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Story of the Nations

A Series of Historical Studies intended to present in graphic narratives the stories of the different nations that have attained prominence in history.

In the story form the current of each national life is distinctly indicated, and its picturesque and noteworthy periods and episodes are presented for the reader in their philosophical relations to each other as well as to universal history.

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American Minister to Santo Domingo







The Knickerbocker Press




Copyright, 1904

Published, September, 1904


The Knickerbocker Press, New York

[Pg iii]


This history begins when Pizarro and Almagro, Valdivia and Benalcazar, led their desperadoes across the Isthmus to the conquest, massacre, and enslavement of the prosperous and civilised millions who inhabited the Pacific coast of South America. It ends with the United States opening a way through that same Isthmus for the ships, the trade, the capital of all the world; with American engineers laying railroad iron on the imperial highway of the Incas; with British bondholders forgiving stricken Peru's national debt; with their debtor bravely facing the fact of bankruptcy, and turning over to them all its railways.

The American people, alert, practical, keen, possessing in their press and congress admirable organisations for the collection and dissemination of exact knowledge, already fully appreciate the advantages that will accrue to the United States itself from the building of the Panama canal. Hardly less thoroughly do they understand the probable effect upon eastern Asia and the great commercial nations of western Europe. Few, however, have yet reflected upon the canal's vital importance to the peoples of [Pg iv]the Pacific coast of South America—to four at least of the six countries whose stories I have tried to tell in this volume.

Cut off from all practicable communication with the rest of the continent by those yawning ravines which lead down the inner declivities of the Andes, gullied by gigantic torrents, and choked by impenetrable forests, the narrow strip of territory stretching along the mountain tops and shore plain from Quito to Central Chile, connects with the outside world solely through ports on the Pacific Ocean. Throughout colonial times the stream of greedy Spanish office-holders flowed down the coast from the Isthmus, and a scanty trickle of trade followed the same channel. For three centuries Panama was the entrepôt and Lima the metropolis of all Spanish South America except Venezuela and eastern New Granada. Magellan's famous discovery did not divert these currents because the stormy straits that bear his name are practically useless for sailing ships, and even Schouten's rounding of the Horn only blazed a path which proved too perilous for the vessels of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. But with the nineteenth century improvements in navigation and especially with the use of steam and the freighter built of iron, all was changed. Valparaiso became nearer to London or New York than Guayaquil, and during the last seventy-five years the ports of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Pacific Colombia have been little more than remote and unimportant stations on a trade route that stretches its interminable length from the commercial emporiums in the North[Pg v] Atlantic through Pernambuco, Rio, Buenos Aires, and around the southern end of the continent. For centuries Spanish tyranny denied the world access to those countries, and hardly had they shaken off the political system that strangled their development, when geographical considerations and the invention of iron steamships placed them at a disadvantage compared with their competitors. Their commercial, and therefore their industrial and political progress, has been ten-fold slower than it should have been.

The moment the first vessel floats through from the Caribbean to the Pacific the course of commerce will reverse its direction. Buenaventura, Esmeraldas, Guayaquil, Callao, Mollendo, Iquique, and even Valparaiso and Talcahuano will send their ships by the short route of Panama instead of around the continent and through the Straits of Magellan. Western Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile herself will be tied by rapidly strengthening bonds of mutual interest and intercourse to each other and to the great commercial nations; and a transformation will begin whose extent no man can foresee. Every patriotic American must hope that his own countrymen will devote the money, energy, and attention essential to secure that share of influence and trade justly due the United States' geographical proximity and political sympathy; that French literature, language, and ideas, British capital, and German commerce now so dominant in all South America, will be supplemented by American schools, money, and commercial enterprise; and that such[Pg vi] influences will spread from Panama through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia down the coast to prosperous Chile and across into the fertile plains of Argentina and southern Brazil.

The author wishes to acknowledge his especial indebtedness to Sir Clement Markham's scholarly History of Peru, one of the very few complete and intelligent histories of a South American country available in the English language. The reader who commands Spanish will be interested in Torrente's Revolucion Sud Americana, Mackenna's Historiade la Independencia, Paz Soldan's Narracion Historica, Mitre's San Martin, and Bulnes's Expedicion Libertadora.

For Chile excellent books in both Spanish and English abound, among which are worth special mention, Barros Arana's Historia General, Mitre's San Martin, Bañados's Balmaceda, Hancock's History of Chile, and Hervey's Dark Days in Chile.

Few authorities exist for Bolivia. Valdes's Estudio Historico is admirable for the period which it attempts to cover. Sanjines's Historia, Mitre's San Martin and Belgrano, Torrente's Revolucion, and D'Ursel's Séjours et Voyages, as well as Fernandez's recent Campaña del Acre have been found valuable.

Wolf's Geografia del Ecuador is more than a geography, and no one interested in that country can afford not to study this work carefully. Suarez's Historia General, and Cevallos's Compendio give a good account of military and political affairs but do not bring them down to recent years.[Pg vii]

For Venezuela Tejera's Manual de Historia has been of much use, as also Scruggs's Colombian and Venezuelan Republics, Jenny Tallenay's Souvenirs, and in the war of independence Mitre's great work on the life of San Martin.

Perez's wonderfully condensed book, Geografia Politica, has been the main reliance for Colombia, but Mitre's San Martin, Torrente's Revolucion, Holton's New Granada, and Scruggs's Republics, have supplied much information on points not covered by Senor Perez's work.

Intelligible details about comparatively recent times are proverbially the hardest to obtain, and the author feels that whatever of accuracy these pages may boast is due principally to his friends among present South American diplomats—men who understand South American history because they have been a part of it. Salvador de Mendonça, Joaquin Godoy, Oliviera Lima, Claudio Pinilla, Estanislao Zeballos, Manoel Gorostiaga, and Carlos Tobar have kindly tried to help him thread his way through the tangled mazes of Latin-American politics, and his principal reluctance at giving these pages to the public now is that he has not had the good fortune as yet to know and converse with men of like ability from Colombia and Venezuela.

T. C. D.

Petropolis, Brazil, March 29, 1904.

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[Pg ix]




[Pg x]





[Pg xi]


    From a painting by the Peruvian artist Monteros.
MAP OF PERU Facing 132

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For many centuries before the Spanish conquest and before the rise of the Incas a succession of great empires existed in Peru. Ruined edifices of unknown date prove that at some remote period advanced civilisations and powerful nations were developed in the coast valleys and on the Andean plateau. In tombs which vastly antedate even these megalithic palaces and fortresses, cotton twine, woven cloth, and cobs of maize have been found. The domestication and breeding to perfection of the llama as a beast of burden, and the alpaca as a fleece-bearer, the development of potatoes, maize, and the quinoa grain, must have consumed untold cycles of time. There is no doubt of the remote antiquity of the civilisation of the Indians who inhabit the Andean plateau south of the equator, nor that their culture was wholly self-developed, owing nothing to outside influences.

About the year 1000 the Incas were merely one of several tribes living on the high, beautiful, and fertile plateau of Cuzco, which lies on the eastern edge[Pg 4] of the gigantic uplift of the Andes. Down the precipitous gorges into the steaming and impenetrable forests of the Amazon plain the civilised Indians never cared to go. The maize, quinoa, and potatoes upon which they depended for food could not flourish in the intense heat and heavy rainfall of those regions. Neither themselves nor their llamas and alpacas could thrive in the montaña or forested plain. Their natural habitat was the rough plateau, broken by numerous valleys, which lies between the Eastern and the Central Cordilleras, and extends from the Vilcañota "nudo," shutting it off from the Titicaca basin, to the transverse range of the "Cerro de Pasco," in the North. The ocean lies two hundred and fifty miles south-west, beyond the Central and Maritime Cordilleras and the bleak plateau which lies between them.

This great central section, on whose eastern edge near its southern border we first find the Incas, is the heart of Peru. Although the climate of a few of its gorges is almost tropical, the valleys have the temperature of Italy or Spain; higher up the crops of northern Europe flourish; then are pasture lands, and above all bleak wilds and peaks covered with perpetual snow. At the dawn of authentic Peruvian history this favored region was thickly inhabited by many independent tribes; probably all speaking dialects of the same language, and certainly very similar in their industrial life and social customs.

Tradition recounts that the Incas had migrated to Cuzco from unknown ancestral seats—by some conjectured to have been the shores of the prehistoric[Pg 5] fresh-water sea of the Amazon plain—under the leadership of Manco Capac, the first of an unbroken line of sovereigns who claimed descent from the Sun-god and ruled the Incas until the Spanish conquest. The Incas developed a religion whose elaborate and rigid ritual, which regulated every act of their lives, finds its best parallel among the Hebrews. Each family had its household god; each sept worshipped an imaginary ancestor; the whole nation adored the sun as the progenitor of the reigning family, and the monarch's person was revered as divine. So profound was the religious feeling of this people that they finally rose to the conception of a supreme deity—a creator of the universe. His temple filled one side of the great square at Cuzco.

Even more remarkable than their religious system was the social and industrial organisation of the Incas. Private property in land did not exist. It belonged to the septs and was from time to time allotted to the heads of families. Every person was obliged to work, all males being divided into classes according to age and strength, and suitable labour assigned to each. The produce, whether crops or livestock, was divided between the government, the priesthood, and the communes. Scarcity in one section was made up from the plenty in others; public officers annually revised the allotments, and turns at the irrigation works were taken in accordance with fixed rules. Not a spot of cultivable land was left unused. Habitations were built on rocky hills; deserts or the sides of barren cliffs were used[Pg 6] for cemeteries; whole mountain sides were terraced up thousands of feet, and land was literally created by years of patient labour employed in bringing earth in baskets and laying it on the bare rocks. By no people has irrigation been more extensively and successfully applied, and in spite of their ignorance of iron and steam, of labour-saving appliances and instruments of precision, the Incas constructed a system which in real effectiveness has never been surpassed. Many of their canals, reservoirs, and terraces were allowed to crumble by the Spanish conquerors, but modern Peru still lives upon the half-ruined fragments of the mighty works of the Incas.

Secured from want by this intelligent socialism, their lives and rights safe under laws administered with inflexible severity, bound closely by family and governmental ties, trained from childhood in industry and obedience, the Incas seemed destined to dominate and absorb the more loosely organised tribes with whom they came in contact, provided that they did not become inert, stationary, and unwarlike, and cease to produce individuals possessing initiative. The dynamic elements indispensable to expansion were furnished by the ruling clan and by fanaticism. The offspring of Manco Capac partook of his divinity and each emperor left numerous sons, whose descendants constituted a privileged class. In the process of time there gathered around the emperor thousands of men of his own kindred, devoted from their birth to warfare and statecraft.


Under the fourth emperor the Incas were successful [Pg 8]in a life and death struggle against a tribe with whom they had hitherto shared the valley that surrounds Cuzco. Under the two succeeding emperors they extended their dominions south to the transverse range of mountains which separates the Peruvian from the Titicacan plateau. Yahuar Huaccac, the seventh sovereign, conquered the tribes on the eastern slopes, and by the beginning of the fourteenth century the Inca domain included the southern third of the great valley of Peru—an area of fifteen thousand square miles, containing probably two millions of people. Uira Cocha, the eighth emperor, began that wonderful series of conquests which within a century and a half extended over half of South America. On the other side of the Vilcañota "nudo" lay the vast basin which takes its name from Lake Titicaca. Too high and too cold for cereals, the plateau was inhabited by tribes of shepherds, who made no prolonged resistance when attacked by the armies of the Inca. Their rapid and complete incorporation into the Inca system followed. Colonies swarmed from the over-populated provinces of old Peru into the newly acquired territories. The Titicacan copper mines furnished the material for weapons and tools, and a great commerce in exchanging the wool, potatoes, and livestock of the higher regions for the maize and cotton of the lower added to the prosperity of the whole empire. This conquest doubled the extent of the Inca domain and opened up a vast field for colonising expansion within their own territory. Once achieved, the nation turned its attention to the[Pg 9] conquest of the North. Beyond the gorge of the Apurimac—the Inca boundary in that direction—lay the rival nation of the Chancas, a vigorous and expanding people who were at the head of a great confederation of tribes which covered the northern two-thirds of the central plateau of Peru, and probably also included the Quichua-speaking tribes of the coast.

The Chancas defeated Urco, Uira Cocha's oldest son and successor, and their army advanced toward Cuzco, subjugating the northern allies of the Incas. The victors came within sight of the capital, where meanwhile the energetic Yupanqui, Urco's younger brother, had gathered the whole force of the empire. The battle which decided the fate of Peru was fought on the heights above Cuzco; the Chancas were defeated, and fell back only to be pursued and overwhelmed by Yupanqui. He returned in triumph and was installed as emperor in place of his incompetent brother, assuming the title of Pachacutec, or "Reformer of the World." The Incas pressed their advantage relentlessly; all the tribes of the Chanca confederacy were subjugated; and Pachacutec's generals even extended their conquests north of Cerro de Pasco. The Incas had now conquered a practicable route to the Pacific, and the coast tribes about Lima soon also fell under their control. Pachacutec built a great military road from Cuzco north along the fertile plateau, through the smiling valley of Jauja, and down the short descent to the neighbourhood of Lima. Colonies were established at strategic points, and the new territory became so[Pg 10] rapidly welded to the Inca system that, when the Spaniards arrived a hundred and fifty years later, they found the whole of central and southern Peru occupied by a homogeneous people, perfectly loyal to the Inca dynasty.

Pachacutec's successor, Tupac Yupanqui, proved even more successful than his father. The five hundred miles of rainless coast from Lima to the Ecuador border was inhabited by a mysterious race, in civilisation and origin entirely distinct from the Quichua-speaking mountain tribes to which the Incas belonged. Short rivers, rushing down from the Andes, each irrigated a portion of the desert, which only requires water to become extremely fertile. The irrigation works of this people were on a gigantic scale, one of their reservoirs having its lower end guarded by a dam eighty feet thick at the base. The valleys were cultivated to the highest degree of perfection, and filled with a swarming and industrious population housed in cities whose ruins still survive to attest the skill of their builders. Enervated by centuries of peace, the inhabitants had long confined their warlike operations to building defensive fortresses. Nevertheless, when Tupac advanced up the coast he met a desperate and prolonged resistance, until one after another the fortresses fell. The capital of the confederacy was laid in ruins and great numbers of the people were transported to distant provinces. Garrisons and Inca colonies were established and a military road was constructed along the coast. However, the country was really held only by force, and even in Spanish times Quichua had[Pg 11] not displaced the Mochica tongue in half the northern coast valleys.

Tupac next turned his attention to enlarging the southern limits of his empire. From Titicaca his armies advanced over hundreds of miles of bleak plateaux and barren deserts and down the steep Andean slopes into the fertile valleys of central Chile. His conquests extended as far south as the river Maule,—three hundred miles beyond Santiago,—but the tribes retained their autonomy and became rather allies than subjects. On the eastern side of the Andes he obtained the allegiance of the peoples living in the mountain valleys of north-western Argentine, and he completed the incorporation of the vast and fertile plateau which extends from the Titicacan basin to the present Argentine border.

Returning to the northern frontier, he reduced the peoples who lived in the confused tangle of mountains and gorges which lies between the two Cordilleras north of Cerro de Pasco, thus extending his boundaries nearly to the present Ecuador line. The rest of northern Peru and all of southern Ecuador belonged to tribes who were loosely attached members of the confederacy headed by the Caras of Quito. They opposed only a short resistance to the arms and diplomacy of Tupac, and he made their territory the base for the great war which he proposed to undertake against the ancient kingdom of Quito. About the year 1455 he advanced with a great army, largely recruited from the tribes recently wrested from the Quito monarch, and defeated the Caras in a great battle. The whole plateau as far[Pg 12] north as Riobamba submitted, reducing the Shiri's domain to the neighbourhood of Quito itself and a small region north of that city. However, all of Tupac's efforts to force the last barrier which interposed between him and the Cara capital failed, and he was compelled to content himself with extending his conquests on the coast as far as the Gulf of Guayaquil. In 1460 he returned to Cuzco, where three years later he was enraged to hear that the Shiri was making a desperate and partly successful effort to recover the lost provinces. Tupac's preparations for a final campaign to wipe the Quito kingdom out of existence were interrupted by his own death.

Huaina Capac succeeded to the throne and continued his father's preparations. Bad news, however, from the far southern provinces compelled him first to undertake a campaign into Chile, in which he was victorious. He then proceeded north and devoted the rest of his life to conquering and incorporating the Cara empire. He first constructed a military road from the northern Peruvian coast to the plateau in southern Ecuador; then he exterminated or reduced to obedience the tribes on the Gulf of Guayaquil, and the coast beyond, nearly as far as the equator. Returning south, he defeated the wild savages of the regions where the Amazon leaves the mountains. Having thus secured himself against an interruption of his line of communications, he advanced against Quito in overwhelming force. The Caras and their allies among the brave tribes of northern Ecuador made a desperate resist[Pg 13]ance, but were overthrown in battle after battle, and Huaina Capac entered Quito in triumph. All the tribes of the confederacy submitted except the Caranquis, a warlike people who lived north of Quito. These achieved some minor successes, but were finally overwhelmed and exterminated.

The Inca empire, now at its greatest extent, included all the inhabitable portions of Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, three-fourths of Chile, and a large part of the Argentine, stretching two thousand two hundred miles north and south, and from the Pacific to the eastern foot of the Andes. Except for the plateaux of Colombia practically the whole Andean region had been united under one government. The rest of South America was occupied by savage peoples, divided into small bands, who picked up a precarious existence along the streams; and the Inca empire was safe from any serious attack on its continental boundaries. But the later conquests of Tupac and Huaina Capac had incorporated peoples in civilisation and warlikeness hardly inferior to the Incas themselves. Indeed, in the light of subsequent events, it is clear that the later campaigns weakened the real military power and homogeneity of the empire. While the older parts, southern Peru and Bolivia—the heart of the Inca domain—formed a homogeneous and thoroughly loyal centre whose inhabitants all spoke the same language and where socialism and the worship of the sun according to the Inca rites prevailed, from the latitude of Lima north the country had been too recently subdued to be counted upon. The northern coast still[Pg 14] required to be kept down by permanent garrisons; the mountain tribes of northern Peru retained a certain measure of autonomy; and the vast territories where the Shiri of Quito had held sway for so many centuries were very loosely attached. Tupac, the first conqueror, found it advisable to remain there almost continuously during the last half of his reign, and Huaina Capac, his heir, was born in Ecuador, and devoted his whole life to that region. He married the daughter and heiress of the defeated Shiri, and was regarded rather as the legitimate successor of the ancient dynasty than as an alien conqueror.

In 1525 Huaina Capac died at Quito, leaving a will by which he bequeathed the northern kingdom to Atahuallpa, a son born to him by the Shiri's daughter. Peru, with the southern provinces, fell to Huascar, his son by a princess of Inca blood. As the eldest and the legitimate heir according to the rules of succession which governed in the Inca dynasty, the latter was to be paramount, thus retaining a semblance of unity. Huascar and the Inca nobles who surrounded him at the old Peruvian capital were unwilling to acquiesce in this virtual division of the empire. The chief of the Cañaris, a tribe always hostile to Quito, sent a messenger to Cuzco offering to swear allegiance to Huascar. As soon as Atahuallpa heard of this derogation of his authority he ordered an army to march and unseat the recalcitrant prince, and despatched an ambassador to his brother with a conciliatory message, at the same time unequivocally asserting his claim to [Pg 15]the lordship of all the ancient domain of the Shiris. Huascar insisted that southern Ecuador, a region which had been wrested from the Caras by their grandfather, and whose tribes had only been allies of Quito, should not be included. His bitter feeling against his brother was increased by reports that Atahuallpa had assumed Incarial insignia which only a legitimate emperor was entitled to use. He returned a harsh answer, demanding immediate and unconditional obedience. Seeing nothing was to be hoped for from Huascar, Atahuallpa began gathering the forces of the Quito kingdom.


Huascar was delayed by insurrections which broke out among the tribes of northern Peru, and at first could only send a few troops to the assistance of the Cañaris. The latter managed to hold Atahuallpa's generals in check until Huascar's main army advanced. Atahuallpa retired slowly up the plateau to within fifty miles of his capital, pursued by the Inca army. It seemed certain that he would quickly be defeated, and either slain or brought to his brother's feet to receive a rebel's sentence. But against this invasion, inspired by the ruling oligarchy of Cuzco, the warlike people of northern Ecuador stood nobly by the grandson of the last of their ancient line of monarchs. Though the southerners were victorious in the first encounter, Atahuallpa in person rallied his army and drew it up in an advantageous position at Naxichi. The Incas attacked confidently, but this time they were hopelessly routed and the chief generals slain with thousands of the common soldiery. The remnant fled in dis[Pg 17]order to the territory of the Cañaris. Atahuallpa could not immediately follow up his advantage, and by the time he had organised his forces for an offensive campaign, Huascar had sent another great army to the rescue under the command of his younger brother, Huanca Auqui. When Atahuallpa crossed the transverse barrier of Azuay and descended into the fertile plateau north of Cuenca, a terrific battle ensued which lasted two days. Both sides suffered severely, but the final advantage lay with the Northerners, and Huanca Auqui sullenly retreated, abandoning Ecuador to Atahuallpa. A fearful vengeance was taken on the Cañaris, while the other tribes joined the victor.

Next year Atahuallpa sent a great force under the command of Quizquiz, the ablest Indian general of the time, into northern Peru. Huanca Auqui was again defeated, and abandoned the disputed territory, while Atahuallpa's troops poured into the northern coast provinces. Having met with no serious resistance there, they ascended the Cordillera to the neighbourhood of Cajamarca, where they met the reinforced Inca army. Again they were victorious and Huascar's forces retreated south of the Cerro de Pasco, followed by Quizquiz, whose army grew like a rolling snowball by enlistments among the warlike and half-independent tribes of northern Peru.

Huascar's resources were, however, by no means exhausted by the crushing defeats he had suffered during the last four years. The great plateaux of Peru and Bolivia, the most populous and richest[Pg 18] portion of the empire, remained faithful; the ruling classes regarded Atahuallpa's revolt not only as an impious rebellion against the legitimate emperor, but as a menace to their own continued supremacy in the state. Tens of thousands poured up from the southern provinces to reinforce the army which lay in the valleys south of the Cerro de Pasco in daily expectation of attack. But Tupac's and Huaina Capac's conquests had created a Frankenstein monster. When the ruder nations of the North were first attacked by the Inca armies they did not know how to organise and were easily reduced in detail. Three-quarters of a century of Inca rule had taught them what they lacked without destroying the spirit of individual initiative nourished by local autonomy. The older parts of the empire had been frozen by rigid socialism and ritual, and the people's energies sapped by long centuries of tutelage. The northern tribes who followed Atahuallpa's banner were superior in military prowess to the Incas who fought for Huascar, uniformly beating the latter with numbers constantly inferior. The balance of power had passed from Cuzco and the centre to Quito and the north.

Quizquiz's forces finally crossed the Cerro de Pasco and poured down into the beautiful and populous valley of Jauja. Again they were victorious, and the Incas fled along the road leading toward Cuzco. Huascar and his partisans determined to make their last stand at the capital itself. Reinforcements were hurried up not only from Bolivia, but from Chile, and the Argentine, and an army[Pg 19] which is said to have numbered seventy thousand, the largest ever seen in South America, assembled at Cuzco. Meanwhile Quizquiz was relentlessly advancing along the plateau, and his main body reached the neighbourhood of the city intact. After some manœuvres for position in which the able and experienced northern generals obtained a decisive advantage, Huascar's camp was surprised at early dawn. His soldiers could not form and a frightful carnage ensued, in the midst of which he himself was made prisoner. As soon as the capture became known his followers fled in all directions. Quizquiz advanced his camp to the heights overlooking the capital; all idea of further resistance was abandoned; the city submitted, and the principal partisans of Huascar perished in a cruel massacre.

[Pg 20]



During the long campaigns by which his general, Quizquiz, had conquered Peru, Atahuallpa had never left the North. He received the news of the crowning victory and the capture of Huascar, in his palace at Tumibamba on the Cuencan plain, and started at once for Cajamarca, the first great town on the plateau south of the Ecuador border, accompanied by only a small army. While waiting near Cajamarca, Atahuallpa heard the wonderful news that two hundred strangers had landed on the coast at Tumbez—a port on the southern side of the Gulf of Guayaquil. They were white and their faces were covered with hair; they had garments and arms different from any his informants had seen; and most extraordinary of all they were accompanied by outlandish gigantic beasts who carried them over the ground with a terrifying speed.

The effect of this intelligence upon Atahuallpa and his advisers can only be conjectured. It was remembered that four years before a ship carrying a score or more of these same foreigners had sailed[Pg 21] along the coast of Ecuador and northern Peru, landing at various places to beg provisions and ask questions. Two had been left behind, and were taken to the interior, where their fate is unknown. It is, however, probable that these unfortunate Spaniards had given to Atahuallpa's officers much information about the resources and intentions of their countrymen. The Inca emperor seems to have realised that the importance and power of the foreigners was out of all proportion to their numbers. The newcomers protested that their purposes were amicable, and sent friendly messages to Atahuallpa, who resolved to act cautiously and avoid offending them unnecessarily. He despatched his own brother as an ambassador with assurances of good-will and a polite inquiry as to their wishes and intentions. But unfortunately for himself and his country the Inca was dealing with a man whose profound and deceitful diplomacy was as much superior to his as a musket is to a cross-bow. The Spanish leader returned word that he appreciated the kind expressions of the emperor and would at once proceed to Cajamarca to pay his respects in person.

This was Francisco Pizarro, one of the greatest practical geniuses whom modern Europe has produced. Born out of wedlock at Trujillo, a town in Estremadura, the province which during centuries was the great fighting ground of Castilian and Moor, he passed his youth as a swine-herd in the most abject poverty and illiteracy. Enlisting as a private soldier, he spent his young manhood in fighting under Gonzalo de Cordoba, in those[Pg 22] campaigns which carried the renown of the Spanish infantry to the farthest confines of Europe. An admirable soldier, conscious that he possessed powers of the highest order, hopelessly handicapped in old Europe by his base birth and illiteracy, the discovery of the New World opened up a field for his talents. He eagerly embraced the opportunity, embarking in 1509 with Alonso de Ojeda for the Darien gold mines. Four years later he accompanied Balboa in that memorable journey across the Isthmus which resulted in the discovery of the Pacific Ocean. To the city of Panama, looking out over the mysterious sea, adventurers flocked like a pack of wolves eager for a share in the spoils of its unknown shores, and Pizarro was among them. The news of Cortes's conquest of Mexico brought to America a horde of soldiers of fortune. Recklessly brave, experienced in the most scientific warfare of the time, arrogantly proud of their nationality, utterly careless of odds, ready to risk their lives on the chance of sudden fortune, a set of men better qualified for the work which fate threw in their way could not be conceived.

Panama had hardly been founded when rumours of the existence of a wealthy and civilised empire lying far to the south reached the ears of the Spaniards. In 1522, Pascual de Andagoya, a gentleman of distinguished family who occupied a high office at Panama, made an expedition for a short distance along the coast and obtained valuable confirmation of the vague reports. Obliged to abandon the enterprise by his own illness, he turned it over to a[Pg 23] partnership formed for the purpose by Pizarro, Almagro, and a priest named Luque. The first enjoyed a great reputation for good judgment and fertility of resource, gained in expeditions along the Caribbean coast, and by mere force of his talents had come to be regarded as one of the ablest and luckiest captains on the Isthmus. The active command was to be his, while Almagro, a soldier of more advanced age and hardly inferior reputation, backed him up and sent supplies and reinforcements. Luque was the moneyed man of the concern. They bought a small vessel at Panama which Balboa himself had built eight years before, and in 1524 Pizarro started down the coast. But his supply of provisions was inadequate, it was impossible to obtain more from the savage natives of the forested shores of Colombia, and the first effort ended in failure.

Nothing discouraged, Pizarro and his partners persevered. They had great difficulty in raising money to fit out properly the next expedition, but happily they succeeded in interesting the mayor of Panama. Eighteen months later Pizarro sailed once more with a better equipment and one hundred and sixty men. For five hundred miles he found nothing except the hot and swampy seashore of Colombia, inhabited by miserable naked tribes, and his companions had begun to believe that the empire they were seeking was a myth, when the pilot who had been sent on ahead came back with word that he had penetrated south of the equator, and there had met a sort of large sea-going raft coming from the south[Pg 24] manned by a clothed and civilised crew and laden with cloth, silver work, metal mirrors, vases, and various other goods.

These Indians said they came from Tumbez, a city in a fertile valley on a dry and penetrable coast which lay not more than two hundred miles farther south. They were traders bringing up a stock to sell to the shore peoples of Ecuador—tribes who had long been compelled to acknowledge the suzerainty of the Incas, but who still lived in virtual independence under their own chiefs. The men on the raft told the Spaniards that the whole interior and the southern coast were inhabited by civilised peoples, subjects of an emperor whose capital was a great city in the mountains hundreds of leagues to the south. Having received this confirmation of their most extravagant hopes, Pizarro and his men pushed on until they nearly reached the northern boundary of Ecuador, not far from the limits of the Inca empire. It was clear, however, that their small force would never be able to cope with the armies of such a power. Almagro went back to Panama for reinforcements, while the indomitable Pizarro landed his already disheartened adventurers on a swampy island where their clothes rotted in the steaming, tropical heat and never-ceasing rain; fevers decimated them, mosquitoes tortured them, and eatable provisions were impossible to obtain. When Almagro reached Panama, the governor flew into a rage on hearing that Pizarro was holding his men against their will, and sent a ship to bring back all who wished. Nine-tenths of the band deserted Pizarro,[Pg 25] but he was indomitable and thirteen heroes stood by him in his determination to reach Peru or perish. For weary months he waited for provisions, but the moment they arrived he set off for the south. Within twenty days he and his little band of adventurers reached the Gulf of Guayaquil, four hundred miles farther on, and immediately landed at Tumbez. With their own eyes they saw full confirmation of what the Indians of the raft had told them. Irrigated fields, green with beautiful crops, lined the river bank; eighty thousand people, all comfortably housed, lived in the valley; commerce was flourishing; large temples profusely ornamented with gold and silver testified to wealth and culture; the government was well-ordered and stable; and the people received the visitors with open-handed hospitality.

After refreshing his followers, Pizarro continued his explorations down the coast for a couple of hundred miles, finding a succession of fertile valleys interrupting the monotonous desert, each filled with villages and farms and a thriving, civilised, and prosperous population. In the fall of 1527 he returned to Panama, full of the idea of leading an expedition to conquer the great empire about which he had obtained such minute and exact information. He wisely resolved himself to go to Spain and secure the direct patronage and countenance of the government at Madrid. Taking with him natives brought from Tumbez and specimens of products, he set off, and on his arrival was granted an audience by Charles V. The Emperor was greatly impressed by the story which the adventurer told. Naturally of a[Pg 26] noble and commanding presence, the conscious dignity of Pizarro's manners corresponded to the high ambitions which filled his mind. In the doing of great things he had dropped all evidences of his base origin, and contact with men and the habit of command had given him an ease of address and clearness of thought which made his hearers forget the deficiencies of his early education. The concession he prayed for was granted. He himself was legitimatised and ennobled and received the title of "adelantado," while the gallant followers who had refused to abandon him on the Colombian island were made gentlemen of coat-armour. Pizarro and his partners were formally authorised to conquer and settle Peru in the name of the Castilian sovereign and received a grant of money for the purchase of arms, agreeing to remit to the royal treasury one-fifth of all the gold that they should find.

Pizarro knew just the kind of men needed to assist in this hazardous enterprise, and he took every precaution to select only those of whose valour and capacity he was well assured. His mother had bred up a family of lions in the little old Estremadura town, and his four brothers were hardly his inferiors in valour and audacity. Hernando, the oldest and only legitimate son of Francisco's father, agreed to go. So did Juan and Gonzalo, two illegitimate brothers who were younger, and also Francisco Alcantara, a half-brother on the mother's side. Hernando Cortes, the noble conqueror of Mexico, exerted himself to help Pizarro fill up his ranks with soldiers of the most approved courage, and the lat[Pg 27]ter finally sailed for the Isthmus with a small body picked from the very flower of the fighting men of the Peninsula.

Pizarro believed that a few hundreds of good men, well provided with artillery and horses, would be as effective as thousands in striking terror to masses of Indians armed only with spears and swords. Arrived at Panama, it was arranged that he should proceed to Peru at once, while Almagro would follow later with reinforcements recruited among the unemployed adventurers in Nicaragua. All sorts of good fortune favoured the daring enterprise. For once the fitful winds which usually baffle sailing ships in the Gulf of Panama were kind, and Pizarro's clumsy, little caravels traversed in thirteen days the seven hundred miles of inhospitable coast which lay between the Isthmus and the first Inca provinces. Landing among the half-civilised tribes of Ecuador, he had the good luck to find a store of gold and emeralds. This he sent back, as an encouragement to Almagro, and marching down the Ecuador coast, he reached the Gulf of Guayaquil, on whose southern shore began the populous and civilised portions of the empire. He crossed to the island of Puna, overcame its fierce inhabitants with great slaughter, and there was joined by a large and welcome reinforcement of men and horses under the command of Hernando de Soto, afterwards so famous as the discoverer of the Mississippi, who had come on his own motion to get his share in the spoils.

So far, Pizarro's operations had been among outlying provinces owning only nominal allegiance to[Pg 28] the Incas, but he now felt strong enough to cross over to Tumbez and establish a footing in their real domain. From Tumbez he marched south to Paita, where he determined to establish his base. The quick eye of the master general appreciated the strategical advantages of this valley. At this point the great military road coming down from the plateau of Ecuador debouched on the coast plain. Communication to the south was easy by a road which connected all the coast valleys with branches climbing to the plateaux. An anchorage at the valley's mouth afforded a sure means of keeping open that communication with Panama which was so essential to success; reinforcements could reach him in whatever part of Peru he might venture, and a garrison left at Paita would command the main route connecting Quito and Cuzco, cutting the Peruvian empire in two.

On receiving Pizarro's answer to his friendly message, Atahuallpa resolved to await the promised visit, apparently suspecting no evil. The audacious Spaniard had, however, conceived the design of capturing the victorious claimant of the throne of the Incas, well knowing that in its actual distracted condition the country would be left without a centre about which it could rally. Open war, no matter how overwhelming his first victory might be, could hardly be ultimately successful. Atahuallpa once safe at Cuzco or Quito and surrounded by the disciplined soldiers who had overthrown Huascar, a defensive campaign might be undertaken in which Pizarro would find every step toward either capital[Pg 29] bitterly disputed. Hundreds of thousands of Peruvians pouring up from the numberless provinces of the empire would be thrown in a never-ceasing succession of armies against his little band of Spaniards, and the latter would infallibly be driven back to the coast by starvation and fatigue if not by defeat in the field.

Apparently foolhardy, in fact Pizarro's plan offered the only chance of success. Never dreaming that such a step was in contemplation, Atahuallpa took no precautions. Leaving fifty-five men at the little post of San Miguel in the Paita valley to secure his retreat, Pizarro marched south with one hundred and two foot soldiers, sixty-two horses, and two small cannon two hundred miles along the coast plain to a point opposite Cajamarca, and ascended along an Inca military road, meeting a friendly reception from the wondering natives, and being supplied with provisions by Atahuallpa's orders.

On the 15th of November, 1532, Pizarro entered Cajamarca. He found an open square in the middle of the town surrounded by walls and solid stone buildings, which he received permission to occupy as quarters. From his camp outside, Atahuallpa sent word that the following day he would enter the town in state and receive the Spaniards. Marvellous good fortune favoured Pizarro's treacherous designs. The Indians had furnished a trap already made, and now Atahuallpa deliberately walked into it. On the morning of the 16th the Indian army broke camp and marched to Cajamarca, followed by the Emperor, who was borne in a litter and surrounded[Pg 30] by his personal attendants, the great chiefs, and the nobles belonging to his own lineage. At sunset he entered the square, accompanied only by these unarmed attendants, and found Pizarro and a few Spaniards awaiting him. The rest were hidden in the houses around the square with their horses saddled, their breast-plates on, and musketry and cannon ready charged.

From among the group which surrounded Pizarro stepped forward Friar Valverde and approached the Inca monarch, who, reclining in a litter raised high above the crowd on the shoulders of his attendants, waited with dignity to hear what those strangers had to say. The priest advanced with a cross in one hand and a Bible in the other and began a harangue which, clumsily translated by an Indian boy, the Inca hardly understood. But in a few moments he realised that this uncouth jargon was meant to convey an arrogant demand that he acknowledge himself a vassal of Charles V. and submit to baptism. With haughty surprise he threw down the book which Valverde tried to force into his hand—the priest shouted, "Fall on, Castilians—I absolve you," and into the helpless crowd burst a murderous fire from the doors of the houses all around. Aghast and bewildered by this display of powers which to them seemed necromantic, the survivors nevertheless manfully stood to the attack of the mail-clad horsemen who rode into the huddled mass ferociously slashing and slaughtering. The Indians strove desperately to drag the Spaniards from the horses with their naked hands, and interposed a living wall of[Pg 31] human flesh between the murderers and their beloved sovereign. At length Pizarro's own hands snatched Atahuallpa from the litter. The Indian soldiers outside, hearing the firearms and the noise of the struggle, tried to force their way into the square, but the Spanish musketry and cannon mowed them down by hundreds, and they fled before the charges of the cavalry, dispersing in the twilight.

Pizarro took every precaution to prevent the escape or rescue of his prisoner, and for the first few weeks treated him kindly. The Spaniard was playing a profound diplomatic game. He well knew that Atahuallpa's generals would fear to endanger the latter's life by undertaking any aggressive measures, and that Huascar's partisans would take advantage of this providential opportunity to reorganise their forces. He conversed much with the captive emperor and at length began to hint to him the advisability of arbitration with Huascar. But the Inca took alarm and secretly sent off orders for his brother's execution. Seeing that the Indian was not to be cajoled, the Spaniard adopted a sterner attitude, pretended the greatest indignation at the fratricide, and soon had Atahuallpa willing to offer anything for his release. Shrewdly guessing that for gold the Spaniards would run any risk, the Inca negotiated for his ransom, saying: "I will fill this room with gold as high as I can reach if only you will liberate me." Pizarro agreed, insisting, however, that the ransom be delivered in advance at Cajamarca. A formal contract was drawn up and[Pg 32] executed before a notary, and the deluded emperor ordered all preparations for war on the Spaniards to be interrupted and that the temples be stripped of their gold ornaments to supply the enormous amount he had promised. Under protection of this truce Pizarro sent out expeditions to explore the country and to expedite the process of gathering the treasure, and while this was going on Almagro arrived with reinforcements which doubled the Spanish forces. Finally the agreed sum was all in Cajamarca. It amounted to four million five hundred sterling in modern money. One-fifth was sent to the royal treasury and the remainder divided, making even the private soldiers rich for life.

Nevertheless, Atahuallpa was not released. Large bodies of his troops were known to be on their way from Cuzco, and Pizarro realised that, once at the head of his forces, the Inca would wage an unrelenting warfare to expel the last Spaniard from Peru. If kept a prisoner his partisans would no longer hesitate to fight to release him, appreciating now the uselessness of relying on Spanish promises. He must be got rid of, and so after a mock trial in which he was charged with Huascar's murder and with conspiring against the Spaniards, the Inca emperor was strangled to death in the public square at Cajamarca. Pizarro knew better than to allow the Indians time to settle the disputed succession. With masterful sagacity he resolved to strike at Cuzco during the confusion. He suddenly evacuated Cajamarca and rapidly marched along the northern plateau, and over the Cerro de Pasco into[Pg 33] the fertile valley of Jauja. From this point a short road led down the Cordillera to the sea, making it an admirable base for a campaign against Cuzco.

[From a painting by the Peruvian artist, Monteros.]

Leaving a garrison to protect his retreat to the ocean, Pizarro advanced by forced marches along the great central plateau toward Cuzco. Quizquiz and the army, which had defeated and captured Huascar two years before, tried to oppose his progress, but all the calculations of the Indian general were overthrown by the incredible speed of the Spanish cavalry. The horsemen reached the neighbourhood of Cuzco without encountering any considerable force of the enemy. Here the advance[Pg 34] guard was surprised, lost a fourth of its number, and was on the point of being overwhelmed, when the opportune arrival of the main body dispersed the Indians. Though only a small part of Quizquiz's army had taken part, this defeat badly demoralised his soldiers; it seemed impossible to make any headway against these strangers clothed in steel, mounted on great beasts, and armed with weapons which slew their opponents before the latter could got in a blow. Moreover, Quizquiz was in a hostile country, where sympathies were all with the Huascar party and where the executioners of Atahuallpa were regarded as deliverers.

Manco Capac, Huascar's brother and legitimate successor, went in person to the Spanish camp to propose a formal alliance and a joint war of extermination against the Atahuallpa faction, Pizarro received him with every mark of honour and respect and renewed his assurances that the sole object of his march from Cajamarca was to crush the enemies of the rightful emperor. Quizquiz tried hard to get his forces into shape for resistance, but his position near Cuzco was untenable, and after a slight skirmish he was obliged to leave the way open to the capital. Just a year from the day he had reached Cajamarca, Pizarro entered Cuzco by the side of the legitimate emperor amid the acclamations of the people. Manco's inauguration was splendidly celebrated with all the ancient rites, but among the procession of rejoicing Incas rode an ominous cavalcade—the Spanish soldiers, who now numbered nearly five hundred.[Pg 35]

The new emperor gathered an army, and, assisted by some Spaniards, set off in pursuit of Quizquiz, whom he defeated a short distance north of Cuzco. The old northern general, still indefatigable, made a rapid march on Jauja to surprise the Spanish garrison, but was repulsed in this well-considered effort to cut Pizarro's communications with the coast, and had to make his way, the best he could, back towards Quito. The central portion of the empire would now have been content to settle back into quiet allegiance to Manco. But the latter soon found that his allies regarded the country as their own. Under the pressure of necessity for help against Quizquiz he had acknowledged, as a matter of form, the titular supremacy of the Spanish king, and he was now required to carry out his obligation to the letter. A municipal council, framed on the Spanish model, was installed as the governing body of the ancient capital; the great temples were turned into churches and monasteries; other public edifices were seized to be used as residences or barracks for the Spaniards; tombs, temples, and private residences were searched for gold; and the authorities were required to furnish troops and carriers for the expeditions which their oppressors planned against the remoter parts of the empire. With the resignation characteristic of the race, the Indians submitted to these exactions, and Manco hesitated long before deciding to put himself at the head of a revolt.

The transcendant military and diplomatic qualities Pizarro had displayed were equalled by the energy[Pg 36] and foresight which he now showed as an administrator. Realising that his capital should be on the coast in order to secure direct communication with Panama, he made a careful examination of routes and possible sites and selected the valley of the Rimac, just below Jauja, where he founded Lima. From this point the military road by which the Incas had kept up communication from Cuzco with the coast and the northern provinces ascended to the plateau. Lima and Jauja were the strategical keys to central and southern Peru; San Miguel gave easy access to Quito, and Pizarro insured the region extending from Cerro de Pasco to the Ecuador border by establishing the city of Trujillo half-way up the coast.

Their original agreement provided that Pizarro should have the northern half of the countries they might conquer, and Almagro the southern. Accordingly, about two years after Cuzco was occupied, Almagro started for Bolivia and Chile, accompanied by five hundred Spaniards and two brothers of the Inca emperor, leading a large native army. In Bolivia, where the Inca power had been established for centuries, he encountered no opposition, and crossed the bleak plateaux of the Puna, descended the Andes, and finally reached the fertile valleys of northern Chile. But so little gold was found that Almagro determined to return and set up a claim to Cuzco.


In the meantime the Incas of central Peru had awakened from the dream of a continuance of the ancient dynasty under Spanish protection. [Pg 38]Pizarro himself seems to have been guilty of few acts of wanton cruelty, but he neither wished nor tried to restrain his followers from reducing the Indians to vassalage. The natives were fast crowded to the wall, and the Spaniards divided the fairest parts of the country into estates, treating the Indians as tenants from whom tribute was due. The sovereignty of the emperor soon became a mere fiction. In 1536 Manco escaped from Cuzco and raised the standard of rebellion. The moment appeared favourable. The Spanish forces were scattered; Pizarro was at Lima, and Almagro in the wilds of Chile, but as a matter of fact the Incas laboured under almost hopeless disadvantages. Their cities, fortresses, and roads were all in the hands of the Spaniards, and the kingdom of Quito, the most warlike part of the empire, had meanwhile been reduced by a Spanish expedition from San Miguel.

The rebellion was confined at first to the tribes who lived in the neighbourhood of Cuzco. These rose en masse and besieged the two hundred Spaniards, who, under the command of Hernando Pizarro and his two younger brothers, Juan and Gonzalo, occupied the capital. The Indians captured the citadel overlooking the town, and poured an incessant rain of stones and burning darts on their enemies. The Spaniards soon ran out of provisions, and were forced to try to recapture the citadel or perish miserably by fire and starvation. Juan Pizarro led a desperate assault, ably assisted by Hernando and Gonzalo, and all three proved themselves worthy of the name they bore. Juan fell mortally[Pg 39] wounded in the moment of victory, but the Incas fled in confusion, giving the surviving Spaniards an opportunity to procure supplies of maize from the neighbouring farms. This defeat disheartened the Indians. Numbers and bravery seemed useless against the horses and firearms of these strangers, whose reckless courage was only equalled by their cruelty. The Incas kept up the siege for several months, but without artillery their swords and spears could make little headway against men provided with firearms and protected behind solid stone walls. While the Spaniards in Cuzco were thus fighting for their lives, the Incas near Jauja rose and descended on Lima, but Francisco Pizarro with his dreaded cavalry waited for them in ambush, and the Indians were surprised and cut to pieces.

In spite of this success the governor's position remained most grave. He sent for help to Panama, Guatemala, and Mexico, but meanwhile had no means of relieving Cuzco. Its fall meant not only the death of his beloved brothers, but would almost certainly be followed by a general insurrection and the loss of all the advantages gained in three years of fighting and scheming. He hurried forward two hundred and fifty men,—all he could possibly spare,—but had little prospect of success until news came that Almagro and his five hundred followers had arrived at Arequipa on their way back from Chile. From Arequipa there is a pass to the north end of Lake Titicaca, and thence to Cuzco the way was easy. Manco would be caught between Pizarro's army coming up from Lima and Almagro's descending[Pg 40] from the south. The Inca gave up hope and with a few devoted followers retired into the wild region of Vilcabamba, lying north of Cuzco near the Amazonian plain. In those rugged and forested defiles he was safe from Spanish pursuit, but his retirement ended all hope of organised and general resistance. The Inca empire had fallen never to rise again. With stoical resignation the Indians made the best of their sad situation, while the conquerors were left free to fight among themselves over the division of the magnificent spoils which had so miraculously fallen into their hands.

[Pg 41]



The edict of Charles V. conceded to Pizarro the territory for two hundred and seventy leagues south of the river on the Ecuador coast where the conquest had begun, and to Almagro the next two hundred leagues. In his heart Almagro was dissatisfied with this award, and, even if he accepted the division, there was wide room for misunderstandings and disputes. No one knew the exact latitude of the river whence the measurement was to be made, nor had any one surveyed the distances along the winding roads. Almagro contended that Cuzco and Arequipa lay within his province, but this Pizarro vigorously and, as it turned out, correctly denied.

Almagro's personal followers were disgusted with the rude poverty they had found in Chile, and saw little chance of valuable spoil unless their leader should secure the fertile plateaux of Titicaca, Cuzco, and Arequipa. They urged him to seize by force what he believed to belong to him. After the flight of Manco his army reached Cuzco before the force[Pg 42] which Pizarro was sending up had penetrated nearer than a hundred miles. Hernando Pizarro had two hundred men at Cuzco, but they were exhausted with long months of fighting against the Indian besiegers and could offer no effective resistance to the night attack by which Almagro surprised them. Hernando and his brother Gonzalo were captured and imprisoned, and Almagro advanced against the army from Lima and defeated it. "This," exclaimed Pizarro, when he heard the news, "is Almagro's return to me, after losing a beloved and gallant brother, and spending all I possess in pacifying the country. I mourn for the danger of my brothers, but still more that two friends in their old age should plunge into a civil war to the injury alike of the King's service and of Peru." From this moment all the powers of his great mind and the resources of his profound cunning were devoted to securing his brothers' safety first, and afterwards revenge upon Almagro. Willing to agree to anything rather than leave them in the hands of enemies whom he knew to be as coldly cruel as himself and far more bloodthirsty, he sent ambassadors to treat for the liberation of Hernando and Gonzalo. But Almagro thought he held the whip hand, and marched his victorious army across the Cordillera opposite Cuzco and up the coast nearly to Lima, declaring his intention of founding a capital for his government in the valley of Chincha, and announcing that he would be satisfied with nothing less than the cession of all Peru from Lima south. To obtain Hernando's release the governor was forced to[Pg 43] consent that Almagro should remain in possession of the disputed territory pending the decision of the King, but Hernando was no sooner safe at Lima than Pizarro repudiated his promise. He declared war; his army, under the leadership of Hernando and Valdivia—afterwards famous as the conqueror of Chile—advanced down the coast. Futilely raging at Pizarro's treachery, the old man retreated, making his way toward Cuzco over one of the southern passes. His pursuers by a rapid march over a difficult and little used pass reached the neighbourhood of the Inca capital without resistance. Almagro was compelled to accept battle, or to shut himself up in Cuzco and let his enemies bring up artillery and batter him out at their leisure. His men outnumbered Pizarro's, and were assisted by a large contingent of natives, though inferior in discipline and arms. He chose the speedier alternative, but the flank attacks of his native auxiliaries made no impression on Hernando's carefully disposed infantry and his Spaniards fell into confusion when the main bodies met in the shock of battle. With a flank cavalry charge the rout became general; Hernando Pizarro dashed in, conspicuous with white plume and orange-coloured doublet; the most desperate partisans were slaughtered, bravely fighting, and the old man fled. He was soon captured and brought back to the very prison where he had so long confined Hernando. After languishing for a few months, orders were given that he be strangled. Francisco made no sign to save the life of his old comrade, and the sentence was inflicted.[Pg 44]

For the second time Pizarro entered Cuzco in triumph, wearing now an ermine robe presented to him by Hernando Cortes, and once more he devoted himself to organising his vast dominions and extending the Spanish power over the distant provinces. Gonzalo Pizarro went to Quito to make that expedition into the Amazon country in search of the Eldorado which so miserably failed in its immediate object, but resulted in Orellana's discovery of the great river. Hernando Pizarro proceeded to Bolivia to develop the mining industry—a labour soon to be rewarded by the finding of Potosí. Valdivia undertook the conquest of Chile, and Alvarado that of the mountains of northern Peru. The governor travelled himself over most of his dominions, founding cities at strategic points in the more populous and fertile valleys. He visited Charcas—now Sucré—the old Indian capital of southern Bolivia; he founded one city at Arequipa, commanding the greatest valley of the southern coast, and another at Guamanga in a fertile plateau half-way between Jauja and Cuzco. The better parts of the country were divided into great feudal estates and distributed among his favourites and faithful followers, while the partisans of Almagro made their way as best they could out of Peru or hung around in helpless poverty, gnashing their teeth as they saw their luckier comrades rapidly enriching themselves by Indian tribute and mining.


Almagro's friends quickly carried the news of his illegal execution to Spain, crying for justice against the Pizarros. The Spanish government was not [Pg 46] unwilling to secure a selfish advantage from the disputes among the original conquerors, and sent out Vaca de Castro to investigate and report.

When the royal commissioner arrived at Panama early in 1541, the latest news from Peru was tranquillising. Pizarro was busily engaged in enlarging and beautifying Lima, in regulating the revenue and the administration, in distributing "encomiendas," and in restraining the rapacity of his Spaniards. However, Lima was full of the "men of Chile"—as Almagro's adherents were called—all bitter enemies of the governor. They passed him in the street without saluting, and their attitude was so menacing that Pizarro received repeated warnings and was urged to banish them. Absolutely incapable of personal fear, magnanimous when his passions had not been aroused, he only replied, "Poor fellows; they have had trouble enough. We will not molest them." He even sent for Juan de la Rada, the guide, counsellor, and guardian of the young half-breed who was Almagro's heir, and condescended to try to argue him into a better frame of mind, saying at parting, "Ask me frankly what you desire." But the iron had entered too deeply into Rada's soul; he had already organised a conspiracy to assassinate Pizarro.

At noon on Sunday, the 26th of June, 1541, Pizarro was sitting at dinner in his house with twenty gentlemen, among them his half-brother, Francisco Alcantara, and several of the most illustrious knights who had taken part in the conquest. The great door into the public square was lying wide open.[Pg 47] The conspirators, to the number of a score, had assembled in a house opposite. All of a sudden they rushed into the square fully armed and carrying their swords naked in their hands. A young page standing in front of the governor's house saw them and ran back shouting: "To arms! all the men of Chile are coming to kill the Marquis, our lord." The guests rose in alarm from the table and all but half a dozen fled to the windows and dropped into the garden. Pizarro threw off his gown and snatched up a sword, while the valiant Francisco Chaves stepped forward through the ante-room to dispute the passage at the staircase. The ferocious crowd of murderers rushed up and laid him dead on the stairs. Alcantara checked them for a few moments with his single sword, but was soon forced back into the dining-room and fell pierced with many thrusts. The old lion shouted from the inside, "What shameful thing is this! why do you wish to kill me?" and with a cloak wrapped round one arm and his sword grasped in the other hand, he rushed forward to meet his assassins and strike a blow to avenge his brother before he himself should fall. Only two faithful young pages remained at his side. Though over seventy years of age, his practised sword laid two of the crowd dead before he was surrounded. The two boys were butchered and in the mêlée Pizarro received a mortal wound in the throat, and falling to the floor, made the sign of the cross on the boards and kissed it. One of the ruffians had snatched up an earthen water jar and with this pounded out the old man's brains as he lay prostrate,[Pg 48] disdaining to ask for mercy and murmuring "Jesus" just as the fatal blow fell.

Thus perished by the sword this great man of blood. The measure he had meted out to Atahuallpa and Almagro was measured to him again. He who had shamelessly broken his oath times without number to gain his own high ends was slain by treacherous, cowardly assault. But his great vices should not blind us to his greater virtues. Courageous, indomitable, far-sighted, patriotic, large-minded, public-spirited, possessing a God-given instinct for seeing straight to the centre of a problem and the energy to strike at the psychological moment, he was equally great as an explorer, a soldier, a general, a diplomatist, and an administrator. Even his shocking moral delinquencies lose something of their turpitude when we consider the greatness of his aims and the baseness of his origin. A bastard, a common soldier, a penniless adventurer, a man who had to fight his way up by his own wits, courage and parts, in the worst of schools, it was not to be expected that he would be scrupulous. But that his real nature was magnanimous, generous, and truthful is proven by the many instances in which he forgave his enemies and kept his word to his serious loss, and that his ambition was not sordid is shown by his self-sacrificing devotion to the public good during the later years of his life. Formed in nature's grandest mould, circumstances and environment had much deformed his character, but the original lineaments are plain.

The news of the murder threw Peru into confu[Pg 49]sion. In Lima the governor's friends hid themselves or fled; a hundred sympathisers joined the assassins; the rudders and sails of the ships in port were taken away so that no word could be sent to Panama; and all the treasure in the city was plundered. Young Almagro assumed the title of governor of Peru, but he and Rada soon realised that the vast majority at Lima regarded them with execration, while threatening messages came from the commanders in other towns. Rada and the boy usurper started up the road for Jauja and Cuzco. At the former place Rada died, but his protégé, though only twenty-two years old, now showed unexpected ability and resource. Suppressing with bloody severity a quarrel among his captains, he took the road to Cuzco, where his father's party was strongest.

In the meantime the royal commissioner, now become legal governor of Peru, had sailed from Panama. Shipwrecked off the coast of southern Colombia, he resolved to proceed by land, and disembarking at Buenaventura, made his way with infinite difficulty through the tangled forests and steep defiles of the Maritime Cordillera to the valley of the Cauca River. Thence to Quito over the highlands of Popayán and Pasto was easier. As soon as the news of Pizarro's murder reached him he hastened south, receiving many offers of help from the friends of the dead governor. At Jauja he found a considerable army ready to his orders, so he proceeded promptly to Guamanga, to which point Almagro was advancing from Cuzco. The soldiers[Pg 50] of the young half-breed knew that they were fighting with halters round their necks, and the battle was the bloodiest since the Spaniards had landed in Peru. Of the twelve hundred white men who went into the fight only five hundred escaped unwounded. The rebels were practically annihilated. Two days after the battle Pizarro's murderers were executed in the great square at Guamanga. Young Almagro managed to escape to Cuzco, but he was quickly captured and relentlessly put to death.

Upon the death of Francisco Pizarro the right to nominate a governor reverted to the Spanish Crown. Though some disappointment was felt that Gonzalo Pizarro had not been appointed, Vaca de Castro succeeded without opposition. Gonzalo's selection would not have suited the new policy of the Spanish government. Las Casas had written his famous book exposing the unspeakable iniquities of the earlier conquerors toward the West Indian natives. It produced a tremendous effect on public opinion, and the authorities at Madrid decided to root up Indian slavery, and gradually abolish the existing "encomiendas." Manifestly, such a step would excite bitter dissatisfaction among the adventurers in Peru, and it seemed best to name a viceroy, who would be ipso facto vested with absolute power, and not subject to the influence of the "conquistadores."

This dangerous post was entrusted to Blasco Nuñez de Vela, an old bureaucrat of the Escurial, whose integrity, piety, and rigid obedience to orders had pushed him into high positions. Arriving in Peru early in 1544, he was received with outward[Pg 51] courtesy and respect, thinly veiling real alarm and distrust. The "New Laws" abolished personal service by Indians; the grandees of estates must hereafter be content with a moderate tribute from their tenants; encomiendas might not be sold nor even descend by inheritance; and—worst of all—public officials and all Spaniards who had taken part in the wars between Almagro and Pizarro were to be deprived. The provisions were drastic and rumour exaggerated them. In his journey down the coast the viceroy had sternly ordered that no Indian be forced to carry a burden against his will. To the Spaniards this seemed an outrageous violation of the natural order of things. The whole fabric of their fortunes rested upon forced Indian labour. Without it they could not work their mines, farm their estates, or transport their goods, and these "New Laws" enforced by a conscientious and stubborn old bureaucrat, would virtually rob them of all that their swords had won.

Dismayed "encomienderos" wrote to Gonzalo Pizarro, urging him to espouse their cause; his own vast estates would infallibly be wrenched away by the viceroy, and he was told that his head was to be cut off as soon as Nuñez Vela could lay hands on him. With the Pizarro instinct of running to meet a danger, he hastened from southern Bolivia to Cuzco, where he was proclaimed "procurator general" of Peru; soldiers flocked to his camp; he seized the artillery and stores at Cuzco, and soon was at the head of four hundred desperate men, well armed and provided. Many, however, shrank from[Pg 52] open rebellion against the representative of the Castilian king, and the Pizarros had enemies. The result was still doubtful, when the viceroy himself turned the scale by his own violent measures. He imprisoned Vaca de Castro on suspicion of favouring the revolt; quarrelled with the judges of the royal court; and finally in an altercation with the popular factor of Lima, stabbed his opponent with his own hand, and then attempted to conceal the murder. Frightened at the burst of public indignation, he fled to Trujillo, while the royal judges took the direction of affairs into their own hands. They ordered the arrest and deportation of the viceroy, and sent a conciliatory message to Gonzalo. But he knew better than to rely upon the unauthorised promises of the judges. His answer was to send a detachment to Lima, which seized three deserters and hanged them on trees outside the town. The judges having no troops upon whom they could rely, were forced to recognise Pizarro as governor. A few days later he made his triumphal entry, riding at the head of twelve hundred men. There was no mistaking the sincerity of the acclamations with which the Spaniards welcomed the devoted champion of their privileges. Nevertheless in the minds of most there lurked an uneasy consciousness that all this was in fact flat treason against the lawful sovereign, and that no government could in the long run prevail without recognition from Madrid.

The sea-captains to whose custody the blundering old viceroy had been entrusted did not know what to do with their embarrassing prisoner, and set him[Pg 53] ashore at Tumbez, whence he proceeded to Quito to get help from the anti-Pizarro faction. The governor of southern Colombia joined him and he soon had five hundred men under his orders. Gonzalo flew to the point of danger; the viceroy retreated to Popayán, but being joined by more recruits, rashly returned to the neighbourhood of Quito to offer battle. He was defeated and killed; Pizarro went back to Lima, while his lieutenant, Carbajal, hunted down and put to death every loyalist who remained under arms in southern Peru.

Gonzalo's administration lasted three years' and they were golden ones for the Spanish adventurers. The marvellous silver mines of Potosí and the gold washings of southern Ecuador were discovered. Encomiendas were lavishly granted; the Indians went back to their fields; the mining industry began that marvellous development which soon made Peru the treasure box of the world and Potosí a synonym for limitless wealth. But the dazzling sunlight of prosperity was dimmed by the shadow of Pizarro's scaffold slowly creeping across the Atlantic and down the coast. His chief lieutenants, knowing they had sinned past forgiveness, urged him to declare himself king of Peru, but he was at once too proud and too patriotic to fling away his right to die a loyal Spaniard.

Philip, the leaden-eyed, close-mouthed despot, was regent of Spain. Bitterly chagrined that the stream of Peruvian gold had ceased to flow into the royal treasury, his vindictive heart held no mercy for the gallant soldier whose sword had helped win[Pg 54] the riches now temporarily diverted. He selected a man after his own heart—Pedro de la Gasca, an ugly, deformed little priest, hypocritically humble, though astute and untiring, whose success as an inquisitor was a guarantee that he would be as pitilessly cruel as even Philip could wish. Gasca landed at Panama in the character of a modest ecclesiastic, a humble man of peace who had been commissioned to investigate the sad situation of Peru and re-establish peace. He said he would recommend the repeal of the obnoxious New Laws, and had authority to suspend them. Gonzalo refused to put his head into the noose and demanded substantial assurances. But many Peruvians were more easily beguiled, and welcomed the excuse to renew their allegiance to lawful authority. While Gasca remained at Panama, gathering troops from the neighbouring provinces, Pizarro's fleet deserted, leaving the coast open to attack. An advance guard came sailing down the coast, sending letters ashore at every port promising amnesty and rewards. Desertions were so numerous that Gonzalo was forced to give up the hope of defending Lima and retreated toward Arequipa. Gasca ascended to Jauja, while Pizarro's old enemies in the Titicacan region rose, gathered a thousand men, and sent word to Gasca that they could overwhelm without help the five hundred soldiers who remained faithful. But a Pizarro never waited to be attacked. By forced marches he crossed the dizzy pass where the Mollendo and Puno Railway now runs, and fell upon his enemies near the southern end of Lake Titicaca. Though outnumbered two to one, the [Pg 55]superior discipline of his men, his admirable dispositions, Carbajal's skilful handling of the artillery, and his own cool and intrepid leadership of the cavalry charges, gave him a decisive though dearly bought victory.

ALTITUDE 10,924 FEET. [Pg 56]

Meanwhile Gasca was coming up the road from Jauja to Cuzco, his army increasing by accessions from every direction until it numbered over two thousand. The wisest of Gonzalo's counsellors advised him to retire to southern Bolivia and make a defensive campaign in that remote region, but he preferred bold methods. For once, however, he could not inspire his men with his own confidence. They followed with heavy hearts his eager march against Gasca's overwhelming army. He drew them up for the attack and the battle was about to begin when, to his despair, he saw several captains desert to the enemy and his soldiers surrendering without a blow. Knowing that all was over, he turned to Juan Acosta, who rode at his side, saying, "What shall we do, brother Juan?" "Sir, let us charge them and die like Romans." "Better to die like Christians," replied Pizarro, and he rode across the plain and gave himself up. The exulting priest grossly insulted the fallen warrior, and called a court-martial to condemn him and his captains to immediate execution. Though only forty-one years old when he went to the scaffold, Gonzalo had for sixteen years taken a leading part in nearly every one of the battles and expeditions of Peru, and is justly regarded as the best fighting man among the "conquistadores."[Pg 57]

The property of Pizarro's friends was confiscated; the prisons filled with wretched victims; many were put to death; many more mutilated or flogged; even the staunchest loyalists were not safe. Gasca evaded and delayed as long as possible the distribution of land-grants among those who had earned and been promised such rewards, and when he had to announce the list he sneaked to Lima by an unfrequented route in cowardly fear of his miserable life. He never dared to try to put the New Laws into effect, and when a peremptory order came from Spain that enforced Indian labour must cease, he kept it secret until he could resign the government to the royal judges, leaving instructions that it should be published immediately he was at sea.

Peru was left in confusion. The prohibition of Indian slavery added to the dissatisfaction felt over Gasca's awards. The ad interim governments could make little progress in securing its enforcement. Rebellion after rebellion broke out, and civil war continued to desolate Peru, with a few intervals of quiescence during which the government allowed the proprietors to do as they pleased, until the arrival of the Marquis of Cañete, the "good viceroy," on the 29th of June, 1556.

[Pg 58]



The Spanish occupation of Peru was a conquest, not a colonisation. The narrow plateau from Colombia to Chile and the adjacent dry valleys on the Pacific and in north-western Argentina had been found fully populated by civilised races. The work of subjugating them was practically accomplished within eight or ten years after Pizarro landed in Ecuador, and this marvellous result was achieved by private adventurers who, though they held commissions from Madrid, really acted on their own responsibility. A very few appreciated the advisability of well treating the Indians and thereby preserving the effective industrial organisation, but the vast majority concerned themselves only with immediate profit. For eighteen years the original conquerors and the adventurers who followed in their track fought over the spoils. When the Marquis of Cañete was appointed viceroy he found eight thousand Spaniards in Peru alone, four hundred and eighty-nine of whom had grants of lands and Indians.

We can never know the sufferings of the Indians[Pg 59] during these civil wars. The chronicles tell us minutely the stories of the battles, marches, sieges, surprises, assassinations, and deeds of military prowess, but little of the destruction and abandonment of the irrigating canals and terraces, the ruin of the magnificent roads, the breaking up of the ancient socialistic system, the impressment of natives into the rebel bands, the death by exhaustion of thousands dragging artillery over the steep mountain paths, the starvation of whole villages robbed of their crops. But the sturdy physique of the Andean Indians and their perfect adaptation to the climatic conditions saved them from extermination. In the midst of the devil's dance of Spanish carnage, the Inca officers reported minutely the crops stolen or destroyed, and the deficiencies were made up as far as possible from the villages which had escaped for the time being.

Naturally the Spanish government was anxious to put an end to such a state of affairs. Considerations of self-interest reinforced the eloquent indignation of Las Casas, but the New Laws could not be put into effect, notwithstanding the sentiment of fidelity to the Castilian king and the growth of considerable cities in which Spanish law and custom were dominant. The only real cities which the Incas had built were Cuzco in central Peru, Quito in Ecuador, and Charcas in Bolivia, and after the conquest they continued a village-dwelling people, but the Spaniards, true to the instinct inherited from Roman times, preferred to live in cities. Within a few years they had established[Pg 60] municipalities not only at the three Inca capitals, but at Piura, Lima, Trujillo, Loja, La Paz, Guamanga, Jauja, and numerous other places.

The enlightened advisers of Charles V. came to the conclusion that Peru could never become a loyal and profitable appanage of the Crown until freedom of action was granted to its government. Don Andres Hurtado de Mendoza, Marquis of Cañete, accepted the difficult post of viceroy. He was a scion of the noblest House of Spain, distinguished alike in arms and letters, capable and resolute, of mature years and wide experience. His salary was fixed at the then fabulous sum of forty thousand ducats in order to enable him to maintain regal state, and, accompanied by his vice-queen and an imposing retinue, he assumed power with ceremonial splendour. He prohibited further immigration from Spain and ordered that no Spaniard in Peru should leave his district without permission. Though the encomienderos were left in possession of their estates, they were made to understand that they must cease the more outrageous forms of oppressing the natives. He sent for the most notorious disturbers, and they came joyfully expecting to receive grants, but were summarily disarmed and banished. He employed the more adventurous in expeditions to the interior and in completing the conquest of Chile. All the artillery in the country was gathered under his eye, and the corregidors were required to dismiss most of their soldiery. Finally, the viceroy continued Pizarro's policy of founding cities into which were gathered the Spaniards who remained scattered over the country.[Pg 61]

He did much to alleviate the lot of the natives, though he dared not venture on giving them all the rights guaranteed by Spanish law. No efforts were spared to Hispaniolise the Inca nobles, and native chiefs who could prove their right by descent were formally allowed to exercise jurisdiction as magistrates. Even the rightful emperor, Sayri Tupac, who had maintained his independence in the wilds of Vilcabamba, was induced to swear allegiance and accept a pension and estates in the valley of Yucay. When the Inca had attested the documents by which he renounced his sovereignty, he lifted up the gilded fringe of the table-cloth, saying: "All this cloth and its fringe were mine, and now they give me a thread of it for my sustenance and that of all my house." Retiring to Yucay, he sank into a deep melancholy and died within two years.

In the meantime Charles V. had been succeeded by Philip II. The Marquis of Cañete's liberal and enlightened policy did not wring money from the unhappy country fast enough to suit the greedy despot. He listened to the slanders against the "good viceroy" brought home by disappointed Spaniards, and Cañete's reward for five years of brilliant service was a recall. Only his death saved him from hearing with his own ears the reproaches of his ungrateful sovereign.

Several years elapsed before Philip found a man who possessed the courage, capacity, mercilessness, and obstinacy to devise and apply a system which would make Peru a mere machine to produce gold and silver for the Spanish Crown. Such a one was[Pg 62] Don Francisco de Toledo, a member of the same ancient house to which the Duke of Alva belonged. To him belongs the distinction of founding the infamous colonial system—the origin of the misery and disorder from which Spanish South America has suffered ever since, and a potent if not the principal cause of the decline of Spain herself and the loss of her magnificent colonial empire. Toledo reached Lima 1569, leaving Spain just after the news had been received that William the Silent and his Hollanders had risen in revolt against the cruelties of Alva and gained the victory of Gröningen.


The new viceroy first devoted himself to the destruction of the native dynasty. Sayri Tupac's younger brothers, Titu Yupanqui and Tupac Amaru,[Pg 63] still roamed free in the forests of Vilcabamba. The Spaniards had hitherto not interfered with the Indians' celebrating their national festivals with the ancient solemnities, and Toledo came to Cuzco to be present at one which he had determined should be the last. As soon as it was over he sent for Titu to come in and take the oath of allegiance. Titu died of an illness, but the chiefs swore fealty to the boy Tupac Amaru, and refused to put him in the power of the Spaniards. The exasperated viceroy sent a force which captured the young emperor. Brought to Cuzco, Toledo ordered him to be decapitated, and the head was stuck upon a pike and set up beside the scaffold. One moonlight night a Spaniard went to the window of his bed-chamber, which overlooked the great square, and saw the whole vast space packed with a crowd of kneeling, silent people, their faces all turned to the Inca's grisly head; it was the Indians devoutly worshipping the last relic of their beloved and unfortunate sovereign. But there was no spirit left in them for rebellion—and no centre for them to rally around. Toledo's executions exterminated the leading Incas and half-castes; the celebration of Indian rites was forbidden, and everything which might remind the people of the fallen régime destroyed or removed.

Toledo's "Libro de Tasas," or code of regulations, is the basis of the system under which the Spanish colonies were governed for more than two centuries. The Spaniards were practically recognised as belonging to a privileged and governing caste. The country was divided into about fifty[Pg 64] districts, called "corregimentos," each under the rule of a corregidor. This official was substantially absolute so far as the Indians were concerned, although an effort was made to keep up parts of the ancient Inca organisation, and in practice the hereditary village chiefs administered justice and exercised considerable power.

Every male Indian between the ages of eighteen and fifty was compelled to pay a certain tribute or poll-tax, for whose collection their chiefs were responsible. About one-sixth of the Indians belonged to estates already granted, and these paid their tribute to the proprietors, the Crown deducting one-fifth. The other five-sixths paid directly to the representatives of the government. In consideration of this tribute, general and indiscriminate personal service was declared to be abolished, but the commutation was not in full. One-seventh of the Indians were required to work for their masters, and the wretched victims of this "mitta" were sent by their caciques to the nearest Spanish town, where they could be engaged by any one who required their services. But these were not all the burdens. The natives of the provinces near the mines were compelled to furnish the labour necessary to work them, and the poor creatures to whose lot it fell to go might never hope to return. Oppressive as was the letter of these laws, their practical application was made infinitely worse by evasions practised with the connivance of the corregidors. Hundreds of Indians were hunted down and carried away to work on farms and in factories under the pretext that the[Pg 65] "mitta" returns had not been honestly made, and though the population decreased, the survivors were required to furnish the same number of victims every year.

In spite of the slaughter during the civil wars, the Peruvian Indians numbered eight millions in 1575. Including the outlying provinces, the population of the Inca empire must have reached twenty millions in the heyday of its prosperity. Horrible as had been the decrease of the first forty years of Spanish domination, it was a trifle to that which followed the establishment of Toledo's system. In 1573 the impressment for the Potosí mines produced eleven thousand labourers; one hundred years later only sixteen hundred could be found. In the non-mining provinces the destruction was not so stupendous, but some encomiendas, originally containing a thousand adults, were reduced to a hundred within a century, and the miserable survivors were compelled to pay the same sum as had been assessed to their ancestors. The total population of Peru proper had fallen to less than a million and a half within two centuries and that of the whole empire to not more than four millions. So great had been the mortality among the feebler inhabitants of the warm coast valleys that they had practically died out, and their places were taken by negro slaves whose importation began shortly after the conquest.

The Indians were the worst but not the only sufferers. The Creole descendants of the early Spanish settlers, though they nominally enjoyed the same rights as the later arrivals, in reality had small chance[Pg 66] to participate in the offices and fat concessions. Each new viceroy brought a new swarm of needy noblemen, who regarded the Creoles with lofty disdain. Commerce except with Spain was forbidden, and even that was burdened with almost intolerable burdens. As time went on new taxes were devised until it seemed the deliberate purpose of the Spanish government to transfer all the gold and silver in Peru's mountains to the royal treasury. Not only were both imports and exports taxed, but also every pound of provisions sold in the markets and shops. One-fifth of the products of the mines and one-tenth of the crops went directly to the Crown. All kinds of businesses had to pay licences; quicksilver and tobacco were monopolies; and offices were regularly sold to the highest bidder.

Nevertheless the Spanish occupation brought many incontestable benefits to South America. To say nothing of the civilised system of jurisprudence, the letters and the religion which have made the peoples of the continent members of the great western European family, the introduction of new and valuable animals, grains, and fruits raised the level of average well-being among the surviving inhabitants. Horses, asses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, pigeons, wheat, barley, oats, rice, olives, grapes, oranges, sugar-cane, apples, peaches and related fruits, and even the banana and the cocoa palm were introduced by the Spaniards. In return Europe owes to Peru maize, potatoes, chocolate, tobacco, cassava, ipecacuanha, and quinine.

Toledo had put his colonial system in full opera[Pg 67]tion by 1580, and from that time to near the close of the Spanish epoch the story of Peru offers little of interest. Expansion ceased; the colonists made no effort to spread over the Amazon plain, or to prevent the Portuguese on the Atlantic coast from occupying the interior of the continent almost to the foot of the Andes. On the seacoast of Venezuela and the plains of the lower Plate the Spanish race still showed a scanty fraction of that vigour and enterprise which had enabled the early conquerors to spread over half the continent in a few short years, but in Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia the country slowly decayed. Though the viceroys who followed each other in rapid succession were selected from among the greatest grandees of Spain, they were held to an increasingly rigid account, and the smallest concession to commerce or a failure to send home the utmost farthing which could be wrung from the people was severely and peremptorily punished. Their jurisdiction extended over all Spanish South America; the captains-general of New Granada, Venezuela, and Chile, the royal audience of Bolivia, the president of Ecuador, and the governors of Tucuman, Paraguay, and Buenos Aires being all nominally subject to their orders. But in practice these widely separated divisions of the continent were largely independent. Lima was, however, the political, commercial, and social centre of South America. To its port came from Panama the goods destined for Peru, Chile, Bolivia, and even Paraguay and Buenos Aires. Many of the viceroys were lovers of letters, and the university[Pg 68] produced scholars and authors not unworthy comparison with those of the Old World. The continual influx of Spaniards of distinguished Castilian ancestry and gentle training made the language of even the common people singularly pure, and the sonorous elegance of the Spanish tongue as spoken during the classical period has been best preserved in the comparative isolation of Peru. The influence of the bishops and priests, the Jesuits and the Franciscans, was hardly inferior to that of the officials. The clergy controlled education; every village had its parish priest who compelled the Indians to go to mass and made them pay heavily for the privilege; the Inquisition was early introduced and performed its dreadful functions without let or hindrance.


The regulations which attempted to confine the oppression of the Indians within bearable limits were persistently violated, not only by private individuals, but by the corregidors themselves. Kidnapping was reduced to a system, and often all the male adults of a village were dragged off to work in the mines, leaving only the women and children to till the fields. The corregidors went into partnership with merchants, and the poor Indians were compelled to purchase articles for which they had no use, and thrown into slavery to work out the debt if they failed to pay. The wiser viceroys did not waste their energies in vain efforts to mitigate the profitable abuses. They devoted their attention rather to the exaction of the last penny of taxes, to be spent in maintaining the horde of office-holders, or to be remitted to Spain. So rigidly was taxation enforced and so successful were the Spaniards in finding rich mines of silver, gold, and mercury, that early in the seventeenth century the revenue had reached the sum—enormous in those days of low prices—of nearly five hundred thousand pounds, of which about half was regularly sent to Madrid. Foreign nations could not effectively interfere with Spain's commercial and fiscal monopoly. The Isthmus was in her hands, and the voyage through Magellan's Straits or around Cape Horn was too stormy and uncertain for the slow, clumsy ships of that age, and only a few English and Dutch[Pg 70] expeditions, half-trading, half-piratical, ravaged the coast towns in the seventeenth century.

The most memorable event of Peru's history during the seventeenth century was the revelation of the sovereign virtues of quinine. The Lima physicians were unable to cure the Countess of Chinchon, the viceroy's wife, of a stubborn attack of malarial fever, but the rector of the Jesuit college had received some fragments of an unknown bark from a Jesuit missionary to whom they had been given by an Indian in the mountain wilds of southern Ecuador. Doses of this quickly restored the vice-queen, and when Linnæus named the world's plants in scientific order, he called the genus to which the tree belongs chinchona, from the viceroy, through whom its virtues had come to notice.

The succession of the Bourbons to the Spanish Crown, at the beginning of the eighteenth century, brought about a considerable change of colonial policy. To England was conceded the privilege of exporting negroes to South America, and French vessels were permitted to come round the Horn and trade at Peruvian ports. The latter concession was soon revoked and the commerce of the Pacific coast again became a monopoly for the ring of merchants at Cadiz. The Atlantic, however, by this time swarmed with ships of all the European maritime Powers, and it was impossible to prevent smuggling at the Caribbean and Argentine ports. The Madrid government reluctantly came to the conclusion that it was impossible to administer effectually from Lima the provinces which were commercially tributary to[Pg 71] the Caribbean Sea. In 1740 Bogotá, on the populous plateau of eastern New Granada, was made the capital of a new viceroyalty, under whose jurisdiction were placed the captaincy-general of Venezuela and the presidency of Quito. Buenos Aires was a resort for contraband traders under non-Spanish flags, and smuggling through that port so increased that goods coming from Spain by the Panama route were undersold in the markets of Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia, and even Peru itself. In 1776 the southern Atlantic region was detached from Lima, and to the new viceroyalty of Buenos Aires were attached not only the Plate provinces—Buenos Aires and Paraguay—but also that part of Chile which lay east of the Andes, as well as Tucuman and the audiencia of Charcas as far north as Lake Titicaca. By these changes Peru was reduced to its present dimensions, except that Chile remained attached as a semi-independent captaincy-general.

Three times since its foundation had Lima been nearly destroyed by earthquakes, but none of them was to be compared with the convulsion which in 1746 reduced the whole city to a shapeless mass of ruins. More than a thousand people perished; a great wave engulfed Callao, drowning half the population and carrying great ships far inland.

The expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767 was effected without difficulty. In the neighbourhood of Lima alone they owned five thousand negro slaves and property to the value of two million dollars, and every penny of their immense accumulations was confiscated by the government.[Pg 72]

The great Indian rebellion which had so long been expected broke out in 1780 under the leadership of Tupac Amaru, the lineal descendant of the last of the reigning Inca emperors. In Peru proper it did not spread beyond the southern frontier provinces and the story of its suppression belongs to Bolivia. The authorities were so alarmed that the reforms, to procure which Tupac had risked and lost his life, were shortly after voluntarily adopted. The vitality and fighting qualities of the half-breeds now stood revealed, and the Creoles, jealous of imported officials and dissatisfied at their exclusion from places of honour and profit, realised that a weapon lay ready to their hand when they should determine upon revolution.

General Theodore de Croix, a Fleming, was entrusted with the reorganisation and reform made necessary by the Indian rebellion. The corregidors, petty tyrants over whom no effective control could be maintained, were abolished; the country was divided into a few great provinces, each ruled by an intendente to whom were responsible the subdelgados who had charge of local affairs, and measures were taken for the enforcement of the laws intended to protect the Indians.

By the year 1790 these valuable reforms had been put into effect, but they came too late. Ideas of liberty had begun to infiltrate into the educated classes, and among the Creoles the abstract right of Peru to autonomous government became the subject of secret though widespread discussion. A succession of able and liberal viceroys, however, averted[Pg 73] the danger for the time, and the outbreak of the revolution in the rest of South America found Peru ruled by Abascal, whose energy, foresight, and determination not only prevented an insurrection at Lima, but nearly saved all South America to Spain.

[Pg 74]



The storm soon to burst over South America was gathering when Viceroy Abascal assumed the reins of power in 1806. He made no pretensions to statesmanship, but it did not escape his shrewd soldier's eye and common sense that French revolutionary ideas would soon make trouble. Her very existence threatened in the titan conflict then devastating Europe, Spain could not be relied upon to spare any of her soldiers to guard her colonies. He must take care of himself. Wasting no time in seeking to propitiate the revolutionary elements, he quietly set to work to organise and arm an efficient army while vigilantly watching the course of events.


Although less infected than any other province, being the one where the Spanish bureaucracy was most numerous and powerful, even in Peru Creole society was honeycombed with revolutionary sentiment. The plots to secure autonomy came to Abascal's notice, and with the first overt act he pounced upon the plotters. Two republican visionaries, named Ubaldo and Aguilar, were the first martyrs for liberty. A few learned and respected professors in Lima dared to speculate on the future of America as affected by recent events in Europe, but the viceroy summoned them to his presence and his stern warnings silenced them. Two young [Pg 76]lawyers held evening parties where politics were discussed by the rising youth of the capital. One of the ringleaders was condemned to ten years' imprisonment and the other sent to Spain, while several more were shipped off to southern Chile. Although the liberals continued to meet and conspire, and the priests were particularly active, for the present nothing definite came of all this.

Even the news of the deposition of the Spanish authorities at Quito, La Paz, and Charcas, in 1809, met with no response from the liberals at Lima. Abascal banished Riva Aguëro, their leader; his expeditions quickly suppressed the insurrections in Bolivia and Ecuador; and he redoubled his exertions to strengthen his army, recruiting among the Indians and half-breeds, and casting cannon. That his apprehensions were justified was proved by the events of the following year. In rapid succession Buenos Aires, northern New Granada, Caracas, and Santiago installed revolutionary juntas in place of the Spanish governors. The flames of revolution spread rapidly from these centres. Soon the Spanish officials were overthrown throughout Argentina, Chile, New Granada, and Venezuela; Bolivia and Ecuador were divided; and only Peru remained steady. But Abascal, resolute and unshaken, sent his armies against the triumphant revolutionists. The story of these campaigns is elsewhere told in connection with the countries where they were conducted. Though the patriots won some important victories, the loyal arms steadily advanced.

The redemption of Ecuador, Chile, and Bolivia[Pg 77] had been mainly achieved with the resources which Abascal had picked up in South America. Until 1813 the people of the Peninsula were fighting desperately for national independence against the armies of the great Napoleon. No money or men could be spared for South America, and Abascal even managed to remit two million dollars to Spain in a single year—that of 1811. The armies with which his generals won their early victories were recruited almost entirely from the native population of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. In this struggle between Spaniard and Creole, the sturdy Indian of the plateau, who was dragged reluctant from his home, took no great interest, but any sympathy he felt was anti-Spanish. Nevertheless, so ingrained was the habit of obedience that when drilled and commanded by Spanish officers the half-breeds and Indians made excellent soldiers. During these six years, only one insurrection touched the territory of Peru proper. In 1814 the Indians of the Cuzco region rose under the leadership of one of their own caciques. The whole population of this, the most southern province of Peru, seems to have sympathised with the insurrection, and the same feeling extended over the Bolivian border. When Pumacagua, the Indian leader, advanced into Bolivia the people about La Paz joined him. But his army was an undisciplined, unarmed mob, only eight hundred of the twenty thousand who followed him possessing muskets. The Spanish general, Ramirez, hastened up from southern Bolivia; the Indians retreated over the Cordillera to Arequipa, where they were followed[Pg 78] by the Spaniards. When Ramirez approached they again retired to the Bolivian plateau and the game of hide-and-seek ended with the horrible slaughter of Umachiri near Lake Titicaca.

In 1816 Abascal thought that his work was virtually completed and that he had earned the right to retire. Resistance was confined to Buenos Aires, to the thinly populated provinces of Tucuman and Cuyo, and to the banks of the Orinoco. The Argentine revolutionists were fighting among themselves, and that they must succumb before an advance in force from the Bolivian plateau appeared certain. The last act of his administration was to send out a fleet that compelled four Argentine ships which Admiral William Brown had brought around the Horn to withdraw to the Atlantic. He was succeeded by General Pezuela, a strategist of no mean abilities, who had borne a brilliant part in the Bolivian campaigns. The new viceroy straightway set about final preparations for a decisive advance across the pampas to Buenos Aires, but like a thunderbolt from a clear sky came the news that San Martin had made a sudden descent on Chile and won the battle of Chacabuco, annihilating the Spanish forces in that country. Pezuela saw himself obliged to begin a war to reduce Chile to obedience—an undertaking sure to be long and arduous, and in which he must encounter a general whose technical mastery of the profession had enabled him to create an army equal in discipline and effectiveness to any the viceroy might hope to throw against him. Pezuela abandoned the idea of an immediate Argentine campaign,[Pg 79] and contented himself with maintaining a defensive attitude on the Bolivian frontier. He managed to repulse the armies which the Buenos Aireans sent against Bolivia, but it was in vain that he poured into Chile all the troops he could possibly spare. They were overthrown and annihilated in the decisive battle of Maipo. The viceroy sent for help to Spain and New Granada, but Venezuela had risen in insurrection under Bolivar and Paez; and it was impossible to spare any considerable number of troops from the Caribbean.

So long, however, as Spanish ships commanded the Pacific, Peru itself was safe from attack and the viceroy could securely await the arrival of reinforcements, and then attack Chile where he chose. Happily for the cause of South American independence, the war-ship of the beginning of the nineteenth century was not the expensive, complicated, slow-built machine it has since become. San Martin subordinated everything to the creation of a fleet. He forced the Argentine and Chilean governments to furnish him money, and his agents hastened to Europe and North America to buy ships and engage British and American captains. The Spaniards had four frigates and thirteen smaller ships, mounting in all three hundred and thirty guns, while San Martin was able to improvise only three frigates and as many brigs, mounting about one hundred and eighty cannon. This disparity of force was more than made up by the superior skill and experience of the foreign seamen. His admiral was Lord Cochrane, a Scotchman of noble family, but radical[Pg 80] principles and adventurous disposition. A daring and reckless fighter, inventive and fertile in resource, he excelled in leading cutting-out expeditions and surprises. His marvellous activity and the capture by Blanco Encalada of their largest frigate dismayed the Spanish captains. When Cochrane sailed up the coast he found the Spaniards huddled under the guns of Callao castle. Returning to Valparaiso, he reported to San Martin that he could guarantee the unmolested transport of an army to any point on the Peruvian coast, and again sailed away for Callao. Though his attempt to destroy the Spaniards with fire-ships and rockets was unsuccessful, he captured and sacked several towns and terrorised the Spanish authorities all along the coast. San Martin after many disappointments and interruptions succeeded in preparing an army of invasion. For ten years war had desolated every other part of Spanish South America, while Peru had remained untouched. At length the conflict was to be transferred to the very centre of Spanish power.

On September 7, 1820, Lord Cochrane's fleet dropped anchor in a bay near Pisco, one hundred and fifty miles south of Lima. San Martin's army, numbering four thousand five hundred Argentines and Chileans, disembarked without opposition and occupied the fertile, vine-covered valleys. To undertake a campaign for the conquest of Peru with such a force seemed absurd. The viceroy's troops were five times as numerous; at Lima alone he had nearly nine thousand men; as many more were quartered at Cuzco, Jauja, and Arequipa, besides the six thou[Pg 81]sand veterans who guarded the Bolivian frontier against an invasion from Buenos Aires. The contest was, however, really not so unequal as it appeared. The Spanish armies were made up of native Peruvians and Bolivians, with some Venezuelans; sympathisers with the patriot cause swarmed in their ranks; many were waiting an opportunity to desert; the viceroy had little control over his generals, and the arrival of the Argentine army stimulated the activity of the patriot societies in the Peruvian cities.

From Pisco San Martin detached a force of twelve hundred men under the command of General Arenales, which ascended the Cordillera, roused the population of the plateaux immediately back of Lima, and defeated a detachment under General O'Reilly near Cerro de Pasco. The Indians rose, but when the Spaniards came up in force Arenales retired to the coast, leaving his allies to be mercilessly slaughtered. Meanwhile San Martin with the main body had taken ship at Pisco and, sailing north, landed at Huacho, seventy miles beyond the capital. His three thousand men could not hope to succeed in a direct attack on the city, defended by thrice that number of disciplined troops. On the other hand, the Spanish army was shut off from the sea; its base was now far back in the interior; its line of communication might be cut at any moment by other expeditions like that of Arenales. Lima and the coast towns were decidedly disaffected. San Martin's plan was to wait patiently until a rising should compel the Spaniards to retire to the interior,[Pg 82] and then to organise the country and gather an army for the final campaign on the plateau. He kept, therefore, at a safe distance from the Spaniards; sent out detachments which scoured the country up to the walls of Lima; and entered into communication with the conspirators in the city. Crowds of young enthusiasts hastened out to join him; Cochrane daringly cut out the frigate Esmeralda under the very guns of Callao castle; an expedition sent to Tacna, on the extreme southern coast, was enthusiastically received; and numerous desertions from the Spanish army culminated in a battalion of Venezuelans coming over in a body. The viceroy was sorely puzzled. He hesitated to send his army to attack San Martin, fearing an insurrection or surprise during his absence, and knowing that defeat meant irretrievable ruin. Really only two courses of action lay open to the Spaniards—they must either fight San Martin, and the sooner the better, for he was becoming stronger every day—or they must abandon Lima and concentrate on their base in the mountains. The viceroy could not make up his mind to abandon the ancient capital, and he was reluctant to expose his family to the hardships of a guerilla warfare in the mountains.


San Martin drew closer and closer, the attitude of the Lima liberals became more and more threatening, and still Pezuela made no move. News came of the revolution in Spain and of the overthrow of absolutism, and all the principal commanders united in demanding his resignation. He had no alternative, and retired to Spain, while the generals selected [Pg 84] one of their number, La Serna, to succeed him. The new viceroy entered into negotiations looking toward an amicable accommodation of the whole question at issue between Spain and her colonies. The Argentine was nothing loath, well knowing that every month strengthened the patriot feeling among the coast Peruvians and brought him nearer his goal. San Martin proposed that South America become a constitutional monarchy and accept a Bourbon prince as its king in return for a recognition of its independence—a concession which even the revolutionary Spanish government could not confirm. The suggestion reflects little credit upon the political acumen of the great Argentine general. San Martin, in fact, seems never to have appreciated the motives and instincts which had pushed the Creoles into rebellion. The revolutionary movement in South America was in its essence separatist and republican; no monarch, whether the scion of a European House, or a Bolivar trying to play the rôle of a Napoleon, could ever have kept the Spanish colonies together.

The first six months of 1821 were consumed in these fruitless negotiations, and by this time the position of the Spaniards at Lima had become untenable. It was necessary for them to retire to the plateau, where the sturdy natives furnished a supply of excellent recruits and the mines, fields, and pastures would maintain an army. On July 6, 1821, La Serna evacuated the capital and retired to Jauja, leaving a well-provisioned garrison at Callao against the hoped-for arrival of a fleet from Spain. Even[Pg 85] then a dozen well-fought frigates might have undone all San Martin's work and changed the fate of South America. Three days later the Argentine general entered the city, and on the 28th of July, 1821, Peru was proclaimed an independent republic, with San Martin as temporary dictator under the title of Protector. During the rest of the year he was occupied with trying to secure the adhesion of the whole coast, and made no effort to undertake the redemption of the interior. When the Frenchman Canterac, the most enterprising of the Spanish commanders, made a descent on Lima, San Martin merely maintained the defence, being well assured that the enemy must soon retire on account of want of provisions. But he found himself hampered in consolidating coast Peru by the fact that he was a foreigner. The Peruvians were jealous and suspicious, and he feared that troops recruited among them might turn their arms against him, while his Argentine officers regarded the country as their own property, and monopolised the positions of honour and profit to which the Peruvians thought themselves more justly entitled.

Matters remained virtually at a standstill until the summer of 1822. San Martin had been unable to make his position stable enough to justify his devoting himself to military operations, nor had he succeeded in gathering and equipping an army with which he was willing to undertake a decisive campaign. Canterac even took the offensive, although he made no effort to re-occupy permanently the coast plain. Outside help was necessary, and San[Pg 86] Martin, despairing of obtaining it from Chile or the Argentine, turned his eyes to the north. Bolivar's battles of Boyacá and Carabobo had redeemed northern Granada and Venezuela in 1819 and 1821, and he was now advancing toward Quito to complete the expulsion of the Spaniards from that viceroyalty. With a force of Colombians Sucré went to Guayaquil by sea and climbed to the Ecuador plateau. Defeated and driven back on his first attempt, he was reinforced by a division sent by San Martin, and renewed the effort with better success. Although Bolivar had in the meantime been checked in his southward march on Quito by the loyalists of southern Colombia, Sucré alone destroyed the Spanish army which had held Ecuador for so many years. The battle of Pichincha, fought in May, 1822, left Bolivar and Sucré free to employ their numerous and well-disciplined troops in completing the liberation of Peru and Bolivia.


Bolivar joined his victorious lieutenant at Quito, incorporated Ecuador with his new republic of Colombia, and proceeded overland to Guayaquil, where San Martin lost no time in going to meet him for a conference. The Argentine expected to find as unselfish a patriot as himself, but the "liberator" was not single-minded. He had formed plans for his own glory and aggrandisement to the accomplishment of which San Martin might be an obstacle. When the latter broached the subject of a joint campaign against the Spaniards in Peru and Bolivia, Bolivar gave him no satisfaction, and evaded the Argentine's noble offer to serve in a subordinate capacity. The [Pg 88] silent soldier made no protest and uttered no reproaches. Confiding not even in his closest friends, he calmly considered his plight on his way back to Lima. His situation in Peru, bad already, would be made ten times worse by Bolivar's intrigues. Seeing that he could be of no further service to the cause of South American independence, he formally resigned his authority to a national congress, deliberately sacrificing his own future for the cause he loved, but leaving behind him a name untarnished by any suspicion of self-seeking or personal ambition.

Bolivar waited in vain for the expected invitation to come with his veterans. The leaders in Peru did not propose to jeopard their own supremacy. They thought they were strong enough to whip the Spaniards by themselves, and made great efforts to drill and equip an efficient army. By the end of the year four thousand men under the command of Alvarado were sent to the southern coast to make an attempt to reach Lake Titicaca and thereby get between the Spanish armies. It failed before the astonishing energy of the Spanish general, Valdez, who by forced marches reached the pass which the Peruvians were trying to climb, and taking up a strong position, beat them back with great slaughter. Alvarado retreated, but was caught by Valdez and completely routed; hardly a third of the army escaped to the seashore. The news of this defeat brought about a change of government at Lima. A revolution, headed by the principal officers, made Riva Aguëro, the leader of the Peruvian liberals, president, while General Santa Cruz, a Bolivian, received chief com[Pg 89]mand of the forces, in place of Arenales. Word was sent to Bolivar that his offer of help would be accepted; and another Peruvian army was recruited. Before the six thousand men promised by Bolivar had arrived, the Peruvians had regained confidence. With the aid of a London loan, the patriots got seven thousand soldiers ready for service, and in May, 1823, five thousand men under the command of Santa Cruz sailed from Callao for southern Peru. This time they advanced so promptly that the Spanish generals could not get to the passes in time to dispute the way. Santa Cruz entered La Paz and defeated the first army which came against him. But the two main Spanish bodies hastened up from Cuzco and Charcas, outmanœuvred Santa Cruz, united their forces, and routed his army in a panic, not a fourth ever reaching the seaboard.

Shortly after Santa Cruz's departure on this ill-fated expedition, Sucré arrived at Lima with the first instalment of the promised Colombian auxiliaries. The Spanish general, Canterac, had concentrated a large army at Jauja and descended on the capital; Lima was denuded of Peruvian troops; the government helpless against the Spaniards or Sucré. The Colombian was made commander-in-chief, and retiring to the fortifications of Callao before Canterac's overwhelming numbers, procured Riva Aguëro's deposition and the nomination of one of his own tools as nominal president, while he sent off an urgent message to Bolivar to come in person. Canterac, after holding Lima for a few weeks, went back to the mountains, and Bolivar himself landed at[Pg 90] Callao on the 1st of September, almost at the very moment when Santa Cruz's army was getting involved in that snarl out of which it never extricated itself. The news of its destruction left Bolivar undisputed master of the situation, and in February the submissive rump of the Peruvian parliament conferred upon him an absolute dictatorship. He now devoted all the wonderful energy with which nature had endowed him to preparation for a campaign which he meant to be final; and united ten thousand men under his command, two-thirds of whom were Colombian veterans and the rest Peruvians, Argentines, and Chileans who fought for the sheer love of fighting. His officers were the pick of South America, men who had proven their bravery and skill on all the hundred battle-fields from Venezuela to Chile. With such a force he did not hesitate to attack the Spaniards, although the latter were nearly twice as numerous.

Suddenly, however, his plans were seriously disturbed by a revolt of the garrison in Callao castle—Argentines and Chileans who had not received their pay. The mutineers hoisted the Spanish flag and sent word to Canterac that he might come in and take possession. This event produced a great sensation at Lima. Many citizens who distrusted Bolivar or were fearful of the final result vacillated in their allegiance. Even men who had been prominent liberals went over to the royalists. Bolivar abandoned the capital and removed his base of operations to Trujillo, three hundred miles north. But discouragement gave place to confident enthusiasm[Pg 91] when news came that the Spanish generals were fighting among themselves. Olañeta, the renegade Argentine, who commanded in Bolivia, had quarrelled with La Serna, whom he regarded as a pestilent liberal and an enemy of the absolute pretensions of the Spanish king. The viceroy sent Valdez against him, and some hard fighting had taken place, when this fratricidal war was interrupted by the news of Bolivar's preparations.


[Pg 92]

Though just recovering from a dangerous illness, Bolivar lost no time in taking advantage of Olañeta's revolt. His army numbered nine thousand men; it was well supplied with cavalry, and the troops received their liberal pay punctually. The patriots advanced rapidly and unopposed over the Maritime Cordillera, covered by a cloud of Peruvian guerillas, under whose protection Sucré marked out the daily route and brought in provisions. The city of Pasco, just south of that transverse range which forms the northern limit of the great Peruvian plateau, was reached and Bolivar's army hastened south along the western shore of the lake of Reyes to the marshy plain of Junin at its southern end, where he met Canterac hurrying up from Jauja with a slightly inferior force.

When Bolivar caught sight of the royalist army he held his infantry back in a defensible position, and sent his cavalry toward the enemy. Canterac rashly charged in person at the head of all his cavalry, but instead of the easy victory he expected, his squadrons were thrown into some disorder when they encountered the patriot lancers. The latter, however, were compelled to retreat, and fled into a defile, followed by the royalists. The royalists did not notice that a Peruvian squadron had been drawn aside, and scarcely were they in the defile than they were charged from the rear. The fugitive patriots in front rallied, and the disordered and huddled royalists, caught between two fires, could make no effective resistance. They were quickly cut to pieces and driven from the field. The whole affair[Pg 93] had not lasted three-quarters of an hour; the numbers engaged did not much exceed two thousand; the royalist loss was only two hundred and fifty, yet this battle of Junin produced almost decisive results. As the fugitive cavalry rode up to the protection of the muskets of the infantry, the latter retreated. Though Canterac was not pursued, he did not stop in his precipitate flight until he had nearly reached Cuzco, five hundred miles away, losing two thousand men by desertion on the road.

Leaving Sucré in command of the army, which now threatened Cuzco itself, Bolivar returned to Lima to look after his political interests, collect money, and urge the sending of reinforcements from Colombia. La Serna called in all his outlying divisions, while Sucré confidently scattered his forces. He underestimated the strength of the royalists, for to his consternation La Serna suddenly broke out of Cuzco at the head of ten thousand men, and before Sucré could concentrate, his opponent was threatening his rear and manœuvring to cut him off from his base. Happily, the royalists were compelled to march in a semicircle, and Sucré, by desperate exertions, united his forces and cut along the radius, coming in sight of La Serna just as the latter had succeeded in getting between him and the road to Jauja. Sucré's position was desperate. The valleys to the north were rising in favour of the royalists; a patriot column advancing from that direction to reinforce him was driven back; his provisions and ammunition were beginning to fail.[Pg 94] Sucré's army was La Serna's real objective. Even if he could shake off the pursuit, another march to Lima would be as barren of results as Canterac's last descent, and to leave the Colombian army at Guamanga would expose Cuzco and Bolivia to invasion. During three days the opposing armies marched and counter-marched among the ravines on the west bank of the Pampas River, and finally Sucré took the desperate resolution of crossing the deep gorge in which the river runs in order to reach the high grounds on the other side. He managed to get his main body over safely, but the Spaniards fell upon his rearguard, killing four hundred men and capturing one of his two cannon. The two armies were now opposite each other on the high, narrow, and broken plateau which lies between the Eastern and Central Cordilleras, separated only by the gorge of the Pampas. They marched in plain sight of each other, the royalists along the slopes of the Central Cordillera, while the patriots skirted the foothills of the Eastern. Sucré hoped to outrun the enemy and reach the main road to Jauja, but La Serna again outflanked him; he offered battle, but the viceroy had determined to engage under conditions where not a patriot could escape, and by skilful manœuvres the royal army succeeded in getting into the protection of the eastern range at a point north of Sucré. Irretrievably cut off from the Jauja road, convinced by his previous failures that he could not better his position by any further manœuvres, the Colombian general resolved again to offer battle, although this time upon a field chosen by La Serna.[Pg 95] He ceased marching and allowed the enemy to dispose their forces at will.

On the 8th of September, 1824, La Serna's army, numbering eight thousand five hundred men—of whom only five hundred were Spaniards—encamped on the high grounds overlooking the little plain of Ayacucho, which sloped gently eastward to the little village of Quinua. To the left the level ground was bounded by a deep and precipitate ravine, and on the right by a valley which, though less difficult, was impracticable for fighting. Sucré's army lay at the eastern extremity of the plain, at the edge of the slope which rises from Quinua. Behind was no cover to re-form in if defeated. His forces were a little less than six thousand, and he had only one cannon against the enemy's eleven, but three-fourths of his men were the pick of the Colombian veterans and the rest Peruvians of the highest spirit. Tired of interminable marching through the mountains, isolated in a hostile region, starvation staring them in the face, confident of their superiority, man for man, to the royalists, and led by fiery young generals,—Sucré was only thirty-one and his chief lieutenant twenty-five,—they welcomed the opportunity to fight it out once for all, face to face and man to man.

The morning sun of the 9th rose radiant behind the mountains where the Spaniards lay encamped. Sucré deployed his army in the open plain, riding down the line exclaiming, "Soldiers, on your deeds this day depends the fate of South America," while the Spanish columns descended in perfect order from the heights. La Serna realised that his men would[Pg 96] not fight with the same spirit as the patriots and that defeat might be followed by wholesale desertion, but he counted on his artillery and the reserve he had left on the high ground as a sure refuge in case of a reverse.

The story of the battle is soon told. The patriots advanced to meet the Spanish attack; musketry volleys on both sides did terrific execution, and the two armies met bayonet in hand. On the left the Spanish columns were unable to make any impression on the Colombian infantry, and while the conflict was still undecided the royalist cavalry rashly charged, hoping to strike a deciding blow. But they were met by a counter-charge of the patriot squadrons and rolled back in defeat. The whole left of the royalist army dispersed, and such was the confusion that the impetuously pursuing Colombians reached the Spanish camp and spiked the artillery, defeating on their way the enemy's centre. In the meantime the Spanish right under Valdez had outflanked the Peruvians who held that part of the line and driven them back, but before he could reach the patriot centre the battle had been decided. Attacked by the victorious cavalry, Valdez's men were cut to pieces, and by one o'clock in the after noon the Spanish army, except the reserve under Canterac, had ceased to exist as an organised body. Of the royalists fourteen hundred were dead and seven hundred wounded, while the patriots had lost six hundred wounded and three hundred dead. The viceroy was wounded and a prisoner, his men deserting and dispersing by hundreds. Canterac sued[Pg 97] for terms, and that afternoon fourteen generals, five hundred and sixty-eight officers, and three thousand two hundred privates became prisoners of war. Never was a victory more complete and decisive than Ayacucho. The war for independence was over. Only under Olañeta in far southern Bolivia and at Callao castle did a Spaniard remain under arms. Sucré marched to Cuzco, where he rested and refitted and then went on to Puno and La Paz. Olañeta's troops deserted as the Colombian approached, and the last of the Spanish generals fell at the hands of his own men as he was bravely trying to suppress a mutiny. Callao castle held out for thirteen months, and with its surrender was hauled down the last Spanish ensign which floated on the South American mainland.

[Pg 98]



If ever country began an independent existence without any basis for a strong, ordered, and stable government, that country was the Peru of 1826. The interior inhabited by Indians long held in abject subjection by the Spanish generals, the long strip of coast divided by local and factional jealousies, the nation had already miserably failed to unite in face of defeats suffered from the Spaniards, or of the military preponderance first of the Argentines and then of the Colombians.

In 1825 all thought of open resistance to Bolivar was manifest folly. Peru was his to do with as he pleased. He went through the farce of summoning a congress and offering to resign his dictatorship, but with thousands of Colombian troops encamped at Lima, it was natural that he should be begged to retain the direction of affairs on his own terms. The "liberator" devoted all his energies to laying the foundations for a great military confederation with himself as its life head. Venezuela, New Granada, and Ecuador were already united under[Pg 99] the name of the United States of Colombia, of which he was president. He hoped to make his tenure permanent by imposing an aristocratic and centralising constitution providing for a life president. The submissive Peruvian congress agreed to adopt his system, and the dictator set out on a triumphal tour to put it in application in upper Peru. Travelling along the coast to Arequipa, he crossed the Cordillera to La Paz, and thence proceeded over the Titicacan plateau to Charcas and Potosí. There he created a new nation which, in his honour, was named Bolivia; wrote its Constitution with his own hand; and, having installed Sucré as life president, returned to Lima at the beginning of 1826.

Apparently Bolivar's system was dominant from the Caribbean to the Argentine pampas, and he regarded himself as certain soon to be virtual emperor of all South America. But the instinct of local pride was growing; the signs of Peru's wish to be rid of him could not be ignored, and the new congress he had summoned was abruptly dismissed. In September the news of disturbances in Venezuela, which foreshadowed the breaking up of Colombia, made it necessary for Bolivar to hasten north. He left General Lara at Lima, but that officer failed to keep the unruly mercenaries upon whom his power depended in good humour. A mutiny broke out; Lara was arrested and deported, and the mutineers entered into negotiations with the Peruvian leaders. The money demanded was soon raised and the Colombian soldiers shortly embarked, leaving the field [Pg 100]free for the local chiefs to fight among themselves for supreme power. General Santa Cruz, though by birth a Bolivian, had great influence anions the few Peruvian troops, and tried to forestall his competitors by seizing the direction of affairs and summoning a congress, but General La Mar, himself born at Cuenca in Ecuador, was stronger. The latter secured the selection of his friends, and when congress met he had a two-thirds majority and became president. So long as Sucré remained in control of Bolivia there could, however, be no certainty that Colombian rule might not be re-established, but he was already in trouble on account of the mutinous disposition of his troops. When the Peruvians sent against him a hastily gathered force he was compelled to withdraw, the Bolivarian Constitution was abolished, and Santa Cruz made himself supreme in Bolivia.


Encouraged by this success, La Mar determined to wrest Guayaquil and Cuenca from Colombia. Bolivar, already furious over the defection of Peru and Bolivia, made a formal declaration of war, although he was too much occupied with his own troubles in New Granada and Venezuela to go in person to the frontier. General Flores, whom he had put in charge of Ecuador, made preparations to resist La Mar, Sucré came to direct the operations, a Peruvian naval expedition captured Guayaquil, and La Mar's main army of four thousand men occupied the province of Loja and penetrated within forty miles of Cuenca, only to be defeated. The Peruvian president signed a treaty giving up his conquests, but he was no sooner safe in his own country than he repudiated it and refused to surrender Guayaquil. His defeat had, however, cost him his prestige at home, and one of his generals, Gamarra, revolted and declared himself dictator.

Gamarra had been chief of staff at Ayacucho; he was a good soldier, but, like most of his companions, had no conception of constitutional government, and thought the men whose bravery had redeemed Peru from the Spaniards' ipso facto entitled to govern. Force was the only method he knew to secure obedience, and under his administration taxes were[Pg 102] arbitrarily increased, citizens exiled without trial, and the country virtually governed by martial law. Until the last year of his administration Gamarra held the country fairly quiet, but as the end of his legal term in 1833 approached, the question of the succession plunged Peru into an indescribable anarchy. Gamarra's enemies got control of the assembly called to frame a permanent Constitution and illegally named a president, while Gamarra proclaimed one of his own partisans. Every military chief who could command the support of a few soldiers acted on his own responsibility. Dictators and soi-disant presidents were put up and pulled down one after another in a bewildering succession. Orbegoso, La Fuente, Vista Florida, Nieto, San Roman, Vidal, Gamarra, and Salaverry were each proclaimed supreme within the next year. Combinations of the different chiefs formed, dissolved, and re-formed with perplexing rapidity. Two bands would fight a bloody battle one day and the next would fall into each other's arms and swear eternal friendship.

Salaverry, a chief only thirty years old and remarkable for his dash and energy, succeeded in establishing himself pretty firmly at Lima, while Gamarra held Cuzco. Orbegoso, who had received a majority of votes in congress, entered into negotiations with Santa Cruz, the strong dictator of Bolivia, agreeing to everything to get help against Salaverry and Gamarra. The wily Bolivian had planned to divide Peru and unite the fragments with Bolivia into a confederation. At the head of[Pg 103] five thousand men he advanced on Cuzco and wiped out Gamarra. The fiery Salaverry did not wait to be trapped at Lima, but left the capital with his whole force and hastened south. Not daring to attack Santa Cruz's vastly superior army, he slipped around to Arequipa, laying that unhappy town under contribution and impressing its citizens into his army. The Bolivians followed; he evacuated Arequipa, and evaded them for a time, but they finally caught him as he was making a daring attempt to cut their line of communication. His army was dispersed and destroyed and he and his principal officers were taken prisoners and mercilessly shot.

It seemed as if Peru might now, under the strong rule of Santa Cruz, enjoy the peace and order with which he had blessed Bolivia. The country was partitioned, Orbegoso becoming sub-president of North Peru, which included Lima, and General Herrera of South Peru. Santa Cruz was proclaimed protector of the Peru-Bolivian confederation and the new government formally inaugurated in the fall of 1836. He was an able and laborious administrator, zealous for economy and purity in public affairs, a friend of orderly government, a ruler who knew how to organise an efficient army while maintaining it in due subordination. But from the beginning it was evident that he held supremacy by a very uncertain tenure. The Peruvian military classes, so long and so absolutely dominant, were unanimously against him and his methods. The mercantile, professional, and moneyed classes were bound by a[Pg 104] hundred ties to the officers, and the agricultural peasantry, composed of Indians and negroes, took no part in public affairs. Sooner or later he must have come again into conflict with men of the Gamarra-Salaverry type, but the immediate peril was from Chile, whose power and energy—great even then, but so far unknown and underestimated—were thrown into the balance against him. The civil war of 1831 had resulted in the defeat of the Chilean liberals, and Freire, their leader, had fled to Peru and there received aid and comfort. The Chilean remonstrances remained unnoticed, and Santa Cruz's commercial policy was adverse. The defeated Peruvian generals swarmed into Chile and promised to aid an invasion.

The Chilean aristocracy could not resist this temptation to make their country the dominant power on the Pacific coast, and without any warning their ships sailed up from Valparaiso and captured the Peruvian fleet at Callao. This left the way clear to land troops on the Bolivian or Peruvian coasts. The first expedition went against the province of Arequipa. It landed without resistance and climbed to the city, while Santa Cruz's army maintained a defensive attitude. Lack of provisions soon compelled the Chilean general to promise that the war should not be renewed if he were allowed to depart. His government refused to ratify this agreement, and sent another expedition to the neighbourhood of Lima, which was accompanied by Gamarra and a large number of Peruvian exiles. Orbegoso declared his independence of Santa Cruz and gave[Pg 105] battle to the Chileans on his own responsibility, but was defeated and fled to Guayaquil.

A year elapsed before Santa Cruz could march an adequate army to the neighbourhood of Lima. As he approached, Gamarra and the Chileans evacuated the capital, retiring up the coast, whither the Bolivians followed. Repulsed in an attack on the rearguard of the fleeing allies, and feeling that he could not rely upon the Peruvians in his army, he took the defensive and posted his forces near the town of Yungay, occupying a hill called the Sugar Loaf. The allies stormed this hill by a brilliant assault in which they suffered greatly, but their unexpected success completely demoralised Santa Cruz's army. His men scattered in all directions, and though he escaped with his life, his prestige was destroyed. Gamarra became president of Peru, Bolivia revolted, and Santa Cruz made his way to a European exile.

During two years Gamarra kept his turbulent rivals in check, but he then rashly undertook a campaign against Bolivia, giving as a pretext the refusal of its government to expel the old adherents of Santa Cruz. The Peruvian army advanced into Bolivian territory, only to be overthrown in the bloody battle of Yngavi. Gamarra was killed and his best officers taken prisoners. The Bolivians made a counter-invasion, but a treaty of peace was soon signed. The removal of the common danger was the starting signal for a race to power among the Peruvian generals. Each of them had raised troops on his own account and now proposed to use them for his own benefit. They ignored the claims[Pg 106] of Gamarra's constitutional successor. La Fuente, Vivanco, and Vidal formed an alliance and proclaimed the latter dictator; Torico seized Lima and declared himself supreme chief; Vidal hastened down from Guamanga and defeated him; then Vivanco rebelled against Vidal and in his turn descended on the capital.

Twenty years of independence had brought Peru no nearer a stable government. Anarchy and civil war had been her lot, and the situation seemed to grow more desperate year by year. The country's only hope was a man in whom military talent would be combined with such strength of will and pertinacity of purpose that he would crush out lesser despots and restore and maintain order by the strong hand.


The Porfirio Diaz of Peru was at hand, a little, quiet, rough, and unpretentious soldier, who for twenty years had been modestly doing his duty, observing events and slowly maturing in character. All Peruvians knew him as one of the heroes of Ayacucho, but none appreciated his latent possibilities, and he had been passed by while his more showy companions of that historic day had pushed themselves to the front. Ramon Castilla had been a colonel on Gamarra's staff at Ayacucho, and was rewarded by being appointed prefect of his native province—Tarapaca, the most southern part of Peru. About 1830 he began to take part in the civil wars, but he never started a revolution on his own account, and always seems to have chosen the side that best promised stability and respect for the Constitution. To Orbegoso. Castilla was long faithful but abandoned him when he made alliance with the Bolivians. He went into exile when Santa Cruz was victorious, and returned with Gamarra and the Chileans. At the battle of Yungay he commanded the Peruvian contingent of the allied cavalry, and when Gamarra became president gave him his adhesion; but was taken prisoner at the fatal battle of Yngavi, where his chief was killed. Returning from captivity he found Peru torn to pieces by the armed rivalry of contending generals, and Menendez, the legal president, a fugitive. Unhesitatingly he threw himself into the conflict against those whose claims[Pg 108] rested on their own pronunciamentos. Landing at Arica with only five men, his cool audacity saved his life in the first attack; his little band increased; Vivanco's partisans were confounded by the rapidity of his movements; their opponents hastened to join him. Castilla obtained control of Arequipa and Cuzco, and finally, in July, 1844, completely overthrew Vivanco's army, putting an end to the civil war. The first use he made of his victory was to declare a general amnesty; the second to restore Menendez to the position of acting president. The latter called a convention, and ten months later Castilla was elected president of Peru without opposition.

The country realised at once that it was in the hands of a master—a man strong enough to be generous, but with whom it was not safe to trifle. Almost instantaneously commerce felt the impulse which assured peace always gives. The turbulent military leaders found their occupation slipping away, while the orderly elements of the community grew in power. At heart the vast majority of the people were law-abiding, and the class which promoted revolutions was numerically an insignificant element of the population. But it was not alone Castilla's personal force of character, his shrewdness as a politician, his prestige as a general, his popularity so nobly won by generosity and moderation, which made his position secure. At the moment he assumed supreme power bountiful Providence placed in his hands riches untold. Holding the strings of a purse into which poured the millions[Pg 109] from the guano and nitrate deposits, he could reward his friends, keep his troops contented by regular pay, relieve agriculture of taxation, place the disordered finances on a sound footing, and promote general prosperity by works of public utility. Europe suddenly realised the value of the bird manure found on the desert islands of the Peruvian coast, and soon hundreds of ships were coming annually to load the precious fertiliser.

Instead of squandering this fairy gift on the enrichment of his creatures, or on the creation of a vast, useless, and wasteful swarm of office-holders,—the hardest of all temptations for a South American politician to resist,—Castilla paid interest on the foreign debt which Peru had incurred during the war of independence, and refunded it, with the accrued interest, that already amounted to more than the principal. The internal debt was also consolidated, care being taken to admit no fictitious claims; telegraphs and railways were constructed; steam vessels added to the navy; and all legitimate branches of the administration adequately provided for. But the moment Castilla's strong hand was removed, extravagance and corruption grew to alarming proportions. Under General Echenique, his successor, public offices and pensions were multiplied; concessions were granted not to promote honestly new industries, but to favourites to be sold for what they would bring; and finally a measure was rushed through congress to extend the time fixed by Castilla for presenting claims to be funded in the internal debt. It was openly charged that the[Pg 110] ministerial ring had arranged to put themselves on the roll of national creditors. Public opinion was scandalised, and the discontent and jealousy soon showed itself in open revolt. The first insurrection was suppressed, but in the beginning of 1854 Castilla decided to put himself at the head of the movement against Echenique. Though the government regulars were better armed and provided than the militia which rallied around Castilla, the latter advanced from one position to another and finally overthrew the president in the decisive battle of La Palma. Echenique fled the country and Castilla assumed the reins of power once more, not to lay them down until 1862, when he voluntarily retired to private life. His second administration was as orderly as his first except for a local insurrection at Arequipa. He was not, however, so successful in restraining the predatory disposition of the Peruvian politicians and was unable to restore the administration to its old economical basis. The eighteen years of almost uninterrupted peace which elapsed between the beginning of Castilla's first administration and his retirement changed the face of Peru. A generation had grown up to whom the early years of independence were only a tradition. War, age, banishment, discouragement had thinned the ranks of the Ayacucho veterans, and the days were gone when one of them had merely to issue a pronunciamento to be forthwith hailed as president, dictator, supreme chief, protector, regenerator, by a turbulent soldiery and a fickle, ambitious Creole aristocracy. Peru's subsequent troubles have been financial, not military.[Pg 111]

In 1860 the Constitution which still governs the country was adopted. Framed under Castilla's influence it retains the centralised system of provincial government through prefects appointed from Lima, and gives the executive preponderant powers, although it is liberal and humane in its guaranties to the citizen. Slavery and Indian tribute, which continued to exist until 1855, are forbidden; forced recruiting, the scourge of old revolutionary days, is a crime; all Peruvians who can read and write, who own property or pay taxes, are entitled to vote.

Castilla was succeeded by his old friend and companion in arms, General San Roman, a straightforward soldier who resembled his chief in his unquestioning obedience to lawful authority, but whose unfortunate death six months after his inauguration prevented him from demonstrating whether he possessed the same statesmanlike qualities. Vice-President Pezet peacefully took his place. Castilla had encouraged foreign immigration into the coast valleys, so admirably adapted to cotton and sugar, but where labour was scarce. Chinese coolies had come in large numbers, and the flattering offers had also attracted some Europeans. Among the latter were seventy Basque families, who shortly claimed that they were badly treated. Making a protest against a breach of contract committed by the proprietor of the estate on which they were working, they were attacked and some of them killed. The criminals escaped punishment, and the Spanish government made an international question of the affair, finally demanding an apology[Pg 112] and three millions of dollars as indemnity. This being refused Spain broke off diplomatic relations and sent a powerful fleet, which seized the Chincha guano islands. Too weak alone to bid defiance to the Spanish ships, Pezet temporised, meanwhile asking Chile for help, and hoping for the early arrival of war-ships ordered in Europe. But the Spaniards pressed him so hard that he thought himself forced to yield to their demands. He concluded an agreement derogatory to the national honour, and a terrific outburst of public indignation followed. Prado, prefect of Arequipa, made preparations to march on Lima and depose the pusillanimous president; the Chileans, who had meantime determined to join in resistance to Spanish aggression, supported the insurrection; the terrible old Castilla went himself to the presidential mansion and gave Pezet a sound rating. The latter gave in and offered his resignation. Prado became supreme chief, issued a declaration of war against Spain, and signed a treaty of alliance with Chile. During the absence of the Spanish fleet the batteries at Callao were heavily reinforced, and an immense force of volunteers flocked to man the guns. When the Spanish ships appeared and, gallantly running into range, opened fire on the 2d of May, 1866, they were met by a determined resistance. Though the Peruvians suffered most severely—two thousand being killed and wounded—their opponents were unable to effect a landing or obtain the slightest concession, and their ships were so badly damaged that they abandoned further hostilities.[Pg 113]

Prado now found that the unconstitutional character of his position had only temporarily been ignored when he attempted to hold the power against General Canseco, second vice-president, who was Pezet's lawful successor. Castilla, now over seventy years old, landed in his native province, determined to unseat him. But the enfeebled frame of the aged warrior was unable to withstand fatigues and he died of exposure on the march. Canseco, however, roused Arequipa. Prado failed to take the place by assault, and gave up further opposition. Meanwhile Colonel Balta had headed a formidable insurrection in the north, and though Canseco was allowed to fill out his legal term, Balta's friends controlled the electoral college, and he was inaugurated president in August, 1868.

With his accession Peru entered definitely upon a new era. The race for fortune absorbed the energies of the ruling class; cane and cotton planting, nitrate mining, railroad building under foreign direction, opened up vistas of profit without labour; social and civil intrigue replaced fighting and pronunciamentos. Castilla's liberal refunding of the old debt, the scrupulous regularity with which international obligations had been met, and the immense and increasing revenue from nitrate and guano, gave Peru credit in the money markets of Europe. Balta and his advisers were full of schemes for the material progress of the country and their own enrichment. A great railway system was projected and more than two thousand miles constructed at a cost of near forty million pounds.[Pg 114] Enormous sums were spent on port works; expensive moles and piers built in the wave-lashed roadsteads which are Peru's only harbours; for the first time serious efforts were made to explore and develop the forested plain east of the Andes; the city of Iquitos was built at the head of deep-water navigation on the Amazon; office-holders multiplied; and new parks and public buildings embellished the cities. English capitalists eagerly took the bonds which the Peruvian government recklessly issued, and the foreign debt increased from five millions sterling to forty-nine millions before the end of Balta's term—a sum upon which two-thirds of the gross revenue would hardly suffice to pay interest. Such a debt was truly stupendous for a country most of whose population of scant two millions and a half was poor, non-commercial, non-industrial, and without other resources than a rude agriculture. Leaving out the proceeds of the guano monopoly and the nitrate royalties, the total revenues could not pay the interest.


Don Manuel Pardo, Peru's first civilian president, had already been constitutionally selected as Balta's successor, and the latter was within a few days of the end of his term, when a terrible catastrophe happened. Among the poor relations whom the luckless president had preferred to positions in the army were four brothers named Gutierrez—the sons of a muleteer near Arequipa. Suddenly one brother appeared at the head of his battalion and took possession of the great square in the centre of the capital, while another forced his way into the president's [Pg 116] study, revolver in hand, arrested the chief of state, and locked him up. Warned in time the president-elect escaped on board a man-of-war, and the eldest Gutierrez was proclaimed supreme chief. The people of Lima soon recovered from their stupefaction and a scene of terrific street-fighting followed. One of the conspirators was shot by the mob as he went to the railway station on his way to Callao. His brothers retaliated by murdering the captive president, but they soon fell before the rifles of the populace. Their bodies were hung up in the cathedral by the infuriated people, while the president-elect returned and assumed his functions.

Pardo's four years were one continual struggle against impending bankruptcy. Though he brought some order into public accounts, it was only by all sorts of expedients that he managed to keep up interest payments. He easily suppressed an insurrection led by Pierola in 1874; his intellectual and moral force united about him the educated and property-holding classes in a party which survives to this day; and he left the reputation of having been the best president who ever ruled Peru. However, no efforts could avail more than merely to put off the evil day of reckoning. The rapid exhaustion of the guano deposits precipitated the disaster. Payment of interest was suspended in 1876 and the same year Pardo turned over the government to General Prado with the currency at fifty-per-cent. discount and Peruvian bonds selling in London at twelve.

[Pg 117]



The nitrate region extends along the narrow desert coast of the Pacific for three hundred and fifty miles. Peru owned the northern one hundred and fifty, and prior to 1866 Bolivia claimed the remainder. After the discovery of the precious mineral the industrious and energetic Chileans crowded up the coast, while the Bolivians were shut in behind their high Andes. Chile insisted that her true boundary lay as far north as the 23d degree, and took vigorous measures to safeguard the interests of the Chilean nitrate companies. In 1866 Bolivia reluctantly made a treaty by which the 24th degree was agreed upon as the formal boundary, although the Chilean miners were allowed to continue their operations in the productive regions north of that line and their taxes were not to be increased without their government's consent. This treaty gave rise to constant disputes, and as the nitrate, silver, and copper business of the neutral zone became more profitable, the Bolivian government pressed harder for a larger revenue. The[Pg 118] Peruvian government had planned to secure a control of the output by the state purchase and operation of nitrate properties, and such a trust would prove ineffective unless the Bolivian government had a free hand with the Chilean companies. In 1872 Peru and Bolivia made a secret treaty of alliance. Its provisions soon became public, and Chile not unreasonably believed it to be aimed especially at her miners' operating on Bolivian soil. She promptly began purchasing iron-clads. It was a favourite saying of old Marshal Castilla that when Chile bought a battle-ship Peru should buy two, but the Lima government was too poor to follow the good advice, and the fatal year of 1879 found her naval force inferior to that of her rival.

At this juncture the Bolivian congress voted not to ratify a treaty negotiated with Chile four years before, and passed a law imposing heavy taxes on the nitrate business. The Chilean companies protested and resisted; their government backed them up, and sent a fleet to protect their interests. Enraged at the seizure of her ports, Bolivia declared war in March, 1879. Peru could not be expected to remain quiet. Not only was she bound by the solemn agreement of the treaty of alliance, but she had an imperative selfish interest in preventing the disputed nitrate territory from falling into Chile's hands. She began to gather an army on the southern frontier, but she was illy prepared for war and Chile knew it. Her offers of arbitration were promptly rejected; the Chilean government had determined to strike both allies at the same time,[Pg 119] and presented an ultimatum, demanding that Peru abrogate the secret treaty, cease warlike preparations, and remain neutral in the war with Bolivia. Failing immediate and categorical compliance war was declared in April.

What had proven true in the time of Pizarro, San Martin, and Santa Cruz, was still true—the successful invasion or defence of Peru depended on the control of the Pacific. Whichever power should obtain a naval preponderance would surely get the nitrate territory—a rainless, cropless region where an army must be sustained by supplies brought by sea—and then could attack the other at its capital. Chile had two new iron-clads, the Cochrane and the Blanco, besides two good cruisers and several gunboats. The two Peruvian iron-clads, the Huascar and the Independencia, were older, though their speed was superior. The Chileans opened the war on the ocean by blockading the Peruvian ports in the extreme south, but Miguel Grau, the able seaman and intrepid fighter who commanded the Peruvian fleet, at once attacked the Chilean cruisers which were lying off Iquique. The Huascar rammed and sank the Esmeralda, but while his other iron-clad was pursuing the Covadonga, she ran upon the rocks and was lost. This was in reality a deathblow to Peru, but the gallant Grau devotedly determined to see what his single ship, rapidly manœuvred, could do to make unsafe the embarkation of a Chilean army. For four months he terrorised the coast from Antofagasta to Valparaiso. Chile could not take a step until she had disposed of Grau and his[Pg 120] dreaded Huascar. The blockade of Iquique was abandoned as useless; the iron-clads ordered back to Valparaiso to be cleaned and repaired so that they might match the Huascar in speed; new officers were put in command; and on October the first the Chilean fleet set sail from Valparaiso on a systematic chase for the Peruvian iron-clad. On reaching Antofagasta it was divided into two squadrons, the Cochrane leading one and the Blanco the other, and they immediately began patrolling the coast.

The Huascar, accompanied by a consort, the Union, was cruising in the neighbourhood, and at daylight on the 8th of October the first Chilean division sighted her. Grau fled, and was gradually drawing away from his pursuers when, to his horror, three columns of smoke appeared on the horizon directly forward. He was caught between the two Chilean squadrons. The Union had speed enough to slip by the enemy, but the Huascar was too slow. Grau's only chance was to close with the Cochrane before the Blanco could come up astern, and he went straight for the former. At half past nine the Huascar fired the first shot, the distance being about three thousand yards. It fell short and only the fourth shot took effect. The Cochrane then replied, and though the practice on both sides was wild, the two ships soon came so close that the machine guns were brought into effective play. A shot disabled the Huascar's turret, and in desperation Grau tried repeatedly to ram, but was foiled by the quick turns which the Cochrane's twin screws enabled her to make. Just half an hour after the action began a[Pg 121] shell struck his conning-tower, blowing the heroic Peruvian into atoms. A few minutes later the Blanco came up and added her missiles to the storm of shots which the Cochrane and the smaller consorts were pouring upon the doomed Huascar. Nevertheless no one thought of striking. Hardly had Grau been blown to pieces than the executive officer had his head taken clean off by a shell from the Blanco, and the officer next in seniority was severely wounded. A few moments later the lieutenant who succeeded to the command was killed, and his successor, in turn, was wounded before the end of the action. When the ship finally struck, an hour and a half after the first shot was fired, one of the juniors was in command, and sixty-four of the complement of one hundred and ninety-three officers and men lay killed or wounded on the deck.

The Chileans were now in absolute control of the sea, and could land an army when and where they pleased. The Bolivian sea-coast, inhabited almost exclusively by Chilean miners, and inaccessible overland from Bolivia proper, had fallen into Chile's hands at the opening of the war, but Grau's success in immobilising the Chilean navy had been taken advantage of by the Peruvians to ship nine thousand troops to their own nitrate province, where they could conveniently attack the Chileans who occupied the Bolivian territory to their south, or defend their own most valuable piece of property. But although this army was in Peruvian territory the naval victory of the Chileans isolated it almost completely. A hundred miles of rough, rainless desert,[Pg 122] intercepted by deep ravines transverse to the coast, separated it from Tacna, where fertile valleys begin and communication with the rest of Peru becomes possible.

By the end of October the Chilean army embarked at Antofagasta ten thousand strong and well provided with cavalry and the most modern artillery. Of Iquique and Pisagua, the two principal ports of the Peruvian nitrate country, the latter, which lies forty miles north of the former, was chosen as the less likely to be defended in force. Only a thousand men were found, who, in spite of a gallant resistance from their two small batteries and their rifle pits, were unable to prevent the landing of the Chileans protected by a tremendous fire from the fleet. Driven from the town the Peruvians could not even hold the top of the precipitous bluff until the arrival of reinforcements from Iquique. The Chileans relentlessly pushed their advantage and soon were in possession of the railroad for fifty miles into the interior and had six thousand men entrenched on a hill called San Francisco. Abundantly supplied with provisions and water they could afford to wait, while the allies, cut off from communications, must either attack at once or abandon the province. The Peruvian general chose the former alternative, but his troops arrived in front of San Francisco exhausted and thirsty after a twenty-miles' march across the dry desert. Only a small part of the army took part in the assault, and it was easily repulsed. Disheartened the allies fell back to the foot of the giant range which in[Pg 123]exorably barred their way to the east, and after a few days of suffering from hunger and thirst, took their way north among the barren foothills. The enemy sent a detachment to harass their march, but they turned on their pursuers and defeated them, and reached Tacna province hungry, ragged, half-armed, and generally demoralised.

Not only was the great nitrate province, the treasury of Peru, irretrievably lost, but every point on the coast, including Lima itself, laid open to attack. President Prado left the army at Tacna, went to Lima, and thence sailed for Europe, announcing that he was going to buy iron-clads. Hardly was he on board ship when a revolution broke out in the capital, and the restless Pierola, who had headed the latest attempts at insurrection, declared himself supreme chief. The Bolivians also deposed their unsuccessful president. Peru's revolutionary government, rushed into power on a wave of wounded national pride, embodied the more than Spanish haughtiness of the Creole aristocracy, and refused all concessions. The allies still had a large army at Tacna, not too demoralised to make a creditable resistance, although it was cut off from easy communication with the rest of Peru and Bolivia, and stood badly in need of arms, clothing, and ammunition. The Chilean ships blockaded Arica, the Tacna port, but the fast Union again showed her heels to the enemy's whole fleet, ran the blockade, and landed stores which put the allied army on a fighting footing.

Late in February, 1880, the Chileans disembarked[Pg 124] a fine army of fourteen thousand men at a seaport sixty miles north of the allies' main position, and lost no time in occupying the interior as far as Moquegua at the foot of the Andes. Their first object was to cut the allied armies off from any communication with their respective countries. A small Peruvian force made an attempt to hold Torata, a point strategically important because it commanded the entrance into the Andes from Bolivia and Peru, but was unsuccessful. The allied armies were now bottled up in a little valley where provisions would surely shortly fail. The Chileans advanced south across the desert upon Tacna, and the allies took a strong defensive position on a ridge, flanked by steep ravines, with a sloping glacis in front. Vastly superior in artillery, though only slightly outnumbering the allies, the Chileans thought themselves justified in assaulting the position. They opened the battle by a cannonade in which their magnificent Krupp guns did terrific execution, and under cover of the fire the infantry advanced in four columns of twenty-four hundred men each. Approaching the trenches they were met by a storm of rifle bullets through which they charged bayonet in hand.

Meanwhile the allies on the crest of the sand-hills suffered terribly from the plunging artillery fire. The Bolivians, holding the weakest part of the line, bore the brunt of the attack. Once the Chileans wavered, but a supporting cavalry charge quickly drove back the advancing enemy, and after two hours of desperate fighting the sturdy Bolivian Indians gave way, their position was carried, and the[Pg 125] allied army fled all along the line. Though the Chileans had lost over two thousand, the losses of the allies were greater. No way of retreat lay open; they scattered in confusion; and their army virtually ceased to exist. A couple of thousand Peruvians held out in Arica for a month, deliberately devoting themselves to certain death, but the place was carried by an assault in which quarter was neither given nor asked.

Peru now lay helpless at the mercy of the Chilean armies and fleet. The ports were blockaded and bombarded, while expeditions ravaged the fertile coast valleys. Nevertheless the Peruvians would not yield. The United States offered her mediation, and plenipotentiaries met to see if terms of peace could be arranged. Chile demanded the formal cession of the nitrate territory and an indemnity. The Peruvians refused such hard terms, hoping against hope for foreign intervention. This passive obstinacy enraged the Chilean government, and after a delay of several months it was determined to capture the capital and dictate terms at Lima. Late in December, 1880, a splendidly equipped army of twenty-six thousand men landed a short distance south of Lima and marched on the city. Only a few fragments of the Peruvian regular army had survived the defeats in the south, but the population rallied en masse to resist the invaders. At Chorrillos, a few miles south of Lima, the militia waited behind a hastily constructed line of defence. The assault of the Chilean regulars was irresistible; four thousand Peruvians perished, and as many[Pg 126] more were taken prisoners. The survivors fell back on a second line of defence, only six miles from Lima, and were there defeated in a second battle in which two thousand were killed and wounded. The Chilean losses in the two fights reached five thousand. On the following day the mayor of Lima formally surrendered the city, and on the 17th of January the Chilean army took possession. The helpless citizens were required to make up a contribution of a million dollars a month; the customs duties were confiscated, and the Chileans violated all the rules of civilised warfare by wantonly destroying the great and valuable public library—the best in South America.

Pierola escaped to Guamanga, but succeeded in rallying no forces. He gave it up and went to Europe. It became necessary to organise a government which could treat for peace. The citizens of Lima, with the consent of Chile, made Garcia Calderon provisional president, but when the discussion of terms began the Chileans repeated their demand for the unconditional cession of the nitrate territory, and Calderon did not dare assent. The enemy sent him prisoner to Santiago, while Iglesias in the northern departments, Caceres in the centre, and Carrillo in the south each kept up an independent resistance with a few militia. The Chileans made no serious attempt to conquer the interior, contenting themselves with pocketing the Peruvian customs revenues. This situation lasted two years and a half, until Iglesias came to the conclusion that peace could only be obtained by complete submission.[Pg 127] Caceres was, however, resolved upon further resistance and quarrelling with Iglesias, advanced into the latter's territory. He was intercepted by a Chilean expedition and his forces destroyed. This left Iglesias a clear field; he declared himself president and entered into negotiations with the Chileans, arranging a treaty of peace which was signed on the 20th of October, 1883. Five days later the Peruvian flag was once more hoisted in the capital. Sporadic risings against Iglesias were easily suppressed by Chilean bayonets; four thousand men remained to see that the treaty was ratified, and a convention finally ratified it in March. Its provisions differed little from the demands made by Chile three years before. The money indemnity was waived and half the guano proceeds were left to Peru's creditors. On the other hand, the provinces of Tacna and Arica were to be held by Chile for ten years, and at the end of that time a popular vote would decide who should retain them, the losing country receiving ten million dollars from the other. Better far for the interests of permanent peace had the fate of the provinces been definitely determined. Chile and Peru have never been able to agree upon the terms under which the plebiscite should be conducted; the former still retains the provinces and the latter still agitates for their recovery.

No sooner had the Chilean army left than Caceres began a civil war to oust Iglesias. For eighteen months the fighting continued with varying fortunes, but in December, 1885, Caceres surprised Lima when undefended; Iglesias resigned; a general[Pg 128] amnesty was proclaimed, and peace was restored to the distracted country. A junta assumed power and in the election which followed Caceres was chosen president, and in the middle of 1886 he entered upon the dreary task of re-organising Peru. The treasury was empty, the population had been decimated by a horribly destructive war during four years, the flourishing coast valleys with their cotton and sugar plantations had been laid under contribution, the mines had ceased to be worked, the guano and nitrate revenue was gone, the country was weighed down with a debt which could never be paid, and foreign creditors pressed for a settlement utterly beyond the abilities of the impoverished country. Rigid economies were enforced in all departments of the administration, but the most that could be hoped was to meet ordinary expenditure.

Peru had nothing to offer towards the immense foreign debt except her railways, and the British creditors finally agreed to the Grace contract, by which she was released from all responsibility for a sum amounting to over fifty millions sterling, in return for the cession of the state railways, the payment of eighty thousand pounds annually, and certain rights to the guano deposits, mines, and public lands. British pressure induced Chile to give up a large proportion of the guano proceeds, and in 1890 the contract was ratified and the "Peruvian Corporation" took over the vast properties conceded. Though disputes have arisen from time to time, the corporation has made some progress in extending lines to open up the mineral wealth on the plateau,[Pg 129] and a successful beginning has been made toward the exploitation of the rubber forests of the Amazon plain. It cannot be doubted that the industrial development of Peru must be greatly aided by the existence of this gigantic private enterprise which will apply the energy and economy characteristic of individual enterprise to undertakings governmental in magnitude.


Caceres made no change in the centralised system of government by prefects,—and the adminis[Pg 130]trative fabric survived, substantially untouched, the horrors of the Chilean war and the fighting between rival chiefs. Liberal tendencies were shown in efforts to place the Indians on an equal political footing with the Peruvians of Spanish descent, although naturally the Creole aristocracy still dominates by reason of its intelligence. Considerable dissatisfaction was felt with Caceres' management of finances, but in 1890 he was succeeded by his friend, Colonel Bermudez, who continued his policy. Unfortunately for the peace of the country the latter died in 1893. His legal successor was Solar, first vice-president, but an intrigue in the cabinet prevented the latter's peaceable recognition. Caceres' influence was dominant in the administration, and a semblance of an election recalled him to power. General Pierola, who had led two unsuccessful insurrections—those of 1874 and 1878—and who had got power in 1880, only to lose it after the fall of Lima, saw his opportunity. Solar joined forces with him and revolt broke out against Caceres. The latter had completely lost the popularity won as the most determined champion of the national rights against Chilean aggression; his administration was bad; the public employees were unpaid; the meagre resources of the country were wasted on his favourites. Though his troops were at first successful against Pierola's and Solar's hasty levies, the revolution recovered from each defeat until finally the insurrectionists entered Lima itself. The enemies of Caceres within the town arose and for two days its streets were the scene of[Pg 131] bloody barricade fighting. Rarely does a civilised city pass through such a frightful experience as Lima on the 18th of July, 1895. There had been no time to extinguish the street lamps, and all night long the bands of revolutionists advanced, fighting by the lights which brightly illumined the carnage except where extinguished by rifle balls. Though his forces were gradually driven back, Caceres stubbornly refused to resign, and at last only yielded to the urgent representations of the foreign ministers, leaving power in the hands of a junta.

With his withdrawal peace was restored, except for the resistance which his partisans kept up for a short time in Arequipa, and this peace has never since been disturbed. The junta served until an election could be held, in which Pierola was chosen president by an overwhelming and really popular majority. In 1899 he was succeeded by Romana, an engineer who had been a member of the outgoing ministry, and he, in his turn, had as successor, Señor Candamo, who took his seat in 1903. Historically the new president represents the old aristocratic party founded by Pardo—a party which had been pushed to one side in the financial confusion which preceded and the civil disorders which succeeded the terrible Chilean war by the more radical and democratic elements known as Pierolistas and constitutionalists. The return to a participation in affairs of elements which include so large a proportion of the intelligence, self-respect, and wealth of the nation is one of the most hopeful signs of the times. The Peruvian aristocracy has learned its[Pg 132] lesson in the hard school of adversity, and vies with the commercial classes in sober, serious attention to industrial and governmental matters. Each division of the people seems to wish to bear its share in the financial, political, and moral regeneration of their country.

Peruvian politics are conducted en famille. Economic and social questions are discussed and settled amicably among the ruling coteries and do not as in Europe and North America form the basis for the organisation of political parties. Though the country is steadfastly Catholic, clericalism is not, as in Ecuador, Colombia, and Bolivia, regarded as a menace by those who hold liberal views, and the provinces have never made any insistent demand for a larger share of autonomy, as in Argentina and Colombia. As a rule the elections are free and translate the popular will. Peru has long since passed the stage of pronunciamentos and military government; since Castilla's time the successful revolutions have been few, and have always been undertaken for the maintenance of the regular constitutional order—not its overthrow—or have been inspired by national feeling when the fatherland was in danger.


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About a century before Pizarro landed, Tupac Yupanqui, the greatest of the Inca conquerors, crossed the rough mountains, bleak plateaux, and waterless deserts which lie between the habitable part of Bolivia and the irrigable valleys of northern Chile, and rapidly overran the coast for six hundred miles. As one goes south the plain broadens, the short rivers flowing from the mountains grow larger, the rainfall and the area available for cultivation increase, and from Santiago a wide valley, the heart of Chile, stretches between the Andes and the coast range, sustaining a dense population. As far south as the river Maule, the limit of Tupac's conquests, irrigation is necessary for crops. In all these valleys dwelt various tribes whose system of agriculture and civilisation was similar to that of the Incas. Only the southern peoples inhabiting the rainy and forested regions beyond the Maule refused to submit. Huaina Capac, Tupac's son, was once obliged to undertake a campaign to consolidate the Inca power, but Chile north of the Maule became thoroughly attached to the Cuzco dynasty.[Pg 136]

Little resistance was encountered when Almagro invaded this country just after Pizarro's entry into the Peruvian capital. He advanced as far as the Maule, finding everywhere a population probably as dense as that of the present day. Agriculture was highly developed; the people were clothed in substantial stuffs of their own manufacture; they mined copper, tin, and lead, and possessed excellent arms and tools. The tribes all spoke the same language, but each enjoyed a degree of autonomy under its own chiefs. Their habits were democratic; they loved freedom and independence; the Inca socialistic system did not prevail; and each farmer owned his own field and could transmit it to his children. The race was large and vigorous, the selected survivors from among immigrants who had been greatly improved by countless generations of struggle in the more rigorous climate. As one approached the cold and rainy mountains of southern Chile their characteristics became more pronounced and south of the Maule warlike, half-savage tribes proudly maintained their independence. Almagro's sole pre-occupation was gold, but he vainly searched the valleys as far as the southern boundary of the Inca empire. Here he encountered serious resistance from the independent tribes, and though victorious in his fights, concluded that it was not worth while remaining in such a cold and goldless country. He abandoned Chile and returned to Peru, there to meet his death at Pizarro's hands.


Pizarro soon took measures to extend the Spanish conquests to all parts of the Inca empire, and for Chile he selected his quartermaster, Pedro de Valdivia, an active and experienced soldier. Late in 1540—the summer season in those latitudes—Valdivia, with two hundred Spaniards and a large number of Indian auxiliaries, crossed the Andes and arrived at Copiapo, the northernmost inhabited valley. Like Almagro he met no opposition as he pushed his way south for four hundred and fifty miles. Arriving at the great valley of Chile, in that favoured region he founded the city of Santiago, which has ever since remained the capital and most important place in the country. The people of the neighbourhood attacked the settlement and burned half the houses, but they were soon decisively defeated. Nevertheless, the invaders position was critical; many of them wished to return; a mutiny[Pg 138] was on the point of breaking out; but at this juncture the fortunate discovery of valuable gold mines near Santiago hushed all talk of abandoning the country.

Firmly established at Santiago, Valdivia next turned his attention to the northern provinces, and founded a city at Coquimbo, about two hundred and fifty miles north of the capital, which became the centre of Spanish power in that region. In 1545 he advanced into the country south of Santiago, where the Promaucians welcomed him as an ally against their hereditary foes, the Araucanians, a fierce and powerful confederacy dwelling beyond the river Biobio, which flows into the Pacific in latitude 37°. By the following year Spanish influence was dominant north of that river. Valdivia, with many of his men, temporarily returned to Peru to aid in the suppression of Gonzalo's revolt, but as soon as civil war was over he came back to Chile with his title of governor confirmed by viceregal authority. He had found Lima swarming with hungry adventurers who eagerly followed him, hoping for grants of lands and Indian slaves, or to make their fortunes in mining. With their help the conquest and settlement of all Chile as far south as the Maule was effectually completed. The land was apportioned among the cavaliers, each becoming a sort of feudal baron, and in effect creating a landed aristocracy which has continued to rule the country to the present day.

The process of incorporation did not stop at the Maule, but included the Promaucians and most of[Pg 139] the other tribes between that river and the Biobio. Beyond the latter stretched the Araucanian territory for two hundred miles, and Valdivia now undertook the conquest of the southern forests where the Inca arms had never been able to penetrate. His first step was to found Concepcion near the mouth of the Biobio. The neighbouring territory belonged to allies of the confederacy, and the Araucanians felt great alarm at such an aggression. The grand council was summoned, composed of the head-chiefs of the four nations, and the chiefs—called ulmens—of the provinces and tribes into which these nations were divided and subdivided. In accordance with immemorial custom, the deliberations lasted three days, and the humblest warrior was permitted to give his opinion before war was voted. Once the determination reached and a general, or "toqui," elected, each soldier put on his leather cuirass, picked up his heavy war club, and, four thousand strong, the tribesmen sallied forth to attack the Spaniards. Musketry volley and cavalry charge compelled the Araucanians to retreat, after a hotly contested combat which lasted several hours. These Indians, strong and sturdy dwellers in an invigorating climate, were more formidable foes than the Spaniards had yet encountered in South America. Though amazed at the deadly effect of the strange weapons which the invaders used, they were not demoralised. Like the Saracens they believed that death in battle was a passport to paradise, war was their principal business, and the youth were trained up to the trade of arms. At close quarters they[Pg 140] were almost irresistible; their clubs and spears, wielded with reckless bravery, matched the swords of the Spaniards, and as soon as they learned how to take advantage of cover in approaching an enemy provided with firearms, the result of a battle between them and the Castilians became doubtful.

During the year 1551 Valdivia occupied himself in fortifying Concepcion and making preparations for an invasion of Araucania. Heavy reinforcements came and he advanced encountering at first no serious opposition. He founded the city of Imperial, one hundred and fifty miles south of Concepcion, and thence pushed a hundred miles farther on, where he established a seaport, calling it by his own name. Returning north in 1553, on his way he built several forts in the Araucanian territory, and at Santiago found a fresh body of troops, and, what was even more important, a supply of horses. Two hundred men were despatched across the Andes to begin the conquest of what is now known as the province of Mendoza in the Argentine Republic. Fancying that he had practically completed the subjection of Chile, Valdivia sent a messenger to Spain to sue for the title of Marquis and a perpetual governorship, and fitted out an exploring expedition to the Straits of Magellan in the vain hope of opening up direct sea communication with the mother country.

The Araucanians had, however, not relaxed their determination to rid themselves of the white invaders. News came that the confederacy had put an army of ten thousand men in the field, and that the[Pg 141] outlying forts had been stormed. Valdivia at once advanced from Concepcion at the head of his forces, numbering two hundred Spaniards and five thousand Indian auxiliaries. A hundred miles south of the city he came in sight of the Araucanian army. For some time the Indian commander manœuvred cautiously, endeavouring to draw the Spaniards into a position where he could charge without suffering too much from the dreaded artillery. Finally battle was joined, and despite the destructive fire the Indians managed to come to close quarters. As soon as these fierce warriors reached the enemy's line all was up with the invaders. The Spanish army was literally annihilated. Valdivia himself fled, but was pursued and quickly captured. Brought before the Indian general he begged for his life, agreeing to quit Chile with all the Spaniards, but his protestations were cut short by the war club of an old chief standing near.

The Spanish settlers south of Concepcion fled for refuge to the ports of Imperial and Valdivia, abandoning the other towns and forts. A young chief named Lautaro, who had been captured and baptised years before by Valdivia, but who had escaped to his own people, led a considerable army to the Biobio, destroyed an expedition sent against him, and drove the enemy out of Concepcion. If the Indians had understood the art of besieging fortified places, Imperial and Valdivia and probably Santiago itself would now have fallen, and the Spaniards would have been expelled from the southern and better half of Chile. Lautaro led north two thousand Araucan[Pg 142]ians, ravaged the lands of the Promaucians beyond the Maule, and penetrated to the neighbourhood of the capital. Repeated expeditions sent against him were defeated; the dismayed Spaniards urgently called for help from Peru and recalled the adventurers from Argentina. Happily the civilised tribes of northern and central Chile remained faithful, and the bulk of the Araucanian forces was occupied besieging Valdivia and Imperial,—a fruitless undertaking so long as provisions could be thrown in by sea. Worst of all for the Indians smallpox broke out among them. At last the Spaniards surprised Lautaro's encampment near Santiago; the Araucanian leader fell dead, pierced by a dart; and his companions fought like wild beasts until every man was slain. This victory secured the safety of Santiago, and the Araucanians retired behind the Biobio.

Meanwhile Mendoza, the great pacificator and organiser, had come out to Lima and assumed the viceroyalty. Turbulent adventurers swarmed into Peru whom he thought could be better employed elsewhere. Southern Chile seemed just the place for these reckless, needy cavaliers, who were so anxious to carve out fiefs for themselves. Early in 1557, Garcia de Mendoza, son of the viceroy, was appointed captain-general and enjoined to reduce the Araucanians to obedience. He came accompanied by ten ships and a considerable force of Spaniards. Still larger forces were on their way overland from Peru. Cautiously landing troops and artillery at the deserted city of Concepcion, he had finished his defences before the confederacy could[Pg 143] mobilise its army. Though the Araucanians attacked with desperate fury, their charges were beaten back by the artillery fire. Re-forming on the other side of the Biobio, the Indians waited until Mendoza, who had meanwhile received a large reinforcement of cavalry, advanced. In the battle which followed they were defeated, but they had learned a lesson of prudence and they fought in front of forests into whose depths the Spanish cavalry could not pursue. Retreating slowly, they again gave battle, and, though again defeated, inflicted great losses on the Spanish infantry. Mendoza hanged his prisoners, and once more advanced, this time to the place where Valdivia had met his death. Here he founded a fortified town, naming it Cañete, after the hereditary title of his family. Leaving it heavily garrisoned, he went on to Imperial for provisions. In his absence the Indians unsuccessfully tried to carry Cañete by assault, and seeing the hopelessness of aggressive movements, they withdrew to the wooded districts and mountains, abandoning the open country and the sea-coast to the Spaniards. Mendoza pushed on beyond the southern limits of the Araucanian territory and discovered and explored the populous archipelago of Chiloë. On his way back he founded, on the mainland a hundred miles south of Valdivia, the city of Osorno.

The Araucanians were now shut in between the Andes and a semicircle of towns and forts; it seemed as if their final subjection would only be a question of time. Mendoza returned to Santiago, leaving a lieutenant to undertake a campaign of raids[Pg 144] and surprises. A few of the Araucanians remained in the field, and it was not until their veteran chief, Caupolican, was betrayed and pitilessly shot to death with arrows, that the whole confederacy again flew to arms under the command of his son. Marching on Concepcion, the Indians cut to pieces first one Spanish force of five hundred men and then another; and blockaded the city from the land side. The Spaniards, holding the sea, had no difficulty in pouring in reinforcements from Peru and Valparaiso, and the Indian army finally retreated. At Quiapo, between Concepcion and Cañete, it was defeated and nearly annihilated, its most celebrated chiefs and heroes perishing in the slaughter. Once more the Araucanians retired to their forests and mountains while the Spaniards rebuilt and improved the line of fortifications and took possession of the valuable gold mines of Villarica. But they could make no further impression on these indomitable Indians. For forty years the war continued, sometimes active, sometimes desultory, and with constantly varying fortunes. Year after year the Spaniards poured in reinforcements, and their expeditions more than once ravaged the remotest parts of the Araucanian territory. But as soon as the armies retired the unflagging Indians would return to the attack, cutting off isolated bands of settlers and surprising forts and towns.

About 1593, the able chieftain Paillamachu was toqui of the confederacy. The incessant wars against the Araucanians had made the province such a continual drain on the Peruvian treasury, that[Pg 145] Mendoza, who had been promoted to the viceregal throne, determined to end this impossible situation in one way or another. A general was sent to Chile with full powers either to treat or fight, but the haughty and intractable Indians rejected with scorn his overtures for peace. He then fortified the line of the Biobio and erected new fortresses to serve as bases for a campaign of extermination to be undertaken as soon as reinforcements arrived. These came slowly and the Indians themselves took the offensive, considerable bands invading the Spanish settlements, storming some forts and blockading others. The Spanish general exerted himself to concentrate his scattered forces, but while making a hasty journey, accompanied only by a small escort, from Imperial toward Concepcion, he was surprised and killed by a band of Indians. Forty-eight hours later not only the whole of Araucania, but also the provinces south of Valdivia, rose in arms. All the Spanish towns south of the Biobio—Osorno, Valdivia, Villarica, Imperial, Cañete, Angol, Coya, and Arauco—were simultaneously besieged. Paillamachu crossed the river and burned first Concepcion and then Chillan, a town a hundred miles north of the Araucanian boundary, ravaging the country to the river Maule. Alarmed for the safety of Santiago, the Lima viceroy sent a new governor with a well-equipped army, but it was as much as he could do to force the Indians back into their own territory. The Indian general suddenly assaulted the city of Valdivia, carried it by storm, slaughtered or captured the inhabitants, and seized two millions of[Pg 146] booty with many arms and cannon. Villarica and Imperial managed to hold out for three years but finally they, with Osorno, were reduced by starvation. When Paillamachu died in 1603 the Spaniards had no foothold on the mainland south of the Biobio except the Valdivia citadel.


Two or three years later the government made a last effort to reduce the Araucanians. An army of three thousand Spaniards besides a large contingent of natives advanced across the Biobio. To such an overwhelming force the Araucanians dared not offer open battle, but they hung on its flanks, skirmishing and harassing, and the host was compelled to return without having accomplished anything decisive. From the protection of the forts on the Biobio, the Spanish general sent expeditions to lay waste the[Pg 147] Indian country, but these smaller bodies were roughly handled and the first period of Araucanian wars closed with the nearly complete destruction of the Spanish forces operating in southern Chile. The authorities at Lima and Madrid gave it up as a bad job. Thenceforward the Biobio remained the southern boundary of the Spanish possessions. An army of two thousand men and a line of forts guarded the frontier, and though hostilities were frequent, for centuries no real progress was made toward depriving the Araucanians of their independence. In the progress of time the slow infiltration of Spanish blood and Spanish customs modified their characteristics, but it was not until 1882 that they became real subjects of the Chilean government.

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The Araucanian wars made Chile a school of arms for all South America. The appointment to its captaincy-general was eagerly sought by ambitious soldiers, and the place, especially after the seventeenth century, was a stepping-stone to the magnificent and lucrative position of viceroy at Lima. Preoccupied with the southern wars, passing most of their time on the frontiers, the governors paid little attention to central and northern Chile. The Indians peacefully cultivated the great estates of their feudal masters; and although the mining industry was considerable it never threatened the extinction of the neighbouring population. The few towns were mere villages, built of one-story, thatch-covered houses, commerce was insignificant, portable wealth small, money almost unknown. However, the landed proprietors of Chile mostly lived upon their estates, and came into more intimate contact with their Indian tenants than in the richer and more tropical provinces, a circumstance[Pg 149] which has had a profound effect upon the character and racial composition of the modern Chilean.

Although unsuccessful in Araucania, the governors prospered in their efforts to extend the Spanish dominion east of the Andes and before the end of the sixteenth century the fertile valleys of the province of Cuyo—Mendoza, San Juan, and San Luiz—as far as the central desert which separates them from the grass-covered pampas of Buenos Aires, were incorporated with Chile. At the same time the green and populous island of Chiloë—the Ireland of the Pacific—was added to the captaincy-general.

The first comers were adventurous soldiers looking for sudden riches, but Chile furnished these gentlemen small returns for hard knocks. The reasons which led the Spanish government to discourage emigration to Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador, did not apply to Chile, and when, early in the seventeenth century, the Madrid authorities abandoned the useless and expensive effort to conquer Araucania, they permitted a considerable number of real colonists. A heavy immigration followed—composed mostly of Basques and Aragonese—hardy and industrious settlers who made thrifty farmers and merchants. These people were no mere army of occupation—a privileged class living parasitically upon the Indians; they set about developing the real resources of the country, and their blood, mixing into the fine and strong aboriginal strain, vastly improved it. The lower classes in Chile are industrious, enduring, and brave, and though at times[Pg 150] they show a touch of that primitive ferocity characteristic of young peoples, their innate energy and great physical strength have been of incalculable value to the nation.

Little worth detailing is recorded in the annals of Chile during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. For many years the Araucanians refused to make any treaty with the Spaniards. The chronicles are filled with accounts of the incursions made by the Indians into Spanish territory—often successful, more often repulsed, with sieges, ambushes—tales of reckless valour and unspeakable cruelty. Sometimes the Europeans carried the war over the Biobio, and during the ten years prior to 1640 they were so successful in carrying fire, slaughter, and pillage to the homes of the Araucanians, that the latter finally consented to an armistice and a formal treaty of peace. The Spanish governor went to the plain of Quillin, escorted by more than ten thousand persons, and the Araucanian general appeared in state at the head of all the toquis, ulmens, and chief warriors of the confederacy. Into the open space between the high contracting parties was led a llama for sacrifice, whose sprinkled blood remained a pledge that the historic Biobio would henceforth be respected by both nations as the boundary, and that the Araucanians would never permit colonists of third nations upon their shores, or aid the English and Dutch buccaneers. The Indians faithfully adhered to this pact of friendship and refused to furnish the Dutch with provisions when the latter took possession of Valdivia in 1643. But in 1655 the[Pg 151] cupidity of Spanish officers caused trouble, and war devastated both sides of the border for the next ten years. In 1665 a new treaty, identical in terms, was negotiated, which continued in force until 1722. However, Spanish priests pushed their evangelising among the Indians, and officers, called "Capitanos de los amigos," appointed to guard the interests of the missionaries, assumed authority highly offensive to the Araucanians. The great council was summoned, a general selected, and the missionaries expelled. When the Spanish governor marched to the frontier with five thousand men the Indians offered battle which the Spaniards dared not accept. The former continued firm in their demands, and peace was only re-established by abolishing the obnoxious officials.

Meanwhile nothing of moment had disturbed the slow and even current of colonial progress in northern and central Chile. The country was poor, its exports small and its imports smaller. Great fortunes were not accumulated as in other South American countries, though the national life rested on a broader, surer basis. The wheat and cattle, the fruits and poultry introduced by the Spaniards raised the standard of alimentation and the vitality of the people, while the continual admixture of Spanish blood augmented individual initiative and intelligence. The towns at first grew very slowly. Santiago itself had only eight thousand inhabitants at the end of the seventeenth century, while the other so-called cities, Coquimbo, Castro, Valparaiso, Chillan, Concepcion, and Valdivia, were in fact little[Pg 152] more than villages. The rural districts were populous, for the soil was fertile, the climate healthful, and the means of a simple subsistence abounded. Imported vices and diseases, and the oppressions suffered at the hands of the first Spanish proprietors, had somewhat thinned out the native population, but these losses were largely made up by a rapid increase of the element which boasted white descent, and in the latter part of the eighteenth century Spanish Chile was more densely populated than the Atlantic seaboard of North America.


Spanish legislation gave a monopoly of South American commerce to a favoured ring of merchants at Cadiz, forbidding any communication with Chile except by the circuitous Isthmian route. Freights were enormous, profits and taxes exorbitant, and in spite of the repressive measures of the Spanish authorities, smuggling was carried on by way of the route over the Andes to Buenos Aires and Colonia. The war of the Spanish Succession, following the death of the last of the descendants of Charles V., disorganised Spanish administration, and during the confusion of the first few years of the eighteenth century illicit trading increased apace. The triumph of Louis XIV., and the seating of a French prince on the throne of Madrid, resulted in a temporary permission to French ships to trade with South America. For a time French manufactures were brought directly to Chile by way of Cape Horn. The customs receipts—hitherto merely nominal—rapidly increased, and although the license was soon revoked at the demand of the Cadiz monopolists, a [Pg 154]permanent impetus had been given to commerce. Improving conditions gave a fresh start to immigration, and the comparatively rational policy of the Bourbon dynasty removed many of the more crying abuses of colonial administration. A little before the middle of the eighteenth century Governor Manso, with the approval of Madrid, founded a dozen cities scattered through all the provinces as far south as the Biobio, and settlements spread to the frontier of Araucania. Manso's successor, Rosas, was even more diligent in establishing new towns and received the title of "Conde de Poblaciones." He founded the University of San Felipe at Santiago, and stimulated commerce by opening a mint. In his administration occurred the great earthquake of 1751, which engulfed and destroyed Concepcion by a tremendous wave from the sea, and inflicted great damage upon Santiago and many other towns. These convulsions are very frequent in Chile and in early times people supposed that it was not safe to build houses of more than one story. It has since been ascertained that two-story edifices are as secure as lower ones and Chilean cities contain many handsome buildings.

Rosas' successor was Don Manuel Amat. Under his administration the erection of new cities continued, and he is remembered as the captain-general who helped suppress the robbers and bandits who had infested the country. Vigilance committees were organised, volunteer patrols guarded the city streets and country roads, and a coast militia fought the pirates who infested the seashore. Chile[Pg 155] in the middle of the eighteenth century presents the characteristics of a frontier country—rapid founding of towns, disorders and lawlessness effectively suppressed by lynch law, and a childish display of newly acquired wealth.

The encroachments upon the Araucanians finally grew irksome to those indomitable and intractable savages. What the Spanish armies and priests had failed in, the settlers who poured into the fertile plains and valleys of southern Chile seemed about to achieve. The next captain-general even tried to incorporate the independent tribes into the Spanish system, but when he attempted to gather them into towns the spirit which had animated their forefathers proved too strong. A war broke out which lasted several years and ended only when the Spanish government renewed the treaties guaranteeing them practical independence, and allowing them to keep an ambassador at Santiago. Just about this time the trans-Andean province of Cuyo was separated from Chile and transferred to the newly created Buenos Aires viceroyalty. Taken purely for reasons of administrative convenience, this measure resulted in shutting off Chile from expansion over the vast plains of the Plate Valley, confining her between the Andes and the sea, and ultimately securing to the Argentine a territorial and numerical preponderance among Spanish-American republics.

[Pg 156]



The last years of Spanish rule were the most prosperous Chile had known. A brisk coasting trade sprang into being; a small merchant marine grew up; the removal of the prohibition against free commerce with the rest of Spanish South America raised prices. The opening of Buenos Aires reacted upon her western neighbour, and Chile ceased to depend on the Isthmus route. A spirit of enterprise was awakened by a freer intercourse with the outside world and by the immigration of hardy adventurers who came through Buenos Aires, the great South American rendezvous of that day.


Among these immigrants was the famous Ambrose O'Higgins, a poor Irish lad, who landed at Buenos Aires, made his way to Chile, started as a peddler, became an army contractor, made a fortune, got a commission in the army, distinguished himself in an expedition against the Araucanians, ingratiated himself with everybody by his wit, courage, and good-natured shrewdness, and finally was [Pg 158] selected as captain-general. He ruled the country wisely and well until promoted to be viceroy at Lima. His successors were mostly able and honest men, and under their government the natural causes making for the prosperity of Chile had free scope. Wealth increased, and with it love of display, honours, and letters. Santiago became a real capital, the favourite residence of the landed aristocracy and a social centre where fashions were prescribed. The English war into which France pushed Spain in 1796 much damaged Chilean commerce, but not sufficiently to stop the impulse already received. The old ignorant content with Spanish rule gave place to a growing demand for the removal of all restrictions, and the appetite for commercial freedom grew with what it fed on.

Chile was still comparatively poor and backward. The rude population were engaged in a harsh struggle with fierce savages and in laying the foundations of material prosperity. Most of these people were the descendants of Indians accustomed for centuries to implicit obedience to a rustic, unlettered aristocracy. The genius of the race was rather practical than ideal, and the long, careless government by men invariably chosen for their military abilities rather than their qualities as civil administrators had not tended to make Chile a fertile soil for the development of revolutionary ideas. Chilean society was less favourably constituted for sudden changes than that of Buenos Aires—the boom town of the time, with its active commerce, its restless recently arrived population,—or that of the northern viceroy[Pg 159]alties, controlled by professional and office-holding classes and parish priests.

Two or three hundred families held most of the lands of Chile, and the power of this aristocracy was especially predominant in the provinces around Santiago. In the southern provinces long wars had thinned the native population and dispossessed the original grantees. Estates were more widely distributed and opinion more radical, but in the rest of the country the newer immigrants had been forced to accept the system, and the comparatively few families who owned the land and thereby controlled the means of subsistence of the whole people, enjoyed unquestioned ascendancy. But conservative as this aristocracy was, among its members there rankled a profound jealousy of the Spanish officials who wrung excessive taxes from their reluctant fingers; who enforced the Spanish regulations forbidding the culture of grapes, olives, and tobacco; who until recently had closed the ports, cutting off the profitable sale of crops, and compelling the payment of extravagant prices for manufactured goods; and most irritating of all, who still monopolised the lucrative offices.

The news of Ferdinand's imprisonment and the invasion of Spain by Napoleon's armies reached Chile in the late summer of 1809, creating great excitement among the Spanish office-holders and the Creole aristocracy. Sentiment was universal against submission to the French usurpation and discussion at once began of how the government should be carried on during the King's captivity. Carrasco, the[Pg 160] captain-general, hesitated and vacillated between the conflicting suggestions.

In preparation for an emergency, whose exact nature no one could foresee, the city authorities gathered arms, drilled troops, and levied extra taxes. The property-owning and governing classes divided into two currents of opinion. The government officials, with their friends and hangers-on, saw that their interests would best be served by the recognition of the revolutionary juntas which had assumed the ad interim direction of affairs in Spain. The leading Creole families proposed the establishment of an independent junta, pending Ferdinand's return, or the definite defeat of the national cause in Spain. Although the latter party warmly protested their faithfulness to the mother-country, at bottom they designed to secure for Chile and Chileans virtual independence while Spain's troubles lasted, and the Spanish officials did not hesitate to characterise their opponents as rebels. Feeling rapidly grew intense, and in May, 1810, the captain-general ordered the arrest of several prominent Creoles. This arbitrary measure aroused such a fierce clamour that Carrasco lost his nerve, and consented to the release of the prisoners. This indication of weakness encouraged the agitators, and when news came across the Andes that the people of Buenos Aires had deposed their viceroy, Santiago broke into revolution.

The captain-general had summoned an open cabildo to enjoin obedience to certain orders received from Spain, but this assembly tumultuously de[Pg 161]manded his resignation. Helpless against the popular outcry and the hostile attitude of the city government, he turned over his authority to Toro, a wealthy nobleman, whose venerable age and pacific disposition seemed likely to preserve the peace. Nevertheless, the Creoles persisted in their demand for an independent Chilean junta. Another meeting of all the qualified electors was called; the arrival of a representative of the new junta at Buenos Aires, who strongly urged Chile to follow Argentina's example, had its influence; and on the 18th of September, the date observed as the anniversary of Chilean independence, Toro resigned his authority to the cabildo. The office of captain-general was abolished and power passed to a junta of seven. Chile's ports were opened to all nations, quadrupling the customs receipts in a single year, and the country began a virtually separate existence, although the acts of the junta ran in the name of the Spanish King.

However, the junta's power rested upon a basis too narrow for stability. Representing only the Santiago aristocracy, there was no certainty that its orders would be respected in the provinces, or that independent juntas would not be set up in other cities. To remedy this difficulty a national congress was summoned, but the junta allotted to Santiago almost as many members as to all the other municipalities together. The elections took place in April, 1811, and while they were going on the Spanish officer in command of a detachment at Santiago revolted. A member of the junta, José Carrera by[Pg 162] name, an active and ambitious young man, who belonged to one of the most influential Creole families, distinguished himself by attacking and defeating the Spaniard with an improvised force of armed patriots. When congress met it voted many reforms; abolishing slavery, reorganising the judiciary, freeing commerce of vexatious restrictions, decreeing the payment of the clergy out of the public treasury instead of by tithes, and conferring on the elective bodies of the municipalities the right to elect their own city officers. However, divisions soon arose among the members. The representatives of the outside provinces bitterly complained of the unfairness of the apportionment; the radicals wished to reorganise everything, while the conservatives insisted on preserving many of the old institutions. The Santiago representatives, chosen from the landed aristocracy, were mostly conservative, while the members from the South were largely radical. Under the leadership of Doctor Rosas, the latter withdrew. The Santiago conservatives, left in undisputed control of congress, displaced the old junta, but Carrera and his two brothers had made themselves all powerful in the army by cleverly seizing its Spanish officers. He determined to ally himself with the radicals and assume supreme power. Marching to the hall of congress at the head of his troops, he compelled the selection of a new junta with himself as chief, and expelled the members upon whom he could not rely. Rosas had meanwhile established a radical junta at Concepcion, and Carrera offered to associate him in the government.[Pg 163] Rosas declined, and the Santiago leader, now frankly a military dictator, advanced with an army to reduce the South to obedience. But the news that the Spanish party had gained the ascendancy in Valdivia and Chiloë intimidated him, and he made peace with Rosas, retiring to Santiago. His emissaries nevertheless continued to intrigue in Concepcion and finally stirred up a riot which resulted in Rosas' expulsion.

For nearly two years Carrera and his brothers remained in power, governing by military force, confiscating the property of their enemies, allowing their friends to loot the public funds, and committing many enormities. Conspiracy after conspiracy was formed against them, only to be detected and suppressed, while the patriots divided into hostile factions each selfishly ambitious for control. Meanwhile Abascal, the able and resolute viceroy at Lima, had succeeded in keeping Peru submissive, in crushing out the revolution in Ecuador and Bolivia, and in repelling the northward march of the Argentine patriots. He now prepared to send an army to re-establish royal authority in Chile. Early in 1813 a large force landed at Talcahuano and, advancing to Concepcion, was joined by the garrison of that place. Reinforcements came up from Valdivia and Chiloë, and the Spanish general took the road for Santiago at the head of four thousand men. In the face of this imminent danger the bickerings of the patriots were hushed. Carrera advanced to the South in command of twelve thousand men, poorly armed and disciplined. On the Spanish side the[Pg 164] officers were, however, suspicious, and had little confidence in their raw levies. A sudden and successful attack on an outpost near the river Maule was followed by a panic among the royalists, and they retreated in disorder, but with no great loss, to the fortifications of Chillan, only fifty miles from Concepcion. Detachments of patriots pushed on to Concepcion and captured that place and Talcahuano. The Spanish army was completely isolated in Chillan, but had found there an abundant supply of provisions, and successfully resisted Carrera's efforts to take the place. His hastily gathered levies, without means of sheltering themselves from the rain and cold, melted away by desertion. Finally he retired toward Concepcion followed by the Spaniards and the remnants of his army were only saved from total rout by the gallantry and steadiness of Bernardo O'Higgins. This military chief, a natural son of the old Irish captain-general, and heir to his Chilean estates, had made common cause with the patriots at the beginning of the revolution, and attached himself to the fortunes of Rosas, the leader of the Concepcion radicals. When the latter was banished by Carrera, O'Higgins retired from the army. The Spanish invasion had roused him; he offered his sword to Carrera, and his dashing military talents sent him quickly to the front.


Carrera's failure at Chillan cost him his prestige, his rivals at Santiago took advantage of his absence to expel him from the junta, his violent measures at Concepcion exasperated its people to revolt, and his own troops became mutinous. The new Santiago [Pg 166] junta formally nominated O'Higgins to the chief command and Carrera was compelled to withdraw. The new general inspired some vigour into the patriot operations, but the arrival of reinforcements from Lima gave the royalists an overwhelming preponderance in cavalry and artillery. The junta had recalled a large part of his forces to defend Santiago, when an unexpected movement by one of the Spanish divisions resulted in the capture of the important city of Talca, half-way between the capital and Concepcion. Though O'Higgins and the troops left in the South managed to repulse an attack of the main Spanish army, an army sent from Santiago failed to retake Talca and its destruction left the capital unprotected. O'Higgins by forced marches succeeded in beating the Spaniards to the Maule, saving the city for the moment. Meanwhile, a revolution had overthrown the junta responsible for the fatal Talca expedition and the new dictator entered into negotiations with the Spanish commander. The latter, confronted by O'Higgins' army, and anticipating a desperate resistance, thought it best not to press his advantage too far. He agreed to an armistice, and Chile offered to acknowledge allegiance to Spain, send members to the Cortes shortly to assemble, and accept any Constitution which might be promulgated by that body, if the viceroy would recognise ad interim the present Santiago government and withdraw the Spanish army within two months.

One result of the armistice was the liberation of the Carreras from the Spanish prison in which they[Pg 167] had been confined since their deposition the year before. They hastened to Santiago and started an intrigue for the overthrow of Lastra and O'Higgins. Such was their popularity with the troops in Santiago and the extent of their family influence that they got possession of the city and were preparing to dispute the supreme control of Chile with O'Higgins by force of arms when news arrived that the viceroy refused to sanction the compromise, and that an army of peninsular veterans was on its way. Though Carrera and O'Higgins pretended a reconciliation, each distrusted the other, and took the field virtually independent. Under such conditions Chilean success was impossible. O'Higgins' division was annihilated at Rancagua, Carrera abandoned the capital, and fled with a few hundred followers over the Andes, where he was joined by O'Higgins and the more determined patriots. This influx of the pick of the fighting men of Chile was a valuable reinforcement for the army which San Martin was already organising behind the shelter of the eastern foothills. Between the rival Chilean leaders, Carrera and O'Higgins, he chose the latter, gave him his confidence, and made him his chief lieutenant, while Carrera, finding no place in San Martin's entourage, went on to Buenos Aires, never again to return to his native country.

Both aristocracy and people in Chile were tired of the military misrule which they had suffered during the dominance of the patriot chiefs. A deputation of the most prominent citizens went to welcome General Osorio as he advanced to Santiago after the[Pg 168] battle of Rancagua. Within a month the Spanish power was securely re-established throughout the country. The leading revolutionists who remained in Chile were executed or banished, more than a hundred being exiled to the desolate island of Juan Fernandez. During two years and a half—from 1814 to 1817—Osorio and his successor, Marco del Ponte, ruled Chile with a rod of iron. So far as possible everything was restored as it had been before 1810. The Spanish judges were reinstated, elective municipal councils abolished, the newspapers suppressed, and all the liberal reforms revoked.

Meanwhile San Martin, behind the screen of the Andes, and only a hundred and fifty miles from Santiago, was forging a thunderbolt destined to shatter into fragments the edifice which Abascal had been so skilfully constructing through seven laborious years. The story of how the silent Argentine gathered and equipped the "Army of the Andes" has already been told. In the chapter devoted to Argentina the reader will find a meagre description of his marvellous march over the cloud-high passes, the descent into the plain of Aconcagua made so suddenly that the Spanish forces could not hurry up to bar his way, the prompt advance over the low transverse range which forms the northern boundary of the plain where Santiago stands, and the overwhelming victory in the gorge of Chacabuco against the pick of the Spanish veterans, who confidently stood to the attack, never dreaming until San Martin was right upon them that his main body had had [Pg 169]time to reach the spot. The Spanish authorities at Madrid and Lima had made the irretrievable mistake of underestimating the efficiency of his army. They thought the troops in Chile amply able to take care of any four thousand men the patriots could get together, but San Martin's army was differently provided and organised than the undisciplined masses which had been routed at Huaqui, Villapugio, and Rancagua. The Spanish generals were not so much surprised at his crossing the Andes as at finding the troops which reached the Chilean plains to be well furnished with artillery, cavalry, and ammunition, perfectly ready for an aggressive campaign, and a match man for man for any force that could be brought against them.


[Pg 170]The royalists lost twelve hundred of their best men at Chacabuco; only a thousand escaped from the field to fly in disorder toward Santiago. On the way they met the Spanish cavalry riding to join them, but Captain-General Marco, instead of rallying the three thousand men who remained under his orders, hurried out of town toward Valparaiso, anxious for his personal safety. San Martin had expected to be obliged to fight another battle and kept his army together, instead of pursuing and annihilating the dismayed Spaniards. More than half the latter managed to escape to Valparaiso, where they embarked for Peru. Santiago received the conqueror with no great enthusiasm. The moneyed classes feared another prolonged civil war with its attendant confiscations, forced contributions, and general disorder; the common people cared little[Pg 171] whether a Spaniard or an Argentine occupied the governmental palace. However, no one dreamed of resistance; the partisans of the proscribed patriots and the votaries of independence and liberalism were delighted; San Martin with his host of hardy gauchos and Chilean exiles assumed full control of the capital. He summoned an assembly of notables who promptly and unanimously elected him "Governor of Chile with plenary powers." But this was not what the far-sighted and patriotic soldier wanted. He realised that Chile could never give that unquestioning support so vital to the success of his cherished campaign against Peru so long as any stranger, even himself, governed by force. San Martin peremptorily declined the honour, but intimated that he would be glad to see his staunch friend, O'Higgins, selected dictator, and accordingly the enemy of the Carreras was placed at the head of the new Chilean government.

With eyes fixed on a Peruvian campaign it was only natural that San Martin should leave immediate details in Chile to others. Though all central Chile submitted with good grace, the South remained a stronghold of the Spanish sympathisers. Among its warlike people the royalist armies had been recruited, and there lay the two strongest fortresses—Talcahuano and Valdivia—both of them still in possession of the Spaniards. After two months' delay, Las Heras, with a thousand men, was despatched, but his force was inadequate and his advance slow. Before he arrived near Concepcion, an able Spanish general, Ordoñez, who had fought side by side with[Pg 172] San Martin in Spain, had organised a division equal in numbers, with which he retired to Concepcion and there was joined by the sixteen hundred troops who had escaped after the rout at Chacabuco, and who had been ordered back to Chile the moment they made their appearance at Callao. The Spanish general now thought himself strong enough to annihilate Las Heras, but the sortie which he led was beaten back in the battle of Gavilan. However, this victory was in no way decisive, and the patriots were not able to make any impression on the fortifications at Talcahuano or to advance south of the Biobio. Southern Chile remained hostile and Talcahuano and Valdivia were open doors through which the Spaniards could send reinforcements and supplies as long as they held command of the sea.

San Martin remained in Santiago only a short time after Chacabuco. Prepossessed with the idea that Chile could never be safe or Peru won until he had organised a fleet to wrest control of the Pacific from the Spaniards, he hastened across the Andes to arrange with his friends in the Argentine government for the necessary money. The Chilean campaign had saved Buenos Aires from impending invasion; the Argentine patriots would certainly be crushed if Chile should fall back into Spanish hands; they could never feel secure so long as Peru and Bolivia remained royalist. The promises which he asked were readily given, on his agreeing that Chile should contribute three hundred thousand dollars toward the purchase of a squadron on the Pacific, and forty thousand for the support of the Argentine[Pg 173] army on the Bolivian frontier, besides taking the responsibility of the pay and maintenance of the Army of the Andes. Argentina was to aid in purchasing the fleet and hold back the Spaniards on the Bolivian border.

San Martin returned to Chile, where he was shortly followed by an official representative of the Argentine government and the alliance created by Chacabuco received formal sanction. He found Chilean affairs in a very unsatisfactory condition. O'Higgins was hated by the powerful partisans of the Carreras, and distrusted by Chileans generally as too much under Argentine influence. His power really rested upon Argentine bayonets; his appointment of Quintana, an Argentine and San Martin's aide-de-camp, as acting dictator at Santiago was bitterly resented. San Martin's presence did something to allay the feeling, but as a matter of fact he had little sympathy for the Chilean people, being a man who despised the arts by which popularity is gained, and who made few friends. Meanwhile the three Carreras were actively plotting from their exile at Buenos Aires for the overthrow of O'Higgins and San Martin. Their friends and agents swarmed in Chile and preparations were made for a rising as soon as they should set foot in the country. The two younger brothers attempted to cross the Andes in disguise, but were detected and arrested at Mendoza. Quintana ordered the imprisonment of many persons suspected of being Carrera partisans, but his severe measures raised national feeling to such a height that it was thought[Pg 174] safest to carry out San Martin's suggestion and appoint a Chilean as acting dictator in his stead.

In the Argentine the position of the patriot government was even worse. With civil war actively raging in the one country and only held in check by foreign bayonets in the other, and with both governments struggling against financial difficulties, it is no wonder that the war-ships which were expected to sweep the Spanish frigates from the Pacific did not arrive. The delay cost the patriots dear. In January, 1818, four Spanish ships, mounting two hundred and thirty cannon sailed into Talcahuano, and landed three thousand four hundred well-equipped soldiers, most of them peninsular veterans. San Martin, a master of the art of recruiting, had raised a second army composed principally of Chileans and nearly equal in numbers to the original Army of the Andes, so that his total force amounted to nine thousand men, while the Spanish troops did not exceed five thousand. The Argentine general was in the dark as to where the enemy would land, and had already issued orders for O'Higgins, who was in command near Concepcion, to retreat, resolved on concentrating his forces near Valparaiso. Even after the Spanish army had disembarked at Talcahuano, San Martin was in doubt whether Osorio would not re-embark and strike at some unexpected harbour near Santiago. But the latter came up steadily by the land route, encountering no opposition though somewhat hampered by broken bridges and the bareness of the country of horses and supplies, for the retreating O'Higgins had left his track [Pg 175]a desert. The farther the Spaniards penetrated toward Santiago the more difficult became the feeding of their army and the more certainly disastrous a retreat in case of reverse.


O'Higgins stopped at Talca to await orders, and there, on the 20th of January, 1818, he defiantly made proclamation of Chile's absolute independence of Spain. Three weeks later the approach of Osorio's army forced him to abandon the place and he retired to form a junction with San Martin. The latter completed his concentration and advanced with an army of over seven thousand men, superior in all arms and especially in cavalry and artillery. About a hundred miles south of Santiago he met the Spaniards and won some cavalry skirmishes. The enemy retired toward Talca, unwilling with inferior forces to bring on a general action where defeat meant annihilation, and even contemplating a retreat to Talcahuano. But behind them lay the deep river Maule, and San Martin made a dash to reach it first. The two armies marched rapidly on parallel lines with the patriot cavalry harassing the Spanish rear. On the afternoon of the 19th of March the Spaniards wheeled into line in excellent position just outside the city of Talca, with their west flank protected by a stretch of broken ground called the Cancha-Rayada. San Martin was following close, but the partial attack which be immediately made was interrupted by darkness before any decisive results were obtained. Hastily going into camp too near the enemy's lines and all unprepared for battle, the patriots were surprised at about nine o'clock in[Pg 177] the evening by the assault of the whole Spanish army. The alarm was given by the cavalry pickets, but only a few had time to get into line of battle before the enemy was upon them. San Martin over on the extreme right heard a few volleys and then the noise of confused flight, scattering shots, and the thundering hoof-beats of the pursuing cavalry. O'Higgins had been wounded while trying to get his men into order, and from that moment the patriots in his neighbourhood thought of nothing but escape through the darkness. The centre and left, including the cavalry, dispersed in the wildest confusion, abandoning the artillery. The right wing, composed of three thousand five hundred infantry, was not attacked and waited in stupefaction for two or three hours not clearly understanding what had happened. Its officers held a council, put Las Heras in command, and by daybreak the division was sixteen miles from the field of battle. In the meantime San Martin and O'Higgins had found each other, and soon were busily engaged in collecting the scattered cavalry. The patriot loss in killed and wounded had been small, but a third of their number had deserted and many of the remainder searched in vain for their regiments. However, the royalist army had been nearly as badly dispersed in making this night attack as the patriots in receiving it. No effective pursuit could be made, and San Martin retreated on Santiago practically unmolested. The first news of the disaster was carried to the capital by fugitive officers. They reported that San Martin was killed and O'Higgins mortally wounded, [Pg 178] and everything lost. Shouts of "Viva el rey" resounded through the streets; leading citizens opened communication with Osorio, and the republicans prepared for flight to Mendoza or Valparaiso. But the next day word came that San Martin himself was safe; and the day following a despatch saying he had four thousand men under his orders. With O'Higgins's arrival in the city the revolutionary disorders were suppressed, and soon San Martin rode into the city. Though half dead through loss of sleep, as he drew rein at his house he made the one speech of his life, laconically assuring the people that he expected to win the next battle, and that right soon.

Not forgetting precautions which ensured a safe retreat to the northern provinces or the Argentine, he devoted himself to re-organising the army, and within ten days after its dispersal had five thousand men together, well provided and resolute to give a good account of themselves. He took a position on a low line of chalk hills seven miles south-west of Santiago, and waited for the enemy, whose numbers were now slightly superior to his own. Meanwhile the Spanish officers were greatly disappointed at the negative results of Cancha-Rayada; mutual reproaches flew back and forth in their council of war; many advocated maintaining the defensive and even retreating to the south to be nearer their base. Their indecision gave San Martin the needed opportunity to gather his dispersed forces and to inspire them with his own confidence. Finally, however, Osorio advanced cautiously on Santiago, hoping [Pg 179] that the Argentine would not risk another battle for the defence of the capital, and manœuvring to the west so as to get between the city and the sea. In front of San Martin's position lay another line of chalk hills, separated from the first by a narrow stretch of low ground. At their western end ran the road from Santiago to Valparaiso. Like the Union position at Gettysburg this line of hills was admirably adapted for a defensive battle, and Osorio resolved to occupy it, especially as he thought his left wing extended far enough west to command the Valparaiso road, thereby securing him a communication with a new and more convenient base on the coast and giving him a line of retreat in case of a reverse. But San Martin's quick eye saw that this opinion was mistaken; and that his opponent might easily be cut off.


San Martin's tactical dispositions were admirably made on the momentous morning of April 5, 1818. He divided his army into two divisions and a reserve, stationing the latter on the extreme east of his line. Under cover of a heavy artillery fire the west division rushed down the slope, across the bottom, and up the hills commanding the Valparaiso road. The counter-charge of the Spanish horsemen was repulsed by the superior patriot cavalry, and the Spanish west wing was isolated from the rest of the army. Meanwhile the patriots' east division, composed of the bulk of their infantry, had charged straight across the narrow part of the bottom and reached the high ground opposite without seeing an enemy, but there was met by a terrific charge from the royalist infantry, and rolled in confusion back down the hill. Regardless of the artillery fire, the Spaniards were pursuing triumphantly over the low ground, when suddenly their eastern flank received the charge of the patriot reserve, which had advanced obliquely from its original position on the extreme east. This movement decided the battle. The Spanish infantry could not re-form to meet it, and were rolled up in helpless confusion. The flying patriot infantry rallied and returned to the attack; their cavalry, already victorious at the other end of the line, turned and charged the west flank of the Spaniards, who, simultaneously taken at both[Pg 181] ends and in front, were cut down by hundreds. A few managed to keep their formation and fell back to the farm of Espejo, behind whose extensive buildings and garden walls they entrenched themselves, determined to sell their lives as dearly as possible. Joined by their left wing, which, unable to reach the centre where the hard fighting had taken place, had suffered little loss, they withstood the attack of the victorious patriot army. But the artillery was brought up, the walls knocked to pieces, and the position carried in the midst of the most frightful carnage. The infuriated patriots gave no quarter until General Las Heras rode among them and begged them to desist from the inhuman slaughter.

Maipo was the hardest fought battle in all the wars of South American independence. Of five thousand royalists, twelve hundred were killed, eight hundred wounded, and two thousand two hundred made prisoners. Only eight hundred escaped, flying south toward safety at Talcahuano, of whom less than a hundred held together until they reached the Spanish fortifications. Of the patriots more than a fifth were killed and wounded—the greatest sufferers being the freed negroes whom San Martin had recruited in the Argentine. Half of these brave fellows were left on the field.

Juan and Luiz Carrera, imprisoned at Mendoza, had been an embarrassment and menace to San Martin and O'Higgins. The latter hated them too much to be willing to make terms, and yet he feared that their execution would cause an insurrection by[Pg 182] their family and party friends in Chile. A criminal prosecution had been trumped up against them and proceedings delayed on various pretexts. The news of the disaster at Cancha-Rayada was their death sentence. Dr. Monteagudo, O'Higgins's representative, acting as judge, sentenced them to death at three o'clock one afternoon and sent them to the shooting bench at five. Every Chilean who did not belong to the O'Higgins faction was profoundly shocked at this murder. Though the victims were agitators and revolutionists they belonged to one of the most respected families in Chile; with their older brother they had been the leaders in the first war against Spain; their devotion to the cause of independence was unquestioned, and they embodied the national sentiment which opposed the Argentine army's remaining on Chilean soil.

Pursuit of the Spaniards flying from the field of Maipo was hardly over when open opposition to O'Higgins and his policy broke out. A cavalry corps—the "Husares de la Muerte"—composed of Carrera partisans had volunteered after the rout at Cancha-Rayada and rendered valuable service at Maipo. O'Higgins ordered it to disband. An open cabildo met which voted the dictator's deposition, but his soldiers arrested the Carrera leader, shot him in cold blood, and the citizens had no alternative but to disperse and submit. O'Higgins undertook to crush the opposition by ferociously persecuting his republican enemies and rapaciously confiscating the property of the royalists. This so occupied him that he was unable to pay much attention to the[Pg 183] Spaniards in the south. Osorio gathered a small force at Talcahuano, easily beat off some desultory expeditions which the patriots sent against him, and from May until September held the whole country south of the Maule. But after the slaughter at Maipo the viceroy had all he could do defending Peru and Bolivia. Late in the year Osorio withdrew with most of his troops, leaving only meagre garrisons in the fortresses of southern Chile.

San Martin had remained only a few days in Santiago, hurrying back to Buenos Aires to try to induce the Argentine government to carry out its promises of the year before and aid in the purchase of a fleet. Just before his departure an East Indiaman, carrying forty-four guns, had arrived at Valparaiso and the Chilean treasury was emptied to pay for her. When he reached Buenos Aires his friend Puerreyedon, the Argentine dictator, agreed to raise a loan of five hundred thousand dollars and send around two ships of the Argentine navy. San Martin immediately took the road for Chile, but at Mendoza a letter came forbidding him to draw on the Argentine treasury. He resigned, but the Argentine authorities, dismayed at the consequences of his withdrawal, finally gave him two hundred thousand dollars.

The winter storms make the Andean passes impracticable, and it was October before the general reached Santiago, where to his delight he found that O'Higgins had already got together a considerable squadron. The East Indiaman, bought just before[Pg 184] Maipo, and manned by British and North American officers, had succeeded in capturing a Spanish brig. Two American privateers were shortly afterwards bought by the Chilean government, and their arrival was followed by that of an English vessel purchased by San Martin's agent in London. Others were on their way from the United States and two Argentine ships were reported to be coming around Cape Horn. A few days prior to San Martin's return to Santiago, Chile's two frigates with two smaller consorts had sailed south from Valparaiso in the hope of intercepting a fleet of transports, carrying two thousand troops and a great quantity of arms, which the Spanish government had sent around the Horn from Cadiz convoyed by a fifty-gun frigate. Stormy weather had, however, scattered the royalist fleet and more than half the transports gave up the attempt to weather the formidable promontory, though the frigate and the others succeeded. The transports evaded the Chileans and reached Callao in safety, but the frigate was caught lying at anchor in Talcahuano, and proved an important addition to the patriot navy.

The object for which San Martin had been planning and working during two years was achieved. His naval force, manned by professional sailors picked from among the best sea-fighting people of the world, was too formidable for the enemy to dare to attack. Chile was safe from invasion and Peru lay open to a descent. San Martin's first care was to wrest southern Chile from the Spaniards. To leave them in control of a fertile and populous[Pg 185] territory where they could recruit troops, collect provisions, and menace Santiago was not safe. Toward the end of 1818 he sent his lieutenant, Balcarce, an Argentine, against them at the head of thirty-five hundred men. Such a force was irresistible; Chillan, Concepcion, and Talcahuano were abandoned and the Spanish commander shut himself up in the fortress of Valdivia.

But when San Martin came to face the question of organising and equipping an army adequate for the invasion of Peru he found the Chileans cold and indifferent. The success of their fleet had insured them against assault, and they appeared to be chiefly interested in getting rid of the Argentine army of occupation. The soldiers had not received their pay, and though O'Higgins issued a proclamation announcing an expedition to Peru, San Martin waited around for months without receiving the promised aid. Finally he presented his resignation as general-in-chief of the proposed Peruvian expedition, and withdrew the Army of the Andes from Santiago, leading a part over the Andes to Mendoza and leaving the rest on the Chilean side near the entrance to the pass. This measure quickly brought the governments of both Chile and Argentina to terms. His presence east of the Andes intimidated the rebels against the authorities at Buenos Aires, leaving the latter's hands free to aid him, while the O'Higgins party in Chile realised that it could not maintain itself without his support. He required five hundred thousand dollars for the equipment of an army six thousand strong. Chile agreed to[Pg 186] furnish three hundred thousand and Argentina the remainder, and he returned to Santiago in the middle of 1819 to complete his arrangements. While actively engaged in preparations word came that civil war had again broken out in the Argentine. San Martin was compelled to make his choice between deferring to an indefinite future his cherished expedition against Peru, or abandoning his native country to probable disintegration. He remained in Chile and though the Argentine government, under whose commission he was acting, had ceased to exist, he did not shrink from the responsibility of disposing of the Army of the Andes. His men cheerfully agreed to follow him, but months went by with little accomplished, and it was not until late in 1820 that he was able to sail for Peru, and then with only four thousand men instead of the six he had counted on. With his departure his influence on the affairs of Chile ceased.

Lord Thomas Cochrane, a very able but very erratic British naval officer, who had gone into politics and got into trouble in his native country, arrived in November, 1818, to take command of the patriot navy. Under his dashing and restless leadership no time was lost in pushing naval operations. The year 1819 was spent in expeditions to the Peruvian and Ecuadorian coast; Callao was repeatedly bombarded, and the Spanish fleet took refuge under the guns of the fortresses, leaving the sea free to the patriots. Failing in a desperate attempt to cut out the Spanish ships from under the very guns of the Callao batteries, Cochrane sent all his vessels except[Pg 187] his flag-ship to Valparaiso, and sailed with her for Valdivia, the last port held by the Spaniards on the Chilean mainland. The place was a very Gibraltar of natural strength, and had been well fortified. Nine forts and batteries disposed on both sides of the narrow estuary were garrisoned by over a thousand men; nevertheless Cochrane prepared to capture them by assault with his single ship. Stopping at Talcahuano he took on board two hundred and fifty Chilean soldiers, and was fortunate in finding two smaller ships. His flag-ship stranded; he transferred the marines to the other ships and went on; reaching the Valdivia bar, he landed without giving the Spaniards a moment's time to bring up reinforcements, and at the head of his soldiers and marines he attacked the outermost fort. Though defended by three hundred and sixty men its resistance was short. While Cochrane's main body advanced up a narrow path drawing the garrison's fire, a detachment found a neglected entrance in the rear through which they poured a volley on the defenders. Panic-stricken, the Spaniards fled to the next fort, but the patriots followed so close that no stand could be made. One after another all the forts on the south side of the estuary were rushed. Next day Cochrane's two smaller ships sailed into the harbour under the fire of the northern forts, and soon after the half-disabled flag-ship made her appearance. Seeing the long-boats filling with men and the cannons of the ships ready to open fire, the Spaniards fled to the city and surrendered the following day. This capture deprived the[Pg 188] royalists of their last base of operations in Chile, and only the Chiloë Islands and a few scattered guerilla bands among the Indians of Araucania remained faithful.

[Pg 189]



The long struggle against Spain accustoming Chileans to military service and uprooting the system under which the country had been ruled for centuries, necessarily placed the control of government in the hands of the generals. Like all other Spanish-American countries Chile had to pass through a period of irresponsible pretorian rule and the sterilising horrors of wars in which one ambitious chief tried to displace another. But anarchy lasted only a short time; the civil element was powerful even at the beginning; and Chileans never acquired the revolution habit. Her government has been stable longest and her political history the least checkered of any Spanish-American country. To this result, so happy for the internal prosperity and external power of the nation, several causes have co-operated. First of all has been the existence of a powerful landed aristocracy whose interests lay rather in cultivating their estates in the security of peace and order than in trying to make fortunes by taxes wrung from a poverty-stricken, reluctant[Pg 190] proletariat. The people are by climate and inheritance industrious, naturally inclined toward industrial progress, agricultural rather than pastoral, prolific and colonising, and though pugnacious, they are not, like the inert Indians of the Andean and Central American countries, to be bullied into following the first revolutionary chief who comes along. Further the country is geographically compact—a narrow strip of plain with easy communication between its provinces, and, unlike the Argentine and Colombia, not divided into widely distant districts, each with its isolated capital, its local chiefs, its ambition for hegemony and autonomy.

In the throes of the first war for independence Carrera was hardly able to maintain himself, and a civil revolution had as much to do with his overthrow as his military misfortunes. O'Higgins, even while supported by San Martin's army of Argentine veterans, held control by a very precarious grip. During 1819 and 1820 there were no serious troubles because attention was absorbed by the war against Peru and over Cochrane's naval victories, but no sooner had San Martin left, than symptoms of discontent again appeared on the surface. Complaints against the arbitrary and corrupt practices of O'Higgins's ministers were loud and unrestrainable; the aristocracy opposed his measures, and the very senate he had appointed to assist in the government openly obstructed him. Theoretically a radical, he called a national congress to establish the new nation on a democratic basis. However, even his own nominees moved slowly, while Coquimbo, the northern, and[Pg 191] Concepcion, the southern capital, were hotbeds of opposition. In the latter part of 1822 General Freire, the hero of the campaign which had redeemed southern Chile, took the initiative at Concepcion. The southern provinces declared against O'Higgins; Freire prepared to advance on Santiago. Coquimbo followed—an old Carrera partisan assuming the governorship. The northern revolutionists invaded the centre, while news came that Freire was rapidly coming up from the south. In January, 1823, O'Higgins handed his resignation to a committee of Santiago citizens, who appointed a temporary junta and summoned a congress. A few days later General Freire landed at Valparaiso with sixteen hundred soldiers, and on his advancing to the neighbourhood of the capital, congress very prudently offered him the dictatorship. The aristocracy and the people soon found that they had gained nothing in this exchange of masters. After a short spasm of reform, the public finances fell into horrible disorder, while the ruling clique enriched itself at the expense of the treasury.

Freire permitted congress to promulgate a Constitution which in effect recognised the aristocracy as the dominant political element, but at heart he was a radical and an absolutist, and the document soon proved to be only so much waste paper. He showed his anti-clerical tendencies by refusing to come to any agreement with the Pope's representative, who arrived in 1824 charged with the reorganisation of the Chilean hierarchy. He summarily banished the Bishop of Santiago because of his royalist[Pg 192] leanings, and issued decrees confiscating Church property. In 1825 he dissolved congress and for some months ruled frankly as a dictator. When he issued writs for a new national assembly he solemnly promised not to interfere in the elections, but so little confidence was felt that, outside of Santiago, no one participated and from there only a few members were returned. Freire soon quarreled with this rump parliament, and its dissolution was followed by political confusion in which parties became daily more sharply defined and acrimonious. There were "federalists," who advocated provincial assemblies; "pipiolas," who followed the strong liberal chief, General Pinto; "o'higginistas," who favoured the return of the former dictator; and finally the conservatives, nicknamed "pelucones" from the perukes—pelucas in Spanish—which old-fashioned Chilean gentlemen wore. Only the military power and prestige of Freire, coupled with his real abilities and resolution, prevented attempts at forcibly displacing him.

Early in 1826 the Spaniards who until then had held out on the island of Chiloë, surrendered, and this signal service to the country somewhat strengthened the dictator. In July of that year a congress met, composed of men favourable to Freire, and a majority of the members were federalists, who divided Chile into eight autonomous provinces. But it soon became evident that such a system must encounter strong opposition. The provincial assemblies would pass laws at variance with the measures of the central government, and in the next[Pg 193] moment adopt resolutions instructing their delegates in the national congress to oppose the permanent establishment of a federated republic, declaring emphatically in favour of national unity. Nevertheless, the liberals persisted in their efforts to impose on the reluctant country a brand new form of government. Doctrinaires and soldiers were still in the saddle, and only close observation of the signs of the times revealed the fact that discussion was becoming broader and the military elements in danger of losing their preponderance. By the beginning of 1827 Freire had sunk to be little more than the doubtful leader of a fraction of a party. His administration was in horrible financial straits, the expenditures were twice the income, and in May he resigned in favour of the vice-president, General Pinto. The latter was an eminent lawyer as well as a brave soldier, who held very radical views. Continuing the policy of his predecessor he summoned a congress which swept away the old Constitution and framed one that was frankly federalistic, and during 1828 and 1829 he and his party struggled to put it into application. But the sullen resistance of the aristocrats and the rivalries among the jealous liberal leaders were too much for him. Party passion became so acute and politicians so irritated and aggressive that it became impossible to carry on any regular government. In November Pinto resigned and Vicuña, president of the senate, tried his hand at holding the liberals together and suppressing the now confident and aggressive conservatives.

Not only political but also social anarchy obtained[Pg 194] throughout the country. Disorders were prevalent, robberies occurred daily, life was unsafe, foreigners were fleeing to Valparaiso. General Prieto, commanding the army on the Araucanian frontier, revolted and began a march on the capital. Vicuña hurried to the northern provinces to try to hold them quiet, while General Lastra went against Prieto. Under the leadership of Portales, the ablest statesman Chile has ever produced, the conservatives at Santiago organised a junta and bade open defiance to the liberals. When Lastra and Prieto met there was no fighting. The two generals held a conference and arranged a compromise by which Freire was to be recalled. But affairs at Santiago were in more resolute hands than theirs. Portales absolutely refused to agree, and back of him stood the conservative party, well organised and knowing clearly what it wanted. The conservatives had the land, the wealth, the prestige of social position, the ardent support of the clergy; their influence ramified everywhere; they had been welded together during the long dominance of the liberals; and, best of all, they followed a strong leader. The army could not be united in unquestioning support of any one general. Prieto decided to cast his lot with the conservatives, and occupied Santiago. The congress which was hastily elected naturally proved frankly and aggressively conservative. The liberals flew to arms, calling on Freire to lead them, and two thousand Chileans perished in battle before the final and decisive conservative victory at Lircay (April 17, 1830). Freire fled to Peru, Prieto [Pg 195]was elected provisional president, and Portales became vice-president.


Though he owed his elevation to his military successes the new president did not attempt to rule as a dictator, and co-operated cordially with the vice-president in organising a parliamentary civil government on an enduring basis. Prieto played not illy the rôle of a Washington to Portales' Hamilton. Militarism, radicalism, and federalism had been tried and found wanting and the great conservative statesman took care that the new order should be tainted with none of them. Two years were spent in careful experiment and deliberation, and the Constitution framed in 1833 has remained, with a few amendments, the fundamental law of Chile to this day. The most aristocratic and centralised of American Constitutions, it has given Chile the strongest and stablest government in Spanish America. The foundation of political power is the property-holding class. No man may vote unless he possesses land, invested capital, or an equivalent income from his trade or profession, and congress may fix the amount of the qualification as high as it pleases. Political power originated in the oligarchy, and its exercise was delegated to a president whose functions are even more extensive than those of the chief magistrate of the United States. Ipso facto commander-in-chief of the armed forces, free to select his cabinet and the chief functionaries of state without the confirmation of a senate, not subject to impeachment, possessing an effective control over the judiciary, given a practically absolute veto, with[Pg 197] the intendentes of the provinces and the governors of the departments receiving from him their commissions and acting as his agents, it would seem that the president of Chile is little less than an absolute and irresponsible ruler. But from the beginning the executive was in practice dependent upon the oligarchy as represented in congress. The instances in which a president has tried to rule in defiance of the wishes of the aristocracy have been rare, and never successful.

When Prieto's first term expired in 1836, many of the conservatives pressed Portales to accept the presidency, but he was satisfied with his place as chief minister. Under his vigorous and intelligent direction the courts and clergy had been reformed, the police organised, a national guard created, the budgets balanced, the executive and congress worked harmoniously together, peace and order had replaced confusion. Chile's feet had been placed on the path of social and industrial progress.

The exiled Freire meanwhile was receiving aid from Santa Cruz who had recently created the Peru-Bolivian Confederation with himself as its chief, and whose ambitious designs included the installation of a government in Chile which would be his complaisant and obliged friend. With arms obtained in Peru, General Freire made a descent upon the island of Chiloë, but the rebellion was quickly suppressed, war declared against Santa Cruz, and the Peruvian fleet surprised and seized. While the army of invasion was waiting for the order to embark a few companies engaged in a mutiny which brought about a horrible tragedy. Portales had come to the[Pg 198] camp to watch the preparations. The mutineers seized him as hostage, and fleeing to the interior carried him along locked in a closed carriage. In the middle of the winter night they encountered a detachment of government troops, and with the first volley the guards stopped the carriage. A man got out, walked unflinchingly to the side of the road, a half dozen shots rang out in the still air, and he fell. When the first light of dawn illumined the field, the victorious national guards found a body lying pierced by four bullets—it was Portales. But his work had been too thoroughly done for even his own death to affect it. He had found his country feeble and divided, torn by feud and faction; he left her prosperous, united, possessing surplus vitality for a successful foreign war. Prieto and the conservatives were not shaken; the expedition to Peru proceeded, and though the first failed, the second won the battle of Yungay, overthrew Santa Cruz, and made Chile the dominant power on the Pacific coast.

At the end of his two terms of five years each, Prieto was succeeded by General Bulnes, the hero of the war. Foreign commerce was increasing by leaps and bounds; the growth of the customs revenues put government finances on a sound footing; the expenses of the war against Santa Cruz had been provided for out of current income. William Wheelwright had established the first steamship line on the Pacific. The political policy of Bulnes was as repressive toward the liberals as his predecessor's. However, education and literary activity were encouraged; a new university was inaugurated at San[Pg 199]tiago in 1843. The opera and the drama flourished, and society took on a more intellectual and cosmopolitan tone. Even religious doctrine and the relations of Church and State were discussed with considerable freedom and warmth, and everywhere were signs of an awakening—a flowering out of the industrial, commercial, and intellectual life of the nation. German colonists were induced to settle in the forested valleys and mountains of the South, and that part of Chile became and has remained more Teutonic than Latin. The discovery of gold in California opened a market for Chilean wheat and gave a fresh impetus to commerce and agriculture, while the mines of Copiapo began to yield their inexhaustible wealth.

Bulnes was re-elected without opposition in 1846, but a new Chile had grown up in the fifteen years of peaceful order. Though the old liberals had disappeared, a new party had arisen all the more formidable because its principles were moderate and it sought not dictatorships, military government, or federalism, but only administrative reforms, such as restraining the clergy and widening the suffrage. By 1849 the liberals had a majority in congress and an agitated session ensued. The conservative president was pushed into an attitude of uncompromising resistance to the liberal demands. Manuel Montt, the intellectual leader of the conservatives, a strong and ambitious man, who was known to have the courage and firmness to maintain himself against odds, was selected as Bulnes' successor. His elevation in the spring of 1851 was followed by an armed outbreak,[Pg 200] which the government troops suppressed, but in September the revolution flamed forth with redoubled fury.

From Concepcion, the liberal headquarters, marched an army which gained several victories and even threatened the capital. But the conservatives rallied and in December the issue was decided by the bloody battle of Loncomilla. In Chile, a narrow plain shut in between the Andes and the sea, losers cannot hide; a single encounter in force is enough; civil wars cannot be prolonged in remote provinces or by the flight of the defeated to inaccessible deserts. Though the destruction of life and property had been frightful—four thousand Chileans perishing and commerce and industry being paralysed for the moment—peace was immediately re-established and the nation rapidly recovered. A general amnesty buried the doings of the insurgents in oblivion, and former liberals were welcomed as members of the party which Montt and Varas, his able minister, organised. Though their faces were set against political innovations they adopted many important administrative reforms. The admirable civil code prepared by Bello was given to the country, replacing the complicated and confusing mass of old Spanish laws by clear and systematic legislation. The tariff was lowered and differential duties as between foreign countries were abolished. Commercial courts were installed, decimal coinage adopted, church tithes converted into a moderate fixed tax, treaties of commerce and amity negotiated with the great commercial nations, missions[Pg 201] established among the Araucanians, and public libraries and schools were multiplied.

On the other hand, Montt and Varas relentlessly pursued a policy of centralisation, subjecting even the affairs of the municipalities to the control of the Santiago bureaucracy. Re-elected as a matter of course in 1856, Montt's second term was even more intransigent than his first. Many leading liberals were driven from the country, and minor insurrections broke out more than once, only to be sternly suppressed. The landed aristocracy had, however, ceased to be unanimous against concessions; its more progressive members belonged now to the liberal party; and the "montt-varistas" in congress were compelled to ally themselves now with the clericals, now with the liberals, in order to secure a working majority. In 1858 Montt came to an open rupture with congress because it insisted on passing a law permitting the return of his banished political enemies. Meanwhile he had alienated the clergy by compelling the ecclesiastical authorities to submit to the decisions of the civil tribunals, and some conservatives united with the liberals against him in the elections in the fall of 1858. His measures became arbitrary and oppressive. Newspapers were suppressed, meetings dispersed, and agitators imprisoned. At the end of the year a great meeting was called at the capital to promote a reform of the Constitution. The government forbade it as a menace to public order, and the dissatisfaction was so wide-spread that Montt proclaimed martial law.

The liberals in the southern and northern pro[Pg 202]vinces simultaneously rose in rebellion and for four months civil war raged furiously. Gallo, a young, rich, and powerful leader, was at the head of the insurrection in the North and at first he defeated the government forces and occupied Coquimbo. But his hopes were crushed by the news that the southern liberals advancing from Concepcion had been repulsed at Chillan, enabling Montt to concentrate the whole army against him. Four thousand regulars routed the two thousand men who followed Gallo, and the remnants fled across the Argentine border. Defeated and banished, the liberals in reality had won. The seriousness of the rebellion had convinced the aristocracy that concessions must be made or a renewal of the conflict would be inevitable. Montt did not seek a re-election, and it was necessary to unite on some man of high personal prestige, and of distinguished family, who had remained neutral in the recent struggle. Such a one was found in Perez, who accordingly received the unanimous vote of the electoral college and was inaugurated in 1861. That the new president's policy would be one of reconciliation and compromise was soon made evident by his procuring the passage of a law granting amnesty for political offences. A coalition of moderate liberals and conservatives threw Montt and Varas with their party of "nationalists" into opposition along with the radicals or "reds" under the leadership of Gallo. The curious spectacle was presented of two sets of men, united in an alliance against the administration, who only two years before had been fight[Pg 203]ing in the field, and who now professed the most radically divergent political opinions. Fierce parliamentary struggles ensued, but they were confined to the floor of congress and to changes in the ministry.

The country had now recovered from the commercial panic of the fifties and from the devastations of the brief civil war, and proceeded again on the even tenor of its prosperous commercial way. The railroad from Valparaiso to Santiago was completed in 1863; lines were extended up and down the great central valleys; the telegraph system was enlarged; Chilean capitalists began to push up the desert northern coast to engage in the guano business; the German immigration to southern Chile continued and European colonisation was fostered. Indeed, no South American country has incorporated such a large proportion of North European blood; and British, German, and French names are common not only in commerce and industry, but also in the political, naval, and military services—witness Mackenna, O'Higgins, Beauchef, Godoy, Montt, Walker, Edwards, MacIver, Tupper, Prat, Larrain, MacClure, Koenig, Mathieu, Stuven, Ross, Marchant, Cumming, Day, Stephan, and a hundred others.

In 1865 a war with Spain interrupted domestic progress, political as well as commercial. Engaged in a dispute with Peru, the Spanish government had sent an overwhelming fleet to enforce its demands, and seized the Chincha Islands. The Spanish admiral was reported to have justified this high-handed act upon the ground that Peru was still subject to[Pg 204] Spain. If this was true of the one country it was of the other, and the Chileans believed their territorial integrity and even their independence menaced. Government and people manifested an active sympathy with Peru; Peruvian vessels were allowed to coal; newspapers were filled with abuse of Spain; and a riot occurred in front of the Spanish legation. In September, 1865, the Spanish fleet sailed into Valparaiso Bay and its admiral presented an ultimatum. Four days were given for a satisfactory explanation, an apology, and a salute to the Spanish flag. Failing this he would blockade the coast and procure indemnification by force. The Chilean government rejected the humiliating proposition; the blockade was established, and the administration, backed by the enthusiastic approval of the whole country, refused to make any concessions, though Chile's fleet consisted of one small vessel and her ports were at the enemy's mercy. The single Chilean steamer succeeded in capturing a Spanish gunboat, which so humiliated the admiral that he committed suicide, and when, in March, 1866, Chile refused even to disclaim an intention of insulting Spain, or to exchange salutes, the Spaniards proceeded to bombard Valparaiso. The town was totally without defences and open to cannon fire; ten millions of property were destroyed in the three hours and a half that the cannonading lasted, nine-tenths of it being on the water-front and belonging to foreign merchants. The Spanish fleet then withdrew, although the original question remained exactly as at the outset.[Pg 205]


[Pg 206]

An indirect result of the common danger of the Pacific nations was an agreement in 1866 between Chile and Bolivia as to their boundary on the coast. The line was fixed at the 24th degree, but Chileans were allowed to continue to exploit guano and nitrate as far north as the 23d—an arrangement which gave their country substantial claims in a region which shortly proved a marvellous producer of ready money. The German colonisation in the South continued on an increasing scale during the late sixties; free land was given to immigrants and their passage paid. The Araucanians, resenting the influx of whites so near their own territory, began to make trouble, and a war went on through 1868, 1869, and 1870, which finally resulted in their suing for peace. A line of forts kept them in order and they ceased to be a disturbing factor in Chilean affairs.

Perez had been re-elected in 1866, and his second term marks the beginning of a new era in Chilean politics. The dynamic elements had finally become stronger than the static, and the pressure for amendments to the Constitution could no longer be resisted. But in the forty years since Portales had fixed the form of the government in its aristocratic mould, political traditions had hardened into habits. No really radical changes had any serious chance of success. A measure forbidding the president to be re-elected was passed, and a desperate fight made to extend the suffrage to all who could read and write. Though favoured by President Perez the last failed to carry, and the most the liberals could obtain was a law reducing the property qualification.[Pg 207]

The election in 1871 was warmly contested. The advanced liberals pressed hard on the conservatives, who resisted further changes desperately. The latter united with the moderate liberals upon Errazuriz as presidential candidate to succeed Perez, and receiving the support of the outgoing administration he was elected. At first the elements who had elected him controlled a majority in congress, but the aggressiveness of the liberals and rival ambitions in the government coalition soon overthrew the reactionary ministry. Errazuriz changed as congress did and soon found himself pushing liberal reforms. The great issue was the amenability of the clergy to the civil tribunals. Though fifteen years previously President Montt had compelled the reinstatement of two church dignitaries deprived of their places by the archbishop, the clergy had nevertheless persisted in their claims. The liberals now insisted on the adoption of a criminal code which would leave no doubt, and amid bitter opposition it was passed. The clericals were further outraged by concessions as to Protestant worship and the obligatory teaching of the Catholic religion in the state colleges. Though the bill establishing civil marriage failed, the anti-clerical movement went so far that the old-line conservatives withdrew in disgust from the alliance which had existed between them and the moderate liberals since the revolt against Montt. Thenceforth the conservative party ceased to be an important factor, and the predominant liberals divided into factions who intrigued among themselves to organise working congressional majorities, which supported[Pg 208] ministries and controlled patronage. Political reform went on with increasing momentum. To curb the control of elections which the ministry in power exercised through the local officers who made up the voting lists, minority representation was provided for, but only after the moderates had forced the radicals to a compromise, which exempted presidential and senatorial elections.

Meanwhile material prosperity was steadily increasing and population growing at the rate of one and a half per cent. a year. Coal mines had been discovered in southern Chile, railroad building continued, and the finding of the rich Caracoles silver mines in 1870, lying near the northern limit of the jointly occupied territory, not only opened up vistas of wealth, but brought to the front the troublesome question of the Bolivian boundary. Peru became alarmed at Chile's rapid progress in the nitrate and guano business, Bolivia feared aggressions on the part of her powerful neighbour, and in 1872 these two powers entered into a defensive alliance intended to protect their joint interests on the Pacific coast. The reaction inevitably consequent on rapid commercial expansion came in the middle of Errazuriz' term, and was aggravated by a fall in the prices of Chilean exports caused by the world panic of 1873. The already burdened government finances quickly felt the strain; outgo exceeded income, and it was necessary to reduce expenses. Happily the debt, though large, was not excessive. Chile had gone in for no such reckless carnival of borrowing as Peru and the Argentine, and her bonds[Pg 209] had been opportunely refunded at a low rate of interest.

As the time for the election approached the radical liberals put forward Mackenna on a programme which included not only religious freedom in its widest sense, the extension of the common schools, and the abolition of the tobacco monopoly, but also railways and internal improvements enough to bankrupt the treasury. The moderate liberals were opposed to Mackenna and his programme, so the party split. The convention of moderates was at first unable to agree on a candidate, but on a second attempt Anibal Pinto was nominated. Favoured by the outgoing administration, his election was a foregone conclusion.

By this time the dispute with the Argentine over the possession of the southern extremity of the continent had become acute, and public feeling in both countries had risen to a height perilous to the maintenance of peace. The only boundary treaty between Chile and Argentina—that of 1856—provided that the limits should be as they had been during colonial times, but these were not certain because throughout the Spanish occupation the territory now disputed had been uninhabited, and neither the viceroy of Buenos Aires nor the captains-general of Chile had concerned themselves about it. Since independence Chile had always claimed to the Andes on the east and to Cape Horn on the south, including the region about the Straits of Magellan over to the Atlantic side. As early as 1843 she had established a post at the eastern end of the straits, and[Pg 210] Argentina at first did not seriously dispute her possession. In 1870 guano was discovered in the region, and when Chile promptly proceeded to treat it as her own the Argentine government protested. For ten years the two countries bickered, but with the Peruvian war impending Chile thought it wiser to make some concessions, and the dispute was finally settled by a treaty in 1881 by which the territory was divided, Chile getting the more valuable part with the control of both ends of the straits, although this great interoceanic waterway was declared neutral and no fortifications may be erected there.

[Pg 211]



Since 1873 the low prices of Chile's chief exports, wheat and copper, had turned the balance of trade against her. The government could not make both ends meet, and in 1878 the banks were compelled to suspend specie payments. They resorted to the issue of more notes, backed by the government's guaranty. Just at this juncture the Bolivian government levied a heavy royalty on the nitrate extracted by the Chilean companies operating in Bolivian territory. This threatened ruin to the most promising enterprise in which Chilean citizens were engaged, and was believed to be a manifest violation of the terms of the treaty of 1866. The government determined not to stop short of war itself if necessary to defend Chilean interests, though war on Bolivia also meant war on her ally, Peru.

A meagre description of the stirring events of this contest will be found in that part of this volume devoted to Peru. Chile's overwhelming victory not only profoundly affected her international position, but also her internal condition. The preparations[Pg 212] of the spring of 1879 plunged the government into expenditures which ordinary revenues were totally insufficient to meet. A new issue of paper money was resorted to, but the interest on the foreign debt was kept up. The first nine months of 1879 were an anxious time for Chileans. Pitted against two nations whose combined population was nearly double her own, her treasury empty, while that of Peru was supplied by the marvellous nitrate deposits of Tarapacá, the result appeared doubtful and the consequences of failure almost too horrible to face. When the Peruvians lost their iron-clad, Independencia, hope rose, but the ease with which the Huascar eluded the Chilean ships made the people again lose confidence in their navy, and the coast towns were terror-stricken. But the destruction of the dreaded iron-clad in the naval battle of the 9th of October changed in the twinkling of an eye fear into confidence, apprehension of national ruin into the joyful assurance that a Chilean army would soon be in possession of the Golconda of the Pacific. Within a month the Chilean forces were landed in the nitrate country, the Peruvians and Bolivians had been chased across the desert, and the Chilean collectors were receiving a million and a half a month from the royalties of the nitrate mines. A net sum nearly equal to the total revenue which Chile previously had been collecting from all sources was added to her income, and she was no longer driven to painful expedients in order to raise money to meet her military expenses. Although the issues of paper money were continued and prices consequently rose, busi[Pg 213]ness flourished and a period of abundance replaced the hard times which had reached a crisis in 1878. The government was able to abolish the odious tobacco monopoly, and the war rather lightened than increased the burdens of commerce. The centralised government of Chile proved an admirable instrument for times of war. The president and his ministry, backed by a compact congress, wielded the whole force and resources of the country like a weapon fitted to the hand, striking heavy and relentless blows until Peru lay prostrate.

After the complete destruction of the allied army by the Tacna campaign in March, 1880, the government, confident that a treaty of peace would soon be signed, delayed further aggressive operations for several months. But the Peruvians were obstinate and later in the year it was resolved to carry the war to the centre of the enemy's country. Lima fell on the 17th of January, 1881, and the glorious news was received while the liberals were contending over whom they should select as a candidate to succeed Pinto. There was much striving among the rival chiefs and one convention had already adjourned without coming to any agreement. Pinto ventured to interfere in a more decided way than any previous president had done and his influence was sufficiently powerful to induce the liberal party to unite on his personal choice, Santa Maria. The opposition tried to rally around the candidacy of General Baquedano, the greatest general of the war, but the prestige of the administration was too powerful.[Pg 214]

Although his nomination had been bitterly opposed by many prominent liberals, once in office Santa Maria found means to unite in his support a great majority of congress. The members who took their seats in 1882 were divided into three factions: the liberals proper, as the moderates were called, the radicals, and the nationals—few in number but counting in their ranks some of the ablest and wealthiest aristocrats in Chile. The conservatives, no longer an important factor, had abandoned their opposition to the civil reforms which the liberals pressed forward, concentrating their efforts on a hopeless but desperate resistance to religious innovations. Santa Maria was in full accord with his party, and his message of 1883 proclaimed that the time had come for the realisation of the oldest and dearest aspirations of Chilean liberals—civil marriage and registry, entire liberty of conscience, and the secularisation of the cemeteries. In the fierce discussion which followed, the eloquent prime minister, Balmaceda, took the lead. Although educated for the priesthood he had developed into an intransigent radical, a passionate advocate of the completest separation of Church and State.

The civil-marriage law was pushed through in spite of the sullen resistance of the conservatives and clericals. The women of Chile, the old-fashioned elements of society, and the clergy would not accept the result. The priests refused to perform a religious ceremony for any one who had been married by the civil law, and excommunicated the president and his cabinet. Devout Chileans of all classes[Pg 215] would not yield on this point of conscience, and cursed the liberal politicians as betrayers of their God. All other political questions were held in abeyance. Urged by their wives and the priests, the conservatives abandoned the attitude of abstention from politics which they had so long maintained, and went to the polls to do what they could to secure a majority for the repeal of the law. But ladies' entreaties and priests' absolutions availed little against the government's control of the election machinery, and the law remained on the statute books. Opposition centred against the presidential candidacy of Balmaceda—the radical, the Anti-Christ, the uncompromising. In vain Santa Maria tried to unite the four liberal groups—the government liberals, the radicals, the nationals, and the new division called dissidents. They refused to meet in a general convention. However, a majority, composed of the government liberals, the nationals, and a portion of the radicals, decided to support Balmaceda and he was triumphantly elected in 1886.

The dissidents, conservatives, and opposition radicals formed a formidable minority, determined to obstruct his administration. In the closing days of 1885 scenes were enacted on the floor of the Chilean congress which resembled recent sessions of the Austrian parliament. The revenue and appropriation bills were about to expire, and fresh ones for a new fiscal period had to be adopted. Under the regulations every member had a right to speak twice on each section, and the minority filibustered until[Pg 216] the constitutional period for adjournment had expired. Santa Maria would have to finish out his administration and Balmaceda begin his without supply bills. Under a strict construction of the Constitution all government would cease, but Balmaceda was not the man to shrink from enforcing the right of self-preservation inherent in all governments. The executive calmly proceeded to collect taxes and pay expenses according to the provisions of the expired law until a new congress met shortly after Balmaceda's inauguration, and this solution was peacefully accepted by the country.

Chile had never known a time of such material prosperity as the first three years of Balmaceda's administration proved to be. The revenues, well-nigh doubled by the nitrate and copper of the provinces wrested from Peru, were further increased by the flourishing condition of commerce and industry. The administration initiated and carried forward many important public works. Large sums were voted for railways, colonisation, and schools. Public salaries were raised, the Araucanian country colonised, and the Indians finally incorporated as real citizens of Chile. The clericals made the best of their defeat, and the liberal majority in congress, inspired by Balmaceda's energy, pushed forward rapidly on the road of reform and change. A new election law was passed and a beginning made toward making the Constitution more democratic.

Balmaceda's first idea was to unite all the liberal factions, conciliate the conservatives, and devote himself to a policy of material development. Al[Pg 217]though owing his election to three political parties out of the six, he was unwilling and perhaps unable to govern solely by their assistance. Instead of regarding himself as the chief of a combination of parties, entrusted by it with the direction of affairs and under obligations to act in harmony with it, he did not hesitate to accept the help offered by his former political opponents when that help was needed to carry into effect his personal ideas of what was best for the public interest. On the other hand, the party which had elected him was really no party at all—it was only a temporary coalition of three discordant factions. It is not necessary to follow the many changes in his cabinet, the continual substitution of one group for another, the details of the efforts which he made during three years to govern as he pleased, and at the same time to govern in harmony with congress. His difficulties lay not so much in reconciling conflicts of opinion on matters of policy as with the personal rivalries and ambitions of the factions. Suffice it to say that toward the end of 1889 he found himself without a majority in congress and with no prospect of obtaining one. Heretofore the rival groups had been only too anxious to trade their votes in exchange for a share of patronage. Now, satisfied that the president was determined upon depriving them of their secular influence in public affairs, all the factions of the ruling aristocracy fought him bitterly. They feared that the president was plotting the formation of a personal party, cemented by hopes of office, responsible to him alone, and that the system of[Pg 218] parliamentary government which had grown up by tacit consent and long-continued custom, would be replaced by a real presidential government in which the executive would be the source of power and not merely its channel.

Indeed, circumstances and his own characteristics were rapidly forcing Balmaceda into this position. Conscious of his own integrity and the disinterestedness and patriotism of his motives, his irritation against the stubborn self-seeking of the cliques ended in convincing him that the old interpretation of the Constitution must be abandoned, and the president in person in reality vested with all the powers given by the letter of the fundamental law. He devoted the remainder of his life to an effort to free the presidency from the practical control which congress had exercised since the days of Portales. In January, 1890, he threw down the gauntlet by appointing a cabinet composed exclusively of personal supporters. The new ministers announced that, considering their power to be derived from the president, they would hold office so long as they continued to be satisfactory to him, regardless whether or not they were supported by a parliamentary majority. In May, Balmaceda went a step farther by selecting another cabinet at whose head he placed San Fuentes, his own intimate friend and a man regarded with particular hatred by the president's opponents because it was understood that he had been selected as the president's successor, pledged to the continuance of the same policy. Congress replied by passing a vote of censure. Balmaceda insisted that the[Pg 219] cabinet should remain in power. Congress refused to pass any appropriation bills and summoned the ministers to the bar of the House. But the president was confident that he could carry the elections, and, sure of ultimate victory, felt he could afford to make present concessions. In August a compromise was agreed upon by which Balmaceda dismissed the San Fuentes cabinet and selected one composed of neutral men, while congress consented to pass the appropriation bills. The truce did not last long. The new ministers soon found that they were mere figureheads and that the Balmacedist executive committee was the real power in the administration. They resigned and Claudio Vicuña formed a ministry which was a re-edition of the May cabinet. The announcement of its appointment was in effect a notification that the armistice was at an end. Congress accepted the gage of combat and immediately began to organise for civil war.

The wealth, social distinction, and professional classes of the country were mostly on the side of the congressionalists, and all who were conservative and fearful of disturbance in the established order rallied around them. The democratic elements, the reformers, the radicals, the dissatisfied, supported Balmaceda, but the great mass of the common people, used for centuries to political subordination to the upper classes, remained inert. His opponents met with no encouragement in their efforts to suborn the army and General Baquedano refused the leadership of the insurrection which they offered him. However, the officers of the navy, recruited[Pg 220] from among the aristocratic classes, enthusiastically assured their undivided support, and Jorge Montt, who held a high position in the navy, was chosen as chief of the revolution.

The congressionalists resolved to make the issue upon the point whether the president had a right to maintain any military force, land or naval, after the 31st of December, the day upon which the existing appropriation law expired. Balmaceda did not hesitate an instant, but issued a proclamation that he would follow the precedent established in 1886—collect taxes and maintain the public service by executive authority until the assembling of the next session of congress. He expressly disclaimed any designs of establishing a permanent dictatorship, while expressing his firm determination not to permit the refusal of congress to interrupt the functioning of government. The issue was sharply drawn; neither side would recede; either congress would cease to exercise its immemorial control of the executive or would depose him.


Five days after Balmaceda's proclamation the congressionalist chiefs embarked on board the war-ships lying in Valparaiso Bay, and the civil war was on. The army remained faithful to Balmaceda and he was in undisputed possession of the whole country, although his opponents had powerful sympathisers everywhere. The latter's plan of campaign was simple. Once again power on the sea was to decide the fate of the Pacific coast. The navy sailed away to the nitrate provinces, a region separated from the rest of Chile by the impassable Atacama desert and to which, therefore, Balmaceda could not send re-inforcements. The small garrison under Colonel Robles made a desperate resistance, but was soon overpowered, and there the revolution established its base of operations. The population of sturdy miners, used to discipline under their bosses, [Pg 222]furnished an admirable supply of recruits, and a revenue of two millions a month fell at once into the hands of the congressionalists. Possessing the sinews of war, it was only a question of a few months to equip an army with the most modern weapons and have it thoroughly drilled and organised by experts. The blockade of the southern ports intercepted Balmaceda's supplies and the congressionalist partisans escaped by hundreds to make their way up the coast and join the revolutionary army. By August they were ready with a force of more than ten thousand men.

In the meantime Balmaceda had been making desperate efforts to get a navy, but iron-clads cannot be improvised, and the congressionalist agents in New York and Europe had money enough to outbid him and to command influences which effectually hindered prompt action. In Chile itself he adopted stern repressive measures against the plots of his enemies and vigorously recruited his army, putting into the field nearly thirty thousand soldiers. But the blockade prevented his procuring modern arms and they had to go into battle with old-style rifles whose range was only half that of those carried by their opponents. He was also at a disadvantage in that the enemy could strike where he pleased on a coast nine hundred miles long. Balmaceda was obliged therefore to keep his forces divided. Nine thousand were at Coquimbo, three hundred and fifty miles north of Santiago; as many at Concepcion, four hundred miles south of the capital; and five thousand at Valparaiso, a hundred miles north-west.[Pg 223] At Santiago he kept the remainder as a reserve to be sent to the assistance of whichever of the three divisions might be attacked.

On the 20th of August the fleet of seventeen vessels carrying the whole revolutionary army suddenly appeared a few miles north of Valparaiso. Balmaceda had short warning and was not able to oppose the landing, which was skilfully conducted by Colonel Canto, the able strategist who commanded the congressionalist forces, with the valuable assistance of Colonel Koerner, a Prussion tactician of the first rank whose services had been hired. There was no time to get troops from Coquimbo and Concepcion. The congressionalist generals moved so rapidly that the best the president could do was to send the Santiago division, which, united with that at Valparaiso, made a force nearly equal in numbers to the enemy. The revolutionists landed with their rations in their haversacks and within a few hours were marching straight south along the seashore on Valparaiso. The Balmacedists tried to defend the passage of the Aconcagua River, which enters the ocean twenty miles north of the city, but they had hardly got into position on the heights which overlook its southern bank when the enemy was upon them. The latter's artillery was twice as strong and his infantry more numerous besides being armed with longer range rifles. In spite of the advantage of position and the fatigue of their opponents the Balmacedists were flung back in complete defeat by the volleys of the Mannlichers and the furious cannonading from both batteries and ships. The battle[Pg 224] lasted the whole day and at its close two thousand of the government troops lay on the field, three thousand had been dispersed or deserted to the enemy, and scarcely three thousand held together for the retreat to the neighbourhood of Valparaiso, where three regiments of the Santiago division who had taken no part in the fight were waiting. Canto followed, but failing in a tentative attack on the strong northern defences of Valparaiso, he determined to make a circuit to the east, cut the railroad between Santiago and Valparaiso, and either take the latter place in the rear or march on the capital as seemed best. The movement, so masterfully conceived, was skilfully carried out without a moment's loss of time. The essential thing was to act so promptly that Balmaceda could not concentrate his forces. On the 25th the whole congressionalist army had reached Quillota, on the railroad twenty-five miles back of Valparaiso. But Balmaceda had also been active, and during those three days the Concepcion division had arrived at Santiago, and reinforcements had been got through to Valparaiso which raised the army to nearly ten thousand men. Four thousand troops defended Santiago and more were momentarily expected from Coquimbo.

Canto resolved to give him no time for any further concentration, but to fall upon the Valparaiso army before the railroad could be repaired and, by destroying Balmaceda's largest force, end the war. A forced march across country brought him to the old carriage road which comes into Valparaiso from the south. By the 27th his army had covered the in[Pg 225]credible distance of forty miles and was within six miles of the government forces, who occupied a strong position between the congressionalists and Valparaiso. Tired though the congressionalists were, they were forced to attack without delay. The only provisions which they could count on were the rations that they had brought in their haversacks; and Balmaceda might at any moment receive reinforcements from Santiago. So they advanced resolutely to the assault. The Balmacedists fought with little enthusiasm or hope; the desertion of part of their cavalry and the inactivity of the rest discouraged the infantry and artillery, but at first they met the charges with the steadiness characteristic of the race. The battle was decided by a flank movement executed by Koerner, who turned the Balmacedist left, while the cavalry charged recklessly up the hill. Thrown into confusion, the government troops were simply swept out of existence by furious volleys and determined charges. Some had stood steady long enough to kill and wound a sixth of the enemy who charged up the hill, but more than a quarter of their own numbers perished in the battle and the pursuit.

The fight was over at half-past ten in the morning, but the news of the utter ruin of all his hopes did not reach Balmaceda until half-past seven. It was his wife's saint's day and friends were coming to dine at his house. Characteristically he did not recall the invitations, and not until the dinner party was over did he arrange to turn over the government of the city to General Baquedano. Then he[Pg 226] quietly walked to the Argentine legation and received asylum. Vicuña, the recently elected president, who would have succeeded Balmaceda on the 18th of September, was in Valparaiso and fled to a foreign warship followed by the principal Balmacedist chiefs. No further resistance was made and the congressionalist junta, with Jorge Montt at its head, assumed the supreme direction of affairs. Balmaceda's fall was followed by some riots, but the arrival of the responsible chiefs of the victorious party ensured the re-establishment of order. Like the Anglo-Saxon, the Chilean fights desperately on the field of battle, and when his blood is up he is relentless, but when beaten he phlegmatically accepts the consequences, and when victorious he is not cruel. The Chileans resemble their prototypes of the northern hemisphere in lacking the vivid imagination which makes the inhabitants of warmer climates vengeful. Slow, silent, serious, practical-minded, hard to themselves as well as to others, they turned at once to the work of reconstruction.

No one suspected that the defeated president was at the house of the Argentine minister. It was supposed that he had escaped in disguise, but on the 18th of September, the day upon which his legal term as president expired, the country was astounded to hear that he had shot himself that very morning. The unhappy man feared that he might get his generous host into danger, and his theatrical temperament could not bear the humiliation of a public trial or the risk of being torn to pieces by a mob in case he were discovered. He offered himself[Pg 227] as an expiatory sacrifice, knowing that his death would save his friends from further persecution and hoping that it might do for the cause of democratic government in Chile that which his life had so signally failed to accomplish.

An election had been called and Jorge Montt chosen president of Chile with all due regard to legal forms. The aristocratic and parliamentary form of government, under which Chile had so long lived in peace, order, and prosperity, growing at home in intellectual and moral graces and in material welfare, while abroad the nation had waxed great in the consideration of the world, was restored as it had been before Balmaceda attacked it. Not only the arbitrament of battle, but the verdict of the people, so far as the latter can be gathered from the convinced enthusiasm shown by the congressionalists and inferred from the passiveness of the masses, had decided that there should be no radical change; that the president should be advised by the congress and rule in harmony with its majority; that the ballot should be guarded by both an educational and a property qualification; that political evolution should proceed by slow amendment and not by radical innovation—by experiment, not by theory.

The last twelve years of Chile's internal political history offers little of special interest to the foreign student. Jorge Montt, though raised to power by force of arms, proved a modest and non-aggressive president. For two years the anti-Balmacedist groups managed to keep a majority together, but incompatible ambitions rather than differences of[Pg 228] principle soon divided them. Balmaceda's old partisans quickly rallied and elected nearly a quarter of the members of the congress of 1894, holding the balance of power amid the warring factions. Curiously enough, it was with the conservatives that the Balmacedists formed a combination, and though they held no cabinet position in Montt's time, they were a principal factor in the coalition which elected Errazuriz to the presidency in 1896. The jealousies among the rival factions of the liberals were too bitter to permit the bulk of that party to make any effective combination against the conservative-Balmacedist-liberal alliance, and the latter remained in power during most of Errazuriz's administration. At its end, the liberals having failed to agree, German Riesco was nominated and elected by much the same influences over Pedro Montt, son of the old president.

The present Chilean parties do not embody any definite and conflicting political principles. Each one derives its origin from some great conflict which took place under a former administration. Once welded together in battling for a common cause, friendship, gratitude, the hope of mutual aid in their ambitions have kept the members united. The latter-day Balmacedists are not enemies of parliamentary dominance; the nationals are now classed as liberals, though they started as ultra-conservatives under Montt; the conservatives do not especially oppose reforms, though they defend the Catholic universities against radical attacks. The property qualification for suffrage is liberally construed; any[Pg 229] one who has an income of a thousand pesos is legally entitled to vote, and if the elector can read and write he is not rigidly cross-examined as to the exact amount of the wages he receives. However, this wide extension of the suffrage has not brought about any material change in the personnel of congress. Discussion of the advisability of changing the present system is purely academic, and if dissatisfaction exists it ferments far beneath the surface. Like the English aristocracy that of Chile is truly representative, wielding its power with a keen sense of its responsibility to the nation, and rarely refusing to adopt a reform which is clearly demanded by the country.


[Pg 230]

Chile recovered with some difficulty from the industrial disorganisation and tremendous expenditures caused by the civil war. Balmaceda's vast issues of paper money disturbed government finances and made the returns of private enterprise uncertain. The world-wide fall of prices in the years following 1893 hurt Chilean exports, and an era of economy made necessary by closely balanced budgets succeeded the flush times. Meanwhile, the marvellous material growth of the Argentine Republic began to make Chileans doubt if their country could retain that military and naval hegemony which she had possessed since her great victories over Peru and Bolivia. Shut in between the Andes and the sea, on the north an uninhabitable desert and on the south the bleak Antarctic waste, Chile naturally envied the limitless and fertile plains over which her neighbour might spread her population, and the Argentine navy was fast approaching her own in size and efficiency.

By the year 1895 Argentina's revenue exceeded Chile's nearly twenty per cent., while the former's foreign commerce was seventy per cent. and her population fifty per cent. greater. Their rivalry, none the less real because tacit, explains the seemingly unreasonable bitterness of the dispute over the differing interpretations of the treaty of limits. That treaty fixed the boundary at the crest of the Andes, but when the joint commissioners appointed to make the surveys reached southern latitudes where the range becomes ill-defined and runs off into the sea they found it difficult to determine just[Pg 231] where the crest was. The Argentines insisted on a line drawn between the highest peaks because that would give them more territory, while the Chileans contended for the watershed between the two oceans. Another dispute also arose about the line which ought to divide the Argentine from the province which Chile had taken from Bolivia. Though in both cases the disputed territory was comparatively valueless, national feeling rose to an extraordinary pitch and more than once war has been imminent. The northern dispute was at length settled in 1898 by the arbitration of the American minister to Buenos Aires, but, though a similar method of settlement had been agreed upon as to the other and more important question, its final submission was delayed from year to year, and meanwhile each nation suspected the other of aggressions. Argentina ordered new iron-clads, which she could ill afford; Chile ordered still better ones, and Argentina kept pace. In 1898 and again in 1901 the two countries were on the brink of a war which certainly would have ruined either one or the other. Happily, better counsels prevailed and arbitration by the English government was hurried forward, resulting in 1902 in a settlement with which both parties are in reality satisfied, and the fine iron-clads building in Europe are now for sale.

[Pg 232]

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Between latitudes fourteen and a half and twenty-three and a half, the mighty Andean chain is massed into a plateau five hundred miles wide, over twelve thousand feet high, and interspersed with a complex system of mountains and ridges, parallel, transverse, and interlaced. Geographers estimate that this central portion of the Andean system contains nearly five hundred thousand cubic miles of matter above sea level, and that it would, cover the entire area of South America to an average depth of four hundred feet. The great ranges which stretch north to the Caribbean and south to Cape Horn are mere arms of this massive elevation of the earth, the highest and largest in the new world. Within a few miles of the coast rises a lofty and continuous range of mountains which can be scaled only over a few passes, none of which fall far below fourteen thousand feet. From the top a vast plateau stretches to the lofty chain which forms the inland rim of the Andean massif. This plateau is Bolivia. The northern portion forms the Titicaca[Pg 236] basin, the whole of which was formerly covered by an immense fresh-water sea, fed by the snows of the surrounding mountains, and draining south-east into the Plate Valley. Now, however, the rainfall has so decreased that the great lake is shrunk to a mere tithe of its original dimensions, and none of its waters escape out of the dry plateau. In its southern part the plateau is bifurcated by a high central range, which divides southern Bolivia into two portions, the western of which, called the Puna, is too high, cold, and dry for cultivation. To the east the plains are lower and moister, sloping very gradually toward the east until they plunge off abruptly into the great central valley of South America.

The northern part of the Titicaca basin was the cradle of civilisation in South America. On the shores of the lake are ruins of great buildings erected by a race who occupied this plateau unknown centuries before the rise of the Inca power. One doorway exists in an almost perfect state of preservation, carved out of a single block of stone seven feet high and twice as long, covered with figures elaborately sculptured in high relief, while dozens of heroic statues, and walls containing hewn stones twelve yards long, remain to attest the skill of the old workmen.


Bolivian history emerges from the realm of conjecture with the invasion of the Incas, a warlike and civilised tribe who inhabited the slightly lower plateaux and valleys north-east of the Titicaca basin. The ancient Titicacan civilisation had long since fallen from its high estate and the Inca armies easily [Pg 238]overcame the resistance of the scattered shepherd tribes. The conquered aborigines were incorporated with the Incas and Quichua became the principal although not the only language. Great colonies of the dominant race spread south and east over the massif into the fertile regions of Yungas, Cochabamba, and Charcas. Bolivia became one of the principal seats of the Inca power. There they built their most magnificent palaces; in the northern mountains they found the copper for their tools and weapons, and the gold which they used to ornament their temples. Over the higher plains roamed flocks of llamas and vicuñas. The slightly lower parts of the plateau produced potatoes and quinoa, and the warmer valleys maize, cocoa, and cotton. The broad lake, the rivers, and the roads over the comparatively level country favoured intercommunication and social and industrial consolidation.

In the terrible civil war which broke out about 1525 between Atahuallpa and Huascar, Bolivia suffered less than the Peruvian and Ecuadorean provinces, but thousands of her sons were drafted into the armies which Huascar successively launched against Quizquiz and the horde of northern tribes which relentlessly marched from Quito to Cuzco, and after five years of slaughter captured the southern capital and the legitimate emperor. But before Quizquiz had had time to pursue his conquering way into Bolivia, news came that Pizarro had imprisoned and murdered Atahuallpa, and that the Spaniards were on their way to Cuzco to give battle to Quizquiz and restore the legitimate succession. The[Pg 239] northern Indians were defeated and at the close of 1533 Pizarro entered Cuzco in triumph riding at the side of Huascar's heir. The people of southern Peru, Bolivia, Tucuman, and Chile regarded the Spaniards as deliverers and allies. Within a few months after the occupation of Cuzco the strangers rode out of the city along the splendid stone-flagged Inca roads, crossed the transverse range into the Titicaca basin, and followed south-east to the extremity of the plateau, encountering little resistance and regarded as ambassadors from the Inca emperor. They found the country teeming with a docile and prosperous population, and the mountains on its borders were reported to abound in silver, gold, and copper. Almagro, Pizarro's partner and associate, to whose share had fallen the southern half of the empire, resolved not only to take possession of Bolivia, but also to conquer the great province which the Indians told him lay far to the south in fertile valleys on the western side of the Andes and hard by the Pacific Ocean.

In 1535 Almagro marched from Cuzco with five hundred Spaniards and ten thousand Indians, the latter under the command of a brother of the Emperor. After crossing the Titicaca basin, he surmounted the difficulties of the bleak and icy Puna, the snowy passes, and the Atacama desert, and descended finally into Chile. But he found the people poor and warlike, and encountered little gold. Returning in 1538 to make war on Pizarro, he was defeated and died strangled in prison by his relentless rival. Hernando and Gonzalo Pizarro, Fran[Pg 240]cisco's brothers, became dominant on the Titicacan plateau, and began establishing great feudal lordships, dividing the country among their followers and exacting tribute and forced labour from the Indians. In 1540 the great Marquis himself visited Charcas, the southern capital and only large Indian city in Bolivia.

Late that same year his quartermaster, Pedro de Valdivia, led another expedition along the route over the Bolivian plateau into northern Chile. Meanwhile the Spaniards were diligently searching Bolivia for the Indian gold mines. Though the Incas were known to have extracted immense quantities of the metal from the placers around Lake Titicaca, the surface deposits had been pretty well exhausted, and the Spaniards were disappointed. Silver, however, existed in abundance and the strangers began to work the mines shortly after they reached the plateau. About 1545 the great deposits of Potosí were discovered on a bleak mountainside four hundred miles south-east of Titicaca and near Charcas, in the regions where Gonzalo Pizarro possessed immense estates. At that time Gonzalo was virtually independent monarch of the whole Inca empire, having headed a successful revolt against a viceroy sent out to reorganise the country and put a stop to Indian slavery. But he did not long enjoy his riches, for in 1548 he risked his all in a hopeless battle with a new Spanish governor and ended his stormy life on the scaffold.

The discovery of Potosí revolutionised Upper Peru—as Bolivia was then called. It is probable[Pg 241] that the high and inaccessible plateau would have largely escaped Spanish settlement if it had not been for the marvellous riches now offered to Spanish cupidity. Pizarro's original followers came as conquerors and not as settlers. They overran a great and civilised empire whose revenues they proposed to absorb and whose inhabitants they subjected to tribute, but after they had obtained all the gold accumulated in the hands of the Indians there would have been little to have induced them to remain in Bolivia. But as soon as the unprecedented extent of the silver deposit at Potosí was recognised, Bolivia became the greatest source of that metal in the known world and the most important province of the transatlantic dominions of the Castilian king. That one mountain has produced two billion ounces of silver. Even by the early rude processes which the Spaniards found in use among the Indians seventy million ounces were taken out in the first thirty years, and the discovery of quicksilver in Peru, with the invention of the copper-pan amalgamation process in 1575, quadrupled the output. A great mining camp sprang up on the Potosí mountainside; royal officials, contractors, and merchants flocked to this Eldorado; the mountain roads to Lima swarmed with mule trains, carrying down silver and painfully toiling back again laden with supplies; the routes of the Bolivian plateau became the greatest arteries of travel in Spanish America.

The year of Gonzalo's execution the city of La Paz was founded in a valley lying in the open plains just south of Lake Titicaca, and soon became a great[Pg 242] emporium of Spanish trade. On the fertile plateau to the east of Potosí the city of Charcas flourished and was made the political and ecclesiastical capital of Upper Peru, Potosí being too high for Europeans. Soon other great mines were found, among which those of Oruro, on the south-eastern edge of the Titicaca basin, proved especially rich. Nearly ten thousand abandoned silver mines testify to the activity of the Spaniards in hunting the precious metal, and the total production of silver in Bolivia during the colonial period exceeded three billion ounces. To work these mines the Spaniards ruthlessly impressed the helpless Indians. Each village was required to furnish a certain number of labourers annually. Lots were drawn as if for a proscription, and the unhappy creatures who drew the bad numbers went off to meet a certain death in the dark wet pits and galleries, bidding good-bye to their wives and children like men stepping on the scaffold. The destruction of life was frightful, the official returns made by the officials charged with the impressment demonstrating that in the neighbourhood of Potosí the Indian population fell within a hundred years to a tenth of its original numbers.

The influx of Spanish adventurers and officials also stimulated the extension of the system of agricultural encomiendas—that is, the grants of large tracts of land with the privilege of enslaving the Indian occupants. Sheep were introduced from Spain within twenty years of the conquest, and immense herds belonging to the Spanish proprietors and tended by Indian slaves soon covered the vast[Pg 243] pasture grounds which are found even on the higher and colder portions of the plateau. Horses had come with the first conquerors and the breeding of mules flourished, especially in Cochabamba, the great agricultural centre which was founded in 1573, as well as in Charcas and the far southern districts of Tucuman. Cattle spread quickly over these same regions, and their beef, maize, mules, and horses found a good market in the mining districts.

By the year 1580 the Spanish colonial system affecting the natives had been perfected, codified, and put into general operation. The whole country was divided into about thirty districts, each governed by a corregidor who in theory was controlled by a complicated and carefully drawn system of regulations, but who in practice was a petty tyrant against whom the white Creoles had little chance of redress, and who held the Indians absolutely at his mercy. The regulations framed by the distant viceroy at Lima for the protection of the natives were evaded by the corregidors, intent solely on extorting money from the poor creatures committed to their charge. Encomiendas had nominally been abolished, but landed proprietors still exercised the right to exact tribute from the Indians on their estates and great numbers were forced to serve as life servants under various pretexts. Those Indians who retained a semblance of freedom obeyed their own caciques, who were often the descendants of the royal Inca family. The principal duty for which the Spaniards held these chiefs responsible was the collection of the head-tax in their respective villages.[Pg 244]

The letter of the law required a seventh of the adult male population to work for the benefit of the Government, and in practice this resulted in an unlimited farming out of Indians as slaves to the rural proprietors. As much as possible the Indians retired to their villages to escape the notice of the officials, hoping to find under their own caciques a measure of security and a chance to live in modest poverty. Misrule, slavery, labour in the mines, neglect of that intensive and government-directed agriculture which had alone rendered it possible to sustain the dense population of Inca times, decimated the Indians.

Few parts of the plateau escaped coming under Spanish rule, but the white conquerors, like their Inca predecessors, stopped short when they reached the dense forests and steep valleys, eroded by wildly rushing rivers, which cover the eastern slope of the great mountain region. Down these terrific gorges no progress was made, and only occasionally did some devoted priests manage to establish a mission among the intractable Indians who inhabit the open prairies interspersed among the beautiful forest-covered plains drained by the tributaries of the Madeira. The roads the Incas had built to the Pacific continued even in Spanish times to be the only practicable way of communication between Bolivia and the outer world. Transportation over the steep and tedious route from Potosí to La Paz, thence around Titicaca, and along the high valleys of southern Peru to the beginning of the tremendous descent to Lima, was too expensive to permit any[Pg 245] export except of the precious metals. To the south there was a somewhat easier route to the valleys of north-eastern Argentina, into which the Spaniards had spread within a few decades after the discovery of Potosí, and whence food and pack animals were drawn for the mining regions. Spanish law forbade the use of the Atlantic ports at the mouth of the Plate, and for more than two centuries Bolivia continued under both administrative and commercial subordination to Lima.

Jesuit missionaries arrived in Bolivia within twenty-five years after Loyola had founded the order. They established an important mission on the banks of Lake Titicaca in 1577, and five years later introduced the printing-press in order to distribute among their proselytes grammars and catechisms in the native tongues. In the seventeenth century they succeeded in penetrating down the eastern slope of the Andes and across the great central plain to the outlying hills of the Brazilian mountain system where they established several missions among the Chiquitos Indians. They even reached the grassy prairies which lie three hundred miles north of the inner angle of the great plateau, converted the Mojos, and taught them to herd cattle. But in the forests and along the base of the Andes the fierce tribes held their own as they had against the Incas and as they have continued to do against the Spanish-Americans to this day.

In 1619 another great silver find was made, this time near Lake Titicaca. A few years later civil war broke out among the Potosí miners caused by[Pg 246] the rancorous greed of the speculators who worked the mines under contract. Official authority could do little to suppress the bloody encounters, and the factions were only reconciled after three years of fighting. The discovery, in 1657, of another very rich silver mine near the lake brought on desperate fights among the miners who flocked to the place. The chief contractor enraged the other Spaniards by his exactions, and the situation became so serious that in 1665 the viceroy went in person and summarily tried and executed forty-two persons, among them the contractor's own brother.

For one hundred and fifty years the Spaniards had failed to find gold deposits equal to those from which the Incas had drawn the fabulous treasures that paid Atahuallpa's ransom, but about the end of the seventeenth century rich placers were discovered in the mountains east of Lake Titicaca. The town of Sorata soon rivalled Potosí in opulence. Shortly thereafter other great gold deposits were found on the eastern slope of the inner Andes by adventurous Brazilians who had made their way across the continent to the eastern headwaters of the Madeira and ascended the Beni River as far as the escarpment of the great plateau. The news of the discovery brought a crowd of Spanish miners from Chile, and as the placers were rich and Indian labour abounded, fortunes were rapidly accumulated. The gold was sold in annual fairs which continue to be held to this day, but as is always the case in gold washings the first results were the best. The region is too difficult of access for quartz mining, and the production[Pg 247] rapidly fell off. Activity in that part of Bolivia ceased in the eighteenth century and only a few Indians continued to wash a little gold in the remoter streams. In 1781 Sorata was destroyed and the gold country virtually abandoned.

[Pg 248]



During the two hundred years which followed the Spanish conquest, life on the Bolivian plateau was vegetative and changeless except for the occasional excitement caused by the discovery of a rich new silver mine. The Indians lived in their villages, herding their masters' sheep or cultivating maize and potatoes, paid tribute to the encomenderos or the Crown collector, and submitted with dull patience to all the exactions. They reverenced their caciques, listened submissively to the parish priests, and meekly suffered the tyranny of the corregidors. The language of the conquerors was unintelligible to most of the people. When summoned to work in the mines they went to slow misery and certain death with the stoicism of their race. The South American Indian changes his attributes but slowly, and we find a moral resemblance in tribes differing widely in material culture. The Inca emperor exacted and received the same blind, unquestioning obedience which the Paraguayans gave to Lopez four centuries later, and the rude[Pg 249] Guaranies on the banks of the Paraná, who had hardly entered the stone age, were no more readily submissive to the Spaniards than the Quichuas of Bolivia, whose engineering, agriculture, and architecture had reached a high degree of development.

Except the floating population of miners, the Spaniards and their descendants lived in the cities—La Paz, Cochabamba, Oruro, Charcas, Tarija, Santa Cruz. Each city had its plaza, its townhouse, its officials, and its law-courts. Administrative centres for the surrounding districts, their inhabitants were mainly functionaries and hangers-on, who varied the sleepy monotony of their existence by factional quarrels and political intrigues. In these cities the slow process of amalgamating the white and red races began, and the dynamic restlessness of the Caucasian infiltrated by degrees into the static calm of the Indian. The lower classes of the towns became half-breed, while in the country districts pure Indians predominated. Late in the colonial period the Spaniards were still occupying the position of alien taskmasters, and the process of fusing the different races into a homogeneous mass had made little progress after two centuries and a half of contact. In a word, the social and political organisation of Upper Peru was largely a continuation of the Inca system, but that system had been deformed and deprived of its efficiency and was subject to constant arbitrary interference from the Spanish corregidors, while the cities were separately governed by military governors and their own cabildos.[Pg 250]

Until the middle of the eighteenth century the authority of the Lima viceroy nominally extended over the whole of Spanish South America. However, boards of high judicial and civil functionaries called audiencias, responsible directly to the Crown, exercised very important and independent judicial and administrative functions, each over a great division of Spanish America. Hardly had the conquest been completed when an audiencia was established at Charcas and that city became the political and ecclesiastical capital not only of all Upper Peru but of the vast regions to the south. The viceroy was too far away to interfere, and in effect a great semi-independent province was created, whose boundaries extended indefinitely south and east from the transverse range which separated the Titicaca basin from the region immediately governed by the viceroy and known as Lower Peru. To the jurisdiction of this province the governors of Tucuman, Paraguay, and Buenos Aires were subject, as well as the missions among the Chiquitos and Mojos on the headwaters of the Paraguay and Madeira.

The Bourbon kings, who succeeded the House of Austria early in the eighteenth century, were forced to abandon the effort to centralise the administration and commerce of the whole continent at Lima. The Atlantic and Caribbean coasts could not be effectively governed from the Pacific and the rising currents of trade and immigration must be allowed more liberty to follow their natural channels. The viceroyalty of Bogotá was created in 1740 including the northern and north-western portions of the con[Pg 251]tinent, and in 1776 the south-eastern parts were erected into the viceroyalty of Buenos Aires. The whole audiencia of Charcas was separated from Lima, and to its territory was added that portion of Chile which lay east of the Andes. Though the Bolivian plateau was the most populous and important division of the new viceroyalty, Buenos Aires, far away on the Atlantic and in a region then considered of little value, was chosen as the capital.

In spite of prohibitive regulations goods had long been smuggled into Buenos Aires and thence carried over the Argentine plains up the comparatively easy passes leading to southern Bolivia, and the selection of the Plate city was a recognition by the Spanish government of the futility of longer trying to divert the trade of the Atlantic slope from its natural channels. But the greater length of the Atlantic route largely overcame the advantage of easier gradients, and social and commercial habits centuries old could not be revolutionised by statute. Most of Bolivia's small intercourse with the outside world continued to be conducted along the old Inca routes to the Pacific, and political union brought about no organic and commercial incorporation with the provinces near the mouth of the Plate.

Before the new viceroyalty was in good running order, a great Indian insurrection broke out which involved a large proportion of the Indians of the plateau. Tupac Amaru, the legitimate heir of the Inca emperors, and a wealthy and influential cacique in one of the valleys between Cuzco and the Bolivian border, had received a good Spanish education and[Pg 252] possessed many friends among the whites. But his heart went out to his own people, and he had the courage to protest against the intolerable oppressions of the corregidors. Failing to obtain redress after repeated prayers to the Spanish authorities at least to enforce their own laws honestly, he resolved to appeal to arms, and in 1780 he captured and killed a particularly demoniacal corregidor, his own immediate superior, and summoned the Indians of southern Peru to fight for their rights under his banner. Tupac had secured some firearms and out of the vast multitudes which assembled at his call he equipped three thousand men. The Spaniards advanced from Cuzco with a force of twelve hundred men, but Tupac defeated them and hastened across the range to arouse the population around Titicaca. At every village he addressed the people from the church steps, saying that he was come to abolish abuses and punish the corregidors, and the Indians responded with acclamations for the Inca and redeemer. Meanwhile the Spanish officials were assembling a large force in Cuzco which, strange as it may seem, was mostly composed of Indians. The race possessed little instinctive capacity for organisation, was deficient in initiative, moral courage, and independence, and had not the resolution to refuse to follow the Spanish officers. There were only a few like Tupac who possessed the mental energy and originality to plan and to fight on their own account. Receiving news of the Spanish preparations, the Inca hurried back to his home province and attempted to negotiate.[Pg 253] He recounted to the Spanish authorities his own earnest endeavours to obtain a measure of justice for his people, the habitual violation of Spanish law by Spanish officials, and the intolerable oppression of the system of impressment. He proposed a negotiation by which reforms might be attained without further bloodshed. Tupac's fame as an enlightened and unselfish patriot rests securely on the contents of the noble and able despatch which, on this occasion, he sent to the Spanish authorities. But the latter refused all compromise and ordered an advance on Tupac's position. He was surrounded, his army destroyed, and he himself sentenced to be torn in pieces by horses after witnessing with his own eyes the fearful tortures and death of his innocent and harmless wife and children.

The perpetration of such atrocities goaded even the dull and stoical Indians into a fury. They rose everywhere on the plateau and the Spaniards in northern Bolivia fled for refuge to La Paz and Puno. The Spanish army which had overcome Tupac advanced into the Titicaca basin, but was compelled to retreat before overwhelming numbers. Puno was evacuated and in 1781 the Spaniards had lost all foothold in northern Bolivia. But the habit of obedience was too strong; their first fury over, the Indians listened to promises of fair treatment and offers of compromise. Tupac's cousin, who had been made chief of the insurrection after the former's murder, was persuaded to submit on the promise of pardon, only to be arrested, tried, and executed as soon as his followers had laid down their arms.[Pg 254] The family of the Inca was extirpated, ninety of its members, including women and children, being sent on foot, loaded with chains, over the hundreds of miles of mountain road to Lima and thence conveyed to Spain, where they rotted away in prison.

Many of the reforms to secure which Tupac had lost his own life and devoted his kin to destruction, were voluntarily put into effect by the Spanish government a few years later. The office of corregidor was abolished, and the district governors were made directly responsible to the governor of the province, who was in turn responsible to the viceroy and audiencia. Courts were established to protect the rights of the Indians and the higher authorities made a sincere effort to secure the enforcement of the laws. However, the reforms did not materially change the condition of the country, and the Indians apparently settled back into the same apathetic obedience to the whites. The anti-Spanish feeling took no active form for the present, but the events had proved that the Indian population had become a field well prepared for the springing up of a crop of bloody insurrections.

[Pg 255]



The South American war of independence began and ended on the plateau of Upper Peru. On Bolivia's soil the first blood of the great revolt was spilt and there the last Spanish soldiers laid down their arms. Lying on the great route from Lima to Buenos Aires, her territory inevitably became the battle-ground for the hardest and most continuous fighting on the continent, and her population, having been the most oppressed by Spanish misrule, showed itself the most tenacious in efforts to drive out the Spanish authorities.

From 1809 to 1825, with scarcely an intermission, battle succeeded battle, campaign campaign, and insurrection insurrection, as the Spaniards and patriots, alternately victorious, marched and counter-marched along the great mountain road that winds through the plateau from Humahuaca on the Argentine frontier to the barrier north of Lake Titicaca. Not a village but what was captured and pillaged, not merely once but many times, and the tale of garottings and hangings, of massacres, burnings, and[Pg 256] depredations, of heads and hands spiked up by hundreds along the highways, wearies in the telling. The Indians and half-breeds who formed the bulk of the Bolivian population joined by tens of thousands the bands that were continually being recruited by the patriot caudillos, or were impressed into the Spanish armies. Like Missouri in the American Civil War, Bolivia furnished more than her contingent to both sides, and her geographical position was similar to that of Virginia. The fighting on her soil was the longest continued and the severest, although the decisive battles were fought outside her territory. Suipacha, Huaqui, Ayohuma, Viluma correspond to Seven Pines, Chancellorsville, and Fredericksburg; while Chacabuco, Boyacá, and Ayacucho, like Donelson, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga, were the fights that brought the real results.

The patriots from the Argentine wished to carry the war to the seat of Spanish power and made continual efforts to get to Lima by way of Bolivia, but though they often reached the plateau they could never long maintain themselves. The farthest that they ever penetrated was to the south end of Lake Titicaca, where they were still distant from their goal by more than a thousand miles of difficult mountain road. The Spanish generals were more successful, but any army in possession of the plateau was immediately impelled to dissipate its forces in keeping open lines of communication with the seaboard and in tedious marches.

The news of the French usurpation in 1808 and the consequent civil disturbances in Spain demoral[Pg 257]ised the Spanish authorities in the Bolivian cities, and the Creoles immediately conceived the hope that they might possess themselves of the offices and the revenues. Early in 1809 a few influential native Bolivians and disaffected Spaniards took forcible possession of the government buildings in Charcas and La Paz and deposed the Spanish officials. The insurgents managed to arm a few troops, but were able to make no effective resistance to the forces which the viceroys at Buenos Aires and Lima promptly sent to quell the movement. The rebellion was quenched in blood. Goyeneche, the Lima general, ordered wholesale executions among those who had taken part, and the news of his dreadful cruelties roused a bitter desire for revenge in the hearts of the Creoles of all South America.

The deposition by Buenos Aires of her viceroy on the 25th of May, 1810, was shortly followed by the advance of an Argentine army into Bolivia, and the forces which the Spanish authorities at Potosí and Charcas had been able to collect were defeated at Suipacha, near the southern border of the plateau. All the cities of Bolivia fell into the hands of the patriots, while the villages rose in revolt against their Spanish tyrants. The Buenos Aireans wished to subject the Bolivian provinces to a centralised government and rule them from the capital on the Plate, but every town in Upper Peru had its ambitious Creole leaders who wished to control their own country. These disagreements had much to do with the crushing defeat which the Argentine army shortly suffered at Huaqui on the southern shore of[Pg 258] Lake Titicaca. The projected triumphal advance through Cuzco and Lower Peru to Lima was turned into a precipitate retreat through La Paz, Oruro, and Potosí into the Argentine. Alone the Bolivian patriots were not strong enough to prevent the re-establishment of the Spanish authority in the cities along the main route. But in the villages and the outlying cities like Cochabamba and Santa Cruz the insurgent bands kept up a desperate resistance.

The main body of the victorious Spanish army pursued the fleeing Argentines into their own territory, only to be defeated by General Belgrano in the battle of Tucuman—a victory which probably saved Buenos Aires from capture and the South American revolution from extinction. In 1813 the Argentines again invaded Bolivia, but they had not proceeded far beyond Potosí when they were met and routed in the battles of Villapugio and Ayohuma. The Bolivian patriots were once more left to their own resources, and their country subjected to the most awful devastations. Though unable to concert a general plan of action or to assemble one large army, nevertheless they had courage to die in battle or on the scaffold. The most famous leaders in the south were Camargo and Padilla, whose daring forays helped prevent the Spaniards from advancing into the Argentine, while Arenales at Santa Cruz and other patriot leaders farther north continually threatened the line of communication to Titicaca, Cuzco, and Lima.


Late in the year 1814 the region north of Lake Titicaca to and beyond Cuzco burst into insurrection under the lead of an Indian cacique and an indefatigable agitator of a priest named Munecas. The Indians rose en masse and the Spanish army in southern Bolivia was cut off from Lima. Twenty thousand insurgents assembled near the north end of Lake Titicaca, but they possessed neither arms, officers, nor organisation. Not one in twenty had a musket, and though their invasion down the Maritime Cordillera to Arequipa was at first successful, a comparatively small force of Spanish regulars chased them back over the passes to the region of the lake and there dispersed them at the battle of Humachiri. Meanwhile the guerilla bands in southern Bolivia and the Argentines in Salta had been more successful. The Spaniards were compelled to retire from the Argentine border back beyond Potosí. The Argentines again invaded the plateau[Pg 260] and advanced in force on the road to La Paz and Lima. Once again the Spanish forces which concentrated to meet them were victorious and the allied patriots were completely overthrown in the battle of Viluma, November, 1815, which marks the end of the first period of the war of independence. Thenceforward for seven years the Spanish generals were dominant on the plateau, and the Bolivian patriots made only a desultory and scattered resistance.

With admirable foresight the victorious Spanish general, Pezuela, went to work to subdue thoroughly the whole of Upper Peru. The viceroy, Abascal, backed him up in establishing in this natural fortress a strong military state, whence money and soldiers could be drawn for offensive operations against the insurrection in any part of the continent. The mines supplied the funds of which the viceregal government stood in such desperate need, and the hardy, sturdy Indians of Bolivia afforded a stock of excellent recruits whose fidelity might be enforced by white officers and severe discipline. Pezuela remorselessly pursued the patriot chiefs; Camargo was finally run to earth, captured, and garrotted; Padilla fell in the midst of his little band and was brutally beheaded as he lay wounded on the ground. Garrisons occupied all the towns and important positions, the irregular excesses of the Spanish soldiery were sternly forbidden, a measure of order and security replaced the confusion of the previous years, and the whole resources of the people were carefully husbanded and devoted to the upbuilding[Pg 261] of an army. Before the end of 1816 Pezuela had a well-equipped and efficient force of eight thousand men ready for an advance into the Argentine.

The year 1816 was the blackest for the patriot cause since the beginning of the revolution. Chile had been reduced to obedience; the Argentine was convulsed by civil war; Uruguay had fallen into the hands of the Portuguese king; the Spaniards were triumphant in Venezuela, and New Granada, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia were making no resistance. Pezuela had been promoted to be viceroy at Lima and La Serna in the beginning of 1817 led the Spanish army into the Argentine and advanced far beyond the frontier. But he made his campaign according to the rules of regular European warfare, and though the gauchos of Salta did not venture to give him battle they kept up a harassing series of night attacks, ambushes, and daring forays into his very lines. Mounted on their fleet and hardy plains horses, living on wild cattle, and needing no baggage or provision train, their mobility was phenomenal, and they rendered the advance of the Spanish army through the long stretches of desert and pampa almost impossible.

Meanwhile San Martin's great victory at Chacabuco in Chile completely changed the situation throughout the continent. It was necessary for the viceroy to drain the other provinces of troops to attempt Chile's recovery. Even if La Serna did succeed in pushing toward Buenos Aires, San Martin could recross the Andes and strike him in flank with a victorious army. So the Spanish general withdrew[Pg 262] from the northern Argentine and took up the old position near the Bolivian border. The Argentines never attacked him in force, although they kept up a war with incursions over the frontier, and the indomitable Bolivian patriots rose in one local revolt after another during the next four years. The country was never pacified, although the relentless vigilance of the Spanish commanders prevented the insurrection from becoming general.

In 1820 San Martin sailed from Valparaiso and landed his army of Argentines and Chileans on the Peruvian coast near Lima. His masterly dispositions soon compelled the Spaniards to evacuate the capital and thenceforth their power was confined to the Andean region which extends south-east from the Cerro de Pasco to the southern boundary of Bolivia. The patriots had the advantage of being able to land troops at any point on the coast, and the Spanish generals, to meet these invasions, were compelled to move their armies over the tortuous mountain paths. Late in 1822 an expedition attempted to reach the Bolivian plateau by the pass which leads directly up to La Paz. Valdez, the Spanish general, managed to get to the threatened point before the patriots had pushed their way up the mountain. They attacked at a disadvantage, and their army was destroyed.

A year later a similar effort was made by an army of five thousand Peruvians under the command of Santa Cruz, a Bolivian half-breed of noble Inca lineage who had been engaged in the Spanish service until 1821, and then, deserting, had risen to supreme[Pg 263] power in the patriot army after the retirement of San Martin. Northern Bolivia had been denuded of troops by the Spanish generals in the course of their operations near Lima. No army disputed the pass, and Santa Cruz penetrated to La Paz without opposition. Valdez hastened from Peru, and the Spanish army in southern Bolivia moved toward the threatened region. Santa Cruz's position lay directly between them; his forces were superior to either of the Spanish armies and apparently it would not be difficult for him to whip them in detail. But he made the mistake of dividing his own forces, and Valdez came up with such unexpected speed that he failed to unite his two divisions before the Spaniards reached La Paz. He retreated to the south in order to join his other division, closely followed by the enemy, and scarcely had he effected the junction when Valdez skilfully outflanked him and united his forces to the army of southern Bolivia. By this manœuvre the patriot army found itself hopelessly outnumbered and fled north in disorder. By the time it reached the coast it had been practically annihilated. One body of Spaniards resumed at its leisure a position threatening Lima, while the Bolivian division occupied itself with crushing the insurgents who had risen at Cochabamba and other points during Santa Cruz's stay upon the plateau.

This disastrous campaign seemed to destroy all hope of Bolivian freedom for years to come. But Olañeta, the renegade Argentine who commanded the Spanish army in Bolivia, quarrelled with La[Pg 264] Serna and the northern generals. They sent a force to fight him, and while the Spaniards were thus warring among themselves word was received that Bolivar had arrived on the Peruvian coast, accompanied by his great lieutenant, Sucré, and a large army of Colombian veterans. To meet this pressing danger the viceroy abandoned his efforts to reduce Olañeta to submission, recalled the troops he had sent into Bolivia, and sent north as large a force as he could muster. Bolivar climbed the coast range unopposed and met the Spanish army not far south of Cerro de Pasco. On the 24th of August, 1824, he won the cavalry action of Junin, and the Spaniards were compelled to retire to Cuzco. Bolivar went to Lima to consolidate his political position, leaving the command with Sucré. Four months later the viceroy suddenly broke out of Cuzco, outmanœuvred Sucré, and marched toward Lima closely followed by the Colombian forces. The two armies finally met at Ayacucho, December 9, 1824, and though the royalist army fought on a field of its own choosing and had the advantage in numbers and artillery, it was annihilated.

The only Spanish troops which remained in the field were Olañeta's in southern Bolivia. He struggled desperately to hold his men together and make another stand, but the news of Ayacucho was the signal for an uprising of the patriots all around him. The royalist officers and troops had no heart for a hopeless fight, and as Sucré approached the detached garrisons deserted. In March Olañeta received word that one of his lieutenants, Medina Celi, who[Pg 265] was in command at Tumusla near Potosí, had declared for the patriots. The Spanish general promptly marched with the few troops who remained faithful, and, on April 1, 1825, fought the last action of the war of independence. Olañeta was defeated and himself slain, probably by a ball fired by one of his own men.

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After his great victory at Ayacucho, Sucré advanced rapidly to Cuzco and thence into the Titicaca basin. By February he had reached Oruro in what is now central Bolivia, and Upper Peru rose as one man to welcome the deliverer. The next step was to decide upon the future government. For thirty years before the beginning of the revolution this country had been part of the viceroyalty of Buenos Aires, and when the city on the Plate had expelled its Spanish rulers the patriots there had expected that Upper Peru would continue to be connected with the new nation. Although in the early years of the war these provinces sent delegates to congresses which assembled in the Argentine cities, the Creoles of the plateau never showed any anxiety to incorporate their country with the Argentine, and the successes of the Spanish generals virtually renewed Bolivia's ancient connection with Lima. Now that the Spaniards were expelled, the Bolivian Creoles were no more willing to unite with Lower Peru than with Buenos Aires, and Bolivar[Pg 267] encouraged this sentiment. The ambitious and lucky soldier had formed the Napoleonic conception of making himself supreme dictator of a confederation of small states, each of which was to be ruled by a subordinate dictator named from among his creatures. To organise Upper Peru into a separate country with Sucré at its head would be a long step in this direction. Bolivar himself was president of the confederation of Venezuela, New Granada, and Ecuador, as well as dictator of Lower Peru, and at the head of a victorious army of Colombians. Argentina's influence was nullified by civil war. Chile's strength was as yet unsuspected. For the moment Bolivar was supreme in South America. At his dictation Peru and Buenos Aires promulgated decrees leaving to the provinces of Upper Peru the right "to decide freely and spontaneously as to what form of government would be most conducive to their prosperity and good government."

When Bolivar himself reached the country he was received in a delirium of joy and gratitude, and the enthusiastic Bolivians acclaimed him father of their country. In a literal sense he deserved the title, for his intervention had conferred independence on Bolivia, and his decrees now fixed her boundaries. In general he followed the ancient limits of the audiencia of Charcas. Peru retained the seacoast directly to the west as well as all the Titicacan basin north and west of the lake, compelling Bolivian commerce to pass through foreign territory in order to reach the ocean. Far to the south Bolivia was conceded a little ribbon of coast, but the route[Pg 268] thither lay over the bleak and barren Puna and was too long to be of any practical service.

On the 11th of August, 1825, official proclamation was made that the new republic had begun its existence, taking the name "Bolivia," in honour of the liberator. Congress said in the act of independence that: "Upper Peru is the altar upon which the first blood was shed for liberty, and the land where the last tyrant perished. The barbarous burning of more than a hundred villages, the destruction of towns, the scaffolds raised everywhere for the partisans of liberty, the blood of thousands of victims that would make even Caribs shudder; the taxes and exactions, as arbitrary as inhuman; the insecurity of property, life, and of honour itself; an atrocious and merciless inquisitorial system; all have not been able to extinguish the sacred fire of liberty and the just hatred of Spanish power."

Early in the following year Bolivar presented a Constitution all ready for the approval of congress. Written in his own hand, it stands a curious proof of his political ideas. After laying down the somewhat vague principle that liberty is a mere island which the waves of tyranny and anarchy alternately threaten to engulf, and establishing a legislative system, too complicated to be workable, he shows the cloven hoof by providing for a president elected for life and possessing the right to nominate a successor. Sucré was made the president as a matter of course, but hardly had he begun his regular government when troubles broke out. His own character, the internal conditions of Bolivia, and the[Pg 269] international jealousies felt against him as the friend and representative of Bolivar, combined to make his position untenable. A general of the first order, a statesman of enlightened ideas, and a single-minded and unselfish patriot, Sucré would not deign to impose himself by force of arms on a reluctant people, nor make undignified compromises with the turbulent caudillos. He had accepted the presidency only after it had been repeatedly pressed upon him by the Bolivian congress, and though he was probably influenced by his loyal wish to aid Bolivar in the latter's scheme of uniting all Spanish-America under a strong, semi-monarchical government, he was unselfishly anxious to restore peace and order. The heterogeneous population of about a million who lived upon the plateau was, however, demoralised by the terrible experiences through which it had passed in the previous fifteen years. Three-fourths were Indian, a stoical, docile race which would not make much trouble, but which was divided into two nations speaking different languages and possessing little capacity for organisation. The few whites and the more numerous people of mixed blood were the dominating elements, and these had been trained to lawlessness and ferocity by the long war.

Sucré vainly tried to replace anarchy by some semblance of orderly government. The revenues of the country had fallen from the two millions annually of colonial times to almost nothing. His attempt to substitute a rational system of direct taxation for the countless Spanish imposts failed. Money to[Pg 270] pay the Colombian troops could not be raised and the mercenaries became mutinous. At the same time symptoms of rebellion appeared among the Bolivian caudillos. Troubles in Colombia and Venezuela had forced Bolivar to retire from Peru and the troops he left behind almost immediately mutinied, and Santa Cruz pushed himself to the head of affairs at Lima. The Bolivarian Constitution of Peru was overthrown, and Santa Cruz and Gamarra advanced upon Bolivia to expel Sucré. The latter's Colombian troops mutinied and bands of insurrectionists rose in various parts of the country to aid the Peruvian invaders, while Argentina and Chile plainly showed their desire for Sucré's overthrow. On the 28th of July, 1828, a little more than three years after his triumphant entry into Bolivia, Sucré made a treaty with the leader of the Peruvian army agreeing to withdraw from Bolivia with all the natives of Colombia. General Santa Cruz was named president, and the Peruvians occupied many of the Bolivian provinces for several months, only to withdraw when it became evident that their continued presence would surely provoke a universal uprising. Santa Cruz soon triumphed over all opposition and established himself as master of the country.

The new president was a man whose general intelligence and ability and knowledge of diplomacy, law, and economics gave the country a successful and rational government. Though he abandoned Sucré's premature attempt to reform the taxing system, he energetically applied and improved the old imposts and soon brought some order out of the[Pg 271] financial chaos. His army was the best organised, disciplined, and equipped in South America. He also tried to attract European immigration and to improve agricultural, commercial, and social conditions and methods. The difficulties of communication and the conservative and industrially unenergetic character of the population, however, prevented any rapid development. Peru was distracted by civil commotions, and Santa Cruz pressed hard on the northern country. He probably could have forced the cession of adjacent seacoast to the inestimable and lasting benefit of Bolivia, but his ambition led him farther. Appealed to for help by one of the rival Peruvian factions, he gave it upon the condition that that country should be divided, the two parts uniting with Bolivia in a confederation of which he was to be the supreme head. In 1835 he invaded Peru and made himself master of the country.

The creation of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation was an especial menace to Chile and the Argentine. The latter country, still a prey to the most lamentable civil disorders, was in no position to undertake any effective intervention, but Chile's already strong and well-established government determined to restore the balance of power. Pretexts for war were soon found, and the more solid texture of Chile's social and political organisation, the energy of her people bred in cold regions, and her command of the sea, quickly made themselves felt. The first expedition sent to Arequipa in 1837 was compelled to retire by an army which Santa Cruz despatched[Pg 272] down the Cordillera from La Paz. The factions in Peru, however, rose and in the following year Chile renewed the war. On the 20th of January, 1839, with the aid of the Peruvian auxiliaries, the Chileans overwhelmingly defeated an army of Bolivians and Peruvians under Santa Cruz at the battle of Yungay.

The fragility of the foundations upon which Santa Cruz had rested his system was now apparent. The "Peru-Bolivian Confederation" disappeared from the map. Peru re-established her independent existence with her old boundaries. Santa Cruz's enemies in Bolivia rose in rebellion and he fell without a struggle. As a matter of fact the ten years of his more or less orderly government had not changed the character of the Bolivian Creoles and mixed-bloods. His government had been military, reactionary, and a mere makeshift; the Indians still occupied their inferior position, the lower classes regarded the ruling coteries as self-seeking aristocrats, a dull discontent fermented among the whole population, and the ambitious chieftains found little difficulty in seducing the soldiery. Bolivia, definitely cut off from the Pacific, helpless to defend her interests in the plains surrounding the plateau, unable to attract the fertilising and civilising currents of commerce and immigration, entered upon an epoch of civil war, pronunciamentos, and dictatorships which lasted nearly half a century. A recital of the literally countless armed risings, and of the various individuals who exercised, or claimed to exercise, supreme power, would throw little light on the progress of the country. Foreign commerce[Pg 273] and domestic industry were so small that the government was always poor and unable to meet its expenses. Peru's possession of the seaports held Bolivian commerce at her mercy, and the military and naval power of Chile was a continual menace. Either of Bolivia's larger neighbours could easily bring on a revolution by opportune aid to ambitious factions, and the turbulence of the Creole military classes was not restrained by any powerful and intelligent commercial and industrial population.

In the midst of the fighting which followed the overthrow of Santa Cruz, a liberal Constitution was proclaimed which attempted to take from the executive his preponderance in the government. Negro slavery was abolished and the movement was altogether in the direction of democracy and against the property-holding classes. In 1840 General Ballivian overcame all his rivals and gained supreme power. In the following year the dictator of Peru, taking advantage of the continual disputes over questions of transit through Peruvian territory, and thinking that in Bolivia's enfeebled condition she would not be able to resist incorporation, led a large army over the border and occupied the province of La Paz. But the Bolivians rallied around Ballivian and defeated the Peruvians in the battle of Yngavi near the end of 1841, a victory which definitely assured the independence of Bolivia.

Ballivian had risen to power by brute military force and crushed out the feeble attempt at popular government made after the fall of Santa Cruz. Despotic, irritable, and ambitious, he had not the[Pg 274] wide knowledge or administrative capacity of Santa Cruz, and he gave the country a much worse government. The pride of the turbulent half-breeds was roused by the victory over the Peruvians, and conspiracies and insurrections occurred more frequently. Ballivian ordered the liberal Constitution of 1839 to be repealed and the preponderance of the executive in the governmental system was restored by the Constitution of 1843. He ruled until 1848, but the partisans of Santa Cruz grew bolder and bolder. In spite of the president's efforts to surround himself with officials of talent and intelligence, the power of the government decreased. The irrational and artificial boundaries given to Bolivia by Bolivar continued to involve her in disputes with Peru, and in 1847 the imposition of practically prohibitive duties nearly brought on war. Ballivian assembled an army, but Castilla, the Peruvian president, found means to foment an insurrection, and the Bolivian president was soon engaged in a desperate conflict with the very men whom he had expected to lead against the foreign enemy. Successful at first in his operations, one mutiny was suppressed only to be followed by others more formidable, and he finally gave it up in disgust and retired to exile.

A year of confused struggling followed and at last General Belzu succeeded in establishing himself as dictator. Of low origin and uneducated, passionate and violent, the new ruler owed his elevation to his popularity with the common soldiery and the lowest classes of the population. His so-called policy of conciliation amounted in fact to permitting the[Pg 275] guerilla bands to do as they pleased. Rapine, robbery, and riot became almost the normal condition of the country, while the better elements never ceased their conspiracies. Doctor Linares, a man of probity and learning, though stubborn and uncompromising, persisted untiring in his efforts to rid the country of the dictator. For seven years, however, Belzu maintained himself, while Bolivia fell lower and lower into the pit of anarchy, disgraced abroad by the actions of an ignorant tyrant who broke treaties, refused to listen to the protests of foreign ministers, and finally bundled them all out of the country, secure that on his mountain-tops no army could reach him to avenge the insult. The British foreign office literally wiped Bolivia from the map, declaring that she could no longer be recognised as a civilised nation. At last the dictator tired of his place and voluntarily resigned it, leaving as his successor a bastard son-in-law, named Cordova. The latter suppressed nine revolutionary movements in three years before he was at last overthrown by the indefatigable Linares.

The new dictator started in with the good wishes of the respectable elements, and earnestly tried to raise his country from the abyss into which she had fallen. But the nation had been so thoroughly demoralised that there was no foundation to build upon. The public offices were filled by political favourites, but when he threw them out and tried to put honest and competent men in their places he lost the good-will of the office-holding class. He tried to reform the army and dismissed the useless[Pg 276] swarm of officers without commands, but this gained him the enmity of the military. The very ministers whom he had selected to aid him in putting reforms into effect plotted against him, and it was a conspiracy led by Fernandez, the member of his cabinet in whom he placed his greatest confidence, that brought about his fall after he had ruled three stormy and anxious years.

A period of frightful confusion, known as the presidency of General Acha, ensued. The chiefs fought among themselves with such ferocity that in Chile and Peru the partition of Bolivia was seriously discussed. Finally, at the end of 1864, a remarkable man came to the front out of the tangle. This was the celebrated dictator, Melgarejo, who frankly abandoned all pretence of governing by any sanction except that of brute force and terror. He kept up a great army of spies, and the conspiracies which they reported were ruthlessly crushed by the well-paid ruffians who composed his army and blindly obeyed his capricious commands. One day the dictator, drunk, as was his habit, called the guard and ordered them to jump out of the windows in order to show a visiting foreigner the superior discipline of the Bolivian soldier. Several had broken their arms or legs, but he did not even look to see, and continued his demonstration by ordering his aide-de-camp to "lie dead" like a poodle dog. Taxes were arbitrarily levied; peaceable citizens were exiled and shot; around him circulated a crowd of parasitic functionaries. But in spite of his extravagances and cruelties Melgarejo gave some[Pg 277] solidity and consistence to the governmental structure. The production of silver had been declining until about 1850, but at the beginning of Melgarejo's administration had again reached ten millions annually, and thereafter rapidly increased with the encouragement given by him to the investment of foreign capital. Money was freely spent on public works, and the Mollendo railroad, extending to the head of Lake Titicaca, dates from this time. It is the principal route for Bolivia's foreign commerce, though it does not touch Bolivian territory. The isolated desert region on the coast began to be exploited and the guano, nitrate, copper, and silver found there vastly increased the country's revenues, although a considerable foreign debt was incurred.

Melgarejo's enemies succeeded in overthrowing him in 1871, and their leader, General Morales, succeeded to the supreme power. There followed some relaxation of the system of personal tyranny, but in the main the form of the administration changed little, either under Morales or his immediate successors. The first named was able to negotiate a European loan to be employed in the building of railways, and in fact one was constructed—running from Antofagasta on the nitrate coast over the Cordillera and across the Puna table-land to the centre of the country at Oruro. Heavy gradients, the unproductive character of the region along the line, and its length, have prevented its furnishing the cheap and practical outlet to the sea which had been hoped for. Insurrections continued to break out from time to time, and in 1876 General Daza[Pg 278] usurped supreme power. His rule lasted until the Chilean war of 1879, but the first decisive defeat was the signal for his fall.

Narciso Campero became president, and the Bolivian nation, hopeless of recovering its coast provinces by force of arms, began the task of re-adjusting itself to the new conditions. The Constitution was re-written in its present form, and a succession of presidents have since ruled the country in a peace and security which forms a happy contrast with the anarchy that preceded Melgarejo's advent. The production of silver rapidly increased, reaching fifteen million dollars in 1885, when Pacheco was president, and growing to twenty millions in 1888 with Arce in the executive chair. Potosí still yields three million ounces per annum, and the great Huanchaca mines far surpass Potosí, making Bolivia the third silver-producing country in the world. But her great resources can never be profitably utilised until a practical outlet to the sea has been found. On the Pacific she has been absolutely shut in since the Chilean war—Peru controlling the northern fourth of the coast which separates her from that ocean and Chile the remainder. Bolivia is without a seaport, though she retains a hope of receiving compensation for the loss of her nitrate territory in the cession of one such outlet, when Chile and Peru are able to come to an agreement about the province of Arica. But the explorations of Heath on the upper tributaries of the Madeira resulted in discoveries which may ultimately enable Bolivia to utilise the magnificent fertile plain lying[Pg 279] just at the foot of the table-land, but so far well-nigh as inaccessible as the South Pole. Broad and navigable rivers meander through this vast region, needing only the construction of a railway around the Madeira rapids to communicate with the Amazon and the Atlantic.


Since the days of the Jesuit missionaries the Mojos Indians in the prairies on the Mamoré north of Santa Cruz have retained a measure of civilisation, breeding cattle and keeping up a connection with the Creoles at Santa Cruz. Lately the latter have pressed on into the rubber regions of the lower Mamoré and even crossed into the valley of the Beni and founded the town of Riveralta where the Orton joins the Beni. From La Paz daring men painfully[Pg 280] made their way down the roadless gorges of the great Cordillera and reached navigable water where the Beni emerges from the mountains. Thence to Riveralta the way was comparatively easy and little steamboats now ply those waters. This region is permanently inhabitable by civilised man, but to the north-east the country drops off into swampy plains drained by the Acre, a tributary of the sluggish Purus. Up the latter river the Brazilian rubber hunters had come from Manaos and found the banks of the Acre unprecedentedly rich in the finest gum. Thousands poured into the territory and by the early nineties it was furnishing a large percentage of the world's supply. Though the Bolivian boundary had long been believed to cross the Acre near the 9th degree, the Brazilian rubber gatherers did not hesitate to enter an entirely unoccupied territory and even penetrated as far south as the 12th degree in a region undisputably Bolivian. The authorities at La Paz attempted to assert their political control, but since it was well-nigh impossible to get troops into the country except by way of the Atlantic, the rubber gatherers defied them. The Brazilian government intervened to protect the interests of its citizens; President Pando headed an expedition in 1902 which was met at the borders of the Acre valley, and after some fighting with the insurgent Brazilians, which seemed likely to bring on a war between the two powers, a treaty was agreed upon by which Brazil takes the territory, paying a money indemnity, agreeing to build the railroad around the Madeira Falls, and ceding a port on the Paraguay.[Pg 281]

Internally the condition of Bolivia has in the main been quiet since the Chilean war, and the contest between clericalism and radicalism has lost much of its bitterness. General Camacho led an unsuccessful insurrection in 1890 and afterwards fled to Valparaiso. Three years later he planned another insurrection and the government had great difficulty in obtaining arms and money for operations against him. Chileans finally furnished rifles and a loan, and shortly afterwards a treaty was negotiated by which Bolivia abandoned its alliance with Peru and came under Chilean influence. Peru resented this and the following year her restrictions on Bolivian commerce nearly brought the two countries to blows. The crisis, however, passed, and Bolivia has returned to the policy of avoiding entangling alliances, while pressing Brazil, Chile, or Peru to give her outlets to the ocean. In 1896, Alonso, leader of the conservatives, and that energetic general and explorer, José Manuel Pando, chief of the liberals, contested the presidential election. In this contest the geographical jealousies which exist between northern and southern Bolivia played a considerable rôle. Alonso was successful and served as president during three years, but early in 1899 Pando began warlike operations and in April overthrew Alonso in a decisive battle. Under his vigorous administration the country has been quiet. The plain of the Madeira has been opened up to settlement, and the international position of the government is now vastly improved.

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The irrigated valleys of Chile lie open to the ocean or are easily accessible over the low coast range. The sea-board of Peru is likewise defenceless, and though the Andean passes are high they are dry and practicable and offer a way of approach to the table-land behind. The want of rain from Valparaiso to Paita is explained by the Antarctic current whose waters cool the breezes so that the warmer land condenses no moisture. But at the northern boundary of Peru the coast bends abruptly to the east; the cold current follows its original north-east direction and lets the warm tropical waters wash the land. From the Gulf of Guayaquil to Panama the coast and mountainsides are covered with luxuriant vegetation and the ascent of the passes becomes well-nigh impracticable. Therefore the Andean plateau in Ecuador is accessible from the Pacific only on the south and the Colombian plateaux are virtually cut off from communication with the western ocean.

Tradition relates that about the seventh century[Pg 286] of the Christian era a nation of Indians, bearing the name of Caras, invaded the sea-board of central Ecuador. They were warlike, aggressive, conquerors by instinct, and their civilisation was superior to that of the barbarous tribes upon whom they descended. They came by way of the sea, most probably from the south, bringing a complicated religion to which they were fanatically devoted, and a military and tribal organisation which gave them an overwhelming advantage. In all probability the Caras were akin to those highly civilised nations who lived in the valleys of the northern Peruvian coast. Be this as it may, there is no doubt that the Caras were not long content with dominance along the coast, and succeeded in forcing their way up the slopes of the Cordillera through a zone uninhabitable on account of the perpetual rain, and only penetrable along defiles where the soaked clay of the steep mountainsides affords no footing and the tangle of vegetation leaves no path.

At six thousand feet above sea-level the roads became better, the vegetation ceased to be tropical, and when they emerged through the passes to the comparatively level plains about Quito, some eight thousand feet above the sea, they found themselves in a country where the cereals and fruits of the temperate zone flourish and no forests interrupt communication. Two lines of great mountains stretched north and south and between them lay a plateau less than forty miles in width, and though much of it was bleak and arid, at least half lay below the elevation where the successful cultivation of the[Pg 287] cereals and the potato becomes possible. At regular intervals transverse ranges of mountains, called "nudos," or knots, cut the plateau into separate divisions, each measurably protected from attack by its neighbours. Andean Ecuador has been aptly compared to a great ladder four hundred miles long, with the "nudos" forming its gigantic rungs. Beginning at the northern boundary of modern Ecuador, Quito lies in the second of the eight sub-plateaux, which is one of the largest and most fertile. Into it descended the Caras and began to conquer and absorb the aborigines. These inter-Andean valleys were inhabited by numerous tribes speaking distinct languages, who had developed considerable skill in agriculture. The compact and efficient military organisation of the Caras gave them a great advantage over more loosely organised peoples, but for three hundred years they were occupied in extending their power over the valley of Quito and thence over Latacunga and Ibarra, which adjoin it north and south.

From the year 1300 the Cara traditions gather more clearness and precision. By a law handed down from immemorial times each Shiri was succeeded by his son, or if he had no son by the son of a sister, daughters and other female descendants being absolutely excluded. The eleventh Shiri, whose reign corresponded with the last years of the thirteenth century, had no male heir, and he asked the general council of the nation for permission to name as successor the husband he might choose for his daughter. Each one of the different chiefs,[Pg 288] hoping to be selected, voted for the proposition, but the Shiri diplomatically went outside of his own dominions and proposed to the monarch who ruled in Riobamba that his eldest son, Duchisela, marry the Princess Toa. The proposition was accepted and the Quito kingdom doubled its territory and power.

Duchisela reigned seventy years, and upon his death was succeeded by his son Autachi, the thirteenth Shiri. This monarch raised the Cara power to its highest pitch, extending his dominions south over the plateaux of Alausi, Cañar, Cuenca, Jubones, Zaruma, and Loja, and thence far beyond the present Ecuadorian boundary over the Peruvian provinces of Huanacabamba, Piura, and Paita. This vast increase of territory was due more to treaties of confederation and alliance than to conquest. None of the new provinces were ever thoroughly incorporated into the Cara confederacy, and their allegiance to the Shiri in far-away Quito sat lightly upon them. By the end of the fourteenth century the Cara influence was dominant along the Andean plateau from the first degree of north latitude to the sixth south, and extended to the arid coast plain of northern Peru. The humid and forested coast region north of Guayaquil remained in the hands of barbarous tribes, nor were the Caras ever able to extend their power down the wooded eastern slopes of the Andes into the Amazon plain.

Cara expansion was suddenly checked by the Incas. In the latter part of the fourteenth century these fierce and indomitable Islamites of the western[Pg 289] continent under the lead of Tupac Yupanqui conquered the coast nations from Lima to Paita, and the ruder tribes who lived in the mountains from Cerro de Pasco north to the Ecuadorian border. Tupac did not respect the southern confederates of the Caras, and the Shiri appears to have made little resistance when his allies were rapidly reduced. The Inca system was the far better adapted for conquest. The emperor could equip and lead to invasion armies numbering tens of thousands, well disciplined, blindly obeying their generals, marching over carefully prepared roads, and supplied by an admirable commissariat. The Caras had contented themselves with treaties of alliance; they were only the chief tribe in a confederacy, and warlike as were the members they could not combine to offer any effective resistance to the first onslaught of the great military empire.

A fairly homogeneous civilisation had grown up in the Ecuadorian Cordillera during the four hundred years of Cara influence. Bringing with them from their unknown original home a capacity for military and political organisation far superior to that of most American aborigines, the Caras were like a ferment introduced into the heterogeneous and inert tribes of the plateau, which gradually transformed the latter into a vigorous people so well fitted to their surroundings that they survived the Inca conquest, even turning the tables and becoming the dominant element in the empire, and then outlived the decimating tyranny of the Spaniards, so that ninety-five per cent. of the present population is[Pg 290] composed of their descendants. That this civilisation was in the main self-developed can hardly be doubted. There is no evidence of any intimate contact with the Incas; with the peoples of Yucatan and Mexico the Caras had no connection, and the conjectures as to communication with the peoples of eastern Asia have no historical or archæological basis. Their civilising and consolidating mission was aided by exceptionally favourable surroundings. The climate was healthy, agreeable, and conducive to bodily and intellectual vigour; the soil reasonably fertile and well adapted to the production of eminently nourishing food crops, while requiring hard labour in its cultivation. The potato, the quinoa grain, and maize played no insignificant rôle in the history of the Caras; they might never have risen above the level of Caribs if they had lived in a region where savoury and poorly nourishing esculents grow wild. Not less important was the physical configuration of Ecuador. Dry and open valleys, some of them large enough to sustain two hundred thousand people, and easily penetrable in every part, while surrounded by high mountains and bleak "paramos," shut off from the outer world by the forest-covered declivities of the Cordilleras, were admirably adapted to favour the growth of compact little states, whose inhabitants would retain their individual initiative and local pride even after incorporation in a larger political system.

Hualcopo, the fourteenth Shiri, ascended the throne of Quito in 1430. Tupac Yupanqui had completed the reduction of the coast tribes of[Pg 291] northern Peru and the mountain tribes as far north as the present Ecuador border had ceased to resist him. From the coast valleys of Piura and Paita, he marched up the easy pass which leads over the Cordillera into the fertile plateaux of southern Ecuador, and after a few victories all the tribes as far north as the nudo of Azuay submitted, and transferred their allegiance from Quito to Cuzco. Loja, Zaruma, Jubones, the great valley of Cuenca, and Cañar were taken away, and Hualcopo was deprived of all but his hereditary dominions—the old kingdoms of Riobamba and Quito. The Shiri possessed no army capable of undertaking an offensive campaign against the Incas, but, although terrified at Tupac's rapid advance, the ancient possessions of the Shiri remained faithful. Tupac spent two years in the province of Cañar, erecting fortifications and recruiting his army by new arrivals from the south and enlistment among the recently conquered tribes. Meanwhile Hualcopo was fortifying himself in the valley of Alausi, which lies north of Azuay, and in the passes that lead over the Tiocajas nudo into Riobamba. About the year 1455 the Inca army advanced in force. Defeated in several minor actions, the Shiri abandoned Alausi and concentrated his forces in the passes of Tiocajas. After three months of skirmishes and sieges in which the forts fell one by one, the Caras were compelled to accept a pitched battle. The conflict was well sustained, but with the death of the principal Cara general, victory declared for the Incas and the Caras fled from the field leaving sixteen thousand dead.[Pg 292]

Hualcopo retired to Riobamba, but there it was impossible to maintain himself, and he was forced to retreat to the fortress of Mocha in the nudo which divides Riobamba from the valley of Latacunga. Here he made a determined and successful stand, and all Tupac's efforts to force his way over the last line of natural fortifications which kept him out of the northern valleys were in vain. The Inca emperor was forced to content himself with assuring his possession of the provinces already conquered. In 1460 he returned to Cuzco, leaving the territory garrisoned. Three years later the heroic Hualcopo died, and was succeeded by his son, Cacha, the fifteenth and last Shiri. The young man signalised his accession to the throne by an aggressive campaign for the recovery of the lost provinces. He passed south into the valley of Riobamba, surprised the Inca garrisons, and put them to the sword, revindicating all the country as far south as the nudo of Azuay. Beyond that range he was unable to go, for all his efforts failed before the obstinate resistance of the inhabitants of Cañar. Tupac began preparations to lead an overwhelming army against Cacha, but his own death interrupted him, and it was not until 1475 that his son, Huaina Capac, surnamed the "great," was able to take the road for the north, determined to put an end to the Shiri dynasty. He first consolidated his power among the tribes on the coast south of Guayaquil, whom his father had left half independent, and then extended his conquests along the northern shore among the barbarians of Manabi. On the island of Puna[Pg 293] he put to the sword all the male inhabitants, and one tribe in Manabi, notorious for its abominable and unnatural practices, he extirpated. Returning south, he crossed the mountains in northern Peru, and descending their eastern slopes, waged a bloody war against the Pacamorés, who inhabited the forests where the Upper Amazon debouches into the plain. Having thus secured his line of communications he devoted himself to the main object of the campaign—the conquest of Quito.

Disproportionate as appeared the resources of the contending nations, the war which ensued was well contested. The Caras had resumed their warlike habits and the imminence of the danger animated them and their allies to a desperate resistance. For months the Caras held the great Inca army at bay in the defiles of the Azuay, but finally they were defeated and retreated to the line of Tiocajas. The Incas followed and in a great battle vanquished their opponents so decisively that not only was Riobamba lost, as had happened after the former defeat, but likewise Latacunga and Quito itself. No stand could be made at Mocha, and the Shiri fled to Ibarra, through Quito, where the Caranquis, the most warlike members of the confederacy, were determined to resist to the last. A considerable number of Cara warriors had escaped the slaughter at Tiocajas, and a formidable army assembled to defend the last fortresses in the extreme north of the kingdom. Huaina himself laid siege to Otavalo, the principal stronghold of the Caranquis, but was not able to reduce it. Their successes encouraged[Pg 294] them to take the offensive, and in a sortie the Inca emperor narrowly escaped losing his life. Compelled to retire to suppress a mutiny among his southern troops, he left the northern army under the command of his brother, Auqui Toma, and the latter was killed in an assault on the redoubtable fortress of Otavalo. This, however, was the last victory which the Shiri won. Huaina's reinforcements had come up and he advanced with an overwhelming army to avenge his brother's death. Otavalo was taken and its garrison put to the sword; the Shiri fled to another fortress, where he was defeated and slain. The victorious emperor took a fearful vengeance on the Caranquis, whose obstinacy had cost him so dear. Tradition tells that twenty-four thousand were massacred, and their bodies thrown into a lake which has ever since borne the name of Yahuarcocha—the "pool of blood."

Thenceforth the provinces of the old Quito kingdom were integral parts of the Inca empire. The southern valleys had readily accepted the Inca rule, and the central ones appear to have abandoned the Shiri's cause promptly after the second battle of Tiocajas. Though the Caranquis had been exterminated and the Caras had suffered greatly, the other tribes remained intact. The Inca emperor saw that a policy of conciliation would best insure the obedience of these formidable peoples. He spent the remainder of his long life in Ecuador, married the daughter of the dead Shiri, and ruled rather as the legitimate successor of the ancient dynasty than as an alien conqueror. So far as possible the[Pg 295] religious, political, and social customs of the Incas were introduced, but it does not appear that the work of amalgamation had proceeded very far in the fifty years which intervened until the advent of the Spaniards. The Quichua had not displaced the native tongues to any great extent, and while the Ecuadorean tribes became loyal subjects, they did not regard themselves as in any way inferior to the older subjects of the empire. Rather had the balance of power passed to them; they had acquired the skill in regular warfare once the exclusive property of the Incas; and the issue of the civil war between Huascar and Atahuallpa seems to prove that they would have played the principal rôle in the Inca system if the advent of the Spaniards had not altered everything.

Huaina Capac died in Quito in 1525, and his body was taken to Cuzco to be laid with his ancestors. In order better to secure the northern kingdom to his descendants he named Atahuallpa, a son by his marriage with the Shiri princess, ruler of the old dominions of Quito. His eldest son, Huascar, was given the rest of the empire with the title of emperor and a suzerainty over Atahuallpa. But Huaina's wise provisions were rendered valueless by the dispute which arose between the two brothers about the boundaries of Atahuallpa's territories. The latter insisted that they included the provinces south of the Azuay, which had been wrested from Hualcopo by Tupac Yupanqui seventy years before, but Huascar would not admit that they extended beyond the hereditary dominions of the[Pg 296] Shiri dynasty. The people of Cañar, the most northerly of the disputed provinces, had always been bitter enemies of Quito, and their chief now refused to recognise Atahuallpa as overlord and sent a deputation to Huascar. Atahuallpa despatched his uncle Caluchima and his great general Quizquiz to occupy the province and dethrone the recalcitrant chief. Huascar hurried up some of his Inca regulars to aid the people of Cañar, who won the first battles and advanced towards Atahuallpa's capital. The northerners rallied around the grandson of their old Shiri, and two great armies met on the banks of the Naxichi, only fifty miles south of Quito. Atahuallpa gained a complete victory, and followed it up by advancing over the Azuay into Cañar, where he was again overwhelmingly victorious over a second army which Huascar had sent against him. The whole of southern Ecuador fell into his hands and he took a fearful vengeance on the Cañaris. Atahuallpa himself remained in Ecuador while Quizquiz went on into Peru to achieve that crushing series of victories which resulted in the taking of Cuzco and the capture of Huascar himself. By the year 1532 the whole empire as far south as Cuzco lay prostrate, and it seemed certain that the Cuzco dynasty would be displaced by the illegitimate Quito branch.

[Pg 297]



The fratricidal war lasting seven bloody years exhausted the resources of the northern and central provinces of the Inca empire, and raised the spirit of faction to a bitter pitch. Hardly had the last battle been fought when Pizarro landed on the northern Peruvian coast. The moment could not have been more favourable. The story of Atahuallpa's capture, of Pizarro's intrigues with the different Inca factions, and of his triumphal march to Cuzco through a country distracted by civil feud, belongs rather to the history of Peru than of Ecuador. With Atahuallpa's death and the defeat of Quizquiz near Cuzco, Quito was left without a master. The country had been drained of able-bodied men by Atahuallpa's levies, and bands of troops who found their way back from Peru fought among themselves. The indefatigable Cañaris rose again against the Quito authorities, and following the fatal example set by the Huascar party in Peru, applied to the Spaniards. From San Miguel, the colony which Pizarro had established at Piura, in[Pg 298] the valley where the road from the Ecuador table-land debouches into the coast plain, Sebastian de Benalcazar led a force of two hundred Spaniards to their assistance. Ascending the Cordillera he was joined by great numbers of Indians in Loja, Cuenca, and Cañar, and crossed the Azuay before he encountered the meagre forces of the Quito generals. Horses and firearms gave the Spaniards an easy victory, and their enemies retreated to the defences of Tiocajas. This locality was once more fated to be the scene of a battle decisive of Ecuadorean history. Benalcazar and his allies were victorious, but at such a cost that he thought seriously of giving up the enterprise. Tradition recites that the giant volcano Cotopaxi burst forth into a terrific eruption after the battle, and that the midnight explosions were heard scores of miles along the plateau. To the Indians this was an infallible signal of the displeasure of the sun god. Trembling with superstitious fear they retreated in disorder; Benalcazar crossed Tiocajas without resistance, and overran the country as far north as Quito, taking possession of the city in December, 1533. Meanwhile Almagro had been hurrying up from Peru with reinforcements and on his way along the plateau fell in with a third expedition under Alvarado, governor of Guatemala. Coming from Panama on his own account and landing on the coast a long distance north of Guayaquil, Alvarado had succeeded in forcing his way through the dense forests and rain-soaked defiles and debouched on the plateau near Riobamba. Almagro paid him one hundred thousand dollars to[Pg 299] withdraw, and Benalcazar was entrusted with the completion of the conquest he had so well begun.

Disappointed in the search for gold, Benalcazar divided the country into feudal lordships, enslaving the Indians and compelling them to pay tribute. His restless energy was not satisfied with the conquest of the old Cara kingdom, and he soon led an expedition of one hundred and fifty Spaniards and four thousand Indians against the coast provinces and founded the city of Guayaquil, whose magnificent and sheltered port, the best on the Pacific coast, gave independent access to the sea. Though the passes leading from Guayaquil to Riobamba were far more tedious than the southern ones from Piura to Loja, they brought Quito two hundred miles nearer the ocean, and their use made Ecuador independent of northern Peru. Hardly had Benalcazar returned to the table-land and gone north to conquer southern Colombia, when the tribes near Guayaquil attacked and destroyed the settlement. His lieutenant at Quito despatched another expedition; Pizarro sent reinforcements by sea; and the place was re-founded. Again was it destroyed, and only in 1537, when Pizarro sent up Orellana with an adequate force, was a permanent settlement made on the site where to-day is the largest and richest city of Ecuador.

Benalcazar had conquered Quito in the name and under the authority of Pizarro, and the latter now named his brother Gonzalo governor. Confident of finding another Peru in the unknown regions to the east of his new domain, the young Pizarro enlisted[Pg 300] hundreds of adventurers, and in the beginning of 1541 led the largest and best-equipped expedition yet assembled in South America down the declivities of the Andes. Difficulties began as soon as he reached the sweltering, steaming forest region. Rain fell unceasingly; the soft clay of the defiles afforded no footing; instead of finding stone highways like those over which they had marched in their conquest of the table-land, the Spaniards had to cut tracks along the mountainsides through the matted vegetation. Provisions ran short, clothes rotted, arms rusted, no villages or tribes possessing food were encountered. Finally Gonzalo was obliged to halt the main body, sending a detachment under Orellana, the second in command, on ahead to find provisions. Orellana followed down a stream which soon grew large enough to be navigable. He built boats and proceeded, but still found no signs of civilised inhabitants. Fearing that he could never ascend the river to the main body, he determined to keep on, confident that ultimately he must reach the ocean. The river he was descending is now called the Napo. After a course of nearly a thousand miles, it flowed into the Amazon, and down the latter's broad current Orellana and his little band floated to the Atlantic, there built a little ship, and finally made their way to Spain.

Hearing nothing of Orellana, Gonzalo gave up and climbed back to Quito with a starving and naked remnant of his men. There he learned of the assassination of his great brother at Lima, and that Vaca de Castro, the royal commissioner appointed[Pg 301] to settle the disputes between the partisans of Almagro and Pizarro, had passed through Ecuador on his way south to Peru, appointing another governor for Quito. Gonzalo retired to Charcas in southern Bolivia, whence he emerged a year later to head the great rebellion. The viceroy was compelled to fly from Lima, and landing at Tumbez made his way to Quito. The Spaniards in Ecuador and southern Colombia were against Pizarro, but the latter chased the viceroy out of Quito and north into Popayan, where Benalcazar took sides with him. Four hundred Spaniards accompanied the viceroy in a counter-invasion, but near the city he was completely defeated and decapitated as he lay wounded on the field. Gonzalo, now undisputed lord of the whole Inca empire, returned at his leisure to Lima. The tale of how Gasca, shrewd old priest, by intrigue and conciliation, re-established royal authority and brought Pizarro to the scaffold, does not especially affect the history of Ecuador.

By 1550 the civil wars were over, the unruly original conquistadores had been executed, banished, or reduced to obedience. Shortly afterward the system of Indian tribute and slavery was modified so that although the proprietors got rich the aborigines were saved from rapid extermination, royal officials and functionaries were installed, an elaborate system of taxation established, and Ecuador, with the rest of Spanish America, entered upon a long period of exploitation under form of law, instead of being the haphazard prey of irresponsible private adventurers.[Pg 302]


For the next two hundred and fifty years Ecuador has no history. The occasional eruption of a volcano or an Indian insurrection is all one finds in the annals, except the interminable lists of the Spanish officials sent out to enrich themselves and the Crown at the expense of the hapless Indians. The Spanish occupation brought about no colonisation of Ecuador in the true sense of that word, although it worked a considerable revolution in the life and customs of the Indians who continued to constitute the bulk of the population. Indeed, the habitable area of the Andean plateau was so limited and the aboriginal population so numerous, that there was no room for immigration without a war of extermination. The cultivable area of Andean Ecuador barely exceeds eight thousand square miles, and it [Pg 303] is probable that more than a million natives lived there in the time of the Caras and Incas. Even at the present day these eight thousand miles contain more than two-thirds of the total population, and not more than four hundred thousand people inhabit the two hundred and eighty thousand square miles of high, barren mountains, steep declivities of the Cordillera, and wooded plains on the coast and in the Amazon valley, which constitute the remainder of Ecuador.

One of the important results of the Spanish occupation was the introduction of new food plants and domestic animals. Wheat and barley were early planted by the Castilian proprietors who had divided the country among themselves, and these grains quickly replaced the quinoa, which, with the potato, had been the chief reliance of the Caras. The cultivation of the potato and also of maize was, however, continued. The Spanish invaders introduced the plantain and banana, which immediately became the staples of the forested and tropical districts, making possible a great increase of population. The plateau was found suited to European fruits, and orchards were soon flourishing in its more favoured parts. Rice, indigo, and sugar-cane were also introduced, and an export trade in these articles grew up, as well as in the native cacao and sarsaparilla.

The Spanish rulers effected radical changes in the political, social, and religious life of the civilised Indians. A certain apathy and fatalism seems characteristic of the American aborigine, and in[Pg 304] Ecuador, trained through countless centuries to the patriarchal rule of his own chiefs, he submitted to the exactions and innovations of his new masters. According to Spanish constitutional law and practice, America was not a component part of the mother-kingdom, but the new continent was regarded as the personal property of the king of Castile, its lands, mines, and inhabitants being his to dispose of at pleasure. The viceroy at Lima was the monarch's lieutenant, only responsible to the king himself or to the advisory board known as the Council of the Indies. For great territorial divisions like Ecuador this power was delegated to governors, and the corregidors were likewise unrestrained within the smaller subdivisions. The Indians were regarded as mere chattels, and the tribute exacted from every adult was a logical consequence of their legal status. In theory even the Spanish residents had no rights to self-government, nor did any constitutional guaranties of life and property exist.

But such a despotism largely existed only on paper. The Spaniards who came to South America brought with them their characteristic constitutional traditions and personal independence. Instinctively they flocked into cities and organised municipal governments after the time-honoured Spanish form. So a system came into existence which had the sanction of the people's co-operation and was therefore workable. The country districts were left to the Indians and as long as they paid their tribute to the Crown or to the Spaniard who claimed the[Pg 305] lands they tilled, little heed was paid to the form of civil government among them. The influence of their hereditary chiefs survived for centuries, and their old laws and customs died out only by degrees. In the cities contact between Spaniards and Indians was closer. In process of time the increasing number of half-breeds aided in the process of amalgamation, and even the pure-blood Indians of the fields and villages learned much of what their masters had to teach them.


The Church, however, operated more powerfully than any other influence in making Ecuador Spanish. Within a few years after the conquest a regular[Pg 306] bishopric was established in Quito, and hundreds of priests and friars flocked over to take part in the wholesale evangelisation of the heathen natives. The gospel was preached everywhere, churches and chapels built in even the smallest villages, the obdurate Indians were treated with scant ceremony, and it soon became well understood among the natives that a hearty acceptance of the Christian cult tended to keep them out of trouble. Ecuador quickly became one of the most devotedly Catholic countries in the world, and has ever since remained so. The Crown and the landed proprietors made lavish gifts to the cause of religion, and a great proportion of the property of the country ultimately fell into the hands of the religious orders. Quito has appropriately been called the city of convents, and if we are to believe the accounts of travellers in colonial times half the population must have been priests, monks, and nuns. The introduction of Christianity among the Indians aided powerfully in spreading a knowledge of the Spanish language, but was more effective in substituting the Quichua for the ancient local tongues. The evangelists found it easier to preach to all the tribes in one language, and Quichua was naturally chosen, since it was already in the most general use as the official medium of the Inca empire. The Spanish priests reduced it to written form and it became a lingua franca which was understood among all the nations of the Andean plateau very much as Guarany was among the Indians of the Atlantic slope.

The details of Spanish civil, military, and finan[Pg 307]cial administration in Ecuador did not differ greatly from those in the other provinces, and there is no need to repeat them here. The peaceable character of the Ecuador Indians made the maintenance of a standing army or even of a militia unnecessary. A few companies of troops in each of the principal towns and the natural military aptitude of the Spanish residents were sufficient to suppress any symptoms of rebellion, and to keep the Indians at work for their masters. Happily for the natives no great finds of silver or gold were made except in the southern province of Loja, and forced labour in the mines did not decimate the population, as happened in Bolivia and parts of Peru. Spaniards did not immigrate to any considerable extent, and negro slavery flourished on the seacoast.

The only schools were priests' seminaries in which little except theology was taught and the level of intellectual culture among the Creoles sank very low. Taxes were heavy, public employments and titles of nobility were openly sold by the government, commerce amounted to little, because little gold and silver was mined and other articles would not bear the heavy transportation charges and the exactions and restrictions of the Spanish colonial system. The magnificent stone highways which the Cara and Inca monarchs had built were allowed to fall into ruins, but their remains are to be seen even to this day on the table-land near Cuenca, still solid in spite of the storms and earthquakes of four centuries. Population on the plateau slowly decreased. Quito had been a great city while it was the Cara[Pg 308] capital—the residence of Huaina Capac and Atahuallpa—and in 1735 Ulloa estimated that it contained over seventy thousand people, but at the end of the eighteenth century it had fallen to less than forty thousand. However, the introduction of the plantain undoubtedly brought about an increase of population in the coast provinces, and Guayaquil flourished with the cultivation of cacao and sugar-cane.

No great figure of a soldier, reformer, or administrator stands out among all the hundreds of officials who were sent over from Spain to rule the country. Even records of the growth of jealousies between Spaniards and Creoles, such as we encounter in other countries of South America are wanting. The Creoles appear never to have been able to interrupt the monotonous course of Spanish administration. In 1564 the old kingdom of Quito, with the addition of some outlying Colombian and Peruvian provinces, was erected into a presidency, and a royal audiencia, or court of appeals, with important administrative functions, was established. The viceroy of Lima continued to exercise nominal jurisdiction over all Spanish South America until the year 1719, when the viceroyalty of New Granada was first created. The Quito presidency was attached to the new jurisdiction, and this emphasised the separation from Peru. Twelve hundred miles of crooked, wretched road intervened between Quito and Lima, while the distance to Bogotá was less than half as great. However, the natural outlet for the plateau from Cuenca north to Popayan was the road to[Pg 309] Guayaquil, and the Quito presidency was therefore co-extensive with a natural commercial subdivision of the continent.

In 1736 a party of scientists commissioned by the king of France came to Quito for the purpose of measuring an arc of the earth's meridian at the equator. These savants erected two pyramids to serve as a permanent record of the line they had measured, and placed upon them an inscription stating that the work had been done under the patronage of the king of France. Years afterwards a Spanish official, offended in his national pride by the wording of the inscription, obtained an order from Madrid for the destruction of these monuments, so invaluable to the science of exact geography.

The latter part of the eighteenth century was marked by a greater interest in education. The seminaries widened their courses of study to include something more than the canon law and the Fathers, and public-spirited Creoles endowed new and better institutions of learning. No press or periodical literature appeared, but poetry and belles-lettres were cultivated with some success by native authors. Though the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1765 was accomplished without bloodshed, it resulted in no material weakening of ecclesiastical influence. The revolutionary ideas which were transforming the political thought of the world during the eighteenth century hardly penetrated Ecuador at all, and whatever influence they had was confined to the small percentage of the population that boasted of[Pg 310] non-Indian blood. The news of Lexington and Yorktown and the enfranchisement of British North America stimulated no similar movement among the patient Indians and devout Creoles of the Andean valleys, and even the tremendous cataclysm of the French Revolution passed almost unnoticed.

[Pg 311]



The beginning of the nineteenth century saw Spain involved to her ruin in the tremendous struggle between Napoleon and his enemies. Her fleets were destroyed at St. Vincent and Trafalgar; her treasury was emptied; her administration demoralised. Free communication with her American colonies was impossible while British frigates commanded every sea, and both on the Peninsula and in America, Spanish subjects lost their traditional respect for the monarchy. Though the jealousy against their imported rulers which always fermented among Creoles was not so strong in quiet, isolated, and agricultural Ecuador as in the coast provinces and mining regions, the news of Spain's defeats and humiliations awakened ambitious lawyers and wealthy landowners to a realisation that the Spaniards might be ousted from the lucrative offices.

The opportunity came in 1809 with the resignation of Charles IV., the deposition and imprisonment of Ferdinand VII., the usurpation of the Spanish throne by Joseph Bonaparte, and the occupation of[Pg 312] the Peninsula by the French. The viceroys and governors of Spanish America refused to recognise Joseph. The many patriots on the Peninsula who resisted the French usurpation organised provisional juntas which assumed to be the supreme depositaries of power pending the expulsion of Joseph and the return of Ferdinand, while the Queen claimed a regency for herself. The Spanish authorities did not know who would come out on top and were principally anxious to maintain themselves in their places, while ambitious leaders among the Creoles immediately began to plot to turn the confusion to their own advantage and to secure autonomy and even independence for the colonies.

In 1809 Don Ruiz de Castilla was president of Quito. His jurisdiction included not only all present Ecuador, but also the southern part of Colombia, extending north three hundred miles along the great Andean plateau through the populous regions of Pasto and Popayan and far down the high and fertile valley of the Cauca. These portions of Colombia are continuous with the table-land on which Quito stands and directly accessible therefrom, while they are separated from the parallel series of plateaux on which Bogotá, Tunja, and Socorro lie, by the deep valley of the Magdalena. Castilla's dependence upon the Bogotá viceroy was therefore largely nominal, and he could expect as little help from New Granada as from Peru. He had only a few troops at Quito—probably not more than two or three hundred,—while the governors of the subordinate provinces, Popayan, Guayaquil, and Cuenca,[Pg 313] each could muster only a few dozen armed police. A number of wealthy Creole proprietors and restless lawyers determined in the early part of 1809 to overthrow the president and create a governing junta composed of residents of Ecuador. Castilla was powerless to avert the storm. The handful of troops in barracks was easily suborned by the conspirators, who included the persons of greatest wealth, intelligence, and influence in the community. The mass of the Indian population was inert and would naturally side with their landlords, while the Spanish residents and Creole Tories had formed no plans for common action.

On the night of the 9th of August, 1809, the chiefs of the movement, with the officers of the troops, met in the house of Doña Manuela Canizaries, the Madame Roland of Ecuador, and assigned to each the rôle which he was to play in the coup d'état. The officers went to the barracks, led out the troops, and took possession of the government buildings in the name of the revolutionist committee. The president and those Spanish officials who proved recalcitrant were imprisoned, a governing junta of nine with Juan Montufar as chief was appointed, and an open cabildo summoned which confirmed these acts. The junta notified the viceroys of Bogotá and Lima that it had assumed the government, and sent messengers to the provincial capitals demanding that they expel their Spanish authorities, adhere to the new order of things, and recognise the supremacy of the Quito junta. But the movement met with no favourable response from the rest of[Pg 314] the presidency. The governors of Popayan, Cuenca, and Guayaquil immediately began to enlist troops to defend themselves against an attack from Quito. The junta prepared for war, but though plenty of ambitious young Creoles volunteered as officers there were not firearms enough to go around. At last an expedition set off to the north against Pasto and Popayan only to be easily defeated by the hasty levies the Spanish authorities had made among the sturdy Indians of those regions. Frightened by this defeat and their hopeless isolation, the junta resigned under promise of amnesty and in October Castilla returned to Quito and resumed the reins of government. But his position was insecure, and rumors of a fresh conspiracy soon drove him to repressive measures and the imprisonment of leading Creoles. The feeling grew bitter and in August, 1810, a desperate effort was made by the Creoles to get possession of the barracks. Its failure was followed by a frightful massacre in which many of the most popular men in the place were murdered.

Meanwhile, the supreme junta at Seville, anxious to pacify the revolutionary disorders, had commissioned Carlos Montufar, a son of the chief of the fallen Quito junta who then happened to be in Spain, to go to Ecuador and reconcile the factions. Under his advice Castilla resigned to a new junta the direction of affairs, taking, however, the position of its chief member, and sent away his troops. In reality the younger Montufar sympathised with his brother Creoles; the universal indignation at the massacre of 1810 pushed him on to vengeance;[Pg 315] Spaniards travelling through the country were waylaid and assassinated; and by the time Molina, appointed by the Spanish government in Castilla's place, had reached Cuenca on his way north to Quito, the old governor had again been deposed and imprisoned and open war existed between Arredondo, the Spaniard commanding the troops who had retired from Quito in accordance with the compromise, and the junta in the latter city. The year 1811 passed without any material change in the situation. The Spanish generals controlled Guayaquil and Cuenca in the south and Pasto and Popayan in the north, practically isolating the revolutionary government at Quito. As the troops of both sides became better trained the war took on a more determined and cruel character. Royalists and revolutionists both raised recruits among the sturdy mountain Indians and half-breeds. In technical knowledge of their profession the Spanish officers were superior to the revolutionary leaders and could procure arms more readily. Their armies were usually better disciplined and more efficient, although more liable to depletion by desertion.

In this state of perpetual war, government rapidly became exclusively military. On the surface the contest seemed only a struggle between two sets of independent chiefs, in whose mouths "liberty" and "loyalty" were mere catch-words, and who continually quarrelled among themselves even when they nominally belonged to the same side. Early in 1812 Montufar was overthrown by another Creole chief in Quito who thereupon undertook an expedition[Pg 316] against the Spanish general at Cuenca. But sedition among the patriot troops gave an easy victory to the latter, and the Spaniards took the offensive. Marching toward Quito, they dispersed the patriot army at Mocha, and entered the capital in triumph.

Montes, the Spanish general who now became ruler of the presidency, was a wise and moderate man, and spared no pains to conciliate. He soon succeeded in so completely consolidating his power that during nine years Quito and most of the presidency remained quietly submissive, and became one of the centres whence Spanish expeditions went out against the parts of the continent which still remained in revolution. An able general, Samano by name, carried the successes of the Spanish arms to the north, and although the patriots of Colombia obtained some temporary advantages in the winter of 1814-15, they never penetrated south of Pasto. In 1816 the tide again turned with the arrival of eleven thousand Spanish veterans in the north of Colombia. The patriots were soon everywhere defeated, Bogotá itself taken, and a remnant of revolutionists who attempted the invasion of Popayan and Pasto were overwhelmed by Samano in 1816 at the battle of Tambo. The patriot cause was at its lowest ebb in all South America. Resistance ceased in Colombia; only a few scattered bands kept up a desultory warfare in Venezuela; Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia were quiet; Spanish authority had been re-established in Chile; Uruguay had fallen into the hands of the Portuguese king; and Spanish armies[Pg 317] were invading the Argentine, the last refuge of the revolution.

San Martin's thunderbolt descent upon Chile and his victory at Chacabuco changed the aspect of affairs. A fleet was improvised at Valparaiso which obtained command of the Pacific coast, cutting off the Spaniards in Ecuador from receiving supplies except overland from the Caribbean ports. Bolivar took new heart for his tedious task of arousing the north and driving the Spaniards from Venezuela and New Granada. In 1819 he climbed the east side of the Andes to the neighbourhood of Bogotá and by defeating the Spanish army at Boyacá, freed most of present Colombia, and even in Quito the patriots renewed their revolutionary plotting. Meanwhile San Martin had completed the expulsion of the Spaniards from Chile, and in 1820 he transported an army by sea to the neighbourhood of Lima itself, opening communications with the anti-Spanish party all along the coast. On the 9th of October, 1820, a successful revolution broke out at Guayaquil, and little time was lost in sending an army to the plateau. The Spaniards defeated it, but with Bolivar threatening them from Colombia, their comrades in Peru fighting for their lives against San Martin, the population of Quito on the verge of a revolt, and the Pacific in the control of the patriots, they could not follow up their advantage.

On June 24, 1821, Bolivar gained the crowning victory of Carabobo in Venezuela. The Spanish position in the Caribbean provinces became irretrievable, and the patriot general was thenceforth free to[Pg 318] pursue his plans for the expulsion of the enemy from southern New Granada and Ecuador and their incorporation with Colombia. In the fall of that year General Sucré, who shares with San Martin the honor of being the greatest soldier of the patriot side, arrived at Guayaquil by sea, bringing with him seventeen hundred Colombian and Venezuelan veterans. Bolivar was to advance from Bogotá, conquering Popayan and Pasto on his way to Quito, while Sucré came up from the south. The latter at once ascended the Andes to the plateau, but was badly defeated. Retreating to Guayaquil, he reorganised his army, incorporating with it a reinforcement of twelve hundred men sent by San Martin, and again climbed the Andes. By this time Bolivar was advancing from Popayan to Pasto and the Spaniards, thinking it best to concentrate their forces, abandoned Cuenca and the southern provinces and allowed Sucré to advance unopposed to the neighbourhood of Quito. There he outmanœuvred them and gained a commanding position on the slopes of the great volcano, Pichincha, overlooking the city. His foes were forced to the alternative of giving battle at a disadvantage or permitting him to effect a junction with Bolivar, and overwhelming them by superior numbers. On the morning of the 24th of May, 1822, the battle decisive of Ecuador's fate was fought. The royal army suffered annihilation; four hundred dead lay on the mountainside and two hundred wounded; eleven hundred men and one hundred and sixty officers surrendered the following day. The only troops[Pg 319] who escaped belonged to scattered detachments not present at the battle, who fled down the eastern slope of the Andes into the trackless forests and finally made their way down the Amazon to the Atlantic.

[Pg 320]



At the head of a victorious army of Colombians and Argentines, Sucré could naturally do as he liked with Ecuador and an assembly of the people of Quito accepted incorporation into the republic of Colombia. Bolivar, meanwhile, had had some hard fighting with the stubborn loyalists of Pasto, and the issue remained doubtful until news of the victory of Pichincha was received. The Spanish commander surrendered; Bolivar came on to Quito, and thence proceeded to Guayaquil. The inhabitants of this important city were divided. Many wanted to be independent; others preferred incorporation with Peru, to being tied up with Colombia, a country whose capital could only be reached by months of tedious travelling; others, however, were willing to maintain the ancient political connection with New Granada. As a matter of fact, discussion was useless, for Bolivar threw into the scale the weight of his military power. Guayaquil and the adjacent coast region became a department of Colombia, while the southern plateau provinces—Cuenca and[Pg 321] Loja—were also erected into a department of Bolivar's vast confederation. This completed the division of the old presidency of Quito into four parts—Pasto and the northern provinces, Quito and the central, Cuenca and the southern, and Guayaquil with the coast, and in all of them the influence of Bolivar's satraps was predominant.

Shortly after his arrival at Guayaquil Bolivar and San Martin had their famous interview. The latter came up from Lima hoping to arrange plan of joint campaign, but he quickly saw that Bolivar would never consent to share the glory of driving the Spaniards from their last strongholds. The great Argentine magnanimously determined to retire, and returning to Lima, resigned the presidency of Peru. San Martin once out of the way, Bolivar was eager to lead a Colombian army to Lima, but the Peruvians declined his assistance. Alone, however, they had little chance against the able Spanish generals, and, aghast at the progress of the enemy, they soon sent to Bolivar begging his assistance on his own terms. The selfishly ambitious liberator gladly accepted, and within a month Sucré was on his way south at the head of a fine army of Colombian veterans. Bolivar himself followed with reinforcements, and though hampered and delayed by the revolt of the Callao garrison, Sucré's military ability backed by Bolivar's tireless energy and large resources produced their legitimate results. Bolivar in person advanced to the plateau and August 6, 1824, won the cavalry action of Junin which compelled the retirement of the Spanish army to Cuzco. Bolivar returned to[Pg 322] Lima leaving Sucré in command, and on the 9th of December the latter annihilated the main body of the enemy in the battle of Ayacucho—the crowning victory of the war of South American independence.

Bolivar was supreme from the Caribbean to Potosí. As president of the United States of Colombia he ruled Venezuela, New Granada, and Ecuador, he himself was dictator of Peru, and his faithful lieutenant exercised supreme power in Bolivia. The realisation of his cherished plan for the union of all South America into one great confederacy, with himself as life-president, seemed near at hand. But successful soldier though he was—heroic, resourceful, and unwavering in reverse—his statecraft was short-sighted and impracticable. The moment of his apogee marked the beginning of his decline. He failed to appreciate that the spirit of South America was profoundly democratic and local, and that the war of independence owed its beginning and successful prosecution to a deeply rooted impulse toward division, liberty, and anarchy among the Creoles. To build a tower out of sand would have been easier than to create a stable union between the recently liberated provinces of Spanish America. Viewed in the light of subsequent events the wonder is that territorial disintegration stopped where it did, and that South America did not split into twenty instead of nine separate countries.

Bolivar's partisans in Colombia were unsuccessful in their intrigues to replace the Constitution of Cucutá with one drawn up after the plan their chief had imposed upon Bolivia and Peru. Neither[Pg 323] leaders nor people, army nor professional classes, showed any disposition to concede him greater powers. His attempts to interfere in the affairs of Argentine and Chile were repulsed, Peru became restless under his dictatorship, Bolivia only waited a favourable opportunity to expel Sucré, the very troops he had brought from Colombia to Peru became mutinous, his pan-American congress at Panama turned out a fiasco. He remained two years in Peru, until the news of a great uprising in Venezuela made it necessary for him to hurry to the north. Hardly had he left Lima than the military chiefs in Peru virtually disavowed his authority. Under the leadership of their officers the Colombian troops in Lima revolted, and the Peruvians, delighted to be rid of these embarrassing guests, paid their pecuniary demands, and to the number of over three thousand despatched them in ships for the north. They disembarked in Ecuador, where one division took possession of Guayaquil and another of Cuenca. Bolivar was so occupied with the troubles in Venezuela that he could personally take no measures against this defection, but General Flores, a Venezuelan whom he had appointed commander of the military forces of the three southern provinces of the old Quito presidency,—Guayaquil, Cuenca, and Quito,—proved energetic and fortunate. His intrigues sowed discord among the officers of the revolting troops. A counter-revolution occurred in his favour at Cuenca, and after a short period of virtual independence Guayaquil also returned to its old connection with Quito.[Pg 324]

The movement against Bolivar from Colombia proper involved Pasto and Popayan—the northern division of the old Quito presidency—while Quito and the southern provinces were left largely to their own devices. General La Mar, who had succeeded in making himself president of Peru, conceived the idea of enlarging the limits of that country by the acquisition of Guayaquil and Cuenca, and he was the more enthusiastic because the latter was his native province. In 1828 war broke out between Colombia and Peru. Peruvian ships blockaded Guayaquil, and in January, 1829, forced the surrender of that place, while a Peruvian army seven thousand strong invaded the Ecuadorean plateau and penetrated beyond Cuenca. Flores and his rivals united in face of the common danger, the Colombian veterans scattered through the country rallied to the banner of Sucré, who came in person to take command, and the decisive battle was fought at Tarqui in February. The Peruvians were so badly defeated that they sued for peace, and agreed to surrender Guayaquil and the greater part of the southern provinces.


By this time, however, Bolivar's own position had become desperate. Venezuela had already separated from the confederation, and when on the 12th of May, 1830, Flores proclaimed the Quito presidency independent, it was little more than the announcement of an existing fact. He attempted to disarm jealousy against Quito by christening the country by the fanciful name of Ecuador, and by decreeing that each province should have an equal vote in the [Pg 326] legislative assembly. Flores was merely one of a multitude of military chiefs who had been fighting among themselves since the expulsion of the Spaniards. Though married to a Quito lady he was a Venezuelan and could rely on few local friendships or sympathies, and the Colombian veterans, who swarmed over the country devouring the substance of the people and eager for pay and plunder, regarded him as one of themselves and were ready to desert him for any chief who might offer higher wages.

Now that Bolivar was overthrown and Sucré murdered on a lonely mountain road by hired assassins, the sentiment of loyalty to their old chiefs tardily revived among the fickle Colombian regulars. They received Flores's declaration of independence with indignation; an insurrection broke out among the garrison at Guayaquil; and the veterans marched to the plateau. Flores had no force capable of making headway against them, and was compelled to negotiate a treaty, agreeing to support Bolivar in case the latter should remain in South America. On the other hand, the troops consented to recognise Flores if Bolivar should go into exile. Hardly had the treaty been signed than word was received of the lonely death of the great Venezuelan at Santa Marta. Most of the veterans took service under Flores, and he pursued the recalcitrants with relentless and bloody severity. Pasto and Popayan, composing the province of Cauca, the northern division of the old Quito presidency, wavered as to whether they would cast their lot with Ecuador or New[Pg 327] Granada. The government at Bogotá sent an army into the disputed territory, and Flores tried to organise a force large enough to beat it, but he was hampered by mutinies, conspiracies, and poverty, and after a year of expensive though nearly bloodless operations withdrew and consented to a treaty by which Ecuador gave up all claim to Pasto and Popayan, losing a third of the territory and population of the old presidency of Quito.


Flores, however, managed to hold Guayaquil and Cuenca as well as Quito and must therefore be regarded as the founder of Ecuador, though his[Pg 328] reactionary, absolute, and violent government was hated by all that was young, intelligent, and liberal in the country. The Indian peasants groaned under the burden of taxes imposed to subsidise a horde of functionaries. Finances were in deplorable confusion; the public debts left unpaid; population decreased, especially in the Andean region; agriculture, industry, and commerce remained stationary, except in the cacao districts on the coast. The lower classes had a hard struggle for bare existence, and the parasitical ruling race was solely pre-occupied with political war and intrigue. But it cannot fairly be said that Flores or any other one man was responsible. The lamentable condition of affairs resulted inevitably from the long struggle with Spain and from the situation, character, and ideals of the people. But such a janizary system of government was too burdensome, unwieldy, and wasteful not to fall by its own weight sooner or later. The people were simply unable to pay the taxes which Flores levied vainly trying to satisfy his troops. Mutinies broke out among the latter, and the liberals were encouraged to organise.

A revolutionary society was formed in Quito whose ramifications extended among the enthusiastic youth in every part of the republic. In Guayaquil, the wealthiest and most commercial city, the demand for better financial administration became universal. In 1833 Vicente Rocafuerte, the foremost of Ecuadorean liberals and the most accomplished public man in the country, openly assumed the leadership of the opposition to Flores. Elected[Pg 329] a member of congress he bravely defied the dictator, who sentenced him to banishment. But when he reached Guayaquil the troops and citizens of that city arose to support him. Flores led an army down the Andes and attacked and captured Guayaquil, Rocafuerte and his partisans escaped and kept up the struggle at different points of the coast, while sympathetic insurrections broke out on the plateau in Flores's rear. Though the dictator finally succeeded in capturing Rocafuerte, the only use he was able to make of his victory was to secure better terms from the liberals. Rocafuerte and he formed an alliance and together they pacified the country, the former becoming president and the latter retaining command of the army. Ecuador enjoyed her first real respite from civil war and tumult since 1809, and Rocafuerte's inauguration in 1835 marks the beginning of civil and constitutional government.

[Pg 330]



President Rocafuerte was not only animated by revolutionary principles, imbued with liberal ideas, and a student of the best political and economic writers, but he proved to be a good administrator—practical, cautious, and sure—and earned the title of the greatest of Ecuador's reformers. His first step was to summon a constituent assembly which divided the country into provinces and parishes, outlined a rational scheme of administration, and made a substantial beginning toward substituting civil for military government. Although he did not attempt to carry into practice the dreams of radical liberals—impracticable among a population nine-tenths Indians in semi-bondage, and in a country where the clergy were dominant—he reformed the taxing system, set in order the finances, so far as his means and knowledge would permit, earnestly encouraged industry, agriculture, and commerce, repaired and built roads, promulgated a new and humane criminal code, and established schools. He set up the pyramids of the French geographers, showing that tender[Pg 331] regard for his country's repute abroad which is rarely absent in statesmen of high character and noble aims. Under his administration Ecuador assumed the payment of her proportion—twenty-one and a half per cent., or one million eight hundred thousand pounds—of the debt contracted by the defunct United States of Colombia during the war of independence. However, this debt proved a burden too great for her resources. Interest fell behind and the principal has been scaled down repeatedly. Only in 1900 was an arrangement satisfactory to the bondholders finally reached.

His efforts made Ecuador the second South American republic whose independence was formally recognised by Spain. In religious matters he proved true to his liberal convictions, and while never persecuting the clergy always advocated religious freedom for the individual. But though he set his country's feet in the path of progress, the steps were slow, short, and uncertain. His alliance with the military element as represented by Flores, and the religious and social conservatism of the bulk of the people, hampered rapid progress. The radical liberals conspired against him, but their plots were sternly stamped out. Government remained essentially military and aristocratic, and active participation was confined to the educated and military classes. Nevertheless, a sort of equilibrium between the demands of the governing caste and the capacities of the producing masses was reached, and a certain degree of order replaced the indiscriminate exactions and tyranny which the proletariat had[Pg 332] endured ever since the first Spaniard had landed. When Rocafuerte finished his term in 1839, Ecuador was at peace and had recovered much of the material prosperity lost during the long wars. On the plateau the Indians cultivated their wheat and potatoes in security, while on the low coast lands the cacao industry flourished, making Ecuador one of the chief sources of the world's supply of chocolate and multiplying Guayaquil's population and wealth.


[Pg 333]

Flores's command of the army insured him the succession to the presidency. Though his return to power meant political reaction, the beneficent effects of Rocafuerte's system had been too obvious to be entirely ignored and hastily abandoned. Flores's first measures were moderate, but his irrational ambition quickly led him into an expensive and fruitless intervention in the Colombian civil war of 1840. His financial difficulties and a return to military habits caused him to adopt measures continually more arbitrary, and he went stubbornly ahead with his schemes to make his dictatorship permanent. He forced the adoption of a new Constitution lengthening the presidential term to eight years, and caused himself to be declared elected in 1843. The conflict with the liberals became acute; Rocafuerte protested and was forced to fly for his life. The young radicals of Quito plotted the tyrant's assassination, while the villagers of the plateau arose in revolt against the gatherers of an obnoxious poll-tax. In 1845 a liberal revolution broke out at Guayaquil. Flores descended from the table-land, but the liberal army met and defeated him at the foot of the mountains, and he accepted the offer of twenty thousand dollars in cash and a pension to leave the country.

The better elements of the triumphant party were not able to keep the upper hand. A new Constitution was hastily adopted and the mulatto Ramon Roca installed as president. For four years he ruled while the gulf between liberals and conservatives widened day by day, and factional jealousies[Pg 334] and ambitions within the dominant party became menacing. The congress of 1849 quarrelled bitterly over the presidential succession and was unable to agree on any one. Ambitious chiefs got arms and men together, and after a year of uncertainty General Urbina, of Guayaquil, issued a pronunciamento declaring Diego Noboa provisional head of the government. A convention called for the purpose adopted a new Constitution and elected Urbina's nominee president for the full term. To the consternation of the liberals he recalled the Jesuits and gave asylum to the defeated conservatives from Colombia, going so far as to send troops to the frontier to aid in their restoration. But Urbina, to whose command these forces had been entrusted, proclaimed himself dictator and exiled Noboa. He promulgated a new Constitution—Ecuador's sixth in twenty-two years,—persecuted the conservatives, and ruled for four years as an ultra-liberal. At the expiration of his term in 1856 he named his friend Robles as his successor, who maintained himself against the conservative attacks until in 1859 his government became involved in a war with Peru. When Robles and Urbina went to the Peruvian frontier the conservatives rose behind them. As a matter of fact the country was tired of the misrule of the military chiefs, miscalled liberals, whose government was a compound of oppression for their enemies and license for their friends. The clericals armed their adherents in the northern villages and marched on Quito. The partisans of the administration at the capital could oppose no effective resist[Pg 335]ance, and the insurgents entered the city, and on May 1st installed a provisional government with Garcia Moreno at its head. The latter at once pushed on south with a small force, and, though defeated by Robles, he escaped to Peru, where he received help for new operations. In spite of Moreno's temporary reverse his friends retained possession of Quito, and the Peruvian blockade of Guayaquil absorbed the president's attention. The forces under Robles soon crumbled away, and he resigned and went into banishment. Urbina, the real chief of the liberal party, had a small body of troops in Cuenca with which he tried to maintain the unequal contest, but his position soon became untenable and he followed Robles into exile.

Moreno was now master of the whole Andean region. Guayaquil, however, remained in the hands of a liberal chief; the Peruvian government had tired of its bargain to support the Ecuadorian clericals; the blockade was abandoned, and the Peruvian ships retired after making a treaty with the Guayaquil authorities. This rid Moreno of an embarrassing entanglement with a foreign power, although it left the Guayaquil insurgents free to employ all their forces against him. Descending with all the forces he could muster, his mountaineers defeated the coast troops in every encounter, and on the 2d of September, 1860, Moreno captured the great seaport, putting an end to open opposition in all Ecuador. Every successful revolutionist in those days made his own Constitution, so it is a waste of words to tell that Moreno summoned a convention which[Pg 336] promulgated a new fundamental law for the republic. During the next fifteen years he remained the dominant personality in Ecuadorian history. His biography is typical of the careers of the higher class of Creole statesmen, and profoundly interesting to a student of South American history as illustrating the difficulties with which men of constructive minds and a passion for order have been obliged to contend. A scion of one of the oldest and proudest Spanish families, he had been proscribed in his youth, and spent the years of his exile studying in the old world. He returned with his naturally fine mind stored with the fruits of study and observation, but with his prejudices of caste and religion unshaken. The clericals set all their hopes on this brilliant young advocate, and his public life, his opinions, and his personality résumé the reactionary characteristics of Ecuador. Nevertheless it is hard for an unprejudiced outsider to study the history of his country during his time without retaining a strong admiration for his abilities and force, even if not convinced that his career made for the moral uplifting of the republic.

He found the finances in a wretched state. Salaries were unpaid, the revenue amounted to less than a million pesos, and the government was living from hand to mouth on twenty-per-cent. loans. He directed his activity principally toward effecting urgent material reforms—increasing the revenue by systematising taxation, suppressing frauds and contraband, founding a mint and hospital at Quito, building the great waggon-road from Quito to the[Pg 337] southern provinces, and connecting that remote and mountain-locked capital by a telegraph line with Guayaquil. The whole of his own salary he devoted to the public use, the laws were better enforced, life and property became safer, and material prosperity increased. The government was centralised, the semi-independency of the departments abolished, the Jesuits recalled, the rights and privileges of the clergy restored and increased, and a Concordat signed with the Holy See which virtually freed the Ecuadorian Church from all secular control.

The Concordat was denounced throughout the continent as treason to South American independence, and his relations with European diplomatic representatives were so cordial and frank that rumours of his willingness to accept a foreign protectorate or even annexation by Spain were rife in the other capitals. The publication of his personal correspondence with a French diplomatist raised such a storm against him that other countries plotted his overthrow, and the democrats of Colombia, victorious in the civil war of 1863, sent an army to the frontier, proclaiming that their purpose was "to liberate the brother democrats of Ecuador from the theocratic yoke of Professor Moreno." His army was defeated in the battle of Cuaspud, but he stood firm and his people showed no eagerness to accept Colombia's invitation and re-enter that confederacy. Her army was unable to follow up its advantage, and the danger quickly passed. When war broke out between Spain and Peru he, like the Emperor of Brazil, refused to follow Chile's example and take[Pg 338] sides, against the mother country. In a word, his foreign policy was a selfish but intelligent opportunism, and he was not influenced by vague sentimental considerations and blind chauvinism.

In 1864 Urbina, with the countenance and assistance of Peru, invaded the southern province, Loja, but the insurrection was promptly crushed. Next year Moreno's term expired, and he named a disciple and friend to be president in his place, but his own political preponderance was so unquestioned and his prestige so enormous in the barracks, convents, and pulperias that he continued the real ruler of the country. His understudy did not please him and he demanded and received a resignation. The incumbent next selected proved insubordinate and had to be displaced by force. When Moreno declared himself provisional dictator the Guayaquil liberals undertook an armed resistance, but by 1869 he was firmly in the saddle once more. He kept his hold on the government, apparently becoming more securely entrenched each year in the love and confidence of the soldiery, the priests, and the common people. From the safety of exile the liberals wrote crushing pamphlets against him and his despotism, his favouritism toward the clergy, his steady, relentless policy of conservatism and reaction. But their attempts at insurrection were feeble and in 1875 he was re-elected as a matter of course. The liberals, hopeless of ending his domination constitutionally or by open war, had recourse to assassination. On the 6th of August a party of young Creoles deliberately killed him at midday on the principal square[Pg 339] of Quito in the presence of the populace and the soldiery.

The murderers were executed and the vice-president succeeded to the vacancy. However, no one appeared big enough to fill Moreno's shoes, and his death made civil war inevitable. After a few months the vice-president was deposed; then one of Moreno's ministers remained at the head of affairs for a short time; but finally Antonio Borrero was selected president in constitutional form. He proved not to possess the resolution requisite to cope with the situation. General Veintemilla, commander of the troops in Guayaquil, revolted in the name of the liberal party, defeated Borrero, and went through the usual form of summoning a convention, adopting a new Constitution, and having himself named president. He held power insecurely and by the aid of a personal party from 1878 to 1883, but neither conservatives nor liberals were satisfied. The radicals attacked him furiously for not putting in practice anti-clerical principles, and the conservatives never trusted him. When his constitutional term expired, the army proclaimed him dictator, but he soon fell before the combined forces of his enemies. During the fighting José Camano came to the front, and now seized the presidency. Alfaro, the principal liberal leader who had co-operated with Camano in overthrowing Veintemilla, made war against his late ally, but was defeated. The new president, once securely in his seat, formed close relations with the clergy and the old partisans of Moreno, and though the liberal chiefs kept up a[Pg 340] guerilla warfare in the forests and swamps, he finished out his term. In 1888 he was succeeded by Antonio Flores, who followed his predecessor's policy in the main, and was in his turn succeeded by another friend of Camano's—Luis Cordero. It was not until 1895 that the liberals were able to gather their forces for a formidable rebellion. Camano was then governor of Guayaquil, and the immediate occasion of the outbreak was the charge that he had taken part in the sale of the Chilean iron-clad, Esmeralda, to Japan, then at war with China. It was claimed that Ecuador had acted as a go-between and committed a wilful breach of the rules governing the conduct of neutral nations. President Cordero's prestige was seriously compromised by this incident. His forces were defeated in several actions and he resigned. Alfaro, who had been in exile since 1883, returned, took possession of Guayaquil, was proclaimed dictator, and finally completely overthrew the conservatives in the battle of Gatajo. His election to the presidency followed in 1897, and he was succeeded four years later by the present incumbent, General Leonidas Plaza.


The Ecuador coast is one of the most fertile and lovely regions on the earth. It already furnishes a considerable proportion of those tropical products of which the great nations of the temperate zone demand more every year. Like a Luzon which has been stranded at the foot of the Andes, its green shores refresh the eyes of the north-bound traveller tired of the dreary desert that stretches from Valparaiso to the Gulf of Guayaquil; it possesses the best harbour on the Pacific south of Panama and one of the few in all South America which is not mountain-locked. Between the Cordillera and the sea there is room for untold millions of cacao and coffee trees. In spite of civil war and political upheavals which have made her custom-house so often the prey of irresponsible bandits, masquerading under the name of dictators, Guayaquil's population and wealth have increased until she has outstripped the hoary old capital, which, enthroned on a volcano side, overlooks a narrow strip of cultivable land. Nevertheless the plateau is still predominant in the[Pg 342] Ecuadorian state, and supports a vast majority of the population. Nine-tenths of the inhabitants of the Andean region are Indians, mostly in a condition not far removed from bondage, by circumstance and their own distrustful natures shut up within the narrow limits of an existence which has no outlook over the mountains. None the less, they are sturdy fellows, admirably suited to the climate of those high altitudes, and though their numbers have been practically stationary since the Spanish conquest, the failure to increase has been rather due to lack of room than to misgovernment, vice, or the want of the qualities that make for success in the struggle for existence. In that day, now near at hand, when a great railway shall connect the string of towns on the Ecuador plateau with Peru and Colombia, and when branches shall run to the ports and take the place of the well-nigh impassable trails down the tremendous, rain-soaked slopes of the Andes, the mountain region of Ecuador may be transformed and revivified by new systems of agriculture, and the artistic taste and remarkable ingenuity of the people may find a market and a reward. The railway from Guayaquil long stopped at the foot of the mountains, but within the last three years the almost insurmountable difficulties of the ascent have been overcome by American engineers, and the line is being rapidly built along the plateau to Quito. Ecuador already supplies the world with Panama hats, and other manual industries may flourish when unfavourable transportation conditions are removed. Not only are the common people patiently indus[Pg 343]trious, but they possess innate good taste and artistic feeling. Such a people has special aptitudes, sure to give it a place in that vastly complicated workshop into which the multifarious needs of modern civilisation are transforming the earth. The plateau of Ecuador does not, however, offer room for any considerable immigration, and its wheat, barley, and potatoes do not and will not much more than suffice for local consumption. Ecuador's great future lies in the beautiful and as yet sparsely peopled Pacific plain, and in the vast and absolutely unknown forests which stretch east from the Andes.

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On his third voyage in 1498 Columbus sighted the Venezuelan coast just south of the Windward Islands. A year later, Alonso de Ojeda saw the mainland at about the same place and skirted the coast for four hundred miles west without finding any important break in a line of mountains which rose almost directly from the sea to a height of three to nine thousand feet, covered to their very tops with luxuriant vegetation. But there was no such barrier as that made by the main Andes on the Pacific; the passes were only half a mile instead of nearly three miles high; the slopes were not dry and desolate as in Peru, or covered with a tangled mass of forest as in Pacific Columbia and Ecuador. Just beyond the harbour where Puerto Cabello now stands, the coast-line turned abruptly to the north-west, leaving the mountains farther inland, but the intervening plain was swampy and uninviting. Still following west, Ojeda rounded Cape San Roman and turned south into the great Gulf of Maracaibo. There he saw Indian villages of houses built on piles[Pg 348] near the shallow shores, and he called the place Venezuela—"little Venice,"—a name shortly extended to the whole coast from the mouth of the Orinoco west to the forbidding and uninhabitable peninsula of Goajira, which forms the western promontory of the Gulf of Maracaibo.

There is no record that either Columbus or Ojeda effected a permanent landing, and it was not until 1510 that some adventurers founded a settlement on the small island of Cubagua, in the channel between the large island of Margarita and the mainland. This was a mere nest of pirates who persecuted the Indians of the shore, kidnapping and selling them as slaves to the Spaniards on the Antilles, and it was shortly abandoned. In 1520, on the coast just opposite, was founded the settlement of Cumaná, the oldest city on the South American continent, which, though destroyed by the natives, was rebuilt in 1525, when valuable pearl fisheries were discovered in the neighbouring waters of Margarita. However, the place remained of little importance and did not become a centre for the colonisation of the adjacent country, the Spaniards attaching little value to this region because it contained no gold washings.

The real colonisation of Venezuela began four hundred miles farther west with the foundation in 1527 of the city of Coro on the narrow neck of land which separates the Gulf of Maracaibo from the Caribbean Sea. Thence there was easy access by water to the shores of the great lagoon, or by land over the coast plain to the north-western slopes of[Pg 349] the Andean range which runs south-west to the giant plateau of Pamplona just over the Colombian border. The Andean valleys were filled with gold, and among the higher mountains lay fertile plateaux, cultivated by tribes of semi-civilised Indians. Altogether the region was well calculated to stimulate the cupidity of adventurers.

Charles V. granted the Venezuela coast to the Welser family of Augsburg, the greatest merchants of their time and his heavy creditors. Under their commission the first adelantado, Alfinger, took possession of Coro and conducted various expeditions south-west along the Andes, perishing near Pamplona about 1531. His successors continued these murdering, kidnapping incursions into the interior, often being led to their ruin among remote mountain fastnesses by tales of a mythical Eldorado, where the rivers ran over silver sands, the palaces were of solid gold with doors and columns of diamonds and emeralds, and the Indian king every morning covered his body with gold dust and bathed in precious aromatic essences.

Eighteen years, however, elapsed before the Spaniards established a permanent settlement in the interior, and only in 1545 was the city of Tocuyo founded in a beautiful Andean valley a hundred and fifty miles south of Coro. But the cruelties of the proprietors' agents scandalised public opinion. Charles V. declared their concession cancelled and a governor, responsible directly to the government, was appointed in 1547. Thenceforward the settlement of Venezuela proceeded more rapidly. Five[Pg 350] years later the city of Barquisimeto, fifty miles north of Tocuyo and near the point where the Andes join the coast range, was established on a secure footing after hard fighting with the Indians; in 1555 the Spaniards penetrated east a hundred miles along the lovely plateaux of the coast mountains, and founded Valencia. The following year they settled Trujillo, fifty miles south-west of Tocuyo, and two years later Merida, a hundred miles farther in the same direction and not far from the Colombian frontier.

To the east of Valencia lay valuable gold washings, and to work these the Spaniards fixed a camp at San Francisco in the Aragua Valley about 1560. This is the garden spot of Venezuela, and the warlike Teques Indians, under their terrible chief, Guaicaipuro, massacred the miners and defeated several expeditions from Valencia and Barquisimeto. It was not until 1567 that the Spaniards succeeded in establishing their power in the valley of Caracas, which, a hundred miles east of Valencia, lies close to the shore, although three thousand feet above sea-level and separated from the ocean by high mountains. The defensibility of the site as well as the fertility of the soil pointed it out as the best place for the seat of government. A city was founded which ten years later replaced Coro as the capital of the province, and shortly thereafter a port was opened at La Guaira giving direct communication with Spain. The savage tribes fought more pertinaciously than the civilised natives of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and northern Chile and Argentina, and a greater number[Pg 351] of Europeans and negroes replaced those who were slain. Finally, however, the majority submitted, and were incorporated as peasants into the Spanish system.

By the end of the sixteenth century the Spaniards had obtained undisputed possession of that lovely strip of mountainous country which extends from Cape Codera west between two parallel coast ranges to Barquisimeto and thence west-south-west nearly to the head of Lake Maracaibo—a belt some four hundred miles long and fifty or seventy-five wide. They also held the great peninsula east of Maracaibo Gulf, and had established outlying settlements in the llanos south of the mountains, besides the two isolated ports—Cumaná on the eastern coast and Maracaibo on the western. Notwithstanding the sack of Caracas in 1595 by the daring British buccaneer, Amyas Preston, the colony prospered. Unlike the Pacific coast, it had easy and direct communication with the Antilles and Europe; the altitude was great enough to ensure a healthful climate, while its fertile valleys could be reached from the sea in a few hours over easy passes, far different from those formidable gorges which are the only ways of reaching the table-lands of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. The interior, instead of being a heavily forested plain like that of the Amazon, practically inaccessible behind tremendous rain-soaked declivities, was an open prairie into which the mountains sank gently, and whose grassy expanses afforded pasture for innumerable herds. These geographical and topographical features have[Pg 352] been determinative of Venezuela's development and history, political as well as industrial.

In the early years of the seventeenth century the long-neglected Cumaná district on the eastern coast began to be developed. The city of Barcelona was founded in 1617 near a magnificent body of grazing land and in the best tobacco country in Venezuela, where the Indians had grown the plant for untold generations. Barcelona soon became an important centre of population, and the starting-point for missionaries to the interior tribes. The gold placers which had attracted the first adventurers to the mountains west of Caracas became exhausted within a few decades. Nevertheless, the fertile lands, distributed among the Spaniards in encomiendas, continued to be cultivated by Indian and negro labour, but, although maize, bananas, potatoes, and in the higher valleys even wheat, as well as the vine and olive, with the cattle introduced by Europeans, furnished an abundant supply of food, to say nothing of tobacco and sugar, Spain's blind colonial policy virtually prevented export of agricultural products. The Spanish authorities wanted nothing from their American dominions but gold and silver, and when Venezuela's placers were exhausted the colony was neglected. It was in spite of the prohibition of the Spanish government that cacao trees were introduced, and the exportation which soon grew up—the first of any importance from Venezuela—was mostly clandestine. Practically all the goods legally imported had to be procured from the Cadiz monopoly, and were sent to the Isthmus and[Pg 353] there transhipped into coasting vessels, paying enormous freight charges, profits, and duties. Tobacco and salt were monopolised by government concessionaires, and not a chicken could be sold in the markets without paying an exorbitant tax.

Education was completely neglected. It was not until 1696 that a priests' school was established in Caracas, and when the city of Merida asked a similar boon, it was denied because "His Catholic Majesty did not deem it wise that education should become general in America." So the Creoles grew up nearly as ignorant as the Indians around them, although retaining all the fierce pride of their Spanish descent, acknowledging no man as superior, and retaining very dim sentiments of loyalty to the mother country. Nevertheless, the ancient municipal forms, traditional among peoples of Spanish descent, survived, furnishing the framework of civil government, while the priesthood constituted a moral and intellectual tie binding the Creoles to their Castilian ancestors.

The repressive regulations against commerce could not be perfectly enforced. Although the arrival of a ship from Spain was a real event, British, Dutch, and French traders frequented the coast, opening markets with their swords, and often turning buccaneers and sacking a town when not satisfied with their reception. But the burning of a few coast hamlets was more than compensated by the advantages of practical free-trade, and Venezuela owed much of the prosperity she enjoyed during the seventeenth century to these semi-pirates. The[Pg 354] settlements crept along the Andean valleys to the Colombian frontier; the Creoles ventured farther and farther into the wide plains of the Orinoco and their cattle were soon roaming half-wild in the immense and luxuriant pastures stretching south of the agricultural strip. From the mixture of the Indians of the llanos with Europeans sprang a new race of men, the semi-nomadic llaneros, whose hardiness, courage, horsemanship, and prowess as hunters of big game have given them equal celebrity with the gauchos of the Argentine, the cossacks of the Russian steppes, or the Texas cowboys. The buccaneers and smuggling traders were especially active in the latter part of the seventeenth century. In 1654 Frenchmen were repelled in an attack on Cumaná, but in 1669 the Britisher, Morgan, sacked Maracaibo, and in 1679 the French pillaged Caracas itself. The paralysis suffered by Spain during the war of the Spanish Succession nearly destroyed Venezuelan commerce, and it did not recover with the peace of Utrecht. Only five ships arrived in the first thirty years of the eighteenth century, and from 1706 to 1721 not a single vessel sailed for Spain.

The Spanish government determined to try if another system would not bring a larger revenue into the royal treasury. The Guipuzcoa Company was granted an exclusive franchise to buy and sell in the colony, and the operations of this powerful corporation galvanised commerce into a certain activity. In order to stimulate the receipt of hides, and prevent the incursions of wild plains Indians, trading posts were established in the llanos, and soon the[Pg 355] prairies south of Valencia and Caracas rivalled the Barcelona country in cattle, and the ranches extended up the Apuré, the great western tributary of the Orinoco, to the foot of the Colombian Andes. Meanwhile expeditions penetrated up the Orinoco from its mouth, and in 1764 the city of Angostura was established four hundred miles from the sea. The operations of the Guipuzcoa Company did not aid in establishing a more friendly understanding between the home government and the Venezuelan Creoles. The independent merchants constantly quarrelled with the company's agents; the low prices for which they were compelled to sell their stock outraged the ranch owners; the farmers resented the monopolisation of tobacco and the restrictions on sugar-culture; exorbitant prices were demanded for imported goods. Protests became so loud that special commissioners were sent from Spain to investigate, but they gave no satisfactory relief. Shortly after the foundation of the Guipuzcoa Company, Venezuela had been raised to the dignity of a captaincy-general. The increased efficiency of the administration assisted the monopoly in suppressing clandestine trading, and the feeling grew to such a height that in 1749 a Creole leader, named Leon, menaced Caracas itself at the head of six thousand armed men, demanding the suppression of the company and the expulsion of its factors. The captain-general was forced to yield and the revolutionists dispersed, but his promise was never redeemed. The active measures of the company effectually shut off foreign trading-ships, and the ports were so fortified[Pg 356] that the British expeditions retired defeated from the attacks they made in 1739 and 1743 on La Guaira and Puerto Cabello, although in 1797 they captured the island of Trinidad and menaced the entrance to the Orinoco. It was not until 1778, when the Spanish government finally abandoned the monopolistic colonial system and opened all the ports of South America to free commerce with each other and with Spain, that the Guipuzcoa Company retired from business. Six years before this the provinces of Maracaibo, Cumaná, and Guiana—as the lower Orinoco region was called,—all of which had heretofore been directly dependent upon the viceroy of Bogotá, were placed under the jurisdiction of the captain-general of Caracas, fixing the modern boundaries of Venezuela.

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Venezuela's conditions during colonial times produced a people possessing in the clearest and most accentuated form the characteristics distinctive of the Spanish Creole. Not more than one per cent. of the total population of over eight hundred thousand were native Spaniards; fifteen per cent. were Creoles of pure European descent; sixty per cent. were Indian, two-thirds of whom had an admixture of white blood; and three-fourths of the twenty-five per cent. of negroes and mulattoes were free. The majority did not consist of docile, inert, pure-bred natives as in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Paraguay, though the white element was not so large that the Creoles had ceased to occupy the position of a governing and property-owning caste who lived upon the labour of the half-breeds, Indians, and negroes. They regarded themselves as a superior class, entitled by birth to exemption from manual labour, and even considered commercial pursuits unworthy a gentleman.


The Spanish government had concerned itself little with this purely agricultural colony, and its hand was felt only in the collection of taxes. The officials were comparatively few, the number of resident Spaniards small, and neither mutual commercial interests nor a solid administration existed to strengthen the flimsy ties that bound Venezuela to the mother-country. So little had the interference of the Spanish government been felt since the abolishment of the Guipuzcoa Company that no well-defined and widespread sentiment in favour of separation existed. There was a vague feeling of dissatisfaction among the masses, but their ignorance prevented them from forming any rational plans for the betterment of their condition. However, the Venezuelan coast is so accessible that the fertilising[Pg 359] and disturbing currents of trade and ideas had really profoundly modified the people, and the leaven of unrest was at work. The wealthier Creoles had imbibed radical notions and were ambitious of trying their hands at governing. By heredity, social custom, and environment indisposed to industry and commerce, their unemployed activities naturally flowed into the channel of politics, intrigue, and fighting.

The first outbreak owed its origin to events in Spain. In 1796 a republican conspiracy was brought to light on the Peninsula, and several of its leaders were exiled to La Guaira. In their prison they were visited by many prominent Creoles, into whose minds they inculcated their republican principles, and it was not long before the existence of an extensive republican plot among the Creoles of La Guaira and Caracas was denounced to the captain-general. Many persons were arrested, and of the two principals, España expiated his treason on the scaffold, while the other, Gual, escaped into exile. But the seed of revolution had been planted, and many leading Creoles entered into correspondence with the British authorities on Trinidad, who promised aid in arms, munitions, and ships. Francisco Miranda, a native of Caracas, who had fought under Washington, and distinguished himself at Valmy and Jemappes as a soldier of the French republic, planned an invasion with the avowed purpose of achieving Venezuelan separation from Spain. With three ships manned by American filibusters he sailed from New York early in 1806, and attempted to land at Ocumare, near Puerto Cabello. But the[Pg 360] Spanish authorities had been warned and he was beaten in a sea-fight where he lost sixty prisoners. Ten North Americans were condemned by court-martial and shot in Puerto Cabello, and their names are inscribed on a monument recently erected in the principal square of the town. The captain-general offered thirty thousand dollars for Miranda's head, but the latter retired to Jamaica, where, with the help of the British authorities, he organised a force of five hundred foreigners. Three months later he made a descent on Coro, effected a landing, and took the city. But the population remained inert, and the indifferent or hostile attitude of the region forced him to withdraw.

Though the western provinces received Miranda so coldly, among the Creoles of the upper classes at Caracas aspirations for constitutional government, autonomy, and even for independence had made headway in the ten years since the suppression of the conspiracy of Gual and España. In 1808 French commissioners arrived bringing the news of Ferdinand's expulsion. They were empowered to receive the allegiance of the colony for Joseph Bonaparte, but the captain-general hesitated and asked the advice of leading citizens, who proved unanimous against recognising the French régime. The captain-general's vacillation gave the Creoles of the cabildo a predominance in governmental councils. Although in the middle of the following year it was decided to recognise the Seville junta as supreme, pending Ferdinand's return, this decision was reached only after many debates, and a numerous[Pg 361] party among the Creoles saw no reason why Venezuela should not establish a junta of her own. The news of the frightful cruelties perpetrated by Goyeneche in suppressing the junta at La Paz excited great indignation among Creoles; the anti-Spanish feeling grew rapidly; and when, on the 19th of April, 1810, the captain-general summoned an open cabildo to receive the news that the French armies had overrun nearly the whole of Spain and that only Cadiz remained faithful to Ferdinand, the electors had no sooner met than, excited by suggestions of ambitious persons, they turned into a mob howling for the resignation of the captain-general and the establishment of a Caracas junta. Accordingly a junta was named which exiled the Spanish functionaries and sent messages to the provincial capitals demanding their adhesion. The cities of the mountain strip extending from Cumaná to the Colombian Andes responded favourably and sent delegates to Caracas, while Maracaibo, Coro, and Guiana refused. As a matter of fact the masses as yet took little interest. The Caracas revolution was effected by a few determined spirits, and the adhesion of the mountain provinces was given by Creole municipal authorities who saw in the change an opportunity to better their personal fortunes. Nor was the resistance of Coro and Maracaibo so much inspired by love of Spain as by the presence of the resolute, clear-headed José Ceballos, who gathered troops and sent emissaries into the revolted provinces. The Caracas junta responded by raising an army which marched toward Coro, and the civil war was on.[Pg 362]

The news of the massacre of the Ecuadorean revolutionists at Quito in August, 1810, warned the junta Creoles that they had engaged in no child's play. A commission went to London to solicit the intervention of the British government in reaching an accommodation with the patriot authorities in Spain, but the Seville junta declared the Caracas revolutionists traitors. The commissioners fell under Miranda's influence and he convinced them that an open declaration of independence was the only course left. Meanwhile the troops sent to conquer Coro had been defeated by Ceballos. Threatened by the royalist arms, unable to count on the support of any considerable proportion of the rural population of even their own provinces, the Creoles of the ruling coterie proceeded to extreme measures. A congress met in March and on the 5th of July, 1811, adopted a declaration of independence, proclaiming the seven provinces of Cumaná, Barcelona, Caracas, Barinas, Trujillo, Merida, and Margarita free and sovereign states. Venezuela was, therefore, the first independent republic in Spanish America. Congress adopted a Constitution full of the most radical reforms and advanced ideas, and a handful of political theorists and advanced radicals took the direction of affairs, and imposed their crude theories on a bewildered and reluctant population. The ruling clique issued fiat money in immense quantities, and the resulting disorganisation of business increased discontent.

Miranda, who had come from Europe to take command of military operations, warned them that[Pg 363] the fabric was not strong enough to withstand the shock of battle, but the eager young reformers persisted. The clergy and the native Spaniards were the first to react. Though an outbreak of the Spaniards in Caracas was bloodily suppressed, the priests stirred up the people of Valencia, and that city—the second in the republic—declared against the Caracas government. Miranda succeeded in reducing the place only after costly fighting. The ruling clique did what they could to raise and equip troops to meet the approaching attacks from Coro and the West Indies, but their efforts were hampered by loyalist risings. In February, 1812, Monteverde, a Spanish leader, marched with a small detachment south from Coro, and northern Trujillo welcomed him. Defeating the patriot forces wherever he met them and refusing quarter to his prisoners, he prepared to advance eastward on the centre of the revolution. The junta was already trembling, when, on the 26th of March, a terrific earthquake devastated the revolted provinces. The solid ground rocked with such violent oscillations that in less than a minute the cities of Caracas, Barquisimeto, and Merida were mere heaps of ruins. Twelve thousand persons perished in Caracas alone. The loyalist provinces escaped injury, and the priests preached that the earthquake was a punishment sent by God upon impious rebellion. The people of Barquisimeto joined Monteverde, and he marched east, slaughtering the raw recruits with which the patriot leaders tried to block his way. Merida, Trujillo, and Barinas declared for the king, and an[Pg 364] expedition sent from Caracas to the lower Orinoco was destroyed. Monteverde entered Valencia unopposed and only the coast from Caracas east to Cumaná remained to the republic. In despair the politicians made Miranda dictator, but, though the army numbered five thousand, he had no confidence in his men. He signed a capitulation and tried to fly while his army dispersed or joined the loyalist forces. On the 30th of July Monteverde entered Caracas and the first Venezuelan revolution ceased to exist.

Among the volunteer officers who had been entrusted with positions of confidence by Miranda was a young Creole, named Simon Bolivar. Heir to some of the largest estates in Venezuela he had been left an orphan at three years of age, and was educated by a tutor who filled his marvellously impressible mind with a crude political philosophy, and under whose teachings he evolved original theories of government which all the wars, debates, and revolutions of his stormy life failed to modify. Preoccupied with his own ideas, he gave no heed to the counsels of others, took no thought of obstacles, and, victor or vanquished, stubbornly followed his own way, always confident of infallibility and persevering in the face of difficulties that would have appalled a rational man. From his earliest childhood a little feudal lord, owing obedience to no parent, with hundreds of slaves at his orders, his precocious intelligence the object of that ruinous admiration with which thoughtless strangers and servants spoil a rich and lonely child, his naturally[Pg 365] strong will uncurbed by any discipline, he grew into manhood—arrogant, uncompromising, solitary, suspicious, a deep thinker, wildly ambitious, marvellously brilliant, though lacking steady common-sense, blindly confident of his own moral and intellectual infallibility, firmly convinced that he was destined for vague great things, inordinately fond of honours and praise, and absolutely unable to distinguish his desires of gratifying selfish ambitions, and his yeasty notions of regenerating mankind. At sixteen he went to Spain to complete his education; his wealth procured him an entrance into the aristocratic families of Madrid; and he even penetrated the precincts of the ceremonious court and had the honour of playing ball with the lad who afterwards became Ferdinand VII. When only eighteen he married a beautiful girl, who died shortly after he brought her back to Caracas. For the rest of his life he remained without family ties. Again he went to Europe and wandered through England, France, and Italy, falling more and more under the spell of the mighty spirit of Napoleon the Great. At the age of twenty-three Bolivar returned to his native country and took up his life as a rich slave-owner. When the revolution broke out in 1810 he took no part until the junta requested him to go to England on the embassy previously mentioned. There he became acquainted with Miranda, and, appreciating that the South American revolution must be decided by arms, made up his mind that only as a soldier could he put himself at the head of affairs in Venezuela. His first essays in the military art were not[Pg 366] successful, and it was he who lost Puerto Cabello, giving the first revolution its coup de grâce. But a situation in which others saw no hope he regarded as an opportunity, and he resolved to devote his life to South American independence.

Bolivar went to Cartagena in Colombia and offered his sword to the patriot junta which ruled that city. Given a small military command on the Magdalena River, he embodied a few militia and surprised two posts which were obstructing the navigation of the river. Delighted at these successes, the Cartagena junta sent him reinforcements, with which he captured Ocana, an important city lying east of the Magdalena and not far from Pamplona and the Venezuelan border. The loyalists had collected a considerable force in the Venezuelan province of Barinas, with which they proposed to advance into Pamplona. The patriot chief of this Colombian province appealed to Bolivar and this suggested to him the Napoleonic plan of relieving Pamplona and reconquering Venezuela. On his own responsibility he dashed with only four hundred men over the Andes in front of Ocana, descended into the plain north of Lake Maracaibo, took the royalists on their march to Pamplona by surprise, and routed them. Joined by the patriots from Pamplona, he received formal authorisation to drive the Spaniards from the Venezuelan provinces of Merida and Trujillo. His movements among the mountain valleys were like lightning flashes, and though the Spanish forces were more numerous their commanders were demoralised by his attacks made in defiance of all the[Pg 367] rules of prudent warfare. Within fifty days there was not an enemy left in the two provinces, and Bolivar's army had been trebled by enlistments. The New Granadan government ordered him to pause, but he paid no heed. Issuing a proclamation that no quarter would be given, he crossed the mountains south-west into the province of Barinas, annihilated the Spanish forces there, and rushing to the east caught another army of a thousand men near Valencia and destroyed it. Monteverde had no time to concentrate his scattered forces, and the news of this last defeat caused him to flee to the protection of the fortifications of Puerto Cabello. Bolivar occupied Valencia and Caracas without resistance. In a campaign of ninety days, with a handful of New Granadans and mountaineers from western Venezuela, he had defeated and dispersed over four thousand royalists, and conquered the country from the Andes to the capital.

Only the lower plains of the Orinoco and the coast provinces of Maracaibo and Coro remained royalist, for while Bolivar had been overrunning the west, another young Creole, Mariño, had led a small expedition from the island of Margarita, captured Maturin just east of the mouth of the Orinoco, and with the military stores found there armed the inhabitants of Cumaná province, made ripe for revolt by the cruelties of Monteverde. The Spanish attempts to recover Maturin by assault were repulsed with great slaughter, and Mariño followed up his success by besieging Cumaná. By the time Bolivar reached Caracas the place was in the last extremities[Pg 368] of starvation, and Monteverde's flight was a signal for its surrender. There were therefore two dictators in Venezuela, and Mariño sent to Bolivar to treat about the form of government, but the latter had determined on a centralised administration with himself supreme. Mariño refused to agree, and only the activity of the loyalists prevented a war between him and Bolivar.

Monteverde held out in Puerto Cabello, and when reinforcements arrived from Spain resumed the offensive. Though Bolivar won a victory at Las Trincheiras, and was greeted on his return to Caracas with the title of "Liberator," reaction had in fact begun. Reports of loyalist movements came from all sides; Bolivar's power was confined to the towns; the terrible Boves roused the llaneros and gathered the nucleus of a formidable army of horsemen. Ceballos sallied out from Coro and captured Barquisimeto, utterly defeating Bolivar when the latter attacked him. Difficulties, however, only stimulated this remarkable man to fresh exertions. The patriot leader, Campo Elias, overthrew Boves's horsemen near Calabozo on the llanos south of Caracas, killing the prisoners and butchering every man in the town because it had helped the loyalists. This cruel deed decided the llaneros for the Spanish side, and though Bolivar, with the assistance of Campo Elias's troops, won the pitched battle of Araure from Ceballos, Boves had escaped to the plains there to recruit another army of llaneros, which was destined to expel the Liberator.

Bolivar was soon reduced to the possession of[Pg 369] Caracas and its neighbouring valleys, with a feeble reserve at Valencia. Mariño had thirty-five hundred men, and Bolivar finally agreed to recognise him as dictator of the eastern provinces as the price of his help. But their union only put off the evil day. Boves crushed Campo Elias at La Puerta and advanced on Caracas. Raging like a trapped wild beast, Bolivar ordered the wholesale assassination of eight hundred and sixty-six Spaniards confined at La Guaira. His desperation inspired his followers, and when Boves attacked the entrenchments outside Caracas and rushed the patriot magazine, the young Granadan who was in command, seeing that the place could not be held, ordered his men to fly, but when the loyalists triumphantly rushed into the building they found him in the act of throwing a match into the powder. In the explosion eight hundred of the assaulting column were blown into the air and the survivors desisted. Mariño was coming by forced marches from the east along the plains, and Boves retired to cut him off, while Ceballos also abandoned the siege of Valencia. Mariño eluded Boves and beat off one attack. If the Liberator had concentrated his forces and united with his colleague the patriots would have stood a chance, but he sent most of his own troops to recover the west, joining Mariño with only a few men. At La Puerta on the 14th of June, 1814, the battle decisive of the second Venezuelan revolution was fought. The desperate charges of Boves's llanero horsemen overwhelmed the patriots, and more than half their number were left dead on the field.[Pg 370] Bolivar fled to Caracas, gathered all the money and jewels, and, encumbered by a great multitude of fugitives, retreated east. But at Aragua the patriots were driven out of their trenches with terrific slaughter. The Liberator took ship at Barcelona with the intention of making a last stand near the mouth of the Orinoco, but his comrades had had enough of him. He was declared a traitor and Rivas put in command. The remaining patriots managed to repulse one attack of the royalists, but in a second they were defeated, and in a third Boves slaughtered them nearly to the last man, although he himself was killed in the mêlée. Only a few scattered bands on the plateaux of Barcelona and the plains of the upper Orinoco kept up a resistance. The detachment which Bolivar had so imprudently sent west before the battle of La Puerta escaped into New Granada, while the Liberator went by sea to that country and took service under its government.

The revolution headed by Bolivar and Mariño had been crushed by Boves, Morales, and Ceballos with troops recruited in Venezuela itself. Monteverde's defeat and Boves's death left Morales master of Venezuela, and virtually independent of outside control. But by 1815 Ferdinand was securely on the throne of Spain, and absolutism had replaced the Constitution established by the popular leaders of 1812. The Spanish government determined to suppress the revolutionists who still maintained themselves in New Granada and the Argentine, and to reduce the semi-independent royalist chiefs to a more exact obedience. In April, Morillo, Spain's[Pg 371] ablest general, arrived near Cumaná at the head of ten thousand veteran regulars. Morales sailed out to meet the Marshal and place his troops at his orders, but the regular officers gazed in astonishment at the dark-skinned llaneros, wearing only a hat and a waist-cloth, who were the pillars of royal authority in Venezuela. At first the Spaniards accepted the aid of these half-savage allies, but Morillo lost no time in establishing a military despotism in which the llanero chiefs had no place. Even more unpopular was his leaving three thousand Spaniards to garrison Venezuela while he impressed an equal number of native troops to accompany him on his expedition against New Granada. Nearly a third of the latter deserted rather than embark, and the attitude of the Spanish officers who were left behind to rule the country roused the native instinct for independence.

Meanwhile the scattered bands of patriot guerillas on the western headwaters of the Orinoco, near the Granadan border, had been uniting and increasing in strength. José Antonio Paez, a mixed-blood, only twenty-six years old, who could neither read nor write, but of herculean strength and skill in the use of lance and sword, proved the leader for the occasion. A small corps in which he was a simple captain was threatened by the Spanish governor of Barinas at the head of fourteen hundred men. His own commander wished to retreat, but Paez persuaded five hundred reckless fellows to follow him in a night assault. Leading his men in a furious charge he bore down the enemy with a rush, killing[Pg 372] four hundred and taking many prisoners, whom he treated so well that they all joined him. The fame of his success spread through the llanos and the rough plainsmen, dissatisfied with the discipline and routine of the regular Spanish officers, flocked to the banner of this new chieftain, and he began the organisation of the army of the Apuré, destined to be the principal instrument in the redemption of Venezuela.


Meanwhile the guerilla chiefs farther down the Orinoco made headway against the Spaniards, and the whole plain turned to the patriot side. Hearing of these successes, Bolivar resolved to return to Venezuela. He landed near the mouth of the Orinoco, but was soon driven thence and took ship for Ocumare, near Puerto Cabello. From this point he sent a small expedition inland towards Valencia under the command of MacGregor, who achieved some successes against isolated bodies of loyalists, was joined by many llaneros, and finally made his way to the plains of Barcelona, while Bolivar was compelled to re-embark and flee to Hayti. MacGregor took the city of Barcelona, and then with the assistance of the negro chief, Piar, who had been besieging Cumaná, repulsed Morales himself at the battle of Juncal. By the end of 1816 the patriots had gained so many advantages that Morillo thought himself obliged to return to Venezuela at the head of huge reinforcements. However, the patriot cause needed a head. The chieftains were rude and ignorant men with a talent for fighting and nothing more, while Bolivar was a man of wide and varied accom[Pg 374]plishments. In spite of his failures he retained great prestige among the Creole officers. He was agreed upon as general-in-chief, and in December landed at Barcelona. But Piar had led his victorious army over to the Orinoco, and notwithstanding Bolivar's entreaties the llaneros persisted in their refusal to return to a country where cavalry could not manœuvre to advantage. When Bolivar arrived at Piar's headquarters near Angostura he appreciated that the true theatre for a successful war had been found. In those plains the llanero cavalry, which formed the bulk of the patriot force, was invincible. Morillo also realised that the coast would not long remain tenable if the line of the Orinoco were in the hands of the patriots, and he sent a regular force of three thousand men under La Torre down the Apuré and Orinoco to Angostura, while he himself quickly made an end of the few insurrectionists who stubbornly refused to retire from the coast to the llanos. During one of Bolivar's absences, La Torre offered Piar battle, and at San Felix, in April, 1817, the plainsmen annihilated the Spanish infantry.

Bolivar now went vigorously to work to secure complete command of the river and soon had quite a fleet. His ascendancy over his officers increased daily, and when Piar conspired against him he was strong enough to have the negro hero arrested and shot as a traitor. Before the end of 1817 the patriots were in command of the whole line of the rivers except the fortress of San Fernando, near the junction of the Apuré and Orinoco, and Morillo could do nothing against them because the plains[Pg 375] were flooded. When the waters fell in early spring the royalists achieved some successes, but Bolivar joined Paez, established a blockade of San Fernando, and surprised Morillo himself near Calabozo. Against Paez's advice he now insisted on making a campaign for the recovery of Caracas, but was badly defeated by the marshal at La Puerta—a spot for the third time the scene of a patriot downfall. Though Paez had captured San Fernando his expedition into the mountain country was no more successful than Bolivar's, and the two retreated to the river to raise fresh troops. Morales followed the patriots to the Apuré, but was in his turn repulsed by Paez, giving Bolivar a breathing spell.

The Liberator's position was desperate; his infantry had been destroyed; his cavalry reduced in numbers; his men were nearly without arms; his ammunition exhausted. Ill-considered movements had turned the brilliant situation in which he had found patriot affairs a year before into the gloomiest sort of an outlook. On the other hand, a defensive campaign in the llanos could be kept up indefinitely, and though Morillo had twelve thousand men in the populous mountain provinces north of the plains, he also was without money, arms, and supplies. As he reported to the Peruvian viceroy: "Twelve pitched battles in which the best officers and troops of the enemy have fallen, have not lowered their pride or lessened the vigour of their attacks." With that indomitable energy which more than compensated for his inferiority as a strategist, Bolivar set to work to create a new army. Cavalry of the[Pg 376] most admirable sort could be recruited in sufficient numbers among the llaneros, but bitter experience had convinced him that against Spanish regulars the native infantry stood little chance. The cessation of the Napoleonic wars had left thousands of European veterans without employment, and Bolivar contracted for a few thousand Britishers and Irishmen, paying a bounty of eighty dollars per man on enlistment and promising five hundred dollars at the conclusion of the war. Some of these troops arrived opportunely late in 1818, and, few as their numbers were, no soldiers in South America could stand against them.

In October Bolivar issued a proclamation foreshadowing the union of Venezuela and New Granada. In the midst of defeat, with all of both countries except the thinly populated Orinoco plains in possession of the Spaniards, he was confidently planning the creation of a great empire. Morillo opened the campaign of 1819 by advancing with over six thousand men against Paez on the upper Orinoco. The Creole's four thousand were mostly cavalry, and he had learned better than to risk a pitched battle. The Spanish columns were harassed beyond endurance by his light horsemen, and after weeks of heartbreaking marches Morillo had to retire, having accomplished nothing.

From Bolivar's erratic genius now emanated a great stroke of strategy. West of the plains of the Apuré and Casanare, tributaries of the upper Orinoco, rises the giant range of the Cordillera and on its top lay the fertile plateaux of Socorro, Tunja,[Pg 377] and Bogotá, the populous heart of New Granada. For three years the Spaniards had been in secure possession and all except three thousand troops had been drafted for service in Venezuela and Peru. A small Spanish force came down from Tunja to attack the patriot guerillas in Casanare, and was repulsed. Where the enemy could go he could follow, reasoned Bolivar. Paez's cavalry had proved itself amply able to hold the llanos, so no risk to Venezuela would be incurred by temporarily withdrawing part of the infantry. With two thousand natives and five hundred British the Liberator followed up the Orinoco, Meta, and Casanare to the latter's sources at the foot of the Paya pass, which leads directly into the fertile valley of Sagamoso, the heart of Tunja province. This pass is high and very difficult, although the distance to be traversed was only eighty miles. The road was a mere track leading along precipices, crossing and recrossing mountain torrents, and the rain fell incessantly as the patriots struggled up the slippery path. When they reached the higher regions a hundred men perished with the cold, and not a horse survived. The army arrived at Sagamoso in a pitiable condition, but without seeing an enemy except an outpost, which was easily dislodged.

Not knowing Bolivar's numbers, Barreiro, the Spanish commander, dared not attack, and the Liberator thus obtained a much-needed opportunity to rest his men and gather horses for his dismounted cavalry. As soon as he got his army in hand he outmanœuvred Barreiro and by a rapid march[Pg 378] captured the city of Tunja, where he found a good store of arms and material. This movement also placed the patriot army between the Spaniards and Bogotá. Barreiro, seeing himself cut off from his base, made a desperate dash for the capital, but Bolivar knew the enemy's route and took up a position directly across his path on the right bank of the small river Boyacá. Though the patriots were only slightly superior in numbers, the Spaniards had to attack at a disadvantage, and fled completely defeated after losing a hundred men. Practically their whole force was dispersed or made prisoners. Small as were the numbers engaged and easily as it was won, Boyacá was the most important battle fought in northern Spanish America. Central New Granada, the wealthiest and most populous part of the country, fell into Bolivar's hands without a further blow. Its revenues relieved his financial difficulties and among its sturdy inhabitants he recruited a new army. Morillo, now isolated in Venezuela, must expect an attack from the llaneros, reinforced by the Granadan mountaineers.


During the Liberator's absence from Venezuela he had been branded as a traitor for abandoning his country without the authorisation of congress, and Mariño made commander-in-chief. But the news of Boyacá fell like a thunderbolt among the disaffected, and his return in December quelled them utterly. No opposition was made when he announced that Venezuela and New Granada were united into a single republic, the United States of Colombia, with himself as president and military [Pg 380] dictator. The year 1820 passed without any decisive campaign. Bolivar occupied himself principally in recruiting and refitting his armies. Twelve hundred Irish mercenaries arrived and were incorporated with an army which was sent by sea to threaten the Spaniards in Cartagena, and co-operate with the New Granadans on the lower Magdalena. A strong division of Venezuelans was sent against Quito. Paez with the main army of the Apuré was, however, repulsed in an advance into Barinas. In spite of this success Morillo could only lie inactive south of Caracas. His forces were not numerous enough both to retake New Granada and to hold northern Venezuela. But word came that Ferdinand was preparing an army of twenty thousand men which would shortly sail from Cadiz for America, and with this reinforcement the marshal believed he could destroy all the patriot armies. The revolution which broke out in Spain in 1820 against Ferdinand's absolute government overturned his hopes. The expedition never sailed, and the new liberal government showed itself disposed to make terms with the revolted colonies. In November a six months' armistice was arranged pending the despatch of peace commissioners to the mother-country, and Morillo resigned in favour of La Torre.

Bolivar's lieutenants respected the armistice only where convenient, and shamelessly continued warlike operations, wresting the New Granadan coast from the Spaniards, beginning the siege of Cartagena, and encouraging a revolt in the province of Maracaibo. When La Torre declared the armistice[Pg 381] at an end late in April, 1821, Bolivar had twenty thousand men in the field disposed in five armies. Montilla was besieging Cartagena with three thousand; one Granadan army held the valley of the Magdalena; another was operating against Ecuador; Bermudez with two thousand men threatened Caracas from the east; and Bolivar and Paez at the head of nine thousand men were ready to advance directly from the Orinoco on Valencia and Caracas. To these forces La Torre could only oppose nine thousand troops besides his garrisons. The moment the armistice was formally terminated Bolivar started straight for La Torre. The latter had made the fatal mistake of dividing his forces, and had only about three thousand men drawn up on the wide plain of Carabobo, at the northern foot of the passes which lead through the mountains from the llanos to the Valencia plateau. Bolivar's six thousand captured the passes, but he could not deploy his infantry on the flat ground in front except at the risk of having them cut to pieces. On June 23, 1821, he detached the British legion of one thousand men and fifteen hundred cavalry under Paez around to the left to take the Spaniards in flank. The charge of the llanero horse was driven back by the musket fire, but the pursuing Spaniards were checked by the steady Englishmen, who stood in their tracks and withstood the fire of the whole Spanish army. Their ammunition was soon exhausted; no help came from Bolivar; all seemed to be over with them; a second cavalry charge was as unsuccessful as the first; and the surviving Britishers[Pg 382] made up their minds to carry the enemy's position or perish. Their commander had fallen; the colours changed bearers seven times; still they kept their formation as steadily as if on parade, and bayonet in hand rushed on the Spaniards, who outnumbered them four to one. For a brief time the struggle was fierce and the result doubtful, but cold steel in the hands of such a desperate, forlorn hope was too much for the Spaniards. They began to give ground and at last broke and fled. The llanero horse rode them down, and only a remnant escaped to the shelter of Puerto Cabello. Bolivar entered Caracas acclaimed—and this time justly—as the liberator of his country.

Meanwhile the constituent congress of the new republic of Colombia had met at Cucutá, a town near the limits of Venezuela and New Granada. It was composed entirely of civilians and lawyers and proved to be radically republican and opposed to Bolivar's anti-democratic theories. Though a centralised government was adopted, congress rejected the life presidency and hereditary senate, and abolished the military dictatorship by providing that the commander-in-chief, when on active service, should leave his political functions in the hands of the vice-president. Bolivar made a pretence of declining the presidency, but yielded to the importunities of congress and continued in command of the army on the terms proposed, stipulating, however, that he be allowed to organise as he saw fit the provinces he might conquer in the rest of South America.

The Spaniards now held only Puerto Cabello and[Pg 383] Cumaná, but no progress was made toward driving them out of these positions during the remainder of 1821, nor until after Bolivar had, early in 1822, left for the south to co-operate with Sucré in the conquest of Quito. In October Cumaná surrendered to Bermudez, but from Puerto Cabello Morales led an expedition which reconquered Maracaibo and Coro. He was unable to hold them and the defeat of his squadron on Lake Maracaibo in July, 1823, forced him to surrender. On the 8th of November Puerto Cabello was taken by assault and the long war for Venezuela's independence was over.

[Pg 384]



In 1822 Bolivar departed bent on the conquest of Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, leaving a New Granadan vice-president as ruler of the great Colombian republic, of which Venezuela was merely one division. The massacres and sackings of ten bloody years had depopulated and impoverished Venezuela, and the cost of maintaining the army and aiding Bolivar in his foreign contests drained its exhausted resources. The educated Creoles, especially powerful in the agricultural regions near the coast, saw no place for themselves in Bolivar's centralising system. They wanted to control the offices in their own localities, and did not relish the establishment of a bureaucracy in which appointments and promotions would be settled at Bogotá. The predominant radical French ideas added force to the sentiment of local independence. The theorists were offended by Bolivar's manifest predilection toward aristocratic forms and the favours which he granted the clergy. Most dangerous of all, jealousy of the Liberator was rife among the generals.[Pg 385]

Paez had been left at the head of military affairs in Venezuela and soon after the capture of Puerto Cabello he became involved in quarrels with the municipal authorities. The llanero general recked little of the arguments of the lawyers, and carried things with a high hand. In 1826, when the Bogotá government sent an order for the organisation of militia, he filled the measure to overflowing, and the municipality of Caracas made a formal complaint to the central government. A decree for his suspension was issued, but a riot in the streets terrorised the cabildo and he was replaced in power as a sort of dictator. This amounted to a destruction of the influence of the central Colombian government in Venezuelan affairs. Many cities raised the standard of rebellion and made themselves virtually independent. Bolivar hastened back from Peru to reduce his old companion in arms to obedience. He cajoled Paez into temporary co-operation, subdued most of the revolted cities, and, seeing that his system could not be sustained without coercion, assumed a dictatorship. But the news that Peru had revolted destroyed his dream of a continent-wide dominion, and the demand for local autonomy continued so strong throughout Venezuela and New Granada that he was forced to call a national assembly to amend the Constitution on the basis of a compromise. In spite of Bolivar's intrigues nearly half the elected delegates staid away, and a majority of those who presented themselves at Ocana, in March, 1828, though chosen under the pressure of his influence, opposed his measures.[Pg 386]


The minority who favoured him withdrew at his suggestion, leaving the congress without a quorum. It dissolved and the Liberator visited Caracas, Cartagena, and Bogotá, calling popular assemblies whose deliberations were directed by bayonets and which obediently besought him to save the country from anarchy in his own way. He issued a decree virtually abolishing the Cucutá Constitution, but a conspiracy to assassinate him was formed at Bogotá in the fall of 1828, and he was saved only by the devotion of his mistress, who stood in the way of the midnight assassins, giving him time to jump from a window and escape. He took a fearful vengeance on the conspirators and banished his worst political enemies, but the incident failed to turn public senti[Pg 387]ment in his favour, and it was in vain that he exhibited himself as a martyr. His old friend, General Cordoba, headed an unsuccessful insurrection in the province of Antioquia; insurgents rose in Popayan and Rio Negro, and towards the end of 1829, in Bolivar's native city, Caracas, an assembly of one thousand generals, public functionaries, and prominent citizens announced that Venezuela would shortly separate from Colombia and called upon Paez to assume a dictatorship. The Liberator struggled vainly against the rising tide of federalism; the country was at heart opposed to Cæsarism and union; he had been unable to convince the Creoles of the advisability of providing a strong centralised government; and his only supporters were personal ones. Bitterly protesting that he was falsely charged with aspiring to mount a throne, and insisting that his real ambition had been only to secure the perpetuity of the Colombian union and establish an ordered government, he offered his resignation. Congress, however, contained many of his friends and hesitated at coming to an open breach. He was re-elected and made one last effort to enforce the obedience of Venezuela. But the troops he raised in New Granada did not dare to attack Paez, who with superior forces was waiting in an impregnable position near the frontier. Sick and discouraged, the Liberator renewed his resignation—this time in earnest—and retired to the seacoast, where a few months later he died of a wasting sickness at the early age of forty-seven. Though his courage, energy, and sublime persistence and self-confidence[Pg 388] had been the chief factors in securing South American independence, those qualities proved utterly inadequate to hold in check the unruly ambitions of the Creoles. He died clearly foreseeing the decades of anarchy which lay before the northern countries of the continent. "I blush to admit it," he said to congress on the eve of his fall, "but independence is the only benefit we have achieved, and that has been at the cost of all others." On his death-bed he wrote: "Our Constitutions are books, our laws papers, our elections combats, and life itself a torment. We shall arrive at such a state that no foreign nation will condescend to conquer us, and we shall be governed by petty tyrants."

The Venezuelan federalists had not waited for Bolivar's death to complete the formal separation from Colombia. In May, 1830, a constituent congress assembled which named Paez dictator and notified Bogotá that the country regarded itself as absolutely independent. But Bolivar had partisans and the ruling clique enemies. The eastern provinces refused to recognise Paez's authority and the whole country was soon under arms. But Bolivar's death and the virtual recognition of Venezuela's independence by New Granada brought about a treaty between Paez and Monagas, the chief of the insurrection. The Creole aristocracy came to a working understanding with the generals, and little cliques in each city supported the central government as long as they were recognised as dominant in their own localities. Naturally the ignored outsiders were dissatisfied and plotted to overthrow these[Pg 389] oligarchies. In May, 1831, a revolution broke out in Caracas which menaced nothing less than the extermination of the property-holding classes, but it was suppressed and its leaders executed. On paper the form of government was most liberal, congress abolishing the tobacco monopoly and many odious taxes inherited from Spanish times, proclaiming religious freedom, and adopting a Constitution very similar to that of the United States. But in practice the conservative cliques had things their own way. Though ambitious chiefs headed insurrections from time to time, they were all bought off or defeated, and Paez continued president until 1835, leaving the country in a condition of comparative order and prosperity.

Doctor Vargas, a civilian, succeeded him, but against him the generals revolted, declaring Mariño dictator. Carujo, the soul of the insurrection, said, in the act of making the president and his ministers prisoners, "Doctor Vargas, the world belongs to the strongest," and the latter nobly replied, "No, the world belongs to the just," résuméing in a word the conflict between force and law, between unbridled ambition and the necessity for order, which has desolated Venezuela to this day and which will last until the selfish elements learn that their own true interests would best be served by promoting the prosperity of the whole people—by relying upon their own industry rather than on chances to despoil the producing classes. The government party appealed to Paez, and the llanero general accepted the command. His prestige with the common people[Pg 390] and the army enabled him to gather forces with which he overcame the revolted generals after eight months of bloody civil war. Vargas was recalled from exile, but after a short time refused to continue in the presidency, and his place was taken by the vice-president, Doctor Narvarte. In 1839 Paez was again made president, and was succeeded in 1842 by General Soublette, another of the heroes of the war of independence. Until 1846 there was comparative tranquillity in Venezuela. The population had decreased by a fifth during the Spanish wars, being estimated at six hundred and fifty thousand in 1825, but within the succeeding twenty years it grew to a million and a quarter. Cacao, coffee, and sugar became important articles of export and made the landed proprietors rich. With the cessation of warlike operations on the plains, cattle rapidly multiplied, the first waggon roads were built, and a bank was established.

In 1846 an anti-Creole insurrection broke out among the men of colour, and Paez was again invested with dictatorial powers. When he had completed his work he installed Monagas as president. Popular irritation against the ruling conservative coterie was, however, profound and Monagas quarrelled with congress, and sent his soldiers to break up its meetings. Paez took up arms again and tried to expel his nominee, but was defeated, and for the next nine years Monagas and his brother alternated in the presidency. Though raised to power by the conservative party they abandoned it and before 1850 had thrown themselves into the arms of the[Pg 391] liberals, or federalists. Extravagant powers were granted to the states; the provincial coteries ran their localities to suit themselves; the ties binding the different parts of the country together were weakened; an elaborate and confused set of taxes, national, provincial, and municipal, well-nigh choked commerce out of existence. More and more liberty was conceded to the states and municipalities, and, on paper, to the individual also. Slavery was abolished in 1854.

Revolutions broke out from time to time, and finally, in 1858, the so-called conservatives overthrew the Monagas régime. But they immediately divided into warring groups, and their new Constitution proved too centralising to suit the Creole politicians. The liberals hoisted the banner of federalism and several provinces rose in revolt. Under the leadership of Pedro Gual the conservatives were, however, victorious, but they again split to pieces, and Gual himself went over to the liberals. A revolution in Caracas brought back old General Paez, who assumed a dictatorship and tried to re-establish the power of the central government. But it was impossible. Many disappointed conservatives had turned federalist. No politician seemed willing to submit to any administration unless he was a member of it. The struggle had degenerated into a mere selfish contest for power, and the terms liberal and conservative, federalist and unitarian, had ceased to have any real relation to the opinions of the persons who bore these appellations. General Falcon, with Guzman Blanco as lieutenant, led a successful[Pg 392] insurrection in Coro and made himself undisputed master of a considerable portion of the country. The province of Maracaibo formally declared itself separated from all connection with Caracas. For three years civil war raged, when finally Paez gave up and Falcon assumed direction of the exhausted country. On only one thing had the rapid succession of dictators, provincial and national, been agreed,—the increase of taxes. Import duties had been raised to such a point that commerce could stand no more. But in spite of the enormous sums wrung from merchant, producer, and consumer, the treasury was empty, for the local chiefs openly took possession of the receipts of the custom-houses in their respective districts, and diversions of public funds to private use were the rule among all ranks of officials.


Falcon's success meant the definite triumph of unrestrained federalism. The twenty states into which the seven old provinces had been divided in the effort to provide enough offices to go around, became in law sovereign; the presidential term was reduced to two years; absolute liberty of the press was permitted, and the right of meeting for any purpose guaranteed. Imprisonment for debt, the death penalty, and religious instruction in the schools were all abolished. During the five years that Falcon was the chief political figure affairs in Venezuela grew worse and worse. State after state burst into revolution. Falcon sometimes whipped the insurrectionists and sometimes bought them off, but more often was unable to secure even a sem[Pg 394]blance of obedience except by conceding everything. National penury reached the limit, the states collected and pocketed the dues in most of the custom-houses, officials were in regular partnership with smugglers, and finally the feeble ghost of a federal administration simply flickered out of existence because it could pay nobody.

A chief of the so-called unitarian party was declared president in 1868, but Guzman Blanco, now the undisputed head of the federalists, retook Caracas in 1870 and installed himself as dictator. He proved the strongest and most tenacious man who had yet come to the front. With a terrific insurrection raging against him, he concentrated all powers in his own hands, suppressed the peculations of his agents, and relentlessly dragged the half-breeds and negroes into his armies. He finally put down all his enemies and in 1873 was installed as constitutional president. Until 1889 he virtually reigned over Venezuela. Though occasionally he might allow some one else to be elected president, after a short interval he would find a pretext for intervention and oust his nominee. Though the Constitution was left substantially unamended, he interpreted it as he pleased. He organised a regular machine through which he governed the "sovereign" states, taking care that none but his creatures should become governors and that the members returned to congress should be docile. To all intents and purposes his will was the law of the land, for the legislative and judicial departments were his instruments, and his executive decrees covered nearly every im[Pg 395]aginable subject. The minutest details of commercial and social life were regulated, the clergy owed their positions to the dictator, and even private property was not safe if Blanco took a fancy to it. But in the main his tyranny was intelligent. The country escaped the desolating outbreaks of local chiefs, with forced loans wrung from property owners and merchants, the seizure of cattle and coffee for "war purposes," and the lassoing of peons to serve in the armed bands. Though the taxes imposed by Blanco were enormously heavy, the marvellous productive forces of the soil could stand almost any burden provided its amount were certain and its collection regular. Though the dictator withdrew millions for his private use, depositing them in Paris against the evil day of his expulsion, indiscriminate exactions by subordinates were suppressed. Large sums were spent on public works and buildings, and the beautification of the city of Caracas, one of the handsomest and best-built cities in America, dates from Guzman Blanco's time. Nearly five hundred miles of railroad were constructed. The country was given and has retained the inestimable blessing of a stable currency, and the coffee and cacao businesses increased enormously. The number of cattle, which the civil wars prior to 1870 had reduced to one million four hundred thousand, increased sevenfold in fifteen years.

But Blanco's system was anomalous and rested on no secure foundation. The commercial and property-holding classes abstained from politics, the people became tired of his busybody tyranny, the[Pg 396] peons were still an inert and ignorant mass, harmless by themselves, but furnishing a tempting recruiting ground for ambitious revolutionists. Nor had the Creole politicians changed their nature. There were plenty of talented adventurers whose mouths fairly watered seeing the immense fortune Blanco was accumulating, and who only waited a favourable opportunity to conquer a share in the spoils. The successful outbreak came in 1889, headed by Rojas Paul. His success was a signal for other chiefs to imitate his example. Resolute leaders hastily organised bands of peons, and the old story of pronunciamentos, kidnappings of peaceful peasants, attacks, surprises, forced loans, and all the demoralising and disintegrating horrors of civil war were repeated. Paul was overthrown by Andueza, and in 1892 Crespo got to the head of affairs and held power long enough to accumulate a respectable fortune. Andrade succeeded Crespo, but had to divide the spoils with his predecessor. The disturbances did not become of a character to injure seriously Venezuela's commerce and production until 1896, but there then began a rapid decline in the value of her exports. The government's revenues diminished a third and amounted to less than half the expenditures. The debt grew to alarming figures and the guaranteed interest on foreign capital employed in building railroads was allowed to fall into arrear. In 1899, Castro, a man hitherto unknown in politics, started an insurrection against Andrade in the western state of Los Andes. Marching from one town to another his army grew[Pg 397] like a rolling snowball by forced enlistments, and though the sturdy hillmen did not know what they were fighting for and would gladly have been at home, they showed all the stolid bravery that seems inborn in their race. The government troops could not stand against them, and Castro finally entered Caracas in triumph. Though insurrection after insurrection has broken out against him, the dauntless courage with which he leads his men has enabled him to maintain himself. The successful South American revolutionist must be willing to risk losing his own life, for so long as he leads he will be followed, but his cowardice or death means a rapid dissolution of his forces.


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Though the solidity acquired by the Venezuelan commercial and financial structure during the long years of Blanco's reign has prevented the country from reverting into the anarchy which prevailed before 1873, and though the spirit of federalism is not so rampant and the chieftains aspire rather to a control of the whole country than to power confined to their own localities, the recent civil wars have disorganised the finances. Internal production has been hampered and external obligations have been deferred—the latter with serious consequences. Anti-foreign sentiment, already raised to a threatening height by the boundary dispute with British Guiana—a long-standing matter which was happily settled by arbitration after menacing a serious rupture between the United States and Great Britain,—was further exacerbated by the blockade of Venezuelan ports and the destruction of the Venezuelan navy by the joint fleets of Germany, England, and Italy in 1902—measures to which the European governments had been incited by the failure of Venezuela to settle claims of their citizens. In the face of this foreign war the civil conflicts were interrupted, and President Castro empowered the American minister to negotiate for the submission of the claims to arbitration. To the weight of the sentiment that international money claims should not be enforced by warlike measures was added the existence of a current of opinion in the United States which favoured arbitration as in this instance certainly the best method of adjustment. The temporary occupation of ports on American soil by [Pg 399]European powers might give the latter a military hold in the western continent which would embarrass and complicate more important relations. The submission was quickly and amicably arranged, the claims of the citizens of other countries are to be ascertained at the same time, and the matter is now before The Hague international tribunal.

By a resolution of congress General Castro is empowered to hold the office of president for six years from 1902. Bitter and costly as have been the experiences through which Venezuela has passed during the last twelve years, the vast majority of the intelligent and property-holding classes realise more clearly than outsiders possibly can that internal stability will alone ensure the commercial development of the country; that Venezuela united is far more likely to prosper than if separated into always jealous and often warring provinces. The mass of the people are industrious and peaceable. Real progress has been made since the time of Bolivar in the almost impossible task of adjusting republican forms and procedure to a people who by inheritance and tradition knew nothing of the difficult art of self-government. It cannot fairly be said that Venezuela as yet sees her way clear to a solution of the problem, but her commercial statistics for the last thirty years prove that her people have acquired industrial capacity, and the history of other Spanish-American countries shows that the power for evil of the turbulent military class may perish once for all with startling suddenness when the right stage in national development is reached.

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When Alonso de Ojeda coasted along the Venezuelan shore in the spring of 1499 he stopped short just west of the Gulf of Maracaibo, near the present boundary between Venezuela and Colombia. The following year Rodrigo Bastida doubled the Goajira peninsula and pursued his voyage to the west, catching sight of the giant snowclad mountains of Santa Marta and of the low land which lies between them and the sea. Coming to the mouth of a great river on the day sacred to Saint Magdalene, he named it the Magdalena, and farther to the south-west found the fine harbour where the city of Cartagena now stands. At the head of the Gulf of Darien he came to another great river, the Atrato, and here his explorations stopped.

More than a year later the great Columbus himself, on his fourth and last voyage, sighted the Central American coast at Cape Gracias á Dios, near the present boundary between Nicaragua and Honduras. Thence he sailed south-east along a pestilential shore for eight hundred miles, finally arriving near[Pg 404] the point where Bastida had left off his explorations. It is said that Bartholomew Columbus founded a settlement on the Atlantic shore of the Isthmus, but it was soon destroyed by the neighbouring Indians. The long stretch of coast was unfit for the abode of Europeans, but the Indians had gold in abundance, and the Spaniards were satisfied that the interior was full of mines. Hundreds of fortunate adventurers had accumulated fortunes in the placers of Hayti, and with a view of repeating their successes on the mainland, Alonso de Ojeda solicited and obtained from the Spanish Crown the grant of the territory from Goajira to the Atrato, while Diego de Nicuesa was given the coast from the Atrato to Cape Gracias á Dios. In 1510 one of Ojeda's lieutenants founded a town called Sebastian on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Darien. The Indians soon destroyed it, but Antigua was established across the gulf. This place was in fact on the Isthmus of Panama, and not much more than one hundred miles from the Pacific Ocean, of which the Spaniards then knew nothing. Among the military adventurers who had followed Ojeda to Darien were Nuñez de Balboa and Francisco Pizarro. In 1511 the former went a short distance into the interior looking for gold, and fell in with an Indian chief who told him that only a few leagues south lay a great sea whose shores were inhabited by numerous rich and civilised nations. Two years later he headed an expedition from Antigua which resulted in the epoch-making discovery which has immortalised his name. As the band of Spaniards approached the[Pg 405] line of hills from which the natives told them they could see the mysterious ocean, Balboa hastened ahead of his men and was the first to catch a glimpse, but in the headlong rush for the honour of first touching its waters he was beaten by Alonso Martin and that lean and tireless soldier who was afterwards to conquer Peru—Francisco Pizarro.

The Pacific side of the Isthmus proved to be more healthful and habitable than the marshy shores of the Atlantic, and the settlers at Antigua were soon driven by fevers and dysenteries, torrential rains and sweltering heat, to the more healthful region of Panama. Nicuesa likewise had been able to do nothing with his long stretch of Isthmian and Central American coast. Nombre de Dios, not far from the present site of Colon, was the only town which he succeeded in establishing, and that maintained itself only as landing-place on the way to Panama. To this day the Caribbean coast from the Atrato delta as far as Gracias á Dios is practically uninhabited by white men; on the site of Antigua there is left not a trace; the Indians in its neighbourhood are still independent savages; and the north shore of the Isthmus has been a hospital and a grave for successive generations of white men during four hundred years. Only its position at the strategical gate to the great South Sea has induced men to go to its noisome shores.

The Isthmian settlements were, as they remain, separated from the continent of South America by the deep and broad valley of the Atrato, where the rainfall is the greatest known, and whose dense[Pg 406] tropical forests are uninhabitable and practically impassable. No land communication exists between Panama and Colombia proper. However, the coast east of the Atrato delta is dryer, and at Santa Marta, beyond the mouth of the Magdalena and at the foot of the great outlying mountain mass of Colombia's north-eastern peninsula, was founded in 1525 the first permanent settlement in Colombia proper. It was nothing more than a kidnapping station, whence expeditions scoured the interior for slaves to be sold to the Haytian gold mines. Meanwhile from Coro, established two years later, on the eastern side of Maracaibo Gulf, murdering and slaughtering expeditions were sent across the gulf, returning to Venezuela after making a circuit among the mountains lying south of Maracaibo Bay. Later these expeditions from Coro penetrated over these mountains, reaching the llanos of the Apuré and finally the plains of Casanare lying east of Bogotá, which now belong to Colombia.


The exploring parties from Santa Marta and Coro, and information picked up along the coast, gave the Spaniards a pretty fair idea of the geography of the interior, and the existence of immense quantities of gold and of civilised nations living on the high plateaux was verified from many sources. The conquest of the fertile and salubrious interior of Colombia was effected from three distinct centres,—Cartagena and Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast, and Quito on the Ecuador table-land. Serious colonisation began with Heredia's foundation of Cartagena in 1533. The new leader set vigorously to work to establish himself firmly on the magnificent harbour and seek for gold. Cortes' and Pizarro's marvellous successes had brought a multitude of adventurers to the new world, all of whom were eager for a share in the spoils of the yet independent Indian kingdoms. Heredia found the rocky hills which rise not far south of Cartagena full of profitable gold washings, and the Indians reported that only a short distance in the interior, where the mountains rose higher, there was a region called Zenufana which produced the precious metal far more abundantly. Their story was true, and Zenufana was none other than the present state of Antioquia, which has produced hundreds of millions of dollars of gold. No time was lost in starting on the[Pg 408] search. Heredia's first expedition penetrated to the headwaters of the river Sinu, which flows into the Caribbean not far south-west of Cartagena, and though successful in finding gold he was unable to force his way over the high sierra of Abibe, the most northern bulwark of the great Maritime Cordillera, which barred his way into Antioquia and the valley of the Cauca. In 1535 the town of Tolu was founded between the mouth of the Sinu and Cartagena, and the expeditions skirted the northern end of the Andes until they reached the river Cauca where it debouches into the Magdalena. In 1537 Spanish expeditions succeeded in crossing the formidable Abibe Mountains, and penetrated east into the coveted mining country. Up the Cauca they followed for two hundred miles, passing the rapids which place an almost inexpugnable barrier between the upper and lower river. Not far from the present city of Cartago they found traces of white men, and learned that while they themselves had been pushing south the indomitable companions of Pizarro had extended their explorations and conquests more than a thousand miles north from their landing-place on the Peruvian coast. The men from Cartagena went on to Cali, where the conquerors of Popayan had their headquarters, and there an expedition was fitted out which, under the leadership of Jorge Robledo, returned down the Cauca and conquered Antioquia after much bloody fighting with the Indians. It is said that each of Heredia's men received a larger amount than the conquerors of Mexico and Peru. Certain it is that the founding[Pg 409] of Cartagena resulted in putting the Spaniards in possession of the valley of the Cauca and the wonderful gold mines of Antioquia as far south as the 5th degree.

Benalcazar, one of Pizarro's lieutenants, after conquering Quito in 1533, had proceeded north along the Andean plateau between the two Cordilleras. A hundred miles from Quito he entered the high region of Pasto, inhabited by vigorous, semi-civilised Indians much resembling those of Ecuador. Near this point the Andes, heretofore massed in one great chain, split into three parallel ranges. The western and central chains are separated from each other by the valley of the Cauca and near the Caribbean dip down to sea-level. The eastern range bears off a little to the right, with the Magdalena valley between it and the central mountains, and six hundred miles north turns north-east and enters Venezuela just south of Maracaibo Bay. Benalcazar went straight north from Pasto and entered the region where the Cauca gathers its headwaters. This was Popayan, a lower country than Pasto, but still high enough to be healthful, pleasant, and densely populated. In rapid succession the tribes inhabiting the whole upper Cauca valley were conquered, and Benalcazar's officers only stopped when they met their countrymen coming up from Cartagena. The city of Cali was founded in 1536, Popayan in 1538, Pasto and Anserma in 1539, and Cartago in 1540. This beautiful valley is one of the most isolated regions on the globe. To the east and west the high walls of the Quindio, or central, and of the[Pg 410] western Cordillera shut it off from the Magdalena valley and from the Pacific, and the rapids near Cartago make communication with the Caribbean almost impossible.

Benalcazar himself had returned to Quito and it was not until 1538 that he was able to undertake the conquest of the upper Magdalena and those lovely plateaux and rich kingdoms which nestled on the broad top of the eastern Cordillera. In the meantime he had been forestalled by an expedition coming from the Caribbean. In 1536 Jimenez de Quesada sallied forth from Santa Marta with eight hundred men and one hundred horses. Avoiding the swampy delta of the Magdalena, he passed through the Chimilas mountains which lie east of it, and reached the solid ground of the foothills that approach the river banks some three hundred miles above its mouth. Along these he made his way through incredible difficulties and hardships, months being consumed in the journey, and his men perishing by scores from fatigue, starvation, and continual fights with the savage natives. When he reached the river Opon, he determined to climb to the plateau, near the site of Velez, where he was told that the mountain top was inhabited by a civilised race. After fighting his way through the unconquerable savages of the Opon valley he found himself in the centre of a series of lovely table-lands, many of them the beds of ancient mountain lakes whose alluvial bottoms were inexhaustibly fertile, where the climate was perfect and all the products of the temperate zone grew luxuriantly. The plateaux, interrupted [Pg 411]by valleys and ridges, stretched from Pamplona to beyond Bogotá—a distance of more than two hundred miles. This region was then and remains to this day the populous heart of Colombia, the principal seat of power, wealth, and national civilisation. However, it is so isolated that it has never constituted a nucleus around which the widely separated provinces of Colombia could unite into a well organised nation. To reach Tolima, Bogotá's nearest neighbour in the upper Magdalena valley, it is necessary to descend thousands of feet of steep mountainside, along which the sure-footed mule can hardly climb. To reach Cauca, not only must the Magdalena valley be crossed but the enormously high Quindio range must be climbed, and before getting to the Pacific, still another mountain chain intervenes, while the populous gold regions of Antioquia can only be reached by following down the Magdalena and up the Cauca. Weeks of the most difficult journeying are required to get to the seacoast or any of the other states, and Panama might as well be on the other side of the globe so far as practical communication goes.


Quesada had lost three-fourths of his men in reaching the promised land, but once there he encountered fewer difficulties than any of the other great Spanish conquerors. The numerous nation of the Chibchas inhabited the southern plateaux, who acknowledged allegiance to the zipa of Meuqueta. But their so-called empire possessed no military force or cohesion, although they had carried agriculture to a high degree of perfection. They manufactured cotton cloths, mined gold and emeralds, worked artistic ornaments, had a circulating medium and a calendar, lived in houses, built splendid temples, and had tools hard enough to carve stones into elaborate sculptures. Their government was absolute; crimes were severely and relentlessly punished; the caste of priests wielded great power. Altogether they appear to have reached a stage of material civilisation not much inferior to the aztecs of Mexico, the caras of Ecuador, or the incas of Peru, but in efficiency of governmental and military organisation they fell far below those great peoples. Spanish chroniclers have amused themselves with recording traditions of great wars in which the Chibchas had assembled armies of hundreds of thou[Pg 413]sands not long before the conquest, but the fact remains that less than two hundred Spaniards overcame them and reduced them to unquestioning obedience within a few months and without serious loss. Indeed, Quesada's successors had more difficulty with the smaller nations who inhabited the northern plateaux of Tunja, Socorro, and Tundama, and the most serious resistance was made by the semi-savage tribes of the upper Magdalena, who fought nearly as desperately as the Indians of Antioquia and the Caribbean coast.

Quesada chose the site of the ancient Chibcha capital for his city and there Bogotá was founded on the 7th of August, 1538. It lies on the eastern border of a magnificent level plain, the bed of the largest of the prehistoric lakes, thirty miles broad and sixty long, and nearly nine thousand feet above sea-level. One hundred and fifty thousand people live on that plain to-day, and the population in Chibcha times was probably even larger. The same year Benalcazar reached the neighbourhood of Bogotá, having come down the valley of the Magdalena from Quito and Pasto, and at the very same moment arrived an expedition from Coro in Venezuela, which had crossed the mountains south of Maracaibo and followed south along the llanos lying at the eastern base of the Colombian Andes, thence climbing the sierra to Bogotá. Remarkable as it may seem, these three bands of indomitable Spaniards, starting from widely separated points on the coast, met each other in the remote interior of the continent, brought to the same place by the fame[Pg 414] of the fertility and riches of the Chibcha kingdom. The Venezuelans under Federmann, and the Ecuadoreans under Benalcazar, accepted the bribe which Quesada offered them not to interfere with his conquest, and the three chiefs, laden with gold, returned to Spain in the same ship.

Quesada left his brother in nominal command of the colony, but each of the conquerors was a law unto himself. When the governor of Santa Marta came up to Bogotá they refused to recognise his authority. Tunja and Velez were founded in 1539 on the plateaux north of the capital, and a year or two later Quesada's brother wasted a great part of his forces in a fruitless expedition to the mountains of Pasto in search of the Eldorado. Meanwhile, in 1539, the Portuguese Geronimo Mello had succeeded in entering the mouth of the Magdalena, making his way for a considerable distance upstream. The great river proved to be perfectly navigable from the sea to a point nearly as far south as Bogotá, and the Spaniards immediately utilised it as a route to Santa Marta and Cartagena far preferable to the track through swamps and foothills which Quesada had followed. Each of the plateau provinces lying on the mountains which follow its eastern bank had its own paths down the slopes to the river, and a practicable though tedious and expensive communication with the Caribbean was developed.


In 1542 Lugo, an adventurer who had successfully intrigued against Quesada, arrived with a commission as adelantado and considerable reinforcements. [Pg 416]New cities were founded among the gold mines of the upper Magdalena at Tocaima, Ibague, and Neiva, as well as at Pamplona at the northern end of the plateaux. The tribes of Bogotá, Tunja, Velez, Socorro, and Pamplona submitted without appreciable resistance, and their fertile fields were divided into great estates among the Spaniards. But the more savage tribes in the gold-bearing valleys of the Upper Magdalena and Cauca and in Antioquia struggled hard to escape impressment into the mines, and war almost exterminated them. The same thing happened on the plains of the Caribbean coast, although in that region some tribes maintained their independence. To work the mines and plantations negro slaves had to be imported, with the result that black blood predominates in the lower regions of Colombia, while the descendants of the aborigines are in a majority on the eastern plateaux.

Within twenty-five years after the establishment of the first permanent Spanish post at Santa Marta, the whites were in undisputed control of practically all Colombia which is now inhabited by civilised people. Three great territorial divisions corresponded to the three directions in which the conquest had been effected. From Cartagena, Antioquia and the lower Cauca had been settled; from Quito, Popayan, Pasto, and the upper Cauca; and Bogotá was the centre of the region extending from Pamplona south along the plateaux and into the valley of the upper Magdalena. This division of the country soon brought on disputes as to pre-eminence and[Pg 417] jurisdiction between the authorities, foreshadowing the demand for local independence which desolated Colombia with civil war during so many years of the last century. Lugo, the new adelantado, who had displaced Quesada, deprived many of the original conquerors of their grants of lands and Indians, and the old and new comers fell to fighting among themselves. But their numbers were too small to make their disagreements really threatening to the interests of the Spanish Crown. In 1545 the Spanish government sent out a commissioner to reduce the country to order. The first royal commissioner was replaced by a second in 1553, who carried things with a high hand, depriving proprietors of their grants, nominating members of his own family to the lucrative posts, and finally even exiling Quesada himself and executing some of the most famous of the original conquerors. Under instructions from Madrid he promulgated many laws for the protection of the Indians from the exactions and tyrannies of the encomenderos—regulations which, as in Peru, excited great dissatisfaction among the colonists and were constantly evaded. It was forbidden for any encomendero to be military governor of his district, and the original conquerors were replaced in all positions of authority by officials newly brought out from Spain. However, the office of commissioner was an irregular and extraordinary one and his powers ill-defined. Even at Bogotá his authority was defied by the audiencia and the municipal councils, and over the remote provinces of Antioquia and Popayan, Cartagena and Panama,[Pg 418] his power was a mere shadow. The Spanish government resolved to erect Quito and Bogotá into presidencies, whose governors would be responsible directly to Madrid and have greater authority over subordinate officials.

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In 1564 the president arrived in state with all the trappings appropriate to his high rank. His powers were most ample; he was practically vicegerent of the Castilian king; his jurisdiction extended not only over the Bogotá-Pamplona plateaux and Tolima on the upper Magdalena, but also over Santa Marta, Cartagena, Antioquia, and even to Panama and the Mosquito coast. The name of New Granada, which Quesada had given to his conquests in honor of his native province in Spain, was extended to the whole presidency. To it were also attached, though loosely, the provinces that now make up the republic of Venezuela. But access to the Venezuelan coast from Bogotá was so difficult as to prevent that region from ever being really a part of the New Granada presidency, and it became an independent captaincy-general in 1731. The eastern boundary of the president's immediate jurisdiction included the provinces which naturally communicated with the Colombian plateaux, but the extension of the Andes north-east from Pamplona along[Pg 420] the Venezuelan coast was left to be settled from Coro. For similar reasons the valley of the upper Cauca—Cali and Popayan, as well as Pasto—was attached to the presidency of Quito, and the subordination of its governor to Bogotá was only incidental and gave rise to many disputes and conflicts. The administrative entity of New Granada may be said to have included the territory which the Spaniards had reached by the line of the Magdalena, and in addition the Cartagena region and the Isthmus. The last named province was a source of constant trouble, because the difficulties of communication and the diversities of interests really made it separate from the rest of New Granada. Panama's governor and independent audiencia frequently defied the commands received from Bogotá.


The disorders near Bogotá ceased after the arrival of the first president, Neiva. He actively engaged in promoting new colonisation, founding the city of Ocana in the Maracaibo watershed north-west of Pamplona, as well as Leiva and several other towns. He opened a road down from Bogotá to Honda at the head of navigation on the Magdalena, and in his time great flatboats were introduced. These were poled against the river's rapid current, and they continued the sole means of river freight transportation for nearly three centuries. The cornerstone of the Bogotá cathedral was laid, and schools established which soon counted among the most successful and famous in Spanish America. The country prospered after a fashion. The fertile plateaux from Bogotá to the north were admirably adapted to the residence of Europeans, and the rich soil soon produced large crops of wheat and fed great herds of cattle. This region was so attractive that the Spaniards became attached to the country and contentedly established themselves as semi-feudal proprietors of estates cultivated by the docile and industrious Indians. A considerable proportion of the successive generations of office-holders sent out from Spain, applied for land-grants and remained in the country, founding new Creole families. Mixture with the aborigines occurred on a large scale and the process of Caucasianising the population made greater progress than in many other parts of Spanish America. The region was too far from the[Pg 422] sea-coast to attract haphazard adventurers or to serve as a Botany Bay for convicts; the Spanish settlers belonged as a rule to good families; and the standard of living, education, and manners was exceptionally high. Bogotá became one of the principal centres of Spanish American culture, and Colombian authors are celebrated for their excellence throughout the Spanish-speaking world. In the invigorating climate the Creoles retained their physical vigour and the concentration of population on these densely inhabited plateaux increased their mental alertness. Living, however, as a superior class in the midst of a subject population, they acquired no taste or capacity for commerce or industry. A Creole was by birth a gentleman and exempt from manual labour. The Colombian plateaux made little material progress, and settled down into an eventless, patriarchal existence.


Conditions were entirely different in the deep, hot valleys of the Magdalena and Cauca and on the sweltering sea-coast plain. The semi-savage Indians did not make good labourers, and were massacred or driven into the fastnesses on the mountain sides, while their places were taken by negro slaves. The white population fell into much the same position as it occupies in the West Indian Islands. In the mining regions the Indians were pretty nearly exterminated. Antioquia, the great mineral province, has always contained a larger proportion of white blood than any other part of Colombia, and with the decline of its mines it became a centre whence white emigration poured into the other departments. [Pg 424] Still different conditions prevailed in the extreme south, where the highlands of Popayan and the dry, cold tablelands of Pasto offered the same aspect as adjoining Ecuador. In those utterly isolated and comparatively unattractive regions the Indian population remained predominant.

In Colombia, as in all the other Andean countries, the impulse toward conquest, expansion, and colonisation seems to have died out completely with the disappearance of the first generation of conquistadores. We read of the foundation of new cities from time to time, but it usually means that previously existing villages were given municipal charters. After one brief spurt the Spaniards settled down to enjoy the fruits of their ancestors' heroic marches and battles. Except near Panama the rainy Pacific coast was left untouched, and the forests of the Amazon in the south-east could not be penetrated. The open prairies of the Orinoco north-east of Bogotá could be occupied and the province of Casanare at the foot of the eastern Andean range became a stock region, inhabited by the same hard-riding, semi-civilised llaneros as the adjoining Venezuelan plains.

The Spanish government applied its restrictive colonial system with the utmost rigour. The obnoxious market tax was imposed as early as 1690; tobacco and salt were made monopolies; the exportation of agricultural products was discouraged; and the production of gold, emeralds, platinum, and silver, was jealously watched and heavily taxed. In the early history of the colony the profits of[Pg 425] mining were prodigious, but during the seventeenth century, after the cream of the surface placers had been skimmed, progress was slow. The unhealthful climate of the mining regions almost exterminated the settlers; the native population diminished so rapidly that soon the mines were short-handed; and the importation of negro slaves was so costly that the smaller proprietors could not operate on their own account, and even the great mine owners had to be content with moderate profits. One-fifth of the gross product was required to be paid to the government, and there were other fiscal exactions. The efforts of the authorities to prevent the smuggling of gold introduced a swarm of soldiers, collectors, and guards with whom the miners were in a constant turmoil.

The influence of the Church was very powerful, and the population became devotedly Catholic. Great tracts of the best lands were given to the bishoprics and the religious orders. Piously disposed persons left property in trust charged with the payment of so many dollars a year for the saying of so many masses, and the stewardships, or rights to administer these estates, were the subject of sale or descended from father to son. In 1630, a daring president, Jiron, presumed to arrest and banish the archbishop of Bogotá, but fifty years later one of his successors wrote back to Spain that "in New Granada there is much Church and little king." The poor Indians were decimated not only by war, massacre, and forced labour in the mines, but the white man's diseases played havoc with[Pg 426] them. The small-pox was introduced on the plateaux within a few years after the conquest, and continued to ravage the country throughout the early part of the seventeenth century. The third president died of the leprosy within a few months after his arrival in 1579, and the first case of elephantiasis, which has proved a curse to Colombia, occurred in 1646.

The quarrels and disagreements between the president and the governors and audiencias of the associated provinces, especially Panama, to say nothing of the disputes with the president of Quito and the governor of Venezuela on account of conflicting jurisdiction, became so acute early in the seventeenth century that the Spanish government determined to erect New Granada into a viceroyalty, extending the power of the Bogotá central authorities over Ecuador and Venezuela. The first viceroy was inaugurated in 1719, but he recommended a return to the old system. In the year 1740 the viceroyalty was re-established and all connection with Peru ceased. Although in the meantime Caracas had been made a captaincy-general, it was placed nominally under the viceroy's jurisdiction, and Ecuador was again detached from Lima. Within a few years the attempt to govern Maracaibo, Cumaná, Margarita Island, and Guiana from Bogotá was abandoned, and these provinces transferred to the Venezuelan captaincy-general. But the high rank and royal powers of the viceroys did not save them from troubles. They were engaged in an almost continual struggle against the encroachments of the [Pg 427]clergy, while the laity protested vigorously at the constantly increasing taxation. A special royal commissioner came out in 1774 to perfect the tobacco monopoly, and five years later another agent arrived with instructions still more irritating. The Creoles of Santander arose in the "Rebellion of the Communes" and so formidable was the insurrection that the authorities were compelled to make a feint of yielding to the people's demands. They promised to expel the obnoxious commissioner; to abolish not only the tobacco monopoly, but the market-tax on the sale of domestic products, the requirement that every shipment be accompanied by a high-priced official invoice, and the poll-tax; to lower the stamp duties, the curates' tithes, and the Indian tribute; to cease burdening commerce with unreasonable highway, bridge, and ferry dues; and to require the priests to give up the practice of forcing the Indians to pay for masses. The viceroy also promised to open public employments to Creoles, to permit the establishment of a militia, and to concede to the people the right to confirm the governors nominated by the Crown or viceroy. But no sooner had the insurgents dispersed, than the government repudiated all these pledges and dragged the popular leaders to the scaffold.


The foreign commerce of the viceroyalty had diminished until only one small fleet came each year to Cartagena and Porto Bello, and though, during the latter part of the colonial period, certain viceroys did something to open up roads by which wheat, sugar, cacao, and hides could be exported at a profit, no measures could prove effective while the enormous fiscal exactions of the Spanish government continued. During the last few years of the eighteenth century, commerce was made nominally free, but this meant simply that the old prohibitions on private shipments by sea were abolished, and the ports opened for trade with Spain and the other colonies. These wise measures were, however, accompanied by such an increase in taxes that their effect was nugatory.

Meanwhile New Granada had also had her external troubles. In 1586 Sir Francis Drake reached Cartagena and forty years after the Spanish government fortified the place at great expense. Nevertheless Ducasse took it in 1695 though Admiral Vernon, with a great fleet and army, unsuccessfully[Pg 429] besieged the place in 1741, after having captured Porto Bello. The unsettled Central American coast north from the Isthmus was nominally a part of the vice-royalty, but had been completely neglected by the Bogotá authorities, and in 1698 a colony of twelve thousand Scotchmen, with authority from Parliament and backed by a vast popular subscription, landed on the north shore of the Isthmus. They purposed the establishment of a general emporium for all nations on the spot which the great financier, William Paterson, who originated the scheme, regarded as "the key of the commerce of the world." There was to be free-trade; the Indians were to be protected; religious liberty was to be established; and the Spanish monopoly of South and Central America destroyed. The far-sighted Paterson hoped to found a colonial empire and to enrich his own country by the resulting trade. But the enterprise was wrecked by the fatal climate and the supineness of the British Government. Provisions fell short, and within a year the survivors re-embarked in a miserable plight. Two small supplementary expeditions arrived in 1699 to find assembled a Spanish fleet and army against which no serious resistance could be made. After a little half-hearted fighting the Scotchmen capitulated and the colony was definitely abandoned. The Bogotá government continued to neglect that coast. It was placed under the jurisdiction of the captain-general of Cuba, and the claim that Colombia set up after she became an independent nation has never held good against the Central American republics.

[Pg 430]



The stirring events of the year 1808 in Spain and the disorganisation of the monarchy produced great excitement in the New Granadan cities. When the news of the establishment of a junta at Quito came in September of the following year, Amar, the Bogotá viceroy, summoned an assembly of the authorities and leading citizens for consultation. The Creoles favoured an independent junta, but the prestige of the Spaniards and Amar's popularity prevailed, and it was resolved to recognise the home revolutionary government, and to send an expedition to crush the Quito junta. Meanwhile the Ecuador patriots had despatched troops to Pasto, but the sturdy conservative mountaineers resented the invasion and repulsed the Quiteños. Thenceforth to the end of the war Pasto remained a loyalist stronghold. Though Quito soon laid down its arms under promise of amnesty, the re-established Spanish government massacred the insurgent leaders, and reports of these cruelties threw the Creoles of the cities into effervescence, though the Indian and[Pg 431] negro population of the rural districts remained indifferent. On May 22, 1810, the citizens of Cartagena demanded and obtained an independent revolutionary junta; shortly after an insurrection broke out among the llaneros on the Orinoco plains north-east of Bogotá; on the 4th of July Pamplona followed Cartagena's example and set up its own junta; and a little later Socorro did likewise. By this time things were ripe in Bogotá for an anti-Spanish revolution. Ambitious Creoles intrigued among the people; the natural feeling of jealousy and hatred between Spaniards and Americans became inflamed; a contemptuous remark about Creoles made by a Spaniard in the streets was the signal for the gathering of a great mob which rushed tumultuously to the public square and howled for an open cabildo and the immediate appointment of a junta. With six thousand armed men in front of his palace the viceroy had no choice. The junta was named and a circular sent to the other cities inviting them to name deputies for a congress to arrange a federal union. But local jealousies, hardly held in check by the rigid colonial system, now flamed forth; the people instinctively grouped along geographical lines; and divergencies of opinion and ambition among leaders increased the confusion. Cartagena and other provinces declined to send delegates to Bogotá, preferring to act independently until the re-establishment of regular government in Spain.

When the congress met it represented only a part of the territory, and but a small percentage of the population. Nariño and other popular young leaders[Pg 432] in Bogotá intrigued for a centralised system in which Bogotá was to be master province. An insurrection against the junta installed him as dictator, and congress fled from the capital. The royalists had made no effort to oppose the revolution in the centres of population, contenting themselves with sending expeditions from Quito to occupy Pasto and Popayan, with keeping possession of the Isthmus, and establishing themselves on the lower Magdalena. Cartagena was thereby isolated from the rest of the revolted provinces, and Bogotá cut off from communication with the sea. In March, 1811, the patriots marched up the Cauca from Cali and defeated the Spaniards in Popayan. Quito rose in rebellion a second time, and the Ecuadoreans advanced north into Pasto, only to be beaten once more by the loyalist peasantry. The Granadans, who invaded by way of Popayan, met with no better success, and their forces under the command of a North American adventurer, Macaulay, were annihilated. The re-establishment of the royal authority at Quito followed, and Bogotá again lay open to attack from the south.

While the royalist reaction was thus closing in around the revolution in central New Granada, the mass of the people cooled, the patriot leaders fought among themselves, and the interior was a prey to anarchy. Dictator Nariño had broken completely with the ambulatory congress, and was sending his troops into the adjacent provinces. Congress protested and a civil war broke out in central Granada. Nariño was defeated in an attack on Socorro, but[Pg 433] the federalists were in their turn repulsed when they lay siege to the capital, and Bogotá declared itself an independent state. In the midst of these disorders, the alarming news was received that General Samano, advancing from Quito and Pasto, at the head of two thousand well-equipped men, had retaken Popayan, and was already menacing Antioquia and the lower Cauca. In the face of this common danger Nariño and congress came to terms. The latter advanced to meet Samano and badly defeated him at the battle of Calivio, January 15, 1814. The re-occupation of Popayan was the only result of this victory. Pasto remained faithfully loyalist—a Vendee into which many republican armies were destined to dash in vain. The Spaniards brought up reinforcements, and when Nariño again advanced his army was overwhelmed and himself captured. However, the loyalists were not able to equip an army large enough to justify undertaking the conquest of central Granada, so the jarring factions and provinces were left alone for the present to waste their energies in internecine conflicts.


Cartagena had all the while remained independent, and in 1813 Bolivar, flying from his native Venezuela after the suppression of its first insurrection, took service with the Granadan city. With a handful of militia he drove the Spaniards from the lower Magdalena, and retook the important city of Ocana near the Venezuelan border. His unexpected success created such enthusiasm that the Cartagena dictator gave him a small body of regulars, and with them the daring Venezuelan began that marvellous campaign which for the second time expelled the Spaniards from Venezuela. His triumph was shortlived, and by September, 1814, his forces had been dispersed by the loyalist llaneros and he was back in New Granada. He now offered his services to the federated provinces, and in spite of his recent defeats, the prestige of the 1813 campaign secured him the command of the army which was about to march on Bogotá to force that recalcitrant province into the union. At the head of eighteen hundred men Bolivar prosecuted the campaign with all his usual activity. The outlying towns of the province surrendered at his approach, and the capital itself, which had been denuded of troops by Nariño for his ill-fated expedition against Pasto, and which in fact[Pg 435] was tired of the dictatorship, could not make much resistance. The seat of the federal government was transferred to Bogotá, and the victorious general, though a Venezuelan, became captain-general of its forces, and to his title of "Liberator" was added that of "Illustrious Pacificator." If the adhesion of Cartagena could be secured, the union of New Granada would be well-nigh complete; so with two thousand men he proceeded to the lower Magdalena and established his headquarters just above the delta and within striking distance of the sea-port. However, his intrigues with its government led to nothing. Cartagena refused to co-operate with the confederation on any terms, and finally Bolivar made a foolish attempt to besiege the strongest fortress in America without artillery. He soon came to his senses, raised the siege, gave up his command of the Granadan army, and withdrew to Jamaica to wait a new opportunity to make war on Spaniards.

The revolutionary cause was in a bad way. The loyalists of Venezuela, Ecuador, and southern New Granada had put down the insurgents in their own provinces. Bogotá was only held back by the military pressure of a few resolute republicans from declaring for the king, and the other provinces were disgusted with civil disorder and wavered in their allegiance. However, they were destined not to be given the opportunity to return peaceably to obedience on reasonable terms. Wellington's peninsular campaigns and Napoleon's fall changed the face of affairs in Spain. Ferdinand once more on the throne of his fathers, and absolute government[Pg 436] re-established, all thought of compromising with the American rebels on the basis of autonomy or representation in the Cortes was abandoned. In April, 1815, Marshal Morillo, Spain's ablest general, arrived on the Venezuelan coast with more than ten thousand veteran regulars. Having reinforced himself among the Venezuelan loyalists, and leaving a large garrison of Spaniards in Venezuela, he proceeded to Cartagena at the head of over eight thousand troops. The defenders numbered less than four thousand, but behind the strongest fortifications in America they prepared to make a desperate resistance. So formidable were the walls that Morillo did not try to take the place by assault. His main body landed at Santa Marta and crossed the Magdalena to blockade the city from the rear, while his fleet cut off communication by sea. The besiegers suffered terribly in the pestilential swamps, but the defenders were reduced to the most horrible extremities during four months and a half. The provisions ran out; fevers decimated the people; the starving garrison ate rats and hides, sentinels fell dead at their posts; the commander drove out of the city two thousand old men, women, and children, and of this procession of spectres only a few reached the Spanish lines. Finally, the surviving soldiers escaped by boats in the midst of a storm which dispersed the Spanish squadron, and Morillo entered a deserted city where the very air was poisoned by the rotting bodies of famished people. It is calculated that six thousand persons died of hunger and disease. The Spaniards hunted down and shot the revolutionary[Pg 437] leaders; the absolute powers of the governor were revived; and even the inquisition re-established.

While Cartagena was being besieged, a Spanish army advanced along the Venezuelan Andes to the Granadan border and climbed to the Pamplona plateau. There they defeated the local patriots, and the latter fled from the province after killing all the Spanish non-combatants on whom they could lay hands. Desperately alarmed, the congress at Bogotá made Camilo Torres dictator, and he resolutely advanced with twenty-five hundred recruits against Pamplona. The Spanish general retreated to Ocana, with the patriots following, but receiving reinforcements, turned upon Torres, and on the 22nd of February, 1816, utterly defeated him. The revolution lay helpless at Morillo's feet. The royalist forces promptly occupied the great plateau provinces of Pamplona and Socorro, as well as Antioquia. Bogotá had in fact long been disaffected to the insurgent cause and now became openly royalist. Torres resigned, and when Madrid, whom the revolutionary chiefs appointed in his place, called for volunteers only six men presented themselves. Congress dissolved, and the dictator and a few determined leaders, with a remnant of the army, fled north to Popayan. There they joined a band of local patriots under Mejia, and gave unsuccessful battle to General Samano, who had advanced from Quito. This fight of Tambo seemed the revolution's coup de grâce in New Granada, Ecuador, and Venezuela. Only on the plains of eastern Venezuela, and in the llanos on the Apuré and Casanare headwaters, did a few guerrilla[Pg 438] bands maintain themselves. In far away Argentina, the town of Buenos Aires and the gauchos were still defiant, but elsewhere in all Spanish South America resistance to the King's generals had ceased.

Marshal Morillo fully appreciated how dangerous to Spanish domination in New Granada and Venezuela were the fierce, hard-riding, llaneros, uncatchable and unconquerable in the vast Orinoco plains. Fighting on the royal side under guerrilla chiefs they had beaten the republicans and Bolivar, but they turned insurrectionist the moment Spanish regular officers assumed command. Morillo resolved to crush the towns completely, and hoped gradually to wear out or exterminate the llaneros. In pursuance of this policy all officers above the rank of captain were denied amnesty, and shot wherever found. The same fate was reserved for those who had held high civil office during the insurrection. The Marshal came to Bogotá in person to see that his bloody orders were carried out. The city's prisons were filled with unfortunates whose wives and daughters pleaded in vain for mercy. The most prominent patriots were shot in the back as traitors and their bodies hung on gibbets. The great scholar, Caldas, the pride of Bogotá for his world-wide reputation as a scientist, suffered a not much better fate. In the capital alone one hundred and twenty-five of New Granada's brightest and best perished on the scaffold, their property was confiscated, and their families reduced to abject poverty. Because they had not actively resisted the rebellion, the entire male population were adjudged to have forfeited all civil[Pg 439] rights, and gangs of Granadan youth were impressed into the army, or, worse still, forced to work on the public roads. Even the ladies of Bogotá were sent to country towns to remain under police surveillance with women of doubtful character.

While thus engaged in stamping out the revolutionary embers in New Granada word came to Morillo that the Venezuelan llaneros had risen against his lieutenants, and that Bolivar had landed near Valencia. Leaving a garrison of Venezuelan and Pasto royalists at Bogotá under the command of Samano, the Marshal, with four thousand Spanish troops, took the plateau road to the frontier, carrying with him some prisoners to shoot on the line. Samano's first act on assuming the government of Bogotá was to erect a gallows in the great square facing the windows of his palace, and to set up four execution benches on the public promenade. Of the victims who sat thereon with their backs to the firing squad, one of the first was the beautiful Policarpa Salabarrieta, with seven men also implicated in sending information to the llanero insurgents. She died exhorting her companions to meet their fate like men, and under the name of La Pola her memory is preserved in the songs of the Colombian people. Sixty years after her death the Colombian congress voted a pension to her surviving relatives.


Morillo never returned to New Granada. Before he arrived in Venezuela, Bolivar had temporarily retired, and the llaneros retreated to the vast solitudes in which they were unconquerable. Though the Spanish regulars won battle after battle their victories were fruitless, and Bolivar soon returned to Venezuela to be again placed at the head of the patriots and to wage unremitting warfare with cavalry from a secure base in the llanos, while he imported British mercenary infantry capable of making headway against the Spanish regulars. From 1816 to 1819 New Granada suffered hopelessly and silently the bloody despotism of the Spanish generals, while the tide of war rolled to and fro in Venezuela. In the early part of the latter year Samano sent a small expedition down the steep Cordillera slope against the guerrillas in the Casanare plains north-east of Bogotá. This gave Bolivar a[Pg 441] great strategical idea. He knew that the tableland of New Granada had been denuded of troops; but it was useless to try an attack from the direction of the provinces south of Maracaibo Bay because this well-travelled route and its populous towns were in secure possession of the enemy. Where Spaniards could go he could follow—so he reasoned—and determined to assault Bogotá directly from the Orinoco plains, thus striking the centre of the Spanish line.

With a mixed army of British mercenaries and hardy Venezuelans the Liberator mounted the difficult pass which leads from Casanare up to Tunja. Samano had only three thousand troops and these he sent under the command of General Barreiro to meet Bolivar. Though the patriots were somewhat inferior in numbers and arrived on the plateau fatigued, starving, and without horses, Barreiro, not knowing their real numbers, hesitated about attacking. Bolivar was given time to rest and remount his men, and then took a vigorous offensive. His rapid movements confused the Spanish commander, and the latter allowed the patriot army to get between him and Bogotá. Thus cut off from his base, Barreiro made a desperate dash to reach the capital, but ran against the patriots posted directly across his path at Boyacá, on the 7th of August, 1819. The loyalists attacked at a disadvantage and without hope. After losing a hundred men they fled in disorder and the whole army dispersed or was captured. The way to Bogotá lay open, and Samano had no forces to defend the city. Within three days Bolivar had traversed the hundred miles from the battlefield,[Pg 442] and Samano fled in such precipitous haste that he left behind the government archives and even the money in the treasury. A month later the whole of New Granada, except the stubbornly loyalist Pasto and the fortress of Cartagena, was free. Bolivar had himself made president and military dictator, naming Santander vice-president, and giving each province two governors, one military and the other civil, responsible directly to Bogotá. The municipal governments were preserved, and the Spanish system of taxation continued, but patriot republicans displaced loyalists in all the offices.

Bolivar soon returned to his Venezuelan headquarters on the Orinoco to fight Morillo and organise the grand republic he had dreamed of so many years. Though all of Venezuela except the Orinoco valley, all of Ecuador, and the sea-ports and southern provinces of New Granada still remained in the hands of superior Spanish armies, and although the Creole ruling class had already proved strongly prejudiced in favour of local autonomy and the tearing down of aristocratic forms, his imagination vaulted all obstacles and he planned the new state down to its minutest details. His idea was a centralised system with himself at its head as life president, backed by a hereditary senate, and ruling the three grand divisions of his empire through docile vice-presidents. But his military power and prestige were insufficient to overcome the opposition of jealous generals and ambitious lawyers. He spent the year of 1820 in futile intrigues among the politicians, and in unsuccessful campaigns against the Spaniards in Venez[Pg 443]uela, while the patriots trembled at the news that a great army was assembling at Cadiz which would surely sweep them out of existence. A liberal revolution in Spain came opportunely to interrupt military operations.

Bolivar was obliged to compromise with the advocates of federalism and democracy. A congress representing the Granadan and Venezuelan provinces then in the hands of the patriots assembled at Cucutá early in 1821. Composed of ambitious civilians it was opposed to centralisation or military rule, and in spite of the Liberator's protests adopted a compromise Constitution. Though Bolivar was conceded the title of president, he was required to give up his civil authority whenever he took command of the army, and this meant an abolishment of the dictatorship. The idea of a life presidency or a hereditary senate was abandoned, and the only part of his system which Bolivar managed to retain was the subordination of the provinces to the central government. The Liberator now devoted himself to the direction of the war, leaving that long-headed schemer, Santander, in power at Bogotá as vice-president. The winning of the battle of Carabobo in Venezuela in June, 1821, and the surrender of Cartagena in September, made necessary the withdrawal of the Spanish troops from the Isthmus. Panama immediately declared itself independent, in November, 1821, and announced its intention of joining the great confederation of Colombia, then composed of the provinces of Venezuela, and New Granada, and later of those of Ecuador.[Pg 444]

Pasto alone remained in the hands of the Spaniards. Bolivar determined to expel them from this province, and also from Quito and Guayaquil, while visions of conquests in Peru and Bolivia, and of returning to his dazzled countrymen in Colombia crowned with laurels gathered on southern battle-fields, floated through his mind. Congress gladly gave him leave of absence and Santander promised supplies of money and soldiers. In 1822 he advanced against Pasto, sending his able lieutenant, Sucré, around by sea to Guayaquil to take Quito from the south. Gathering three thousand men at Popayan he marched into Pasto and on the 7th of April came upon the royal army at Bambona. A bloody battle followed and Bolivar by inciting his men to reckless charges remained master of the field. However, he lost three times as many men as the royalists; the latter retired in good order, and the Liberator, after encamping eight days on the plateau, surrounded by a hostile population, hampered by the difficulties of the mountain paths, with a strong enemy in front, was compelled to retreat on Popayan, leaving his sick and wounded. He remained inactive until the glorious news of Sucré's overwhelming victory at Pichincha arrived. The loyalists in Pasto were now completely isolated. The Spanish commander made terms with Bolivar and the indomitable mountaineers were induced to submit on the promise that they should be allowed to retain their local laws and customs.[Pg 445]


[Pg 446]



After Bolivar's departure for Peru, a period of relative quiet ensued. Nevertheless, ambitious local politicians constantly intrigued against Santander, who in his turn was suspected of encouraging federalist agitation in the hope of overthrowing Bolivar. The United States and England recognised the independence of Colombia shortly after the expulsion of the Spaniards, but foreign troubles arose when the new republic faced the question of paying the immense debt contracted by Bolivar's agents in recruiting and equipping the mercenary troops and buying ships, artillery, and ammunition. This debt had been enormously swollen by the dishonesty of some Colombian commissioners and by the greed of money lenders who insisted on receiving bonds for double the amount they had really advanced. The temptation to borrow more when it was refunded was too great to be resisted, and Colombia soon saw herself burdened with foreign obligations amounting to nearly seven millions sterling. All the revenues were insufficient to pay inter[Pg 447]est on this sum—a truly stupendous one for so poor a country. The payments fell into arrears, and though the debt has been scaled down repeatedly, interest has rarely been paid. At the very beginning of her independent existence Colombia's credit was ruined, and the three countries into which she was shortly divided have remained burdened to this day with the debts then contracted, their finances disorganised, their attempted operations blighted by the reputation of bankruptcy, and their diplomatic relations hampered by the clamours of bondholders.

Santander's administration was further embarrassed by Bolivar's demands for money and troops with which to pursue his conquests in Peru and Bolivia, and still graver difficulties soon arose. Paez, left in command of the army in Venezuela, became involved in disputes with the authorities of the Venezuelan cities and with the ministers at Bogotá, all of whom he despised as mere civilians or as foreigners who had no right to interfere.

Finally, in 1826 the central government formally deprived him of his position and summoned him to Bogotá, but a revolution which promptly broke out in Caracas made him dictator. The news brought Bolivar back from Lima, where for two years he had reigned an absolute monarch, leading the life of a voluptuous eastern prince. For the next four years the Liberator struggled in vain to repress the rising tide of federalism and radicalism in Venezuela and New Granada. The republican theorists could not forget that he had re-established the convents, placed the schools under priestly control, abrogated[Pg 448] government contracts for personal reasons, introduced aristocratic decorations, and schemed for a hereditary senate and a life tenure of the executive; nor that his influence had stopped the Cucutá convention in the path of political reform, prevented the abolition of slavery and capital punishment, and retained the connection of Church and State, and the exemption of the army and clergy from civil jurisdiction. Santander was more liberal and a better practical politician. He had shown much ability during the Liberator's absence, and risen to be the head of a considerable party.

Bolivar succeeded in temporarily crushing some of the opposition in Venezuela and in cajoling Paez, and on his return to Bogotá he made a feint of resigning the presidency. Congress, however, was still under his spell and re-elected him. He then made an attempt to secure legal sanction for his system by summoning another constitutent convention. But news had come of Peru's and Bolivia's defection, and the agitation of the transcendental liberals, the universal desire for local self-government, and the ambitions of a hundred intriguers for high office, proved too much for him. A majority of the convention which met at Ocana in 1828 were partisans of Santander and opposed Bolivar's proposals although the Liberator at the head of three thousand soldiers watched the proceedings. Though he did his best to intimidate the majority, he shrank from frankly playing the role of a Cromwell, and contented himself with ordering his supporters to withdraw, leaving the convention without a quorum. [Pg 449]It dissolved and the country trembled on the verge of disintegration. His friends called an assembly which obediently proclaimed him dictator. The Liberator accepted, and deprived Santander of the vice-presidency. The press was muzzled, protesters banished, and military rule established. Some fiery young republicans, determined to emulate the example of Brutus, struck down the palace guards at midnight and rushed into the house to kill the dictator. But his mistress, Manoela Saenz, awakened by the noise, directed him to a window. He dropped a few feet to the pavement and ran and hid himself under a bridge, while the woman, in her night clothes, met the assassins on the stairs and told them they could enter only over her dead body. They pushed her aside with their bloody hands only to find the quarry escaped. The next day Bolivar returned to the palace and his spies soon hunted down the criminals. Santander, suspected of knowledge of the plot, went into banishment, and for the moment civil war was averted.


[Pg 450]But the incident did not revive Bolivar's waning popularity. News came in 1829 that Paez had again assumed the dictatorship of Venezuela. This was fatal to Bolivar's hopes. With New Granada in a ferment behind him he could not expect to conquer Paez and the formidable llaneros. He made a half-hearted attempt to raise an army, but recoiled before the insuperable difficulties. Again he resigned the presidency, protesting that he was ready to sacrifice all personal ambition to secure the integrity of the Colombian union and the establishment of a [Pg 451] strong and ordered government. Again he was re-elected, but meanwhile civil war was raging in Ecuador, where his own troops disavowed his authority. Rebellion also broke out in Pasto, and Peru intervened in Ecuador and sent a fleet to capture Guayaquil and an army to invade Cuenca. Bolivar exhausted his last resources in despatching troops to meet the Peruvian onslaught, but the principal result of the war was to put General Flores in a position to make himself independent dictator of Ecuador. Despairing of longer maintaining himself, but loath to give up his ever-cherished idea of union, the Liberator entered into negotiations with European diplomats to appoint a prince of a reigning family as king of Colombia. But the idea was impracticable. There was no place for a monarch, either native born or foreign, on the Granadan highlands, and Venezuela had already virtually separated. Although a rebellion in Antioquia headed by his old companion in arms, General Cordoba, failed in the fall of 1829, at the end of the year word came that Venezuela had formally declared her independence and had pronounced a sentence of perpetual banishment against the Liberator. This was the last straw, and Bolivar made no further resistance to his fate, but summoned a congress and retired to his country house penniless, sick, and heartbroken. All his vast estates had been sacrificed to the cause of independence; the hardships of his innumerable marches over the cold mountain roads had broken his health; and his mode of life during the intervals of peace had not tended to[Pg 452] restore it. Although only forty-seven he was a dying man. Still he clung to his hopes of vindication and re-election, but seeing that even the bulk of his own friends opposed, he at last sent in a formal resignation. He lived only a few months after congress had elected Mosquera president.

Though Bolivar's overthrow was a triumph for the federalists and red republicans, congress shrank from going too far and installed a wealthy aristocrat as president. However, his feeble administration was soon driven from power by the revolt of General Urdaneta, who made use of Bolivar's name as a rallying cry, but who in fact was actuated alone by personal ambition. The federalists and anti-Bolivarists did not leave him long in possession, and in May, 1831, he was expelled in his turn. Obando and Lopez, both bitter enemies of the Liberator during his lifetime, and the latter suspected of complicity in the cowardly murder of the great Marshal Sucré, came to the head of affairs. New Granada's intestine troubles made her too weak to attempt the coercion of Venezuela and Ecuador, so their independence was recognised and the Colombian republic ceased to exist.


A federalist Constitution for New Granada was framed in 1832, and shortly afterwards Santander became the first legal president. Unquestionably the strongest man in the nation, a good administrator and a shrewd politician, he was helpless to check the tendency toward disintegration, though he reduced Bolivar's army of twenty thousand to less than one half, and did much to establish civil [Pg 454] administration. His energy in enforcing order earned him the title of the "Man of Laws," and many Granadans regard him as the real founder of their nationality. Marquez, who succeeded to the presidency in 1837, was not radical enough to suit the advanced federalists and republicans, although the first serious rebellion which broke out against him was caused by his suppression of convents in reactionary and Catholic Pasto. At the same time Obando was intriguing against the government, and many of the provincial governors aided the plots. When summoned to trial, Obando fled to the wilds of Popayan and Pasto, and civil war raged through 1839 and 1840. In this latter year Panama successfully revolted, maintaining its independence until 1842. Tomas Mosquera, the minister of war, with the help of his son-in-law, General Herran, eventually triumphed over the rebels. In 1841 the latter became president, and set vigorously to work to strengthen the power of the central government.

By this time, all the people who took any interest in politics had divided into two parties. The liberals insisted on universal suffrage, the separation of Church and State, the granting the provinces the fullest autonomy, the division of the greater portion of the national revenue among the provincial governments, and even opposed the theoretical right of any government to impose its will on the individual citizen. The conservatives believed in respecting the clergy, in continuing the old system of education under priestly control, and resisted any further emasculation of the national government. Herran [Pg 455] recalled the Jesuits, and under his direction a conservative convention framed a more centralising Constitution than that of 1832. Bolivar's ashes were delivered to the Venezuelan government with impressive solemnities, and his memory apotheosised as the father of the nation and the apostle of centralisation. Herran was succeeded by his father-in-law, Tomas Mosquera. During his administration, which lasted until 1849, steam navigation was introduced on the Magdalena, the Panama railway was begun, the finances were brought into some sort of order, the army was further reduced, and the post-office system was improved.


The liberals and federalists were constantly becoming more powerful and more discontented. Disturbances broke out from time to time and when Mosquera's term expired, the attempt to elect a successor in an orderly and constitutional manner utterly failed. Riots and bloodshed followed, and it was officially announced that no candidate had received a majority of the popular vote. The duty of making a choice fell upon congress, and Lopez, a general of the war of independence who had taken part in the overthrow of Bolivar, was installed. This meant a resumption of the march toward complete decentralisation, temporarily checked during Herran's and Mosquera's administrations. The Constitution was reformed so as to reduce the power of the national executive and guarantee greater privileges to the provinces. The latter were divided and subdivided to suit the exigencies of local politicians until their number reached thirty-five. Lopez had been a revolutionist himself and did not know when he might be one again, and his abolishment of the death penalty for political crimes met with the hearty approval of the large number of Granadan politicians who were in the same case. The central government transferred a large part of its revenues to the provinces, and gave up to them the control of judicial administration, of education, and of transportation. The tide of liberal legislation also swept over the privileges of the clergy. Laws were voted suppressing of tithes, giving the nomination of parish[Pg 457] priests to the civil authorities, taking control of education out of their hands, separating Church and State, and establishing civil marriage. But it was easier to pass such laws than to enforce their observance by the Granadans. The clergy were enormously powerful among the common people and the conservative aristocrats. The banishment of the archbishop and several suffragans roused the conservatives. Politics became the principal preoccupation of the educated classes. Hardly a village in the country but had its political club, and more than a hundred party newspapers, besides innumerable pamphlets, thundered against their opponents. The conservative revolution broke out in 1851, beginning in Pasto and immediately spreading over the whole western half of the republic and even to the eastern plateau. Antioquia was the stronghold of the clericals, and there they gathered a force of a thousand men which was beaten at Rio Negro on the 10th of September, 1851, while the insurgent bands in a dozen other provinces were reduced in detail. Although the liberal government was thus triumphant in the field, the danger had been too great and was still too menacing to make it safe to maintain an uncompromising attitude on the religious question.

Lopez procured the election of Obando, another political general of the same type and opinions as himself, as his successor in the presidency. The new president's first act was to summon a convention which abolished the last traces of Herran's moderately centralising Constitution, and depriving[Pg 458] the executive of the power of naming provincial governors. Obando gave satisfaction to no one, and in 1854 General Melo, commander of the cavalry in Bogotá, incited the garrison and workingmen of that city to join him in an insurrection. However, the chiefs of the conservative party would have none of him; the recent concessions to the clergy had removed the strongest motives for rousing fanaticism to arms; and the clericals declared in his favour in only a few provinces. The property-holding and educated classes were practically unanimous against him. Mosquera and Herran, the most powerful men in New Granada and the historical chiefs of the moderate conservatives, had modified their views to suit the exigencies of the situation and become in effect moderate liberals. It was Mosquera himself who led the provincial militia against Bogotá and overcome the dictator after much bloody street fighting.


The unhappy country, tired of continual internecine disorder and exhausted by the harrying civil wars, rested willingly for two years under the compromise administration of Mallarino in which representatives of both parties and most of the principal factions had a voice. As a matter of fact the federal government had almost ceased to exercise the greatly reduced functions which nominally remained to it. The executive had only the shadow of a control over the provinces, its revenues sank to well-nigh nothing, its army was reduced to eight hundred men. The very name of the country was changed from the "Republic of New Granada" to the "Granadine Confederation," and the organisation of powerful and independent federal departments was begun, foreshadowing the abolition of the old provincial system. In 1857 three candidates had presented themselves—Ospina, representing the clerical conservatives; Murillo, the advanced liberals; and Mosquera, the moderates. Suffrage had been made[Pg 460] universal, and under the conditions necessarily prevailing among a population almost entirely illiterate and used for centuries to monarchical and military government, a satisfactory election was impossible. On the face of the returns Ospina received a plurality, but the radicals were able to force the adoption of a new federal Constitution in 1859 which abolished the old provinces. However, the new system had not the sympathy of the conservative and clerical president. He tried to usurp control of the elections, the liberals accused him of acting unconstitutionally, insurrections broke out in various parts of the country, and the confusion became worse confounded.

In the state of Bolivar, the liberal insurrectionists triumphed, while in Santander the conservatives themselves started a revolution which Ospina only succeeded in suppressing by the bloody battle of Oratorio. Meanwhile Mosquera had become governor of Cauca, and when the conservatives of that state tried to expel him, he beat them and took advantage of his victory to declare himself independent of Ospina. The latter advanced, but Mosquera defeated him, and invaded the upper Magdalena, gaining the battle of Segovia. In every state there was an insurrection against Ospina, and three ex-presidents accompanied the insurgent armies. On the surface the civil war appeared to be a mere contest for personal power between Mosquera and Ospina, but the former had ensured a large support by raising the banner of federalism, and the latter's triumph would probably have meant a strengthening[Pg 461] of the national government and certainly a reaction from the radicalism which had gained ground year by year since the fall of Bolivar. Supported by the clericals, conservatives, and reactionists, Ospina fought tenaciously and with a fair prospect of success. But the federalist armies advanced relentlessly from both north and south, and one after another the provinces of the eastern plateaux were wrested from him by bloody and well-contested battles. Bogotá was finally taken and the president imprisoned, but Mosquera's opponents kept up the conflict for some time in the states of Panama, Santander, and Antioquia, and it was near the end of 1861 before the federalists were everywhere triumphant.

With Mosquera at the head of affairs, under the title of "Supreme Director," a congress was summoned whose members were called, not deputies, representatives, or delegates, but "plenipotentiaries" of the sovereign states. This congress adopted a new constitution, New Granada's sixth since 1830. The triumphant liberals expelled the Jesuits, abolished ecclesiastical entails, extinguished the monastic orders, confiscated Church property, decreed the absolute separation of Church and State, imprisoned the archbishop, and secularised the schools. Suffrage was made nominally universal, and the death penalty abolished. The name of the country was changed to the "United States of Colombia," and it became little more than a league of nine federal states for the purpose of defence against foreign attack. The national govern[Pg 462]ment was expressly prohibited from interfering in the affairs of the states, even for the preservation of order, and a clause of the Constitution provided that "when one sovereign state of the union shall be at war with another, or the citizens of any state shall be at war among themselves, the national government is obligated to preserve the strictest neutrality." The federal judiciary had no power to decide any constitutional questions nor could its decisions bind the state authorities. The national government was deprived of half its revenue for the benefit of the states, and the receipts of the latter equalled the federal income. This Constitution remained in force for twenty-two years, during which civil wars and factional disputes continually racked Colombia.


Moreno, the clerical dictator of Ecuador, had aided Ospina during the civil war, and to punish him Mosquera undertook a campaign which resulted in a Colombian victory at Cuaspud on the 30th of December, 1863. However, he desisted from his announced intention of deposing Moreno and installing an anti-clerical government in Ecuador, and granted peace without the imposition of any onerous terms. Murillo was elected president in 1864 for the ensuing two years, to which short period the term had been reduced. The religious question would not down, and he found a conservative revolution going on in the state of Antioquia. It triumphed, and Murillo prudently recognised the successful insurgents as the legal government. He followed this same policy in regard to other revolutions in the states of Bolivar, Magdalena, and Panama, and cautiously refrained from all intervention, even when conservative insurrections occurred in the neighbourhood of Bogotá itself, or when the clericals of Antioquia invaded Cauca, and defeated the liberals. One of the last acts of his administration was to impose on the impoverished federal treasury the settlement of all the forced loans and confiscations made during the three years of terrible civil war. Mosquera, who succeeded Murillo in 1866, was not content to remain a mere figurehead, although it was under his leadership that the federal system had been definitely established. He bought[Pg 464] ships and artillery without authorisation from congress, and claimed the power of intervening by force whenever the legal government of a state was unable to maintain order. This attack on the right of revolution outraged the radical republicans. According to their theory and practice the federal government was merely an alliance between the peoples of the states, but Mosquera's doctrine would tend to make it an alliance between the state governments, creating a ruling oligarchy whose power might be continued indefinitely. Denounced as the assassin of Colombian liberty, he broke off relations with the liberal majority in congress, and in 1867 assumed dictatorial powers. But the Bogotá garrison was suborned by his enemies, and its revolt was followed by his deposition and the substitution of Acosta.

The new president renewed Murillo's policy of non-intervention. Colombia had begun to reap a benefit from the increasing foreign demand for tropical products. Exports grew in value, and with them, imports and revenue. But expenditures grew faster; the poorer states demanded and received subsidies from the federal treasury; public buildings and local improvements were planned beyond the nation's ability to pay; and a swarm of employees and pensioners battened on the public revenues. Under the concession of 1850 the Panama railway had agreed to pay three per cent. of its net revenue to the government, and the receipts from this source amounted to fourteen thousand dollars a year. Colombia had stipulated for the right to purchase the road in 1870 for the ridiculously low price of five[Pg 465] million dollars, but Acosta's administration had no money to invest and was greedy for ready cash. So the franchise was extended until 1966 for one million dollars down and an annual subsidy of a quarter of a million. In 1880, under the pressure of poverty, the installments until 1908 were alienated.

Under Gutierrez's administration (1868-69), when the governor of Cundinamarca gathered troops and assumed a dictatorship, the president deposed him. Even a liberal administration found it impracticable to carry out the theory of non-intervention. An attempt was now made to secure the nation's creditors by authorising the hypothecation of specific revenue—a measure which left the administration insufficient means to meet ordinary running expenses. Under Salgar (1870-72), the acknowledged deficits amounted to fifty per cent. of the total revenue. The increasing revenues had proved a curse instead of a blessing, for the demands of the states and officials were insatiable, and the sums spent in subsidies and internal improvements grew beyond all reason. Meantime the most extreme and unrestrained liberalism dominated the politics of the country. Congress passed a formal vote of condolence for the death of Lopez, Paraguay's unspeakable tyrant, who had just succumbed to Brazil and Argentina, after having devoted to destruction nine-tenths of his people. All honorary and useless military titles and employments were abolished, and the law on that subject contains the following curious provision: "In naming the eight generals spoken of by the Constitution, from whom must[Pg 466] be chosen the commander-in-chief of the army, all Colombians over twenty-one shall be considered as generals of the republic."

Murillo was elected for a second term in 1872, and at once devoted himself, and with considerable success, to the re-organisation and regulation of the finances. The law of 1868, which had hypothecated the revenues to meet the charges of the public debt, was repealed and the foreign bonds were scaled down to less than one-third their face. By such measures the president succeeded in paying the government employees and taking care of pressing home necessities, and even showed a nominal surplus at the end of his term.

During the administration of Santiago Perez (1874-76) the first mutterings of the terrible storm of civil war soon to burst over the country were heard. The state of Panama defied his authority and imprisoned his officers, but he applied conscientiously the constitutional doctrine of non-intervention, and disavowed a general who on his own responsibility had deposed the governor. The governor of the state of Magdalena took possession of the custom houses at the mouth of the river, and the troops of the state of Bolivar attacked federal detachments passing along the Magdalena—a river which is inter-state, and whose navigation was free by the terms of the Constitution. The popular election of 1875 was so disturbed that congress assumed the power of selecting a president, and Parra was installed the following spring. An internecine conflict broke out in Cauca; the president started to [Pg 467] intervene, and the states of Antioquia and Tolima declared war against him. Although guerilla bands in Cundinamarca, Boyacá, and Santander menaced the government's rear, twenty-five thousand recruits were raised and sent against the rebelling states. Antioquia was beaten at Chancos and Garrapata, and the rebels of central Colombia at La Donjuana, in battles where the largest numbers of soldiers ever gathered on Colombian soil were engaged.

IN 1879-1883, 1885-1891.

Peace was followed by a general amnesty, because [Pg 468] the victorious liberals dared not proceed to extremities against their adversaries. Trujillo was installed as president without opposition, and the harried country recovered somewhat from the exertions and disasters of the terrible year of 1876. The finances were, however, in horrible disorder; expenses amounted to enormous figures; the deficits became greater than the total revenues; interest on the public debt, which had been regularly kept up since 1873, was indefinitely suspended. Disturbances soon began to break out again, and the national guard deposed the governors of Cauca and Magdalena. The president showed an inclination toward centralisation; he formed alliances with state governors, encouraged them to prolong their terms, and systematically fostered divisions in the liberal party. Trujillo was succeeded by Nuñez, nominally a liberal, but who at heart had also sickened of the federalistic system and was looking for an opportunity to strengthen presidential prerogatives. The Constitution stood during his first term and those of his two successors, but when he was re-elected in 1884 the policy which he followed soon caused him to be denounced by the liberals as a traitor to the Constitution.

The failure of a liberal insurrection in 1885 was followed by a complete unitarian and clerical reaction. In 1886 a new Constitution was adopted which substituted a consolidated republic for the loose confederation. The country's name was changed from the "United States of Colombia" to "Republic of Colombia" in order to express the[Pg 469] dominating principle of the new régime. The sovereignty of the individual states was expressly denied in the document, and the two most refractory ones—Panama and Cundinamarca—temporarily reduced to territorial dependencies. The governors were named from Bogotá instead of being elected and the right of federal intervention re-affirmed. Suffrage was limited by an educational and property qualification; the clergy were admitted to participation in politics; the Roman Catholic was declared to be the national religion, although individual freedom of worship was permitted; the presidential term was extended to six years; and an attempt was made to insure judicial independence by a life tenure.

Under this Constitution there was for a long time less disorder. In Colombia political hatreds are, however, incredibly virulent and persistent because party differences are fundamental and irreconcilable. The clericals regard their opponents as pestilent enemies of religion and order, and the liberals anathematise the ruling party as a reactionary, corrupt, and benighted oligarchy. The exiled liberals have made repeated efforts to regain power, and the administrations have not been able to avoid a constantly mounting national expenditure and the continuation of deficits and repudiation. In 1899, a formidable insurrection, aided from Venezuela, broke out, President Sanclemente was imprisoned, and in 1900 Vice-President Marroquin assumed the executive functions. This terrible civil war ended only in November, 1902, when the insurgents surrendered their fleet and stores. President Marroquin[Pg 470] and the conservative government seem now firmly established, backed as they are by the tremendous influence of the Church among the masses. The people are returning to their usual avocations, though business has been demoralised by the stupendous depreciation of the paper currency.

The vast expenditures of the French canal company boomed Panama, but the resulting prosperity was confined to the Isthmus. The Bogotá government hoped for a great increase of income when the canal should be completed, and the abandonment of the enterprise was a disappointment. The principal subject of public preoccupation during 1903 was the negotiation with the United States concerning the permission desired by the latter to continue the work. Colombia proper has its outlet down the Magdalena to the Caribbean, and therefore has no greater special commercial interest in the building of a canal than Venezuela, Guiana, or Cuba, but the Colombians of the continent regarded the possession of the isolated Isthmian region as their most valuable national birthright, and believed that this invaluable strategic position should be used so as to obtain the utmost possible advantages for the Bogotá government as well as for the people of Panama. The revenue from the Panama railway had been one of the important sources of government income and the ruling political classes considered that they were entitled to have this income largely increased if a canal was built.

The special congress summoned to consider the treaty already signed by the executive failed to[Pg 471] ratify the agreement and adjourned, after empowering the president to try and negotiate a new one which would give Colombia a larger bonus and revenue. But the rejection of the treaty was followed by a declaration of independence on the part of the people of Panama, who believed that the United States would pay no larger sum than that already agreed upon and who saw their own interests being sacrificed for the sake of a far-distant interior region with which they had few commercial ties and whence invasion and coercion need not be feared because of the lack of practicable routes of communication. The United States and other powers promptly recognised the new nation, which at once made a canal treaty similar to that rejected by the Bogotá congress.

At Bogotá the first impression was one of profound dismay. The executive offered to declare martial law, suspend the Constitution, and ratify the rejected treaty in spite of the Senate. General Reyes, the foremost living Colombian, immediately departed for Panama as a special envoy to endeavour to persuade the people there to return to their allegiance, but his overtures were rejected, and he went to Washington on the hopeless errand of inducing the United States Government temporarily to abandon its policy of forbidding fighting on the Isthmus, so that Colombia might reduce the people of Panama to obedience. Meanwhile many Colombians blamed the Marroquin administration for the irreparable loss of Panama and ten million badly needed dollars. Some popular demonstrations occurred, and the[Pg 472] hot-headed demanded that war be declared against the United States and an army marched across the Atrato swamps to attack Panama from the land. But the financial and topographical difficulties were so evidently insurmountable that the war talk soon died down, the demonstrations against the Government ceased, and most elements seem to have acquiesced in the election of General Reyes to the presidential term which begins in 1904. It will be under his able guidance that Colombia will start on the tedious road leading to internal peace and regeneration, to financial rehabilitation, and to the reconcilement of those fierce factions whose wars have drenched their country's soil with blood for so many decades.

[Pg 473]


[Pg 474]

[Pg 475]



The history of Panama is for the most part identified with that of Colombia, which is narrated elsewhere in the present volume. It will, however, be convenient to review certain movements and tendencies of the last half-century in order to obtain a just understanding of the position and prospects of the new republic.

All the principles of advanced democratic government were included in the programme of the party which ruled Columbia from 1863 to 1883, and the statute books of the time afford ample proof that the leaders earnestly tried to put those principles into practical effect. They dreamed a Utopia, but practically their efforts only aggravated the anarchical tendencies bequeathed by the Spaniards and Bolivar. Colombian liberals still insist that a persistent enforcement of the Constitution and principles of 1863 would ultimately transform the character of the people—that religious bigotry and priestly influence would gradually disappear; that the progressive enlightenment of the masses would[Pg 476] make military despotism and revolutions impossible; and that in process of time the relations of the states to the federal government would reach a satisfactory and workable basis. But so far as the experiment went no progress was made toward unifying the nation and pacifying the adverse elements. Discontent, disorders, civil wars increased in violence as the years went by. Though one-fifth of the federal revenues were spent on the public school system, and one-tenth of the children were nominal attendants, the clergy were permitted to have no share in their control, and retaliated by excommunicating the parents. The devotedly pious Creole mothers and wives, threatened with the closing of the confessionals and the denial of absolution, threw their incalculable influence against the atheistic government. The destruction of the convents and the confiscation of the vast ecclesiastical estates violently changed the ownership of two-thirds of the land in the confederation, but this imposition of new landlords on the industrious, oppressed, half-enslaved tenantry did not much modify real agricultural conditions. No extensive subdivision of estates resulted, and the Creole aristocracy continued to pay more attention to political intrigue than to improving their property.


Not less disappointing in its practical working was the independence of the states. Not only did the local bosses constantly abuse autonomy for their own selfish purposes, but the presidents at Bogotá often ignored the constitutional rights of the states, and selected for coercion precisely those states which [Pg 478] were farthest from the capital and most needed wide autonomous powers. Though Panama's position was isolated, its population cosmopolitan, its commercial interests and social structure peculiar, and though in colonial times its dependence on Bogotá had been only nominal, the liberal presidents usually ruled it like a conquered province. Members of the Andean oligarchy poured in to batten on its revenues; the autonomy guaranteed by the Constitution proved illusory, and discontent led to repeated efforts to achieve absolute independence.

Rival ambitions among its own leaders furnished, however, the immediate cause of the downfall of the liberal party. A close oligarchy grew up and that inevitable corollary, a powerful faction of dissident liberals, while the clericals remained formidable and irreconcilable even after their bloody overthrow in 1876. Rafael Nuñez, a brilliant writer, a resolute and ambitious party chief, and a leader in the confiscation of church property, had been defeated in his candidacy for the presidency in 1875. The younger and dissatisfied liberals rallied behind him in his war against the oligarchy, and in 1880 the old-fashioned liberals could not prevent his election to the presidency. He vigorously strengthened the prerogatives of the federal executive and built up his personal following, but although the issue of paper money and the discontinuance of interest on the foreign debt—a debt which only ten years before had been scaled down to $10,000,000, one-sixth its original amount, on a solemn promise that at least this much[Pg 479] would be faithfully paid—placed large funds at his disposal, the old-line liberals were strong enough to prevent his re-election in 1882. Their victory was illusory and temporary. Nuñez controlled both houses of congress and was able to block President Zaldua at every turn. Eighty years old and in feeble health, the latter died after a year of fruitless struggle.


After a short ad interim administration in which Nuñez's influence predominated, he was re-elected to the presidency and installed in 1884. By this time his centralising tendencies were manifest, and the measures he adopted unmistakably pointed to the substitution of a unified republic for the old loose confederation. Many of his liberal supporters[Pg 480] fell away and he was driven into an alliance with the conservatives. Appointments of members of that party to important positions were followed by the great revolt of 1885. The insurrectionists delivered their main attack on the Caribbean coast, whither the importation of arms was easy. Much of the department of Magdalena fell into their hands, and they besieged Cartagena in force. But when one of their expeditions invaded the Isthmus, burning Colon, and interrupting traffic on the Panama Railway, the president appealed to the United States, as previous presidents had done in similar cases, to carry out the guaranty of free transit contained in the treaty of 1846. At the same time the government troops attacked and defeated the isolated insurrectionists at Colon, and shortly afterwards the latter's main army suffered a bloody repulse in an assault on Cartagena. This broke the back of the movement against Nuñez, and the liberals abandoned the hopeless struggle.

The insurrection had been undertaken for the purpose of defending the 1863 Constitution, and its defeat meant the destruction of departmental independence. As the logical and natural result of his victory, the president proclaimed the abolishment of the Constitution and summoned a convention to adopt a new one. Thenceforward until his death ten years later Rafael Nuñez and his political ideas were supreme in Colombia, and Panama was held in the most rigid subjection. The old "United States of Colombia" was replaced by the "Republic of Columbia," one and indivisible; the departments[Pg 481] became mere administrative divisions whose governors were appointed from Bogotá; the presidential term was increased to six years; the radical liberal projects were abandoned; the clergy regained many of their privileges; and the historical conservatives continued the dominant party.

As long as Nuñez lived there were few outbreaks and no serious civil war, though the ousted liberals never ceased to plot the government's overthrow. The centralising system held the departments in a rigid control from whose inconveniences Panama suffered far more than the mountain districts. Practically she was allowed no voice in either her own or general affairs; the very delegates who nominally represented her in the constitutional convention of 1885 were residents of Bogotá appointed by Nuñez; military rule became a permanent thing on the Isthmus; all officials were strangers sent from the Andean plateau; and the million dollars of taxes wrung each year from the people of Panama were spent on maintaining the soldiers who kept them in subjection. In January, 1895, the harassed province broke out in a rebellion which was suppressed by an overwhelming force of Colombian troops in April.

Meanwhile in Colombia proper the opposition to the ruling clique grew stronger and stronger. Persecution united the liberals, and they began organising for revolt all over the republic. The conservatives themselves divided into two parties, one of which opposed the administration. Nuñez did not live to finish the second term to which he[Pg 482] had been elected in 1892, but his successor managed to suppress the premature revolt of 1895, and in 1898 Sanclemente was elected, the opposition refraining from going to the polls. The new president soon found his position very difficult, and, unlike Nuñez, was unable to dominate his own party and hold the opposition in check. The French Canal Company, whose concession, granted in 1878, would expire in 1904, offered a million dollars for a renewal, desiring to recoup, by a sale to the United States, a part of the two hundred millions sunk by De Lesseps. Sanclemente's government wished to accept, but the opposition and even the conservative congress insisted on the forfeiture of the French rights. The administration rapidly lost prestige, the discontented elements saw their opportunity, and the long-brewing storm now broke on the hapless country. The liberals hurriedly completed their preparations, and in the fall of 1899 a civil war began—the most terrible and destructive that has ever devastated the republic. Before it ended in 1902, more than two hundred battles and armed encounters had been fought, and thirty thousand Colombians slain. The detailed history of the campaigns has not yet been written, but it is apparent that the insurrectionists at first gained many successes. The president declared martial law, suspending the functions of congress, and the extension desired by the French Canal Company was granted by executive decree. But the pecuniary relief thus obtained did not materially help the floundering administration. Sanclemente became a mere figurehead for his more [Pg 483]resolute ministers, and in July, 1900, the vigorous vice-president, Marroquin, seized power by a coup d'état, throwing Sanclemente into a prison, where he remained until his death. Thereafter the war against the rebels was prosecuted with more energy, and the tide turned with the defeat of an army of Venezuelans, eight thousand strong, which had invaded the eastern provinces, to co-operate with the insurrectionists.


However, the liberals were still strong in the west and north. On the Isthmus four insurrections had broken out from October, 1899, to September, 1901, and though each had been promptly suppressed, in 1902 the liberals were able to make a last great effort to establish themselves at Panama. They had considerable forces near the mouth of the Magdalena, and gunboats on the Pacific. The secure possession of the Isthmus would have enabled them to reinforce this Magdalena army, cut off Marroquin from the sea, and undertake a campaign against the interior. At first all went well for them; their gunboats captured the government's vessels on the Pacific side; they concentrated a respectable army there and finally defeated and captured two thousand of Marroquin's troops at Agua Dulce, near Panama. But this was their last success. Marroquin poured reinforcements into Colon, and though the American admiral at first refused to allow them to be transported over the railroad to Panama, permission was granted when it became evident that there would be no fighting near the line. News came of the defeat of the liberal army near the[Pg 485] Magdalena, and General Herrera, the victor at Agua Dulce, found himself isolated. In desperation he sent an expedition in October which surprised and captured Colon, but French and American marines were promptly landed to prevent fighting in that city. The expedition had no alternative but to surrender, and a few days later General Herrera with the main body capitulated on the Pacific side.

The three years of war left Colombia in frightful demoralisation. The victorious government was little better off than the defeated liberals. Commerce and industry had been prostrated; revenues had dwindled to nothing; the paper currency was worth less than one per cent. The exhaustion of its adversaries, not its own strength, enabled Marroquin's government to continue in power. In such a situation the administration welcomed the opportunity which now offered of renewing the building of the Isthmian canal. The United States government determined to undertake this great work itself, and finally decided in favour of Panama as against the Nicaragua route. Forty million dollars was agreed upon as a just price for the work already done by the French Company, and nothing remained but to obtain Colombia's consent to the transfer. The civil war helped to delay the negotiation of a satisfactory treaty, but as soon as it was over the Marroquin administration lost little time in coming to an agreement with the United States. Colombia was to receive a bonus of ten million dollars for consenting to the transfer and enlarging the terms of the original concession; her sovereign rights were[Pg 486] reserved and guaranteed, although she agreed to police and sanitary control of the canal strip by the United States.

When this treaty was submitted to the Colombian Senate for ratification, opposition developed which the administration was not strong or resolute enough to overcome. Among the politicians at Bogotá, the opinion was almost universal that the executive should have demanded more. The Colombian people have ever regarded the political control of the Isthmus as their most valuable national heritage, and cherished extravagant hopes that some day they would be vastly enriched by the sale or rental of this strategic bit of ground for its natural use as the greatest artery of the world's commerce. Many now insisted, as they had done in 1898, on enforcing a forfeiture of the French rights, or at least on receiving a proportion of the $40,000,000 to be paid for them. It was also said that the Americans could well afford a larger bonus, and the opponents of the treaty made the further point that the agreement was unconstitutional and contained insufficient guaranties of Colombian sovereignty. Against this storm the feeble administration probably could do little and certainly did nothing. The Senate was allowed to adjourn without ratifying the treaty, and an attempt was made to negotiate a new one providing for a larger bonus and more stringent guarantees of Colombian sovereignty.

The United States, however, absolutely refused to consider any other terms than those already agreed upon, and the civilised world saw the com[Pg 487]pletion of an enterprise promising incalculable benefits to mankind indefinitely postponed by the opposition of Andean provinces whom the accidents of war and international politics had given an arbitrary control over a region with which they had no natural connection. The situation was particularly hard for the people of the Isthmus, whose confident hopes were now disappointed of at last receiving, by the prosperity which would follow the building of the canal, some compensation for the oppression and losses they had suffered during eighty years of misrule by the Bogotá oligarchies. Hardly had the treaty been rejected when plotting for a declaration of independence began. The resident population was unanimous, and good grounds existed for believing that even the Colombian garrison would offer no resistance unless reinforcements should come from Bogotá. In case of an armed conflict with Colombia the people of Panama could count on the sympathy of all America and Europe. The stockholders of the French Company had a direct pecuniary interest in their success. If once they could establish independence and a de facto government, Colombia could not deliver an effective attack without violating the neutrality and security of transit guaranteed to the Isthmus by the United States. Everything pointed to the success of a well-conducted movement.

Though the preparations for the revolt could not be concealed, the Bogotá government took no effective measures to forestall it. Warned that trouble was impending, the United States sent[Pg 488] ships to prevent fighting that might interfere with transit. The new republic was proclaimed at Panama on the 3rd of November, 1903. The Colombian authorities made no resistance; the garrison surrendered without firing a shot; and the entire population acquiesced in the appointment of a provisional government, pending the calling of a convention and the adoption of a Constitution. A small force of Colombians had been landed at Colon, but the revolution at Panama found it still on the Atlantic side. On November 4th the American naval commander refused to give these troops permission to use the railroad for warlike purposes. Because the vital portion of the new republic is virtually neutral under the treaty of 1846, the provisional government having established itself in peaceable possession was safe from external attack. The useless Colombian troops at Colon either joined the people of Panama or retired. The inhabitants of Colon and the outlying districts immediately sent in their adherence, and the peace of the whole Isthmian region remained unbroken. On the 13th of November the United States recognised the new republic, being followed by France on the 18th, and then by all other nations as soon as diplomatic formalities could be complied with. Dr. Manuel Amador Guerrero was elected first president of the Republic of Panama, being inaugurated on February 19, 1904. A treaty with the United States for the building of the canal was framed on substantially the same lines as the one which had been negotiated with Colombia. By the end of February it had[Pg 489] been ratified and proclaimed, and the United States at once made preparations for the beginning of the work.

[Pg 490]


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[Pg 491]



Abascal, General, Viceroy of Peru, 73-78, 163, 168, 260

Abibe Mountains, 408

Acha, General, 276

Aconcagua River, the, 223;
plain of, 168

Acosta, Juan, 56

Acosta, President of Colombia, 464, 465

Acre River, the, 280

"Adelantados," 26, 349, 414, 417

Agua Dulce, battle of, 484, 485

Alansi, valley of, 291

Alacantra, Francisco, 26, 46

Alfaro, President of Ecuador, 339, 341

Alfinger, Adelantado of Venezuela, 349

Almagro, partner of Pizarro, 23, 24, 27, 32, 36, 136, 239, 298;
at war with Pizarro, 41-43, 239, 301;
execution of, 43, 44, 136, 239

Almagro the younger, 49, 50

Alonso, President of Bolivia, 281

Alpaca, the, 3, 4

Alvarado, Spanish adventurer, 44, 88;
Governor of Guatemala, 298

Amar, Viceroy of Bogotá, 430

Amat, Don Manuel, 154, 155

Amazon River, the, discovery of, 44, 114, 279, 293

Amazon, forested plains of, 4, 5, 40, 67, 303, 351, 424

Andagoya, Pascual de, 22

Andean plateau, the, 3, 235, 285, 288, 302, 312, 335, 342

Andean valleys, 10;
gold in, 349, 354

Andes, the, 4, 135, 245, 317, 342, 347, 409 et passim

Andes, army of the, 168, 173, 174, 185, 186

Andrade, Creole revolutionist, 396

Andueza, Creole revolutionist, 396

Angol, besieged, 145

Angostura (city), 374

Anserma, founded, 409

Antigua, founded, 404, 405

Antioquia, great mineral province of Colombia, 387, 407-409, 412, 416, 417, 419, 422, 433, 437, 451

Antioquia, state of, 407, 457, 461, 462, 467

Antofogasta, 119, 120, 122, 277

Apples, 66

Apuré River, the, 355, 374-376, 406, 437;
army of, 372, 380

Aragua Valley, the, 350

Araucania, colonised, 216
[Pg 492]
Araucanians, the, independent spirit of, 138-147, 150, 151, 155;
treaty of, with Spanish, 150, 151;
missions established among, 201;
at war with Chile, 206, 216

Arauco, besieged, 145

Araure, battle of, 368

Arce, President of Bolivia, 278

Arenales, General, 81, 89, 258

Arequipa (city), founded, 44, 80, 99, 103, 108, 110, 112

Arequipa (province), 39, 41, 77, 104, 259

Argentina, 11, 13, 18, 71, 142, 245;
civilised tribes of, 58, 350;
revolution in, 76, 160, 161, 317;
civil wars in, 78, 186, 261, 267, 271, 323

Argentine, army, the, 80, 81, 98, 185, 186, 257, 258;
navy, the, 78, 79, 173, 183, 184;
pampas, 99

Argentine Republic, the, 140;
expansion of, 155, 230, 231;
boundary treaty of, with Chile, 209, 210

Arica (city), 108, 123, 125

Arica (province), arrangement between Peru and Chile concerning, 127, 278

Asses, 66

Atacama desert, the, 239

Atahuallpa, Inca empire divided between Huascar and, 14, 308;
fratricidal war between Huascar and, 16-19, 238, 295, 296;
sends ambassador to Spaniards, 21;
treacherously captured by Pizarro, 30, 31, 48;
offers ransom, 31, 246;
murder of, 32, 238, 297

Atrato, River, the, 403-406;
Valley, 405, 472

Audiencias, royal, established, 67, 71, 250, 251, 254, 267, 308, 417, 420, 426

Auqui Toma, 294

Ayachucho, plain of, 95;
battle of, 96, 97, 256, 264, 266, 322

Ayohuma, battle of, 256, 258

Azuay, nudo of, 17, 291-293, 295, 298

Aztecs, the, 412


Balboa, Nuñez de, discoverer of the Pacific, 22, 23, 404

Balcarce, General, 185

Ballivian, General, 273, 274

Balmaceda, Chilean Liberal leader, 214-216, 218-220, 222-225;
death of, 226

Balta, Colonel, President of Peru, 113, 114, 116

Bambona, battle of, 444

Bananas, 66, 303, 352

Baquedano, General, 213, 219, 225

Barcelona (city), founded, 352;
captured, 372

Barcelona (province), 362

Barinos (province), 362, 363, 366

Barley, 66, 303, 343

Barquisimeto, founded, 350, 351;
destroyed by earthquake, 363;
captured, 368

Barreiro, General, 377, 378, 441

Bastida, Rodrigo, 403, 404

Belgrano, General, 258

Bello, civil code prepared by, 200

Belzu, General, 274, 275

Benalcazar, Sebastian de, conquers Quito, 298, 299, 409, 410, 413, 414

Beni River, the, 246, 279, 280

Bermudez, Colonel, 130, 381

Biobio River, the, 138, 139, 141, 145-147, 150

Blanco, Guzman, Dictator of Venezuela, 391, 394-396, 398

Blanco, the, 119-121

Bogotá, (city) 308, 312, 316, 317, 378, 384, 420, 448;
founded, 413;
one of the centres of Spanish-American culture, 422;
Archbishop of, banished, 425, 457, 461;
[Pg 493]revolutionary junta in, 431;
seat of federal government, 435, 442, 470, 471;
punishment of, 438, 439

Bogotá (province), 376, 416, 419, 434, 437;
vice-royalty of, 71, 250, 313, 327, 356, 385, 416, 420, 426;
jurisdiction of, 356, 420, 426, 429;
audiencia of, 417;
presidency of, 418;
named New Granada, 419;
declares itself an independent state, 433

Bolivar, Simon, the "Liberator" of South America, 79, 86, 368, 382, 384, 435;
Dictator of Peru, 90, 98, 447;
military exploits of, 92, 264, 317, 321, 366, 367;
President of United States of Colombia, 99, 322, 378, 442, 443, 448, 450, 451;
plan of, for South American Confederation, 99, 267, 320-322, 384, 442, 443, 450, 451;
constitutions, 99, 101, 268, 270, 385, 386;
undertakes conquest of Quito, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, 101, 318, 383, 384, 447;
wins battle of Ayachucho, 264;
welcomed in Bolivia, 267;
political theories of, 268, 322, 448, 451;
forced to retire from Peru, 270;
drives Spanish from Venezuela and New Granada, 317, 370, 372, 374, 375, 378, 433-435, 439, 440, 444;
interview of, with San Martin, 321;
life of, devoted to South American independence, 366, 388, 451;
army of, 376, 380, 381, 440, 441, 452;
proclamation of, 376;
overthrow of, 323, 326, 448, 450, 451;
death of, 326, 387, 388, 452;
character and education of, 364-366;
native city of, 387;
apotheosis of, 455

Bolivar, State of, 460, 463, 466

Bolivia (Upper Peru), 235-281;
description of 235, 236;
Inca conquest of, 13, 18, 236, 238;
military roads in, 36, 239, 244, 251;
Spanish conquest of, 36, 239, 248, 250;
Inca cities in, 44, 59;
capital of, 44;
precious metals found in, 44, 238-242, 245-247;
railroads in, 54, 277, 279, 280;
audiencia established in, 67, 250 (see also Charcas);
the battleground of war of independence, 76, 77, 86, 97, 255 et seq., 268;
republic of, created, 99, 267, 268;
Bolivar the Father of, 99, 266, 267;
named, 99, 268;
first president of, 99, 268-270;
constitutions of, 99, 268, 270, 273, 278, 322;
the Peru-Bolivian Confederation, 101-103, 105, 197, 270-273, 281;
boundary treaty of, with Chile, 117, 281;
at war with Chile, 118, 271, 272, 281;
secret treaty of, with Peru, 118;
nitrate territory of, 211, 278;
early civilisation of, 236, 239, 249;
rainfall in, 236;
fertility of, 238;
population of, 239, 244, 269;
character of population of, 239, 260, 269, 272, 273, 357;
Spanish cities in, 241, 242, 249;
cattle-raising in, 242, 243, 248;
Spanish colonial system in, 243, 245, 249;
taxation in, 243, 269, 270, 276;
missions established in, 245, 279;
printing-press, in, 245;
battles in, 257-260, 264-266, 272, 273, 281;
sturdy spirit of patriots in, 258-262, etc.;
commerce of, 267, 272, 281;
period of civil war and anarchy in, 272 et seq.;
slavery abolished in, 273;
greatest silver producing country of the world, 277, 278;
rubber production of, 278-280;
without seaports, 278, 280, 281;
treaty of, with Brazil, 280;
international position of, 281
[Pg 494]
Bonaparte, Joseph, 311, 312, 360

Bonaparte, Napoleon, 77, 159, 311, 365, 435

Borrero, Antonio, President of Ecuador, 339

Bourbon dynasty, the, 70, 154, 250

Boves, organises troop of llaneros, 368, 369;
death of, 370

Boyacá River, the, 378;
battle of, 86, 256, 317, 378, 441

Boyacá, state of, 467

Brazil, treaty of, with Bolivia, 280;
loyalty of, 337

Brown, Admiral William, 78

Buccaneers, 69, 70, 150

Buenaventura, 49

Buenos Aires, viceroyalty of, 67, 71, 155, 251, 257;
smuggling in, 71, 152, 251;
revolutionary junta in, 76, 160, 161, 438;
pampas of, 78, 149;
importance of, 156, 158

Bunes, General, 198, 199


Cabildos, in Bogotá, 431;
in Bolivia, 249;
in Chile, 160, 161;
in Ecuador, 313;
in Venezuela, 360, 361, 385

Cacao, native to South America, 66, 238, 303

Cacao industry in Colombia, 428;
in Ecuador, 303, 328, 332, 341;
in Venezuela, 352, 390, 395

Caceres, President of Peru, 126-131

Cacha, the last Cara shiri, 292, 294

Caciques, 64, 243, 244, 248

Cadiz, 70, 361, 380, 443;
monopoly, the, 152, 352

Cajamarca, 17, 20, 21, 29, 31

Calabozo, 368, 375

Caldas, Colombian scientist, 438

Calderon, Garcia, 126

Cali (city), 408, 409, 432

Cali (province), part of presidency of Quito, 420

Calivio, battle of, 433

Callao, engulfed by tidal wave, 71;
Peruvian fleet at, 104;
Spanish fleet at, 112, 184, 186

Callao Castle, 80, 84, 97, 321

Caluchima, 296

Camano, José, President of Ecuador, 339

Camargo, patriot leader, 258, 260

Campero, Narcisco, President of Bolivia, 278

Cañan (province), 288, 291, 296, 298

Cañaris, the, Indian tribe, 14, 16, 17, 296, 297

Candamo, Señor, President of Peru, 131

Cancha-Rayada, battle at, 176-178

Cañete (city), founded, 143, 144;
besieged, 145, 146

Cañete, Marquis of, the "good viceroy," 57, 58. See Mendoza

Canizaries, Doña Manuela, 313

Canseco, General, President of Peru, 113

Canterac, Spanish commander, 85, 89, 93, 96, 97

Canto, Colonel, 223, 224

Cape Codera, 351

Cape Gracias á Dios, 403, 404, 405

Cape Horn, 69, 152, 209, 235

Cape San Roman, 347

Captaincies-General, 67, 71, 148, 355, 356, 419, 426

Carabobo, battle of, 86, 317, 381, 443

Caracas (city), revolutionary junta in, 76, 361;
founded, 350;
sacked, 351, 354;
made a captaincy-general, 356, 392, 426;
destroyed by earthquake, 363;
Bolivar's birthplace, 382, 386, 387;
under jurisdiction of Bogotá, 426;
revolution in, 447
[Pg 495]
Caracoles, silver mines of, 208

Cara Indians, the, confederacy of, 11, 12, 16, 288, 289;
invade Ecuador, 11, 286, 287;
conquered by Incas, 11-14, 288-296

Caranquis, the Indian tribe, 13, 293, 294

Caras, description of, 286-290, 293, 412;
staple articles of food of, 290, 303;
conquered by Spanish, 299

Carbojal, Spanish commander, 53, 56

Caribbean Sea, 70, 71, 348, 405, 406, 414, 470

Carib Indians, the, 268, 290, 413

Carrasco, Captain-General of Chile, 159-161

Carrera, José, creole leader, 162, 164, 166, 167, 173, 182

Carrera, Juan, 162, 173, 181, 182

Carrera, Luiz, 162, 173, 181, 182

Carrillo, 126

Cartagena (city), revolutionary junta in, 366, 431;
Bolivar takes service with, 366, 433;
besieged, 380, 381, 429, 435-437, 480;
oldest fortress in America, 406-409, 428, 436, 442;
surrender of, 443

Cartagena (province), 417, 419, 420, 431, 432

Cartago (city), 408, 409;

Carujo, Venezuelan revolutionist, 389

Casanare (province), 424

Casanare River, the, 376, 377, 437;
plains of, 406, 440

Cassava, 66

Castilla, Don Ramon, President of Peru, 106-110, 112, 274;
character and ability of, 108;
death of, 113

Castilla, Don Ruiz de, President of Quito, 312, 314

Castilla, Marshal, 118;

Castro (city), 151

Castro, President of Venezuela, 396, 398, 399

Castro, Vala de, Governor of Peru, 46, 49, 50, 52, 300

Cattle, introduced into South America, 66, 151, 352

Cattle-raising in Bolivia, 243, 261;
in Colombia, 421;
in Venezuela, 354, 355, 390, 395

Cauca (province), northern division of Quito presidency, 324, 326;
State of, 460, 466, 468

Cauca River, the, 49, 312, 408, 409, 411, 412, 422, 432, 433

Caudillos, the, Bolivian, 256, 269, 270

Caupolican, Arauncanian chief, 144

Ceballos, José, 361, 368, 369

Central America, Colombia's claim to, 429

Cerro de Pasco Mountains, 4, 9, 11, 17, 18, 32, 36, 81, 262, 264, 289

Chacabuco, battle of, 78, 168, 170, 172, 256, 261, 317

Chanca Indians, the, 9

Chancos, battle of, 467

Charcas (Sueré), Indian capital of Bolivia, 44, 59, 240;
audiencia of, 71, 250, 251, 267;
revolutionary junta in, 76;
Spanish capital of Upper Peru, 242, 249, 301;
jurisdiction of, 250, 251

Charles IV. of Spain, 311

Charles V., Emperor, authorises conquest of Peru, 25, 26, 41, 60;
appoints governor for Venezuela, 349

Chaves, Francisco, 47

Chibcho Indians, the, 412-414;
civilisation of, 412

Chile, Inca conquest of, 11, 12, 18, 135;
Spanish conquest of, 36, 43, 44, 60, 136, 139-149;
captain-general of, 67, 148, 154, 155, 158, 160, 161;
[Pg 496]war of independence in, 76, 78, 112, 156 et seq., 190, 261, 317;
junta established in, 161;
at war with Peru and Bolivia, 104, 105, 118, 119, 208, 211, 281;
boundary treaty of, with Bolivia, 117, 118, 206;
boundaries of, 117, 147, 150, 155;
defeats allies, 121-125;
captures Lima, 125, 126, 213;
mineral products of, 117, 136, 138, 144, 148, 199, 208;
nitrate industry of, 117, 118, 126, 206, 211;
gains control of nitrate region, 212, 220-222;
navy of, 118-121, 183-185, 204;
characteristics of inhabitants of, 135, 136, 149, 150, 190;
area of, 135;
rainfall in, 135;
population of, 135, 136, 152, 230;
agricultural conditions in, 136, 148, 199;
battles in, 141, 143-145, 164, 167, 176-178, 180-182, 187, 223-225, 272;
Spanish cities of, 145, 151, 154, 155;
at war with Araucanians, 147, 206;
the colonial period in, 148-155;
immigration into, 149, 156, 199, 203;
growth of commerce in, 148, 152, 154, 158, 162, 199, 200, 203, 230;
smuggling in, 152;
taxation in, 152, 158;
prosperity of, 154-156, 158, 203, 208, 216;
universities in, 154, 198;
the capital of, 154, 158;
seismic disturbances in, 154;
Cuyo separates from, 155;
landed aristocracy of, 158, 159, 162, 189, 201;
liberal reforms in, 162, 168, 200, 206-208, 214-217;
slavery abolished in, 162;
Spanish authority re-established in, 163, 166, 168, 316;
independence of, proclaimed, 176;
civil wars in, 189 et seq., 200-203, 215-226;
constitutions of, 193, 196, 206;
strong government established in, 196, 197, 271, 272;
qualifications for suffrage in, 196, 206;
becomes dominant power on Pacific coast, 198;
political conditions in, 198-203, 207, 214, 215, 227-229;
financial conditions of, 98, 200, 211-213;
religious conditions in, 199, 201;
adopts civil and criminal codes, 200, 207;
at war with Spain, 203, 204, 337;
debt of, 208;
boundary treaty of, with Argentina, 209, 210;
boundary disputes with Argentina, 209, 210, 230, 231;
chief exports of, 211;
paper money issued in, 212;
under jurisdiction of Buenos Aires, 251

Chilean (city), 145, 151, 164

Chiloë Islands, the, explored, 143, 149, 188, 192, 197

Chimilas Mountains, 410

Chincha Islands, the, seized by Spain, 112, 203

Chinchon, Countess of, cure of, 70

Chinese coolies in Peru, 111

Chiquitos Indians, the, 245, 250

Chocolate, Europe indebted to Peru for, 66;
Ecuador supplies large amount of, 332

Chorrillos (city), 125

Coal mines, 208

Cochabamba (city), 243, 249, 258

Cochrane, Lord Thomas, Admiral, 79-83, 186-188, 190

Cochrane, the, 119-121

Cocoa palm introduced into South America, 66

Coffee-raising, 341, 390, 395

Colombia (New Granada), plateau of, 13, 312, 406, 410, 414, 419;
Spanish exploration of, 22, 347, 348, 403-406, 410-414;
native tribes of, 23, 406, 409, 410, 412-414, 416;
[Pg 497]first permanent settlement in, 406, 416;
Spanish conquest of, 407-418;
revolutionary spirit in, 366, 430 et seq.;
war of independence in, 86, 316, 317, 430-444;
formation of United States of, 98, 99, 318, 322, 378, 382, 461;
provinces in confederation of, 98, 99, 267, 318, 320-322, 337, 378, 443;
Bolivar, President of confederation of, 99, 322, 378, 442, 443, 448, 450, 451;
southern part under jurisdiction of Quito, 312;
Constitution of Cucutá, 322, 386;
confederation of, breaks up, 324, 388, 451, 452;
at war with Peru, 324;
civil wars in, 333, 337, 417, 450-458, 460, 470, 476, 481-485;
boundaries of, 403;
gold in, 404, 406-409, 412, 414, 416, 424;
cities founded in, 404-406, 408, 409, 413-416, 424;
climate of, 405, 406, 410, 422, 424, 425;
rainfall in, 405;
tropical forests of, 406;
fertility of, 406, 410, 412, 414, 420, 421;
Indian slavery in, 406, 416;
negro slaves in, 422, 425;
early civilisation of, 404, 409-412;
population of, 409, 410, 413, 422, 424;
territorial divisions of, 416;
royal commissioners sent to, 417, 427;
erected into a presidency, 418, 419;
jurisdiction of presidency, 419, 420;
colonial period of, 419-429;
names of, 419, 458, 459, 461;
education in, 420, 422, 454, 456, 461;
roads built in, 420, 428;
river transportation in, 420;
creoles of, 421, 422, 427, 428, 430, 431, 476;
agricultural products of, 421, 424, 428;
Antioquia, great mineral province of, 422;
commercial conditions in, 422, 425, 427, 428, 485;
taxation in, 422, 424, 427, 428, 481;
authors of, celebrated, 422;
mineral products of, 424;
Spanish colonial system in, 424, 427, 428, 431;
decrease in population of, 425;
smuggling in, 425;
religious conditions in, 425, 437, 455-458, 461, 462, 469, 470;
governors of, 425, 428, 437;
diseases rife in, 426;
"Rebellion of the Communes" in, 427;
viceroys of, 428, 430, 431;
exports of, 428, 464;
claim of, to Central America, 429;
Congress of, 432, 433, 437, 439;
battles in, 433, 437, 439, 441, 443, 461, 462, 467, 482;
independence of, recognised, 442, 446;
financial conditions in, 446, 447, 455, 463-466, 468, 472, 485;
public debt of, 446, 447, 468, 469, 478, 479;
credit of, 447;
liberty of the Press in, 450, 457;
numerous constitutions of, 452, 455, 457, 460-462, 468, 469, 475, 478, 480;
political conditions in, 454-462, 465, 469, 476, 480, 481;
right of suffrage in, 454, 459-461, 469;
steam navigation introduced into, 455;
death penalty abolished, 456, 461;
campaign of, against Ecuador, 462;
power of judiciary in, 462, 469;
receipts from Panama railway, 464;
franchise of railway extended, 465;
becomes a consolidated republic, 468, 469, 479;
name changed to Republic of, 468, 480;
length of presidential term in, 469, 481;
paper currency in, 470, 478, 485;
negotiates treaties with United States, 470;
rejects treaties, 471, 485, 486;
Panama declares her independence of, 471;
threatens war against United States, 472;
[Pg 498]future of, 472;
appeals to United States, 480;
demands of, in regard to Panama Canal, 485, 486

Colombian army, the, 98, 267, 323, 326, 337

Colon (city), 405;
burned, 480;
captured, 485;
adheres  to Panama, 488

Colonia (city), 152

Columbus, Bartholomew, 404

Columbus, Christopher, 347, 348

Concepcion, founded, 139, 140, 142, 151;
burned, 145;
destroyed by tidal wave, 154;
patriots capture, 164;
southern capital of Chile, 191

Concordat signed by Ecuador, 337

"Conquistadores," the, 50, 56, 424

Copiapo, valley of, 137;
mines of, 199

Copper, 8, 117, 211, 238, 239

Copper-pan amalgamation process, 241

Coquimbo, founded, 138;
northern capital of Chile, 151, 190

Cordero, Luis, President of Ecuador, 340, 341

Cordilleras, the, 4, 11, 33, 259, 286, 290, 376, 408

Cordoba, General, 387, 451

Cordoba, Gonzalo de, 21

Coro (city), 348-350, 360, 361, 406, 413, 420

Corregidors, 60, 64, 69, 243, 248, 249;
abolished, 72, 254

"Corregimentos," 64

Cortes, Hernando, conqueror of Mexico, 22, 26, 44, 407

Cortes, the Spanish, 166,436

Cotopaxi, eruption of, 298

Cotton, 3, 8, 111, 113, 238, 412

Council of the Indies, 304

Covadonga, the, 119

Coya (city), 145

Creoles, 65, 66, 243, 279, 308, 310, 421;
growth of revolutionary ideas among, 72, 74, 77, 84, 159, 160, 257, 311, 312, 338, 359-362, 388, 430;
characteristics of, 272, 273, 357, 396, 422;
education among, 307, 309, 310, 336, 353, 384;
new race of, 354

Crespo, President of Venezuela, 396

Croix, General Theodore de, 72

Cuaspud, battle of, 337, 462

Cuba, captain-general of, 429

Cubagua, island of, 348

Cucutá (city), 382;
Colombian Congress meets at, 443, 448

Cucutá, constitution of, 322, 443

Cuenca (city), 100

Cuenca (province), 291, 298, 312, 314, 323, 324, 327;
plateau of, 288, 307, 308

Cumaná, oldest city in South America, 348, 351, 383

Cumaná (province), 356, 362;
transferred to jurisdiction of Venezuela, 426

Cundinamarca, State of, 465, 467, 469

Cuyo (province), 78, 149;
separation of, from Chile, 155

Cuzco, plateau of, 3, 4, 9

Cuzco (city), Inca capital, 5, 12, 18, 19, 32, 33, 59, 63, 103, 108, 291, 295;
military road from, 9, 18, 28;
possessed by Spanish, 32-36, 39, 238, 258


Darien, gold-mines of, 22;
Gulf of, 403, 404

Daza, General, 278

De Lesseps, Ferdinand, 482

Drake, Sir Francis, 428

Ducasse captures Cartagena, 428

Duchisela, long reign of, 288


Earthquake, of 1751, 154;
of 1812, 363
[Pg 499]
Echenique, General, President of Peru, 109, 110

Ecuador, Cara conquest of, 11-13, 286-288;
Inca conquest of, 12, 13, 17, 24, 288, 291-296;
character of inhabitants of, 24, 27, 286, 287, 289, 307, 342, 343, 357, 409;
gold and silver in, 27, 53, 307;
military roads in, 12, 28, 307, 336;
Spanish conquest of, 58, 67, 297 et seq.;
Inca cities in, 59;
war of independence in, 76, 86, 309 et seq., 437;
incorporation of, with Colombia, 98, 267, 318, 320-322, 443;
the founder of, 101, 327;
description of, 285-287, 290, 291;
climate of, 285, 290;
fertility of, 286, 290, 341-343;
taxation in, 301, 307, 328, 336;
area of, 302, 303;
population of, 302, 303, 342, 343;
European grains and fruits introduced into, 303, 308;
cacao industry of, 303, 328, 332, 341;
Catholic Church in, 305, 306, 309, 337;
education in, 307, 309;
the capital of, 307;
decrease in population of, 307, 308, 328;
negro slavery in, 307;
presidency of Quito erected, 308, 321, 323, 324, 326, 327;
under jurisdiction of New Granada, 308;
audiencia established in, 308;
junta appointed in, 313, 314;
open cabildo summoned, 313;
battles in, 293, 298, 316, 318, 324;
independence of, declared, 324, 452;
named, 324;
treaty of, with Colombia, 327;
civil war in, 328, 329, 337-341, 451;
civil and constitutional government in, 329;
reforms in government of, 330, 331, 336;
financial conditions of, 31, 336;
second South American republic recognised by Spain, 331;
prosperity of, 332;
numerous constitutions of, 333-335, 339;
railways of, 342;
manual industries of, 342;
future of, 342, 343;
under jurisdiction of Bogotá, 426;
Colombian campaign against, 462

Eldorado, 241, 349

Elephantiasis, 426

Elias, Campo, patriot leader, 368, 369

Emeralds, 27, 412, 417, 424

Encalada, Blanco, 80

Encomiendas, system of agricultural, 38, 46, 53, 65, 240, 242;
abolished, 50, 51, 243, 417

England, granted privilege of exporting negroes to South America, 70;
war between Spain and, 158;
fleet of, destroys Venezuelan navy, 398;
recognises independence of Colombia, 446

Errazuriz, President of Chile, 207, 228

Esmeralda, the, capture of, 82, 119;
sale of, to Japan, 340

España, creole leader, 359, 360

Estremadura (province), 21, 26


Falcon, General, 391-394

Federmann, explorer, 414

Ferdinand VII. of Spain, deposition and imprisonment of, 159, 311, 312, 360, 365, 370, 380;
restoration of, 435

Fernandez, conspiracy of, 276

Flores, Antonio, President of Ecuador, 340

Flores, General, the founder of Ecuador, 101, 323, 324, 326-329, 333, 451

France, war between Spain and, 152, 256, 311, 312;
recognises republic of Panama, 488

Franciscans, the, 68
[Pg 500]
Freire, General, 104, 191-194, 197

French scientists in Quito, 309

Fruits introduced into South America, 66, 151, 303, 308


Gallo heads insurrection, 202

Gamarra, General, Dictator of Peru, 101-105, 270

Garrapata, battle of, 467

Gasca, Pedro de la, 54, 56, 57, 301

Gatajo, battle of, 341

Gauchos, 171, 261, 438

Gavilan, battle of, 172

Goajira, peninsula of, 348, 403, 404

Goats, 66

Gold, Spain's desire for, 26, 35, 53, 65, 66, 69, 241, 352;
in Bolivia, 240, 246, 247;
in Chile, 136, 138, 144;
in Colombia, 404, 406-409, 412, 414, 416, 424;
in Ecuador, 27, 53, 299, 307;
in Peru, 25, 27, 32, 36;
in Venezuela, 352

Goyeneche, General, 257, 361

Grains introduced into South America, 66, 151

Grapes, 66;
cultivation of, forbidden, 159

Grau, Miguel, Admiral, 119-121

Great Britain, action of foreign office in regard to Bolivia, 275;
threatened rupture between United States and, 398;
abandons Isthmian colony, 429.
See also England.

Gröningen, victory of, 62

Guaicaipuro, Indian chief, 350

Gual, creole leader, 359, 360

Gual, Pedro, 391

Guamanga, founded, 44, 49, 50, 60, 106, 126;
battle at, 49, 50

Guano deposits, 109, 113, 114, 116, 127, 128, 206, 210

Guarany, Indians, the, 249;
language, 306

Guatamala, 39, 298

Guayaquil (city), founded, 299;
best port on Pacific coast of South America, 86, 101, 105, 299, 323, 324, 326, 335;
population and wealth of, 328, 332, 341

Guayaquil (province), 312, 314, 317, 327, 444;
cultivation of cacao and sugar-cane in, 308

Guayaquil, Gulf of, 12, 20, 25, 27, 285, 341

Guiana (province), under jurisdiction of Bogotá, 356;
transferred to jurisdiction of Venezuela, 361, 426

Guiana, British, 398

Guipuzcoa Company, the, 354-356, 358

Gutierrez brothers, the, 114, 116

Gutierrez, President of Colombia, 465


Hague international tribunal, the, 399

Hayti, Bolivar flees to, 372;
gold placers of, 404, 406

Heath, explorer, 278

Heredia founds Cartagena, 406, 408

Herran, General, President of New Granada, 454, 455, 458

Herrera, General, 103, 485

Hides, exportation of, 354, 428

Honda (city), 420

Honduras, 403

Horses, 20, 27, 39, 66, 243, 261

Huacho, San Martin lands at, 81

Huaina Capac, Inca emperor, campaign of, 12;
conquest of Quito by, 12-14, 18, 292-294, 308;
death of, 14, 295

Hualcopo, Cara shiri, 290-292, 295

Huanacabamba (province), 288

Huanca, Auqui, 17

Huanchaca, mines of, 278

Huaqui, battle of, 170, 256, 257
[Pg 501]
Huascar, Inca empire divided between Atahuallpa and, 14;
fratricidal war between Atahuallpa and, 16-19, 238, 295, 296;
execution of, 31

Huascar, the, 119-121, 212

Humachiri, battle of, 259

"Husares de la Muerte," cavalry corps, 182


Ibague (city), 416

Ibarra, 287, 293

Iglesias, President of Chile, 126, 127

Immigrants, into Peru, 111, 149;
into Chile, 156, 203;
into Ecuador, 307

Imperial (city), founded, 140;
besieged, 142, 145, 146

Inca Indians, the, home of, 3, 4;
civilisation of, 3, 24, 25, 236, 290, 412;
migration of, 4

Incas, language of, 4, 10, 13;
religion of, 5, 13;
social and industrial organisation of, 5, 6, 10, 59, 249, 289, 295;
capital of, 5, 12, 18, 19, 32-35, etc.;
emperors of, 5, 6, 8-10, 12, 14, 16, 28-32, 34-38, 40, 61, 62;
death of last emperor of, 63;
conquests of, 6, 8-19, 236, 288 et seq.;
irrigation system of, 6, 10, 25, 59;
empire of, 8, 9, 11, 13, 22, 292-294;
military roads built by, 9, 10, 12, 28, 29, 38, 59, 239, 244, 251, 307;
armies of, 11, 18, 19, etc., 237;
Spanish conquest of, 20-40, 297;
population of, 25, 65, 244, 303;
reduced to slavery, 38, etc., 242-244, 348;
cities built by, 20, 38, 44, 59, 60, 240

Independencia, the, 119, 212

Indians of South America, the, early civilisation of, 3, 4, 236, 286, 289, 410, 412;
various tribes of, 3, 5, 8-14, 23, 59, 135, 238, 245, 286-289, 292, 293, 350, 405, 410, 413;
language of, 4, 9, 10, 11, 136, 238, 306;
characteristics of, 24, 25, 77, 136, 249, 252, 253, 289, 303, 307, 421, 422;
conquered by Spanish, 24, 25, 27-40;
oppression and slavery of, 38, 58, 59, 63-65, 68, 69, 242-244, 253, 254, 348, 406, 416, 422, 425-428;
rebellions of, 38-40, 72, 77, 251, 253, 254, 258, 259;
Spanish legislation in behalf of, 57, 243, 254, 417;
impressment of, 64, 69, 242, 253, 416, 425;
missions established among, 151, 244, 250, 306, 352

Indigo, 303

Inquisition established, in Peru, 69;
in Colombia, 437

Ipecacuanha, Europe indebted to Peru for, 66

Iquique, Peruvian port, 119, 122

Iquitos (city), 114

Irish mercenaries in Bolivar's army, 376, 380

Irrigation in South America, 6, 10, 25, 59, 135


Jauja (city), 54, 60, 84, 89, 92-94

Jauja, valley of the, 9, 18, 33, 35, 36, 39, 44, 49

Jemappes, battle of, 359

Jesuits, in Bolivia, 245, 279;
in Colombia, 455, 461;
in Ecuador, 309, 334, 337;
in Peru, 68, 71, 309

Jiron, Governor of New Granada, 425

Jubones, plateau of, 288, 291

Juncal, battle of, 372

Junin, battle of, 93, 321

Jurisprudence, Spanish system of, in South America, 66, 200, 304
[Pg 502]


Koerner, Colonel, 223, 225


La Donjuana, battle of, 467

La Fuente, Dictator of Peru, 102, 106

La Guaira, 350, 356, 359, 369

La Mar, General, President of Peru, 100, 101, 324

La Palma, battle of, 110

La Paz, founded, 60, 241, 249;
spirit of independence in, 76, 77, 257, 260, 361

La Puerta, decisive battles of, 369, 375

Lara, General, deported, 99

Las Casas, famous book of, 50, 59

La Serna, General, Viceroy of Peru, 84, 91;
army of, 93-95, 261, 264

Las Heras, patriot commander, 171, 172, 177, 181

Lastra, General, 194

Las Trincheiras, 368

Latacunga, valley of, 287, 292, 293

La Torre, General, 374, 380, 381

Lautaro, Araucanian chief, 141, 142

Leiva founded, 420

Leon, creole leader, 355

Leprosy, 426

Lima (city), founded by Pizarro, 36, 46, 60;
Incas attempt to take, 39, 42;
Pizarro in, 46, 52;
political, social, and commercial centre of South America, 67, 71;
viceroyalty of Peru established at, 50, 60, 67, 70, 71, 142, 148, 304, 426;
jurisdiction of, 67, 250, 251, 304, 308;
earthquakes in, 71;
revolutionary spirit in, 73, 75, 76, 81-84, 317;
evacuated by the Spaniards, 84, 89;
Bolivar at, 99, 321, 323;
insurrections in, 114, 116, 131;
Chilian army captures, 125, 126, 213;
public library of, destroyed, 126

Linares, Doctor, 275, 276

Linnæus names chinchona, 70

Lircay, victory at, 194

Llamas, 3, 4, 150, 238

Llaneros, the, origin of, 354, 424;
cavalry troops of, organised, 368;
valour of, 369, 371-374, 376-378, 381, 382, 385, 389, 431, 434, 438, 439, 450

Llanos, 354, 368, 372, 375, 377, 406, 413, 437, 440

Loja (city), built by Spaniards, 60

Loja (province), 101, 288, 291, 298, 307, 338

Loncomilla, battle of, 200

Lopez, General, President of Colombia, 452, 455, 457

Lopez, tyrant of Paraguay, 248, 465

Los Andes, 396

Louis XIV. and war of Spanish Succession, 152

Loyola, founder of Jesuit order, 245

Lugo, adelantado, 414, 417

Luque, partner of Pizarro, 23


MacGregor captures Barcelona, 372

Madeira Falls, the, 280

Madeira River, the, 244, 246, 278-281

Madrid, Pizarro goes to, 25;
legislation at, in behalf of Indians, 50, 417;
commissions from, 58;
revenue sent to, 69;
government, 70, 147, 309, 418;
French king on throne of, 152

Madrid, Dictator of Colombia, 437

Magdalena River, the, 366, 380, 406, 408-410, 412-414 et passim;
named, 403;
Valley, 312, 381
[Pg 503]
Magdalena, State of, 463, 466, 468, 480

Magellan, Straits of, 69, 140, 209

Maipo, battle of, 79, 179-182

Maize, 3, 4, 8, 39, 238, 248, 290, 303, 352;
Europe indebted to Peru for, 66

Mallarino, President of New Granada, 458

Manabi, 292, 293

Manaos, 280

Manco Capac, first Inca sovereign, 5, 6

Manco Capac, brother of Huascar, 34, 38-41

Manso, Governor, 154

Maracaibo Bay, 406, 409, 441

Maracaibo (city), sack of, 354;
refused to bend delegates to Caracas, 361

Maracaibo, Gulf of, 347, 348, 351, 403, 406

Maracaibo, Lake, 351, 383

Maracaibo (province), under jurisdiction of Bogotá, 356, 426;
transferred to jurisdiction of Venezuela, 356, 426;
revolt in, 380;
separated from Caracas, 392

Marco, General, 170

Margarita, Island of, 348, 367, 426

Margarita (province), 362

Mariño, Dictator of Venezuela, 367, 369, 370, 378, 389

Marquez, President of New Granada, 454

Marroquin, President of Colombia, 469, 470, 484

Martin, Alonso, 405

Maturin captured, 367

Maule River, the, 11, 135, 136, 138, 142, 145, 164, 166

Medina Celi joins patriots, 264, 265

Melgarejo, Dictator of Bolivia, 276, 277

Mello, Geronimo, explores Magdalena River, 414

Melo, General, 458

Mendoza, Andre Hurtado de, Marquis of Cañete, "the good viceroy," 57, 58, 60, 142;
death of, 61

Mendoza, Garcia de, campaign of, 142, 143;
founds Cañete, 143

Mendoza (province), 140, 149

Menendez, President of Peru, 107

Mercury, 69

Merida (city), founded, 350;
destroyed by earthquake, 363

Merida (province), 362, 363, 366

Meta River, the, 377

Meuqueta, zipa of, 412

Mexico, 22, 39, 290

Miranda, Francisco, patriot leader, 359, 360, 362, 363

Mississippi River, the, 27

"Mitta," 64, 65

Mocha, 293, 316

Mochica language, the, 11

Mojos Indians, the, 245, 250, 279

Molina, Governor of Ecuador, 315

Mollendo railroad, the, 54, 277

Monagas, President of Venezuela, 388, 390

Monteagudo, Dr., 182

Montes, General, 316

Monteverde, General, 363, 364, 367, 368, 370

Montilla, General, 381

Montt, Jorge, President of Chile, 220, 227

Montt, Manuel, President of Chile, 199-201;
proclaims martial law, 201

Montt, Pedro, 228

Montufar, Carlos, 314

Montufar, Juan, 313

Moquegua, 124

Morales, General, 277, 370, 372, 383

Moreno, Garcia, President of Ecuador, long administration of, 335-339, 462;
character of, 336
[Pg 504]
Morgan, sacked Maracaibo, 354

Morillo, Marshal, in Venezuela, 370-372, 436-439;
report of, 375;
resigns, 380

Mosquera, Tomas, President of Columbia, 452, 454, 455, 458, 460-464

Mosquito Coast, the, 419

Munecas, priest, 259

Murillo, President of Colombia, 459, 462, 466


Napo River, the, 300

Napoleon. See Bonaparte

Nariño, Dictator of Colombia, 431, 432, 434

Narvarte, Doctor, 390

Naxichi, battle at, 16

Negroes, 70, 273, 351, 352, 357, 394, 416, 422, 425

Neiva (city), 416

Neiva, President of New Granada, 420

New Granada, captain-general of, subject to viceroy of Peru, 67;
viceroyalty of, created, 71, 308, 312, 426;
jurisdiction of, 420;
revolutionary junta installed in, 76;
war of independence in, 86, 98, 101, 261, 312, 317, 318, 320, 322, 326, 370, 435, 442;
provinces in Colombian confederation, 376, 443;
opposition to Bolivar's government in, 385, 387;
recognises independence of Venezuela and Ecuador, 388, 452;
name of, extended to presidency of Bogotá, 419;
influence of first president of, 452, 454;
army of, 452, 458;
constitution of 1832, 452, 455, 457;
name of, changed, 458, 459, 461.
See also Colombia.

"New Laws," the, 51, 54, 57, 59

Nicaragua, 27, 403;
Canal, 485

Nicuesa, Diego de, 404, 405

Nieto, Dictator of Peru, 102

Nitrates, 113, 114, 117, 277;
extent of region, 117, 206;
taxed, 118, 211

Noboa, Diego, 334

Nombre de Dios founded, 405

"Nudos," 4, 8, 287, 291, 292

Nuñez, Rafael, President of Colombia, 468;
political ideas of, 478-480;
death of, 481


Oats, 66

Obando, General, President of New Granada, 452, 454, 457, 458

Ocana (city), captured, 366, 433;
national assembly held at, 385, 448;
founded, 420;
battle near, 437

Ocumare, 359, 372

O'Higgins, Ambrose, career of, 156, 158

O'Higgins, Bernardo, gallantry of, 164;
saves Santiago, 166;
defeated, 167;
dictator, 171, 173, 181, 182, 190;
resignation of, 191

Ojeda, Alonso de, explorations of, 22, 403;
names Venezuela, 347, 348

Olañeta, renegade Argentine, 91;
death of, 97, 263-265

Olives, 66, 159, 352

Opon River, the, 410

Oranges, 66

Oratorio, battle of, 460

Orbegoso, Dictator of Peru, 102-105

Ordoñez, General, 171

O'Reilly, General, 81

Orellana, discoverer of the Amazon, 44, 300;
refounds Guayaquil, 299

Orinoco, River, the, 78, 348, 355, 356, 374, 377, 442;
plains, 354, 367, 424, 441;
valley, 442

Orton River, the, 279

Oruro, silver mines of, 242, 249, 266, 277
[Pg 505]
Osorio, General, re-establishes Spanish authority in Chile, 167, 168;
defeated by San Martin, 174, 176-181

Osorno, founded, 143; besieged, 145, 146

Ospina, President of New Granada, 459-461

Otavalo, capture of, 293, 294


Pacamdré Indians, the, 293

Pachacutec, See Yupanqui.

Pacheco, President of Bolivia, 278

Pacific Ocean, the, discovery of, 22, 404, 405

Padilla, patriot leader, 258, 260

Paez, José Antonio, patriot leader, 79, 371, 372, 375, 377, 380, 381, 385, 387;
Dictator and President of Venezuela, 389-391, 447, 450

Paillamachu, Araucanian chief, 144-146

Paita (city), 28

Paita (province), 285, 288, 289

Pampas, 78, 99, 149

Pampas River, the, 94

Pamplona, revolutionary junta in, 431

Pamplona (province), 349, 366, 411, 416, 419, 437

Panama (city), founded, 22, 23-25, 298, 341, 412;
Pizarro sends to, for aid, 39;
pan-American Congress at, 323

Panama Canal, the, 470-472, 482, 485-489

Panama, Gulf of, 27

Panama hats, manufacture of, 342

Panama, Isthmus of (province), 22, 23, 27, 69, 352, 404, 405, 417, 419, 420, 429, 432, 470

Panama (province), audiencia of, 420, 426;
joins Colombian confederation, 443;
rebels against Colombia, 454

Panama railway, the, 455, 480, 484, 488;
receipts from, 464, 470

Panama, State of, 461, 463,466, 469, 470;
Colombian misrule in, 471, 478, 480, 481, 487;
declares independence, 471, 488;
republic of, recognised, 471, 488;
neutrality and free transit guaranteed to, by treaty of 1846, 480, 487, 488;
insurrections in, 484;
provisional government in, 488;
canal treaty with United States, 488, 489

Pando, José Manuel, President of Bolivia, 280

Paraguay, 67, 71, 248, 357

Paraguay River, the, 280

Paraná River, the, 249

Pardo, Don Manuel, first civilian President of Peru, 114, 116;
aristocratic party founded by, 131

Parra, President of Colombia, 466

Pasco, 92

Pasto (city) founded, 409, 413

Pasto (province), 49, 312, 314, 316, 324;
part of presidency of Quito, 326, 327, 420;
high tableland of, 409, 414, 424, 454;
loyal to Spain, 432-434, 442, 444;
rebellion in, 451

Paul, Rojas, 396

Paya Pass, the, 377

Peaches, 66

Pearl fisheries, 348

"Pelucones," 192

Peons, impressment of, 394-396

Perez, President of Chile, 202, 206

Perez, Santiago, President of Colombia, 466

Peru, early inhabitants of, 3, 4, 357;
antiquity of civilisation in, 3;
fertility of, 4, 8, 41, 44, 80;
climate of, 4, 285;
Inca empire established in, 5-20, 296;
system of irrigation in, 5, 6, 10;
[Pg 506]copper mines of, 8, 117;
military roads in, 9, 10, 12, 28, 33, 36, 38, 59;
battles in, 11, 13, 16, 17, 19, 39, 43, 50, 56, 78, 88, 92, 93, 96, 97, 101, 105, 107, 110, 124, 125, 213, 272, 324;
Inca cities of, 20, 59, 60;
Spanish conquest of, 20-40, 58, 67, 297;
mineral wealth of, 24, 25, 27, 32, 36, 53, 65, 66, 69, 109, 113, 114, 116, 127, 128;
extent of, 28, 41, 44, 58, 67, 71;
Spanish cities in, 36, 44, 59, 60;
Indian rebellions in, 38, 72, 77;
governors of, 44, 49, 50, 52;
viceroyalty of, see Lima;
viceroys of, 50-52, 58, 60-63, 70, 72, 74, 78-80, 82, 84, 261, 301, 304, 308;
slavery prohibited in, 50, 57, 111;
industrial development of, 53, 108, 111, 113, 114, 127-129, 132;
revenue to Spain from, 53, 60, 64-66, 69, 77;
civil wars in, 57, 99-103, 106-108, 110, 113, 127;
Spanish colonial system established in, 61-66;
taxation in, 64, 66, 69, 109;
population of, 65;
university in, 67;
Spanish language in, 68;
religious conditions in, 68, 69, 132;
discovery of virtues of quinine, 70;
earthquakes in, 71;
Jesuits expelled from, 71;
creoles of, 72, 74, 76, 77, 84, 110, 123, 130;
revolutionary spirit in, 72-76, 81, 82;
navy of, 78, 101, 104, 109, 118, 197, 325;
war of independence in, 80-97, 185, 186, 261, 316;
Spaniards evacuate capital of, 84;
proclaimed a republic, 85;
financial conditions in, 89, 110, 114, 115, 130, 132;
congress of, 98, 99;
Bolivar, Dictator of, 98, 322, 447;
Bolivarian constitution imposed on, 99, 322;
revolts from Bolivar's government, 99-101, 270, 323, 324, 448;
state of anarchy in, 101-103;
further constitutions of, 102, 111;
at war with Chile, 104, 119-125, 190, 197, 198;
capital of, captured by Chileans, 125, 126, 212, 213;
at war with Bolivia, 104, 273;
treaty of peace with Bolivia, 105;
commerce in, 108;
railways in, 109, 113, 122, 128;
debt of, 109, 114, 128;
insurrections in, 110, 113, 114, 116, 123, 130-132;
immigration into, encouraged, 111;
treaty of alliance with Chile, against Spain, 112;
naval battles of, 112, 119-121, 212;
at war with Spain, 112, 203, 204, 337;
revenue from nitrates, 113, 114;
first civilian president of, 114;
guano deposits of, 116, 127, 128;
currency of, 116;
treaty of alliance with Bolivia, 118, 119;
nitrate region owned by, 117, 119, 121, 122, 212;
loses nitrate province, 123, 125;
losses of, in Chilean war, 125, 127;
mediation of United States between Chile and, 125;
treaty of peace with Chile, 127;
reorganisation of, 128;
British creditors of, 128;
rubber industry in, 129;
political conditions in, 130-132;
hopeful signs of the times for, 131;
cause of revolutions in, 132;
Upper, formed into republic of Bolivia, 240, 266-268;
re-establishes independent existence, 272;
at war with Colombia, 324, 451;
surrenders southern provinces, 324

Peru-Bolivian Confederation, the, 101-103, 105, 197, 197, 270-273, 281

Peruvian bonds, 114, 116

Peruvian Corporation, the, 128, 129

Pezet, President of Peru, 111, 112
[Pg 507]
Pezuela, General, 82, 260

Philip II. of Spain, 53, 54, 61

Piar, negro chief, 372, 374

Pichincha, battle of, 86, 444

Pierola, General, 116, 123, 126, 130;
President of Peru, 131

Pigeons, 66

Pigs, 66

Pinto, Anibal, President of Chile, 209, 213

Pinto, General, President of Chile, 193

"Pipiolas," 192

Pisagua captured, 122

Pisco, 80, 81

Piura (city) founded, 60, 297

Piura (province), 288

Piura, valley of, 291

Pizarro, Francisco, the conqueror of Peru, early life of, 21, 22;
with Ojeda and Balboa, 22, 404, 405;
partners of, 23;
failure of first exploring expedition, 23;
second expedition of, 23-25;
authorised by Charles V. to conquer Peru, 25, 26;
third expedition of, 26, 27;
reinforced by de Soto, 27;
lands in northern Peru, 27, 28, 297;
meets Inca emperor, 29;
treachery of, 28-34, 238;
establishes Spanish government, 35, 44;
founds cities, 36, 44;
territory awarded to, 36, 41;
crushes Indian rebellion, 38-40;
Almagro quarrels with, 41-43;
treachery of, towards Almagro, 42, 43, 48, 136, 239;
extends Spanish conquest throughout Inca empire, 44, 136, 240, 407, 408;
conspiracy against, 46;
murder of, 47-50, 300;
character of, 48

Pizarro, Gonzalo, valour of, 26, 56;
at siege of Cuzco, 38;
capture of, 42;
Governor of Quito, 44, 299-301;
Governor of Peru, 50-53, 240, 301;
defeat and death of, 56, 240, 301

Pizarro, Hernando, joins expedition to conquer Peru, 26, 38;
capture and release of, 42, 43;
capture and death of Almagro by, 43, 136;
develops mining industry of Bolivia, 44;
establishes feudal lordships, 239, 240

Pizarro, Juan, 26, 38

Plantain introduced into Ecuador, 303, 308

Plate provinces, the, 71

Plate River, the, 67, 245, 251;
Valley, 155, 236

Platinum, 424

Plaza, Leonidas, President of Ecuador, 341

Poll-taxes, 64, 243, 427

Popayán (city) founded, 409

Popayán (province), 49, 53, 301, 312, 314, 408, 409, 417, 424, 432, 433, 444, 454;
part of presidency of Quito, 324-327, 420;
lost to Ecuador, 327

Portales, Chilean statesman, 194, 196, 197;
death of, 197, 198

Porto Bello captured, 429

Portuguese, the, 67, 261, 316

Potatoes, native to South America, 3, 4, 8, 238, 248, 287, 290, 303, 332, 343, 352;
introduced into Europe, 66

Potosí, silver mines of, 44, 53, 65, 99, 240, 241, 258;
yield of silver from, 278

Poultry introduced into South America, 66, 151

Prado, General, President of Peru, 112, 116, 123

Presidencies, 71, 418, 420, 426

Preston, Amyas, 351

Prieto, General, President of Chile, 194, 196-198

Printing-press, the, 245

Promancians, the, 138

Puerreyedon, Argentine dictator, 183

Puerto Cabello, 347, 359, 360, 366, 372;
British attacks on, 356;
captured by patriots, 382, 383, 385
[Pg 508]
Pumacagua, Indian leader, 77

Puna, bleak plateau of, 36, 236, 239, 268

Puna, island of, 27, 292

Puno, 97

Purus River, the, 280

Puzuela, General, Viceroy of Peru, 78


Quartz mining in Bolivia, 246

Quesada, Jimenez de, conquest of, 410, 412-414;
founds Bogotá, 413;
exiled, 417;
names New Granada, 419

Quiapo, Spanish victory at, 144

Quichua language, official medium of Inca empire, 9, 10, 238, 295, 306;
reduced to a written language, 306

Quicksilver, discovery of, in Peru, 241

Quillin, treaty of, 150

Quillota, 224

Quindio mountain range, 409, 411

Quinine, Europe indebted to Peru for, 66;
discovery of virtue of, 70;
origin of name, 70

Quinoa grain, the, native to South America, 3, 4, 238, 290, 303

Quintana, Dictator of Chile, 173, 174

Quinua, village of, 95

Quito (city), the Cara capital, 12, 307, 341;
Incas possess, 13, 14, 59, 238;
Spanish occupation of, 44, 49, 53, 406, 413, 416;
revolutionary spirit in, 76, 313, 314, 334, 335, 339, 383, 430, 432;
city of convents, 306;
population of, 307, 308;
French scientific monuments in, 309

Quito (province), Cara kingdom of, 11, 286-288;
the shiri of, 12, 14, 290;
Inca conquest of, 12, 18, 293, 294;
Spanish conquest of, 28, 36, 38, 299;
erected into a presidency, 71, 308, 309, 323, 324, 326, 327, 418, 426;
under jurisdiction of New Granada (Bogotá), 308, 420;
audiencia of, 308;
declared independent, 324;
provinces attached to presidency of, 420

Quizquiz, Indian general, 17;
defeats Huascar, 19, 20, 35, 238, 296;
defeated by Pizarro, 33, 34, 297


Rada, Juan de la, 46, 49

Railroads in Bolivia, 279, 280;
in Chile, 203;
in Peru, 54, 113, 277

Ramirez, Spanish general, 77, 78

Rancagua, battle of, 167-170

Reyes, General, President of Colombia, 471, 472

Reyes, Lake of, 92

Rice, 66, 303

Riesco, German, President of Chile, 228

Rimac, valley of the, 36

Riobamba, 12, 288, 292, 293, 298

Rio Negro, battle at, 457

Riva Aguëro, President of Peru, 76, 88, 89

Rivas, patriot commander, 370

Riveralta, 279, 280

Robledo, Jorge, 408

Robles, Colonel, 221

Robles, President of Ecuador, 334, 335

Roca, Ramon, President of Ecuador, 333

Rocafuerte, Vicente, President of Ecuador, 328-330;
wise administration of, 330-332

Romana, President of Peru, 131
[Pg 509]
Rosas, Doctor, Governor of Chile, 154;
title of, 154;
founds university, 154;
establishes radical junta, 162, 163

Rubber, forests, exploitation of, 129;
Bolivia furnishes large per cent. of, 280


Saenz, Manoela, 450

Sagamoso, valley of, 377

St. Vincent, battle of, 311

Salabarrieta, Policarpo ("La Pola"), fate of, 439

Salaverry, Dictator of Peru, 102, 103

Salgar, President of Colombia, 465

Salt, 353, 424

Salta, gauchos of, 259

Samano, General, 316, 433, 437, 439-441

Sanclemente, President of Colombia, 469, 482

San Felipe, university of, founded, 154

San Felix, battle of, 374

San Fernando, fortress of, 374, 375

San Francisco hill, battle at, 122

San Francisco, mining camp at, 350

San Juan, valley of, 149

San Luiz, valley of, 149

San Martin, General, equips "Army of the Andes," wins battle of Chacabuco, and liberates Chile, 78, 168-171, 184, 261, 317;
creates a fleet, 79, 172-174, 183, 184;
raises armies for conquest of Peru, 80-82, 84, 171-174, 176, 178, 185, 186, 262;
proclaims independence of Peru, 85;
President of Peru, 85;
resigns presidency, 88, 263, 321;
famous interview of, with Bolivar, 86, 321;
declines governorship of Chile, 171;
defeat of, 176-173;
wins battle of Maipo, 179-181;
one of the greatest of South American patriots, 318

San Miguel founded by Spanish, 36, 297

San Roman, General, President of, Peru, 111

Santa Cruz (city), 249, 258, 279

Santa Cruz, General, commands Peruvian army, 88;
defeat of, 89, 90, 262, 263;
Dictator of Bolivia, 101, 102;
President of Peru-Bolivian Confederation, 103, 104, 197, 270, 271;
overthrow of, 105, 198, 272

Santa Maria, President of Chile, 213

Santa Marta (city), 326, 406, 414, 436

Santa Marta Mountains, 403

Santander, 442-444, 446-448;
first legal President of Colombia (New Granada), 450, 452;
title of, 454

Santander (city), "Rebellion of the Communes" in, 427

Santander, State of, 460, 461, 467

Santiago (city), 11, 126, 135, 142, 145, 186, 223-225;
revolutionary junta installed in, 76, 160, 161;
founded, 137;
discovery of gold near, 138;
population of, 151;
universities established in, 154, 198;
social centre of Chile, 158

Sarsaparilla, 303

Sayri Tupac, Inca emperor, 61, 62

Sebastian founded, 404

Segoria, battle of, 460

Seville junta, the, 314, 360, 362

Sheep introduced into South America, 66, 242, 243, 248

Shiris, the, of Quito, 12, 14, 16, 287-296

Silver, in Bolivia, 44, 239-242, 245, 246;
in Chile, 199, 208;
in Colombia, 424;
in Ecuador, 307;
in Peru, 24, 25, 53, 65, 66, 69, 117
[Pg 510]
Sinu River, the, 408

Slavery, Indian, 38, 69, 71, 242-244, 348, 406;
negro, 273, 394, 416, 422, 425

Smallpox, ravages of, 142, 426

Smuggling, 70, 71, 152, 251, 353, 354, 394, 425

Socorro (city), revolutionary junta in, 431, 432

Socorro, plateau province of, 312, 376, 413, 416, 437

Solar, Vice-President of Peru, 130

Sorata (city), the rival of Potosí, 246;
destroyed, 247

de Soto, Hernando, 27

Soublette, General, 390

South America, animals native to, 3, 4, 238;
tribes of, 4, 5, 9, 13, 66, 238, 248, etc.;
productions of, 3, 5, 8, 66, 70, 238, 303;
Spanish law in, 61, 66, 200, 253, 304;
animals introduced into, 66, 242, 243;
benefits to, from Spanish occupation, 66, 151, 303;
commerce except with Spain forbidden to, 66, 69-71, 152, 251, 355, 356;
Lima the political, commercial, and social centre of, 67;
negroes imported into, 70, 416;
spread of revolutionary ideas in, 73, 74, etc.;
character of revolution in, 84;
plan for constitutional monarchy in, 84;
success of wars of independence in, 97, 188, 265, 318, 322, 383;
Argentine preponderance among republics of, 155;
description of Andean plateau of, 235, 285;
theatre of the war of independence in, 255;
revolution in, saved from extinction, 258;
plan for one great confederacy in, 269, 322;
countries of, 322;
harbours of, 341;
oldest city of, 348;
first independent republic in, 362;
oldest fortress in, 407, 428, 436;
manner of founding Spanish cities in, 424

South Sea, the, 405

Spain, conquest of South America by, see Peru, Chile, etc.;
royal commissioners sent from, 46, 49, 54, 417, 427;
colonial system of, 62 et seq., 70, 243, 307, 351-356, 424, 427, 428;
colonial government of, 57, 59, 249, 301, 303, 353;
commercial monopoly of, 66, 69-71, 152, 250, 251, 352-356, 424;
war of succession in, 70, 152, 159, 250, 256, 311, 312, 354, 360, 370;
at war with France, 77, 159, 256, 311, 312;
revolution in, 82, 359, 370, 430, 443;
at war with Peru and Chile, 111, 112, 203, 204, 337;
reforms in system of colonial government of, 154, 253, 254, 301, 349, 417;
at war with England, 158

Spanish, adventurers 21, 22, 26, 27, 53, 58, 67, 242, 300, 301, 348, 404, 407, 413, 414;
armies in South America, 29, 39, 50, 52, 80, 81, 141, 142, 144, 146, 147, 150, 155, 168, 170, 174, 181, 239, 253, 258-261, 263, 264, 298, 301, 315-318, 350, 366, 367, 371, 375, 376, 380, 413, 436, 437, 440, 443;
constitution, the, 370;
constitutional law, 304

Spanish crown, revenue of, from Peru, 32, 53, 60, 64-66, 69, 77;
from South America, 417, 425

Spanish fleet, 79, 80, 142, 174;
seizes Chincha Islands, 112, 203;
at Callao, 112, 186;
at Valparaiso, 204;
defeated, 360, 383;
at Cartagena, 436

Sucré (Charcas), 44

Sucré, General, Bolivar's great lieutenant, destroys Spanish army, 86;
takes Colombian army to Peru, 89, 264, 321;
wins battle of Ayachucho, 93-97, 266, 321, 322;
[Pg 511]numbers and quality of army of, 95, 318;
first President of Bolivia, 99, 268, 322;
administration of, 269;
overthrow of, 270, 323;
wins battle of Pichincho, 318, 444;
murder of, 326, 452

Sugar-cane, introduced into South America, 66, 303;
cultivation of, 111, 113, 308, 352, 355, 390, 428

Sugar Loaf, the battle of, 105

Suipacha, battle of, 256, 257

Sun-god, worship of the, 5, 13, 298


Tacna (city), revolutionary expedition to, 82;
result of campaign, 123, 213

Tacna (province), 122, 123;
yielded to Chile, 127

Talca (city), captured, 166;
independence of Chile proclaimed at, 176

Talcahuano (city), 163, 164, 171, 174

Tambo, battle of, 316, 437

Tarapacá, province of Peru, 106;
nitrate deposits of, 212

Tarija (city), 249

Tarqui, decisive battle of, 324, 325

Taxation, 64, 66, 69, 118, 152, 158, 211, 243, 269, 270, 276, 301, 307, 328, 336, 353, 424

Teques Indians, the, 350

Tiocajas nudo, 291;
battles of, 291, 293, 294, 298

Titicaca, Lake, 8, 39, 54, 71, 78, 256, 258;
placer gold around, 240, 246;
Jesuit mission at, 245;
basin, 4, 11, 236, 239;
plateau, 8, 41, 99, 240;
copper and silver mines of, 8, 240

Titu Yupanqui, 62, 63

Toa, Cara Princess, 288

Tobacco, Europe indebted to Peru for, 66;
in Chile, 159;
in Colombia, 424, 427;
in Venezuela, 352, 353, 355

Tocaima (city), 416

Tocuyo founded, 349, 350

Toledo, Don Francisco de, founder of Spanish colonial system, 62-67;
arrives at Lima, 62;
puts to death last Inca emperor, 63;
Libro de Tasas of, 63

Tolima, plateau of, 411, 419

Tolima, State of, 467

Tolu founded, 408

"Toquis," 139, 144, 150

Torata (city), 124

Torico, General, 106

Toro, Captain-General, 160, 161

Torres, Camilo, Dictator, 437

Trafalgar, battle of, 311

Treaties, 117, 118, 150, 151, 206, 209, 210, 280, 281, 327, 470, 471, 480, 485-489

Trinidad, Island of, captured by British, 356, 359

Trujillo, birthplace of Pizarro, 21

Trujillo (city) founded by Pizarro, 36, 60, 350

Trujillo, province of Venezuela, 362, 363, 366

Trujillo, President of Colombia, 468

Tucuman (province), subject to viceroyalty of Lima, 67;
attached to viceroyalty of Buenos Aires, 78;
thinly populated, 78;
cattle-raising in, 243;
subject to audiencia of Charcas, 250;
battle of, 258

Tumbez (city), 25, 53, 301;
Spaniards land at, 20, 28

Tumibamba, Huascar captured at, 20

Tumusla, 265

Tundama, plateau of, 413

Tunjá (city), founded, 414;
captured by Bolivar, 378

Tunjá (province), 312, 376, 377, 413, 416
[Pg 512]
Tupac Amaru, last Inca emperor, 62;
death of, 63

Tupac Amaru, lineal descendant of Inca emperors, 72, 251;
heads Indian rebellion, 72, 251, 252;
cruel death of, 72, 253

Tupac Yupanqui, Inca emperor, conquests of, 10, 11, 14, 18, 135, 289-292, 295;
death of, 12, 292


Uira Cocha, Inca emperor, 8, 9

Ulloa, ——, 308

"Ulmens," 139, 150

Umachiri, battle of, 78

Union, the, 120, 123

United States, the, threatened rupture between Great Britain and, 398;
recognises independence of Colombia, 446;
undertakes Panama Canal, 470, 471, 482, 485;
negotiations of, with Colombia, 470, 471, 488;
appealed to by Colombia, 471, 480;
neutrality and free transit guaranteed to Panama by, 480, 487, 488;
Colombia rejects treaty with, 486, 487;
recognises republic of Panama, 488;
treaty of, with Panama ratified, 488, 489

United States of Colombia, the, 98, 99, 322, 378.
See Colombia.

Universities, 67, 154, 198

Urbina, General, 334, 338

Urco, Inca emperor, 9

Urdaneta, General, 452

Uruguay in possession of Portuguese, 261, 316


Valdez, General, 88, 96, 262

Valdivia (city), besieged, 141, 142, 145;
taken by Dutch, 150;
size of, 151;
strength of, 171, 187;
possessed by Spanish, 171, 185;
captured by patriots, 187

Valdivia, Pedro de, conqueror of Chile, 43, 44, 137-139, 240;
cities founded by, 137, 139;
capture and death of, 141

Valencia, founded, 350;
loyal to Spain, 363, 364, 439;
patriots in, 367, 369, 372

Valmy, battle of, 359

Valparaiso (city), 104, 119, 120, 262, 285, 317, 341;
size of, 151;
bombarded, 204;
battle at, 223-225

Valparaiso Bay, 220

Valverde, Friar, 30

Varas, Chilean Minister, 200, 201

Vargas, Doctor, President of Venezuela, 389

Veintemilla, General, President of Ecuador, 339

Vela, Blasco Nuñez de, Viceroy of Peru, 50-53

Velez (city) founded, 410, 414

Venezuela, sighted by Columbus 347;
named, 348;
cities founded in, 348-350, 352;
colonisation of, 348;
governors of, 349, 426;
fertility of, 349, 350, 352, 395;
granted to Welser family, 349;
settlement of, 349-351;
savage tribes of, 350;
subject to viceroyalty of Lima, 67;
under jurisdiction of Bogotá and Caracas, 71, 356, 419, 426;
revolutionary spirit in, 76, 358-361, etc.;
revolts against Bolivar, 79, 101, 323, 378;
war of independence in, 86, 261, 316, 317, 362, 364, 366-370, 378-383, 388, 434, 437, 451, 452;
in Colombian confederation, 98, 322, 376, 378, 384, 443;
Bolivarian constitution of, 99, 385;
separates from confederation, 99, 324, 385, 387, 388, 451;
cattle-raising in, 345, 355, 395;
topography of, 351, 352;
negro labour in, 351, 352, 357;
[Pg 513]agricultural products of, 352, 358, 390, 395;
exports from, 352, 390;
commercial conditions of, 352-358, 390-392, 395, 396, 398, 399;
gold placers of, 352;
taxation in, 353, 389, 391, 392, 395;
education in, 353;
trading posts in, 354;
made a captaincy-general, 355, 419;
captains-general of, 356, 360, 361;
boundaries of, fixed, 356;
population of, 357, 390;
characteristics of population of, 357, 358;
Bonaparte claims allegiance of, 360;
first independent republic of South America, 362;
constitution of 1811, 362;
financial conditions in, 362, 394-396, 398;
earthquake in, 363;
important battles of war of independence in, 369, 374, 375, 378, 381-383;
impoverished by wars, 384, 394;
constitution of 1831, 389, 391, 394;
civil wars in, 387-392, 396-398;
political conditions in, 389-392;
roads built in, 390;
bank established in, 390;
slavery abolished, 391;
liberty of the press permitted, 392;
religious conditions in, 392, 395;
smuggling in, 394;
stable currency of, 395;
railroads built in, 395, 396;
debt of, 396;
boundary dispute with British Guiana, 398;
foreign relations of, 398;
navy of, destroyed, 398;
progress of, 399;
provinces under jurisdiction of, 426

Vernon, Admiral, 428

Viceroyalties, of Bogotá, 71, 250, 356, 420, 426;
of Buenos Aires, 71, 251;
of Lima, 50, 67, 250, 375;
of Quito, 86, 418, 420

Vicuña, Claudio, President of Chile, 193, 194, 219, 226

Vicuñas, 238

Vidal, Dictator of Peru, 102, 106

Vilcabamba, 40, 61, 63

Vilcañota nudo, the, 4, 8

Villapugio, battle of, 170, 258

Villarica, gold-mines of, 144-146

Viluma, battle of, 256, 260

Vista Florida, Dictator of Peru, 102

Vivanco, Peruvian general, 106


Welser family, the, Venezuela granted to, 349

Wheat introduced into South America, 66, 151, 211, 303, 332, 343, 352, 421, 428

Wheelwright, William, establishes first Pacific steamship line, 198

Windward Islands, the, 347

Wool, 8


Yahuarcocha Lake, 294

Yahuar Huaccac, Inca emperor, 8

Yngavi, decisive battle of, 105, 107, 273

Yucay, valley of, 61

Yungay, battle of, 105, 198, 272

Yupanqui, Inca emperor, 9


Zaldua, President of Colombia, 479

Zaruma, plateau of, 288, 291

Zenufana (Antioquia), 407

[Pg 514]

The Story of the Nations.

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The subjects of the different volumes have been planned to cover connecting and, as far as possible, consecutive epochs or periods, so that the set when completed will present in a comprehensive narrative the chief events in the great Story of the Nations; but it is, of course, not always practicable to issue the several volumes in their chronological order.

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GREECE. Prof. Jas. A. Harrison.
ROME. Arthur Gilman.
THE JEWS. Prof. James K. Hosmer.
CHALDEA. Z. A. Ragozin.
GERMANY. S. Baring-Gould.
NORWAY. Hjalmar H. Boyesen.
SPAIN. Rev. E. E. and Susan Hale.
HUNGARY. Prof. A. Vámbéry.
CARTHAGE. Prof. Alfred J. Church.
THE SARACENS. Arthur Gilman.
THE MOORS IN SPAIN. Stanley Lane-Poole.
THE NORMANS. Sarah Orne Jewett.
PERSIA. S. G. W. Benjamin.
ANCIENT EGYPT. Prof. Geo. Rawlinson.
ALEXANDER'S EMPIRE. Prof. J. P. Mahaffy.
ASSYRIA. Z. A. Ragozin.
THE GOTHS. Henry Bradley.
IRELAND. Hon. Emily Lawless.
TURKEY. Stanley Lane-Poole.
MEDIÆVAL FRANCE. Prof. Gustave Masson.
HOLLAND. Prof. J. Thorold Rogers.
MEXICO. Susan Hale.
PHŒNICIA. George Rawlinson.
THE HANSA TOWNS. Helen Zimmern.
EARLY BRITAIN. Prof. Alfred J. Church.
RUSSIA. W. R. Morfill.
SCOTLAND. John Mackintosh.
SWITZERLAND. R. Stead and Mrs. A. Hug.
PORTUGAL. H. Morse-Stephens.
SICILY. E. A. Freeman.
POLAND. W. R. Morfill.
PARTHIA. Geo. Rawlinson.
JAPAN. David Murray.
AUSTRALASIA. Greville Tregarthen.
VENICE. Alethea Wiel.
THE CRUSADES. T. S. Archer and C. L. Kingsford.
VEDIC INDIA. Z. A. Ragozin.
BOHEMIA. C. E. Maurice.
CANADA. J. G. Bourinot.
THE BALKAN STATES. William Miller.
THE BRITISH EMPIRE. Alfred T. Story. Two vols.
THE FRANKS. Lewis Sergeant.
THE PEOPLE OF ENGLAND. Justin McCarthy, M.P. Two vols.
AUSTRIA. Sidney Whitman.
CHINA. Robt. K. Douglass.
MODERN SPAIN. Major Martin A. S. Hume.
MODERN ITALY. Pietro Orsi.
THE THIRTEEN COLONIES. Helen A. Smith. Two vols.
WALES AND CORNWALL. Owen M. Edwards. Net $1.35.
MEDIÆVAL INDIA. Stanley Lane-Poole.
BUDDHIST INDIA. T. W. Rhys-Davids.

Heroes of the Nations.

A series of biographical studies of the lives and work of a number of representative historical characters about whom have gathered the great traditions of the Nations to which they belonged, and who have been accepted, in many instances, as types of the several National ideals. With the life of each typical character will be presented a picture of the National conditions surrounding him during his career.

The narratives are the work of writers who are recognized authorities on their several subjects, and, while thoroughly trustworthy as history, will present picturesque and dramatic "stories" of the Men and of the events connected with them.

To the Life of each "Hero" will be given one duodecimo volume, handsomely printed in large type, provided with maps and adequately illustrated according to the special requirements of the several subjects.

Nos. 1-32, each $1.50 
Half leather 1.75 
No. 33 and following Nos., each
(by mail $1.50, net 1.35)
Half leather (by mail, $1.75) net 1.60 

For full list of volumes see next page.


NELSON. By W. Clark Russell.
PERICLES. By Evelyn Abbott.
THEODORIC THE GOTH. By Thomas Hodgkin.
JULIUS CÆSAR. By W. Warde Fowler.
WYCLIF. By Lewis Sergeant.
NAPOLEON. By W. O'Connor Morris.
CICERO. By J. L. Strachan-Davidson.
LOUIS XIV. By Arthur Hassall.
CHARLES XII. By R. Nisbet Bain.
LORENZO DE' MEDICI. By Edward Armstrong.
JEANNE D'ARC. By Mrs. Oliphant.
ROBERT THE BRUCE. By Sir Herbert Maxwell.
HANNIBAL. By W. O'Connor Morris.
ULYSSES S. GRANT. By William Conant Church.
ROBERT E. LEE. By Henry Alexander White.
THE CID CAMPEADOR. By H. Butler Clarke.
SALADIN. By Stanley Lane-Poole.
BISMARCK. By J. W. Headlam.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT. By Benjamin I. Wheeler.
OLIVER CROMWELL. By Charles Firth.
RICHELIEU. By James B. Perkins.
DANIEL O'CONNELL. By Robert Dunlop.
SAINT LOUIS (Louis IX. of France). By Frederick Perry.
LORD CHATHAM. By Walford Davis Green.
OWEN GLYNDWR. By Arthur G. Bradley. $1.35 net.
HENRY V. By Charles L. Kingsford. $1.35 net.
EDWARD I. By Edward Jenks. $1.35 net.
AUGUSTUS CÆSAR. By J. B. Firth. $1.35 net.
WELLINGTON. By W. O'Connor Morris

Other volumes in preparation are:

MOLTKE. By Spencer Wilkinson.
JUDAS MACCABÆUS. By Israel Abrahams.
SOBIESKI. By F. A. Pollard.
GREGORY VII. By F. Urquhart.
MAHOMET. By D. S. Margoliouth.

G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS, Publishers,
New York,                                           London.


1. Images have been moved from the middle of a paragraph to the closest paragraph break.

2. The punctuation in the idex was made consistent.

3. The following misprints have been corrected:

"COLUMBIA" corrected to "COLOMBIA" (page x)
"slaughterd" corrected to "slaughtered" (page 43)
"agressive" corrected to "aggressive" (page 286)
"recalcitant" corrected to "recalcitrant" (page 296)
"stategist" corrected to "strategist" (page 375)
"familes" corrected to "families" (page 422)
"succeded" corrected to "succeeded" (page 460)
"surborned" corrected to "suborned" (page 464)
"Gautemala" corrected to "Guatemala" (page 491)
"Bogatá" corrected to "Bogotá" (page 508)

4. Other than the corrections listed above, printer's inconsistencies in spelling, punctuation, hyphenation, and ligature usage have been retained.













Hellenica World