The conquest of Peru

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The conquest of Peru by an obscure adventurer is one of the most dramatic episodes in the history of the New World. Until he was nearly 50 years old, Francisco Pizzaro, serving as a minor Spanish official on the Isthmus of Panama, had nothing to show for his years of toil and peril but a small holding of land. Little more than a decade later, he had conquered the fabulously wealthy empire of the Incas and …

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…were crossing the Andes nor did they make an effort to defend the empire. Logically, his army of a couple hundred should not have been able to defeat an army of tens of thousands. Yet he did. Pizarro's conquest established Spanish control over most of South America and would remain that way for more than three centuries until a liberation movement. Spanish customs, language and religion prevail to his day throughout most of the continent.