Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro was born in circa 1476 in Trujillo, Spain, which at that time a poverty-stricken area. His father, Captain Gonzalo, was a poor farmer and his mother, Francisca González, was of humble heritage. As a young man, Pizarro heard tales of the New World and was drawn into a lust for adventure and fortune. He accompanied Spanish explorer Alonzo de Ojeda in 1510 on a voyage to Urabá, Colombia, and though the expedition was unsuccessful, Pizarro had proven that he could be depended on in a bind. Here are his accomplishments:
1. He Was One Of The Two People Who Discovered The Pacific Ocean.
Pizarro joined conquistador Vasco Núñez de Balboa in 1513 in his journey to the South Sea across the Isthmus of Panama. During this voyage, they discovered what we now know as the Pacific Ocean, though Balboa was allegedly spying it first, therefore was credited with the ocean’s first discovery by Europeans. Ironically, Pizarro arrested Balboa later under the orders of Pedro Arias de Ávila, who was a known tyrant and rival of Balboa. Afterwards, Pizarro stayed for some time in Panama, where he served as mayor of Panama City, was awarded an estate and amassed a small fortune.
2. He Conquered Peru.
Pizarro went back to Spain in 1528, when Emperor Charles V gave him a commission. Pizarro was ordered to conquer the southern territory and establish a new province under Spain there. So in 1532, Pizarro was accompanied by his brothers and overthrew the Inca leader, Atahualpa, to conquer Peru. 3 years later, he founded the capital city of Lima.
3. He Converted The Incans To Christianity.
Pizarro’s primary purpose in life was to obtain riches for himself, since he was born into a poor family, but he also seeks to convert the Incans to Christianity. Like many Spaniards in this era, Pizarro was on a mission to persuade people to follow his religion. Though he ordered the killing of thousands of Incans, he worked the ones that were left and converted them to Christianity. His poor origins also became a huge cause of his motive and objective of his voyage, as he had never experienced having riches. This is also the main reason why he avoided the Panama governor’s orders. Pizarro was really determined to go and conquer the Incans with or without approval.
4. His Conquest Of Peru Allowed For An Expansion Of The Spanish Colony In South America.
Pizarro was successful in establishing colonization in Peru by sending Spanish people to Lima, where he made settlements after he conquered the Incans. The Andes Mountains had provided Pizarro and his men with gold and silver to exchange with other countries and get material to construct houses and other settlements. The settlements had expanded, as other explorers from Spain conquered nearby areas, which worked together and became one. This is why there are so many Spaniards in South America today.
However, Pizarro was killed by one of the men of Diego de Almagro, his former partner turned enemy. Though he was cruel and greedy, Pizarro live a life that helped open the door for other discoveries on the American continents.