The history of Peru can be dated back to more than 11,000 years, with nomadic hunter-gatherers, before the Peruvian territory was home to the Norte Chico civilization, one of the six oldest in the world. The Inca Empire that incorporated Peru from 1438-1532 was the largest dynasty of pre-Colombian America, influences of which can still be seen today.
The history of Peru is not unlike a lot of other Latin American nations; Peru was also conquered by the Spanish in 1524 after a devastating outbreak of smallpox ravished the Incan population, and ruined their political stability. Peruvian culture has a lot of roots in the Spanish colonial-era, such as the residing language. At this stage in the Peruvian history, exploitation of natural resources meant an expanding economy, which lead Lima to become distinguished colonial capital. The Viceroyalty of Peru became the last redoubt of the Spanish dominion in South America.
The Republic of Peru was officially declared in 1821, which was followed by a series of conflicts decided territorial disputes, a very bloody period in Peruvian history. The 20th Century was an instable era in the history of Peru; the military has been present in Peruvian history since it became the first Latin American country to formally declare allegiance with the USA in WW II. The post war period saw many military coups, and it wasn't until 1985 that there was an exchange of power from one democratically elected leader to another, for the first time in 40 years of Peruvian history.