help him to get back the leadership from Huascar, but what he did not know was that the spanish was going to conquist all the empire. The spanish got an easy way because many locals in the north thought they were sent by god to help them, with their beard, their elegant uniforms and horses that they had never seen before. The spaniards then got to Cusco, arrested Huascar, and the whole empire was conquisted. The Incas tried to fight against them, but they could not resist against the powerful army of Fransisco Pizarro. But the 30 next years the incas was hiding in the mountains to reforce to reconquist their territory, and two times they were close to realize it. The next 200 years was peaceful, and Lima took over as the main commercial city, and Cusco got less important. In this process,the indigenous people got abused as employees, and it ended with a riot leaded by "the last inca", Tupac Amaru II, in 1780. But the spanish got and end of the riots quickly and brutally, and the rebels was executed.


In the beginning of the 18th century, many people started thinking of indendence from spain. There were many reasons for this, one thing was the high taxes they had to pay, antoher thing was their limited freedom, and on the other hand Peru was about to discover great natural resourcese that could bring a good income. At the same time, ideas came from the neighbour countries, where San Martin had liberated Argentina and Chile, while Simon Bolivar liberated Columbia and Venezuela. Bolivar won all his battles in Ecuador, and continued down to Peru. San Martin came from south, and the two of them fighted for the independence of Peru, which was the most important viseroyalty for Spain. San Martin won two battles in 1824, but the spaniards kept the power for another two years, but 28th of July 1826 the independence of Peru was a fact. Later on Peru has had wars against Spain, Ecuador and Chile. Southern parts of Peru was taken by Chile in the a war that Chile won, but parts of the occupied territory was given back. In the war against Ecuador, Peru won, and kept the territory reclaimed by Ecuador. This was decided in an international conference in Rio de Janeiro. But untill today there are still a conflict about the area between the two countries.


Modern history of Peru has, like in most Latinamerican countries, been dominated by dictatorships, mililtary governments, and corruption. In the 70s the democracy took over, and the situation got more stable. Though in the 80s the economy was out of control with an inflation of 10000 % anually, almost world record, as a result of failed socialistic politics. In the 90s things changed radically when the semi-dictator, and semi-japaneese president Alberto Fujimori, got elected. He stabilized the economy and reached a level 4 % inflation, and got an end of the terrorism. He also introduced the free market politics, and made it easy for foreigners to do investments. This way he modernized Peru in many ways, but he was critiziced for discrimination of the freedom of speach and other human rights. In the end of his time as president all was ruined by a huge corruption scandal, where Fujimoris right hand, Vladimiro Montesinos was filmed giving black money to important persons in the peruvian politics. When these news were revealed, Fujimori retired and escaped to Japan, and Montesinos to Venezuela, and a temporary president had to step in untill the next election, where Alejandro Toledo won. Toledo has followed the politic style of Fujimori but has not gained much popularity amoung the peruvian population.

 
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