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Pachacuti-Greatest Inca Emperor




Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui was the ninth Incan emperor who ruled from 1438 to 1471. He is best known for transforming the Incas from a tiny little kingdom to a powerful empire the size of the east coast of the USA. He is the first Incan ruler that historians can actually confirm existed. He is widely regarded as the greatest Incan emperor for his conquests, social reforms, and civic planning.

 Rise to power


 Before Pachacuti became emperor, his name was Cusi Inca Yupanqui. His father was the Incan emperor, Viracocha. The emperor did not like Cusi much and always sent him away to work in the fields. Viracocha had decided that his other son, Urcon would be emperor when he died. However, the top Incan generals preferred Cusi and wanted him to be the successor instead. One day, Viracocha heard that the deadly archenemies of the Inca, the Chanca, were about to attack Cuzco. Viracocha and Urcon fled to a safe fort near a place called Calca and left Cusi and the generals to defend Cuzco. Cusi and the generals succeeded in repelling the Chancas and even managed to inflict huge losses on them. The people of Cuzco hailed Cusi and said that he should be emperor instead of Viracocha and Urcon. The result was a split between the Incas. Viracocha and Urcon were part of the Calca faction while Cusi and the generals were part of the Cuzco faction. Cusi tried to make peace but Viracocha declined so a war started. Eventually, Viracocha died and that only left Urcon. Cusi's forces soon killed Urcon and defeated Calca. Cusi crowned himself emperor and changed his name to Pachacuti, which means world transformer.



Image of Pachacuti 


Pachacuti's Conquests


After he became emperor, Pachacuti decided to crush the enemies of the Inca once and for all. He ordered his brother, Capac Yupanqui to explore the south coast in 1445. Soon after, the Chancas started to threaten the Incas so Pachacuti ordered his brother to subdue them. Capac pursued the Chancas all the way to Cajamarca and conquered the area. However, the Cajamarca were allies with the powerful kingdom of Chimu. Pachacuti was furious that his brother had disobeyed his orders and attacked an ally of the Chimu. Shortly after, Capac was murdered. Pachacuti then sent out two armies to conquer the northern area and southern area around Lake Titicaca.

                                                                                                                                                                Map Of Incan Conquests

The southern army was led by his two older sons. They marched south towards lake Titicaca and conquered land around the lake. The northern army was led by Pachacuti's son, Tupac Inca Yupanqui. Tupac conquered the lands of the Chanca and went all the way to Quito, Ecuador to try and surround the Chimu armies. Soon after, a brief battle between the Chimu and the Incas ended with the Incas sacking the Chimu capital, Chan Chan. The Incan armies then continued south until the whole area was under Incan control. Pachacuti stopped his conquests in 1463 and turned his attention to more economic and social problems.



Reforms, Civic Planning


After his conquests, Pachacuti began creating new laws and systems. He improved the agricultural system of the Incas. They used the terracing farming technique to farm on the hills, and many rivers were channeled for irrigation and to provide water to cities. Pachacuti also established the mitma system. Conquered tribes would have their members scattered all over Incan lands to work the land. This system prevented tribes from revolting and also made efficient use of the land. Pachacuti rebuilt Cuzco to make it a magnificent city. Many new roads, canals, fortresses, and temples were built. Historians also believe that Machu Picchu was built by Pachacuti. He was also believed to have expanded the Chasky runner system to provide more rapid communication. Pachacuti had Quechua taught to all in the empire. He also created a religion based on a creator god called Viracocha. He decreed that everyone in the empire must worship Viracocha but conquered tribes can also keep their old religion. As you can clearly see, Pachacuti greatly improved the empire and was a very clever and kind emperor.






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"The Hero Pachacuti." Mr.Donn.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2010. 



"Incas, Children of the Sun." Incas, Children of the Sun. 6th ed. Vol. 22. 2007. 

     12. World & I. EBSCO Host. Web. 15 Dec. 2009. <http://web.ebscohost.com/ 





"The Life Of Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui." BNET. N.p., Aug.-Sept. 2001. Web. 12 Jan. 

     2010. <http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb3481/is_2-3_26/ 



Mangudai, Addison. "The Inca." All Empires. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2010. 



Citations for Images

Pachacuti. N.d. Ryan Hamel's Website. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2010. 



Inca Expansion. N.d. Inca: The Kings Of South America. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 

     2010. <http://www.tqnyc.org/2006/NYC062611//Pictures/ 








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