these hardships with a fortitude and patience which go far to counterbalance his faults. Recent reforms in education, &c., together with the growth of manufacturing industries, are slowly leading to improvements in the material condition of the common people.
The political organization of the country has not been favourable to the development of artistic or scientific tastes, though Chile has produced political leaders, statesmen and polemical writers in abundance. Historical literature has been enriched by the works of Diego Barros Arana, Benjamin Vicuña Mackenna, Miguel Luis Amunátegui, Carlos Walker Martinez, and others. One of the earliest native histories of Chile was that of Abbé J. Ignacio Molina, an English translation of which has long been a recognized authority; it is full of errors, however, and should be studied only in connexion with modern standard works. Among these must be included Claude Gay’s monumental work, Historia General de Chile, and Sir C. R. Markham’s admirable studies on special parts of the subject. In science, nearly all the important work has been done by foreigners, among whom are Charles Darwin, Claude Gay, Eduard Pöppig, Rudolph A. Philippi and Hans Steffen, who deserves special mention for his excellent geographical work in the southern Andes.
Divisions and Towns.—Chile contains 23 provinces and one territory, which are subdivided into 75 departments, 855 subdelegations and 3068 districts. The territory north of the Bio-Bio was originally divided into 13 provinces, besides which the Spaniards held Chiloé, Juan Fernandez and Valdivia, the latter being merely a military outpost. During the years which have elapsed since the War of Independence the territory south of the Bio-Bio has been effectively occupied and divided into six provinces, Chiloé and the neighbouring islands and mainland to the east became a province, and four provinces in the northern deserts were acquired from Bolivia and Peru. In addition to this, Chile claimed Patagonia and the adjacent islands, and has finally secured not only the forested strip of territory west of the Andes, but also a large piece of the Patagonian mainland, south of lat. 52° S., the larger part of Tierra del Fuego, and all the western islands. This extensive region, comprising an area of 71,127 sq. m., has been provisionally organized as the territory of Magallanes. For a list of provinces, their areas, reduced from official returns, their populations, and the names and populations of their capitals, see the bottom of this page.
|Census 1895.||Est. 1902.|
|Magallanes (Ter.) ||71,127||5,170||Punta Arenas||3,227||8,327|
|Total according to|
|With 10% added for|
In addition to the provincial capitals there are few towns of importance. Among these may be mentioned:—
|1895.||Est. 1902.||1895.||Est. 1902.|
|Los Andes (Santa Rosa)||5,504||6,854||Arauco||3,008||3,334|
|Vina del Mar||10,651||. .||Mulchen||4,268||4,332|
The population is not concentrated in large cities, but is well distributed through the cultivated parts of the country. The large number of small towns, important as ports, market towns, or manufacturing centres, is a natural result. Many of the foregoing towns are only villages in size, but their importance is not to be measured in this way. Arica is one of the oldest ports on the coast, and has long been a favoured port for Bolivian trade because the passes through the Cordilleras at that point are not so difficult. Moreover, the railway from Arica to La Paz will still further add to its importance, though it may not greatly increase its population. Another illustration is that of Vichuquen, province of Curicó, situated on a tide-water lake on the coast, which is the centre of a large salt-making industry. Still another instance is that of Castro, the oldest settlement and former capital of Chiloé, which after a century of decay is increasing again through the efforts to develop the industries of that island.
Communications.—Railway construction in Chile dates from 1850, when work was begun on a short line between Copiapó and the port of Caldera, in the Atacama desert region. Since then lines have been built by private companies from the coast at several points to inland mining centres. One of these, running from Antofagasta to the Caracoles district, was afterwards extended to Oruro, Bolivia, and has become a commercial route of international importance, with a total length of 574 m., 224 of which are in Chile. It should be remembered that many of these railway enterprises of the desert region originated at a time when the territory belonged to Bolivia and Peru. The first railway to be constructed in central Chile was the government line from Valparaiso to Santiago, 115 m. in length, which was opened to traffic in 1863. About the same time the government began the construction of a longitudinal trunk line running southward from Santiago midway between the Andes and the Coast range, and connecting with all the provincial capitals and prominent ports. This is the only railway “system” it is possible for Chile to have. The civil war of 1891 called attention to the need of a similar inland route through the northern provinces. A branch of the Valparaiso and Santiago line runs to Los Andes, and its extension across the Andes connects with the Argentine lines from Buenos Aires to Mendoza and the Chilean frontier—all sections together forming a transcontinental route about 850 m. in length. The Transandine section of this route crosses the Cordillera through the