CHILI, or CHILE, occupies a strip of land on the western side of South America, extending from 24º to 56º 28' 50" S. lat., from the Bay of Majillones to Cape Horn, a distance of 2270 miles. On the E. it is bounded by the Andes, on the W. by the Pacific Ocean, and on the N. by Bolivia. Its breadth varies from 40 to 200 miles, and its area is computed at 218,925 square miles, with a population of 2,319,266. Between lat. 24º and 32º (comprehending the provinces of Atacama, Coquimbo, and the northern half of Aconcagua) the principal industry is mining; between lat. 32º and 38º (comprehending the southern half of Aconagua and the provinces of Valparaiso, Santiago, Cochagua, Curicó, Talca, Maule, Nuble, Concepcion, and part of Arauco) the staples are agricultural produce and coal; while the remaining part produces timber, potatoes, and salted meat. The Andes extend in two parallel lines throughout nearly the entire length of the country. Between these two ranges of "Cordilleras" is a table-land, which attains its greatest breadth between lat. 33º and 40º, and which narrows both towards the northern and southern extremity, where the ramifications of both chains meet and form a continuous undulating plain. Chili further lays claim to the whole of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.
Mountains.The Andes commence in the district called the Colony of Magellan, when their general elevation is lowest, the perpetual snow-line only 3000 feet, the highest peak, Mount Stokes, 6400 feet, and the coast excessively rough and broken and full of fiords or of immense depth, fed by glaciers descending from the high lands. Northwards, towards lat. 41º, the coast becomes less indented the range more continuous and elevated, and the peaks higher,such as Minchinmadiva, 8000 feet, Corcobado Volcano 9158 feet, and Yanteles, 8030 feet. From lat. 41º, or from the southern extremity of the province of Llanquihue, commence the table-land and the parallel granitic belt that skirts the Chilian coast, which together nowhere exceed 120 geographical miles in breadth from the sea to the Andes. At this lat. the snow-line rises to 8000 feet, at Valparaiso (33º S. lat.) to 12,780 feet, and at Coquimbo (29º S. lat.) to 15,200 feet. The centre table-land is in lat. 41º under 200 feet above the sea at Talca it rises to 350, at Rancagua to 1500, at Santiago to 1800; and it continues to increase in elevation as it extends northward. The mean elevation of the Andes in Chili is 11,830 feet. The culminating peak is the volcano of Aconcagua, in the province of Aconcagua, which reaches the height of 22,427 feet. The principal summits to the north of this are Cima del Mercedario, 22, 302 feet, in lat, 32º, and Cima del Cobre, 18,320 feet, in lat. 28º 30'. South of Aconcagua, in the province of Santiago, and Juncal (19,495 feet), and the volcanoes of Tupungato (20,269), San José (20,000 feet), and Maipu, 15,996 feet; in Talca, the great truncate mountain called the Descabezado, 12,757 feet; in the province of Nuble, the volcano of Chillanm 9446 feet; and in Llanquihue, the volcano of Osorno, 7396 feet. In the Chilian range there are 23 volcanoes, of which only a few, such as the volcanoes of Osorno, Villarica, Anturo, and San José, are occasionally active. There are many passes over the Andes from Chili to the Argentine Republic; but the western slope of the mountains being laborious than from the Argentine Republic, into which the mountains descend by a series of terraces, consisting of Secondary strata terminating in the vast expanse of flat country or "pampas," occupied by the Tertiary formations. The passes may be said to be open during eight months of the year, but even at their best they can never be traversed by vehicles,mules being the only means of conveyance. The highest of the passes, as well as the most frequented, are those of Doña Ana, 14,770 feet, and Colguën, 14700 feet, in the province of Coquimbo; the Dehesa, 14,500 feet, east from Santiago and near the volcano of Tupungato; the Patos, 13,965 feet, and Uspallata, 13,125 feet, both in province of Aconcagua; and the Planchon, 11,455 feet, in the province of Curicó. The part of the Andes bordering the province of Atacama may be crossed at numerous places at any period of the year, ast he range there is generally free from snow.[616-1]
Earthquakes.Chili is subject to frequent earthquake shocks (temblors). Which, without causing damage, occasion much alarm lest they should be followed by the earthquake itself (terremoto). The occurrence of this terrible phenomenon is not indicated by any particular state of the weather but it rarely happens during the night. It is the common belief that when shocks are frequent there is not much fear of their being followed by an earthquake, and certainly experience justifies that opinion. Though shocks are very common, earthquake are rare,the same province being the focus of one only about once in fifty years, though it is calculated one in every tenth year makes itself felt in some part of Chili.
Earthquakes manifest themselves by a quake horizontal and sometimes rotatory vibration, and when the focus is near the sea it also is agitated. The ground undulated, but very rarely bursts open; and even the most violent are over in a few seconds, though for some time afterwards (at gradually lengthening intervals from twelve hours) there is a succession of gradually lessening shocks. By the earthquake of February 1835 the Isle of Santa Maria was uplifted, the southern end 8, the central part 9, and the northern end of 10 feet; but both it and Concepcion subsided a few weeks afterwards, and even lost part of their previous elevation. During this earthquake two great waves rolled over the town of Talcahuano; the deep sea, close in shore, was dry for a few moments, and smoke burst from the surface of the water. During a very smart earthquake at Coquimbo, in November 1849, the sea retired about150 yards, and then rolled back about 12 feet high. An English ship, anchored in 7 fathoms water, in the neighbouring bay of Herradura, nearly touched the bottom from the receding of the sea, which afterwards rolled in like a bore, and the water continued to ebb and flow for an hour and a half after the shock.
Lakes.In the southern part of Chili there are several inland lakes abounding with frequented by numerous varieties of aquatic birds. The largest of these lakes is that of Llanquihue, situated in 41º 10' S. lat., 197 feet above the sea, at the base of the volcano of Osorno, which rises 7199 feet above its surface. Its shape is triangular, its greatest length from north to south being 30 miles and greatest breadth 22 miles. The little river Maullin is its sole outlet, and conveys its surplus water to the Pacific, in lat. 41º 35'. IN the neighbourhood are the lakes Todos los Santos or Esmeralda, 18 miles long by broad, and Rupanco, 24 miles long by 4 broad. Twelve miles northward is Lake Ranco, 32 miles long by 18 broad. In lat. 39º is Lake Villarica or Llauquen, measuring 100 square miles. In the province of Concepcion is Lake Guilletué, measuring 50 square miles. Near Santiago, is Lake Aculeo, occupying about 8500 acres. In all these the water is fresh and pleasant to the taste; but in the small lakes situated near the coast, such as Bacalemu, Cahuil, Vichuquen, and Bolleruca the water is brackish.
Rivers.The rivers, like the lakes, are much larger and more numerous in the south than in the north of Chili. They are almost entirely fed by the melting of the snow on the Andes, but are also liable to swelling from the winter rains. A few are navigable for a short distance; but nearly all yield immense service to agriculture by irrigation, carrying, like the Nile, both substance and moisture to the otherwise barren plains. The largest river is the Biobio, which, rising near the volcano of Antuco, in lat. 38º 15', enters the Pacific after a course of 220 miles, where it is 2 miles broad. It is navigable for barges and small steamers as far as Nacimiento,100 miles from the mouth.
The following is a list of the principal rivers, with the provinces through which they flow, and the lengths of their courses:
Mineral waters are numerous in Chili; they are principally saline and sulphureous, containing carbonate of lime, bicarbonate of soda, and chloride of sodium. In temperature the waters range from 50º to that of boiling water. They are situated at various heights, from 1150 feet above the sea, as the baths of Panimavida, 18 miles from Talca, to 10,690 feet, as the baths of Toro, near Elqui in Coquimbo. The most remarkable as well as the most important of the bathing establishments is thata of Chillan in the province of Chillan, on the western flank of the Cerro Nevado, 2050 above the sea, containing in close proximity icy cold and boiling springs,sulphureous, ferruginous, alkaline, and saline. The season is from the first of December to the first of April, when they are visited by multitudes for the cure of gout, rheumatism, dyspepsia, and cutaneous diseases. Among the others most frequented are the baths of Apoquindo and Colina, near Santiago; Cauquenes, near Rancagua; Tinguiririca, near Colchagua; Mondaca, near Talca; Trapa-Trapa, near Los Anjeles; and Nahuelhuapi in Llanquihue.
Islands.The most important Chilian island are those of the province of Chiloé, covered with great forests of the magnificent cedar Fitzroya patagonica, and the tall and elegant cypress Libacedrus tetragona. The interesting island of Juan Fernandez may be included with those of Chili, although it is 360 miles from the coast, in lat. 33º 42' S. It is a mountainous and well-wooded island, 52 miles in circumference, and exhibits generally those features familiar to the readers of Robinson Crusoe as the abode of Alexander Selkirk. It is stocked with herds of goats, while the beach is a haunt of seals. Forty-two miles further out to sea is the smaller island of Mas Afuera.
Climate.As Chili extends from hot parched deserts in the Tropic of Capricorn to a boisterous cold and wet country within 12º of the Antarctic Circle, and as while one-fourth of the territory is not much above the level of the sea, another fourth lies slightly below the snow-line, the only general qualification that can be assigned to this union of extremes is that both in the high and the low, the wet and the dry, the hot and the cold regions the climate is healthy throughout. Omitting the inhospitable regions of cape Horn and Tierra del Fuego, and commencing with the most southern portion colonized by Chili, the Territory of Magellan, between lat. 54º and 51º 50', we find that although the moisture and rainfall are too great for the ripening of wheat, yet potatoes, cabbage, celery, and carrots are readily grown. The principal town, Punta Arenas, is situated in the peninsula of New Brunswick, on the Straits of Magellan, in 53º 10' 30' S. lat. and 70º 50' W. long. The next zone, between lat. 51º and 37º, comprehends the provinces of Chiloé, Llanquihue, Valdivia, and Arauco, of which the climate is very like that of Great Britain,the most southern parts having more rain but less cold than the Highlands of Scotland, while the more northern have a more genial climate than the most favoured parts of the south of England. In Valdivia the mean temperature throughout the year is 52º Fahr. Timber is the great article of export; but potatoes, wheat, barley, rye, and flax are grown in quantities sufficient for exportation. The next zone extends from 37º to 28º lat., embracing the provinces from Concepcion to Aconcagua, where irrigation is more or less necessary, and where flax, corn, grapes, figs, olives, peaches, and northern portion. Rain falls in June, July, and August with more or less frequency, according to the latitude. During these months a mild northerly wind prevails, interrupted occasionally by a dry wind from the east. During all the rest of the year a wind blows from the south, which falls towards the evening. In Santiago the mean annual temperature is 55º Fahr., and in Valparaiso 58º Fahr. From lat. 28º to 24º, including the provinces of Coquimbo and Atacama, there is a gradually decreasing amount of moisture,from four or five showers of from five to ten hours, as in Coquimbo, to nothing but an occasional mist, as in Atacama. Spring commences in September, summer in December, autumn in March, and winter in June.
Population.The following table gives the population of Chili according to a census taken in 1875, with the average number of births, deaths, marriages, and other kindred statistics:
It will be seen that the nest amount of the population obtained by the census was 2,068,424; but 10 per cent. may be allowed for omissions, and 44,000 for wandering Araucanian and Patagonian tribes, which brings up the total number to about 2,320,000. One-third of the population is urban, and two-thirds rural. Of the deaths no less than 59 per cent. are under seven year, 4·8 from seven to fifteen, 7·3 from fifteen to twenty-five, 15·3 from twenty-five to fifty, and 11·4 from fifty to eighty. Out of every million children born only 543,900 live to the age five years. One female child is born for every 1·05 male children; but the death rate is in precisely the opposite proportion. The annual increase of the population is one in every fifty-seven.
Sanitary Condition. The deaths, amounting to 55,897, are distributed among the different months of the year as follows:January, 5333; February, 4398; March, 4228; April, 3937; May,4423; June, 4213; July, 4613; August, 4773; September, 4767; October, 4940; November, 4749; December, 5523. The rate is greatest (9·9 per cent.) in December, and least (7·1 per cent.) in April.
It will be seen that the three provinces, Chiloé, Llanquihue, and Valdivia, which are the wettest are also the most salubrious. The healthiest period is just before the rains set in, the least healthy during the heats of December and January, when dysentery prevails, owing perhaps to a too free consumption of the water-melon. The mortality of children under 7 years ranges from 47 per cent. in some years to 60 per cent. in others of the whole number of deaths; and four-fifths of the children who die under 7 years of age belong to the poorest classes. The most fatal diseases are gastric, typhoid, and typhus fever; and the next, pulmonary complaints, dysentery, and syphilis. The system of sewerage in Chili is generally bad, consisting of partially open channels passing through the houses, sometimes with running water and at other times nearly dry. Even Valparaiso is not well provided with drainage. Intermittent fevers are unknown, and Asiatic cholera has not yet passed the Andes.
History.The name Chili (or, in its Spanish form, Chile) is supposed to be derived from Tchile, a word belonging to the ancient language of Peru, signifying "snow". The country first became known to Europeans in the 16th century It was then to a considerable extent under the dominion of the Incas, but has been previously inhabited by certain tribes of Indians, of whom the most important and only warlike race were the Araucanians.
In the time of the Inca Yupanqui (1433), grandfather of the monarch who occupied the throne of Peru on the arrival of the Spaniards, and the tenth in succession from Manco Capac, the reputed founder of the arrival of the Spaniards, and the tenth in succession from Manco Capac, the reputed founder of the Peruvian empire, the first attempt was made by the Incas to extend their dominion over the territory of Chili. Yupanqui, leading his army across the desert of Atacama, and penetrating into the southern regions of the country, made himself master of a considerable portion of it. The permanent boundary of the dominions of this prince is said by some writers to have been determined by the River Maule, 35º 30' S. lat., although it is more probable the River Raple, 34º 10' S. lat., constituted the extreme limits of the Peruvian empire towards the south. The latter opinion is to some extent supported by the fact, that the remains of an ancient Peruvian fortress, apparently marking the frontier, are still found upon the banks of the Rapel, while no such remains are known to exist in any part of the country farther south.
The Peruvian dominion is Chili ceased with the Inca Atahualpa in 1533. The first Spanish invasion was led by Diego de Almagro (1535 or 1536), who however met with such determined resistance from the Araucanians that he was compelled to retrace his steps. Undaunted by this failure, Pizzaro dispatched another expedition, composed of Spanish troops and Peruvian auxiliaries, under Don Pedro de Valdivia, and was preparing to follow it in person with a larger force, when he was assassinated in 1541. Meanwhile Valdivia entered Chili, and fighting his way onwards, encamped on the banks of the Mapocho, where he founded the city of Santiago, the present capital of the republic, and about eleven years afterwards the town of Valdivia. At least, after twelve years stay in Chili his life and conquests were brought to an end in a desperate engagement with the Araucanians, who for 180 years afterwards continued to wage a sanguinary war with the Spaniards, till 1722, when they consented to a treaty which fixed the Rover Biobio as the boundary between them. Spaniard Chili, extending from the Biobio northward to Atacama, was divided into thirteen provinces, under the rule of a governor appointed by the viceroy of Peru. The last pf these governors was Mateo de Toro, 1810.
During the entire period of this connection between Spain and Chili, the viceroys, governors, and all the other Spanish officials of every grade regarded the inhabitants only as a means of furthering their own aggrandizement, which at length so exasperated the better educated classes that they determined to throw off the hateful yoke on the first favourable occasion. In 1810 this desired opportunity at last presented itself, when Spain, overrun by the armies of France, was no longer to vindicate her own claims to a national existence. In July of that year the Chilians took the first step towards asserting their independence by deposing the Spanish president, and putting in his place (September 18, 1810) a committee of seven men, nominated by themselves, to whom were entrusted all the executive powers. In April 1811 the first blood was spilt in the cause of Chilian independence. A battalion of royal troops, which had been drawn up in the great square of Santiago, was attacked by a detachment of patriot grenadiers, and routed with considerable loss on both sides. In the same year (December 20) the government was vested in a triumvirate, and Juan Jose Carrera was appointed general-in-chief of the army about to be formed.
In 1813, a powerful army, under the command of General Paroja, invaded Chili, but was twice defeated by the republican troops under Carrera. The royalists, however, speedily received larger enforcements; and after a severe contest, Chili was once more obliged to own the sovereignty of Spain. For three years more the people submitted (under the Spanish governors Osorio and Pont) to the old system of tyranny and misgovernment, till at length the patriot refugees, having levied an army in La Plata, and received the support of the Buenos Ayreans, marched against the Spaniards, and completely defeated them at Chacabuco in 1817.
The patriots next proceeded to organize an elective government, of which San Martin, the general of the army, was nominated the supreme director. Their arrangements, however, were not completed when they were attacked once more by the royalists, and routed at the battle of Cancharayada with great loss. Betrayed into a fatal security by this success, the royalist troops neglected the most ordinary military precautions, and being suddenly attacked by the patriots in the plains of Maipu, were defected with great slaughter. This victory secured the independence of Chili.
The new Republic had no sooner vindicated for itself a place among the nations of South America, than it resolved to assist the neighbouring state of Peru in achieving a similar independence, which object was at last effected after a bloody wart of six years duration. No small share of this success was due to the daring courage and consummate ability with which Lord Cochrane, under the most trying circumstances, conducted the naval affairs. In acknowledgment of these important services a well-executed statue of him has been erected in Valparaiso. With 1817 commenced again the national government, under the directorship of General OHiggins, who held it till 1823, when he was compelled to resign in consequence of a popular tumult. For a few weeks, a provisional triumvirate discharged the duties of an executive government. General Freire was next chosen director. During the period of three years in which he held the reins of government, the country was harassed by constant dissensions; and for the four years subsequent to his resignation it continued in a state of disorder bordering upon anarchy. From 1826 to 1830 the government was administered by six different directors, in addition to a second provisional triumvirate. In 1828, under the administration of General Pinto, a constitution was promulgated, which had the effect of temporarily reconciling political differences and calming party spirit. In 1831, however, when General Prieto was raised to the chief magistracy, a convention was called for the purpose of revising this constitution. The result of its deliberations was the present constitution of Chili, which was promulgated on the 25th of May 1833. From that time Chili has enjoyed remarkable prosperity, and its government has been administered with such firmness and regularity, that it occupies a high rank among nations, and its funds stand well in the Stock Exchange.
After holding office for ten years, Prieto retired, and was succeeded by General Bulnes, a distinguished officer of the war of independents. Like his predecessor, he was fortunate in finding in Manuel Montt an able and intelligent prime minister, who, as to him what Portales had been to Prierto. In 1851 an insurrectionary movement broke out, headed by General Urriola, who, during the disturbances in Santiago in the Semana Santa was accidentally killed. The same party then brought forward as their candidate for the presidency General José Maria de la Cruz in opposition to D. Manuel Montt, but the latter was elected, and continued in office for two periods (1851-1861). To him succeeded José Joaquin Perez (1861-1871), who in 1871 was followed by Federico Errazuriz, and he in his turn by Anibal Pinto in 1876. The administration of recent presidents has been conducted with firmness, wisdom, and prudence. They have been ready to use their influence for the reform of abuses and for the advancement of civil and religious liberty, and for the promotion of every thing which could tend to increase the prosperity of the country.
Races.The greater part of Chili, when Almagro invaded it, was inhabited by the Araucanians, who were, with other Indians, partly exterminated, but more generally absorbed into the Chilian nationality as at present existing. A remnant of independent Araucanians still occupy a province south of the Biobio; but they scarcely number 24,000, and are on the decease. These Araucanians are divided into tribes, whose chief, called a cacique, has from two to six wives, or even more, according to his means of supporting them and their progeny. They cultivate maize, rear herds of horses, sheep, and cattle, weave coarse woollens, build comfortable cottages, binding the beans together by the rope creeper Lardizabala biternata, and from the reed Chusquea Coleou make shafts for their lances. They acknowledge a creator god called Pillan, and some inferior divinities, such as Eponeman, the god of war, Moilen, the god of good, and Guëcubu, the god of evil. They have neither temples nor priests, their worship consisting of the sacrificing of some animal under a tree belonging to the Magnolia order, the Drymis chilensis, which is considered sacred by them. This tree was first described by Dr Winter, who accompanied Drake in his expedition round Cape Horn in 1577. The Araucanians believe also in sorcerers and enchantments, and that every natural death, other than by old age, is caused by the evil influence of some one, whose life the friends of the deceased endeavour to take in expiation and revence. The Patagonians who inhabit the territory of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego, and who may number about 20,000, are not given to polygamy. They worship one god called Coche, and believe in the immortality of the soul. The average height of fifty Patagonians taken at random lately was found to be 6 feet 4 _ inches. The tallest was 6 feet 8 _ inches, and the least 6 feet and 1/8 inch. The Chilians themselves hold the same position to Spain as the inhabitants of the United States do towards England. Their instincts and language are Spanish, modified by admixture and intercourse with other nations. The conventionalities of social life are much the same in Chili as in France, Belgium and Catholic Germany; and this remarks applies to dress, living, amusements, and propensities. Sunday is spent as a holiday, and enlivened by festivals, balls, theatricals, and concerts. Cricket and athletic sports are unknown, but good horsemanship is common. The great extent of seaboard not only induces large numbers of the inhabitants to visit foreign lands (calculated to average 78,000), but promotes the diffusion of the civilization of the most highly cultivated nations over the whole of Chili. The beautiful provinces of Valdivia and Llanquihue are colonized by Germans and North Americans, who prepare timber, meat, cheese, butter, beer, cider, and leather. The university and the learned professions have ever numbered among their distinguished members Polish, French, German, and English men of science. The North American colonists have been chiefly instrumental in the construction of flour-mills, telegraphs, and railways. At the commercial centres, such as Valparaiso, Concepcion, Copiapo, Coquimbo, and Huasco, many of the leading Chilian citizens are English, French, and German descent. There are in the country about 35,000 Europeans, chiefly Germans, French, and English.
Constitution.By the adopted on the 25th of May 1833, the sovereignty is declared to reside in the people; but the exercise of its functions is delegated to three distinct powersthe legislative, the executive, and the judicial. The legislative power is committed to the National Congress, which consists of the Chambers of Deputies and Senators. The Chambers of Deputies comprises over 100 members, elected for a term of three years, on the principle of equal electoral districts with cumulative voting, and by a suffrage enjoyed by all citizens who are of twenty-one years of age if married, or twenty-five if unmarried, and who are able to read and write, and par yearly taxes to a certain amount.
The senate is composed of fewer members, chosen by indirect election in each province for a term of nine years. One-third of the house is renewed every years.
The Chamber of deputies and the Senate have concurrent as well as separate functions. The former body alone can impeach the higher officers of the state before the Senate. It originates all money bills, and measures relating to the military force of the country. The Senate alone has the right of pronouncing judgment on public functionaries impeached by the Chamber of Deputies; it confirms ecclesiastical nominations, and in certain cases gives or withholds its consent to the Acts of the executive. In all other proceedings of the legislature the concurrent voice of the two houses is necessary. Laws may originate with either body, but require to be passed by both houses, sanctioned by the president (after consultation with the Council of State), and promulgated by the minister to whose department the matter relates. The period during which the Congress sits is limited to the three winter months; but the session may be prolonged by the president for fifty days. On the day before the regular session closes, the senators elect seven of their number to form the conservative committee, which replaces Congress during its prorogation in the duty of observing the conduct of the executive.
The executive power is committed to the president, with a salary of £3600, as supreme chief of the nations. He is chosen by indirect election, and holds office for a term of five years, after expiry of which he is not eligible for re-election until other five years have elapsed. The president concludes treaties, and declares peace or war; he appoints and removes ministers, councilors, and clerks of department, as well as diplomatic representatives, consuls, and the administrative officers of provinces. He also inducts the higher legal and judicial functionaries; but the nomination of these officers, as well as of ecclesiastical dignitaries, must proceed from the Council of State. He distributes the army and navy at will; and when, with the sanction of the Senate, he assumes the command of the national troops in person, he has the exclusive bestowal of naval and military commissions, though ordinary appointments of this nature must be approved by the Senate.
The president is liable to impeachment for mal-administration for a year after the expiry of his authority. During that time he is not allowed to leave the country, except with the permission of Congress. All the other officers of Government are subject to the same law; but in their case the time is more limited.
The Council of State is composed of ministers in the exercise of their functions, a member of the courts of justice, an ecclesiastical dignitary, a general or admiral, a chief of the administration of finances, and one ex-minister or diplomatic agent,all named by the president, together with six other councilors, named one-half by the Senate and one-half by the Chamber of Deputies. The duties of the Council of State are to advice and act as a check upon the president.
The government is conducted by five cabinet ministers, each with a salary of £1200. The Ministro del Interior presides over the preparation of the national statistics, over roads and railroads, public buildings, and hospitals; the Ministro de Hacienda over the finance; the Ministro de Justicia, Culto é Instruccion over the law and prisons, the church, and education; the Ministro de Guerra over the army and navy; and the Ministro del Esterior over foreign affairs and colonization. The president has no power of enforcing obedience to orders relating to any one of these departments until they have been confirmed by the minister in charge. The ministers are entitled to take part in all the debates of Congress; but, unless holding at the same time the office of senator or of deputy, they are not allowed to vote. Any of them may be impeached by the Chamber of Deputies for treason against the laws of the state, or for the mal-administration of the duties of his office. An action may be brought against them even by private individuals who have suffered by any of their acts if the Senate, to whom appeal must in the first place be made, decide that there is sufficient ground for complaint.
Local Government.Upon the executive depend directly the administrative officials throughout the country. For administrative purposes Chili is divided into fifteen provinces, each with subordinate departments, sub-delegations, and districts, and one settlements, viz., the provinces of Atacama, Coquimbo, Valparaiso, Aconcagua, Santiago, Colchagua, Curicó, Talca, Maule, Nuble, Concepcion, Arauco, Valdivia, Llanquihue, and Chiloé, and the settlement of Magellan. The capital is Santiago, on the Mapocho. Each of the provinces is governed by an intendant, who is nominated by the president, and holds office for three years. The departments are under governors, who hold office for a similar term. The intendant generally acts as governor in that department in which the capital of the province is situated, and is, at the same time, mayor of the municipal corporation; but the authority of this body is very limited, as it cannot dispose even of its local funds without the permission of Government. The subdelegates are appointed by the governors for a period of two years, as are also the inspectors of districts. Both these offices are compulsory,those who decline to serve being liable to fines.
The united revenue of the municipal corporations of Chili amounts to about £500,000, of which about £80,000 is contributed by the State, and the remainder derived from local sources.
The procedure of the Chilian courts of justice is based on the same fundamental principles as those which hold among the Latin nations generally, and approximates therefore to that of equity. Evidence is mostly taken by depositions in writing. The suitor appears by a sworn procurator or attorney, who must be conversant with the technicalities of the law. In the higher courts, the aid of an advocate is further obligatory. The advocate, who combines the functions of the consulting lawyer with those of the barrister, is only admitted to practice after taking a university degree, and passing an examination by the Supreme Court. Trial by jury is unknown, except as applied in a modified form to libel cases connected with the press. The whole law of Chili is being gradually digested into codes,the civil, penal, commercial, &c.
The supreme court, which sits at Santiago, takes cognizance of criminal and civil causes alike. Its decisions are final, and also bind the Government upon questions of law submitted for the consideration of the bench. There are three courts of intermediate appeal, sitting in Santiago, Serena, and Conception, which also have both criminal and civil jurisdiction, and whose decisions are final in certain cases.
In each department of every province there are one or more salaries judges of letters (or judges learned in the law), who divide among them the local jurisdiction,the criminal and civil sides being, in places of importance, vested in different judges, each of whom, as a rule, sits alone. Below these, again, are the judges of subdelegations and of districts, of whom the latter can only decide civil cases when the value at issue is below £10, and in criminal causes can arrest the criminal and prepare evidence; while the former decides civil suits up to £40 value, hears appeals from the district judge, and takes cognizance of minor criminal offences.
In places where access to a judge of letters is difficult, an alcalde or local police magistrate retains a limited jurisdiction. With a view to reduce litigation, the law expressly encourages reference to arbitration in various forms; and the duties of public prosecutor and public advocate are performed by officials, who intervene before the higher courts and the judges of letters in all cases which involve public morality, or the interests of the State, of minors, of the incapable, of the absent, and of charitable trusts.
Military and ecclesiastical offences come under the cognizance of special tribunals, but neither ecclesiastical nor military persons are, as such, exempt from the jurisdiction of the ordinary tribunals in respect of offences against the law of the land. Certain special jurisdiction is reserved to the Council of State and to the revenue courts; and under a treaty with Great Britain, guaranteeing the manual right of search in suspected slave vessels, a mixed tribunal decides, without appeal, as to the validity of capture.
The clerks and secretaries of the higher courts, and the secretaries of the judges of letters, must be qualified advocates, as also the notaries public, who are charged with drawing up and preserving legal instruments, some among their number being particularly entrusted with the registry of landed property, and of deeds of partnership, having then the title of notary conservator. The registers are open to public inspection.
Religion.The form of worship recognized by the constitution is the Roman Catholic, yet Government tolerates the public profession of others. For the purposes of ecclesiastical administration, Chili is divided into four diocesesone archbishopric and 3 bishopricswhich are subdivided into 144 parishes. The salary of the archbishop is £1600, of the bishops of Concepcion and Serena £1200 each, and of Ancud £1000. The salaries of the curates range from £20 per annum to £200. The mission department is under the direction of Capuchin friars, and consists of a prefect and sub-perfect, and a staff of 30 missionaries and several chaplains, stationed in the provinces of Arauco.Valdivia, Llanquihue, and Magallanes. Their labours among the adult Indians produces little fruit, but in their schools they have been more successful. Worship, including salaries and repairs of churches, costs Government annually £63,425.
In Santiago there is one handsome Protestant church, in Valparaiso three, and a chapel in Talca. Roman Catholicism exists in a mild form among the educated classes, but with a good deal of superstition among the miners and peasantry (huasos and inquilinos). There is only one great place of pilfrimage in Chili, and that is to an image of the Virgin in the church of Andacollo, a small village near Serena, Upwards of 20,000 persons visit it annually, and the yearly festival is occasionally presided over by the bishop of the province, when the image is carried in procession round the square. The greatest devotees are the miners.
Education.The first educational establishments in rank are the University and the National Institute of Santiago. The university, which grants degrees in law and medicine, has 37 professors, besides numerous assistants, and is attended by nearly 700 students. It is governed by a rector and a vice-rector, a secretary, and the five deacons of the faculties of humanity, mathematics, medicine, law, and theology, who are also charged with the inspection of education in all schools throughout the republic. Whoever has the necessary elementary knowledge may attend the classes without paying fees.
The preparatory section of "Institute," corresponding with out high schools, is under the management of a rector, a vice-rector, 48 masters and several inspectors. It is attended by about 1000 pupils, of whom only those pay who lodge and board in the establishment, this costing £32 a year. The institute is endowed with 45 exhibitions or bursaries, 15 of which are divided equally among youths from Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador.
These two establishment cost the Government annually £25,000. Lyceums, on the same plan as the National Institute, are established in every provincial capita, 16 altogether, and are supported by local taxation, government grants, and fees from pupils. In these institutions boarders pay an annual sum of £20, and day scholars £2, 8s.; but many receive instruction gratuitously. The directly practical branches of education receive the largest share of attention, but the learned languages are not neglected. The lyceums of Talca, Concepcion, and Serena possess the privilege of granting degrees in mathematics and chemistry.
Government expends annually on the lyceums in the province £35,000, and they are attended by 2200 pupils. Government supports besides 810 schools throughout the country, in which 62,220 children are taught the catechism, reading, writing, arithmetic, and geography. Those who choose may learn in addition the histories of Chili and America, sacred history, drawing, music, and sewing. There are also 480 private schools, with 24,000 pupils, which differ more in the rank of the children than in the subjects taught.
One in every 3·8 of the population in Santiago can read, and 1 in every 4·4 can both read and writeand the proportion is nearly the same in the provinces of Atacama, Coquimbo, Valparaiso, Concepcion, and Chiloé; while in the entire population of the republic one in 7 can read, and one in 8 can both read and write. Upon an average 12 child for every 24·71 inhabitants goes to school. In the public schools each child costs Government an average of 45 shillings.
Table showing the number of children educated at the public and private schools, and the proportion of pupils to inhabitants.
Educational Institutions for especial purposes.For the education of priests there are seminaries in Serena, Valparaiso, Santiago, Talca, Concepcion, and Ancud, six in all, attended by about 535 young men, and costing Government £8000 annually. For the education of teachers, there are two schools for females and one for men. There are also in Santiago a school for the blind and another for the deaf and dumb.
In the military academy in Santiago there are 100 pupils, costing £2600, with 100 pupils. In Valparaiso is the practical naval school, costing £2600, with 100 pupils; a school for music, costing £750, with 100 pupils; an academy of painting costing £1000, with 70 pupils; one of sculpture, costing £600, with 30 pupils; an agricultural and polytechnic school, with 90 pupils, costing £7200. There are also a national library and museum and observatory, costing annually about £4000Master are also employed to teach in prisons and in barracks. Altogether there are upwards of 1300 educational establishments, to which the State contributes £166,000, and these establishments are attended by about 93,000 pupils. Further to aid in the diffusion of knowledge Government distributes among the poorer schools text books, cheap editions of standard authors,chiefly Fresh translated into Spanish.
Benevolent Institutions.In Chili there are 42 hospitals, with an average number of 41,930 patients; 18 lazar houses (lazarettos) with 2230 patients; 31 dispensaries, providing medicines during the year to 293,100 sick people; 1 asylum for the insane, with 575 patients; 4 foundling hospitals, with 845 children; 6 hospices, with 765 poor; 5 refuges for fallen women, with 610 inmates; and 5 establishments for orphans, with 590. For the support of these charities Government contributes annually on an average £54,500.
There are several prisons, one house of correction, and a large penitentiary, the whole costing Government annually about £23,000.
Legations.The Chilian legation for France and England is in Paris. The ministers salary is £1800; with other salaries and sundries, it costs £3000. In Washington the expense of the legation is £1400; in Lima, £2800, in Bolivia £1300; in Buenos Ayres, which serves also for Brazil, £2600.
The Press.The press in Chili is improving. There are one or more daily newspapers in every town of importance, and about 50 papers and magazines published weekly or monthly. The official organ of the Government is the Araucano; of the Law Courts, the Gaceta de los Tribunales; of the university, the Anales de la Universidad, and of the Church, La Revista Catolica. There are also German and English newspapers. The national literature of Chili belongs chiefly to the belles letters class, tinged with French ideas. The scientific writers are mostly foreigners or the descendants of foreigners. On an average, three times more books are imported from France than from England; ten times more than from Spain, or the United States, or Germany; and twenty-two times more than from Belgium.
Post-office.The number of letters that passed through the post-office in 1874 was 5 millions; of newspapers, periodicals, and circulars, 7 _ millions; and of samples, 12,000, besides 336,000 official despatches.
Army and Navy.The army of Chili, which in time of war has exceeded 4500 men, was reduced in 1875 to 3500, consisting of 700 cavalry, 2000 infantry, and 800 artillery. This force is distributed on sentry duties and upon the frontiers,. But the real military strength of the country is the National Guard.
The National Guard, also divided into cavalry, infantry, and artillery, averaged 55,000 men from 1867 to 1871, but in 1875 had become reduced to 22,000, the country being at peace.
The navy consists of two powerful ironclads, the "Almirante Conchrane" and the "Valparaiso," constructed in England, each of 1000 horse-power, and of about 2000 metric tons measurement, besides three corvettes, a sloop. And several transport vessels on active service, and two corvettes allocated to the naval schools. All are steamers. The marine force amounted in 1875 to 1600 men, including sailor, engineers, officers, and 200 marines and artillery-men.
Mineral Productions.Chill is rich in minerals. Among its metals are gold, silver, copper, lead, antimony, cobalt, zinc, nickel, bismuth, iron, molybdenum, and quicksilver, found in mines in the northern division, while rich beds of coal occupy the southern division, but only copper, silver, and coal are profitable to any extent. The various ores are found in all the series of rocks between granite and trachyte, the latter being sterile in Chili. The veins generally run from N. N.W. to S. and S.E.; in some places, however, their course is irregular, or they extend E. and W.
The auriferous veins run nearly parallel to the imperfect cleavage of the surrounding granite rocks. Copper ores, containing a small quantity of gold, are generally associated with micaceous specular iron. Some mines are remarkable for the variety of minerals mixed with the gold, such as galena, blende, copper and iron pyrites, and peroxide of iron. These substances are found disseminated in quarts veins running nearly N. and S. Near Illapel are some very poor gold mines, in t he beds of the gypseous formation, in altered felspathic clay-slate, which alternate with purple porphyritic conglomerate.
The richest silver mines are found in Jurassic rocks of the Oolitic formation in the province of Atacama. The richest districts are Chañarcillo, Tres Puntas, Florida,and Caracoles. In Chañarcillo the upper part of the mines produce immense quantities of embolite, while in those of Caracoles, on the frontier of Bolivia, the chloride of silver is found in still greater quantities. And in general these are the two kinds of silver ore met with most frequently in the upper region of the veins; while as the mines become deeper, the prevailing ores are various kinds of pyrargyrite or red silver, polybasite, and argentite or the sulphuret of silver. Native silver, in smaller or larger masses, is generally found in the upper region, although at Chañarcillo, from the vein San Juan, at 325 feet below the surface, 800,000 ounces of metallic silver were extracted in a few months. Gold is also found in Magellan.
Copper is more equally distributed than silver over the northern provinces, and is mostly found in the lower granitic and metamorphic schistose series, where it is met with most abundantly as pyrites, although other ores are also common, such as bornite or variegated copper, the black oxide, malachite, and atacamite. Domeykite, or arsenical copper, is found in the Calabozo mine, nearCoquimbo; the hydrosilicate and olivenite in the mine San Antonio, near Copiapo; the vanadiate of copper in cavities in an arseniophosphate of lead, along with amorphous carbonate of lead and copper, in Mina Grande or La Marquesa, near Arqueros. That rare ore, the oxychloride of copper, or atacamite, occurs at Remolinos and Santa Rosa in veins in granite. The principal copper mines are in the provinces of Atacama, Coquimbo, and Aconcagua, and the most important are those of San Juan and Carrizal, near Copiapo, La Hiquera, near Coquimbo, and Tamaya, about 40 miles from the coast, and 70 from Coquimbo. This last is a mountain district about 3500 feet above the sea, which produces about 150,000 cwts. A year of various kinds of sulphurets, of a produce from 9 to 64 per cent. Tambillos, 10 leagues from Coquimbo, produces principally poor sulphurets; Runeral, near the river, entirely poor carbonates; Andacollo, carbonates, oxides, oxysulphurets, and native copper; La Higuera, black sulphurets and pyrites; In the Cordilleras, above Huasco, are some mines containing ores of copper, silver and lead combined together. Silver and copper mines are sold by the "barra," or twenty-fourth part of the share of the mine.
The most common ores of cobalt are the separate and the sulpharsenate, containing from 19 to 20 per cent. of cobalt. The most important mine is the Veta Blanca of San Juan. At Tambillos and Huasco there are mines containing glance cobalt, and arsenate or erythrine; the former sort is frequently combined with nickel, which has been found in considerable quantities in a mine in the Cordilleras above Copiapo.
The sulphuret of zinc is found in various parts, as well as antimony, lead, manganese, bismuth, mercury, and molybdena. Iron ores of every description are very abundant; amongst the most peculiar are coquimbite, or white copperas, and copiapite, or yellow copperas, much used by the inhabitants for dyeing and tanning, in the manufacture of ink, and for other purposes.
Gypsum is found in immense beds, particularly in the province of Santiago. The fine massive variety called alabaster is found at the Salto de Aqua, near to Santiago, of a quality nearly equal to that of Italy. Lapis lazuli is found in the Cordilleras above the province of Coquimbo, but it is impossible to convey large slabs to the coast, and the principal use of the small pieces is to make ultramarine; but as the artificial equals the native in brilliancy of colour and permanency, it is not of much value. In the province of Atacama, where it borders on Bolivia, are extensive deposits of the nitrate of soda and the borate of lime and soda.
Of great and increasing importance are the coal mines in the southern, Chili, extending along the coast from the province of Conception in 36º 50' S. lat. to the Straits of Magellan, including some of the islands of Chiloe. The richest and at the same time the oldest coal mines are immediately south from the Biobio at Coronel, Lota and Lebu. These coal mines are worked on the same plan as those in England with all the modern improvements and accessories. Steamers coal at the pits mouth, and a great deal of the ore that used to be carried to England to be smelted is now sent to Coronel and Lota. There are also extensive works for amalgamating silver and smelting ores in Copiapo, Chañarcillo, Carrizal, and Guayacan.
Of the entire exports copper is 70 per cent. and silver 25. The amount of coal produced annually is increasing so rapidly that it will probably soon average from 2 to 3 millions of tons. The average value of the minerals exported is above 46 per cent. of the value of the whole of the exports, while that of agricultural products is about 44 per cent.
Vegetable Kingdom.The Chilian flora contains 128 genera. Twenty-two of the genera belonging to the continent of Europe are nor indigenous to Chili, while, on the other hand, that country possesses thirty-six genera not belonging to Europe.
Agriculture.Till Chili had to complete with California and Australia in the foreign markets, the agricultural appliances were of that rude description introduced by the Spaniards. The ploughs were joined sticks; corn was trodden out by mares or oxen, winnowed by throwing it up against the wind, and ground in small primitive mills. All this is now changed. The largest and most approved agricultural implements manufactures in the United States and in England are now enjoyed, while the flour mills in power and machinery rival the best in Great Britain. Care is also being taken to improve the breeds by the introduction of horses, cattle, and sheep from England. About 82 per cent. of the entire surface of Chili is desert, mountain pasture, and forests, and only about 18 per cent. arable land. There are in the country 30,000 estates of various sizes, from many square miles to a few acres. The most important agricultural product, both for home consumption and exportation, is wheat, of which t he average yield over the whole country is 7 for 1, and the average annual quantity from 1,305,000 to 1,380,000 quarters, of which about two-thirds are exported in grain, flour, and biscuits. In the province of Santiago the yield may be estimated at 12 for 1. Of barley the average annual production is 200,000 quarters, and the yield in the provinces in which it is cultivated 16 for 1. The value of the annual export averages £200,000. The rest is used as malt and food for horses. Maize is grown in every part of Chili excepting in Chiloé and the territory of Magellan, and yields 20 to 30 for one. In the green state it forms two of the principal national dishes, choclos and humitas, eaten by both rich and poor. But the most universal national dish is supplied by the kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) both in the green and the dry state. The average produce is 106,000 quarters, and the yield 9 for 1. South from the Maule, pease are more cultivated than kidney beans. The average produce is 27,000 quarters. The potato is indigenous to Chili. The largest quantity and the best are grown in the rainy provinces of Chiloé and Valdivia, where the yield varies from 10 to 40 for 1. The average annual; produce is 3,100,000 bushels in the whole of Chili. Of walnuts the average annual produce is 48,000 bushels. Although there are 14,500 hearing olive trees in the country, the extraction of the oil from the berries is only beginning to receive due attention. There are 890,000 mulberry trees, but the breeding of silk worms has as yet not succeeded. The vines number from eighteen to twenty millions; and really good imitations of port and claret are made, although the great bulk goes to make a coarse brandy, a catelan-like wine called mosto, and the great beverages of the poorer classes, called chichi and chacoli. The most important plant for the fattening of cattle is a Lucerne, the Medicago sativa, which flourishes throughout all the warmer regions of Chili. It is sown in winter, 2 _ bushels to the cuadra, under a sprinkling of earth, is cut from three to four times in the year, and irrigated from five to ten times, according to the nature of the soil, and yields of green food 49 tons the cuadra. Cattle brought from the mountains, and oxen that have been work-ing in carts and in the plough, are speedily fattened on it, while cows fed on it yield rich milk and butter. The hills in the warm regions of Chili are sparingly covered with a short and wiry grass, which, after one winter of abundant rain, lasts for two seasons, even although the succeeding winter may have been dry.
The sterile plains and mountains produce the carob tree (Cera-tonia) which, in defiance of a broiling sun, stretches out its spacious limbs, covered with foliage, forming an agreeable retreat to the weary traveller by day as well as by night ; the espino (Acacia Cavenia) inferior to the carob tree in size, hardness, and durability of its timber; and the great torch thistle, whose long, smooth spines are used by the country people for knitting-needles, and whose interior woody substance, stripped of its fleshy bark, forms the beams and rafters of the cottages of the peasantry in the northern provinces. Timber is abundant in all the provinces S. of San-tiago, but chiefly in Arauco, Valdivia, and Chiloé, which may be termed the forest region of Chili. There are altogether above a hundred different kinds of indigenous trees, of which not more than thirteen ever shed their leaves. Several have been found serviceable in ship-building, but for purposes of house-carpentry none afford an adequate substitute for pine. Ornamental woods are scarce, and too soft for the use of cabinet-makers. The principal timber trees are the roble or Chilian oak (Fagus obliqua) which attains a height of 100 feet, and as the timber retains its soundness in water, it makes excellent stakes ; the lingue (Persea Lingue) 90 feet, which furnishes the best wood for furniture, while the bark is of great value in tanning; the peumo (Cryptocarya Peumus), the bark of which is used in Valdivia for tanning,the Germans exporting large quantities of first class sole leather, of which the largest quantity goes to England ; two species of cypress, both exceeding in height the loftiest trees in England,the timber, of a reddish hue, is used for beams, doors, pillars, and ornamental flooring. The cypress (Libocedrus chilensis) grows on the Andes of the middle provinces, while the Libocedrus tetragona is found on the southern Andes. The quillay tree (Quillaja Saponaria) grows north from the Biobio. A decoction of the bark is used for clearing the colours in dyeing and cleansing articles of silk and woollen cloth, and as a wash for the hair. The laurel (Lauretia aromatica) is a tall handsome tree, but its wood warps so much that it is suitable only for the coarsest work. The lumo (Myrtus Lama) produces timber liker the Eng-lish oak than the Chilian oak. The Araucanian pine (Araucaria imbricata) 150 feet, flourishes on the mountains S. from the Biobio. When seen from a distance the trees look like gigantic umbrellas. The cone, which takes two years to ripen, contains from 50 to 100 oblong nuts 2 inches long, which, when cooked, form more delicate eating than chestnuts. Under the governorship of OHiggins their trunks were used for ship-masts ; but at present the expense of bringing them to the coast prevents their being employed in this way. The Chilian cedar or alerce (Filzroya patagonica) is the largest and most important tree in Chili. The wood is reddish, soft and durable, and not liable to warp. The trunk is divided into pieces of 8 feet long and then split up into boards 6 or 7 inches broad, and about half an inch thick, which is, on account of the straightness of the fibre, very easily effected. An ordinary tree yields from 500 to 600 of these boards. The general height is from 150 to 180 feet. Yet some specimens have been met with 300 feet high and 60 in circumference, which yielded upwards of 5200 boards. The best grow in Llanquihue, Chiloé, and Valdivia. Indeed, the luxuriance of vegetation in these regions is as great as in the tropics. The forests are frequently quite impenetrable on account of the creepers and the "quila," a rudely branched reed, which, however, affords a good food for the cattle. A creeper (Lardiuabala biternata) is used by the Araucanians instead of ropes. In the same districts grows likewise the coliguë or coleu (Chusquea Coleou), a bamboo--like reed, which attains a height of 30 feet, and furnishes the snafts of the lances of the Araucanians and Pehuenches.
Fruit is plentiful. Besides the kinds already mentioned, in Valdivia there are large apple orchards, and further north pears, cherries, and quinces. The strawberries of the south of Chili have long been famous, and are still unrivalled, especially those of Tomé.
Animals.The most formidable animal in Chili is the puma. On account of its ravages in the farm-yard, it is frequently hunted with dogs, or caught by the lasso. The guanaco roams about among the lower regions of the Chilian Alps in herds numbering from 20 to 100. The vicuña is more rare; it inhabits the Andes of the province of Atacama. The huemul is found in the territory of Magellan, and in other districts the otter, wild cat, fox, and chin-chilla. The horses of Chili are inferior in strength and height to those of England, but greatly superior in point of endurance. The mule is the beast of burden, and will carry on an average a load of 355 lb. a distance of 20 or even 30 miles a day. The beef is excellent; meat is mostly cured by drying, making it into charqui. In this manufacture several hundred head of cattle are killed at a time, the flesh rapidly stripped off the bones, cut into long thin shreds, and then dried in the sun.
Birds.Among the birds of Chili the most remarkable is the condor, which is easily recognised by the white ruff encircling its neck. As its wings on an average extend 8 or 9 feet, its flight has a very majestic appearance. Humboldt mentions having seen one flying at the height of 22, 000 feet above the level of the sea. They scent an exposed carcase for a great distance, but seldom carry off live prey. The turkey-buzzard is also common in the northern districts; white eagles, hawks, and owls are more numerous in the south. The only song-birds worthy of notice are,the tenca, the thrush, the tordo (a kind of blackbird), and the Iloica (a kind of red-breast) ; but none of these can rival the notes of our English birds. The tenca is said to emulate the mocking-bird in imitative power. The tapaculo (Pteroptochus albicollis), a bird about the same size as the thrush, rarely flies, but runs about with great agility, emitting an odd but cheerful note. The chingol, or sparrow, has gayer plumage than his European representative. Besides these, parroquets, flamingoes, partridges, and woodpeckers abound in several localities, likewise the black-headed swan, and several varieties of crane. Patagonia has an ostrich much hunted by the Indians. The pelican, the penguin, and the shag inhabit the sea and the salt-water lakes.
Fish.Great varieties of fish are found off the coast of Chili, and of these the pichihuen, which is caught chiefly in the Bay of Coquim-bo, is regarded as a choice delicacy. There are small sweet oysters off Chiloé ; huge mussels, barnacles, and fissurellae, off Concepcion; and large clams off Coquimbo ; besides sea-urchins, cockles, and limpets, which are found along the whole coast.
Of the reptiles, which are all harmless, the most numerous are lizards ; the snakes vary from 12 to 30 inches in length. Scorpions and large spiders are common, but not dangerous. Of beetles there are upwards of 4000 species not found in Europe. Chili is never infested by the clouds of locusts which from time to time devastate the neighbouring plains of the Argentine Republic. Small ants enter houses and attack provisions.
In 1844, J. P. Larrain made an unsuccessful attempt to introduce bees; however, about two years afterwards he succeeded. Since then they have multiplied so fast that there are now upwards of 100,000 hives, producing on an average £50,000 worth of honey and wax annually, of which by far the greatest part is exported.
Manufactures.The wealth of Chili consists in the development of its great and abundant resources, for which its scanty population is insufficient; hence manufactures which require many skilled hands and much cheap labour have as yet not prospered,the cost of pro-duction being too great. But such works as flour mills, smelting works, tanneries, breweries, roperies, and soap works have long proved successful. Wine-making is progressing rapidly. At Tomé there is a cloth mill, and at Valparaiso a large sugar refinery.
Numerous banks and insurance and other companies are conducted on the principle of limited liability. Both Santiago and Valparaiso are in this way furnished with street tramways, and the plan has of late been applied to mining.
Commerce.The commerce of Chili has vastly in creased since the time when the country lay torpid under the yoke of Spain. In 1855 the total value of the exports was under £4,000,000 ster-ling, now it averages £8,000,000. The imports were in 1855 a little above £3,500,000, now they average £7,000,500. The principal exports are copper in bars and ores, averaging £3,050,000 ; silver in bars and ores, averaging £560, 000 ; wheat, flour, and bis-cuits, averaging £1,507,000; barley, £300,000; bay of Lucerne (Medi-cago sativa), £51,600 ; potatoes, £48,000 ; walnuts, £40,000; butter and cheese, £20,500 ; eggs, £22,000 ; hides, £22,000.
Of the imports 17 to 18 per cent. are for nutrition, such as sugar, rice, and cattle ; 20 to 21 per cent. are necessaries of social life, as clothing, domestic utensils, crockery, drugs, machinery, tools, books, paper, &c.; and 13 to 14 per cent. are articles of luxury, such as rich carpets, satins, silks, and drapery, toys, cards, tobacco, perfumery, musical instruments, pictures, statues, jewellery, tea, coffee, and yerba mate. This yerba, the dried leaves of the Ilex paraquayensis, is infused in an urn-shaped cup from which it is sucked up through a small silver tube (bombilla).
The commercial intercourse of Chili is most extensive with Great Britain. The value of the Chilian exports to England averages annually £3,700,000, and the imports from England £3,900,000. The exports to France are about one-third of those to England, and the imports from France about one-fifth of those from England. Next follow Germany, Peru, the United States, Bolivia, Brazil, and the Argentine Republic.
Chili exports and imports both by sea and by the passes in the Cordillera. Mules do the land traffic, and formerly only sailing vessels the traffic by sea; but steamers are now taking their place. The value of the imports by land averages £198,000, and the exports £23,000; and the value of the imports by sea averages £9,802,000, and the exports £9,700,000, which in both cases includes goods in transit. Of the land imports the most valuable article is cattle, which are imported in large herds into the provinces of Coquimbo and Atacama from the Argentine Republic. The number of vessels that leave the ports of Chili averages 5900, with about 4,019,000 tons; and 5950 enter the ports, with about 4,059,880 tons. Of the total amount three-eighths is are English and about the same Chilian, then follow the United States, French, German, Peruvian, Belgian, Dutch, and Portuguese vessels, The merchant navy of Chili in 1875 consisted of 28 steamers with 9880 metric tons, and 59 sailing vessels with 12,554 metric tons. Many small vessels, however, owned in Chili, have remained under the foreign flags to which they were transferred for safety during the last war with Spain.
Revenue.The annual income of Chili may be estimated at £3,550,000, and the expenditure at sometimes a little less and sometimes a little more. The chief source of revenue is the custom-house, which yields about half of the whole amount. Next in importance are the railways, yielding about a quarter of the whole; and after these, the monopoly of tobacco and cards, the land tax, trade licences, stamps, tolls, the mint, post-office, and telegraphs.
== TABLE ==
National Debt.The national debt amounts to about £10,000, 000 sterling, of which about £2,000,000 is of internal and £8,000,000 of external debt. The whole of the latter has been contracted in England, and the bulk of it invested in existing railways and railways in construction, which yield both directly and indirectly a fair return. The wanton bombardment of Valparaiso by the Spanish fleet (March 31, 1866) having suggested to the Chilians the necessity of providing against such outrages, they have spent a great deal of money in the purchase of ironclads and in the construc-tion of forts,besides having had to rebuild the bonded warehouses destroyed at that time. A large sum has also been spent on the House of Congress, which is being built on an ambitious scale.
Communication.Chili is connected with Europe by telegraph, and the wires ramify over the greater part of the country. Santiago and Valparaiso and all the most important towns south-ward as far as Talcahuano, are connected by rail. In the northern pro-vinces are also railways, which facilitate the working of the mines.
On the 15th of October 1840, the first steamers of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company arrived at Valparaiso, the "Peru" (Captain Peacock) and the "Chili" (Captain Glover), both 700 tons. At first they sailed merely between Valparaiso and Callao, calling at the intermediate ports. In June 1846, the route was extended by Panama and the Isthmus to Europe. On the 13th of May 1868 the Company commenced their line between Liverpool and Chili by the Straits of Magellan, the first of their steamers which made the voyage being the "Pacific," 1174 tons.
Weights, Measures, and Money.The weights and measures were formerly Spanish, but since January 1858 those of France are in force as the only legal ones.
In her monetary system Chili possesses the double standard, gold and silver, the coins being as follows:Of gold, a ten-dollar piece, weighing 15·253 grammes, and pieces of five and two dollars in proportion; of silver, a dollar piece of 25 grammes, and pieces of fifty, twenty, ten, and five cents in proportion; and also two- cent pieces, and cent-pieces of a bronze containing zinc and nickel.
The gold and larger silver coins contain one-tenth of alloy; the smaller silver ones, which are of limited legal tender, are rather less pure. The bronze tokens, the emission of which has been limited to a value of about £20,000, replace the former coinage of copper. There is no Government paper; but some or the banks issue, under due restrictions, notes payable in coin. (C.B.B.F.W.)
616-1 For the general description of the Andes, see vol. i. p. 670-673, and the article ANDES, vol. ii. Pp. 15-18.
The above article was written by:
-- Charles Bertram Black, author of Paris and Excursions from Paris, Itinerary through Corsica, and many other guide-books;
-- Frederick Walters, London; late of Santiago de Chile.