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Chapter 4

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
History of Chile

by
Luis Galdames

translated and edited by Isaac Joslin Cox
Russell & Russell
New York 1964

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Chapter 6

p86 Chapter V
The Growth of the Colony

The Wars of Arauco

During the two and a half centuries following the period of conquest — called the Colonial Period (1561‑1810) because the country remained under the rule of Spain — war against the Araucanians was the absorbing interest of the population and the government. This was a struggle of three centuries between the European and the native, for it did not end even with the Spanish rule, but much later. It was interrupted for some years, at times for long periods, only to start again and again with the same fury.

Different procedures, some peaceful, others more violent, were put into practice by the Spanish governors in order to bring about the definite submission of the Araucanian Indians; none was successful. There were two general causes for this: the insatiable greed of the Spaniards, and the invincible laziness of the natives. The Spaniards, who came from Spain dreaming of fabulous riches thought only of exploiting the conquered races; the Araucanians, accustomed to liberty and the indolence of barbaric life, could not resign themselves to work for the benefit of the invaders; and so a conflict between the interests of the one and the habits of the other was inevitable. Added to this was the unfortunate idea the Spaniards had formed of the natives, whom they considered incapable of assimilating the most rudimentary civilization and treated, therefore, with the most wanton brutality, capturing them in times of peace in order to allot them as slaves among their encomiendas, and robbing them frequently of their women, provisions, crops, and domestic animals. The natural bravery of the Araucanian was aroused by these cruel abuses and this explains the endless wars with which this barbaric people have always defended their independence.

It will be recalled that Hurtado de Mendoza handed over his post to Francisco de Villagra in 1561. He had scarcely left the country, satisfied at having pacified "all the territory of Chile," when the yanaconas of Purén killed the captain and the soldiers who guarded them and aroused all their fellow countrymen to revolt. These obeyed the call, and in a few days all Arauco was in arms. Persecutions and sacrifices to pacify them were employed in vain. They lived up to their reputation for indomitable courage. Finally, after p87severe reverses, the Indians saw a chance to win. Knowing that Captain Pedro de Villagra,1 son of the governor, had left Arauco with a body of troops and had to cross over the hill of Marihuenu, which had formerly been so fatal to him, they decided to make a surprise attack on him in that place. They met with such good fortune that in a few moments they destroyed the enemy's host. Villagra and some forty of his men were left dead on the field of action. The victor took possession of arms and horses. The evacuation of Cañete and Arauco was the immediate consequence of this deed of arms and the war continued with inhuman slaughter. Catastrophes produced by severe earthquakes accompanied by tidal waves came to the aid of the Araucanians. One such disaster destroyed Concepción in 1570; another which occurred five years later leveled the rest of the cities of the south as far as Valdivia.

The governors who came to Chile did not, however, try to understand the difficult status of affairs which had come about in the colony. They came with the most flattering illusions as to the immediate pacification of the territory. Disillusionment soon showed them their error; then they tried to invent new methods of combat in order to achieve their purpose. The most curious was that of prosecuting the natives in accordance with legal formulas in order to declare them rebels and traitors to God and the king and to condemn them to the penalty of death and confiscation of property.

This strange expedient was first put into practice during the government of Villagra and had its origin in the preachings of a Dominican priest called Gil González, who maintained that death ought not to be inflicted upon the Indians and that whoever did so would be sent to hell, because the Indians "defended a just cause, that is their liberty, homes, and property." These preachings caused much alarm among the encomenderos, who feared lest they be deprived overnight of their laborers in the fields and the mines. They fought the doctrine of Father González vigorously and procured a lawyer to try the Indians with all the rules of penal procedure; and then, when the Indians were declared rebels and traitors and penalized p88with death and confiscation of their goods, an army was organized to execute the sentence.

Another method, less specious, but much more cruel, consisted in transferring the Indian prisoners, taken in general harvestings or "field days," to the northern districts, in order to replace the yanaconas there, who had perished by thousands in recent epidemics. Having been apportioned among the encomenderos who most desired them, these unfortunate captives had one foot cut a little above the toe joints in order to make them incapable of flight. This was called "disjointing" (desgobernar) an Indian; but neither these outrageous cruelties, nor the executions en masse of the chieftains who started the revolts wrought the desired effect. The gallows or a holocaust incited them, on the contrary, to new and more implacable vengeance.

The governors were gradually convinced of the uselessness of such violence, and, reversing their policy, they tried to subdue the natives by peaceful methods. One of the governors, Martín Ruiz de Gamboa, tried to win them with kindness. He issued an ordinance which, like the "measure of Santillán," imposed a tribute in money on the Indians as the price of their liberty. They had to pay that contribution in return for the privilege of tilling their fields. Such an ordinance was, like that of Santillán, absolutely ineffective. The Indians, lacking industry and habits of work, were unable to comply with it. Neither did it suit the encomenderos any better. It could not be applied in any way and was revoked. This method is known as the "measure of Gamboa."

After many alternations of triumph and defeat, the Spaniards at the end of the sixteenth century suffered a misfortune of such proportions that the stability of the colony itself was endangered. The year 1598 had passed, but not even the Indians of Purén, who had struck the first blow in rebellion at the departure of Hurtado de Mendoza, had ceased their hostilities. The governor, Martín García Oñez de Loyola, had taken charge of his post a short time before. Determined on pacifying Araucania at any cost, he had attempted several campaigns in this territory but with results no more profitable than his predecessors had obtained. Finally the Indians made a surprise attack on him in a field called Curalava, on the banks of the Lumaco River, on the road from Imperial to Angol. Completely surrounded by the assailants, the governor and some fifty of his men perished. Among them were captains, lawyers, and priests. A few days later the rebellion became general; the seven cities on the continent south of Concepción were destroyed and their inhabitants, if not killed, were obliged to take to precipitate p89flight. Thus the sixteenth century ended in the midst of a struggle without quarter, in which no kind of atrocity was lacking.

Impressed by these facts, a Jesuit named Luis de Valdivia, in the first years of the following century, resolved to take up as his burden the defense of the Indians. He showed that the cruelties of war and the bad treatment which the encomenderos inflicted on the natives were the only causes of their resistance to submission. According to his belief the Spaniards should entirely abolish the personal service to which the Indians were subjected and allow them freedom to work on their own account. Then, by preaching the gospel to them in their own language, they might be led to accept the Spanish rule. An army should be maintained only as a matter of precaution, in order to compel the respect of the Indians, rather than to attack them, and, in case of revolt, this army should be limited to defending the land acquired. This plan of pacification has been called defensive warfare. Father Valdivia went to Lima in order to influence the viceroy to put his plan in practice. He took it so to heart that, although he found that this official gave him decided mental support, he went to Spain for the purpose of convincing the court itself that it was expedient and necessary to adopt his plan.

His triumph was complete. The court agreed to suppress the personal services of the Indians and to abolish the encomiendas; it pardoned the prisoners and fixed the Biobío as a boundary to Spanish territory, leaving the Araucanians in peaceful possession of the regions farther south. In 1612 the plan was put into practice by mandate of the king, and Father Valdivia, in company with some missionaries of his order, took up his residence in the territory of Arauco. He gathered the Indians together in a conference, made the exchange of some prisoners, and explained to them the scope of the new situation. The Indians seemed enthusiastically disposed to accept, but very soon the self-sacrificing Jesuit experienced the futility of his efforts. Three missionary priests were assassinated in Araucania. General rebellion broke out all at once. Defensive warfare had failed, and in 1626, by order of the king, Philip IV, Luis Fernández de Córdova proclaimed in Santiago a cessation of this form of warfare. For fifteen years more, then, there was a return to offensive warfare, without the Spaniards' gaining any favorable result. In the alternations of victory and failure, they had the worst of it, losing hundreds of men; but the military men themselves were interested in keeping up the campaigns because, as the prisoners were reduced to servitude, they sold them as slaves and thus obtained a good income.

p90 Later, however, a governor tried to reëstablish the defensive warfare. This was Francisco López de Zúñiga, better known by his title of nobility as Marqués de Baides. A friend of the Jesuits and an admirer of Father Valdivia, he thought, from the time of his arrival in Chile, that instead of warring with these Indians it would be better to "treat these rebels kindly, trying to attract them by good means and convert them to friendship." Disembarking at Concepción, he began his relations with the Araucanians by making them presents of clothing, glass beads, little mirrors, and other trifles. When he thought that those whom he had favored with these presents had represented him to their fellow countrymen as a man of peace, he invited all the chieftains to a solemn conclave. This assembly took place in the valley of the Quillín River (today Quillén), a branch of the Cholchol, in February, 1641, and its result was a cordial agreement between natives and Spaniards to suspend hostilities. Before separating, presents were exchanged.a

The Pact of Quillín, as this act was called, was very much praised by the colonists but was of short duration. Scarcely a year had passed after the celebration, when the marquis had to start a campaign to put down new Indian uprisings. But afterward, during periods of peace, the governors celebrated new conclaves with the Araucanians, and one governor, Tomás Marín de Poveda, obeying express orders from the court, succeeded in 1692 in getting the Indians to accept the introduction of priests into their territory, in order to convert them to Christianity. This system of pacification was called that of the missions, and Jesuits and Franciscans rivalled each other in apostolic zeal to carry it out.

They did not have to wait for the fruits of their labors. A multitude of native children gathered to hear the gospel preached. They were baptized and learned and recited some prayers without understanding them, but nothing more was gained from them. After returning to their families, they forgot all they had learned and relapsed into the same barbarism. After a few years the futility of this system was apparent. Nothing demonstrated it more clearly than the frequent assassination of Spanish soldiers when they ventured into the Indians' territory. Therefore, in 1700 the Spaniards began to abandon the system.

The natives, however, experienced greater peace during the eighteenth century, not because of preaching or violence, but because of the suppression of abuses and of the severe methods that the Spaniards had hitherto made use of in order to terrorize them. The governors were careful to keep up the celebration of conclaves with the principal chieftains, in which the pacts that p91were agreed to previously were confirmed with the customary solemnity and exchange of gifts. Only two general uprisings took place in that century — one in 1723 and the other in 1766. A peaceful agreement had been brought about between Spaniards and Araucanians, since the former had begun to give up the attempt to rule them by force and had left them in peace on their own lands.

Meanwhile, such a prolonged and dreadful struggle had ended by imprinting very special characteristics on the political and social life of the country. During the frequent periods of warfare in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, people lived amidst the most despairing apprehensions, and under a strict military regime. Labor was paralyzed, but the colonists had to obtain money to pay and equip the troops. The hard times bred discontent in the cities and gave rise to fiery protests every time an extraordinary contribution or derrama for continuing the war was imposed.

The troops, on the other hand, were discouraged because of the futility of their efforts. Being convinced that Chile was not the land of gold that they coveted, and that they risked their lives in it without result, the soldiers deserted, although desertion was punished at the gallows, and went to work in other lands where profit was easier to obtain. Some sought security and repose in a convent. In this way the colony was impoverished and depopulated, the government was hated, life was uncertain, and domestic customs were impaired by the rigidity of camp life. In spite of all, the growth of the colony was not retarded and the fact that a large permanent army was maintained there stimulated the active exploitation of the soil.

The Corsairs and Pirates

The wars of Arauco were not the only events that terrorized the colonists during these centuries. They were also greatly worried by the frequent maritime expeditions which subjects of Holland and England — national enemies of Spain — undertook to the Pacific coast. These expeditionists, called corsairs, came at their own expense but were authorized by their respective governments to assail Spanish vessels and ports for the purpose of robbing them of the merchandise which they found in them. The alarm produced by their incursions arose not so much from their robberies and violence as from the religious creed to which they belonged. They were Protestants, and Spanish Catholics considered them "heretics." The forays of the corsairs, therefore, were looked upon in Chile from the religious viewpoint as a punishment of God, and helped to exalt the p92devout zeal of the colonists as well as their martial impetuosity.

The corsairs, on their part, professed a profound hatred for Spain. The king, Philip II, self-declared protector of Catholic Europe, had made stubborn war against the English and oppressed the Dutch, who formed part of his monarchy, and he drove the latter to rise in rebellion because of purely religious differences. For such reasons the English considered the Spaniards irreconcilable enemies and the Dutch regarded them as more than enemies, indeed as scourges, from whom, after a long and bloody struggle, they had succeeded in emancipating themselves. Both were disposed to do the greatest possible damage to Spain and thought even the most common pillage lawful. Their ill will was aggravated by the fact that the kings of Spain had closed the Pacific Ocean to navigation and to the commerce of all the countries of the world. These monarchs considered themselves, in good faith, masters of the ocean as well as of America, because their subjects had discovered it and had taken possession of it in their name.

The first nation to prove to Spain that she was not powerful enough to rule all the ocean was the English. A sailor of this nation, Francis Drake, began his piratical expeditions in 1578 and was the first foreigner to traverse the Strait of Magellan. Entering the Pacific, he proceeded northward and reached Valparaiso. Here he captured a vessel anchored in the valley ready to sail to Callao with a cargo of hides and tallow and a considerable amount of gold. He ransacked the warehouses of the port, which was then no more than a poor village formed by some ten huts, and set sail, continuing again toward the north. After additional very profitable incursions against the other Spanish colonies, he returned to Europe by sailing toward the west. Thus he made the second trip around the world in 1580.

He left open the route of plunder in America to other sailors possessed of the same audacity. The route was tempting because from it he had returned enormously rich. Scarcely eight years had passed when a new corsair, Thomas Cavendish, entered the strait. Here a distressing spectacle met him. After the return of Drake, Philip II had ordered two military colonies to be founded in the strait for the purpose of keeping the heretics from sailing through it to attack his colonies. In compliance with his order there was founded near the Atlantic entrance the port Nombre de Jesús, and farther west, on the eastern shore of the present Brunswick Peninsula, one called Rey don Felipe. The hardships that the men had to endure in these establishments were unspeakable. Separated altogether from the rest of the world, they were soon without the p93most necessary supplies. When Cavendish arrived at Nombre de Jesús, hardly fifteen of the original four hundred settlers were alive, and they seemed more like skeletons than men. The corsair wanted to save their lives, but, when he was about to take them on board, an east wind blew up and he sailed away, taking only one of them. On anchoring at Rey don Felipe, they found only skeletons and dead bodies. Hunger had destroyed them. The English named this site Puerto del Hambre, and not without reason.b

Cavendish rounded the Peninsula and, always keeping toward the north, finally halted at Quinteros, the bay nearest to Valparaiso. On landing there, he experienced the ill fortune of being attacked by Spaniards. Four of his sailors were killed and eight taken prisoner. The latter were taken to Santiago and six were condemned to the gallows. The corsair chief, however, obtained very rich booty along the other coasts of America.

In the seventeenth century the situation between England and Spain changed — from enemies to allies.2 The English government could not now authorize piratical expeditions but neither could it hinder some of its venturesome subjects from going to the Spanish colonies on incursions of simple pillage. To these sea bandits was given the name of "filibusters" or pirates.

The most famous in this century was Bartholomew Sharpe. After crossing the Isthmus of Panama with several companions, he provided himself with vessels, taking on board some Spaniards. Then he began a series of raids along the Pacific coast. When he arrived at the Bay of Coquimbo, the Spaniards of La Serena fled. The corregidor of the city was left alone to treat with the Englishman — more to gain time for arranging a surprise attack than to arrive at an agreement. This official was obliged to ransom the city for a hundred thousand pesos; but this arrangement was ineffective because the residents had no way to raise that sum. As the intrigue wore on and Sharp saw that he was being deceived in order to make a surprise attack upon him, he decided that it was better to retreat; but before doing so he sacked whatever of value he found in the city, and then set fire to the buildings in 1680.

Years later, at the beginning of the eighteenth century, England p94was again engaged in war with Spain, and new piratical expeditions descended upon the Pacific coast. This time they were encouraged and even equipped by the English government itself for the purpose of observing commercial conditions in the colonies and of figure a way to establish traffic with them. The first of the corsairs of this century was William Dampier. He did not stop on the coast of Chile and merely touched the large island of Juan Fernández. What made this corsair particularly famous were the adventures of one of his sailors, called Alexander Selkirk, who, abandoned by his companions, lived five years on Juan Fernández entirely alone. His only companions were birds and wild goats. He made two huts of the branches of trees, one for sleeping and praying and the other for preparing his food. They were located on the banks of a stream in the midst of a wood. His appearance took on a strange aspect, with his skin weather-beaten by the sea breezes, his beard and hair very long, and his clothing of sealskin. When another English vessel picked him up, his fellow countrymen did not recognize him as a man of their own race. The singular situation of this sailor provided material for an admirable English novel, The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, a person who was supposedly in the same situation as Selkirk.

The fleet most feared in America was that commanded by Admiral Lord Anson, whom the English government sent to the coast of America in 1740. Almost completely destroyed by storms in doubling Cape Horn, he had to go to the island of Juan Fernández for repairs. There he established a kind of general headquarters from which he often sallied forth to assault the merchant vessels which carried on traffic between Peru and Chile. Thus enriched, he returned to England by way of the Asiatic seas, without the Spaniards ever being able to surprise or overtake him.

The expeditions of the Dutch assumed a different character from those made under the flag of England. The latter had no other aim than robbery. The former were guided principally by the desire to open new paths of commerce for their nation, and, if they also robbed, it was more because of hatred than of a desire for money. Therefore, the permission granted the English corsairs and all the preparations for the affair were arranged with the greatest secrecy. The Dutch expeditions, on the contrary, were made openly, patronized by rich capitalists or by reputable commercial companies of the country.

The Magellan Company, founded in Rotterdam to carry on commerce with the Indies by navigating the strait of that name, sent a fleet which made the passage under Simón de Cordes. Storms p95scattered the ships of this fleet, and each met a different fate. The one commanded by Baltazar de Cordes, a brother of the commander, anchored in the Bay of Castro in Chiloé, tried to gain possession of the island, and incited the Indians to rebel against the Spaniards. He succeeded in his purpose and the garrison stationed in the city, powerless to resist him, surrendered. The Dutch treated the Spaniards with the greatest cruelty; they killed as many men as they could lay hands on; a few escaped by fleeing to the woods to hide (1599). As soon as the latter received aid they were able to take the offensive and rid the island of its invaders.

Even in the middle of the seventeenth century, Spain still maintained war with Holland, refusing to recognize its independence. The Dutch East India Company, founded to carry on commerce with the new Dutch colonies of Oceania, equipped an expedition to explore the extreme south of America, commanded by the capitalist, Jacob Lemaire.3 He entered the Pacific through the strait which today bears his name — in the extreme southeast of Tierra del Fuego — and then sailed around Cape Horn, called so then in remembrance of the Dutch city, Horn, where that expedition was organized.

Another Dutch fleet for exploration only was directed by the pilot, Jacob l'Hermite, who was making hydrographic maps for several maps on the archipelagos south of Tierra del Fuego, one of which today bears his name. The geographical importance of these explorations was considerable, and they did not molest the Spanish colonies in any way.

Very different, however, was the expedition commanded by the pilot, Hendrick Brouwer,4 who was reputed to be a brave man in Holland. He crossed from the Atlantic to the Pacific in 1643 through the Strait of Lemaire, arrived at Chiloé, and from there passed to the continent. He intended to provoke an uprising among the Indians and influence them in his favor. He destroyed the fort p96of Carelmapu and the city of Castro but died shortly after. His companions tried to take possession of Valdivia but as they did not find any of the Indians willing to aid them and as their situation would have been very difficult owing to the scarcity of provisions, they gave up the idea of settling there and set sail for the Atlantic, never to return.

Immense was the alarm produced by the coming of Brouwer both in Chile and in Peru. It was believed that Brouwer's fleet carried a large landing force. The viceroy of Peru sent his own son with a powerful war vessel and nearly two thousand fighting men to defend the plaza of Valdivia. When these defenders arrived, the Dutch had already been gone for some time, but nevertheless the son of the viceroy ordered fortifications built near the site of the city and stationed a body of troops there. From that date, 1645, began the direct dependence of Valdivia on the viceroyalty of Peru.

The raids of the corsairs and pirates caused grave consequences in the colony. Although it is easy to understand that three or four foreign vessels did not threaten the rule of the king of Spain, yet their presence produced extraordinary alarm. What was hated more than any other thing in the corsairs and pirates was their religious belief, since it was a crime to treat with "heretics." Bodies of troops were rapidly improvised and armed in any manner whatsoever in order to resist them. The churches opened their doors, calling on the faithful to pray that the enemy might retire as soon as possible from the coast. All tasks were suspended. The governor also suspended the military operations of the war in Arauco and hastened to advise the viceroy of Peru. Commercial navigation between Chile and Peru was suspended, to the consequent detriment of shipowners and traders in merchandise for ordinary consumption. The raids, therefore, caused a complete economic upheaval, both in commerce and in production.

The Growth in Production; New Cities

Just as the sixteenth century had been the period of Spain's grandeur and dominance in Europe, so the seventeenth was one of decadence, but so harassing a decadence that it seemed more like exhaustion. The expensive and unfortunate wars of Philip II, the expulsion of the Jews carried out previously, and of the Moors effected afterward, in 1609,5 were the three things that had the most fatal consequences for the agriculture, mining, industry, and commerce of Spain. All these sources of wealth suffered such serious p97shrinkage and such grave disaster that the mass of the Spanish population shortly found themselves without work or sustenance. There was a dreadful economic crisis during the whole century. In the cities, in the towns, and in the country, literally hundreds of thousands of people died from hunger.

In this situation the vessels that came to the colonies were almost literally boarded by whole families anxious to leave Spain in order to free themselves from the general misery. "The Indies," as they said there, were the refuge and salvation of all the abandoned. Although Chile was the farthest distant of those colonies, it too received its contingent of idle persons who came to "seek a livelihood" in its territory. While Spain was drained in this manner, the colonies increased their population at her expense. The military men also contributed to that increase. They came to no colony in greater numbers than to Chile, in order to participate in the wars of Arauco and in the defense of the coast from the corsairs. To these were added the employees and public officials, who generally brought their families along, and a multitude of the religious of the different orders already established in the country.

The mestizo population increased also with great rapidity, and the considerable number of them already living in the cities gradually grew greater. The cities of Rere and Talca date from the end of the seventeenth century and were founded by Governor Martín de Poveda in 1695. At that time, a century and a half after the settlement of the Spaniards in Chile, the European and mestizo population already numbered one hundred thousand persons. Santiago, the capital, had more than twelve thousand.

But the eighteenth century gave the greatest impetus to the development of the European population. Until the end of the previous century almost all the people coming from Spain had come from the several regions of Castile, and to these had been added some Portuguese and French. During the eighteenth century there came also an abundant Biscayan immigration, belonging to the Basque provinces of northern Spain, situated between the Cantabrian Mountains and the sea. Wholly industrious and active, coming from a territory which had much in common with central Chile in topography and climate, they constituted an element that made for rapid progress in the colony and established numerous families who later on became of considerable influence because of their wealth and culture.

Some governors of this century have left their names linked with the founding of many new cities. Such were José Antonio Manso and Domingo Ortíz de Rozas. The miserable, rude life of workers in p98the country, the violence of their customs, shown especially in robberies and in an unparalleled number of assassinations, and the difficulty of improving their well-being and culture because of their isolation counseled those governors to establish the workers in organized groups in villages, which would soon become populous communities. Between 1740 and 1745 Manso founded San Felipe and Copiapó in the north; Melipilla, Rancagua, Curicó, San Fernando, Cauquenes, and Los Angeles in the south; and he also refounded Talca a little farther west of the site where Governor Marín de Poveda had founded it a half century earlier. It was these accomplishments that particularly made him worthy of promotion to the viceregency of Peru and gained for him the honorable title of Conde de Superunda, which his sovereign conferred upon him. Ortiz de Rozas added to the towns already founded those of Quirihue, Coelemu, and Florida, near Concepción; those of Casa Blanca, Petorca, and Ligua, near Valparaiso; and another on Juan Fernández in order to put a stop to the coming of corsairs, who had established the center of their operations on that island.

But these initial measures of progress were not executed without serious difficulties. In the first place, encomenderos and proprietors near those villages complained to the king that they were left without peons, because all the laborers preferred to live in cities where they were given sites for their own dwellings, and so the encomenderos resisted the governor's projects to the uttermost. They believed that their personal interests should be preferred to the well-being of members of that class who, from being merely their servants, were transferredº at little cost into proprietors.

Another obstacle was a severe earthquake which was felt on May 25, 1751, and caused enormous damage through the whole colony. This was not the only one that Chile suffered from in the eighteenth century; in 1730 a similar disturbance had caused incalculable damage in all the cities. That of 1751 was, like the former, accompanied by tidal waves. All the towns along the coast felt the force of this catastrophe; Santiago and Chillán also felt it seriously; but this time no city suffered more than Concepción. The shock of 1730 had entirely destroyed it, and that of 1751 again destroyed it. Ortiz de Rozas had it rebuilt but changed the site. From the coast where it was located (the present Penco) he transferred it a little farther in, near the Biobío, where it is today.

He also had to rebuild Chillán, which the floods from the river of that name, together with the earthquake, had completely wiped out. Nor did he leave the city in its former location, but transferred it to the spot which Chillán Viejo occupies today, some distance from p99the river which had flooded it. The zealous executive had the misfortune, however, to see several of the cities which he had just escaped destroyed, among them Juan Fernández, where the great shocks of the earthquake and the tidal wave had wiped out almost the entire island. The king compensated him for these afflictions by granting him the title of Conde de Poblaciones (Count of Settlements). Later, at the end of the century, the most celebrated of the governors or presidents that the colony ever had, Ambrosio O'Higgins, also contributed to the development of urban life in the country by founding new centers. From that time date Santa Rosa de los Andes (Los Andes today), San José de Maipo, Nueva Bilbao (Constitución today), Parral, and Linares.

Thus, when the colonial period ended at the beginning of the nineteenth century, Chile contained thirty or more cities, although because of their poverty the greater part of them hardly deserved the name of village. Santiago, the principal one, did not have more than forty thousand inhabitants. Concepción, following next in importance, had only some five or six thousand. Before the earthquake of 1751, when it occupied the site of the present Penco, its population had risen to more than twenty thousand persons, and the fact that it was the general headquarters of the southern army had given it an exceptional prosperity; but after the earthquake had destroyed it, and it had been transferred to the site which it now occupies, and especially when the wars of Arauco were followed by a prolonged truce, it deteriorated greatly.

In the north, La Serena was the leading city, with a population about similar to that of Concepción. Valparaiso, the Capitol port, Valdivia, the military outpost, and Chillán and Talca, each with three or four thousand inhabitants, completed the number of centers that deserved the title of city.

The appearance of such cities was still dreary and monotonous. Along their narrow streets ran streams of dirty water in open ditches. Their buildings were uniformly low and even in their very centers straw huts spoiled their general appearance. Unpainted walls made them still more unattractive. At night darkness and absolute silence reigned in them. There were no street lights; in the doorway of an occasional house a lantern with a wax candle shone until nine or ten o'clock. Persons that had to be abroad at those hours were preceded by a servant who lighted the road with a little street lantern carried in the hand.

In winter such streets were made impassable by mud, and the residents who lived some distance away disappeared with the first rains and were not seen again until spring. Santiago alone succeeded in p100having some of the streets and sidewalks paved with round stones from the river. Here also a few buildings were important and possessed a certain magnificence: the cathedral, the mint, the custom house (today the tribunal of justice), the consulate (now torn down), and the portals called Sierra Bella on the south side of the Plaza de Armas. In Santiago, moreover, as in the other cities, such buildings as the cabildo, the government house, the jail, and the principal church surpassed the others. They were all located around the central plaza, where there were no gardens, only a few trees.

Classification of the Inhabitants

Distributed among the cities or villages and in the country districts from the valley of Copiapó to the island of Chiloé were a half million inhabitants at the end of the eighteenth century. They occupied the territory at that time controlled by the Spaniards, with the exception of the interior of Araucania, where the native population preserved its independence and its peculiar usages and customs and was estimated at not less than one hundred thousand persons.

Less than two fifths of that half million were of European descent. This part of the population was made up of Spaniards born on the Peninsula (not more than twenty thousand) and of Spaniards born in Chile, called "Creoles" (something like one hundred and fifty thousand). The remaining portion, three fifths at least, was composed of mestizos of native and Spanish blood. This did not signify that the majority of the Creole population did not all have, in varying proportion, some admixture of Indian blood. What most distinguished the Creole from the mestizo, however, was that while European blood, culture, and customs predominated in the former, in the mestizo the blood, culture, and barbarous customs of his native ancestors predominated.

About twenty thousand slaves, Negroes or mulattoes, and two or three thousand Indians, freed a few years before from the service of the encomiendas, completed the picture of the population. The foreigners settled in the country scarcely numbered a hundred and were mostly French.

The two or three thousand Indians represented, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the last vestige of a race conquered and reduced to servitude in the middle of the sixteenth century. They were now almost totally exterminated under the lash of their masters in the labor of fields and mines. They were the survivors of a tragedy of three centuries, a tragedy in which a people of superior civilization had brought about the extinction of a conquered people by dint of exploitation and maltreatment.

p101 In 1791, during the governorship of Ambrosio O'Higgins, the king, at his instance, had ordered the complete abolition of the encomiendas and the restitution to the royal patronage of the lands they occupied. Royal decrees to the same intent had been issued several times before, but the governors were neither willing to execute them nor the encomenderos to comply with them. They were too much in need of the subjected Indian — yanacona or mitamae as they called him — in the work of their lands to free him from servitude. But this time Governor O'Higgins, impressed by the bad treatment accorded to the Indian, resolved, in spite of all resistance brought to bear on him, to force obedience to the royal orders. It was not now so difficult, however, to execute this work of reparation and of justice for the repressed race because there were hardly two or three thousand natives then surviving in encomiendas throughout the whole country. O'Higgins settled these Indians in different villages or new settlements, where he gave them small parcels of land on which they might build their houses and labor freely. Even today, after the lapse of a century and a half, it is not difficult to recognize the survival of the type and their native customs in the population of those places — Pomaire, for example, near Melipilla.

When the Spaniards settled in Chile for the first time, in 1541, it was calculated that the native population was not less than five hundred thousand individuals. At the time of the abolition of the encomiendas — after exactly two and a half centuries — about one hundred thousand of them still kept their independence in the interior of Araucania, and of the rest only some two thousand remained. On the other hand, they were replaced in almost equal number by the mestizo race in which the Indian continued to survive. The ancient yanacona was replaced by the inquilino on the farms and by the wandering peon in the cities. The condition of either was certainly not so painful as that of their Indian grandfathers, but they had not on that account become much freer or more civilized.

Production and Commerce in the Eighteenth Century

The Spaniards who arrived in Chile in the sixteenth century always found plentiful means of subsistence and even prospects of wealth. It is clear that an accidental situation of scarcity and suffering had been created in the country during the early years of that century because of the wars of Arauco, but conditions shortly returned to normal and, along with the growth in population, the general wealth also increased.

Apart from the very nature of the territory, two circumstances p102in that country favored the economic development of the colony: first, the royal aid which supplied circulating capital to Chilean encomenderos and merchants, to the extent of three hundred thousand Castilian pesos annually; and second, the creation of the permanent army for the wars of the Arauco, which allowed labor to go on normally in the assurance that it would not be interrupted for levies or enforced conscription.

Chile had begun by being a cattle-raising country and it kept on being so. The growth in cattle raising and the introduction made at the beginning of the century of large herds from Argentina through the gaps of the cordillera lowered the price of meat. Although this importation was prohibited, it was, nevertheless, carried on clandestinely. The price of cattle was reduced from two to one and a half pesos per head; horses also were sold at much lower prices than in the previous century; and the breeding of mules, which greatly developed in this same period, now permitted their exportation to Peru. Sheep and hogs maintained their prices (a real a head) because consumption increased proportionately, in spite of their great abundance. The culture of bees was still more prosperous. All the species known today were brought from Spain and propagated so rapidly that they soon had no value.

Agricultural production also increased equally with cattle raising. The potato was grown abundantly in this century, as were also fruit trees — the apple south of the Biobío, the peach, olive, and almond north of Santiago; but no product was cultivated in greater quantity than wheat, especially in the last years of the seventeenth century. An earthquake that occurred in Lima in 1687 demolished that city and lay waste the fields in its environs. Then the exportation of Chilean wheat to Peru increased extraordinarily. Its value tripled in the country itself (from two to six pesos a fanega), and in Peru the price fluctuated between twenty and thirty pesos; but the sudden jump, which stimulated cultivation so much, lasted only a few years.

Mining did not keep up with those two factors of wealth in their progress. Gold was scarce and the methods of extraction too imperfect to make the mines pay; moreover, competent operators were lacking. Silver, which was found in some mines, also gave small promising returns. Copper was the only metal produced on a more considerable scale because of its abundance and easy exploitation. It was found in almost all the hills from Aconcagua to Copiapó: and, as it was used in Peru and Spain for the manufacture of cannon, bells, and other articles, its extraction for export to those countries created an excellent business.

p103 Neither did the small colonial industries remain stationary in the seventeenth century. Ironworks and spinning mills multiplied. The carpets and blankets of Chillán and Concepción became famous. The carpenter shops of the Jesuits, in which furniture was made, also became well known, as did their dockyards, in which large barges were already being constructed. In Santiago there were silversmiths who made rough silver table service and jewelry. The clay pottery industry increased greatly throughout the whole country. If to these occupations were added the other industries immediately derived from cattle raising and agriculture, like tanning and milling, one will have a manufacturing movement, routine in character, but in every case progressive.

Commerce developed in spite of the obstacles which hindered it greatly. Besides wheat and copper, Peru received from Chile dried fruits, wines, and, as before, grease, leather, dried beef, flour, and tallow; and in return it sent weapons, articles of clothing, rice, and especially sugar. Of course this importation was slight because of the excessive price that European articles attained in Chile. These were the times when a silk dress or a Spanish cloak was handed down from generation to generation, from father to great-grandson, like a house or a farm. The value of all exports fluctuated around half a million pesos annually.

An improvement in the means of transportation corresponded to this mercantile development. Broad roads were opened and carts introduced, all of wood and pulled by oxen. There was also improvement in the postal service which had previously been carried on, from time to time, between cities of the north and the south when military communications had to be made, and nothing more. The same official that carried the correspondence of the government now carried the private mail. Something of the same sort occurred with maritime correspondence, which went to Peru and from there to Spain by way of Panama in merchant vessels, and which came from those countries after having made the same voyage.

The Economic Movements of the Eighteenth Century

During the eighteenth century commercial movements and all means of production became much more active. New circumstances in this period favored their development. In 1700 Charles II died. He was the last representative of the dynasty called the House of Austria. At once the dynasty of the House of Bourbon entered upon the government of Spain in the person of the French prince, Philip V — the name he was known by as king. This change in dynasty was of considerable advantage to Spain and to the colonies as well, in p104all forms of activity; and even the armed conflict to which it gave rise did not harm the latter. The ascent of the French prince to the Spanish throne really occasioned the war in which France and Spain were united against those European powers which did not accept the family alliance between those two countries because they considered that it would tremendously increase the prestige of France. Among those powers was England, whose government sent fleets and corsairs, as in the sixteenth century, to commit depredations on the commerce of the Spanish colonies.

Spain lacked even a halfway powerful fleet and had to trust the defense of its dominions to the French, who were stronger on the sea. But the French sailors, on coming to the colonies, took advantage of the occasion to establish a commercial interchange between the industrial producers of their country and the American merchants. This traffic was prohibited, but that did not hinder its being carried on clandestinely. Their merchandise, exempt from payment of custom duties and acquired in France at cheap prices, could be sold at a great profit in the American colonies at a much less cost than that which came from the Peninsula; the trade under those conditions was certain. It was also convenient for the colonists, because it permitted them to acquire European merchandise 50 per cent cheaper through legal channels and to sell some of their own products at a much greater price.

Along the extensive and unguarded coast of Chile this contraband commerce was easily carried on from the beginning because it was looked upon with favor by the people of the greatest social influence and, moreover, because there were governors who, up to that time, either aided it directly or ignored it. The regime of isolation to which the colony was subjected in matters of trade was, then, destroyed by contraband and, with the introduction of this new element into colonial life, commerce tended to free itself. The kings of Spain did not fail to observe this; but, not daring to bring about a complete modification in that regime, they introduced a reform which somewhat overcame its inconveniences.

Such a measure was the establishment of registered ships to carry on the mercantile traffic which had been previously carried on in the so‑called "galleons." This sea commerce had its center in Cádiz — a much more suitable port than Seville, from which its privilege was transferred — and consisted in granting permission to certain outfitters of ships to exercise at their own risk and in designated colonial ports the interchange of merchandise of Spain with the products of America. As they had to "register" the permission granted for their trading with the authorities in these ports, in order that p105they might be permitted to land their goods, commerce carried on in this way took the name given above. The Pacific was opened to vessels which carried on this traffic by the route around Cape Horn; and the ports of Concepción and Valparaiso regarded the visits of these ships as important events. In this way direct commerce was established between Chile and Spain and the same was true of Peru. Commerce did not now have to cross the isthmus and go to the fairs of Portobelo, which now had no reason for existence and were closed. Moreover, at this time commerce developed with Buenos Aires across the great cordillera and was linked to that of Paraguay and Uruguay. Chile sent wines, flour, dried fruits, tallow, and copper ore, and in return received principally cattle, yerba maté, and some European articles.

In this way, during the first half of the eighteenth century, Chile added three new markets to the market of Peru, the only one opened up to that time: France, by means of the contraband trade; Spain, by means of the registered ships; and Buenos Aires, through the cordillera. The commercial impetus that these markets supplied rapidly outran all Chile's productive activities. A half century afterward, and up to the beginning of the nineteenth century, the contraband practices which had opened commerce with France to the colonies also opened to them commerce with England and the United States. The last-named had declared its independence in 1776. Ships of both countries cruised all along the coast of South America laden with goods manufactured by their factories, in order to exchange them as a contraband for the natural products of the colonies. They frequently traded on the Chilean coast where they were tolerated by the authorities and were very well received by merchants, farmers, and miners.

The court of Spain, meanwhile, impressed by the necessity of giving greater economic expansion to the colonies, conceived the idea of furthering direct commerce between them and the Peninsula, but always retained a complete monopoly of the traffic. This was the end that inspired the "Ordinance of Free Commerce between Spain and the Indies" promulgated by Charles III, in 1778. It qualified for this commerce several ports of Spain — not Cádiz alone, as previously — and also several in America, both on the Atlantic Ocean and on the Pacific. In Chile Valdivia, Talcahuano, Valparaiso, and Coquimbo could now receive vessels direct from Spain under normal conditions and were not, as before, subject to the irregularity with which the register ships arrived. So‑called "free commerce" was not free, however, except, in respect to Spain; the rest of Europe always remained shut out from mercantile relations p106with America; but the contraband trade carried on by the French and the English and, shortly, by the North Americans continued as before to break in on the isolation of the colonies.

Institutions for the Regulation of Trade

Other reforms of an economic nature were also carried into effect in Chile from the middle of the eighteenth century. One of these was the creation of the mint for coining gold and silver and increasing the circulating medium within the country. The first pesos and coins were made there in 1750, and from then on this coinage began to facilitate the interchange of Chilean products and to give greater activity to internal commerce. At first this mint was administered by a private concessionaire, but in 1772 the king changed it to a public service in charge of a high official named by himself, who bore the title of Superintendent of the Mint. The first to serve in this office of confidence and honor was Mateo del Toro Zambrano, Conde de la Conquista (Count of the Conquest), a Creole of extensive social ties who was later to play a most significant public rôle.

Another reform of the middle of the eighteenth century relating to commerce was the establishment of the monopoly on tobacco in 1753. According to this ordinance only the government could sell this article. Since the preceding century other articles had already been monopolized by royal order, such as playing cards and dice, but these commercial restrictions were not planned to limit consumption but to procure income for the royal treasury. In this respect they were financial measures rather than institutions of an economic character.

One of the fiscal reforms of this period had much more commercial importance — the reorganization of the customs (aduana). Until then the collection of the duty on exports and imports was made by private persons to whom the right of collection was auctioned at a fixed price. As can be seen, such a system lent itself to abuses. By royal order this now became a public service, and a public functionary, the administrator of customs, was appointed to collect that impost for the king's treasury. As the excise tax (alcabala) was subjected to a similar system, a like reform was introduced into it, and it was put into the hands of the same official.

Another of those reforms was the incorporation of the postal service with the crown in 1772. This service had formerly been carried on under the most deplorable conditions, entrusted as it was to private parties eager to get as much profit as possible from it. The irregularity with which correspondence was transported p107between Spain and the colonies was the principal drawback. The king appointed a general administrator of post offices, who dispatched the mail every two months from Spain to Buenos Aires and Chile in a special "packet boat," which on its return carried mail from those colonies. Later this trip was made every month. One can readily understand the great benefit this measure represented, especially for commerce. The internal postal service of Chile, however, was not regulated until later by the establishment of a monthly mail between Santiago and Concepción, and another each week between Santiago and Valparaiso. The Commercial Tribunal (Tribunal del consulado) was also established in Santiago in 1795. Its principal object was not only to ascertain and render judgments in commercial matters, but to promote improvements in this branch of economic activities, as in industry, agriculture, and mining.

In this way, by means of the administrative reforms indicated above and through the initiative of persons interested in the exploitation of the natural wealth of the country, the colony found itself at the beginning of the nineteenth century in an economic situation of relative prosperity as compared with the backwardness of former times.

Colonial Economy at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century

In agriculture, wheat continued to be the chief product and was cultivated throughout most of the territory. Next came barley, maize, kidney beans, and lentils; then potatoes, peas, and fruit trees. The olive and grape were among the cultivated products. Previously hemp had constituted an appreciable source of wealth, but at the beginning of the nineteenth century its cultivation had been almost abandoned. These activities, however, developed only to a limited extent. Flour, wheat, grain, dried fruits, grapes, and brandy were the only articles of export in this branch of trade; the rest hardly sufficed for ordinary consumption. The preparation of timber in the southern zone and of charcoal in the central zone was already very important.

The excellent fields for pasturage with which the country was provided now fed great herds of cattle and droves of horses and mules. Sheep, goats, hogs, and fowls were no less numerous. Cheese, tallow, hemp, dried beef, wool, and cured hides were articles of export. Fishing along the coast came to be a profitable industry, which even left a surplus for some export of dried fish as a sort of preserve.

p108 The colonists continued to pay special attention to mining, and their returns therefrom were usually good. Even when imperfect methods were used in the extraction of gold and silver, and when the scarcity of capital and the difficulty of communication were weighty drawbacks, appreciable profits were obtained; but copper continued to constitute the most precious source of wealth and, although the price was low, it was not sent in large quantities to Peru and Spain or given in payment to smugglers.

The manufacturing industry had improved very little. It was occupied exclusively with the ordinary transformation of the products of agriculture and stock raising. Without factories adapted to the purpose, and without technical preparation for running them, such industries as flour mills and tanneries were still rather primitive. Looms for fabrics of rough flannel, with which the countryman clothed himself, and for blankets and carpets had not advanced much, and an experimental textile mill with European machinery, which was erected in Santiago, never attained a large output. The native clay pottery industry had greatly developed and had reached a moderate degree of perfection. The large earthen jars (tinajas) in which wines were kept in the warehouses, and which are still to be seen in some old vineyards, formed the most striking exhibit of this craft. Another industry was shipbuilding, which at some points on the coast, as at the mouth of the Maule, was developed to a high degree.

The volume of exterior commerce had become considerable. The mercantile lines of Chile during that period were still the same four as at the middle of the eighteenth century: with Peru on the Pacific; with Buenos Aires over the cordillera; with Spain through the Strait of Magellan; and the contraband trade through this same strait and around Cape Horn which linked the country with markets of the United States, France, and England. The total amount of interchange arose to an annual value of five million pesos.

The market with Spain was the most favored: about two fifths of the commercial movement belonged to it. Chile sent principally coined gold and silver and copper bars, and in return received silk and cotton goods, linen thread, porcelain, articles of hardware, a few agricultural implements, paper, and some printed books which related especially to law and religious matters. Peru exported sugar, cocoa, tobacco, indigo,º and ordinary wool and cotton cloth to Chile. In exchange for these articles were sent tallow, dried beef, salted fish, dried fruits, and large quantities of wine, copper, and wheat. By way of Buenos Aires came yerba maté from Paraguay, soap from Mendoza, wool blankets and carpets, herds of cattle, and p109many European articles; and in return Buenos Aires received cured hides, copper bars, gold coin, and wines; but this interchange did not represent more than an amount equivalent to half a million pesos, while the trade carried on with Peru reached a million and a half annually. The contraband trade consisted of all articles of European origin and the greater part of the national products. It was evident that European articles had diminished in value, but those of the country had not advanced because there was always an abundance of them.

This commercial movement was hampered by many disadvantages. If the establishment of registered ships and the ordinance of free commerce had favored it during the eighteenth century, these factors did not, however, satisfy the aspirations of the colonists. The obligation to buy European articles exclusively in Spain, whence only five or six vessels came every year; the risks to which contraband trade was exposed, in order to provide the same articles at less cost; the difficulties of transit over the cordillera in winter; and the abuses committed by the shipowners of Callao, whose ships were the only ones that carried on traffic between Peru and Chile — all these represented impediments very prejudicial to commerce. All intelligent Chileans understood it well, and the conviction was born in them that there was learn one way in which the country could fully develop its wealth — freedom of trade of a sort that could be practiced with any nation of the world.

Urban Progress; Roads and Fortifications

Local progress of recognized value corresponded during this period to the gradual increase in wealth and population. It would not have been possible to make this progress without the economic advancement of the territory, which already was evident in the last century of the colonial era. The communities which were being established in the country from the sixteenth century on did not gain appreciably in construction, living conditions, and communication until the eighteenth century. Special attention was bestowed on Santiago, the capital, as may be easily understood. Almost completely destroyed by the earthquake of May 13, 1647, it was rebuilt little by little, with the restoration of all its public buildings, from the cathedral to the jail. We have already mentioned those which were regarded as the more valuable.

To the calamities caused by the earthquakes, there was added, a century afterward, the floods of the Mapocho, so frequent that every year the residents of this capital were liable to see their houses destroyed beneath the debris of the river. That of 1748 was particularly p110severe. The dikes, as the protective walls were called, were made and remade almost every year, but the river did not respect them. Each governor, then, had to do this work more than once. The same thing happened with the bridge of masonry previously built. The flood of 1748 carried it away completely and left only its lower piling. Many years were to pass before it could be rebuilt in a permanent form. Only after the great flood of 1783 did Governor O'Higgins order its complete reconstruction.

Moreover, the city had been expanding from the beginning of the eighteenth century. Its northern suburb (La Chimba) was rapidly populated and its suburb east of Santa Lucía (Providencia) was built up at the same time; but a feeling of insecurity still continued among its inhabitants. Assaults by armed bands and robberies — often the result of drunken carousals in the outskirts — grew with alarming persistency. The surrounding country was no better. The most daring banditry prevailed everywhere. One of the presidents of the middle eighteenth century, Manuel de Amat y Junient, was famous for the determination and energy displayed during his government in repressing such great disorders. His most notable work was the creation of the first police organization for Santiago and all Chile in 1758. It was composed of a squadron of fifty men, which had quarters behind the governor's palace, was paid with funds from the royal treasury, and was called the Queen's Dragoons.

Dating from 1756, Santiago also had a college for higher studies, which was called the University of San Felipe,6 in honor of King Philip V, who had authorized its erection. It opened its classes two years afterward and had its own building, partly paid for by the residents, where the municipal theater stands today. The construction of the Maipo Canal, which put the rich land south of the city under cultivation, was a century-long task. Constructed by sections, it was begun about the middle of the eighteenth century, in 1743, and was concluded only during the following century.

The opening of broad, safe wagon roads was another task of the eighteenth century. The road uniting Santiago with Valparaiso was finished only in the closing years of the century during the government of Ambrosio O'Higgins, as was also the road over the cordillera through Uspallata Pass, which united Santiago with Mendoza and permitted commerce with Buenos Aires. Furthermore, p111the road to Chillán and Concepción was improved, and in the south Valdivia and Osorno were also connected by not very ample, but easily travelled, routes.

Valparaiso had some fortifications, and storage warehouses for the shipping of goods were constructed and regulated in the port. Coquimbo, the port of La Serena, was also fortified, and a house built for its cabildo and jail. Valdivia, which by the middle of the seventeenth century had been fortified at its port, Corral, and had passed under the direct control of the viceroy of Peru, was in 1787 again placed under the authority of the captain general of Chile, and at the same time the island of Chiloé became a dependency of Peru. The chief of its fortifications, however, and also later the military chief of Valparaiso, continued to receive royal appointment and to communicate directly with the king or the viceroy of Peru. But, in their civic functions, their administration and public works were in charge of the presidents of Chile. Concepción, as previously stated, had been rebuilt on the banks of the Biobío after the earthquake of 1751, and since then Talcahuano had become its port. It took a long time for it to recover its ancient rank as the most important city of the south, but its local progress at the end of the eighteenth century was considerable. In all parts, then, the increase in population and wealth contributed to give these old villages the appearance of cities where conditions of life resembled those prevailing in like communities of Spain.


The Author's Notes:

1 The son, Pedro de Villagra, who perished in this combat, is to be distinguished from the cousin and successor ad interim of Francisco de Villagra. See Barros Arana, Historia jeneral, II, 301, n. 5, and 328. The time and place of the battle mentioned in the text (see above) are uncertain, but it probably occurred at the end of January or the beginning of February, 1563. See ibid., pp313‑316, especially p315, n. 23. The narrative of Barros Arana is based on Pedro Marino de Lovera's Crónica del reino de Chile, Bk. II, chap. xvii, in "Colección de historiadores de Chile," VI, 270‑274; and Alonso de Góngora Marmolejo, Historia de Chile desde su descubrimiento hasta el año de 1575, in ibid., II, 99‑102. See also Medina, Dic. biog., p962.

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2 In 1604 James I reëstablished peace with Spain which lasted until November 5, 1624, when war was declared by Charles I. Six years later the Treaty of Madrid was signed. The next break came in 1656 when Spain declared war on England. Although a treaty was signed in 1670, war really continued until 1688 when Spain, England, and Holland were allied against France until the war was ended in 1697 by the Peace of Ryswick. See Ramsay Muir, A Short History of the British Commonwealth (2 vols. London, 1920), I, 359‑606.

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3 Jacob Lemaire was born in Egmont, Holland. With another Dutchman, William Cornelius Schouten, he passed the Strait of May (Lemaire) in 1615 and sighted Cape Horn on January 29, 1616. The two voyagers continued to Batavia where they were seized by representatives of the Dutch East Indies Company for infringing on the latter's trade monopoly. Lemaire died that year on his way back to Holland. See La grande encyclopédie, XXI, 1118; and Barros Arana, Historia jeneral, IV, 151‑156.

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4 Brouwer discovered a short route to Australia from the Cape of Good Hope, which Dutch commanders thereafter followed, and served as governor-general of the Dutch East Indies for three years after 1632. In the spring of 1643 he visited the coast of Chile and during that year died on the island of Chiloé. He was buried in Valdivia. — Espasa, Enciclopedia, IX, 1006. See also Robert Southey, History of Brazil (London, 1817‑1822), chap. xix.

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5 The author refers to the expulsion of the Moriscos in August, 1609, by Philip III. See Henry Charles Lea, The Moriscos of Spain (Philadelphia, 1901), p315.

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6 The detailed story of the beginnings of this university is given by Medina in La instrucción pública en Chile, Vol. I, chap. xiv; the documents in ibid., II, 244‑261. See also Barros Arana, Historia jeneral, VI, 167‑170, 197‑198; VII, 493‑499.


Thayer's Notes:

a This tactic was also very widely used, from the 17c to the early 19c, in North America.

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b The English name actually given, of which this is a translation, was Port Famine. A small webpage with a photograph is provided at ChileAustral.Com.


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