Captaincy General of Chile

The General Captaincy of Chile (Capitanía General de Chile [kapitaˈni.a xeneˈɾal ðe ˈt͡ʃile]) or Gobernación de Chile, was a territory of the Spanish Empire, from 1541 to 1818. It comprised most of modern-day Chile and southern parts of Argentina. Its capital was Santiago de Chile. In 1818 it declared itself independent, becoming the Republic of Chile. It had a number of Spanish governors over its long history and several kings.

Capitanía General de Chile
1541–1818
Flag of Chile
Map of the Captaincy General of Chile in 1796 and claimed territories
Map of the Captaincy General of Chile in 1796 and claimed territories
StatusSpanish colony
CapitalSantiago
Common languagesSpanish, Mapudungun
Religion
Roman Catholicism
GovernmentMonarchy
King 
• 1541–1556
Charles I
• 1808–1813
Joseph I
• 1813–1818
Ferdinand VII
Royal Governor 
• 1541–1553
Pedro de Valdivia
• 1815–1817
Casimiro Marcó del Pont
Historical eraSpanish Empire
• Established
1541
February 12 1818
CurrencyPeso
ISO 3166 codeCL
Succeeded by
Conservative Republic

Name

The General Captaincy of Chile was incorporated to the Crown of Castile as were all the other Spanish possessions in the New World. The General Captaincy of Chile was first known as New Extremadura (a name subsequently given to a part of Mexico) and then as Indian Flanders. The Captaincy was a part of the Viceroyalty of Perú.

The administrative apparatus of the General Captaincy of Chile was subordinate to the Council of the Indies and the Laws of the Indies, like the other Spanish colonial possessions. The day-to-day work was handled mostly by viceroys and governors, who represented the king in the overseas territories. The areas of the Americas, which had been the site of complex civilizations or became rich societies were usually referred to by the Spanish as "kingdoms," such as the "New Kingdom of Granada", the "Kingdom of Mexico", or the "Kingdom of Guatemala."

Chile never reached the status of a viceroyalty and was instead classified as a captaincy general because this was a very warlike territory and thus was ruled by a military and not a nobleman like a viceroy.

History

Exploration and conquest

In 1536 Diego de Almagro formed the first expedition to explore the territories to the south of the Inca Empire, which had been granted to him as the Governorship of New Toledo. After Almargo's death, Pedro de Valdivia solicited and was granted in 1539 the right to explore and conquer the area with Francisco Pizarro's approval. Valdivia founded the city of Santiago del Nuevo Extremo and a few months later its cabildo (municipal council) appointed him governor and Captain General of New Extremadura on June 11, 1541. Other cities founded during Valdivia's administration were Concepción in 1550, La Imperial in 1551, Santa María Magdalena de Villa Rica and Santa María la Blanca de Valdivia in 1552, and the following year Los Confines and Santiago del Estero on the eastern side of the Andes. In 1553 Valdivia also founded a series of forts for protection of the settled areas: San Felipe de Araucan, San Juan Bautista de Purén and San Diego de Tucapel. After Valdivia's death that same year, these last forts, Villarica and Concepcion were lost. they were recovered following the war with Lautaro and Caupolicán. Following the defeat of the Mapuche by García Hurtado de Mendoza, settlements continued to grow and more cities were founded: Cañete de la Frontera on the site of the former Fort San Diego de Tucapel and Villa de San Mateo de Osorno in 1558, San Andrés de Angol in 1560, Ciudad de Mendoza del Nuevo Valle de La Rioja in 1561, San Luis de Loyola Nueva Medina de Rioseco and San Juan de la Frontera in 1562, and Santiago de Castro in 1567. Martín García Óñez de Loyola founded a last city south of the Bio Bio River, Santa Cruz de Coya, in 1595.

Collapse of southern Chile

Guerra Arauco
Illustration of the Arauco War in Jerónimo de Vivar's book Crónica y relación copiosa y verdadera de los reynos de Chile (1558).

A Mapuche revolt was triggered following the news of the battle of Curalaba in on the 23 of December 1598, where the vice toqui Pelantaru and his lieutenants Anganamon and Guaiquimilla with three hundred men ambushed and killed the Spanish governor Martín García Óñez de Loyola and nearly all his companions.

Over the next few years the Mapuche were able to destroy or force the abandonment of seven Spanish cities in Mapuche territory: Santa Cruz de Coya (1599), Santa María la Blanca de Valdivia (1599), San Andrés de Los Infantes (1599), La Imperial (1600), Santa María Magdalena de Villa Rica (1602), San Mateo de Osorno (1602), and San Felipe de Araucan (1604).

17th century: Consolidation of the colony

In the 17th century, the Spanish colony of Chile saw a rearrangement of its population center. While in the 16th century, most of the cities founded by the Spanish were located from Bio-Bio southward, with only Santiago, La Serena and some transandine cities located north of it, in the 17th century, Spanish authority and settlements were bought down south of Bío-Bío Region. The colony went from being a gold exporter with potential for expanding to the Strait of Magellan to being one of the Spanish Empire's most problematic and poor in natural resources. The Spanish Empire had to divert silver from Potosí to finance a standing army in Chile to fight in the Arauco War. Since the raids of Francis Drake in Chilean waters more seaborne assaults followed in the 17th century, mostly from Dutch corsairs. The Spanish Empire's attempts to block the entrance to the Pacific Ocean by fortifying the Straits of Magellan were abandoned after the discovery of Drake's Passage, focusing then on fortifying the coastal cities of Chile.

18th century: Reforms and development

Political history

As noted, the area had been designated a governorship (gobernación) during the initial exploration and settlement of the area, but because the local Amerindian peoples demonstrated fierce resistance, a more autonomous, military-based governmental authority was needed. Thus, the governor was given command of the local military and the title of captain general. This arrangement was seen in many places of the Spanish Empire.

The greatest set back the Spanish settlements suffered was the Disaster of Curalaba in 1598, which nearly wiped them out. All cities south of the Biobío River with the exception of Castro were destroyed. The river became La Frontera the de facto border between Spanish and Native areas for the next century. (See Arauco War.)

Chile lost more than half of its territory with the Bourbon reforms of Charles III, when all of its trans-Andean possessions were transferred to the domain of the newly created Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in 1776. Chile gained two intendancies, Santiago and Concepción in 1786 and became a Bourbon-style Captaincy General in 1789.

Society

Societal groups

Baile del Santiago antiguo
"Baile del Santiago antiguo" by Pedro Subercaseaux. Chile's colonial high society were made up by landowners and government officials.

The Chilean colonial society was based on a caste system. Local of criollos (American born Spaniards) enjoyed privileges like the ownership of encomiendas (Indian labor jurisdictions) and were allowed to access some public charges like corregidor or alférez. Mestizos made up initially a small group but came with time to make up the bulk of Chilean society becoming more numerous than indigenous peoples.[1] Mestizos were not a homogeneous group and were judged more by appearance than by actual ancestry.[1] Indians had the lowest prestige among societal groups in colonial Chile; many of them were used as cheap labor in encomienda but their numbers decreased over time due to diseases and mestization. Pehuenche's, Huilliches and Mapuches living south of La Frontera were not part of the colonial society since they were outside the de facto borders of Chile. Black slaves made up a minority of the population in colonial Chile and had a special status due to their high cost of import and maintenance.[1] Black slaves were often used as housekeepers and other posts of confidence.[1] Peninsulares, Spaniards born in Spain, were a rather small group in late colonial times, some of them came as government officials and some other as merchants. Their role in high government positions in Chile led to resentment among local criollos.[1] Mixing of different groups was not uncommon although marriage between members of the different groups was rare.

During late colonial times new migration pulses took off leading to large numbers of Basque people settling in Chile mingling with landowning criollos, forming a new upper class.[1] Scholar Louis Thayer Ojeda estimates that during the 17th and 18th centuries fully 45% of all immigrants in Chile were Basques.[2]

Sex and marriage

Indigenous women in the colonial society were noted, from a Spanish point of view, for their sexual liberalism and engaged often sexually with men from other ethnicities.[3] The same was true for the black slaves who due to their "many" intercourses with other groups were strictly prohibited by law to engage in sexual activities with other ethnicities in order to avoid the proliferation of black individuals.[3]

16th century Spaniards are known to have been pessimistic about marriage.[3] Many of the initial conquistadores had left their wives in Spain and engaged in adultery in Chile.[3] Examples of this is Pedro de Valdivia who held Inés de Suárez as lover.[3] Adultery was explicitly forbidden for Catholics and the Council of Trent (1545–1563) made the climate prone for accusations of adultery.[3] Over the course of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries marital fidelity increased in Chile.[3]

Chilean Antarctica in colonial times

OrteliusWorldMap.jpeg
World Map by Abraham Ortelius (1570), where appears the Terra Australis Incognita.

For many years, cartographers and European explorers speculated about the existence of the Terra Australis Incognita, a vast territory located in the south of the Strait of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego and reached the South Pole.

The Treaty of Tordesillas, signed on June 7 of 1494, set the areas of influence of Spain and Portugal, west and east, respectively, of a line running from pole to pole that was never demarcated (at 46° 37 'W in the Spanish classical interpretation, and further west, according to the Portuguese interpretation), so the Antarctic areas claimed by Chile today, while still unknown at that time, fell within the control of Spain. The treaty, backed by the papal bull Ea quae pro bono pacis in 1506 was made mandatory for all Catholic countries, was not recognized by European non-Catholic states and even by some that were, like France. For Britain, Dutch, Russia and other countries, the Antarctic areas were considered res nullius, a no man's land not subject to the occupation of any nation.

In 1534, The Emperor Charles V divided in three governorates the South American territory :

In 1539, a new governorate was formed south of New León called Terra Australis to Pedro Sanchez de la Hoz. In 1554, the conqueror Pedro de Valdivia, who led the Governorate of Chile, he talked to the Council of the Indies to give the rights of New León and the Terra Australis to Jeronimo de Alderete, which, after the death of Valdivia the following year, became governor of Chile and annexed the Chilean colonial territory.

Proof of this are numerous historical documents, among which include a Royal Decree of 1554:

Because it was personally consulted, we will grant, to the Captain Jeronimo de Alderete the land across the Magellan Strait

Later, in 1558, the Royal Decree of Brussels it prompted the Chilean colonial government to take ownership in our name from the lands and provinces that fall in the demarcation of the Spanish crown in Referring to the land across the Strait, because at that time it was thought that Tierra del Fuego was an integral part of the Terra Australis.

One of the most important works of Spanish literature, the epic poem La Araucana by Alonso de Ercilla (1569), is also considered by Chile as favorable to their argument, as you can read in the seventh stanza of his Canto I:

Is Chile, North South, very long

New sea coast, of the south called
will from east to west, of wide
one hundred miles, so wider taken
under the Antarctic Pole height
Twenty-seven of prolonged degrees
until the Sea Ocean and Chilean
mix their waters within narrow

In the fourth stanza of his Canto III:

This was the one who found the sections

Indians of Antarctic regions

There are also stories and maps, both Chilean and Europeans, indicating the membership of the Terra Australis Antarctica as part of the Captaincy General of Chile.

The Spanish navigator Gabriel de Castilla sailed from Valparaiso in March 1603 in command of three ships in an expedition entrusted by his brother cousin viceroy of Peru, Luis de Velasco y Castilla, to repress the incursions of Dutch privateers in the Southern Seas, reaching 64 degrees south latitude. There have not founded in the Spanish archives documents confirming the reached latitude and sighted land; however, the story of the Dutch sailor Laurenz Claesz (is a testimony dateless, but probably after 1607), documents the latitude and time. Claesz said:

sailed under the Admiral don Gabriel of Castile with three ships along the coasts of Chile towards Valparaiso, and from there to the strait. In March of 1603 he reached 64 degrees and they had a lot of snow there. In the following April they returned back to the coast of Chile

Another Dutch document, published in Amsterdam in three languages in 1622, says that at 64°S there are "very high and mountainous, snow cover, like the country of Norway, all white, land It seemed to extend to the Solomon Islands" This confirms a previous sighting of the lands would be the South Shetland Islands.

Other historians attribute the first sighting of Antarctic land to the Dutch marine Dirk Gerritsz, which would have found the islands now known as South Shetland. According to his account, his ship was diverted from course by a storm after transposing the Strait of Magellan, in the journey of a Dutch expedition to the East Indies in 1599. There are doubts about the veracity of Gerritsz.

At this time was already known the existence of a white continent in south of the Drake Passage, separated from the Tierra del Fuego. In 1772, the British James Cook circumnavigated the waters of the Southern Ocean.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Villalobos, Sergio. Historia De Chile, Tomo 2. Editorial Universitaria, Chile.
  2. ^ William A. Douglass, Jon Bilbao (2005). "Amerikanuak: Basques in the New World". University of Nevada Press. p.81. ISBN 0-87417-625-5
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Historia de la vida privada en Chile. El Chile tradicional. De la conquista a 1840. 2005. Aguilar Chilena de Ediciones S.A. pp. 53-63.
1800 in Chile

The following lists events that happened during 1800 in Chile.

1801 in Chile

The following lists events that happened during 1801 in Chile.

1802 in Chile

The following lists events that happened during 1802 in Chile.

1803 in Chile

The following lists events that happened during 1803 in Chile.

1804 in Chile

The following lists events that happened during 1804 in Chile.

1805 in Chile

The following lists events that happened during 1805 in Chile.

1806 in Chile

The following lists events that happened during 1806 in Chile.

Ainavillo

Ainavillo, Aynabillo, Aillavilu or Aillavilú, (in Mapudungun, ailla, nine and filu, snake) was the toqui of the Mapuche army from the provinces of "Ñuble, Itata, Renoguelen, Guachimavida, Marcande, Gualqui, Penco and Talcaguano." They tried to stop Pedro de Valdivia from invading their lands in 1550. He led about twenty thousand warriors in the surprise night attack on Valdivia's camp in the Battle of Andalien. After his defeat in that battle he gathered more warriors from the allied regions of Arauco and Tucapel, south of the Bio-Bio River, for an attack on Valdivia's newly constructed fort of Concepcion at what is now Penco. Leading an army of sixty thousand warriors in three divisions against the fort in the Battle of Penco. Ainavillo's command that had been previously defeated at Andalien, was recognized by the Spaniards and Valdivia picked it out for a vigorous charge by all their cavalry following a softening up by volleys of their firearms. It was broken at the first onslaught and fled with the Spanish in pursuit, followed by the retreat of the other two divisions of the Mapuche upon seeing the spectacle.

Diego González Montero Justiniano

Diego González Montero Justiniano was interim Royal Governor of Chile twice, from February to May 1662 following the death of Pedro Porter Casanate and again from February to October 1670 succeeding the Diego Dávila, 1st Marquis of Navamorcuende until the arrival of Juan Henríquez de Villalobos.

Francisco Antonio de Acuña Cabrera y Bayona

Francisco Antonio de Acuña Cabrera y Bayona (Spain; 1597 – Lima; 1662) was a Spanish, soldier and governor of the Captaincy General of Chile between 1650 and 1656. He was son of Antonio de Cabrera y Acuña y de Agueda de Bayona, was a knight of the Order of Santiago and a professional military man. After serving in Flanders and France, he went to Peru as Maestre de Campo of El Callao and a general, being designated later Royal Governor of Chile.

Félix de Berroeta

Félix de Berroeta was appointed as interim Royal Governor of Chile between September 1761 and October 1762 during the reign of Charles III of Spain.

Governorate of New Andalusia

New Andalusia Governorate (Spanish: Gobernación de Nueva Andalucía, pronounced [ɡoβeɾnaˈθjon de ˈnweβa andaluˈθi.a]; 1534−1542) was one of the colonial governorates of the Spanish Empire, located in southern South America.

Governorate of New Toledo

The Spanish Imperial Governorate of New Toledo was formed from the previous southern half of the Inca Empire, stretching south into present day central Chile, and east into present day central Brazil.

Established by King Charles I of Spain in 1528. Diego de Almagro was the appointed Spanish colonial governor.

It was replaced by the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru in 1542.

Juan de la Jaraquemada

Juan de la Jaraquemada, (Canary Islands ? – † Santiago of Chile, April 1612); Spanish soldier, designated by the viceroy of Peru Juan de Mendoza y Luna, Marquess of Montesclaros, Captain General and Governor of Chile, and president of the Real Audiencia of Santiago. He served from January 1, 1611 to March 27, 1612.

Paillamachu

Paillamachu (died 1604), was the Mapuche toqui from 1592 to 1603 in what is now Chile.

Paillamachu replaced the slain Paillaeco, then organized and carried out the great revolt of 1598 that expelled the Spanish from Araucanía south of the Bío Bío River. He was succeeded upon his death by Huenecura in 1604.

Real Audiencia of Concepción

Before 1565, the highest court of Chile was the justicia mayor, whose sentences were appealed before the Royal Audiencia of Lima. In 1560 local authorities formally requested the president of the Audiencia of Lima for the creation of an audiencia for Chile. It was argued that it would serve to control the actions of the governors of Chile, improve royal treasury's collection of revenue and hasten the end of the Arauco War.

In 1565 King Phillip II ordered the creation of a Chilean audiencia in his decree of May 18. The audiencia had four oidores, one of them serving as president; a fiscal or public prosecutor; and the related subordinate officials, such as an alguacil mayor (greater bailiff) and his lieutenants, notaries public, an interpreter, a chaplain and a doorman.

In cases when the office of the governor of Chile went vacant, the oidores of the Audiencia were to assume administration of the government. Due to various problems in its operation, the Audiencia was dissolved less than a decade later by the royal decree of August 26, 1573, which took effect on June 25, 1575, a month after it received notification of the decree. After it was dissolved the judicial functions of the Audiencia were entrusted to the lieutenant governor and capitán general of Chile.

Real Audiencia of Santiago

The Royal Audiencia of Santiago (Spanish: Real Audiencia de Santiago) was an Audiencia Real or royal law court that functioned in Santiago de Chile during the Spanish colonial period. This body heard both civil and criminal cases. It was founded during the 17th century and abolished in 1818.

Royal Governor of Chile

The Royal Governor of Chile ruled over the Spanish colonial administrative district called the Captaincy General of Chile, and as a result the Royal Governor also held the title of a Captain General. There were 66 such governors or captains during the Spanish conquest and the later periods of Spanish-centered colonialism.

Ulmen (Mapuche)

Ulmen is a Mapudungun word meaning "rich man". In Mapuche society, the wealthy men were usually the loncos and would often be the influential leaders of their rehue and aillarehue. If skilled in war, like the military leader Caupolicán, they were sometimes elected toqui.

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