The Inca economy operated on a system of collective labor called mit’a, where individuals were required to contribute a certain number of days each year to work for the state. They relied heavily on agricultural production, along with extensive road networks, storage facilities, and a system of trade and redistribution to sustain their empire.
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The Inca Empire, which flourished in pre-Columbian South America, had a unique and complex economic system that played a vital role in sustaining their vast empire. Central to their economy was the system of collective labor known as mit’a, which required individuals to contribute a certain number of days each year to work for the state. This labor was utilized for various purposes, including infrastructure projects, agricultural activities, and military campaigns.
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The Inca Empire, the largest empire in the Western Hemisphere, spanned over 900,000 square kilometers and had a population of almost 10 million subjects. The empire rose to prominence under the rule of Pachacuti, who expanded Inca rule in the Andes mountains. However, by the end of the 15th century, the empire was strained due to social and political unrest and was ultimately defeated and destroyed by Spanish conquistadors after a civil war and the capture of their king, Atahualpa. Some Incas retreated to a new capital at Vilcabamba and resisted for 40 years but were ultimately defeated, leading to the destruction of much of the empire’s physical and cultural legacy. The Inca Empire fell faster than it had risen.
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Incan economics and politics were based on Andean traditions. In order to financially support the empire, the Incas developed a somewhat Socialistic system of labor taxation. Without any form of currency, they limited the role of markets and carried out the exchange of many of their products through political channels.