Peru – national flag
The flag was officially adopted in 1825. The choice of the red and white colors is believed to be inspired by an event in 1820 during the independence struggle with Spain, where a flock of birds with white bows and red wings flew over the freedom hero José de San Martín’s camp. The state and war flag has the state coat of arms in the middle of the white stripe.
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Peru – history
The oldest safe traces of people in Peru are from approximately 10,000 BC Resident groups were found early in the coastal drought, but with the spread of agriculture, from approximately 1800 BC increasingly the basis for permanent residence in the highlands.
According to a2zgov, Franz Hogenberg’s colored engraving from the middle of the 1500’s. shows Cuzco shortly after the Spanish conquest. Europeans’ perception of the new world as primitive had to be revised after the encounter with the great urban civilizations, first the Aztec Empire and later the Inca Empire, whose capitals are both included in Braun and Hogenberg’s city atlas, Civitates orbis terrarum (6 vols., 1572-1617, World Cities).
Both in the highlands and in the coastal area, a number of cultures with urban communities and class and class division (see also other high cultures) emerged with Chavín (from about 1200 BC) in the northern highlands as the first. Later, Moche, Nazca, Tiahuanaco (now Bolivia), Huari and Chimú.
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From the middle of the 1400’s. based on the Cuzco Valley in the highlands, the Incas conquered almost all of present-day Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, as well as parts of Colombia, Chile, and Argentina. The Inca Empire was thus less than a hundred years old, when in 1532-33 a few hundred Spanish conquistadors, led by Francisco Pizarro, succeeded in conquering the empire.
That such a numerically inferior Spanish force succeeded in capturing the vast empire was partly due to the fact that it was politically divided after several years of civil war, and that the first epidemic diseases of the old world had begun to ravage.
Moreover, the capture in 1532 and the execution the following year by the Inca ruler Atahualpa contributed to the paralyzing action of the highly centralized Inca Empire.
The capital Cuzco was captured in 1533, and within a few years Spanish power was secured and all major Native American resistance defeated, although the last Inca resistance pocket in Vilcabamba in the jungle area NE of Cuzco was only finally broken with the execution of the Inca Tupac Amaru. in 1572.
The colonial era
With the founding of Lima in 1535, Cuzco was replaced as the administrative center of Peru, which became a Spanish viceroyalty in 1542. The country was until approximately 1550 marked by fierce strife between the leading Spanish conquistadors; most, including Francisco Pizarro, were murdered or killed in combat.
This was followed by a longer crisis. An efficient administration had not yet been established, and the colossal mortality among the Native American population due to the epidemic diseases that the Spaniards had brought with them resulted in a shortage of labor on the estates and in the mines.
Only under Viceroy Francisco de Toledo, 1569-81, was the colony administration put into system. Native American forced labor was organized in the mita system, which enabled a more efficient exploitation of the unusually rich silver mines of Potosí in present-day Bolivia, and the viceroyalty, which from approximately 1580 to into the 1700-t. formally included, the whole of South America except the coast of Venezuela and Brazil, became vital to the Spanish colonial empire.
Since the Viceroyalty’s silver riches during the 1700’s. was being depleted, the Spanish colonial power gradually implemented a number of administrative reforms, including in an attempt to improve the economy and ensure tighter controls.
Two new vices were established, in 1739 New Granada, which included northern South America, and in 1776 La Plata in the southeastern part of the continent. Lima’s position as the undisputed center of Spanish South America was thus brought to an end, and the vastly reduced viceroyalty lost much of its significance.
To the other problems came in 1780 the outbreak of a large Native American uprising led by the mestizo José Gabriel Condorcanqui, also known as Tupac Amarú 2. In 1781, however, the uprising was crushed and the leader executed.
|Presidents of committees|
|1933-39||Óscar Raimundo Benavides|
|1945-48||José Luis Bustamante|
|1962-63||Ricardo Pérez Godoy|
|1963-68||Fernando Belaunde Terry|
|1968-75||Juan Velasco Alvarado|
|1975-80||Francisco Morales Bermúdez|
|1980-85||Fernando Belaunde Terry|
|1985-90||Alan García Pérez|
|2000-01||Valentín Paniagua Corazao|
|2006-11||Alan García Pérez|
In the rest of South America, the ever-larger and more self-conscious Creole elite had gradually come to form the dynamic and innovative element of the colonies, while Peru, by virtue of its past as the center of colonial power, remained dominated by a conservative Spanish upper class.
Therefore, as in the rest of the South American colonies, there were no significant independence efforts before the Argentine José de San Martín took Lima in 1820.
The primary purpose was to weaken the Spanish colonial power and thereby ensure Argentina’s continued independence.
Peru was declared independent in 1821, but the Spanish royal forces still controlled most of the highlands until Simón Bolívar’s forces in 1824 finally defeated them.
However, Spain only recognized Peru’s independence after suffering a defeat in a 1866 reconquest attempt.
Bolívar’s attempts to unite northern South America, including Peru, proved unsustainable; in 1826 he left the country, which the following year, led by General Agustín Gamarra (1785-1841), broke away from Bolívar’s Greater Republic of Colombia.
In 1836, Andrés de Santa Cruz formed the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation, but it disbanded again after the defeat in 1839 to Chile, which feared for its position in the area. From the beginning of the 1840’s, Peru received large revenues from guano exports to especially Europe.
During Ramón Castilla 1845-51 and 1855-62, the economy thus improved, and the economic room for maneuver was, among other things, used for the abolition of the Native American tribute and in 1854 of slavery. The economic compensation that the slave owners received was primarily invested in the development of agriculture, especially sugar cane and cotton, in the coastal areas. The workforce was replaced of Chinese workers, which were imported in relatively large numbers.
Guano production was controlled by foreign interests, and since the country was also often plagued by internal strife and corruption, the revenue had not led to any significant development of infrastructure etc.
President Manuel Pardo (1834-78) tried to remedy this in the 1870’s, when large-scale construction projects were launched, especially the construction of railways to better bind the country together and facilitate the transport of goods to export ports.
But the guano adventure was coming to an end, and in the economic crisis, one became increasingly dependent on foreign loans; the exploitation of the rich nitrate deposits in the Atacama Desert was thwarted when Chile in the Pacific War 1879-83 conquered the area after having occupied Lima in 1881.
In the following three decades, Peru entered a fairly stable political period, and the economy improved again. However, American influence in Peru grew in parallel, and in 1924 Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre formed the left-wing, national populist movement APRA, facing American imperialism and the dictatorship that Augusto Leguía had imposed in a coup in 1919. The struggle between APRA and right-wing forces, especially the military, have since been a recurring theme in Peru.
Encouraged by parts of the international oil industry, Peru invaded Ecuador in 1941. By the end of the war in 1942, Peru had secured the bulk of the Ecuadorian Amazon and thus large potential oil revenues as well as access to the Atlantic via the Amazon River.
Ecuador first officially recognized the conquest of Peru in 1998; until then, there were repeated military clashes in the border areas.
In the post-war period, the military has seized power in Peru several times. Manuel Odría’s dictatorship of 1948-56 was marked by political stability and economic progress, but at the expense of severe repression by the opposition, especially the APRA.
After a period of civilian rule, from 1963 under Fernando Belaunde Terry, who carried out extensive land reforms, the military under the leadership of Juan Velasco Alvarado regained power in 1968. Extensive nationalizations were initiated, hitting American interests; on the other hand, relatively close contacts were established with the Eastern Bloc.
Conditions for the Native American population improved, but the opposition was suppressed. The political line turned right under a new military junta that held power from 1975 until Peru in 1980 regained civil democratic rule under Belaunde.
The 1980’s became a period of crisis for Peru as for most of South America. Falling world market prices for the main export products plunged Peru into a deep economic crisis with violent inflation. In 1985, APRA came to power for the first time under Alan García Pérez.
When García drastically cut back on the repayment of the huge foreign debt, the World Bank reacted by stopping lending and lending, which further aggravated the economic situation.
To the economic problems came the fight against the guerrilla and terrorist movements The Luminous Path, which began its armed struggle in 1980, and the MRTA from 1984. Large parts of Peru were in a state of emergency for extended periods, and the economy was heavily burdened by such large resources set aside for the fight and for reconstruction after guerrilla attacks on infrastructure, etc.
In 1990, the hitherto unknown Alberto Fujimori came to power after the election victory over the world-famous author Mario Vargas Llosa. Fujimori took over a Peru on the brink of economic and political chaos.
He instituted drastic economic austerity measures, opened the country to foreign investment and resumed repayment of foreign debt. They managed to bring inflation under control, and eventually the economy emerged from the deep crisis.
The economic recovery was thus successful, but did not benefit the vast majority to any great extent, and Peru was still in 1999 marked by great social and economic divides.
At the same time, the fight against drug trafficking intensified following pressure from the United States; in the early 1990’s, Peru accounted for approximately 60% of the world’s production of coca leaves, used legally as a stimulant and painkiller, but from which cocaine can also be extracted.
Despite extensive US economic and military assistance, results have been sparse; however, the effort has helped to improve relations with the United States. In addition, Fujimori has successfully deployed large forces in the fight against guerrilla movements, which have lost their footing in most areas, just as the majority of guerrilla leaders have been captured or killed.
Fujimori’s results, however, were obtained by brutal means and on the basis of accusations of human rights violations and violations of fundamental democratic rules of the game; in 1992, he thus dissolved parliament and suspended the constitution to ensure the possibility of re-election.
In 2000, the scandals surrounding President Fujimori escalated. These were both corruption cases and authoritarian rule, including the many who disappeared without a trace in connection with the war against the guerrillas.
The pressure on Fujimori culminated after the victory in the autumn elections of the same year, the course of which was heavily criticized by both the opposition and international observers, and in November he resigned soon after fleeing to Japan. He returned to Peru a few years later, but was sentenced to a lengthy prison term for corruption and human rights violations.
After a transition period, Alejandro Toledo defeated former President Alan García Pérez in the 2001 election. Peru thus got its first president of Native American descent.
However, political unrest continues to plague the country. A truth commission was set up to investigate the human rights violations that took place from 1980 and in 2002 a report revealed that under the Fujimori regime, more than 200,000 Indians were forcibly sterilized. The Truth Commission concluded in 2003 that nearly 70,000 people had been killed during the war against the Shining Path.
Toledo’s government continued to experience economic growth, but its promises to fight poverty were not sufficiently fulfilled, and its rule was met by growing popular protests.
They were further exacerbated by the corruption scandals that surrounded him, and a commission set up by Congress in 2005 found him guilty of electoral fraud in the 2001 election.
In the 2006 presidential election, Alan García Pérez made a surprising comeback when he defeated the strongly nationalist Ollanta Humala (b. 1963).
Humala won the election in 2011 after defeating Keiko Fujimori (b. 1975), daughter of Alberto Fujimori.