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History, Spanish Settlement

Spanish attack, chief occupation, southern Chile, Concepcion, gold deposits

Pedro de Valdivia, another of Pizarro’s officers, led a second expedition into southern Chile in 1540. Despite fierce resistance from the Araucanians, Valdivia succeeded in establishing several settlements, including Santiago in 1541, Concepcion in 1550, and Valdivia in 1552. In 1553, however, the Araucanians organized a successful uprising, killing Valdivia and many of his followers and devastating all the towns except Concepcion and La Serena. The rebellion was the initial phase of warfare that lasted nearly 100 years. The Araucanians were the only important Native American people who did not quickly succumb to Spanish attack. Strife continued intermittently during and after the Spanish colonial period and did not end until late in the 19th century.

In the Spanish colonial organization Chile originally was a dependency of the Viceroyalty of Peru and later had its own government. The country developed slowly, because it had neither important silver or gold deposits to attract the Spanish nor natives who were willing to labor. Moreover, it was far from the main centers of Spanish colonization in Peru and was difficult to reach. Farming in the Central Valley was the chief occupation, and Chile supplied Peru with foodstuffs, especially wheat. The townspeople lived by trade.

Article key phrases:

Spanish attack, chief occupation, southern Chile, Concepcion, gold deposits, Central Valley, Serena, Pedro, rebellion, townspeople, Santiago, Strife, foodstuffs, dependency, settlements, expedition, wheat, natives, Farming, followers, towns, century, government, trade, country, years, Valdivia


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