chapter  1
9 Pages

Chile in 1851

WithJohn Mayo

Chile’s isolation was another factor assisting it in achieving and then maintaining constitutional government. Strategically irrelevant and offering security and equal opportunity to foreigners, Chile was able to attempt to settle its own problems in its own way and without regard to foreign pressures. The beneficiaries of Chile’s order and stability, then, were only a small part of the population, in the sense of being able to take advantage of this situation to better their condition. By 1851 Chile was clearly demonstrating its capacity to enter the growing international market. The continual, and perhaps natural, Chilean concentration on the matters they understood, combined with the small social prestige attached to the occupation of merchants and Chile’s continuing lack of a merchant marine and modern expertise, all created a situation in which there was a need for the foreigner. The death or retirement of the original Britons led to no diminution in British interest or influence in Chile; indeed, both increased.