Peru History

Peru History

On the prehistory and early history of South America, Andean high cultures, Inca.

Colonial times

The turmoil in the Inca empire after the death of the ruler Huayna Capac († 1527; war of succession among his sons) and an epidemic in 1527 made it easier for the Spaniards (initially only 183 men) under F. Pizarro to conquer the empire.

Pizarro occupied Cajamarca, Atahualpa’s residence, on November 15, 1532 and had him executed in mid-1533. On November 15, 1533 he moved into the Inca capital Cuzco and had Atahualpa’s half-brother Manco Capac II crowned under the protectorate of the Spanish king. Pizarro founded Lima on January 6, 1535. In 1536/37 Pizarro and his half-brothers Gonzalo and Hernando fended off a revolt of the indigenous peoples under Manco Capac II in Cuzco; he withdrew to the mountains of Vilcabamba, where he resided as the “shadow king”. The Pizarros and D. de Almagro got into a dispute over the possession of Cuzco. Almagro was defeated in the Battle of Salinas (6.4.1538) and on 8.7. executed. His son of the same name made himselfCaptain General of Peruafter the murder of F. Pizarro (June 26, 1541), but was beaten by Cristóbal Vaca de Castro (* 1492, † 1562) at Chupas on September 16, 1542and later executed in Cuzco.

In 1543, according to naturegnosis, the Viceroyalty of Peru was founded with the capital Lima, which in the 16th and 17th centuries encompassed all of Spanish South America (including Panama). The attempt of the first viceroy of Peru to enforce the “Leyes Nuevas” (laws for the protection of the indigenous population) of 1542 triggered an uprising among the Spanish settlers under G. Pizarro. The viceroy was defeated and murdered near Quito on March 4th, 1545. The G. Pizarros company seemed to result in an attempt to form an independent state. However, the power of the crown proved to be stronger, and it succeeded the royal plenipotentiary Pedro de la Gasca (* 1485, † 1567), G. Pizarro on April 9th, 1548 at Sacsayhuamán (today in Cuzco) and to have him executed. In 1572 viceroy F. de Toledo had the remaining Inca empire of Vilcabamba conquered and beheaded the last Inca ruler Tupac Amaru in Cuzco.

In the cities, especially in Lima, Cuzco and Quito, a Creole culture developed with a high flowering in architecture and painting. The universities, primarily created by Dominicans and Jesuits, reflected the late bloom of Spanish scholasticism. The country’s economy and its position in the Spanish Empire were based almost exclusively on the mining and export of silver. At the height of Peruvian silver mining in the 17th century, around five-sixths of world production came from America and two-thirds of that from Peru. The indigenous peoples, torn from their communities, had to work in the mines (Mita). In addition to mining, there was significant agricultural production (wine, sugar), especially on the coast.

In order to ensure a tighter administration and better military protection against attacks by European powers, the extensive viceroyalty of Peru was divided up in the 18th century: in 1739, with the creation of the viceroyalty of New Granada, the areas of today’s states Ecuador, Columbia and Panama were spun off, and in 1776 with the formation of the Viceroyalty Río de la Plata the areas of Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile and Argentina. The higher taxes and levies demanded by the new administration triggered an uprising under J. G. Condorcanqui in 1780-82, which Tupac Amaru II. called out. Condorcanqui was defeated with indigenous help in 1781 and the uprising was bloodily suppressed.

In the struggle for independence in South America (since 1810), Peru initially remained the center of Spanish rule. After the arrival of the Argentine general J. de San Martín in Lima, the country’s independence was proclaimed on July 28, 1821. But only the victories of S. Bolívar near Junín (6/8/1824) and his general A. J. de Sucre near Ayacucho (9/12/1824) brought the final independence from Spain.

Newer development

Former President A. García Pérez (PAP) won the presidential elections on 4/4/2006 after a run-off election, who prevailed against the left-wing nationalist O. Humala Tasso (took office on 7/28/2006). In the parliamentary elections held at the same time on April 9, 2006, none of the parties achieved a clear majority: The Unión por el Perú (UPP) was the strongest parliamentary group with 45 out of 120 seats, followed by the traditional APRA party with 36 seats. In the same year the SL leader Guzmán was sentenced to life imprisonment.

At the end of September 2007, Chile extradited the former President Fujimori to Peru. In a first trial on December 11th, 2007, he was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment and a fine for various offenses.

The free trade agreement with the USA negotiated by the previous government under President Toledo was ratified by the US Senate on December 4, 2007.

After two years in office, President A. García Pérez was confronted with a serious domestic political crisis. After a corruption scandal became known, the entire cabinet resigned on October 11, 2008. The president’s decline in popularity was attributed not only to the corruption scandal but also to the rising cost of living. The reappearance of the SL guerrillas also developed as a challenge.

On April 7, 2009, the former President Fujimori was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for his responsibility for the murders committed by the death squad “Colina” during his tenure.

In May 2009 the government declared a state of emergency for 60 days after protests and road blockades on the indigenous population against decrees on the use of natural resources in several regions in the north-east of the country. There were bloody arguments. Eventually the government withdrew the controversial laws. In June 2010, in response to international pressure, Parliament passed a consultation law, according to which state measures must be discussed with the indigenous population in the future if they violate their collective rights – v. a. the land rights – restrict. In the same year, negotiations on a free trade agreement with the EU were concluded. On April 28, 2011, Peru founded the Pacific Alliance in Lima together with Chile, Mexico and Colombia.

On June 5, 2011, O. Humala Tasso, candidate of the Gana Perú alliance (»Peru wins«), sat down with a narrow majority in the runoff election for the presidency against Keiko Fujimori (* 1975), daughter of the former president and 2011 candidate for the alliance Fuerza (»Strength 2011«), through. Humala Tasso took office on July 28, 2011. In the dispute over the sea border with Chile in the Pacific, the International Court of Justice in The Hague recognized Peru on January 27, 2014, with sea areas previously belonging to Chile.

In 2016 parliamentary and presidential elections were held, but they were won by different political parties: In the parliamentary elections on April 10, 2016, the Fuerza Popular party achieved an absolute majority. In the runoff election for the presidency on June 5, 2016, the candidate of Peruanos Por el Kambio (PPK), the former Prime Minister P. P. Kuczynski Godard, narrowly prevailed against Keiko Fujimori (Fuerza Popular) with 50.1% of the vote. Kuczynski Godard was sworn in as President on July 28, 2016 and had to rule without a majority in Congress. The result of the elections formed the starting point for a multi-year government crisis in which the President and Congress faced each other.

Peru History

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