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Biography of Atahualpa


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Atahualpa, the last of the Incas of Peru. Succeeded his father, Huayna Capac, in 1525, on the throne of Quito, while his half-brother, Huascar, although the rightful heir, obtained only the kingdom of Peru. The two brothers engaged in a struggle for supremacy, in which Huascar was defeated. The Spaniards, under Pizarro, taking advantage of these internal dissensions, invaded Peru. By an act of deliberate perfidy, they obtained possession of the person of Atahualpa, and attempted to compel him to acknowledge the King of Spain as master, and to embrace the Christian religion. His refusal was made a pretext for a massacre and the imprisonment of their king, whom the Spaniards induced to raise an enormous treasure in the hopes of regaining his throne. After a mock trial, however, he was condemned and strangled at the stake, 1533.