Today is Throwback Thursday, when we discuss earth-changing events that occurred on this day in history. Those who are familiar with South American history and the history of the Spanish colonial empire have no doubt heard of Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish conquistador who conquered the Inca civilization. On this day, June 26, in 1541, Pizarro was brutally murdered by loyal agents of his dead political rival and former ally, Diego de Almagro.
Pizarro Was Killed 9 Years After He Conquered the Incas
In 1510, when Pizarro was a younger man, he served under another conquistador, named Alonso de Ojeda in Colombia. He also served under Vasco Nunez de Balboa when the Pacific Ocean was first discovered by the Spanish in 1513. Years later, in 1524, Pizarro returned to South America after teaming up with Diego de Almagro, another conquistador. Eventually, the two conquistadors succeeded in penetrating through to the Inca Empire, where great wealth was rumored to exist.
Later, Pizarro secured financial aid and a guarantee from Spanish Emperor Charles V. As a part of that guarantee, the emperor told Pizarro he would receive the lion's share of the expedition's profits rather than Almagro. In 1532, Pizarro landed in Tumbes, Peru, and took his army onward to Cajamarca. There, he held the Inca king, Atajualpa for ransom. But even after the ransom was paid, Pizarro had the king murdered anyway. Pizarro and the army under his command eventually made their way to Cusco, Peru -- the capital of the Inca empire -- where the defeat of the Incas was finalized in 1533.
Almagro's Supporters Get Their Revenge
In order to appease Almagro, after Pizarro took the wealth of the Incas for himself, Pizarro gave Almagro the conquered lands of Chile. However, Almagro did not receive all that he had been promised, so Almagro proceeded to conquer Cusco in 1538. Almagro's conquest of Cusco did not last long, however, as Pizarro sent his half-brother to reclaim Cusco and had Almagro killed as punishment. It was only a few years later, in 1541, when Almagro's loyalists returned the favor, broke into the Pizarro's lavish palace and killed the conquistador during his dinner. The son of Almagro, Diego el Monzo, thereby became the next governor of Peru.
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