Picture of Francisco Pizarro
Francisco Pizarro was born around 1474 in Trujillo, Spain His father Gonzalo Pizarro was a colonel in the Spanish army and his mother Francisca Pizarro was a poor woman living in Trujillo. Francisco grew up with little education and never knew how to read or write. Growing up was tough for Francisco. He was raised by his grandparents because his parents never got married. He worked as a pig herder for many years.
Statue of Francisco Pizarro
Pizarro had heard of a land in South America that was full of gold and other treasures. he wanted to explore the land. He made two expeditions into the land. the first expedition took place in 1524 and was a total failure. Several of his men died and Pizarro had to turn back without discovering anything of value.
The second trip in 1526 went better as Pizarro reached the Tumbez people on the borders of the Inca empire. He knew for sure that the gold he had heard of was more than just rumors. However, he eventually had to turn back before reaching the Inca. Pizarro wanted to mount on a third expedition. But the Governor of Panama lost confidence in Pizarro and refused to let him go.
Eventually, Pizarro received the support of the Spanish to go on a third expedition. He was also named the Governor of the territory. In 1532 Pizarro landed on the coast of South America. He established the first Spanish settlement in Peru called San Miguel De Piura. The Inca had a civil war between two brothers, Atahualpa and Huascar. Their father the Emperor died and both wanted his throne. Atahualpa won the war. Pizarro was going to meet Atahualpa. Atahualpa thought he had nothing to worry about. Pizarro only had a few hundred men while he had tens of thousands. But Pizarro set a trap and held him prisoner. He held him ransom for a room full of gold and silver. The Inca delivered the gold and silver but Pizarro executed Atahualpa anyway. Pizarro then marched to Cuzco and took over the city in 1533. He looted the city of its treasure. In 1535 he established the new city of Lima as the new capitol of Peru. He would rule as Governor for ten years.
In 1538 Pizarro had a dispute with his long time expedition partner and Conquistador Diego Almagro. He had Almagro killed. However, on June 26 1541 some of Almagro's supporters led by his son stormed Pizarro's home in Lima and assassinated him.
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