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Túpac Amaru

(c. 1742—1781)


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(c. 1742–81)

Leader of a widespread Indian revolt in the Peruvian highlands (1780–81). As the Indian chief of Tinta, south of Cuzco, Tupac Amarú used his links to the Inca royal dynasty to develop an Indian base of support and his Spanish connections to attract Creole and Mestizo people to his reformist political movement that espoused Inca nationalism, fairer taxes, better courts, and a more open interregional economy. In 1780, reacting to economic abuses, Tupac Amarú plotted the execution of the local Spanish corregidor and then recruited a large indigenous army, led by non‐Indian, middle‐level, provincial leaders, which occupied much of the highland area, even threatening Cuzco. Although Tupac Amarú was defeated and executed in May 1781, the revolt spread into Upper Peru, becoming more hostile to non‐Indians, and finally provoking severe repression that retarded the independence movement in Peru. His name has been used by revolutionary guerrilla groups in modern Peru and by the Tupamaros in Uruguay.

Subjects: World History.


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