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Biographies: T‑Z

This webpage reproduces part of
History of Chile

Luis Galdames

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

The text is in the public domain.

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 p537  Bibliographical Notes

In arranging the bibliography on Chile, it has seemed best to follow in general the chronological order. Its divisions will thus correspond more closely to the chapters of the present work. The reader should bear in mind that the following lists of books make no attempt to be complete. The aim of the editor has been to suggest the principal sources and most significant works under each heading. From these, the interested reader can readily branch out for himself into any special field.

General Bibliographies

There is no general bibliography covering the whole field of Chilean history. The former subdirector of the National Library, Luis Montt, made a beginning in his Bibliografía chilena; precedada de un bosquejo histórico sobre los primeros años de la prensa en el país (Vol. I, 1780‑1811. Santiago, 1918; Vol. II, 1812‑1817. Santiago, 1904). A similar work, but on a more extensive scale, was begun some years later by Emilio Vaisse, entitled Bibliografía general de Chile. Primera parte, diccionario de autores y obras (Santiago, 1915). This work stopped at the beginning of the alphabet with the first volume. A work dealing with the literature of Chile is Raúl Silva Castro's Fuentes bibliográficos para el estudio de la literatura chilena (Santiago, 1933). An earlier book in English compiled for the International Bureau of American Republics is Philip Lee Phillip's List of Books, Magazine Articles, and Maps Relating to Chile (Government Printing Office, Washington, 1903). One may also consult with profit the bibliographic section of the Hispanic American Historical Review (IV [February, 1921], 128‑141) and other bibliographic sections of this periodical.

Physical Features

There is no adequate general description of Chile as a whole, but one will find much of value in Fred H. Carlson's Geography of Latin America (chaps. ii, v, New York, 1936); C. F. Jones' South America (chap. iv, New York, 1930; and R. H. Whitbeck's Economic Geography of South America (chaps. vii, viii. New York, 1930). One may also consult with profit the article on Chile to be found in the fourteenth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Isaiah Bowman's Desert Trails of Atacama (New York, 1924) is valuable for its description of the nitrate regions of the north. George M. McBride, in Chile: Land and Society ("American Geographical Society, Research Series," No. 19. New York, 1936), gives an excellent summary of the geographical  p538 background and shows its effects upon the population as a whole. Agustín Edwards, in My Native land (London, 1928), gives a brief popular description of the country. Thomas H. Holdich's The Countries of the King's Award (London, 1904) gives in detail the leading features of southern Chile. Carlos Keller R., in Sinopsis geográfico-estadística de Chile (Santiago, 1933), presents in tabulated form the results of physical as well as human agencies in the country's development. Claudio Gay (see p476) in Historia física y política de Chile (26 vols. Paris, 1844‑1854), presents a complete picture of Chile during the mid-nineteenth century in its varied physical and political aspects.

General Histories

There is no extensive general history covering the whole period of Chilean development. The brief text of which the present work is a translation, Luis Galdames' Estudio de la historia de Chile (8th ed. Santiago, 1938), will serve the purpose of the general reader. Domingo Amunátegui Solar in still briefer form reviews the same period in his Historia de Chile (2 vols. Santiago, 1933). A. U. Hancock's History of Chile (Chicago, 1893) presents a narrative covering the story to the date of publication, but this is more significant for the colonial than for the national period. Thomas C. Dawson, in his South American Republics (II, 135‑231. 2 vols. New York and London, 1903‑1904), also summarizes the development of Chile to the end of the nineteenth century. George F. Scott Elliot's Chile: Its History and Development (London, 1907) combines a brief narrative with general description.

Colonial Period

The great source for the history of Chile during this period is "Colección de historiadores de Chile y documentos relativos a la historia nacional" (45 vols. Santiago, 1861‑1923). This is made up of narratives dealing with the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, references to some of which may be seen on pp87 and 129. Somewhat similar works of the eighteenth century are those of Friar Juan Ignacio Molina (see pp122, 130). The leading annalist of course, Diego Barros Arana, in his Historia jeneral de Chile (16 vols. Santiago, 1884‑1902, revised ed., 1930), has covered this period in minute detail in the first seven volumes of his voluminous work. Descriptions of the prehistoric people of Chile appear in the popular account of Agustín Edwards entitled Peoples of Old (London, [1929]) and in the more scholar­ly work of Tomás Guevara, Historia de Chile: Chile prehispanoº (2 vols. Santiago, 1925‑1927), and of Ricardo E. Latcham, La prehistoria chilena (Santiago, 1928). Robert B. Cunninghame Graham's Pedro de Valdivia, Conqueror of Chile (London, 1926) is a spritelyº and scholar­ly narrative of the conquest.  p539 The early development of the Church is treated at length by Monsignor Crescente Errázuriz in Los oríjenes de la iglesia chilena, 1530‑1603 (Santiago, 1873). The cultural history of the colony is reviewed at length in two works of José Toribio Medina, Historia de la literatura colonial de Chile (Vols. I‑III. Santiago, 1878) and La instrucción pública en Chile (2 vols. Santiago, 1905). The same author also presents the chief colonial characters in Diccionario biográfico colonial de Chile (Santiago, 1906). Alejandro Fuenzalida Grandón's La evolución social de Chile, 1541‑1810 (Santiago, 1906) offers valuable data concerning the early families in Chile.

Wars of Independence

The main source material for this period is to be found in "Colección de historiadores i de documentos relativos a la independencia de Chile" (28 vols. Santiago, 1900‑1930). For material which relates primarily to intercourse with the United States, consult W. R. Manning's Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States Concerning the Independence of the Latin American Nations (3 vols. New York, 1925). An interesting phase of the diplomatic relations of the period is presented by W. M. Collier and Guillermo Feliú Cruz in La primera misión de los Estados Unidos de América en Chile (Santiago, 1926). Sketches of the early revolutionists and their plans appear in Miguel Luis Amunátegui's Los precursores de la independencia de Chile (3 vols. Santiago, 1870‑1872). Barros Arana's Historia jeneral (Vols. VIII‑XVI) covers the period of independence and early nationality to 1833. Political activities of the period are narrated at length by Alcibíades Roldán y Álvarez in Las primeras asambleas nacionales, años de 1811 a 1814 (Santiago, 1890). Bartolomé Mitre's Historia de San Martín y de la emancipación sud-americana (3 vols. Buenos Aires, 1890) gives in detail the relation of Chile to Argentina during this period — details which are summarized in The Emancipation of South America (London, 1893) by William Pilling. This account of San Martín's connection with Chile is paralleled briefly in Thomas Cochrane's Narrative of Services in the Liberation of Chile, Peru, and Brazil (2 vols. London, 1859). The whole story of the period is summed up in A. S. M. Chisholm's Independence of Chile (Boston, 1911). John J. Mehegan, in O'Higgins of Chile (London, 1913), presents in brief and popular form the life of the Chilean patriot, preceded by a short reference to the career of the elder O'Higgins.

National Period

This period of Chilean history lacks an extended narrative. Hancock continues his study to 1893. The brief accounts by Dawson and  p540 Elliot also cover the same period. One may also consult especially for recent years the coöperative work, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile since Independence by J. Fred Rippy, P. A. Martin, and I. J. Cox (ed., A. C. Wilgus. Washington, 1935). Chilean writers have produced a large number of monographs dealing with specific periods or events, but no one has attempted to synthesize these data as did Barros Arana for the colonial and revolutionary periods. Alberto Edwards early prepared a brief monograph on the party history of the country during the nineteenth century in his Bosquejo histórico de los partidos políticos chilenos (Santiago, 1903). Henry Clay Evans reviews its diplomatic relations and incidentally affords some light on local developments in Chile and its Relations with the United States (Durham, N. C., 1927). W. S. Robertson, in History of the Latin American Nations (chap. xi 2nd ed. New York, 1932); Mary W. Williams, in People and Politics of Latin America (chap. xxvi. Boston, 1930); and Charles E. Chapman, in Republican Hispanic America. A History (pp353‑371. New York, 1937), summarize the development of Chile since independence. Ramón Sotomayor Valdés started out to write four decades of Chilean history, but his Historia de Chile durante los cuarenta años trascurridos desde 1831 hasta 1871 (2 vols. Santiago, 1875‑1876) proved to be only a detailed description of the administration of Joaquín Prieto (see pp255‑272). Toward the end of his active life, Barros Arana added to his scholar­ly reputation by publishing Un decenio de la historia de Chile (1841‑1851) (in "Obras completas de Barros Arana" Vols. XIVXV. Santiago, 1913). Years after his father's presidency (see p272) Gonzalo Bulnes brought out as a filial offering his Historia de la campaña del Perú en 1838 (Santiago, 1878). The first important contribution of Luis Galdames was El decenio de Montt (Santiago, 1904). A more recent work and a thoroughly sympathetic one — the last by its gifted writer — is Alberto Edwards' El gobierno de Don Manuel Montt, 1851‑1861 (Santiago, 1932). Sir Clements R. Markham, in The War between Peru and Chile, 1879‑1882 (London, 1882), presents the causes of the War of the Pacific with a strong bias against Chile and continues the story of the war up to the date of publication. Similar in character is the volume by Victor Manuel Maúrtua entitled The Question of the Pacific (Rev. ed. New York, 192?). For the Chilean side, Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna, Gonzalo Bulnes, and Diego Barros Arana have produced narratives that naturally are more patriotic than critical. Up to the present, no Chilean writer has ventured to summarize their weighty tomes. The arbitration of the Tacna-Arica question between Chile and Peru in 1921‑1925 gave a chance for each contestant to submit unlimited documents in support of its contentions. A few of these are edited by W. J.  p541 Dennis in Documentary History of the Tacna-Arica Dispute (Iowa City, 1927), while a summary of the nitrate war and subsequent diplomacy is given by the same author in Tacna and Arica (New Haven, 1931). Carlos Walker Martínez in Historia de la administración de Santa María (2 vols. in 1. Valparaiso, 1889) not only pays his respects to the subject but introduces readers to political issues that led to the overthrow of Balmaceda. The administration of that executive is treated favorably by his friend, J. Bañados Espinosa, in Balmaceda, su gobierno y la revolución de 1891 (Paris, 1894); and in a more scholar­ly manner by Fanor Velasco, Revolución de 1891 (Santiago, 1925). A contemporary account by an English newspaper correspondent is to be found in M. H. Hervey's Dark Days in Chile (London, 1891).º The story of the revolutionary changes in 1924‑1925 which affected important constitutional reforms is detailed in Enrique Monreal's Historia completa y documentada del período revolucionario, 1824‑1825 (Santiago, 1927). This account is more extensive than the personal explanation afforded by Juan Bennett A. in La revolución del 5 de setiembre de 1924 (Santiago, [1925]). More recent revolutionary accounts are still too scattered and partisan to give a fair picture of developments.


In many respects the biographies that follow supplement the regular historical accounts. Among useful compilations one may cite Miguel Luis Amunátegui's Ensayos biográficos (4 vols. Santiago, 1893‑1896), Pedro Pablo Figueroa's Diccionario biográfico de Chile (4th ed. Vols. I‑III. Santiago, 1897‑1901), and Virgilio Figueroa's Diccionario histórico y biográfico de Chile, 1800‑1925 (5 vols. in 4. Santiago, 1925‑1931). The two Figueroas are not related. The first has covered the nineteenth century and the second repeats much of this material and continues his work to 1930. In these two productions, and especially in the latter, one finds much of recent Chilean history. The conclusions of these compilers often need, however, to be carefully examined. They are both prejudiced and their works contain many minor mistakes. To a large extent, however, the outsider must depend upon them for a knowledge of recent events. The biographers of Chilean statesmen were frequently their political opponents. Hence it is necessary to discount their opinions. This is particularly true of outstanding characters such as Portales, Montt, Balmaceda, and Alessandri. With respect to Portales, we may mention the unfavorable narratives of B. Vicuña Mackenna, Don Diego Portales (Valparaiso, 1863) and of J. V. Lastarria, Don Diego Portales (Santiago, 1896). A more scholar­ly and more reliable account of the great founder is to be found in Francisco  p542 A. Encina's Portales, introducción a la historia de la época de Diego Portales (Vols. III. Santiago, 1934). Some of the leading characterizations of Manuel Montt have already been mentioned in the history of his decade (see pp289‑304). The cultural history of the mid-century is fittingly presented in the work of Ricardo Donoso entitled Barros Arana, educador, historiador, y hombre público (Santiago, 1931); in Joaquín Rodríguez Bravo's Don José Victorino Lastarria (Santiago, 1892); and in Alejandro Fuenzalida Grandón's Lastarria i su tiempo (1817‑1883), su vida, obras e influencia en el desarrollo político e intelectual de Chile (2 vols. Santiago, 1911). An important movement in the constitutional history of Chile is biographically summarized by Justo and Domingo Arteaga Alemparte in Los constituyentes chilenos de 1870 (Vol. II of "Biblioteca de escritores de Chile." Santiago, 1910). The career of Balmaceda mentioned in the bibliographic section devoted to national history is skillfully sketched by an outsider in Joaquín Nabuco's Balmaceda (Santiago, 1914). He is discussed more critically and at greater length in Ricardo Salas Edwards' Balmaceda y el parlamentarismo en Chile (Vols. III, 2nd ed. Santiago, 1916). Arturo Alessandri has provoked numerous monographs, favorable and unfavorable, but as yet no adequate biography. The same may be said of Carlos Ibáñez although the work of Aquiles Vergara Vicuña entitled Ibáñez, César Criollo (Vols. III. Santiago, 1931) offers a doubtful interpretation of his meteoric career.

Constitutional History

Chile has been prolific in constitutional historians. Among the first to review the numerous experiments in forms of government was Ramón Briseño in his Memoria histórico-crítica del derecho público chileno, desde 1810 hasta nuestros días (Santiago, 1849). Few of its leading men from the mid-century on have refrained from discussing its constitutional development. Bello, Lastarria, and numerous others combine such discussions with their literary and educational productions. Among important contributions we may mention that of Julio Bañados Espinosa, Constituciones de Chile, Francia, Estados Unidos, etc. (Santiago, 1889) and the work of Joaquín Rodríguez Bravo entitled Estudios constitucionales (Santiago, 1888). The standard work in this field, widely used as a text in university courses, is Alcibíades Roldán's Elementos de derecho constitucional de Chile, 1810‑1925 (Vol. I. Santiago, 1925). The leading commentary on the new constitution of 1925 is José Guillermo Guerra's Constitución de 1925 (Santiago, 1929). For the source materials used by these writers, one must have recourse to Sesiones de los cuerpos legislativos, 1811‑1845 (28 vols. Santiago, 1886‑ p543 1906), and to Ricardo Anguita, Leyes promulgadas en Chile (11 vols. Santiago, 1912‑1918), as well as to the files of El diario oficial and the collected speeches of the leading public men.

Social History

Many works of a social character afford considerable data. Nicolás Palacios' Raza chilena (2 vols. 2nd ed. Santiago, 1918) discusses the development of the Chilean people with special reference to conditions among the lower classes. Domingo Amunátegui Solar in Historia social de Chile (Santiago, 1932) traces the origin of the leading families of the country. The same author's La sociedad chilena del siglo xviii. Mayorazgos i títulos de Castilla (3 vols. Santiago, 1901‑1904) describes the background of the landholding aristocracy. Alberto Cabero in Chile y los chilenos (Santiago, 1926) combines social, political and industrial features of Chilean life from the standpoint of modern social principles, while Alberto Edwards' Fronda aristocrática en Chile (Santiago, 1928) seemingly devotes itself to a social class while really presenting the views of a political philosopher. Some attempt at applying social principles to present-day problems appears in Jorge Gustavo Silva's Nuestra evolución político-social (Santiago, 1931). Carlos Keller's Eterna crisis chilena (Santiago, 1931) touches upon social as well as economic phases. In Chile luchando por nuevas formas de vida (2 vols. Santiago, 1936), Wilhelm Mann, an adopted Chilean, discusses with sympathy various phases of the country's development.

Literary History

Colonial literature receives its most adequate treatment at the hands of José Toribio Medina in Historia de la literatura colonial de Chile (2 vols. Santiago, 1878). Other significant studies covering both the colonial and national periods are Domingo Amunátegui Solar's Bosquejo histórico de la literatura chilena (Santiago, 1918) and Jorge Huneeus Gana's Cuadro histórico de la producción intelectual de Chile, in "Biblioteca de escritores de Chile" (Vol. I. Santiago, 1910). J. V. Lastarria presents an interesting personal summary, covering the years 1836‑1877, in Recuerdos literarios (2nd ed. Santiago, 1885). Alfred Coester, in The Literary History of Spanish America (2nd ed. New York, 1928), has an interesting chapter dealing with Chile. For a critical estimate by Raúl Silva Castro of this portion of Coester's work, see Rev. chil. de hist. y geog., LXX (July‑Dec., 1931), 260‑275. An ambitious attempt to cover this phase of Chilean life, but one still incomplete, is to be found in Pedro N. Cruz's Estudios sobre la literatura chilena (Santiago, 1926). The works of many leading writers of the  p544 nineteenth century are included in "Biblioteca de escritores de Chile" (11 vols. Santiago, 1910‑1913). One of the most thorough discussions of the educational situation in the country is the work of Dario E. Salas, entitled El problema nacional, bases para la reconstrucción de nuestro sistema escolar primario (Santiago, 1917). Much of the intellectual output of the country is polemic rather than literary in content, but Andrés Bello's Obras completas (15 vols. Santiago, 1881‑1893) edited under the direction of the council of public instruction, and José Victorino Lastarria's Obras completas edited by Alejandro Fuenzalida Grandón (13 vols. Santiago, 1906‑1913), not to mention others, attest the wide variety of Chile's cultural life.

Fiscal Affairs

The most pretentious study of the monetary and commercial problems of Chile is that of the university professor, Daniel Martner, entitled Estudio de política comercial chilena e historia económica nacional (2 vols. Santiago, 1923). The Department of Commerce presents the work of Charles A. McQueen, entitled Chilean Public Finance, "Special Agent Series," No. 224 (Washington, 1924), as one of its monographs. A scholar­ly treatise on a leading fiscal problem of the country is that of Frank Whiston Fetter, Monetary Inflation in Chile (Princeton, 1931).


Valuable interpretative articles, as well as source material, are brought out in Revista chilena, of which an earlier series was published from 1875 to 1880. The present series began publication in 1917. Another publication of outstanding significance is Revista chilena de historia y geografía (Santiago, 1911‑ ). Occasional articles relating to the country appear in The Hispanic American Historical Review (Baltimore and Durham, 1918‑1922, 1926‑ ). Other articles of popular interest appear in contemporary publications such as Chile (New York, 1926‑1931) and Current History (New York, 1915‑ ).

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