Peru was the center of a number of great Andean civilizations long before the Spanish colonization began. The largest of them was the Incaricet, which stretched from present-day Ecuador in the north, through Peru and Bolivia to present-day Chile in the south when the Spaniards arrived in the 1530s. Wealth from the extraction of minerals, and especially silver, iron and copper, has played an important role in Peru’s history and social development, both during the colonial period and after independence in 1821.
Conflicts surrounding the extraction of natural resources and failure to implement indigenous peoples’ right to land have led to revolts and conflicts on a nationalist and ethnic basis, and to long-standing military rule and economic challenges in the 1900s. Populist Alberto Fujimori for a long time seemed to improve both the security situation and the economy in the 1990s, but eventually, with the help of the military, developed an authoritarian regime that accounted for serious human rights violations. In 2001 he was deposed by the National Assembly and fled to Japan. To see more information other than history, please visit Abbreviationfinder to learn more about climate, population, government, and economy for the country of Peru.
The oldest archaeological finds in present-day Peru come from hunter, fisherman and sanker cultures in the coastal and inland areas. The finds are relatively few, and the material – stone implements and shells – provides a fairly uncertain basis for dating. At least this earliest period is likely to date back to around 8,000 BCE. A new era characterized by agriculture has been added between 2300 and 1200 BCE. The most important site here is Huaca Prieta on the north coast of Peru. C-14 dating shows that around 2300 BCE. was grown including pumpkin, cotton, beans and chili peppers. Fishing and sinking were of great importance. Only during the final phase of this period did ceramics and woven fabrics come into use, as well as the cultivation of corn.
- Countryaah: Check to see the location of Peru on the world map. Also covers major mountains, rivers and lakes in Peru.
Numerous regional civilizations evolved, leading to a number of distinct, differentiated cultures. Up until the Incarcet arose in the 1300s, several such cultures existed; among them Tiwanaku, Paracas, Nazca, Chachapoyas, Moche and Chimu. All were agricultural-based societies with basic state formation. They developed technology to master their surroundings and shared many cultural features. None of these cultures developed any real writing system or any recorded calendar. The most important sources of their study are therefore past experiences of different kinds, partly the remains of cities and shrines, irrigation systems, fortifications and roads, and partly the burial sites. The Incarnation was based on the knowledge of these early civilizations.
The burial customs of ancient Peru consistently include a rich burial equipment of clothing, jewelry, weapons, implements and more, and in large parts of the coastal areas the dry calcareous sandy soil has caused both the dead themselves as well as their grave goods of textiles, wood and metal objects and pottery has been very well preserved. Far less favorable in this way is the humid climate in the highlands, where the dead were placed in special burial chambers or in mountain caves. In particular, the pottery from the tombs has provided a basis for distinguishing between different traditions and for drawing up chronological sequences. But there are still many unclear points where scientists disagree.
In general, this cultural area is divided into a northern, central and southern coastal country and a northern, central and southern highland, and in broad terms there is a consensus on a periodic division of cultural development throughout the area. Although the regional specialization is considerable, there is no doubt that the people of the area from the old age share in a common tradition. Of the common features must be mentioned intensive agriculture with tombstone as the main tool, application of irrigation, terracing and fertilization, cultivation of maize, beans, pumpkin, potatoes, manioc and other, use of coca leaves as stimulus, cotton cultivation, llama and alpaca holdings, stone building techniques and sun-dried clay, weaving techniques, metallurgy, braidingand ceramics, as well as a social organization characterized by strong centralization and hierarchy under sacred rulers and with specialized clergy and artisan groups. This cultural community is far older than the organizational-based common language that the Incas brought to the whole area through their conquest.
The Incarnation ruled over large areas of South America from the beginning of the 15th century until the Spanish conquest in 1532 and was the most advanced form of state formation before the colonial period. It was at that time one of the world’s largest empires and stretched from the Maule River in southern Chile to the present border between Ecuador and Colombia. The empire had its center of power in the city of Cuzco, located 3400 meters above sea level in present-day Peru. Key features were an agricultural economy with terrace cultivation and artificial irrigation in the highlands, an extensive communication network that linked the kingdom together, and a state administration based on the incorporation of new conquered areas. The Incas themselves called the kingdom Tawantin Suyu, which translates to “The Four Areas.”
The colonial past
Struggles were already raging within the Incaret when the Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro with his men penetrated south from Panama and reached the center of the Incaret in 1532. By capturing the Inahual Atahualpa, the Spaniards gained a huge ransom in the form of gold taxes. Atahualpa was nevertheless executed, and this became the beginning of the ravages to gain more wealth. In a short time, the culturally high-ranking Inca population with a highly developed agriculture was transformed into slaves in the mines and plantations under Spanish rule. Pizarro founded in 1535 the port city of Lima, which became the seat of the Viceroy of Peru in 1572. A revolt led by the incalcessor Tupac Amaru 1 was crushed; some 200 years later, in 1780, Tupac Amaru 2 led another revolt against the Spaniards, this too was turned down.
Lima was an important commercial center throughout the colonial period. When Spanish power began to weaken during the Napoleonic wars and several of the countries in South America disbanded, Peru was loyal to the Spanish throne. The Argentine liberation hero José de San Martín continued north toward Peru after Chile’s independence in 1820 and declared Peru independent in 1821. The royalists retreated to the high mountains, but their army was eventually defeated by the troops of Simón Bolívar and Antonio de Sucre in 1824. shortly after independence, Peru formed a federation with Bolivia(1836-1839). In the period 1845–1862, some social reforms were implemented such as the abolition of slavery, state education and taxation of foreign activities under the conservative general Ramón Castilla.
Pacific War 1879–1884
Castilla strongly invested in the extraction of nitrate for export. The nitrate deposits in the Atacama Desert led to wars between Peru, Chile and Bolivia. The war became a tragedy for Peru, but fortified Chile as a strong military force. Peru lost large areas in the south, including the port cities of Antofagasta, Arica and Iquique to Chile. Bolivia lost its access to the sea. The war also led the Peruvian state to go bankrupt and suffered heavy debt obligations. The loss of prestige for the military leaders led to a democratic opening under President Nicolás de Piérola from 1895.
North American companies invested in the copper mines in Peru from the turn of the century, and under President Augusto Leguía (1908-1912 and 1919-1930), Peru experienced a certain economic upswing with a focus on cotton, sugar, wool and nitrate. From 1924, US oil companies began operating in northern Peru. Under Leguía, a new constitution was passed in 1920 which respected, among other things, the indigenous people’s right to common use of their traditional agricultural lands. The inability to do this in practice led to a strong boom of “ Indianism»Among Peru’s large indigenous people with strong intellectual touches. The founder of Peru’s Communist Party, José Carlos Mariátegui, tried to combine socialism with the indigenous communities’ original beliefs.
The period after 1930
One political movement that was to become of great importance in Peru, and which also appealed to the indigenous people, was the American popular revolutionary alliance, APRA (Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana), founded in 1924 by exile politician Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre. APRA had a radical, nationalist profile with a strong anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist program that won great acclaim. To counter this radical tendency, the military took a strong hold on power between 1930 and 1939. During World War II, Peru was allied with the United States.and experienced financial progress as a supplier to the US war economy. APRA supported the presidential candidacy of José Bustamante in 1945; in 1948 he was overthrown in a coup that led to General Manuel Odría’s military dictatorship (1948–1956). Odría tried to crush APRA as a political party and stimulated foreign investment in the country.
The US need for Peruvian minerals led to a short-term economic upswing during the Korean War. In the difficult economic period that followed, President Manuel Prado (1956-1962) focused on the development of the fisheries sector and Peru became the world’s leading supplier of fishmeal. APRA received the most votes in the 1962 election, but by re-election the following year, Fernando Belaúnde Terry was elected president; he tried in vain to introduce land reform. The army’s repression in the countryside was massive, and there were several riots.
The Revolution of 1968
When the army under the command of General Juan Velasco Alvarado seized power on October 3, 1968, this was the beginning of an anti-imperialist revolution that sought to crush the guerrillas while stimulating national capital forces. North American oil and mining companies were nationalized without compensation. Comprehensive land reform was implemented based on cooperatives. US military advisers were expelled and Peru signed contracts with the USSR for the supply of military equipment. Diplomatic relations with Cuba were restored. Relations with the United States were consequently strained. However, the country experienced extensive strikes and riots among the peasant population in the early 1970s.
The 1973 coup in Chile ended the approach between the two countries and instead led to old fighting flare up. In 1975, Velasco was deposed by his rival in the Army, General Francisco Morales Bermúdez. He announced the “second phase of the revolution”, which was less radical and an expression that the revolution had not led to any popular political participation. The “revolution” had produced a bureaucratic apparatus of centralization in the hands of the army. Within the army, constant cleansing had to be done to prevent coup attempts from the various factions. Morales returned many of the nationalized properties to private hands, and the authorities had to introduce ever-new reforms for the benefit of the private business community, with the consequences of this in the form of riots and demonstrations.
Peru in the 1980s
The 1980 election caused Fernando Belaúnde Terry, who had been deposed in 1968, to be elected new president. The pressure on his government was no less than it had been against the military authorities before him. In early 1981, there was a run-up to war with Ecuador because of a border dispute in the Amazon area. In 1982, a state of emergency was introduced in Ayacucho Province due to the extensive guerrilla activity of Sendero Luminoso (“Luminous Path”).
Sendero Luminoso is an organization that fights for an independent quechuanation in Peru’s high mountains. The movement is based on a dogmatic interpretation of Maoist Marxism combined with indigenous mysticism. The fight has been extremely violent, and the National Army has also committed serious assaults in its efforts to curb the organization.
Internal instability and strong militarization led to serious human rights violations, and Belaúnde Terry had to endure much criticism for his inability to create democratic opening and economic growth and gain control of the military forces.
APRA, having left its mark on Peruvian politics for nearly 60 years, has evolved into a far less radical party. In the 1985 election, APRA for the first time emerged victorious with its young candidate, Alan García Pérez, who had aspirations to emerge as an important state leader in the Latin American context. García challenged the international banking institutions by refusing to pay the foreign debt on the terms set by the banks. However, the expected support from other Latin American governments for this policy was lacking. Garcia would prove to be a good demagogue rather than a cunning politician. Foreign investors were skeptical of García’s attempts to form a broad, central political platform. Foreign debt and inflationrose. Strikes and unrest characterized the country, and the government was unable to gain control of the violent guerrilla activity.
The phenomenon of Fujimori
In 1990, Alberto defeated Kenya Fujimori the famous author Mario Vargas Llosa in the presidential election. The Peruvians trusted the unknown but trusting man of Japanese descent after five frustrating years with Social Democrat Alan García, who had virtually wiped out APRA from Peru’s politics. García was put on trial for corruption and corruption, while Sendero Luminoso continued his ruthless war against the civilian and military forces.
Fujimori’s attempt to curb rising inflation and redevelop the economy through drastic cuts in public spending and widespread privatization, support for resistance in the National Assembly. In April 1992, the President carried out an unconstitutional coup with support from the army, dissolved the National Assembly and the Supreme Court and gave himself extensive powers. Opposition politicians were placed under house arrest and a state of emergency was introduced. In 1993, a new constitution was passed which, among other things, opened for re-election of the president.
The clash hunt that Fujimori launched against Sendero Luminoso soon saw startling results. In the fall of 1992, the organization’s ideological leader, the philosophy professor Abimael Guzmán Reynoso, was arrested. In the wake of the imprisonment, mass arrests of members of the organization followed, and Fujimori’s popularity reached great heights. Fujimori emerged as an uncompromising and vigorous president, strengthening the army’s influence and emphasizing discipline and order. However, the harsh persecution of Sendero Luminoso led to growing accusations against the army for lack of respect for human rights. It is estimated that the membership in the guerrilla organization dropped from 10,000 to less than 1,000 during the 1990s. In April 1999, the group’s military apparatus becameLima uncovered. The deputy leader of the movement, Pedro Quinteros Ayllón, was arrested; A few months later, the leader, Oscar Ramírez Durand, was jailed. He was later sentenced to life in prison.
Fujimori managed to gain control of the economy and inflation was sharply reduced. Foreign investment was stimulated, and in 1994 the country achieved twelve percent economic growth. However, it is no secret that Peru’s involvement in cocaine manufacture for sale in the United States helped to strengthen the economy. Nevertheless, under Fujimori, Peru struck hard against coca-producers, knowing that the United States would thus be willing to accept financial aid recommendations. The state of emergency in the cocaine- producing areas, and a promised amnesty led both guerrillas and cocaine manufacturers to supply weapons to a large extent.
Conflict with Ecuador
The start of the 1995 election was dramatic as Peruvian and Ecuadorian military forces challenged each other in a disputed, uninhabited jungle area on the border between the two countries. There were wars of war, and powerful patriotic feelings were expressed in both countries. There was no immediate solution to the conflict in either Peru or Ecuador’s favor, but a peace agreement between Peru and Ecuador was negotiated with the help of the US, Brazil, Argentina and Chile. The agreement was signed in October 1998 and ended the protracted border dispute which caused three wars between neighboring countries. On May 13, 1999, President Alberto Fujimori of Peru and President Jamil Mahuad of Ecuador met on the Cahuide border crossing to set a border stone and mark the peace.
Fujimori regime after 1995
The short-lived patriotic glow brought by the conflict with Ecuador increased Fujimori’s popularity, and he was re-elected with a full 64 percent of the vote in 1995. This year’s candidate was former UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar. Fujimori’s Cambio 90 party also secured a majority in the National Assembly.
The opposition was divided and weak, and Fujimori relied on solid support from the army in the implementation of the policy he had initiated in his previous term. The goal was to end the guerrilla movements Sendero Luminoso and Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru (MRTA) as well as reduce poverty in the country by 50 percent. However, the strong economic growth stagnated shortly after Fujimori’s reelection.
Hostage drama in Lima
In December 1996, the eyes of the world were aimed at Peru when a commando group from MRTA took over 500 hostages, including a number of diplomats, in Japan’s ambassador’s residence. The MRTA demanded that all imprisoned members of the organization be released. For Fujimori, the hostage campaign was a test of his principles not to negotiate with terrorists. At the same time, an important alliance with Japan was at stake. After just over four months, when all but 72 hostages were released, the drama was ended by security forces carrying out a command raid that resulted in the killing of one of the hostages and all MRTA members.
Stagnation in the economy
Growth in the economy was strong until the mid-1990s, but slowed towards the end of the decade, partly as a result of a sharp tightening of monetary and fiscal policy following large and persistent deficits in the state accounts. The collapse of Brazil’s economy at the turn of the year 1998/1999 and low prices for the important copper and tin export products did not make the situation any better. GDP grew by just 1.3 percent in 1998. Unemployment was rising, approaching ten percent. In 1999, several general strikes were carried out in protest of economic policy.
Fujimori faced increasing criticism for his authoritarian and undemocratic leadership style, and his popularity in the population was declining towards the end of the 1990s. Human rights groups also highlighted the increasing use of torture under Fujimori’s regime. Prior to the 2000 elections, eight opposition parties signed an agreement to fight the president’s desire to be re-elected for a third term. However, a majority that supported the president managed to stop a motion by the opposition in parliament on a referendum on the issue of a third re-election. Accusations of circumvention of the Constitution and manipulations of the justice system did not prevent the president from running for election again. The election was disputed, and Fujimori got just under 50 percent of the vote in the first round. Opposition candidateAlejandro Toledo made strong allegations of electoral fraud and irregularities. In the second round, Toledo protested; International observers also boycotted the election. Fujimori was the only candidate to receive 50.1 percent of the vote.
A few months later, in September 2000, an extensive corruption scandal was revealed by video footage of Fujimori’s closest adviser and head of security police, Vladimiro Montesinos, paying bribes to congressional representatives, politicians, the media and business leaders. This is known as the “Vladivideos scandal”. Montesinos escaped the country and returned, while Fujimori launched an investigation and called for a new election. During a travel mission, the president sought refuge in Japan (where he has shared citizenship) and sent a fax on November 19, 2000to the National Assembly to resign from office. The National Assembly rejected the resignation and dismissed Fujimori as president on the grounds of ‘moral inadequacy’. Fujimori remained in Japan until 2007.
At the fall of the Fujimori regime, a phase in Peru’s history marked by violence, polarization and tight economic policy ended, while a number of institutional changes were initiated in the light of the 1993 constitution. This set the framework for political and economic development after 2000.