The Incas of Peru were conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century, and subsequent Spanish colonial settlement made Peru the most important of the Spanish viceroyalties in South America. On 28 July 1821 Peru declared its independence, but it was not until after a war which ended in 1824 that the country gained its freedom. The two presidential terms served by Gen. Ramon Castilla (1845-51 and 1855-62) were prosperous ones for Peru, but in a disastrous war with Chile (1879-83) Peru’s capital, Lima, was captured and she lost some of her southern territory to Chile under the peace treaty. Tacna, in the far south of the country, remained in Chilean control from 1880 until 1929.
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