In the 19th and 20th centuries, the close ties between Chile and Great Britain shaped the development of both countries: British sailors, merchants, engineers, teachers and many others helped Chile and other South American nations to gain independence, establish trade routes, build railroads and canals, dig mines, and staff schools; conversely, Chilean nitrates, copper, coal, guano and other raw materials were essential to the Industrial Revolution in Britain. As the leading commercial port along the Pacific coast before the development of the Panama canal, Valparaíso played a central role in the history of globalization. Therefore UNESCO declared Valparaíso a World Heritage Site in 2003, calling the port city “an exceptional testimony to the early phase of globalisation in the late 19th century, when it became the leading commercial port on the sea routes of the Pacific coast of South America.”
This site serves as a hub to bring together diverse areas of research, sharing recent investigations into the longstanding cultural, economic, and historical relationships between Britain and Chile, as well as information about the British settler communities within Chile. The Anglo-Chilean relationship illuminates the broader history of cultural exchange between Britain and Latin America.
Our sister site, Anglophonechile.archive.org (also linked through the menu above), provides a digital archive of several of the Anglophone newspapers published in nineteenth and early twentieth century Chile. These newspapers bring to life the strong historical ties between Britain and Latin America, enabling researchers to broaden and deepen our understanding of the global history of travel, migration, and exchange. Since the papers were produced by distinct subsets of the Anglophone colony–principally English, Scottish, and American publishers–it is not surprising that both national and regional identities, as well as other intersectional identities including religion, ethnicity, and gender, are consistent themes.