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The Reasons Behind the Failures of the Rebellions During the Colonial Period

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In many parts of the world that experienced colonialism, issue of rebellion is not new to them. The rebellions resulted from the dissatisfaction among the natives by the ways in which the colonial powers treated them. In Peru’s Andes region, the rebellions failed in their attempts to drive away the colonial rule from their land. There are many factors attributed to the failures experienced by the rebel groups, which forms the focus of this study to discuss the reason behind the failures.

Thesis statement: Despite the dissatisfaction that individuals from various social groups had with colonial rule, rebellions were unable to succeed because of mass enlisting of the villagers into the militia groups, powerful force of the larger Hispanic and mestizo populations, Cochabamba soldiers, failed alliances, reinforced royal army lack of support from the non-Indian populations to the insurgencies.

En Masse Enlisting Of The Villagers Into The Militia Groups

The rebel groups had adopted inhumane methods of handling their captives including killing them in very strange ways and drinking their blood. These actions provoked a sense of fear among the villagers where the rebel groups attacked forcing many of the villagers to join the militia groups. The villagers realized that without joining hands with their colleagues who already formed the militia groups, their lives were in great danger (42).[1] A large number of new members in the militia groups made these groups very powerful comprising of very large numbers with strong men. The rebels were not well-prepared to deal with a big militia group but expected a group with a few brave men. They hoped that their knowledge of the terrain of the area would enable them to defeat these groups very easily.

Powerful Force Of The Larger Hispanic And Mestizo Populations

The Mestizo and Hispanic population formed a huge part of the population. When the rebel groups threatened their existence and killed some of their people, they decided to come together and form a strong force (547).[2] They outnumbered the rest of the people who could think of joining forces with the rebel groups. The rebel groups always faced defeat in the eye whenever they attacked the newly formed force of Hispanics and Mestizo people. The rebel groups sustained various casualties during these attacks leading to their gradual defeat. The combined force of the Hispanics and Mestizo population was better organized which handed them easy victory against the rebel groups.

Fierceness And Combat Skills Of The Cochabamba Soldiers

The Cochabamba soldiers had undergone through training on combat tactics. They had more skills in combat training than the rebel groups who depended mainly on their knowledge of the area’s landscape. They attacked with the most dreaded fierceness ever witnessed by the members of the rebel groups. The soldiers adopted strategies and tactics that in most cases caught the rebel groups off-guard rendering them vulnerable to their lethal maneuvers. These soldiers were also known for their looting tendency (43).[3] During the war, they would take valuable products with them, leaving the people loyal to the rebel groups, and members of the rebel groups in much worse situations. With much of their valuables taken away by the soldiers, the rebels had nothing to survive on forcing them to scatter with each member trying to fend for him and family. They also handled their captives ruthlessly including murdering them in the scariest way possible. The fierceness sent a chill down the spine of many rebels who forcing them to flee form their groupings and live like other normal people. The people who witnessed the prosecutions conducted by the soldiers agreed that no rebel could survive the ruthlessness of the Cochabamba soldiers.

The failed alliance between the Creoles and the Indians

Indians and Creoles agreed to come together to fight the Hispanics as one single force. During attacks on any of them, the other group would send news that they are on their way but fail to show up. The rebel groups would put up a spirited fight knowing that they would have backup sooner only for them to die in large numbers (552).[4] The failed alliance also raised tension between the Indians and the Creoles with both teams blaming each other for their misfortunes. The groups became more vulnerable to the attacks from the Hispanics leading to many of the rebel leaders dying at the hands of the Hispanic soldiers. A strong alliance between the two groups could have dealt a huge damage to the colonial rule.

The reinforced royal army and offer of pardon to those loyal to the Spanish

After the initial attacks by the rebels, the royal army received reinforcement to help fight the rebels. The reinforced army had more soldiers and more weapons, which enabled them to cause huge damages to the rebels during their encounters. The reinforced army had enough weapons and food to sustain it soldiers during the war (76).[5] The soldiers also received advanced training and they had gained some knowledge of the terrain thus, which automatically disadvantaged the rebels.

The crown also promised to reward the people who were loyal to Spanish authorities. The rewards included land to farm and food materials to the population. The rebels faced defeat in the eye because their previous supporters become loyal to the crown and were willing to hunt them down. Those caught were persecuted in public, in the presence of everyone and the community leaders. The Spanish authority only came after the end of the persecutions to reward the people who had shown loyalty to the crown (564).[6] With most community members openly declaring their loyalty to the Crown, the rebels became endangered forcing them to seek safety far away from their homes or leave the rebel groups to take care of their families and ensure their safety.

Lack Of Support From The Non-Indian Populations To The Insurgencies

The insurgency groups also faced defeat from the fact that they lacked support from other communities. The support from the Indian communities alone was not enough to help them defeat the Hispanic authority. They could only depend on their fellow Indians for information, food, medical supplies among other things. The rebels had no permission to trespass on lands that belonged to other communities. This caused a problem with their strategic planning on how to attack their enemies (78).[7] Support from other communities could have increased the supply to the rebels and could have increased the number of people willing to join the rebels in fighting against the Hispanic. They would also have had access to more food and medical supplies as well as a guaranteed path to and from their attacks (576).[8] The rebels took their whole issues as only about the Indian affairs and handled themselves as the only people aggrieved by the colonial rule.


The dissatisfactions among the various social groups with the rulers did not help them to successfully rebel against the colonial rule. The rebelling groups faced numerous challenges that prevented them from succeeding in their efforts to defeat and drive away the colonials from their ancestral lands. The rebel groups could blame themselves for failing to rally all their community members and other from other communities behind them. The support from the community members and other non-Indians could have contributed greatly towards helping the rebels cause significant damage to the colonial rule. The inhumane approach adopted by the rebels also denied them support from those that believed that their actions were worse than the actions of the colonialists.

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