Territorial Conflicts, Industry, and State Formation in Chile’s Southern Frontera 1866-1918

Amie Campos
UC San Diego

This dissertation, “Territorial Conflicts, Industry, and State Formation in Chile’s Southern Frontera 1866-1910″ is an agrarian and economic history of the colonization of the Araucanía region of Southern Chile beginning in 1866 when Chile established its first colonization laws, and concluding in 1910. Using national and local archival sources, it seeks to understand the ways in which the Chilean state, as represented by engineers and government bureaucrats, developed and enacted its visions of economic progress. Local indigenous tribes were significantly impacted by these land transformations, as many communities were forced off their lands and in some cases found no other recourse than to navigate the long, bureaucratic process of lawsuits to regain their lost lands. Although this study fully recognizes the violence that was required to establish control over the region, it contends that an equally important part of this process was the state’s deployment of techniques that have usually been seen as relatively neutral in both their intent and impact upon state-peasant relations. In this way, the project makes the historiographical push to go beyond the military histories of the region to think about the day to day interactions between engineers, bureaucrats, and indigenous peoples.