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Magallania (Punta Arenas)

On-line version ISSN 0718-2244

Abstract

MARTINIC B, Mateo. Rewriting the history: Thoughts about the knowledge and domain of the northeastern territory of Magallanes (1870-1900). Magallania [online]. 2016, vol.44, n.2, pp.5-36. ISSN 0718-2244.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-22442016000200001.

In 1843 the Republic of Chile took possession of the Strait of Magellan and its territories, restoring a right that started with the Spanish conquer (XVI century). This occupation was initially carried out by guards of sovereignty at Santa Ana point (eastern coast of Brunswick peninsula), afterwards moved (1848) to Sandy point. The establishment of Punta Arenas city then was used as a base for the colonization of the vast surrounding territory. This purpose, though, was made difficult by the constitution of a military prison, and this situation could only be reverted from 186870 onward. Then the opportunities given to free migration and the good commanding of Governor Oscar Viel (1867-74) made possible a population increase, the arrival of settlers and preliminary economic activities. Particularly, this encouraged the expansion over the extended hinterland located north and northwest of the colony up to the natural limit of the River Santa Cruz. Baqueanos or fieldsmen were factors of this phenomenon and opened pathways with territory information for traders and scientific explorers. Later in a second initial phase in 1878 and extended to the end of the XIX century a stable and permanent colonizing occupation was done through the introduction and development of extensive sheep breeding, that in a few years became the main structure of economy and general development of the Southernmost Patagonia territory. Meanwhile the Chilean and Argentinean jurisdictions were defined for the Southern geographic realm and the old and quiet relation with the Aónikenk people was sustained. Certain comments are suggested in relation to each topic, and for the geographic knowledge as an element of territorial possession and regarding the alternatives that the national jurisdiction definitions had for the involved countries, situation handled with the Treaty of Limits of 1881.

Keywords : geographic knowledge; territory; economic exploitation; adventurers; explorers; Patagonia; indigenes.

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