Banner of the Tawantinsuyu
Colonial expansion under the crown of Castile was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Catholic faith through indigenous conversions.
Beginning with the 1492 arrival of Christopher Columbus and continuing for over four centuries, the Spanish Empire would expand across most of present day Central America, the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, and much of the rest of North America including the Southwestern, Southern coastal, and California's Pacific Coast regions of the United States.
The history of South America is the study of the past, particularly the written record, oral histories, and traditions, passed down from generation to generation on the continent in the Earth's western hemisphere and (chiefly) southern hemisphere. South America has a history that spans a wide range of human cultural and civilizational forms. While millennia of independent development were interrupted by the Portuguese and Spanish colonization drive of the late 15th century and the demographic collapse that followed, the continent's mestizo and indigenous cultures remain quite distinct from those of their colonizers. Through the trans-Atlantic slave trade, South America (especially Brazil) became the home of millions of people in the African diaspora. The mixing of races led to new social structures. The tensions between colonial countries in Europe, indigenous peoples and escaped slaves shaped South America from the 16th through the 19th Centuries. With the revolution for independence from Spanish crown during the 19th century, South America underwent yet more social and political changes among them nation building projects, European immigration waves, increased trade, colonization of hinterlands, and wars about territory ownership and power balance, the reorganization of Indian rights and duties, liberal-conservative conflicts among the ruling class, and the subjugation of Indians living in the states' frontiers, that lasted until the early 1900s.
The Andean civilizations made up a loose patchwork of different cultures that developed from the highlands of Colombia to the Atacama Desert. They are mainly based on the cultures of Ancient Peru and some others such as Tiahuanaco. The Inca Empire was the last sovereign political entity that emerged from the Andean civilizations before conquest by Spaniards. Tahuantinsuyo was a patchwork of languages, cultures and peoples. The components of the empire were not all uniformly loyal, nor were the local cultures all fully integrated. For example, the Chimú used money in their commerce, while the Inca empire as a whole had an economy based on exchange and taxation of luxury goods and labor, and it is said that Inca tax collectors would take the head lice of the lame and old as a symbolic tribute. The portions of the Chachapoya that had been conquered were almost openly hostile to the Inca, and the Inca nobles rejected an offer of refuge in their kingdom after their troubles with the Spanish.
Spanish rule ended or transformed many elements of the Andean civilizations notably influencing religion and architecture.
Cross of Burgundy (Flag of the Viceroyalty of Peru)
Francisco Pizarro González (c. 1471 or 1476 – 26 June 1541) was a Spanish conquistador who conquered the Inca Empire.
Pizarro González was born in Trujillo, Spain, the illegitimate son of Gonzalo Pizarro, an infantry colonel, and Francisca González, a woman of poor means. His exact birth date is uncertain, but is believed to be sometime in the 1470s, probably 1471. Scant attention was paid to his education and he grew up illiterate. He was a distant cousin of Hernán Cortés. On 10 November 1509, Pizarro sailed from Spain to the New World with Alonzo de Ojeda on an expedition to Urabí. He sailed to Cartagena and joined the fleet of Martín Fernández de Enciso, and, in 1513, accompanied Balboa to the Pacific. In 1514, he found a supporter in Pedrarias Dávila, the Governor of Castilla de Oro, and was rewarded for his role in the arrest of Balboa with the positions of mayor and magistrate in Panama City, serving from 1519 to 1523.
The Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire was one of the most important campaigns in the Spanish colonization of the Americas. After years of preliminary exploration and military skirmishes, 168 Spanish soldiers under Francisco Pizarro and their native allies captured the Sapa Inca Atahualpa in the 1532 Battle of Cajamarca. It was the first step in a long campaign that took decades of fighting but ended in Spanish victory and colonization of the region as the Viceroyalty of Peru. The conquest of the Inca Empire led to spin-off campaigns into present-day Chile and Colombia as well as expeditions towards the Amazon Basin.
Gonzalo Pizarro y Rodríguez de Aguilar (1446–1522) was a Spanish Captain from the region of Extremadura who participated in several campaigns in Italy and Navarre. He is most famed for fathering the four Pizarro brothers, Francisco (born 1471 to 1478), Hernando (born 1478 to 1508), Gonzalo (born 1502) and Juan (born 1511), who conquered the Inca Empire.
His cousin fathered the also-famed conquistador Hernando Cortes, the conqueror of the Aztec Empire.