Chili, Or Chile, a republic of South America, lying W. of the Andes, between lat. 24° and 56° S., and lon. 70° and 74° W. It is bounded N. by Bolivia, E. by the Argentine Republic and Patagonia, S. and W. by the Pacific ocean. These limits include that part of Patagonia W. of the Andes and S. of lat. 43° 20', over which the jurisdiction of the Chilian government is at present merely nominal. The area, exclusive of Patagonia, is about 133,000 sq. m.; including it about 250,000 sq. m. The surface is greatly diversified. Besides the Andes, which form its E. border, there are two other ranges, of less elevation, which traverse portions of the narrow strip between the Andes and the Pacific, commencing near the 33d parallel. The more easterly of these is known as the central chain; it terminates on the Pacific, opposite the N. end of the island of Chiloe. The other, known as la cordillera de la costa, or the coast range, separating from the central near its origin, follows more nearly the line of the coast. It is of lower elevation than the central range, and is in some parts arable. Besides these mountain chains, there are multitudes of isolated hills.

The principal valley of the country is that between the central chain and the Andes. The mean elevation of the mountains of Chili is from 13,000 to 14,000 ft. The most of them are now, or have been at some former time, volcanic. The highest peak, Aconcagua (22,422 ft., according to Pissis), shows no sign of modern igneous action; but Llullaillaco (21,000), Villarica, San Jose (18,150), Peteroa, Llayma, Antuco, Ila-nahue, Chilian, Calbuco, Corcovado, Osomo, Yanteles, Minchinmadom, and several others, are, or have been within a late period, active volcanoes. Besides these, the following, which are not volcanoes, are remarkable for their elevation: Cerro del Mercedario (22,305 ft., Pissis), Tupungato (21,413, Pissis; 22,450, Gil-liss), Cerro de la Ramada (20,824, Pissis), Jon-cal (20,368, Gilliss), Cerro del Plomo (17,825), Maypu (17,664), Cruz de Piedra (17,126), San Francisco (16,998), Cordillera de la Laguna (15,575), and Descabezado (13,100). In the northern portion, the coast and central Cordilleras spread out into the elevated plateau known as the desert of Atacama, which rises rapidly from the coast to a height varying from 4,000 to 10,000 ft., and from the comparatively level surface of which shoot up mountain peaks of great elevation, and often volcanic.

There are 10 passes across the Andes, from the Argentine Republic: 1, from Antofagasta in Ca-tamarea, through the Portezuela de Come Cavallo, to Huasco and Copiapo, about 14,500 ft. above the sea; 2, from San Juan, over the Portezuela de la Laguna, to Coquimbo, 15,575 ft.; 3, pass of Los Patos, on the N. side of the Aconcagua; 4, the pass of La Cumbre, from Mendoza, by way of Uspallata to Santiago, 445 m., 12,530 ft,, passable from November to May; 5, the Dehesa pass, near Tupungato, seldom used; 6, the Portillo pass, much used from the beginning of February to the end of April, from Mendoza to the valley of the Maypu river; 7, the pass of La Cruz de la Piedra, leading into the Portillo road on the western slope of the Andes; 8, the pass of Las Damas (highest point 11,600 ft.), 9, the Plan-chon pass, along the Claro and Teno rivers to Curico, 6,600 ft., which has been surveyed for a proposed railway across the mountains; 10, the pass of Antuco, on the road from Con-cepcion. A new pass has recently been discovered by Germans travelling from Chili to Patagonia. - Chili belongs to the basin of the Pacific, excepting the valley of Uspallata, the waters of which flow toward the Atlantic. The rivers are all of inconsiderable length, but when swollen by the melting of the snows they discharge large amounts of water, and of alluvium, into the Pacific; and almost all of them have in consequence considerable bars at their mouths.

The Biobio rises in an extinct volcano in the extreme E. of the Andes, lat. 38° 15', and takes a general N. W. direction, and after a course of about 200 m. falls into the Pacific at Concepcion. It has a sand bar at its mouth, which prevents vessels of any considerable draught of water from ascending it; but it is navigable as far as Nacimiento, nearly 100 m. The Maule rises in the Andes, in lat. 35° 10', and has a nearly due W. course of about 150 m.; it is navigable for small craft about 70 m. The Valdivia rises in Lake Guanegue, in lat. 39° 45', and has a W. S. W. course; its length is about 100 m., and it is navigable for 50 m. The other considerable streams, few of which are navigable, are the Imperial, the Tolten, the Bueno, the Itata, the Maypu, the Rapel, the Aconcagua, the Mataquito, the Limari, the Coquimbo, the Huasco, and the Copiapo. The last is often dry in summer. - Chili has numerous lakes, particularly in the southern provinces, but few of them are large. In some near the coast the water is brackish, but the most of them are bodies of fresh water, accumulated in the elevated valleys. They all abound in fish.

The largest of the fresh lakes are Llanquihue, in the province of the same name, and Villarica, in the province of Valdivia, the former of which is 30 m. long and 22 in its greatest breadth. Villarica covers more than 100 sq. m. Todos los Santos or Esmeralda, and Rupanco, in the same plain, are respectively 18 and 24 m. long. In the province of Concepcion are Guilletue, with a surface of about 50 sq. m., and La Laja, celebrated for its picturesque scenery and the beautiful fall at its outlet. - There are few good harbors. The best is that of Talcahuano, which is well protected, and with ample room and depth of water. Coquimbo is the next harbor in point of safety. The harbor of Valparaiso though exposed, is the most important on the Chilian coast in the extent of its commerce. The other principal harbors are Caldera, the port of Copiapo, lat. 27° S., from which the largest exports from the silver and copper mines are shipped; Con-stitucion, within the mouth of the river Maule, Valdivia, an excellent harbor for small vessels; and San Carlos, on the island of Chiloe, lat. 41° 51'. - Of the numerous islands belonging to Chili, the most important are those of Chiloe and its archipelago, more than 60 in number, of which 30 are settled and have harbors.

They abound in seals, otters, and shell fish, and are well supplied with wood and water. (See Chiloe.) Southward of these are the Guaytecas group and Huafo, similar in their general character. On the coast above Chiloe are several smaller islands, the principal of winch are Mocha, lat. 38° 23', Santa Maria, lat. 37° 3', and Quinquina, in the mouth of Concep-cion bay, all of which have within the past 100 years met with extraordinary physical changes, from the earthquakes so common on the coast. The most famous of the Chilian islands is the group called Juan Fernandez. (See Juan Fernandez.) - The climate of Chili is one of the finest on the globe. Being in the south temperate zone, its summer answers to our winter, December, January, and February being the hottest months. During three months little or no rain falls, and the thermometer sometimes rises to 90° or 95° F.; but the sea breeze at night cools the earth, and renders the temperature refreshing. The mean temperature of the winter months at Valparaiso is 54°, at La Serena 54.8°, at Santiago 49°, at Valdivia 46.8°. The highest temperature known at Santiago is 90°, the lowest 47.5°. At Valparaiso the highest mean point in summer in three years' observation was 78°, the lowest 62°, and the annual mean 70.8°. At Coquim-bo the mean summer temperature was 63.6°, and the entire range only 16.8°. At Concep-cion the mean summer temperature at 3 P. M. was 73.5°, the mean for the year about 56°. In Valdivia the mean summer temperature is 60°, that of the year 55°. At Santiago the average number of hours during which rain fell in the year, during 26 years' observation, was 2151, or about 9 days.

Further south the quantity of rain is somewhat greater. Toward the north, on the contrary, the rain diminishes in quantity, and on the desert of Atacama seldom or never falls. As a result of this equable and uniform climate, trees, fruits, and flowers of both tropical and temperate regions flourish well. "The native palm and pine of Araucania," says Lieut. Gil-liss, "the cherimoya of tropical America and the medlar of Japan, the magnolia of Florida and the olive of Asia, may all be found within the compass of a garden, not less luxuriant in their proportions and ever verdant foliage than under the climes of their origin." The atmosphere is remarkably clear, especially at night. It is estimated that a 6 1/2-inch achromatic telescope at Santiago is fully equal to a 124-inch one at the Cape of Good Hope. The crescent of Venus was more than once seen with the naked eye by Lieuts. Gilliss and Macrae. There are two drawbacks to this delightful climate, the violent winds and hurricanes which occur at some seasons, and the earthquakes. During the summer months northerly winds, known as temporales, occasionally blow in violent gusts, sometimes for two or three days, and are then followed by several weeks of pleasant weather.

There is usually a fresh breeze from the S. W. between the hours of 10 and 3 in the day during the summer, and the force of this breeze on the mountains is terrific. The climate, though so delightful, seems to predispose the inhabitants to apathy and indolence. The Chilians are not a long-lived people; pulmonary diseases, affections of the heart and liver, and epidemic dysentery prove fatal to great numbers, and reduce the average duration of human life there to a lower point than in more variable climates. How far these diseases may be dependent on other causes than climate is difficult to ascertain. - Chili may with propriety be called the land of earthquakes, for it is probably visited by more than any other known region of the earth. The inhabitants have two words by which they designate the phenomena: tem-Mores, slight and partial agitations of the surface, and terremotos, or violent upheavings and oscillations. The temblores are so frequent as to pass unnoticed. The record of 25 months' observation at La Serena, in the province of Coquimbo, between 1849 and 1852, shows 156 shocks in that period, though the great earthquake of April, 1851, and the repeated shocks which followed, were not included. Of these not more than two or three could be put down as terremotos.

At Santiago, in 32 months, there were 130, of which four were very severe. The number increases in a rapid ratio as the observer proceeds northward, though in general those of central Chili are most severe. Of the great earthquakes, 16 of peculiar severity are recorded, in nearly all of which there was considerable destruction of life and property. In that of 1570, which destroyed Concepcion, 2,000 persons perished; and in that of 1647, which destroyed Santiago, 1,000 persons and 60,000 head of cattle. The great earthquake of 1730 destroyed Valparaiso, La Serena, Concepcion, Coquimbo, and every village on the coast between Concepcion and Coquimbo, and in Santiago over 100 persons lost their lives. In 1835 Concepcion was a fourth time destroyed, and Talcahuana, Los Angeles, Yumbel, Cauquenes, and Constitu-cion were levelled, and about 200 persons were killed; in 1837 the city of Valdivia was destroyed; and in 1851 a great number of persons and churches were injured at Santiago, Valparaiso, and many of the intervening villages.

In 1871, March 25, occurred a very severe shock, by which much property was destroyed at Valparaiso and Santiago, but no lives were lost. - The topographical structure of Chili implies the continuation of similar geological formations in a N. and S. direction, following the range of its mountain chains. The belt of country between the Andes and the coast, ranging from 80 to 100 m. in width, is traversed, S. of lat. 32°, by numerous longitudinal ridges, called the Cordilleras of the coast, which are granitic. Further N. these spurs are more irregular in their direction, and are covered in great part with barren sands, showing no trace of vegetation. This northern portion is of importance for its valuable mines, while a strip along the S. coast, from Concep-cion to the island of Chiloe, contains the principal mines of bituminous coal worked in South America. The country between the Andes and the coast is particularly interesting to geologists for the evidences it presents of several successive elevations which it has experienced within modern times. Some of these are historical, as that of 1822, when the coast at Valparaiso, and for many leagues N. and S. of it, was uplifted about 0 ft.

The bed of shells and sea pebbles which marked its former beach is now that distance above the reach of the highest tides; and a succession of similar collections of shells of species belonging to the coast, accompanying terraces found further inland, and at higher levels, indicate as many as five uplifts of this character, but of much greater height, the difference of level between two terraces being found 120 ft. and between the next two 182 ft. Around the bay of Coquimbo these terraces are most distinctly marked in the hills; and as they extend back into the country they spread out into plains, upon which the towns are built. Near Valparaiso comminuted sea shells of living species are found at elevations of over 550 ft.; and some, it is stated, have been met with even 1,300 ft. above the sea level. - Chili abounds in mineral wealth. Among the metals are gold, silver, copper, lead, tin, iron, zinc, nickel, cinnabar, cobalt, antimony, bismuth, manganese, and arsenic. The copper and silver mines are probably the richest in the world, and gold exists in very considerable quantities. The principal mining region is in the north, chiefly in the province of Ata-cama, but rich deposits are continually discovered in the different mountain ranges further south.

Copper exists along the course of the granitic and metamorphic rocks of the coast range and western spurs of the Andes, from Santiago to the northern extremity of the country, and beyond into Bolivia and Peru. The region about Copiapo has been worked the longest, and many new mines are opened there every year. Rich deposits of silver and copper have lately been discovered in the province of Coquimbo. Copper is the chief mineral product, the annual value of the exports being over $12,000,000. The other metals, though abundant, are little sought after. Cinnabar was once mined to some extent, but its importance is now greatly reduced by the cheaper production of quicksilver in California. Besides the metals, Chili contains other valuable minerals. Sulphur, salt, nitre, and alum are plentiful, gypsum and limestone abound, and a fair quality of bituminous coal, of a dull black color, is found near Concepcion and at other points along the coast. These coal beds were known as early as 1825. In 1841 the formation was traced between Talcahuano and Valparaiso, and mines were soon after opened at the former locality. The coal has also been found in abundance near the mouth of the Laraquita, and the beds are visible in the cliffs from vessels sailing along the coast.

New mines have been opened lately along the gulf of Arauco, and large deposits have been discovered in Cobquecura. The most productive mines are in the districts of Coronel and Lota, the latter 30 m. S. of the Biobio, in the province of Concepcion. The coal beds are contained in strata supposed to be of the tertiary formation; and though the coal of this age is never so good as that of the true coal measures, that of Chili is found to answer for steam and domestic purposes; it is considered unsuitable for smelting copper ores. By analysis specimens of this coal afforded 67.62 per cent, of carbon, showing a decided superiority over the ordinary brown coal of the tertiary. Reports of examinations of other coals of the region represent, however, a percentage of carbon not exceeding 40, and the presence of much iron pyrites. The most noted mineral springs are those of Apoquindo, Colina, Cauquenes, Panimavila, Mondaca, Cato, Soco, and Dona Ana; the principal constituents of which are chloride of calcium, chloride of sodium, chloride of magnesium, and sulphates of soda and lime, with occasional traces of iron and alumina. About 75 m.

E. S. E. of Chilian hot sulphur springs are found almost up to the line of perpetual snow on the Nevado de Chilian. They are much frequented, and are reputed to possess extraordinary medicinal virtues. - A large part of the soil of Chili is unproductive. The extensive portions of its surface covered by lofty and precipitous mountains, too cold for vegetation, or too scantily covered with earth to sustain it; the deserts of the north, where rain never falls; the large tracts covered by the primitive forest; and the districts inhabited by warlike Indian tribes, must all be deducted from that fit for cultivation; and the remainder forms but a small fraction of the area. Yet the soil, when capable of tillage, is so fertile and yields crops so abundant, that Chili exports very considerable amounts of cereals and meats. Of its provinces, Atacama and Coquimbo do not produce a sufficiency of grain or cattle for home consumption; but the others not only supply themselves and these, but raise a large surplus. The principal grains are wheat, barley, oats, and maize; rye does well, but is not raised because there is no demand for it. Superior hemp is produced in the country north of the Maypu. Beans are a very large and important crop, and peas are extensively cultivated.

In the southern provinces potatoes of excellent quality are produced. Fruits abound, including apples, pears, peaches, oranges, limes, nectarines, plums, apricots, figs, grapes, and cherries. Melons, squashes, and gourds also grow to perfection. In the south of Chili a profuse vegetation prevails. The sides of the mountains are covered with herbaceous plants and with flowers of the richest hues, and dense forests abound. This verdure lasts only about five months, from May to October; at other times the country has a barren appearance, and furnishes an inadequate supply of food for cattle, so that beef and mutton are of inferior quality. In the southern provinces large quantities of timber, valuable for building and ornamental purposes, are produced. Evergreens attain a gigantic size. The araucaria, a species of pine, the alerce, a cypress with a dark rich heart-wood, the roble, tiqui, mafiu, muermo, and mayten are all valuable and durable woods. The coligue, a species of bamboo, is in very considerable demand for thatching roofs. - The animals of Chili are not as numerous as those of the countries east of the Andes. The mammals are comparatively few.

Claude Gay, the eminent naturalist, enumerates seven species of cheiroptera, mostly of the bat tribe; 12 of carnivora, embracing four of the cat tribe, three foxes, one weasel, two polecats, the nutria, and the otter; six species of the phocidce, embracing the seal and his congeners; one marsupial, the didelphys elegans, peculiar to Chili; 12 genera and 25 species of rodents, of which 12 belong to the mouse family; the chinchilla and its congeners, and the cavy or mountain rabbit. There are only two species of the edentata, the dasypus and pichiciego, the latter a very rare animal, found only in Chili. There are three ruminants, the guanaco, the largest of the llama tribe, and two of the deer tribe, the pudu and the gi'iamul. There are four species of cetacea, two dolphins, the sperm whale, and the right whale. There are 11 species of reptilia, five of which are saurians, four ophidians, one frog, and one toad. The birds are more numerous. The raptores, embracing the condor, the vultures, hawks, and owls, are largely represented. The great order of -incessores has numerous representatives of its every tribe and family, many of them of superb plumage, and some of wonderful powers of song.

The dove and pigeon tribes are also found in considerable numbers, and the waders (grallatores) and swimmers (naiatores) are almost numberless, several of the species being peculiar to the western coast of South America. Among the fishes, there are three species of the perch tribe, all new; one of the atherinidce, the kingfish; three of the siluridce, one a new genus; two clupeidce, both new, one a new species of the shad; one cheirodon, a new genus of the characini family; and a new myxi-noid, having an affinity with the lamprey eel of our northern waters. Crustaceans and mollusks are abundant, especially in Chiloe and the other southern provinces, but have not been very fully examined. The chonos, a peculiar species of oyster, exists in great quantities along the coast, and forms a favorite dish. Among the domestic animals, cattle are raised in large numbers. The horses are hardy and capable of great endurance. Mules and asses are excellent. Sheep, goats, and hogs abound, but are of poor quality.

Chili Or Chile 0400186

Chili is divided into 15 provinces and one colony. The following table shows the estimated area and population of the provinces, exclusive of Patagonia, in 1870:




Aconcagua ..........

6 000

134 178


13 800

87 677


38 000

83 343



62 988



158 096





13 300




100 200



43 342


6 400

















Colony of Magellan....






The foreign population numbers about 25,000, of whom over one half belong to the Argentine Republic and other neighboring states. The remainder are chiefly English, Germans, French, Americans, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italians, with a few Chinese. Santiago, the capital, had in 1865 a population of 115,377; Valparaiso, 70,438; Talca, 17,900; Concep-cion, 13,958; La Serena, 13,550; Copiapo, 13,381; Chilian Nuevo, 9,781; and San Felipe, 8,096. In the above estimate of the total population, the warlike aborigines, nominally under the jurisdiction of Chili, are not included. They are supposed to number about 75,000. These alone, of all the American tribes who came in contact with the Spanish or Portuguese invaders, have maintained their independence, notwithstanding a war of extermination was waged against them for a century and a half. (See Araijcanians.) Of the other inhabitants of Chili, the Chilenos, as they call themselves, not more than a third, and perhaps not more than a quarter, are of pure Spanish descent; the greater part are of mixed blood, as their forms, features, and hair testify.

South of the Biobio there are considerable numbers of Indians who have been reduced to subjection, and are employed as peons or farm laborers, and sometimes, though rarely, as inquilinos or tenants on the haciendadas or large farms of that region, rendering a kind of feudal service, and making their payments of rent in labor or in kind. The Chilians are more enterprising than the inhabitants of most of the South American states, and the haciendados (planters) and merchants often accumulate large amounts of property. With the exception of those destined for the learned professions, they have generally but little education. The men are usually slender, and to the casual observer appear wanting in muscular development; but Lieut. Gilliss affirms that they possess much more strength than the men of other nations. The women, who are generally pretty, have fuller and rounder figures, and seem to have more intelligence than the males. The dress of the Chilians of the higher classes is in the French style, except that the poncho (a blanket, with a hole in the centre for the head to pass through) is in universal use with both rich and poor. The ladies also copy the French fashions, except in a constant use of the shawl, both indoors and out.

The poorer classes dress more like the gauchos of the eastern states of South America. In manners they are gay, social, hospitable, and generous but retain in some degree the bigotry and indolence of their Spanish ancestry. Crimes are of comparatively rare occurrence, but gambling is an almost universal passion. The chi-cha, a fermented liquor made from grapes, green apples, and other fruits, and very intoxicating, is a constant drink, and often inflames the passions of the lower classes and the Indians to fury. Licentiousness exists to an alarming extent, and the diseases it engenders are among the most fatal in the country. Illegitimacy is common. In Santiago a fifth, and in Valparaiso a quarter of all the births are illegitimate. Blindness and goitre are very common. The religion of Chili is Roman Catholic, and the laws tolerate no other; but in practice there is no very marked opposition to the quiet performance of worship under other forms of faith. - Within a few years the government has devoted much attention to the subject of education, and now no other South American state has so efficient an educational system. New schools and colleges have been established, and a strong effort has been made to extend their benefits to all classes.

There are now more than 500 government schools, and as many municipal, private, and monastic, with an aggregate attendance of nearly 40,000 scholars. The books for the government schools are furnished by the republic. There are two normal schools for the education of teachers, one for males, the other for females. The national institute at Santiago, which is the government university, is divided into two sections, the preparatory and the university. The preparatory section has two courses, that of the humanities, occupying six terms, and that of mathematics, occupying five. Instruction in both sections is free. Another institution, called the conciliar seminary, combines the college and theological seminary. There are also at the capital a school of agriculture, a naval school under the direction of the minister of marine, and a military school under the care of the minister of war. The national library, also at the capital, contains about 25,000 volumes, and is especially rich in theological works, having been originally founded by the Jesuits. - The agriculture of Chili is very primitive. With the exception of a tolerably skilful system of irrigation, the farmers and planters are grossly ignorant of the improved methods.

Their ploughs are rude instruments, only scratching the earth to the depth of two or three inches. The yoke is fastened to the horns instead of the neck of the cattle. Of subsoiling, the application of manures, underdraining, and rotation of crops, they know nothing; and the stubborn adherence of the peons to old methods handed down from one generation to another is a barrier to any considerable improvement. Still, with all these drawbacks, so fertile is the soil, and so much is it enriched by the detritus brought down by the mountain streams, that agriculture is a very profitable pursuit. The farms are usually very large, frequently comprising several thousand acres; and herds of cattle 5,000, 30,000, or 20,000 in number are pastured on the elevated plains, and tended by the gauchos, till the period for their slaughter arrives. The haciendados usually reside in the cities, leaving their plantations under the care of may-ordomos or overseers, and only visiting them occasionally. Smaller estates are called chacaras haciendas and also haciendas, and the small farms are called quintas.

In the northern portions the population is far more laborious than in the southern, where few laborers are to be found above the age of 22. In the southern provinces, as soon as the young men marry they yearn for independence and live upon a little patch of land, which is generally presented to them by the planters. This class of laborers are attached to the plantation, and are called inquilinos. In consideration of the land and accommodation granted to them, they are bound to assist the planter during the rodeos (cattle fair) and the trilla (threshing season). - The manufactures of Chili are not extensive, but are increasing under the patronage of the government, which has endeavored to introduce them by offering exclusive privileges. Among them are hempen cloths, cordage, soap, tallow, leather, charcoal, flour, brandy, the coarser kinds of work in gold, silver, copper and iron, earthenware jars of a superior description, and ponchos. The latter, though woven in the rudest looms, possess some qualities which the French and English goods have never been able to attain.

Charqui, or beef dried in the sun, is also produced in considerable quantities. - The greater part of the foreign trade of Chili is with Great Britain. The articles most extensively exported are copper, silver, wheat, flour, barley, hides, and wool; and the imports include nearly every variety of manufactures and foreign products. The total value of the exports for 1870 is shown in the following table:







Argentine Repub.






Central America.


United States..


Other American countries...


Great Britain...










Other European countries....


Countries notenumerated....




The value of imports for 1870 was as follows:







Argentine Repub.






Central America.


United States..


Other countries of





Great Britain..








Various European







In 1871 the total imports from Great Britain amounted to $12,814,900, and the total exports to Great Britain to $18,403,007. The commercial intercourse of Chili with the United States has been very variable. In the earlier years of Californian emigration she sent large quantities of flour, grain, and lumber to that state, and took freely of our goods in return. Since that time her exports to this country have continued in large amount, but she receives little except money in return, the balances being mostly settled in Europe, where she is a debtor. In 1871 the exports to the United States were $1,581,519, and the imports $716,544; in 1872, exports $1,849,880, imports $721,799. - The government of Chili is nominally republican, and its offices elective; but practically it has been hitherto little more than a dictatorship, in which, while the forms of the constitution were tolerably preserved, the legislative, executive, and judicial functions were exercised by the party who had succeeded in seizing the reins of government. The president is elected for five years, and is eligible for a second term, but not for a third until a period of five years has elapsed. He is chosen by indirect election. The people nominate their delegates by ballot, and the latter appoint the chief of the state.

The votes are examined and the declaration of the poll takes place at a meeting of the two houses of the legislature. The president is assisted by a council of state composed of 13 persons, all of his own choosing, and removable at his will, of whom, however, four must be heads of departments. The legislature consists of a senate of 20 members, elected for nine years, one third of whom go out of office every three years, and a house of deputies, consisting of one for every 20,000 inhabitants, elected for three years. Government officers may be members of either branch of the legislature, and still hold their offices. They may also represent more than one constituency. The election of the legislature is usually entirely in the hands of government, the mass of voters being the members of the national guard, who are appointees of the president, and the laborers and peons of the plantations and mines, who are entirely under the control of the wealthy proprietors, whose interests are the same as those of the president. For foreigners to obtain citizenship, ten years' residence is required if unmarried; if married, six years; if married to Chilenas, three years. The judiciary consists of primary courts, three courts of appeal, and a supreme court.

The judges of the higher courts are appointed for life, or rather during good behavior, and can only be removed by impeachment. There are four cabinet ministers: of foreign and home affairs, of finance, of war and marine, of religion and education. They are responsible for every official act, and cannot leave the country for six months after the expiration of their term of public service. No order or document from the president is legal without the counter-signature of the minister to whose department it belongs. Slavery is prohibited by law, and every person who treads the soil is declared free. In 1871 the standing army consisted of 2,400 foot, 712 horse, 804 artillery, 6 generals, 38 lieutenant colonels, 54 majors, 141 captains, and 256 lieutenants; total, 3,916 men and 540 officers, 165 of the latter belonging to the national guard. The latter comprised 30,542 foot, 21,300 horse, 2,445 artillery, and 2,149 officers. The navy consisted of 10 screw steamers, with 39 guns and 121 marines. In 1872 an appropriation of $2,200,000 was made for increasing the naval force, and it was decided that one small ship of war and two iron-clads should be purchased. The merchant navy in 1869 comprised 255 vessels, of 58,200 tons, with 2,900 sailors.

The ordinary receipts of the government in 1871 were $11,788,500, and the ordinary expenditures $12,542,493, showing a deficit of $753,993. The deficit in 1869 was $2,481,443; in 1870, $2,464,484. The national debt, Jan. 1, 1871, was as follows:




Sinking Fund, 1870

Debt at 3 per cent......




Debt at 8 per cent......




Railway loans at 6 per cent..




Other debts, from 3 to 5 pr. ct.








Loan of 1842, at 3 per cent..




Loan of 1848, at 4 1/8 per cent.




Loan of 1866, at 7 per cent..




Loan of 1867, at 6 per cent..




Loan of 1870, at 5 per cent..








Total national debt, Jan. 1, 1871...........




- Chili was among the earliest of the South American states to encourage the building of railways. At the close of the year 1871 there were 474 m. open for traffic, and 138 more nearly completed. The following shows those in operation: from Santiago to Curico, 116 m.; Valparaiso to Santiago, 115; Caldera to San Antonio, 93; Ovalle to Tongoy, 42; Coquimbo to Las Cardas, 40; Pabellon to Chailarcillo, 26; Carrizal Alto to Carrizal Bajo, 25; Llaillai to San Felipe, 17; total in operation, 474 m. The following are in course of construction: From Talcahuano to Chilian, 112 m.; San Fernando to La Palmilla, 19; San Felipe to Santa Rosa de los Andes, 9; total in construction, 1872, 140 m. Chili intends to cooperate with the Argentine Republic in building a railway across the Andes at an early day. The surveys show that the Planchon pass is the most feasible route. The length of the road by this line will be 1,023 m., and its cost is calculated at $23,000,000 for the Argentine division and $6,000,000 for the Chilian. The time required to build it is estimated at four years.

New railways are projected also from Mejillones to the silver mines at Caracoles, 100 m.; from Huas-co to Vallenan, and from La Serena to Elgin; and the Copiapo company are to extend their line to the Cordilleras. Lines of telegraph are in operation from Santiago to Valparaiso, and from Copiapo to the mining districts. In July, 1872, the Trans-Andine line, connecting Santiago and Buenos Ayres, was opened to the public. A number of other lines are in course of construction or projected. On May 13, 1868, the first steamer of a line direct to Europe, by way of the strait of Magellan, sailed from Valparaiso. This line has an annual subsidy from the government of $00,000, to be increased to $100,000 as soon as permanently established. - Prior to 1450, the present territory of Chili was inhabited by the ancestors of the Indian tribes now found there, who seem to have all descended from a common stock, and called themselves by the general title Alapu-che, people or children of the land. They were subdivided into a number of tribes, but all spoke a common language.

In 1450 Yupanqui, the reigning inca of Peru, formed the project of extending his sway over the Chilian territory, and, having stationed himself with a powerful army in Atacama, despatched his lieutenant Chinchiruca, with 10,000 men, southward to subdue the Alapu-che. With that tact which characterized the policy of the incas, Chinchiruca sought to win rather than conquer these rude and warlike tribes; and such were his powers of persuasion that tribe after tribe yielded to the "children of the sun," and in six years the inhabitants of northern Chili, for 600 m. from the Atacama frontier, acknowledged fealty to the Peruvian monarch. But his sway received a check. Pushing further south, his officers and soldiers encountered on the further bank of the river Rapel a warlike tribe of the Alapu-che, known as the Purumancians, who returned a defiant answer to the summons and representations of the inca, refused all overtures for peace, and attacked the Peruvian troops; a desperate battle followed, lasting three days, in which both armies were too thoroughly shattered to renew the conflict. Upon hearing of the result of this battle, Yupanqui wisely resolved to forbear offensive warfare, and to maintain only what he already possessed.

When, some 80 years later, the Spaniards had overthrown the empire of the incas, they found Chili owning a nominal allegiance to the Peruvian monarch, and resolved to subjugate that country also; and Diego Almagro, from the double motive of glory and gold, led an expedition across the desert of Atacama and the mountain passes of the Andes. When he reached Copiapo a quarter of his Spanish troops and three eighths of his Indian allies had perished from cold, fatigue, and starvation. They were received by the people very kindly, and met no opposition till they reached the territory of the Purumancians, where, like their predecessors, they found a foe so brave that they were fain to pause and retrace their steps. Almagro and the remainder of his force returned slowly and sadly to Peru, and five years elapsed before another expedition to Chili was attempted. Pedro Valdivia, a prudent and able commander, was selected for this service, and so well did he arrange his plans that, though occasionally meeting with hostile bands of Indians, he penetrated without serious difficulty to the river Mapocho, and encamped upon the present site of Santiago. Finding the location pleasant and the adjacent country fertile, he here founded a city, to which he gave the name of the patron saint of Spain. Scarcely had he fortified himself in his new town before the Indians, availing themselves of his temporary absence, assailed it, and would have taken it but for the hasty return of the commander; but though balked of their intended prey, they returned again and again to the charge, till Valdivia was compelled to send for reenforcements from Peru. After the arrival of these he proceeded southward, and, though the Purumancians seem to have offered no effectual opposition to his progress, he found after crossing the Maule, which formed their southern boundary, a new foe, braver and fiercer than any he had hitherto encountered - the Arau-canians, now for the first time appearing on the page of history.

So terrible and unexpected was their first attack, that it well nigh annihilated Valdivia's army, and compelled him to retreat to Santiago, and eventually to return to Peru for further reenforcements. He returned in 1550 with a large and well appointed force, and founded the city of Concepcion, on a site now known as Penco. Here the Araucanians rallied their forces, and with 4,000 men under Aillavalu attacked the new city with a more determined valor than any Spanish general had before witnessed. It was not until the fall of their leader that they would yield an inch of ground. Conflict after conflict followed, and in 1559 Valdivia was captured by the Indians and put to death. They afterward destroyed Concepcion, resisted all attempts to rebuild it, and eventually marched upon Santiago and placed it in great peril, hut were finally repulsed. Under the count Mendoza the Spanish forces, often reenforced, still persisted in their policy of conquest; but at length, when more than 100 years had been wasted in the effort to drive the Indians from the territory south of the Biobio, the Spaniards were compelled in 1665 to make a treaty of peace, and acknowledge the independence of these mountain tribes, and establish the limits of their territory.

This peace lasted till 1723, when war broke out again, and lasted with slight intermissions for 50 years. Under Spanish rule Chili formed a viceroyalty divided into 13 districts. By perverse misgov-ernment the resources of the country were undeveloped and the minds of the people alienated. In 1810 began the revolution which resulted in its independence. In July of that year Governor Carrasco was deposed and a junta formed with the secret design of severing the connection with the mother country. In April, 1811, the first blood was spilled. The Spanish authorities, becoming apprised of the intentions of the patriots, attempted to overawe them and their leaders. Royal troops drawn up in the great square of Santiago were attacked by the patriots and defeated with a considerable loss on both sides. In the same year Don Juan Jose Carrera was appointed by the junta supreme president of the congress and general-in-chief of the army. In all the skirmishes in the beginning of the contest the patriots were successful.

In 1813 a powerful army under Gen. Paroja invaded Chili, and was twice defeated by Carrera; but the royalists receiving large reinforcements, the country was overrun and obliged to own once more the sovereignty of Spain. After three years of tyranny, the patriots raised an army in La Plata, and under the command of Gen. San Martin marched into Chili and defeated the royalists at Chacabuco, Feb. 12, 1817. An elective government was organized, of which Don Bernardo O'Higgins was made supreme dictator. Again the Spaniards rallied, and in a battle fought at Chancharayada defeated the patriots with heavy loss. The royalists, lulled into security by the result of this engagement, were attacked suddenly by the Chilenos in the plains of Maypu, April 5, 1818, and routed with great slaughter, not more than 500 escaping from the field. This secured the independence of Chili, and decided as well the fate of Buenos Ayres and Peru. The port of Valdivia was held by the Spaniards till 1820, when it capitulated. Gen. O'Higgins held the dictatorship till 1823, when he was obliged to resign in consequence of a popular tumult. A provisional triumvirate succeeded him for a few weeks, when Gen. Freire became dictator. In 1828 a constitution was adopted.

In 1831 a convention was called for its revision, the result of which was the present constitution, promulgated May 25, 1833. Though less revolutionary than some of the South American states, Chili has passed through several attempted forcible changes of the government. The most formidable of them occurred in April and September, 1851. That of April was instigated and commanded bv Col. Urriola, who lost his life in a severe battle between the insurgents and the government forces at Santiago. That of September was led by Gen. De la Cruz, the defeated candidate for the presidency at the preceding election. At one time it threatened to prove a revolution, as in nearly every conflict the insurgents were victorious; but at length the money of the government effected what the valor of its armies could not, and after 4,000 soldiers had fallen in battle and the productive industry and commerce of the country had suffered immense injury, the revolt was quelled and an amnesty granted to the insurgents. Chili passed through this crisis in her history under the presidency of Don Manuel Montt, a man of great ability, who had been the minister and adviser of Gen. Bulnes, his predecessor in office. He restored peace and prosperity to the country, and it has since enjoyed internal tranquillity.

President Montt was reelected in 1850. Under his administration a civil code was framed, tribunals of commerce were established, a discount and deposit bank founded in Valparaiso, and a bank to advance money on real estate opened Jan. 1, 1856. Treaties of commerce were concluded with France in 1852, and with Sardinia and the United States in 1856; a free-trade treaty with the Argentine Republic in 1856 (abrogated in 1868); and with Great Britain in 1856. Walker's invasion of Nicaragua led President Montt to conclude, in November, 1856, a political alliance with Ecuador and Peru, which was joined by Costa Rica. In 1861 Jose Joaquin Perez was elected president, and was reelected in 1866. In 1862 the Araucanians gave the republic much trouble, under the lead of De Ton-neins, a Frenchman, who claimed to be king of Araucania and Patagonia, under the title of Orelie Antoine I. He was captured during the year, and confined in prison, but was released in 1863. In 1864 Chili sympathized warmly with Peru in her struggle with Spain, and in the following year became herself involved, and her coast was blockaded by a Spanish fleet. Chili declared war, and a loan of $20,000,000 was authorized.

On Nov. 26 the Chilian steamer Esmeralda captured the Spanish gunboat Covadonga, with Admiral Pareja's correspondence on board. Two days after Admiral Pareja, dispirited by want of success, committed suicide, and was succeeded by Commodore Nufiez. On Jan. 14, 1866, a treaty, offensive and defensive, with Peru was proclaimed. An engagement between the allied fleets of Peru and Chili and a part of the Spanish fleet took place Feb. 7, 1866. The Spanish withdrew, but little damage was sustained by either side. On March 31 Admiral Nufiez bombarded Valparaiso, notwithstanding the earnest protest of all the foreign ministers and consuls. The firing began at 9 A. M. and lasted 3 1/2 hours, between 2,000 and 3,000 shot and shell being thrown into the city. No shot was returned from the town. The destruction was immense, most of the public and many private buildings being demolished. The loss was estimated at $10,183,000, of which about nine tenths was sustained by foreign residents. In April following the fleet left the Chilian waters, and the war thenceforth was merely nominal.

A treaty of armistice and indefinite truce, brought about by the mediation of the United States, was signed at Washington April 11, 1871. In 1869-'70 the Araucanians again proved troublesome; but in 1871 their self-styled king had left the country, and Chili was preparing to occupy it permanently. During the past few years Chili has made great material and intellectual progress. New mines have been opened, agriculture has made steady advances, means of communication have been increased, schools and libraries have been established, and improved means of education adopted, and numerous measures of social reform inaugurated. Agricultural schools have been founded, and a national agricultural society is in successful operation. In 1873 this society sent a collection of the agricultural products of the country to the Vienna exposition. Religious instruction is no longer made obligatory in private schools; dissenters from the established Roman Catholic religion are allowed to worship in buildings belonging to private individuals, and to be buried in the cemeteries; and civil marriages have been legalized. Among new measures proposed are a bill for the abolition of flogging, another for the reform of the election laws, and a third for a new assessment of landed property.

A mole, to cost $400,000, is to be constructed at Valparaiso; the navigation of the river Val-divia is to be improved; and the bar at the entrance of the Maule is to be opened, so as to render the harbor of Concepcion more accessible. There is also a project to widen the principal streets of Santiago, and to beautify it. There is a strong liberal party in Chili in favor of curbing the power of the clergy in political atfairs, of separating church and state, and of abolishing the property qualification for suffrage. Suffrage is now much restricted, there being only about 40,000 voters in a population of 2,000,000. In the election of 1871 the liberals nominated as their candidate Jose Ur-menita, and he was supported by a large portion of the wealth and intelligence of Chili; but Federigo Errazuriz, the candidate of the clerical party, was elected, all the government patronage being employed in his interest. - The following works treat of the history, geography, commerce, etc, of Chili: Molina's "History of the Conquest of Chili" (1782), and "Geographical, Natural, and Civil History of Chili" (1787; English translation, Middletown, Conn., 1808); M. Claude Gay's "Natural History of Chili," published by the government; VonTschudi's "Peru;" Lieut. Gilliss's"Report of the United States Naval Astronomical Expedition" (6 vols., Washington, 1855-'8); and Lieut. Smith's "Araucanians" (New York, 1855). The subject of Ercilla's "Araucana," the greatest of Spanish epic poems, was a war with the Araucanians in the middle of the 16th century, in which the poet was personally engaged. (See Ercilla.)