Permanent war on Peru’s periphery: frontier identity and the politics of conflict in 17th century Chile
Berger, Eugene Clark
HISTORY PERMANENT WAR ON PERU’S PERIPHERY: FRONTIER IDENTITY AND THE POLITICS OF CONFLICT IN 17TH-CENTURY CHILE EUGENE CLARK BERGER Dissertation under the direction of Professor Jane Landers This dissertation argues that rather than making a concerted effort to stabilize the Spanish-indigenous frontier in the south of the colony, colonists and indigenous residents of 17th century Chile purposefully perpetuated the conflict to benefit personally from the spoils of war and use to their advantage the resources sent by viceregal authorities to fight it. Using original documents I gathered in research trips to Chile and Spain, I am able to reconstruct the debates that went on both sides of the Atlantic over funds, protection from pirates, and indigenous slavery that so defined Chile’s formative 17th century. While my conclusions are unique, frontier residents from Paraguay to northern New Spain were also dealing with volatile indigenous alliances, threats from European enemies, and questions about how their tiny settlements could get and keep the attention of the crown. I also hope to shed new light on what the residents of the frontiers themselves were saying about their world, rather than relying on the important but somewhat muddled impressions of historians and statesman who have national legacies in mind.