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Chungará (Arica)

versión On-line ISSN 0717-7356


HIDALGO L, Jorge. CIVILIZATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: THE "DESCRIPTION OF TARAPACÁ" BY ANTONIO O'BRIEN, 1765. Chungará (Arica) [online]. 2009, vol.41, n.1, pp.5-44. ISSN 0717-7356.

The purpose of this paper is to present the "Description of Tarapacá" written by O'Brien in 1765and to analyze the enlightenment policies of the Bourbon monarchs in Spain and their repercussions in the new world. The ideas of reconquering America, civilizing the indigenous population, and fostering the economy especially mining activities, in order to increase fiscal revenue permeate the mind of political authorities. In this context, arose an interest in the silver mine of Huantajaya located on the coast of Tarapacá. This mine was well-known for its wealth but did not yield the expected results. Henee, the political authorities needed to obtain reliable information about it and how production could be improved. This was Antonio O'Brien's mission, whose biographical data together with references from his intellectual legacy -manuscripts, maps, and plans- are given here. Today, such data and references constitute indispensable sources for the study of the province of Tarapacá in the XVIII century. Off al the O'Brien texts the most comprehensive is the "Description of Tarapacá", which is published with name, place, and subject matter indices. For the first time, this colonial text is published here in full.

Palabras clave : Tarapacá; mining; desert; irrigation; age of enlightenment in America.

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