History in Chile
Chile has been populated since at least 12,000 BC. In the 16th century Spanish conquistadors began to subdue and colonised the region of present-day Chile, and the territory became a colony from 1540 to 1818, when it gained independence from Spain. An increase in raw material export lead to an upturn in the Chile economy which did result in a war between Chile, Bolivia and Peru in 1879 – 1884.
The territory of present-day Chile has been populated since at least 12,000 BC. In 1988, Chile made a peaceful transition to democracy.
Prehispanic history of Chile
Pre-Hispanic Chile was home to over a dozen different Amerindian societies.
Spanish conquest and colony
Pedro de Valdivia
With a couple of hundred men, he subdued the local inhabitants and founded the city of Santiago de Nueva Extremadura, now Santiago de Chile, on February 12, 1541.
Although Valdivia found little gold in Chile he could see the agricultural richness of the land. Valdivia became the first governor of the Captaincy General of Chile. Chile was the least wealthy realm of the Spanish Crown for most of its colonial history. Independence occurred in 1810-1826.
What started as an elitist political movement against their colonial master, finally ended as a full-fledged civil war between pro-Independence criollos who sought political and economic independence from Spain and Royalist criollos, who supported the continued allegiance to and permanence within the Spanish Empire of the Kingdom of Chile. Chile won its formal independence when San Martín defeated the last large Spanish force on Chilean soil at the Battle of Maipú on April 5, 1818. San Martín then led his Argentine and Chilean followers north to liberate Peru; and fighting continued in Chile's southern provinces, the bastion of the royalists, until 1826.
A declaration of independence was officially issued by Chile on February 12, 1818 and formally recognised by Spain in 1840, when full diplomatic relations were established.
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