The Inca Empire is known in English as "Inca Empire", the native name in Quechua is Tawantinsuyu.
Before the Inca Empire was founded, the Inca people were a tribe around the area of what would later become Cuzco. Eventually they founded the city of Cuzco (Quechua: Qusqu) under the leadership of their first Sapa Inca, Manco Capac. Manco Capac was believed top be the son of the Sun God Inti and Mama Quilla, a deity himself.
Kingdom of Cuzco
In 1200 AD, Manco Capac founded the Kingdom of Cuzco. Initially they controlled only the city of Cuzco and there were many other Andean kingdoms surrounding them. Manco Capac ruled for forty years and was succeeded by his son Sinchi Rocha. Sinchi Rocha began constructing terraces around Cuzco and improved the fertility of the valley of Cuzco by importing soil. Under Mayta Capac, the Kingdom of Cuzco began expanding into all directions and controlled the area from Arequipa to Lake Titicaca to Limaq (Lima). Viracocha was the first ruler to effectively rule the conquered teritories and began centralizing the empire.
Viracocha had a son, Pachacuti, who planned to become Sapa Inca after his father. Pachacuti was not appointed to succeed his father, his uncle Urco was. But Pachacuti demonstrated his ability to rule by defeating the invading army of the Chancas, while his father and uncle fled the scene. Pachacuti won the support of the people and his father appointed him as successor and co-ruler. Viracocha passed away three years later and Pachacuti became Sapa Inca. Pachacuti began to greatly improve the system of ruling the kingdom, he introduced a taxation system and began building the Andean road system, connecting the entire kingdom. Pachacuti was military genius, in no more than 20 years he expanded the tiny Kingdom of Cuzco to the mighty Inca Empire, controlling most of Western South America. Pachacuti conquered all the neighbouring kingdoms, including their long time rival, the Chimu. The Chachapoya Kingdom was also conquered, but their civilization survived and they fled to the Amazon rain forest, settling their new capital, Satchapoya. Pachacuti also built the Coricancha, the Temple of the Sun, where the Altar of the Sun was located. The Temple was devoted to Inti and was adorned in gold, its walls were covered in gold and in the temple itself there were solid golden statues. Despite being a military success, Pachacuti did not improve the system of succession and when he died unexpectedly due to an illness, he was succeed by Tupac Inca Yupanqui.
Tupac Inca Yupanqui further expanded the empire into Ecuador and conquered the Chachapoya, who fiercely resisted, but were eventually conquered, escaping the Incas and moving to the Amazon. Tupac Inca Yupanqui also led several naval expeditions to Rapa Nui, the Galapagos Islands, the Canaries and even Morocco (which was called Aqu by the Incas) . A fifth expedition was ordered to explore to area north of Morocco, but was destroyed by a storm. His son Huayna Capac further consolidated the empire, expanding into Chile and Colombia. The whole empire was connected by an extensive road system, including the famous Inca rope bridges.
Huayna Capac met the Spanish under leading of Francisco Pizarro and welcomed them to his empire. He contracted smallpox from them and died, leaving the empire without a ruler. The European diseases spread quickly and devastated the empire. Both of Huayna's sons, Huascar and Atahualpa claimed the throne, weakening the empire even further by civil war. The Spanish acted quickly and began invading the empire in name of their God. One of Huayna's daughter's Huitaca Yupanqui, was a smart and cunning girl, and saw her country in need of a great leader. Women were barred from succeeding in all circumstances, but she outmaneuvered her brothers and gained the support of the people. In 1532 she was crowned as the first and only female Sapa Inca, the true successor to Huayna Capac, Pachachuti, Manco Capac and Inti. While her brother Atahualpa was defeated at Cajamarca, she prepared the defense of Cuzco and won the battle, while Pizarro escaped to the north. Pizarro was outnumbered, and tried desperately to gain support from conquered peoples, promising them large rewards. To no avail, he was once again defeated at Quitu and was executed by the empress herself. After the defeat of the Spanish, the empress began modernizing the country and established an alliance with the Aztec Empire and Maya Kingdom, to ensure the survival of the Native American nations. The empire was once again in a Golden Age, but the Royal Advisors, Clergy and traditionalists resented a woman usurping the throne and colluded to overthrow her. In 1560 the empress was ambushed by rebels and captured. She was falsely accused of treason, blasphemy and sacrilege and was declared guilty. She was put under house arrest, where she remained for several months. In September 1560 she was freed by her servants and followers and they planned to install her as empress once again. But the plan was thwarted and a battle ensued at the palace between traditionalists and the empress' supporters. The traditionalists were victorious and the empress refused to surrender, saying she would not abandon the people who needed her. She was stoned to death and her brother Huascar was restored to the throne.