A Travellerspoint blog

Nazca; Peruvian history

Deserts, plane rides, archaeology, those lines!

Saturday 18th August – Paracas to Nazca

The coach trip took us from Paracas, through the paracas (sand dunes) down the Pan- American Highway, through the town of Ica (dusk), across a plain, over some small mountains, across Nazca Plain, over some other smallish mountains for about 3 hours to Nazca, where we arrived in the early evening. Our taxi took our luggage from the coach station (much busier than Paracas) while we walked up the main street. The town reminded us very much of Yangshuo in China. The Casa Andina was a lovely hotel with a glass lobby, a huge open central vestibule with palms and slate maps of the lines all open to the rainless air. Our room was on the second floor, which was based around the central section (which also had a swimming pool). A functional, but pleasant room. It was not very late so we decided to find somewhere to eat a small, simple meal before walking the town. We went right out of the hotel and opposite found a small café / restaurant. We went upstairs to the balcony area and ate their special (noodle soup, beer, pancake and ice-cream pud) for only a few soles. The ice cream was of Lucuma (Gold of the Incas), which is a native fruit well know to Inca and pre-Inca cultures (pottery). It’s yellow flesh tastes a bit like maple.
48879639096_7d90aa8409_o.jpg48879109658_efa01bf61a_o.jpg
When we’d finished we walked back to the hotel, but kept on going, past the night clubs to the Plaza de Armas. A pretty, very blue looking plaza with a central blue-mosaiced fountain and the cathedral/church on the side. We sat for a while here as it was pleasantly warm, before heading back to the hotel for a nightcap.
48879835842_400c3e399e_o.jpg

Spanish-Peruvian History
1. Pizarro and Almagro
In 1494 the Treaty of Tordesillas between Portugal and Spain agreed which parts of the New World each one claimed. After Pizarro had effectively neutralized the Inca Empire he and his fellow conquistador, Diego de Almagro, were granted control of the new lands by the Spanish King Carlos I. After taking Quito, de Almagro felt he had been cheated out of his fair share and fell out with Pizarro (1535). His son El Mozo Diego de Almagro, by his native Panamanian wife, attacked Pizzaro in Lima in 1541, then went after the Inca Sapa Manco II, killing him (see Inca history section). This was pretty much the end of the Inca Empire.
The feud between the Pizarros and Almagros led Carlos (now King of Spain and HRE) to set Peru up as a Viceroyalty
2. Viceroyalty 1543-1824
The first Viceroy to arrive was Blasco Nunez Vela. His title was Viceroy of New Castile (=Peru). He was promptly murdered 1546 by Gonzalo Pizarro, who then claimed the viceroyalty. The second viceroy, Pedro de la Gasca was having none of it and executed Gonzalo after his defeat in the Battle of Jaquijahuana (1548). Gasca was a strong man and the title now became Viceroy of Peru 1547-50, instituting an Audiencia in Lima (an Audiencia basically meant the Viceroy had administrative and judicial powers derogated from the king- a practical measure given the distance but obviously important symbolically).
48879103373_f12854d463_o.jpg
Six short lived viceroys (Antonio de Mendoza 1551/2, Melchor Brava de Saravia 1552-6, Andres de Mendoza 1556-61, Diego Lopez de Zuniga 1561-4, Juan de Saarvedra 1564, Garcia de Castro 1564-9) preceded Viceroy Francisco de Toledo (appointed1569, arrived 1572). He established an Inquisition in Peru, executed the Inca Tupac Amaru and destroyed Vilcabamba. A succession of viceroys followed, some more effective than others, and all keen to convert the locals. The Jesuits were especially proactive in this area. Fernando Torres de Portugal (1584-9), Francisco de Borja y Aragon (1615-21), Fernandez de Cordoba (1622-9) and Fernandez de Castro (1667-72) stand out in one way or another. The encomienda system was badly run, leading to lots of abuses. Although it was legally abolished in 1720, it in practise continued well into the 18th century.
The local people were not well treated and revolts were common:-
i) Pedro Bohorquez 1656. Claimed to be Sapa Inca
ii) Jose and Gaspar Salcedo 1665-8. Mine owners
iii) Juan Santos Atahualpa 1742-80. A Cusco Inca who claimed descent from Atahualpa. He took Cusco. Despite his death in 1755 the rebellion continued until 1780.
iv) Tupac Amaru II. Tupac came from the Inca royal family and his Cusco Sierra Uprising of 1780, although ultimately unsuccessful, is regarded as the first freedom fight. His family was killed in front of his eyes, he was then tortured and beheaded. His son was taken to Spain.
3. Wars of Independence 1810-24
In South America there was increasingly a wish for independence and two landowners, Simon Bolivar (from Venezuela, but gave his name to Bolivia) and Jose de San Martin (from Argentina) began the fight. San Martin marched to Chile where he defeated the royal troops at the Battle of Chacabuco before sailing to Paracas in 1819 with the newly free Chilean navy. He took Lima in 1821 and declared Peru free. De facto, Peru was free although further fights -1824 battles Jurin and Ayacucho and Battle of Callao were needed before the Spanish finally formally agreed in 1879.
48879744477_4df93a19c0_o.jpg
4. Republic 1820-80
Simon Bolivar was made Dictator of Peru in 1824 (having already liberated Venezuela, Ecuador, Columbia) and Antonio de Sucre given military command. In 1825 at the Congress of Upper Peru the Gran Colombia was formed (mainly Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia). Bolivar attempted some liberal policies, but soon reverted to a centrist approach. Shortly after, his lover, Manuela Saenz attempted to assassinate him. He resigned and left for Europe, but died before sailing. He was followed by competent but uninteresting leaders. The period saw a number of territorial disputes resulting from the liberation and early pan- American coalitions. 1836-9 the Peru-Bolivian Confederation attempt to unite the countries failed with the War of Confederation. The Ecuadorian-Peruvian War of 1941 and brief Cenepa War of 1995 have led to formalised borders.
5. War of the Pacific
In 1879 Chile attacked its northern neighbour, Bolivia, seizing its entire coastline. Bolivia asked for help and Peru joined the war, which was basically won by Chile. By 1884 Peru had lost Tarapaca, Tacna and Arica (Atacama region). In the treaty Chile agreed that Tacna and Arica cities could decide which country to be in, then reneged. The USA waded in and in the Treaty of Lima 1929 Arica was given to Chile and Tacna to Peru. The Peruvians still feel very strongly about this.
6. Aristocratic Republic 1884-1930
So called because most of the presidents during this period came from the elite. The ordinary people became increasingly disenchanted. Socialist and Communist parties were formed at this time.
48879827467_ffd5687bb5_o.jpg
7. Modern Politics
President Bustamente y Rivero attempted to form a democratic government by limiting both noble and military power. The final result was a military coup in 1948 by General Manuel Odria. He courted the lower classes, but civil rights were suppressed and corruption grew. He surprised all by allowing elections, but a right-wing series of rulers ensued. Civilian vs military coups became the rule until 1980 when a new constitution was drawn up and civilian rule ensured. In 1985 Alan Garcia tried to manage an economy in trouble, but badly mismanaged it so by 1991 the national reserved were -$900mill. This was the background to the rise of the communist rebel group The Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso). As their strength grew the administration became increasingly dictatorial with human rights abuses. The people chose a mathematician Alberto Fujimori as president (1990), hopeful that he could help mend the economy. His fight against the Shining Path led to abuses on both sides until its leader Abimael Guzman (aka Gonzalo) was captured in 2000. Fujimori tried to seek a third term (questionable) but stepped down when a bribery scandal broke, followed by human rights, corruption etc charges. The new president, Alejandro Toledo restored democracy and judicial process to Peru. The current President is Ollanta Humala (2011-)

Posted by PetersF 12:46 Archived in Peru Tagged desert history archaeology nazca

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.

Login