Rebellion of Túpac Amaru II

The Rebellion of Túpac Amaru II (1780 – c. 1782) was an uprising of native and mestizo peasants against the Bourbon reforms in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru.[5] While Túpac Amaru II, an early leader of the rebellion, was captured and executed in 1781, the rebellion continued for at least another year under other leaders.

Rebellion of Túpac Amaru II

Picture of Tupac Amaru II in the Andean mountains of Perú
DateNovember 4, 1780 – March 15, 1783
Viceroyalty of Peru and Audence of Charcas (now Bolivia) in Pacific coast of South America
Result Spanish victory
Bandera de España 1760-1785.svg Spanish Empire
Banner of Tupaq Qatari.svg Aymara and Quechua rebels
(together with: whites, mestizos and blacks subleved)
Commanders and leaders

Agustín de Jáuregui
Juan José de Vértiz y Salcedo
José del Valle
José Antonio de Areche
Antonio Arriaga  
Tiburcio Landa
José de Roseguín

José Sebastián de Segurola

Túpac Amaru II  Executed
Pedro Vilca Apaza  Executed
Diego Cristóbal Túpac Amaru  (POW)
Andrés Túpac Amaru  (POW)
Túpac Catari  Executed
Tomás Catari Executed
Bartolina Sisa  Executed

Gregoria Apaza  Executed

Spanish units

15,000[1] - 17,500[2] soldiers

Rebel units

100,000 soldiers[2][3]
40,000 - 60,000 asediando Cusco (2-9 de enero de 1781)[4]
10,000 - 40,000 asediando La Paz (14 de marzo de 1781)[4]


The government of Spain, in an effort to streamline the operation of its colonial empire, began introducing what became known as the Bourbon Reforms throughout South America.[5] In 1776, as part of these reforms, it created the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata by separating Upper Peru (modern Bolivia) and the territory that is now Argentina from the Viceroyalty of Peru. These territories included the economically important silver mines at Potosí, whose economic benefits began to flow to Buenos Aires in the east, instead of Cuzco and Lima to the west. The economic hardship this introduced to parts of the Altiplano combined with systemic oppression of Indian and mestizo underclasses (a recurring source of localized uprisings throughout Spanish colonial South America) to create an environment in which a large-scale uprising could occur.[6]

In 1778 Spain raised sales taxes (known as the alcabala) on goods produced and sold in the colonies,[5][7] in part to fund its participation in the American Revolutionary War. José Gabriel Condorcanqui, an upper-class Indian with claims to the Inca royal lineage, adopted the name Túpac Amaru II (alluding to Túpac Amaru, the last Inca emperor), and in 1780 called for rebellion. He claimed to be acting on behalf of the King of Spain, enforcing royal authority on the corrupt and treacherous colonial administration.[6][8] He was motivated in part by reading of a prophecy that the Inca would rule again with British support, and he may have been aware of the British colonial rebellion in North America and Spanish involvement in the war.[7]

Rebellion near Cusco

On November 4, 1780, after a party in Tungasuca, where Túpac was cacique, Túpac and supporters seized Antonio Arriaga, the corregidor of his hometown of Tinta. They forced him to write letters to his treasurer in Tinta requesting money and arms and to other powerful individuals and kurakas ordering them to congregate in Tungasuca. On November 10, six days after his capture, Arriaga was executed in front of thousands of gathered Indians, mestizos, and Criollos (locals of mostly Spanish descent).[8] Túpac began moving through the countryside, where he gained supporters, primarily from the Indian and mestizo classes, but also with some creoles. On November 17 he arrived at the town of Sangarará, where Spanish authorities from Cuzco and the surrounding area had assembled a force of about 604 Spaniards and 700 Indians. Túpac's ad hoc army, which had grown to several thousand, routed this force the next day, destroying the local church where a number of people had taken refuge.[5][9] Túpac then turned south, against the advice of his wife and lieutenant Micaela Bastidas, who urged him to attack Cuzco before the government could mobilize. Indigenous communities often sided with the rebels, and local militias put up little resistance. It was not long before Túpac's forces had taken control of almost the entire southern Peruvian plateau.[6]

Spanish colonial administrator José Antonio de Areche acted in response to Túpac's uprising, moving troops from Lima and as far off as Cartagena toward the region. Tupac Amaru II in 1780 began to lead an uprising of indigenous people but the Spanish military proved to be too strong for his army of 40,000-60,000 followers.[10] After being repelled from the capital of the Incan empire the rebels march around the country gathering forces to attempt to fight back.Troops from Lima were instrumental in helping repel Túpac's siege of Cuzco from December 28, 1780 to January 10, 1781.[6] Following these failures, his coalition of disparate malcontents began to fall apart, with the upper-caste Criollos abandoning him first to rejoin the loyalist forces. Further defeats and Spanish offers of amnesty for rebel defectors hastened the collapse of Túpac's forces.[6] By the end of February 1781, Spanish authorities began to gain the upper hand. A mostly indigenous loyalist army of up to between 15,000 and 17,000 troops led by Jose del Valle had the smaller rebel army surrounded by March 23. A breakout attempt on April 5 was repulsed, and Túpac and his family were betrayed and captured the next day along with battalion leader Tomasa Tito Condemayta, who was the only indigenous noble who would be executed alongside Túpac.[5][6][11] After being tortured, on May 15 Túpac was sentenced to death, and on May 18 forced to witness the execution of his wife and one of his children before he was himself quartered. The four horses running in opposite directions failed to tear his limbs apart and so Túpac was beheaded.[6][9]

The Rebellion continues

Túpac Amaru's capture and execution did not end the rebellion. In his place, his surviving relatives, namely his cousin Diego Cristóbal Túpac Amaru, continued the war, albeit using guerilla tactics, and transferred the rebellion's focal point to the Collao highlands around Lake Titicaca. Government efforts to destroy the rebellion were frustrated by, among other things, a high desertion rate, hostile locals, scorched-earth tactics, the onset of winter, and the region's altitude (most of the troops were from the lowlands and had trouble adjusting).[6] An army led by Diego Cristóbal occupied the strategically important city of Puno on May 7, 1781 and proceeded to use it as a base from which they launched attacks all across Upper Peru.[5] Cristóbal would hold the town and much of the surrounding territory until mounting losses and diminishing support convinced him to accept a general amnesty from Viceroy Agustín de Jáuregui. A preliminary treaty and prisoner exchange were conducted on December 12, and Cristóbal's forces formally surrendered on January 26, 1782. Though some rebels continued to resist, the worst was over.[9] The last organized remnants of the rebellion would be vanquished by May 1782, though sporadic violence continued for many months.[8]

Diego, his mother, and several of his allies would be arrested and executed anyway by paranoid Spanish authorities in Cuzco on July 19, 1783 on the pretext he had broken the peace accords.[8]

During the rebellion, especially after the death of Túpac Amaru II, non-Indians were systematically killed by the rebels.[5][12][13]


The ultimate death toll is estimated at 100,000 Indians and 10,000–40,000 non-Indians.[5][6]

Viceroy Jáuregui lessened mita obligations in an attempt to ameliorate some of the Indians' complaints. In 1784, his successor, Teodoro de Croix, abolished the corregidors and reorganized the colonial administration around eight intendants. In 1787, an audiencia was established in Cuzco.[5][9]

Areche's decrees following the execution of Túpac Amaru II included the banning of the Quechua language, the wearing of indigenous clothing, and virtually any mention or commemoration of Inca culture and history.[8] Areche's attempts to destroy Inca culture after the execution of Túpac Amaru II were confirmed by royal decree in April 1782, however colonial authorities lacked the resources to enforce these laws and they were soon largely forgotten.[8]

See also

Further reading

  • Fisher, Lillian Estelle, The last Inca revolt, 1780–1783. Norman, University of Oklahoma Press [1966]
  • O'Phelan, Scarlett. La gran rebelión en los Andes: de Túpac Amaru a Túpac Catari. Cuzco, Perú : Centro de Estudios Regionales Andinos "Bartolomé de las Casas", [1995]
  • Robins, Nicholas A., Genocide and millennialism in Upper Peru: the Great Rebellion of 1780–1782. Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2002.
  • Serulnikov, Sergio. Revolution in the Andes: the age of Túpac Amaru. Durham : Duke University Press, 2013.
  • Walker, Charles F., The Tupac Amaru rebellion. Cambridge, Massachusetts : The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014.


  1. ^ Ward Stavig & Ella Schmidt (2008). The Tupac Amaru And Catarista Rebellions: An Anthology of Sources. Indianapolis: Publishing, pp. 27. ISBN 978-0-87220-845-2.
  2. ^ a b Daniel Castro (1999). Revolution and Revolutionaries: Guerrilla Movements in Latin America. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 2. ISBN 978-0-84202-626-0.
  3. ^ Orin Starn, Carlos Iván Degregori & Robin Kirk (2005). The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 160. ISBN 978-0-82233-649-5.
  4. ^ a b James D. Henderson, Helen Delpar, Richard N. Weldon & Maurice Philip Brungardt (2000). A Reference Guide to Latin American History. Nueva York: M.E. Sharpe, pp. 77. ISBN 978-1-56324-744-6.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Genocide and millennialism in Upper Peru: the Great Rebellion of 1780-1782 By Nicholas A. Robins
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Serulnikov, Sergio (2013). Revolution in the Andes: The Age of Túpac Amaru. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. ISBN 9780822354833.
  7. ^ a b Fisher, Lillian (1966). The Last Inca Revolt, 1780-1783. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Walker, Charles (2014). The Tupac Amaru rebellion. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674416376. OCLC 871257824.
  9. ^ a b c d Campbell, Leon (1978). The military and society in colonial Peru, 1750-1810. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society. ISBN 087169123X. OCLC 3598969.
  10. ^ Meade, Teresa. . A History of Modern Latin America: 1800 to the Present. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 39.
  11. ^ Garrett, David T. (2005). Shadows of empire : the Indian nobility of Cusco, 1750-1825. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 183. ISBN 052184634X. OCLC 57405349.
  12. ^ Nicholas A. Robins, Adam Jones (2009). "Genocides by the Oppressed: Subaltern Genocide in Theory and Practice". Indiana University Press. p.1. ISBN 0253220777
  13. ^ Resistance, rebellion, and consciousness in the Andean peasant world, 18th to 20th centuries. Edited by Steve J. Stern. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press. 1987. ISBN 0299113507. OCLC 16227401.CS1 maint: others (link)

External links



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Battle of Sangarará

The Battle of Sangarará was fought on November 18, 1780 in Sangarará, Viceroyalty of Peru, between rebel forces under Túpac Amaru II and Spanish colonial forces under Tiburcio Landa. Túpac Amaru II's forces won decisively.

Bolivia–Spain relations

Bolivia–Spain refers to the current and historical relations between Bolivia and Spain. Both nations are members of the Association of Spanish Language Academies and the Organization of Ibero-American States.

Efraín Trelles

Efraín "Cholo" Trelles Aréstegui (28 May 1953 – 1 April 2018), was a Peruvian historian, writer, journalist and sports commentator for press, television and radio.

Efraín Trelles was born in 1953, in Andahuaylas. Historian trained in colonial history, graduated by the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, with a thesis that became the classic: Lucas Martínez Vegazo: operation of an initial Peruvian encomienda. He was one of the pioneers in introducing the analysis of data and computer models in his study on the loyalties of the kurakas in the Rebellion of Túpac Amaru II, which he published with Magnus Mörner in 1986.He then traveled to the University of Austin to do his doctorate studies.

His foray into sports journalism began as a personal hobby. He worked as a columnist in several newspapers of the Peruvian capital as Expreso and La República. He worked as a journalist and historian in RPP and Latina Televisión. His last work was as host of the program La cátedra at Radio Nacional del Perú, along with Roberto Zegarra, Wilmer del Aguila, Ítalo Villarreal, Martín Fernández, Miguel Portanova, Santos Calderón, Dante Mateo, Tito Ponte, Josè Espinoza, among other journalists.

Great Rebellion

The Great Rebellion or Great Revolt is a term that is generally used in English for the following conflicts:

First Jewish–Roman War in 66–73 CE, also known as the Great Revolt of Judaea

Peasants' Revolt in England in 1381, also called Wat Tyler's Rebellion

English Civil War in 1642–1651, also called English Revolution

Rebellion of Túpac Amaru II in 1780–83, against Bourbon reforms in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru

Wars of the Three Kingdoms, an intertwined series of conflicts that took place in England, Ireland and Scotland between 1639 and 1651, including the English Civil War

Indian Rebellion of 1857, against the British East India Company

In the northern states of the USA, an alternate term used in naming the American Civil War (1861–65)

East Timorese rebellion of 1911–12 against Portuguese colonial authorities

Arab Revolt or Great Arab Revolt of 1917 (Arabic: الثورة العربية‎, romanized: al-Thawra al-‘Arabiyya; Turkish: Arap İsyanı), against the Ottoman Empire

1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine, that would come to be known as "the Great Revolt".

History of Bolivia to 1809

Francisco Pizarro and his fellow conquistadors from the rapidly growing Spanish Empire first arrived in the New World in 1524. But even before the arrival of the Europeans, the Inca Empire was floundering. Pizarro enjoyed stunning successes in his military campaign against the Incas, who, despite some resistance, were defeated and in 1538 the Spaniards completely defeated Inca forces near Lake Titicaca, allowing Spanish penetration into central and southern Bolivia.

Although native resistance continued for some years, Spanish conquerors pushed forward, founding cities of La Paz in 1549 and Santa Cruz de la Sierra in 1561. In the region then known as Upper Peru, the Spaniards found the mineral treasure chest they had been searching for - Potosí had the Western world's largest concentration of silver. At its height in the 16th century, Potosí supported a population of more than 150,000, making it the world’s largest urban center. In the 1570s, Viceroy Francisco de Toledo introduced a coercive form of labor, the mita, which required native males from highland districts to spend every sixth year working in the mines. The mita, along with technological advances in refining, caused mining at Potosí to flourish.In the early 18th century, the mining industry entered a prolonged period of decline, as evidenced by the eclipsing of Potosí by La Paz. After 1700, only small amounts of bullion were shipped from Upper Peru to Spain. In the mid-18th century, Spanish control over South America began to weaken. In 1780 the Inca descendant, Túpac Amaru II led nearly 60,000 natives in a battle against the Spaniards near the Peruvian city of Cuzco. Spain put down the revolt in 1783 and executed thousands of natives as punishment, but the revolt illustrated the precarious nature of Spanish colonial rule in the Andes.


Huanta is a town in Central Peru, capital of the province Huanta in the region Ayacucho.

Huanta Province

Huanta Province is the northernmost of the eleven provinces in the Ayacucho region in Peru. The capital of the Huanta province is the city of Huanta.

List of wars involving Peru

This article is a list of military conflicts in which Peru played an important role spanning from 1532 to the present.

Conflicts before Republican Era

Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire (1532 – 1572)

Juan Santos Atahualpa's rebellion (1742 - 1756)

Rebellion of Túpac Amaru II (1780s)

Peruvian War of Independence (1811 - 1824)Republican Era

Mateo Pumacahua

Mateo García Pumacahua (September 21, 1740 – March 17, 1815) simply known as Pumacahua, modern spelling variants Pumakawa or Pumaqawa (meaning "he who stalks with the stealth of a puma", from Quechua Puma cougar, puma, Qawa sentinel, serene, "he who observes or monitors shrewdly") was a Royalist commander later turned into a Peruvian revolutionary who led the Cuzco Rebellion of 1814 in the War of Independence.

Micaela Bastidas

Micaela Bastidas Puyucahua (born in Tamburco, 1744; died in Cusco, May 18, 1781), was a pioneering indigenous leader against Spanish rule in South America, and a martyr for Peruvian independence. With her husband Túpac Amaru II, she led a rebellion against the Spanish and like him, suffered martyrdom of execution by the Spaniards when the revolt failed. She was a full partner in her husband's enterprises before the revolt, and "an exceptionally able leader of the rebellion." She has been described as the "celebrated wife of José Gabriel Condorcanqui (Túpac Amaru II)... who played a paramount role in the logistics of the rebel army in Cuzco in 1780 and 1781.

Pedro Domingo Murillo

For the province, see Pedro Domingo Murillo Province.Pedro Domingo Murillo (September 17, 1757– January 29, 1810) was a patriot of Upper Peru who played a key role in Bolivia's independence.

Peruvian War of Independence

The Peruvian War of Independence was composed of a series of military conflicts in Peru beginning with viceroy Abascal military reconquest in 1811 in the battle of Guaqui, continuing with the definitive defeat of the Spanish Army in 1824 in the battle of Ayacucho, and culminating in 1826 with the Siege of Callao. The wars of independence took place with the background of the 1780–1781 uprising by indigenous leader Túpac Amaru II and the earlier removal of Upper Peru and the Río de la Plata regions from the Viceroyalty of Peru. Because of this the viceroy often had the support of the "Lima oligarchy," who saw their elite interests threatened by popular rebellion and were opposed to the new commercial class in Buenos Aires. During the first decade 1800s Peru had been a stronghold for royalists, who fought those in favor of independence in Peru, Bolivia, Quito and Chile. Among the most important events during the war was the proclamation of independence of Peru by José de San Martín on 28 July 1821.

Peru–Spain relations

Peru–Spain relations are foreign relations between Peru and Spain. Both nations are members of the Organization of Ibero-American States and the United Nations.

Protectorate of Peru

The Protectorate of Peru (Protectorado del Perú) was a protectorate created in 1821 in modern Peru after its declaration of independence. It existed for a year and 17 days, under the rule of José de San Martín.

Revolt of the Comuneros (New Granada)

The Revolt of the Comuneros was a popular uprising in the Viceroyalty of New Granada (now Colombia and parts of Venezuela) against the Spanish authorities from March through October 1781. The revolt was in reaction to the increase in taxation to raise funds for defense of the region against the British, a rise in the price of tobacco and brandy, which were part of the late eighteenth-century Bourbon reforms. The initial revolt was local and not well known outside the region of Socorro, but in the late nineteenth century, historian Manuel Briceño saw the massive revolt as a precursor to independence. Prior to the 1781 revolt, residents in New Granada had protested, at times violently, crown policy implementation there between 1740 and 1779.

Túpac Katari

Túpac Katari or Catari (also Túpaj Katari) (c. 1750–November 15, 1781), born Julián Apasa Nina, was the indigenous Aymara leader of a major insurrection in colonial-era Upper Peru (now Bolivia), laying siege to La Paz for six months. His wife Bartolina Sisa and his sister Gregoria Apaza participated in the rebellion by his side.

Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata

The Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata (Spanish: Virreinato del Río de la Plata, also called Viceroyalty of the River Plate in some scholarly writings) was the last to be organized and also the shortest-lived of the Viceroyalties of the Spanish Empire in America.

The Viceroyalty was established in 1776 from several former Viceroyalty of Perú dependencies that mainly extended over the Río de la Plata Basin, roughly the present-day territories of Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay, extending inland from the Atlantic Coast. The colony of Spanish Guinea (present day Equatorial Guinea) also depended administratively on the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata. Buenos Aires, located on the western shore of the Río de la Plata estuary flowing into the Atlantic Ocean, opposite the Portuguese outpost of Colonia del Sacramento, was chosen as the capital. Usually considered one of the late Bourbon Reforms, the organization of this viceroyalty was motivated on both commercial grounds (Buenos Aires was by then a major spot for illegal trade), as well as on security concerns brought about by the growing interest of competing foreign powers in the area. The Spanish Crown wanted to protect its territory against Great Britain and the Kingdom of Portugal.

But these Enlightenment reforms proved counterproductive, or perhaps too late, to quell the colonies' demands. The entire history of this Viceroyalty was marked by growing domestic unrest and political instability. Between 1780 and 1782, the Rebellion of Túpac Amaru II inspired a violent Aymara-led revolt across the Upper Peru highlands, demonstrating the great resentment against colonial authorities by both the mestizo and indigenous populations. Twenty-five years later, the Criollos, native-born people of the colony, successfully defended against two successive British attempts to conquer Buenos Aires and Montevideo. This enhanced their sense of autonomy and power at a time when Spanish troops were unable to help.

In 1809, the Criollo elite revolted against colonial authorities at La Paz and Chuquisaca, establishing revolutionary governments, juntas. Although short-lived, these provided a theoretical basis for the legitimacy of the locally based governments, which proved decisive at the 1810 May Revolution events deposing Viceroy Cisneros at Buenos Aires.

The revolution spread across the Viceroyalty, except for Paraguay (which declared itself an independent nation in 1811) and Upper Peru (which remained controlled by royalist troops from Lima, and was eventually re-incorporated into the Viceroyalty of Peru). Meanwhile, the Governor of Montevideo Francisco Javier de Elío, appointed as a new Viceroy by the Cortes of Cádiz in 1811, declared the Buenos Aires Junta seditious. However, after being defeated at Las Piedras, he retained control only of Colonia del Sacramento and Montevideo. He departed by ship to Spain on 18 November and resigned as Viceroy in January 1812. By 1814, as the revolutionary patriots entered Montevideo, following a two-year-long siege, the Viceroyalty was finished as government of the region.

Wars involving indigenous peoples of South America

Indigenous peoples of South America have been involved a several wars of different scale and nature. Conflicts with Iberoamerican states and between different indigenous groups have decreased over time.

Inca Civil War (1525–1527)

Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire (1532–1572)

Arauco War (1536- ~1800)

Guaraní War (1756)

Rebellion of Túpac Amaru II (1780–1782)

Chilean War of Independence (1810–1822)

Occupation of Araucanía (1861–1884)

Conquest of the Desert (1872–1884)

Political ideas
Military conflicts
Autonomist rebellions

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