The Last of the Incas

George Woodcock describes how the destruction of the Inca economy brought untold suffering to their former subjects; and there were many Indian revolts, brutally crushed by the Spaniard, during the course of the next two centuries.

Spaniards executing Túpac Amaru, the last Inca of Vilcabamba, in 1572

The vast Andean territory of plateaux and high valleys which forms the physical core of Peru and Bolivia is a land of harsh beauty and climatic rigour, where human welfare is, at best, unpredictable. On its slopes, where red volcanic earth often contrasts with the green-yellow of the prevalent ichu grass, trees were almost unknown until the eucalyptus, which now gives grace to many a formerly shadeless valley, was introduced at the end of the last century.

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