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Extra resources for Chile (Modern World Nations)
The rebels defeated progovernment forces in two battles and seized the city of Santiago. Balmaceda took refuge in the Argentine embassy. He remained in the embassy until the end of his legal presidential term and committed suicide there. The government remained democratic at the end of the crisis, and a newly elected president and congress took office after the uprising. Despite the brief 1891 revolt, Chileans finished the nineteenth century with a long history of political stability. They took take pride in their representative form of government, and many looked with contempt on their more chaotic neighbors.
As the mestizo population grew, more and more of them became part of a floating landless population that served as day laborers in harvest or other times of peak labor demand. INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENTS Chile sought to break ties with Spain for the same reasons that the rest of the Spanish colonies did. First, throughout the Spanish Empire there had been a growing hostility between the American-born criollos and the peninsular Spaniards. The latter controlled the political lives of the former. The Crown would only appoint a peninsular Spaniard to be a governor, judge, mayor, tax collector, and so on.
They lived in small villages made up of three to eight huts (rukas) with one household (consisting of one or more families) sharing a hut. The dwellings were usually dispersed in valleys along streams. As shifting cultivators, the Mapuche and Huilliche burned small areas of forest near their villages to grow crops. q 2/20/04 8:28 PM Page 34 34 Chile Many groups of indigenous people inhabited Chile centuries ago, living on the fringes of the Inca civilization. One group, the Mapuche Indians, lived in the southern end of middle Chile as shifting cultivators, meaning at times the tribe would relocate to be near more fertile fields.