What Did Francisco Pizarro Discover?

Francisco Pizarro discovered and conquered the Incan Empire in what later became the country of Peru. When he established the first settlement from Spain in Peru, San Miguel de Piura, the Inca leader Atahualpa did not accept the presence of the Spaniards. The Battle of Cajamarca broke out as a result, and Pizarro ended up capturing, and ultimately executing, Atahualpa. In the presence of this leadership vacuum, it was simple for Pizarro to take Cuzco, the Incan capital, and take all of Peru for Spain.

Pizarro's conquest of Peru and Cortes' conquest of Mexico took place at approximately the same time. Pizarro's achievement has been seen as more significant because he brought fewer fighting men, took on bigger armies and was farther from the Spanish supply outposts that gave valuable provisions, arms and men to the fighting effort. Pizarro was assassinated by the son of his former friend, Diego Almagro, whom Pizarro had executed after a series of quarrels and the bloody Battle of Las Salinas. After his passing, his family erected a palace in his honor on the Plaza Major in Truillo. Even today, he remains a topic of controversy in Peru as many view him as the cause of the destruction of much of the indigenous language, culture and religion in the country.