Conclusion: Thirty-five Years On
Chile enjoyed a period of progress that left the republic at the end of the period one of the big three in South America. Despite occasional ups and downs, the economy, and particularly the import-expert and related sectors, expanded steadily. Chile did have a powerful and self-confident elite that gave the country notably better government than found elsewhere in Spanish America. In 1880, the famous Chilean historian and publicist Benjamin Vicuna Mackenna noted the close connections between Chile and Britain. He drew attention to the relationship between British and Chilean interest rates, the role of British loans in financing railways, and how British capital helped work the country’s mines and banks. Britons with capital in Chile showed little interest in large-scale manufacturing of necessary equipment for working their mines though they did buy equipment from the small foundries their fellow countrymen established in Valparaiso and elsewhere.