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ART. IH.-Ensayo de la Historia Civil del Paraguay, Buenos Ayres y Tucuman. Por el DOCTOR D. GREGORIO FUNES. Libro VI. Capituli 1-3, vol. III. p. 242333. [Published in Buenos Ayres, 1817. The three chapters here specified contain the History of the Insurrection, which broke out in Peru in the year 1780.]
Or the vast acquisitions gained by Spain, in the tropical and southern regions of the New World, none was more interesting in itself, more splendid as conquests, or more highly prized by the metropolis, for the immense riches drawn from the country and the inhabitants, than the extensive empires of Peru and Mexico. Unlike the rest of America, these two populous nations were formed into powerful organised states, analogous in many respects to what Europeans had been accustomed to see at home. Their subjugation, therefore, was effected, not as that of the rest of the continent was, by successive victories over insulated tribes, but by striking at the government itself, at the head of the empire, around which the whole population rallied, and with the fall of which the empire itself was at an end. The Mexicans were a much more fierce and warlike people than the Peruvians; and of course the first conquest of Mexico was a far more arduous task than the conquest of Peru. But when the Mexican nation was once really subdued, the subjugation was complete and final; because the emperors of Mexico being determined by election, so soon as the regular succession was effectually interrupted, it became impracticable to restore it by a new election in after times. But in Peru it was otherwise. Here the principle of hereditary succession being firmly established, it was impossible to eradicate the idea of a Peruvian sovereignty from the minds of the Indians, until the whole race of the Incas was extinct. This peculiarity in the situation of Peru occasioned the Spaniards much annoyance, by compelling them, on the one hand, to many acts of cruelty against the family of the Incas, and, on the other, by repeatedly leading the Peruvians into dangerous insurrections.
The most remarkable of all these attempts was the rising of the Luca Jose Gabriel Tupac Amaru, towards the close of the last century, an event in the history of Spanish America only exceeded in interest and importance by the original con
quest, and by the recent separation of the country from Spain. Mild and submissive as the Peruvian Indians are by nature, they were, on this occasion, driven by the tyrannical system of intolerable oppression, which their taskmasters pursued, to take up arms in open and general rebellion, throughout the southern and central mountainous provinces of Peru. This insurrection spread so widely, and was so desperately maintained, that for a time it seriously threatened the downfall of the Spanish empire in that quarter. Had the good fortune of the insurgent tribes been equal to the justice of their cause, a bloody retribution would then have been visited upon the posterity of Pizarro, for all the wrongs they had done the Indians, and the scattered remnant of the lineage of the Sun would have been reinstated upon the throne of the Incas.
Such is the jealous mystery, in which Spain has been anxious to wrap the affairs of her American possessions in modern times, that this attempt to revolutionise Peru was scarcely heard of in Europe or in the United States, until it was first briefly noticed by Humboldt.* But the revolution of the Spanish American governments has unfolded the dreadful secrets of that great prison house, as the French revolution threw open the cells of the Bastille. Some of these hitherto closely guarded arcana of despotism we disclosed to our readers in our number for July last; and we propose to give here, as an apt illustration of a part of the article alluded to, a condensed account of the insurrection of Tupac Amaru, as we find it in substance contained in the authentic history of Dean Funes. With this object we have prefixed to our article the three chapters of his History of Paraguay, which treat specially of this insurrection, referring our readers to a former article in our Journal for the general character and merits of this valuable work.
We use the word Peru to designate the seat of the attempted revolution; but the expression requires some explanation. Our readers may need to be reminded that in the year 1778, the viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata, or Buenos Ayres, was erected out of the viceroyalty of Peru. In making the division, no regard was had to the national bounda
* Political Essay on New Spain, vol. ii. c. 6. p. 150.
ries of the Peruvians, but geographical position and political convenience only were consulted. The new government was made to contain the then five great provinces of Buenos Ayres, Paraguay, Tucuman, Charcas, and Chiquitos. Now it was mostly in Charcas and Chiquitos, and their dependencies along the Cordillera of the Andes, and in the districts of Upper Peru, that the insurrection raged, breaking out in Peru in the country on the north eastern shore of lake Titicaca, and extending north through the bishopric of Cuzco towards Lima, and south to Jujui and Salta. Of course, as will be seen in the sequel, both viceroyalties were implicated in the war, and compelled to bring their respective forces into the field. Upper Peru, the principal seat of the war, known also by its civil name as the Audience of Char-cas, was subdivided into twentyone smaller provinces, all included in the seven governments of Potosi, Charcas, Chuquisaca or La Plata, Cochabamba, La Paz, Santa Cruz de la Sierra or Puno, Moxos, and Chiquitos. The rest of Peru belonged to the Audience of Lima. These geographical explanations may be necessary to the ready understanding of the localities referred to in the course of this article.*
This region is traversed in its entire extent by the Cordillera of the Andes, which breaks it up into every diversity of soil, climate, and face of country. Here the mountains shoot upwards into bold and lofty peaks, or spread out into extensive highlands, interrupted sometimes by quebradas, or deep ravines, where they are cloven down to their very bases, and at others by beautiful smiling valleys, with hill and dale,
*A very good map of the theatre of this insurrection may be found in Pazos' Letters, also in Tanner's American Atlas; and Lucas's Cabinet Atlas. According to Humboldt, the Viceroy Lemos counted 600,000 Indians in Lower Peru, in 1793. The gross population at that period must have been somewhat below a million. As one third of the inhabitants are said to have perished in the rebellion, and as the increase during the eleven years from 1782 to 1793, was probably insufficient to supply this loss, we shall not err much, perhaps, in estimating the whole number of Indians in Lower Peru in 1780 at 650,000. Now the population of each of the districts of Upper and Lower Peru has been estimated by the Patriots, within a few years, at about 1,700,000, including about 1,150,000 Indians. Guided by these data, and supposing the population of the two Audiences to have increased pari passu since 1780, we may consider the aggregate number of Indians in both, at that time, as amounting to 1,300,000, leaving 700,000 for the number of Spaniards, white Americans, negroes, and persons of the mixed cast.
streamlet and lake, to contrast their graces with the sublimity of the surrounding scenery. The mountains are filled with metallic wealth; and although their barren summits rise into the region of perpetual snows, their sides afford pasturage to vast herds of cattle, horses, and mules; and the numberless waters, which spring from their bosom, the birthplace of the mighty rivers of Plate and of the Amazon, diffuse fertility through the luxuriant plains, which they irrigate. In some of the more barren districts of the highlands, they are bristled all over with broken masses of rock, and huge cliffs and precipices, where the mountains appear split into fragments, and upheaved from their foundations by the great convulsions of nature. Here, amid these savage wilds, the fit scene of savage warfare, the insurrection was longest maintained, and derived its peculiar character from the extraordinary features of the country.
Jose Gabriel Tupac Amaru, Cacique of Tungasuca, in the province of Tinta, and the bishopric of Cuzco in Peru, claimed to spring from the illustrious stock of Peruvian monarchs. He was directly descended, by the maternal line, from the last of the acknowledged Incas, Sayri Tupac and Tupac Amaru, the unfortunate sons of Manco Capac.
Dr Robertson's popular work has made all English readers familiarly acquainted with the situation of the Peruvian empire, when first visited by the Spaniards, and with the history of the Incas down to the year 1550, where his account terminates. The splendor of the monarchy in its best days, under Huayna Capac, the division of Peru at his death between his sons Inta Cusi Hualpa, or Huascar, and Atahualpa, the usurpation of Atahuallpa, the invasion and conquest of the kingdom in his reign by Pizarro, the murder of Huascar by his brother, Atahuallpa's decapitation, the succession of Manco Capac, his well conducted, but unsuccessful effort to profit by the dissensions of the first conquerors and slaughter every Spaniard in Peru; all these incidents are fully described by him in the History of America. And although his credit as an historical authority has been shaken, and the accuracy of many of his statements disputed by the investigations of later writers, the Abbé Clavigero for instance, yet his work still continues to be the source of popular information in regard to the first conquest of the New World. A continuation of
his narrative, detailing the subsequent fortunes of the Incas, as set forth by Garcilasso, and other Spanish writers, might serve as a suitable introduction to the present subject; but this we are constrained to pass over, that we may have the more room to dwell on the topics immediately in hand.
Tupac Amaru, the hero of the insurrection, the history of which is now coming before us, first began to attract attention in Peru, by assuming the patronymic of the last Inca,* proving his descent from Manco Capac, and by virtue of it, urging his pretensions before the Audience of Lima, though unsuccessfully, to the vacant marquisate of Oropesa. 'If it were the privilege of royal blood,' says Dean Funes, 'to inspire magnanimous thoughts, the idea of the revolution would be the surest indication of the generous stream, which swelled his veins. Of a noble physiognomy, a robust frame, a majestic and gracious presence, vast designs, vehement passions, firmness of enterprise, and intrepidity amid dangers, but with only the imperfect education which he could acquire by a few years of study at the colleges of Cuzco and Lima, he conceived the bold design of effecting the deliverance of his people from the tyranny under which they groaned.' What this extremity of tyranny was, our readers may partly conceive, by calling to mind the statements in the article of our Journal already quoted; for it is to the Peruvians, that the statements there made more particularly apply. The Indians elsewhere, in Mexico for instance, have been partially protected from the rapacity of the local magistrates, by many wise and humane regulations.† But in Peru it was, that the slavery of the repartimientos endured unsoftened
* His original name was Jose Gabriel Candor Canqui. He assumed the name of Tupac Amaru, the last Inca, by virtue of his maternal descent. + Humboldt's New Spain B. II. c. 6.
The word repartimiento means any division, partition, distribution, or apportionment. In the old Spanish historians, and in English books compiled from them, such as Zarate, Garcilasso de la Vega, Fernandez, Robertson, it is uniformly used to denote the well known allotment of lands and vassal Indians (genuine adscriptitii glebæ) granted to the first conquerors in reward of their services. In some later writers, the same word is applied to the monopoly of sales to the Indians, exercised by the corregidores, under pretext of protecting the Indians from imposition, by the official distribution of goods. As English readers are more accustomed to the word in its first sense than in its latter, we have preferred in this article, in imitation of the general practice of Funes, to employ the provincial word reparto, derived from the same root with repartimiento, to signify the commercial monopoly.