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Timeline of Chilean history

The following is a timeline of Chilean history. It covers significant dates in the History of Chile.

15th Century

1470s: The Inca Emperor Tupac Yupanqui reached Itata River, where he met Mapuche resistance. All of Chile north of Maule River remains under the Inca Empire.

1492: Christopher Columbus discovers America, and claims it to the Kingdom of Castile.

16th Century

1510: Vasco Nunez de Balboa founds Santa Maria la Antigua del Darien in Panama, the first Spanish settlement in South America.

1513: Nunez de Balboa discovers the Southern Sea (Pacific Ocean).

1520: Ferdinand Magellan is passing through the Straits of Magellan, and becomes the first European to describe Patagonia.

1532: Francisco Pizarro arrives to Peru from Panama. He begins the Conquest of the Inca Empire and captures Emperor Atahualpa during the Battle of Cajamarca.

1536: Diego de Almagro arrives to Chile from Peru, passing over the Andes to the valley of Copiapo, and explores the central region of Chile as far as what will later become Santiago de Chile. Foundation of Valparaiso. An expedition sent southwards ends in the Battle of Reinohuelen with native mapuches, which is considered to be the first battle of the Arauco War.

1541: Pedro de Valdivia founds Santiago de Chile. In the following years, he (and others sent by him) founded La Serena and Concepcion.

1546: Uprising of Michimalonco, Mapuche chief: Santiago destroyed. Mapuche military leader Lautaro is captured by the Spanish.

1552: Founding of Valdivia. Lautaro, after six years of imprisonment by the Spanish, escape and teaches his people military strategy, including riding horses.

1553: Mapuche uprising under Lautaro. Pedro de Valdivia is killed in the Disaster of Tucapel.

1557: Death of Lautaro, Caupolican assumes as toqui (wartime chief).

1558: Caupolican is captured and executed by impalement.

1564: Concepcion is unsuccessfully sieged by native Mapuches.

1565: A Real Audiencia is established in Concepcion. The Audiencia is abolished in 1575.

1567: Chiloe Island is claimed by Spain. Castro is founded on the island. The island becames the southernmost European settlement by the time of the annexation.

1570: Southern Chile is struck by a mayor eaerthquake.

1578: Francis Drake attacks the coasts of Chile, La Serena and other cities are plundered.

1583: Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa founds the settlement Rey Don Felipe in the Strait of Magellan. In 1587 the settlement is in ruins.

1598: "Disaster of Curalaba". Governor Martin Garcia Onez de Loyola killed in a Mapuche ambush.

1599: The Real Situado, an annual payment from Potosi to the Captaincy General of Chile, is established.

17th Century

1602: General uprising of the Mapuches under Pelantaro. All cities south of the Bio-Bio River are destroyed, in what is now called Destruction of the Seven Cities.

1604: A fort established in 1602 at the ruins of Valdivia is abandoned.

1608: Jesuits arrive to Chiloe.

1612: Beginning of the Defencive War phase (promoted by Luis de Valdivia) in the Arauco War.

1619: A second smallpox epidemy affects the indigenous population of Chile. The epidemy last until 1623.

1639: The alcabala is reestablished after it had been suspended since the Disaster of Curalaba in 1598.

1643: Dutch occupation of Valdivia.

1645: Repopulation of Valdivia and construction of the Valdivian Fort System, Valdivia becomes part of Viceroyalty of Peru.

1655: A general insurrection moves for some years the frontier between the Spaniards and the mapuches from the Bio-Bio River north to the Maule River.

1664: The Viceroalty of Peru estimates 30,000 to 42,000 Spaniards to have died in Chile of witch the halft would have died by the direct concequences of the Arauco War.

1667: Governor Francisco de Meneses is destituted after accusations of immorality against him.

1672: The jesuits established in Chiloe Island founds a mission in the Nahuel Huapi Lake that last until 1717.

1680: Bartholomew Sharp destroy and pillages La Serena .

1681: By royal decree, the Atacama desert is declared to be the border between the Captain-Generalship of Chile and the Viceroyalty of Peru.

1687: Chilean wheat exports to Peru boost since Peru is affected by a mayor earthquake.

18th Century

1709: Alexander Selkirk, the inspiration for Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, is rescued from the Robinson Crusoe Island in the Juan Fernandez Archipelago.

1712: A Huilliche rebellion occurs in Chiloe Island.

1722: On 5 April that year Rapa Nui (Easter Island) is discovered by Dutch navigator Jacob Roggeveen.

1723: After 30 years of peace the War of Arauco continues with a mapuche uprising.

1735: On February 20, southern Chile was affected by the worst earthquake in the area in several decades, event witnessed by Charles Darwin.

1740: Valdivia is reincorpored to the Captaincy General of Chile.

1751: 1751 Concepcion eathquake affects all of Chile between Concepcion and Talca.

1767: The Spanish empire exiles all Jesuits. Ancud is founded. Chiloe becomes part of the Viceroyalty of Peru.

1770: A expedition from Peru claims Easter Island for Spain.

1771: The Fransiscan order assumes the religious functions of the Jesuits in Chiloe.

1776: The territories of Tucuman, previously governed as part of Chile, become part of the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata. (See History of Argentina.)

1778: Direct commerce between Chile and Spain is allowed.

1789: Start of the French Revolution, which affected Europe and the Americas with its ideals.

1796: Osorno is officially re-populated after that works begun in 1792. The city had previously been destroyed by the indigenous mapuche in 1602.

19th Century

1808: Francisco Antonio Garcia Carrasco, unpopular Governor of Chile. Spanish king Ferdinand VII is imprisoned by Napoleon during his invasion of Spain.

1810: Imitating the juntista movement of the rest of Latin America, the criollos of Santiago de Chile proclaim a governing Junta.

1811: Tired of being circumvented by political intrigues, Jose Miguel Carrera takes power by military means and initiates a dictatorship.

1812: Hostilities begin between the moderados, led by Bernardo O'Higgins, and the exaltados, led by Carrera. Carrera institutes the first Chilean national symbols , and Fray Camilo Henriquez begins to publish the Aurora de Chile, the first Chilean newspaper. The Chilean Constitution of 1812 comes into effect. Founding of the Logia Lautaro.

1813: The Spanish send military expeditions (under Antonio Pareja and Gabino Gainza) from the Viceroyalty of Peru. In the ensuing battles O'Higgins rises to be seen as a figure of great stature, overshadowing the continually less popular Carrera, who ultimately resigns. Francisco de la Lastra becomes Supreme Director.

1814: The "Disaster of Rancagua". Mariano Osorio, in command of a third Spanish expedition, defeats O'Higgins (October 1 – 2. Osorio reconquers Santiago for Spain. Exodus of Chilean patriots to Mendoza, Argentina, where they receive the support of Jose de San Martin. Those patriots who remain in Chile are captured by the Spaniards are deported to the Juan Fernandez Islands. Osorio is confirmed Governor of Chile by the Viceroy Fernando de Abascal of Peru. The talaveras, under the command of San Bruno, install a regime of terror extending to those merely suspected of sympathy for the Chilean cause.

1815: Guerrilla resistance against the Spanish begins, led by Manuel Rodriguez Erdoiza, and other spies such as Justo Estay. Increasing enmity between Osorio and Abascal leads Abascal to replace Osorio with Casimiro Marco del Pont.

1817: Battle of Chacabuco. O'Higgins defeats Rafael Maroto, reconquering Santiago. Captain San Bruno, hated chief of the talaveras, is captured and — less than 24 hours later — executed by firing squad. O'Higgins becomes dictator.

1818: O'Higgins signs the Chilean Declaration of Independence (February 12). Shortly afterwards, in the Battle of Maipu, a new military expedition led by Mariano Osorio is defeated, and Chile definitively obtains independence (April 5). The rivalry between O'Higgins and Manuel Rodriguez ends with the ambush and assassination of the latter in Tiltil. The brothers Juan Jose and Luis Carrera are shot in Argentina, probably on the orders of O'Higgins or the Logia Lautaro.

1820: Valdivia is captured by Lord Thomas Cochrane who commands the chilean navy.

1821: Jose Miguel Carrera arrested as a montonero (mounted rebel/bandit) in Argentina, and executed in Mendoza.

1822: Military expedition to Peru. San Martin undertakes a prudent military campaign, enters Lima, but sees the impossibility of crushing the last Spanish redoubts, a job that is left for Simon Bolivar and Antonio Jose de Sucre.

The Chilean Constitution of 1822 comes into effect.

1823: Ramon Freire leads a military expedition from Concepcion to Santiago and forces O'Higgins to resign. He goes into exile in Peru, where he dies in 1842. Freire assumes power.

1825: Taking advantage of the unsurveyed border, and ignoring the royal decree of 1681 and the principal uti possidetis, Simon Bolivar grants the port of Cobija to Bolivia. This gives Bolivia an outlet to the sea between Chile and Peru, which it will retain until the War of the Pacific.

1826: Freire incorporates Chiloe, the last area under Spanish control, into Chile. Later he resigns, initiating an interregnum know as The Anarchy. First attempt in Chile of federal (as against centralized) government, led by the first president of Chile Manuel Blanco Encalada, and the federalist Jose Miguel Infante.

1828: Francisco Antonio Pinto assumes power after the resignation of Encalada and his predecessors. Chilean Constitution of 1828.

1829: Chilean Revolution of 1829. After several battles, Joaquin Prieto defeats Ramon Freire in the Battle of Lircay.

1830: Diego Portales begins to clandestinely remodel Chilean institutionality, converting it into an authoritarian republic.

1831: Jose Joaquin Prieto becomes president of Chile. He will serve two consecutive five-year terms. With him, the so-called decenios (decade-long reigns) begin, which continue until 1871. This 30-year Conservative Party hegemony is sometimes referred to as the Authoritarian Republic.

1832: Discovery of mineral deposits in Chanarcillo, and the beginning of the rise of silver in what was then el Norte Chico and now constitutes the Atacama and Coquimbo regions of Chile). The mining fortunes constitute an important source of power in the following decades.

1833: Chilean Constitution of 1833. "Portalian" — that is, inspired by Diego Portales — definitively fixed Chilean institutions.

1836: Mariano Egana declares the war on the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation.

1837: Diego Portales is assassinated by mutinous soldiers in Quillota. A Chilean military expedition debarks in Peru, beginning the War of the Confederation.

1839: Battle of Yungay and defeat of the Confederation.

1840: The Vatican acknowledges the Independence of Chile

1841: Manuel Bulnes, victorious marshal of the Battle of Yungay, elected president of Chile.

1842: Important intellectual movement registered this year. A great number of teachers, thinkers, professors, and wise men arrive to the country and establish societies.

1843: University of Chile founded. It will become on of the country's two most prestigious university. along with the Catholic University of Chile, which was founded years later. Fort Bulnes established, the first Chilean presence on the Strait of Magellan.

1844: Spain recognizes the Independence of Chile

1848: Founding of Punta Arenas in the Strait of Magellan

1851: Jose Maria de la Cruz revolts in the southern provinces of Chile. Bulnes crushes the revolutionary attempt and signs the treaty of Purapel with the revolutionaries. Manuel Montt becomes the third of the decenal presidents.

1856: The Dispute of Sacristan ("Cuestion del Sacristan"). An apparently trivial question of ecclesiastical discipline divides the Conservative Party into secular and ultra-Catholic factions, which lays the ground for their political defeat in the elections of 1861.

1857: The Civil Code of Chile comes into effect; it will become a model for Latin American legal codes down to the present day.

1859: Chilean Revolution of 1859. Pedro Leon Gallo, radical revolutionary of Copiapo, and others are defeated by the government forces. However, as a consequence, Antonio Varas renounces to his candidature.

1861: Jose Joaquin Perez of the Liberal Party elected president. His party will retain power until the Chilean Revolution of 1891.

1863: A French adventurer proclaims himself Orelie Antoine I, King of Araucania. After a short time he is arrested by the Chileans and deported, but the incident meant the end of the Chilean preoccupation with occupying the remaining Mapuche, before some other power could do so and divide Chile in two. This intensification of activity is known as the Pacification of Araucania.

1866: Chile, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia at war with Spain. The port of Valparaiso is bombed by the Spanish. A treaty of limits (borders) of 1866 is signed with Bolivia.

1871: A constitutional reform prohibits re-election, resulting in the end of the decenios. Governments of five years duration persist until 1925, except for the premature death of Pedro Montt in 1910.

1874: Another treaty of limits is signed with Bolivia due to political tensions.

1879: In defense of the interests of the Chilean industrial oligarchy, Chilean soldiers occupy the Bolivian port of Antofagasta, precipitating the War of the Pacific against Peru and Bolivia. The Chilean cause is adopted by the general populace after the death of Captain Arturo Prat in the Naval battle of Iquique. The same day, May 21, Captain Carlos Condell sinks the powerful Independencia, which together with the capture of the Huascar in the Naval battle of Angamos, eliminates Peruvian sea power and permits the Chileans to land troops at will along the coast throughout the military theater of operations.

1881: Chilean troops occupy and sack Lima, capital of Peru. The war will continue another three years, with the Peruvians retreating to the Sierra and successfully defending their mountainous redoubts. Argentina takes advantage of the military situation to impose upon Chile a settlement of their border disputes, granting all of oriental Patagonia to Argentina. The Mapuches also take advantage, with an armed rising against the increasing Chilean occupation of their territories, but are finally and definitively defeated for the first time in three centuries of combat.

1883: Law of Civil Matrimony adopted. This secularization was fiercely resisted by the Roman Catholic Church. The Treaty of Ancon is signed with Peru to end the war. The "Pacification of Araucania" is considered finished, and with that according to some historians also the War of Arauco.

1884: War of the Pacific ends, allowing mining of saltpeter in the regions conquered from Peru and Bolivia, leading to great national prosperity for Chile. Treaty called "Pacto de Tregua".

1888: Policarpo Toro leads a naval expedition to annex Easter Island. The Catholic University of Chile is privately founded.

1890: The Malleco Viaduct is opened and railway traffic expands further south during the next decades.

1891: Chilean Revolution of 1891. The constitutional president Jose Manuel Balmaceda is overthrown by troops favorable to the National Congress. The beginning of "Parliamentarism" under which the Chilean oligarchy governed on its own behalf.

1895: Easter Island is rented to Compania Explotadora de Isla de Pascua.

20th Century

1904: "Meat" Massacre in Santiago. The workers revolt against the central government due to an increase in the price of meat and the general soaring costs of living. The government responds sending the army. Two days of riots continue, where hundreds of civilians are killed on street fighting.

1907: Massacre of the Escuela Santa Maria de Iquique; soldiers fire on saltpeter workers and their unarmed associates. It will be years before the workers, terrorized by the brutal repression, resume the struggle for their rights.

1910: The centenary of independence is darkened by the death of President Pedro Montt, the only president between 1831 and 1925 who failed to complete his term of office.

1920: Arturo Alessandri Palma elected president, indicating a rise to power by the Chilean middle class.

1924: Chile's first income tax levied.

1925: After intense political agitation the Chilean Constitution of 1925 is adopted, only slightly less authoritarian than that of 1833. The Impuesto Global Complementario, a graduated income tax, is introduced.

1927: Amidst great political instability, and by way of a bloodless coup, Carlos Ibanez del Campo takes the presidency. He will govern as dictator, taking Benito Mussolini as his model, until 1931. Also in 1927, the corps of carabineros — militarized police — is founded.

1929: The economic crash of 1929 strikes Chile with more force than any other country on earth.

1931: The deep economic crisis obliges Ibanez del Campo to step down. A series of civilian governments and military juntas follows, some of which last no more than a few days.

1932: The period of political anarchy ends with the return to power of Arturo Alessandri Palma.

1938: Massacre of Seguro Obrero.

1939: The Radical Party gains power, which they will keep until 1952.

1940: Pedro Aguirre Cerda, president of the nation, establishes internationally the first Chilean claims in Antarctica.

1945: Gabriela Mistral receives the Nobel Prize for Literature.

1946: Gabriel Gonzalez Videla becomes president, backed by a broad alliance of parties, including the Radicals and Communists. Once in power, he acceded to pressure from the United States and promulgates the Law of Defense of Democracy, also known as the Ley Maldita ("accursed law"), which outlawed his former allies the Communists, some of whom were placed in concentration camps in Pisagua. Poet Pablo Neruda hounded into exile.

1952: Carlos Ibanez del Campo returns to the presidency, this time via the ballot box, ending the era of the Radical Party. His emblem is the broom, with which he proposed (fruitlessly) to sweep away the Radicals' legacy of corruption.

1960: The Great Chilean Earthquake, with its epicenter near Valdivia, is the most intense earthquake ever recorded, rating a 9.5

1964: Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei Montalva becomes president, proclaiming the so-called "Revolution in Liberty".

1970: Salvador Allende elected president; his leftist orientation greatly displeases the government of the United States. See 1970 Chilean presidential election.

1971: Poet Pablo Neruda receives Nobel Prize for Literature.

1973. The Armed Forces, carabineros, and others stage a coup, overthrowing Allende, who dies in the course of the coup. Augusto Pinochet establishes himself as the head of a military junta. The subsequent repression of leftists and other opponents of the military regime results in approximately 130,000 arrests and at least 3,000 dead or "disappeared" over the next three years. See Chilean coup of 1973.

1976: The machinations of the United States oblige President Ferdinand Marcos, to cancel a scheduled visit by President Pinochet to the Philippines.

1978: Almost gone to War against Argentina for the Beagle Channel

1980: The military government promulgates the Chilean Constitution of 1980, which is adopted by plebiscite. Economic policy begins to be significantly influenced by the ideas of the Chicago School and of Neoliberalism.

1984: Argentina and Chile Peace and Friendship Treaty signed

1988: Pinochet loses the plebiscite foreseen by the constitution, which brings about, by agreement of all, elections the following year.

1990: Patricio Aylwin takes office as President. Transition to democracy begins.

1991: Mount Hudson erupts.

1994: Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle is elected President.

1998: During a visit to London for medical reasons, Augusto Pinochet is arrested in accord with the orders of Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon, beginning an international struggle between his supporters and detractors. He returns to Chile the following year, and the charges against him are later thrown out on the basis of his ostensibly deteriorated mental state. Chile suffers greatly from the world economic crisis, resulting in years of inflation and unemployment.

2000: In the second round of voting, in a tight contest with right wing candidate Joaquin Lavin, Ricardo Lagos Escobar is elected President.

21st Century

2002: A general census is performed all over the country.

2004: The Chilean Supreme Court declares that Pinochet is mentally competent to stand trial.

2005: The Pinochet trial continues. The presidential election of December 11 puts Michelle Bachelet and Sebastian Pinera into a second round.

2006: In the second round of the presidential election the socialist leader Michelle Bachelet emerges the winner. 790,000 students adhere to the 2006 student protests in Chile. Death of Augusto Jose Ramon Pinochet Ugarte (10 December 2006)

2007: Los Rios Region and Arica-Parinacota Region are created.

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