Source 1 “The government of Peru was a despotism, mild in its character, but in its form a pure and

Source 1 “The government of Peru was a despotism, mild in its character, but in its form a pure and unmitigated despotism. The sovereign was placed at an immeasurable distance above his subjects. Even the proudest of the Inca nobility, claiming a descent from the same divine original as himself, could not venture into the royal presence, unless barefoot, and bearing a light burden on his shoulders in token of homage. As the representative of the Sun, he stood at the head of the priesthood, and presided at the most important of the religious festivals. He raised armies, and usually commanded them in person. He imposed taxes, made laws, and provided for their execution by the appointment of judges, whom he removed at pleasure. He was the source from which every thing flowed, all dignity, all power, all emolument. He was, in short, in the well-known phrase of the European despot, ‘himself the state.’” William Hickling Prescott, American scientific historian, excerpt from History of

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