"Timeline" Continued...

Issue: "A warmer Chile," Nov. 9, 2002


The Portuguese push out of Brazil forces from Holland that had occupied big chunks of the region.


Jesuit missions in Paraguay and Argentina set up the first South American printing presses with type the Guarani Indians make under Jesuit supervision.


Brazil's first printing press is set up, but the government soon shuts it down and does not replace it until 1808 when the King of Portugal transfers his court to Brazil.


French forces sack Rio de Janeiro and hold it for ransom.


Jesuits in Spanish and Portuguese colonies face political opposition. Portuguese King Joseph's chief minister, Pombal, drives 600 Jesuits from Portuguese domains in 1759 so as to fortify royal authority. In 1767, King Charles III of Spain expels 2,200 Jesuits from Spanish America, even though they led education and developed a profitable agricultural system. Seeing the Jesuits as a rival source of power and wealth, he auctions off their best properties and collects the proceeds.


Complaints about heavy taxes and corrupt officials lead to "the Conspiracy of Minas," a failed attempt to overthrow the Brazilian government.


South America's first daily newspaper-Lima's Diario Erudito, Economio y Comercial-begins publication.


Proud and independent criollos, colonial-born whites, grow increasingly resentful of the heavy taxes, restrictions on trade, and Spanish-born whites who sit atop the social and political hierarchy. The Declaration of the Rights of Man promulgated by the Constituent Assembly in Paris, translated into Spanish, and printed this year, also fuels the fire.


South Americans rise in rebellion when they hear that Napoleon is installing his brother Joseph Bonaparte on the Spanish throne. At first, Spanish royalists easily crush the rebellions.


The revolutions snowball into a series of successful wars that leave almost all of South America free of European rule by 1824. Simon Bolivar-called El Libertador (The Liberator)-leads the way to freedom for Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela in the north, while the brilliant Argentine general Jose de San Martin leads an army to help win independence for Chile and Peru. Most countries eventually abolish slavery, Indian tributes, and mandatory tithes to the Catholic Church, and open up free commerce.


The Portuguese king, Joao VI, after residing at Rio de Janeiro with his court for 13 years, returns to Lisbon, leaving his son Pedro as regent of the colony. The Congress of Portugal orders Pedro to return to Portugal, but he makes the historic declaration "eu fico" ("I stay") on Jan. 9, 1822. He proclaims Brazil's independence and crowns himself emperor. The legislature forces him out in 1831, and his 5-year-old son, Pedro II, succeeds him. The Additional Act of 1834 gives the provinces autonomy and their own legislative assemblies.


U.S. President James Monroe issues the Monroe Doctrine, warning European powers to keep their hands off the new nations, most of which are unprepared for independent rule. Ransacked and bleeding from war, with little money, many countries resort to international loans-mostly from England-and run up debt. Most citizens are illiterate Indians, slaves, ex-slaves, and mestizos tied to the land by bondage or debt. Oligarchies of wealthy landowners rule many South American countries.


After a series of weak governments in Argentina, Juan Manuel de Rosas, a wealthy landowner with his own army, seizes power. General Justo Jose de Urquiza leads a rebellion to overthrow him in 1852 and becomes the country's first president. In 1862, General Bartolome Mitre becomes the first elected president, and for the first time the Republic of the Plata is called Argentina. The Mitre administration builds schools and railways and helps start mail and telegraph services.


In Chile, a new constitution establishes free elections but also installs on voters a property requirement and literacy test that last until 1874. Landowners hold firm political control for over 100 years after independence.


Millions of European settlers-from Italy, Spain, Poland, the Middle East, France, Russian, Austria-Hungary, and Germany-pour into South America, attracted by rich lands and familiar, temperate climate. From 1887 to 1948, 6 million Europeans, mainly Spaniards and Italians, land in Argentina alone. Many Germans, Italians, and Poles settle in southern Chile and Brazil. The economy picks up and the number of banks and railroads mushrooms.


The Ecuadorean Congress ratifies a new constitution making Catholicism Ecuador's only legal religion. In 1863, a concordat gives the Vatican undisputed control of all education, freedom to publish papal bulls without state interference, and restoration of ecclesiastical courts. In 1869, President Moreno grants citizenship only to practicing Catholics.


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