History of Chile

mapuche girl

Early History of Chile

It began around 12,000BC in Chile, the settlers were of Native American decent and their growth continuing at a substancial rate they were living in times long before the 'Clovis culture'. These settlers can be placed into these 3 groups

  • Northerners (Pre Incan)
  • Araucanian
  • Patagonian
Europe's Discovery of Chile

The Inca Empire has also been known for extending their boundaries in northern Chile, the Mapuche's put up the biggest fight of all figting Inca's forces and resulted in boundaries being set between the two. Though there was soon to be another visitor with their own plans for Chile, for the Europeans Ferdinand Magellan first reached Chile who was an explorer of Portuguese decent.

Chile was considered a poor country by Diego de Almagro due to its limitations with gold and silver. It was Pedro de Valdivia who took his soldiers with him this happened in 1541 and as mentioned there was limited gold etc but instead the alternative wealth in the form of agriculture seemed a worthwhile investment with high quality land.

A portrait of Pedro de Valdivia

Then followed the war of Arauco, it was here that Valdivia was killed during battle trying to expand territory. The Inca Empire soon discovered that the Mapuche's were prepared to fight for their land, It wasn't until much later in the 18th century that Chile's economy started to reach a respectable level and still remained one of the poorer areas under Spanish control.

Napoleon's brother took the reigns in 1810 going by the name of Joseph Bonaparte, Chileans were becoming increasingly divided between Independentists and Royalists. The independence movement officially began in September 18th 1810, power was assigned to a national junta (a junta is a military led government).

Continue to learn about the role of OHiggins in Chile'