Chile (Modern World Nations) by Richard A Crooker

By Richard A Crooker

Concise, but filled with details, those easy volumes are introductions to trendy countries of the realm.

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A common language and high population density promoted much trade and interaction among the Araucanian tribes. South of Chiloé, numerous small populations in the Chilean archipelago managed to survive through hunting, gathering, and fishing. Unlike the Araucanian tribes, the southern indigenous groups were nomadic, meaning they moved their villages repeatedly. They had different languages, and they were more divided culturally. They included the Chono, Alacaluf, and Yámana (or Yahgan) tribes. They lived on fish and the resources of the rainforest.

The system allowed an individual Spaniard to use natives for labor in a particular area. In return, the Spaniard, with help from Catholic missionaries, was supposed to give the natives lessons in the Spanish language and religion. ) The Spaniards developed an encomienda system in northern Chile (then part of Peru). In middle Chile, however, there were few natives because of interracial mixing. As a result, Spaniards had to employ mestizos. Landless and homeless, mestizos soon became cowboys (ranch hands) and tenant farmers (inquilinos in Chilean terminology) on estates.

Q 2/20/04 8:28 PM Page 39 Chile Through Time To avoid illegal smuggling, the Spanish Crown required that merchants transport all products through government customs houses on their way to and from the colony. Government agents collected taxes on the products at the customs houses. In South America, all exports and imports had to go through the customs house in Lima, Peru (or Buenos Aires, Argentina, beginning in 1778). Criollo merchants felt that the Crown’s burdensome taxing system was holding back economic growth in the colonies.

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