Guns, Germs and Steel(episode 2)

How did Pizarro come to be at Cajamarca? Why didn’t Atahualpa instead try to conquer Spain? Actually, according to the author, Jared Diamond, the answer can be explained by a combination of advantages that Spain had over the Inca Empire: maritime technology, political organization and printing press.


By means of European maritime technology, Pizarro was able to come across the Atlantic from Spain and then arrived in Peru. However, Atahualpa was not allowed to expand overseas due to lack of such technology. As for political organization, Spain had a centralized political organization, which contributed the development of economy and the advancement of equipment. Although the Inca Empire also had a centralized political organization, it worked to its disadvantages because of Atahualpa’s capture. In addition to maritime technology and political organization, the existence of writing partly explained the presence of Spaniard to Peru. Under the help of printing press, information could be spread be spread more widely, more accurately and more detailed. Furthermore, the outgrowth at the period such as letters and pamphlets provided the motivation as well as the necessary detail sailing directions, which attracted more colonization on Peru.

As far as I am concerned, the three advantages mentioned above, which contributed to Pizarro’s access to Peru at the beginning, had long since suggested the Spanish conquistadors’ final defeat of the Inca army. Developed economy and diversified society permitted for Spanish devoted time and effort to producing advanced steel swords, which were considered to be key factors of win the battle.