Inca government and society were run by the emperor, known as the Sapa Inca. His authority was absolute. He did not have to consult anyone or obtain a consensus when making a decision. His decisions were enforced by the officials, priests and governors. Inca society was a bit like a pyramid. The Sapa Inca was at the top and every layer of society beneath him had to obey his decisions. This is called a hierarchical society.

The Sapa Inca was responsible for maintaining order. He also made sure goods were distributed in society so that no one lacked for anything. When a Sapa Inca died, a successor was chosen from among his sons. It was usually the eldest son who became emperor after his father.

A theocratic society

Inca society was theocratic. In other words, the head of government and the religious leader were the same person: the Sapa Inca. This also meant that the Sapa Inca could make decisions that affected society based on his religious beliefs. In this type of government, religion is omnipresent in society and influences all decision making.

Author: Alexandre Lanoix