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The Incas briefly extended their empire into what is now northern Chile, but the Mapuche (or Araucanians as they were known by the Spaniards) successfully resisted many attempts by the Inca Empire to subjugate them, despite their lack of state organization.They fought against the Sapa Inca Tupac Yupanqui and his army.Conquest took place gradually, and the Europeans suffered repeated setbacks.A massive Mapuche insurrection that began in 1553 resulted in Valdivia's death and the destruction of many of the colony's principal settlements.The next Europeans to reach Chile were Diego de Almagro and his band of Spanish conquistadors, who came from Peru in 1535 seeking gold.

Currently it also holds the lowest homicide rate per 100,000 people in South America.

Subsequent major insurrections took place in 1598 and in 1655.

Each time the Mapuche and other native groups revolted, the southern border of the colony was driven northward.

The abolition of slavery by the Spanish crown in 1683 was done in recognition that enslaving the Mapuche intensified resistance rather than cowing them into submission.

Despite royal prohibitions, relations remained strained from continual colonialist interference.

Spain conquered and colonized Chile in the mid-16th century, replacing Inca rule in northern and central Chile, but failing to conquer the independent Mapuche who inhabited south-central Chile.

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