Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Francisco Pizarro Biography

Francisco Pizarro was born in Trujillo, Spain, the illegitimate son of Gonzalo Pizarro who is an infantry colonel and a soldier of some distinction and Francisca Gonzalez. He was wholly neglected by his parents and was never taught how to read nor write. Due to his lack of formal education, his first job is herding his father's swine. Pizarro is also a distant cousin of Hernan Cortes.

On November 10, 1509, Pizarro left Spain in quest for the New World on an expedition to Urabi. He joined Alonso de Qjeda on a disastrous expedition to Colombia. He then accompanied Vasco Nuñez de Balboa in his journey to the Pacific Ocean while he was in Hispaniola in 1510. Pizarro later on arrested the condemned Balboa from the order of the famous explorer's rival, Pedrarias de Ávila. Pizarro then settled down as a lord of Indian serfs in Panama.

Pizarro remained a conquistador having no conquest. He went into partnership with another famous explorer, Diego de Almagro and a priest Luque in quest for the tales of fabulous kingdoms in the south. They were able to fit out a small expedition, of which Pizarro took command.

In 1524, he sailed southward but went no farther than Quemada Point. The three made an agreement which was date March 10, 1526, that all lands, treasures, vassals that they will be discovered will be divided equally between them, Pizarro, Almagro and Lugue. They then organized a second expedition which consists of two ships and they set sail for the South Seas. They have discovered Peru, Pizarro returned to Panama carrying with him many ornaments of gold and silver, specimens of wooled clothes of silky texture and brilliant hues, and lamas or alpacas which they obtained from the natives. Because he was not able to find in Panama a sufficient number of volunteers, he returned to Spain in 1525 and narrated his discoveries before Charles V and his ministers. He described the wealth of the territories and showed the gold and silver ornaments as a proof.

The emperor ordered him to establish a province of New Castile and undertake the southern conquest. So he returned to the New World with his half brothers, Gonzalo, Herando and Juan Pizarro, his cousin Pedro and Martin de Alcantara. They set sail to Peru at the end of 1530 together with his 180 men, of whom 27 were cavalry. Within ten years, Pizarro made the empire of Peru his own.

In 1537, Pizarro's rivalry with Almagro led to a conflict. Cuzco was taken over by Almagro after one of Pizarro's half brother; Juan Pizarro was killed during a revolt. Pizarro wasn't able to fight because of his age, so he sent his brothers to Cuzco to fight Almagro. They killed Almagro but as retaliation, Pizarro was assassinated by one of Almagro's followers in June 1541. Pizarro lived a life of violence and he died a violent and a bloody death.

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