in Spanish) is a country in western South America, it's the third largest country in South America (After Brazil and Argentina), also, it's amongst the countries with most variety in natural regions and subclimates in the world, how many you ask? about over 100 subclimates; its population surpasses the 29 million, diversified between the indigenous populations and the mestizos, religiously however, its mostly catholic.
Peru has two official languages: the Spanish, the most spoken one; and the Quechua, the most spoken of the indigenous languages, there are however, many other indigenous languages like the Aimara and the various languages of the people of the Amazon Forest.
Its territory was home to various ancient cultures like the Norte Chico civilization, most known as Caral, the most ancient city in the American Continent (About 5000 years old), and various others; the Precolumbine history is studied in six stages:
- Initial Period: Ranges from the prehistory, covers the Caral civilization and diverse foundings as Toquepala and the temple of the crossed hands.
- The Early Horizon: Covers the time of the Chavin hegemony upon other cultures, such as the Paracas and its decadence.
- The Early Intermediate: Ranges between the decadence of Chavin and the rise of the Wari, the Nazca, the Moche and other cultures appeared in this period.
- The Middle Horizon: Spans the rise and fall of the Wari Empire in Perú, features other cultures such as the Chachapoyas.
- The Late Intermediate: Houses the time between the fall of Wari and the victory of the Inca Confederacy upon the Chancas, which would eventually lead to the Inca Empire, the cultures that appear are, amongst others, the Tiawanaco, the Chimu and The Inca Confederacy.
- The Late Horizon: Follows the rise of the Inca Empire, lead by Pachacutec, and its eventual expansion, which would be called the Tawantinsuyu and would eventually cover most of the northern territory of Chile, the coast and mountains of Perú as well as parts of the forests, Ecuador, and parts of Colombia and Bolivia; it ends with the capture of Atahualpa and his execution by Francisco Pizarro the 26th of July of 1533.
Classicaly, it is said that the Inca Empire peacefully died right the moment Atahualpa was killed, which is a BIG
misconception, the truth is that after his dead, his other generals continued the fight against the Spaniards, however, they were aided by various indigenous people who saw in them a chance to free themselves from the Tawantinsuyu and, ironically, the Inca elite who were enemies of Atahualpa, eventually, this would lead to the coronations of Túpac Hualpa, first of the Sapa Inca who died three months after his coronation, and Manco Inca who, like Túpac Hualpa and Atahualpa, was a son of Huayna Cápac.
However, Manco Inca realised that the small contingent of Pizarro was nothing more than the screening for the Spanish Army and they intended to conquer the country, this lead to his flight from Cuzco to the city of Vilcabamba, from where he and other three rebel Incas would lead a war against the spaniard conquistadores
, these four are known as the Incas of Vilcabamba and their war lasted between the years 1537 and 1572.
The situation amongst the conquistadores
was not harmonic on the other hand, the rivalry between Pizarro and Diego de Almagro over the city of Cuzco ended in what is known as the Wars of the Conquistadores amongst the two and all who supported either of them, this war was carried on by the brothers of Pizarro and of Almagro and lasted between 1537 and 1546.
Meanwhile, Charles the First of Spain was not amused with the actions of the conquistadores
, who made themselves warlords and dukes of the conquered territory and literally worked to death the indigenous population, as well as the execution of Atahualpa by a lesser man, which was an outrage amongst the court, eventually, and, by the aid of Bartolome de las Casas, who was horrified by the abuse of the conquistadores
towards the indigenous people, promulgated the New Laws (Leyes Nuevas) which put an end to the system of Encomiendas
, which were hereditary territorial posessions of the conquistadores
, and paved the way to the Viceroyalty system.
Needless to sat that the conquistadores
were not going to accept
Its independence was achieved in 1821, led by José de San Martín. It also was one of the last Spanish colonies to achieve it. Its identity started to form once the Peruvians refused Bolivia
's (and Simon Bolivar's) plans for a Latin American Confederation and, later, a union between these two states. It entered into periods of instability and short-term stability before and after the War of the Pacific
, fought with Chile
. This instability led to a brief period (from 1836 to 1839) where the country was split into two parts, the Republics of North Peru and South Peru, with the former forming the Peru-Bolivian Confederation. After the reunification, there were periods of instability coupled with periods of economical development.
In 1968, the Armed Forces, led by General Juan Velasco Alvarado, staged a coup against president Fernando Belaunde. In 1975, the general was deposed and the regime started to become a democracy again. From here, it had its usual problems of political violence and drug trafficking, coupled with a sustaining economic growth.
The tradition says that the Libertador San Martín dreamed the first flag of Perú after seeing the flamingos of the coast, the red hoist and fly stripes symbolize the blood of Peru's fallen freedom fighters, and the white central stripe represents peace.