The World before the Opening of the Atlantic


Huayna Capac
Capac’s rule, the Inca empire greatly expanded its territory and reached the height of its

As you read the biography below, think about
how Huayna Capac’s role as leader helped
advance the Inca empire.

Huayna Capac was born in Cuzco, Peru. He is
considered the last great emperor to rule over the
Inca empire. When his father Topa Inca died in
1493, Huayna assumed the throne. During his reign,
the Inca empire reached its greatest level of expansion and power.
During his time as emperor, Huayna Capac spent
long periods away from his empire. What he saw in
other places inspired him to make improvements in
Inca society. Huayna enhanced existing transportation by building new roads. He also is credited with
building many impressive palaces and temples during the years of his rule.
Huayna Capac greatly extended the Inca empire.
For many years he and his armies fought wars
with neighboring peoples. By the time he died, his
empire extended to Quito (in modern Ecuador) in
the north and to Atacama (in modern Chile) in the
south. The total territory of the Inca empire grew to
about 4830 km (about 3,000 miles) long from north
to south and about 645 km (about 400 miles) wide.
While Huayna was traveling on a military expedition in what is now northern Ecuador, he heard
about an outbreak of disease in Cuzco. It is believed
that this epidemic may have been a disease that the

Werner Forman/Art Resource, NY


conquistador Spanish conqueror of Mexico, Peru,
or other parts of the
Americas in the 1500s
legitimate legal

Copyright © by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. All rights reserved.


The World before the Opening of the Atlantic

but later he changed his mind. Write a letter to Huayna Capac explaining an improvement you would like to see. Recall What improvements did Huayna Capac make to the Inca empire? 2. Huayna Capac’s death marked the decline of the Inca empire. 6 The World before the Opening of the Atlantic . Draw Conclusions How did Huayna’s decision to have the empire divided after his death weaken the Inca empire? ACTIVITY 3. the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro conquered the Inca empire in 1532. With the empire unstable. He contracted the disease and died. Explain your reasons for wanting this improvement. Copyright © by Holt. continued Spanish conquistadors brought with them to the New World. Rinehart and Winston. Regardless. Imagine that you were alive during Huayna Capac’s time. Huáscar (the legitimate heir to the throne) agreed to the arrangement. so that both sons could rule after his death. Huayna bravely went to investigate the epidemic himself. but this conflict only weakened the empire. The two brothers fought for power. Before he died he divided the empire between his two sons. All rights reserved. WHAT DID YOU LEARN? 1.Name Class Date Biography Huayna Capac. At first.

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