The similarities between the societies found in Brazil and
those found in the Andean Highlands are relatively few. The
Andean Highland dwellers were mostly Incas, found in
greatest numbers in Peru. The inhabitants of Brazil were
mainly concentrated around the Amazon River Basin area.
The Andean Highland people consisted in large part of the
Inca civilization (the name of the ruling family, not an
ethnicity). However, the geographic location of these
societies is not the only disparity that exist between these
groups of people. Perhaps the most striking of the
differences is the characteristics of these societies and the
advancements, or lack of, that where achieved in each. With
each group having distinct characteristics in the way of life,
government, and labor, this affected the colonizing groups in
significantly different ways and ultimately lead to the
prosperity or decline of the colony at that specific time. The
forms of rule in the Amazon Basin and the Andean Highlands
were of great contrast. At the time of European discovery of
the New World, there existed very little political hierarchy in
the areas of the Amazon River Basin. At most, and this was
fairly uncommon, there was a local tribal chief. However, the
government did not extend any further. There was no
network of higher ruling. This may have stemmed from the
fact that villages were scattered around the Amazon, divided
by dense forest. The tribal chiefs would make some village
decisions and be a liaison with other local villages. Still,
territorial war was a major aspect of the Amazon Basin
dwellers\' lives. This is in sharp contrast to the political system
that existed in the Inca civilization. The Inca had a
profoundly intricate political system that was based on rule
that was inherited through blood lines. There were local,
regional, and empire ruling leaders. These statesmen
demanded tribute from the lower classes and also force
labor upon them, but they did provide services for the good
of the people and the empire. The leaderships had relatively
few physical duties other than overseeing the domain that he
ruled. Territorial war was also a characteristic of the Inca
society. This society has often been labeled either a socialist
empire or a welfare state. Specifically, the people of the
Amazon Basin lived in small villages around the Amazon
River and relocated often (when the soil became fallow).
They were a tribal society maintained itself through shifting
agriculture and hunting and gathering. The staple of their diet
was of the tuber variety, a kind of potato. The society had
no classes that differentiated between the rich and poor
because the people had very little or no private property.
However, gift giving was very common in this culture. The
Inca had communities that ranged all the way from small
villages to thriving cities. The main city of political and civil
culture was called Cuzco. This is where the ruler of the entire
empire lived. Much like the dwellers of the Amazon Basin,
communities were often formed among groups of relatives,
which was known as ayllu. In contrast with those of Brazil,
the Inca were divided by classes and individuals did own
property. The lower classes were essentially often used as
slave labor and they also paid taxes and tribute to their local
and regional rulers through food, materials, and general gifts
that were not reciprocated. Land and human labor power
was a main source of wealth in the Inca civilization. The
types of labor that took place was vastly different between
these societies. In Brazil, the labor was very much
communal. Everyone worked together for the good of the
village and its people. They worked together to build
dwellings as well as for the cultivation and care of the crops.
They used a slash-and-burn style of farming and relocated
once the nutrients of the land were used up. The Incas were
much more advanced. In many areas, labor specialization
was common, especially in the large densely-populated
areas like Cuzco. Many of the people were forced to work
building or repairing paved roads, irrigation channels,
fortresses, and mines in a system called mita. The Inca took
part in labor-intensive agriculture. They employed much
more advanced agricultural production methods also. They
developed irrigation systems, terracing, and other advanced
agricultural techniques. With the arrival of the European
colonists, many of these existing institutions and practices
were destroyed and replaced with the Europeans\' system of
rule and social customs. However, these clashed with what
was practiced before the arrival of the Europeans and this
soon became evident. The was much turbulence and revolt
against the European ways. In the Andean Highlands, the
Incas\' power was totally lost to the Spanish through force.
Every pre-existing class was driven into slavery. The Spanish
also employed the ruling-class\' system