Chile since Independence (Cambridge History of Latin by Leslie Bethell

By Leslie Bethell

Chile seeing that Independence brings jointly 4 chapters from Volumes three, five, and eight of The Cambridge historical past of Latin the US to supply in one quantity an financial, social, and political heritage of Chile on account that independence. each one bankruptcy is observed by means of a bibliographical essay.

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The people of the towns, by contrast, responded ardently to the victory celebrations in 1839; the dieciocho^ the annual national holiday, though often a pretext for prolonged alcoholic indulgence, was an undeniably popular occasion; and private as well as public initiatives saw to it that statues were raised to the heroes of independence and other national figures, starting with General Freire in 1856. (Portales and O'Higgins got their monuments in i860 and 1872 respectively). Educated Chileans were strongly inclined to see their country as superior to others in From independence to the War of the Pacific 27 Spanish America - and it is hard to resist the conclusion that in certain important respects they were right.

For the Chilean government nitrate revenues were a bonanza, and the rapid expansion of the industry and trade in the 1880s provided it with an income which enabled it both to pursue ambitious programmes of public expenditure and also to avoid the need to modernize the internal system of taxation, a path which, had it wished to pursue it, would have brought government into confrontation with the vested interests which dominated Chile's political, economic and social life. 5 But such windfall wealth was a mixed blessing.

Not only had the northern frontier been pushed forward some 600 miles by the War of the Pacific, but the process of bringing under more effective central control the still-independent Indian lands south of the river Bio-Bio and the even more remote territory of Magallanes had also begun to gather momentum. Military force and colonization had been the twin arms of successive Chilean governments in this process in the 30 years since the 1850s, but the movement was intermittent and halting, for between the Bio-Bio and the river Token further south lay Araucania, inhabited by the fiercely independent Mapuche Indians whose sporadic revolts and more frequent depredations inhibited the progress of settlement.

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