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Around the Globe: Chile

Shira Yehudit Djlilmand

All strapped in and ready to go? This time we’re going to visit a long and narrow country; a country whose name some say means “the end of the world.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

On the way, I’ll tell you a bit about Chile’s history. Like many Latin American countries, until the Spanish arrived in the sixteenth century, Chile was ruled by Native American Indians: the Incas in the north, while in the south lived the Mapuche. The first European to discover Chile was Ferdinand Magellan in 1520, who, while trying to sail around the world, found the passage in southern Chile named after him, the Strait of Magellan. Next came a band of Spanish conquistadors from Peru seeking gold, and finally in 1540 the Spanish conquered Chile. For the next 300 years Chile was part of the Spanish Empire and the Spanish found not only gold but silver, copper, and other precious minerals, all of which helped to pay for their wars in other parts of the empire.

Everything changed in the nineteenth century.

 

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