XVIth century : The Spanish conquest

  • 1531: Arrival of the spanish conquistadors in the North of Peru
  • The conquistadors benefit from the rupture of the Inca empire, suffering from a civil war pitting the Huascar emperor against his half-brother Atahualpa. Atahualpa takes the throne, having imprisoned the true emperor and ordered his execution, putting an end to the dynasty of Inca emperors.

    Atahualpa is assassinated in an ambush and his army is massacred. In two years, the Spanish have managed to dissolve the Inca empire and the emperor Charles Quint divides the territory into two areas, controlled by Diego de Almagro for Alto-Peru (now Bolivia) and Francisco Pizarro for the lands to the North of Cuzco.

  • 1533: Pizarro conquers Cuzco
  • To complete his conquest and unification of the kingdom, Pizarro entrusts the direction of the country to the emperor Manco Inca (Manco II), half-brother of Huascar and Atahualpa. In 1536, Manco II realizes the true intentions of the plundering Spaniards and encourages his population to revolt and rebuild the Inca empire. After several decades of resistance warfare, Manco II was trapped and assassinated by the Spaniards. He was succeeded by his sons, who continued the struggle. The struggle came to an end in 1572 when Tupac Amaru was captured and killed by the Spaniards.

    Diego de Almagro founds the town of Tupiza.

  • 1538: Pizarro conquers the southern territories of the Inca empire
  • The relations between De Almagro and Pizarro deteriorated into war. De Almagro is arrested and hung.

    The brothers Pizarro (Hernando and Gonzalo) occupy the southern part of the Inca empire. Once conquered, Alto-Peru is called Charcas by the Spaniards.

    Pedro de Anzurez, captain of Pizarro, founds the town of La Plata or Chuquisaca (now Sucre), capital of the province of Charcas.

Working Bolivia's natural resources

  • 1545 : Foundation of Potosí after the discovery of silver mines
  • 1548 : Foundation of La Paz, return to civil peace in the province of Charcas
  • The rebellion of the encomenderos lead by Gonzalo Pizarro is stopped. When peace returned, Alonso de Mendoza is sent to Alto-Peru and founds the town of Nuestra Señora de La Paz (nowadays La Paz) on October 20, 1948.

  • 1560 : Foundation of Santa Cruz de la Sierra
  • Santa Cruz was founded by Ñuflo de Chavez, a Spaniard who came from Paraguay attracted by rumors of the silver ore in Potosi. In the XVIIth century, Potosi's population grew to 160,000 and it became the richest city in the Spanish colonies.

  • End of XVIth century : Discovery of mines in Oruro (the town was founded in 1606 by San Felipe de Austria de Oruro (the Indian name of the city is Uru-Uru). Oruro was, after Potosi, the second most important town in Alto-Peru with 80,000 inhabitants.

August 6, 1825 : Proclamation of independence for Bolivia

In contact with Enlightenment thinking and the revolutionary currents in France, advocating the values of liberty, equality and fraternity of peoples, Venezuelan general and statesman Simon Bolivar set out to liberate the South American continent with his marshal Antonio Jose de Sucre during the first two decades of the XIXth century.

Victory for Bolivar and Sucre against the Spaniards, after having liberated Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador (1822) and Peru (battle of Ayacucho in 1824).

Sucre declared independence for Alto-Peru, which resulted in the creation of the Republic of Bolivia one year later.

Bolivar and Sucre were the first and second presidents of Bolivia.