Tyranny Or Ideal Society Essay

929 words - 4 pages

Tyranny or Ideal Society


Many arguments have occurred over the centuries since the Spanish marched into the Andean highlands and took over the Incan empire, over whether the Incan's were part of an ideal human society, or just a group of tyrannical rulers. While the Incan society had created a stable political, economic, and social system in the Andean world it was far from being an ideal society. On the same note, the Incan's were not tyrannical rulers, did not exploit their subjects or take away their land for no reason. The reading entitled "Was Inca Rule Tyrannical?" discusses this argument about the Incan empire, tries to classify the form of government the Incan's lived under, and searches for the truth about what the Incan empire was really like. The truth about the Incan empire lies somewhere between the romanticized views, and the views meant to justify the Spanish conquest, while it is impossible to classify in modern terms the form of government the Incan's had.

The reading, after giving a brief introduction to the ideas behind the separate articles, is split into three different sections. The first of these sections is the section meant to idealize the Incan empire and cast doubt onto the appropriateness of the Spanish conquest of the Incas. The first two articles were written by conquistadores, Pedro de Cieza de León, and Mancio Sierra de Leguízamo. They both offer a romanticized view of the Incan culture. Cieza de León tries to paint a picture of the Incas as a ideal culture that tried to avoid war at any cost, while Sierra de Leguízamo paints a picture of a trusting uncorrupted society of Indians. These views are obviously slightly skewed, because it is hard to believe that anyone who was there at the time of the conquest would have believed that the Incas were an anti-war society. This is only because the Incan empire was in the middle of a brutal civil war at the time of the conquest. The brothers Atahualpa and Huascar had been fighting over who was the legitimate ruler of the Incas and because of this the Spanish had an easy time taking over the empire. This horribly brutal war witnessed by the conquistadores sheds doubt on the "idealness" of the Incan society that Cieza de León and Sierra de Leguízamo try to portray in their descriptions of the Incas.

The third article of the first section was written by Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, who was half Incan, and half Spanish. His account of the manner in which the Incas planted and harvested their crops gives a more moderate and believable view of what the Incan empire was really like. His heritage and knowledge of the Incan past gives his writing validity, and because it does...

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