The Incas (1200-1535)
Standards: 7.7.1
  • Studyuse of the mind to acquire knowledge the locations, landforms, and climates of Mexico, Central America, and South America and their effects on Mayan, Aztec, and Incan economies, trade, and development of urban societies.
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The Rise of the Incas

Key Terms and People

Pampas the vast grassy plains of Argentina and Uruguay

Altiplano: a high plain centered in Bolivia

terrace: flat strips of level land

Pachacuti: Inca emperor who expanded the Inca Empire and the

diplomacy: the management of communication and relationships between peoples and nations

Huayna Capac: the last great Sapa Inca ruler


Section Notes

The World of the Incas

  • Geography of South America:
    Eastern = tropical lowlands (rivers) like the Amazon River, hot and steamy climate
    Southern = Pampas or grassy plains
    Western = Andes Mountains (high plain, Lake Titicaca) cold climate
    West of the Andies = (coastal region) hot dry climate
    Ealry cultures: fished, hunted deer, and mined gold, silver, and copper
    Crops (terrace farming): chili peppers, squash, beans, cotton, peanuts, 200 different types of potato, and the main crop was corn
    Livestock: llamas, alpacas, vicuna

The Inca Empire

  • No writing system, only oral tradition. Historians believe Incans settled in the valley of Cuzco (Peru) about A.D. 1200. Lead by warrior kings (Sapa Incas), Pachacuti took power in 1438, expanded the territory, built army. Huayna Capa took power in 1493, about 10 million people lived there in relative peace until he died. Shortly after his death the Spanish Invaded and cnquered the Inca Empire.


Summary: The Incas had a highly organized society. They worshiped a number of gods and nature spirits.

Study Guide Questions

How did farmers grow crops in the Andes?

How did Pachacuti expand the Inca empire?

What resources did the Andean peoples have?

Why did Andean geography require advanced farming techniques?

Who began the Inca Empire?

What traits do you think made Pachacuti a successful empire builder?

Practice Test

Homework: Choose one
  1. Workbook Chapter 7, section 1 (Page 96)
  2. Answer three of the study guide questions using complete sentences.
  3. Draw a picture of something important from this section and summarize this section of the text (three sentences minimum).