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Word Count: 457
The vast Inca empire with its advanced culture and powerful armies spanned most of the Andes along South Americas western coast at the time of Spanish conquest in the early 16th century The Incas had a very clear social structure The ruler Sapa Inca and his wives the Coyas had supreme control over the empire The High Priest and the Army Commander in Chief were next Then came the Four Apus the regional army commanders Next came temple priests architects administrators and army generals Next were artisans musicians army captains and the quipucamayoc the Incan accountants At the bottom were sorcerers farmers herding families and conscripts WHO THE INCAS WERE The 16th-century written accounts of the Incas do not provide a very complete understanding of the economic and political organization of their state It is clear however that the principles of Inca economics and politics were taken from old Andean traditions and were very different from European ones The Inca state was not under the absolute control of its ruler It was an array of dozens if not hundreds of different political ethnic and even linguistic groups In order to maintain unity within the empire an attempt was made to introduce uniform organizational and administrative procedures to the realm This process however was far from complete in 1532 and administrative practices varied greatly from one part of the empire to another An unusual characteristic of the Inca state was its ability to move people about the empire as colonists far from their homes This custom of internal colonization allowed the Incas to place loyal groups in regions that were difficult to control The practice also appears to have had economic aims in some cases people could be relocated to develop new lands new mines or other resources This use of colonists to exploit the Andean landscape was an old tradition that the Incas merely expanded to a state scale Politics and economics were not really
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