I thought that learning about the Incas in the last section of class was one of the most interesting civilizations or ancient states that we looked at. First off, the fact that their empire was so incredibly large is outstanding to me. They were the only group of people in the region to unite both the South and North regions of their empire, which is one reason why it was so huge. Something that kind of seemed hard for me to grasp when we first discussed it in class, was the Inca idea of split inheritance. Split inheritance is a social practice in which a dead ruler is mummified and all of his prior possessions while living remain his even after he is dead. Things like his palace land or servants were all things considered his possessions after his death. The deceased ruler would attend all further meetings as well. (weird…?) There fore, the next ruler would in turn, receive nothing apart from his political power and political rights. As confusing as this seems at first, it actually helped expand the Inca state. This meant that the new ruler would have to build his palace within land that he conquered himself. The empire grew bigger and bigger because the rulers would want to gain as much land as they could to ensure a good afterlife. In order to build his new palace, he would use mit’a, or mandatory public labor that all adult citizens had to pay to the state annually. Wouldn’t this seem so strange if that was the way our government was today? What if that was the ideology of the modern United States? How far do you think we could expand? Would it end at North America or would we go overseas and take over European or African countries? I think that in modern times with all of our war technology, we would not get very far. We may expand on our Canadian and Mexican borders a little bit however, I think that if this were the way our government worked today, we would be in constant warfare and would not gain or lose any significant amount of land. What I liked about the Incas is that when they did conquer land and people, they did not instate their own rulers in those areas. They made a leading member of the local community a local ruler instead of kicking out old rulers. I think this is how they internally kept civil strife to a minimum for so long, although it was in fact one of the reasons for their eventual collapse, along with Spanish Conquest.