Reclutas forzados y desertores de la Patria: el bajo pueblo chileno en la guerra de la Independencia, 1810-1814


  • Leonardo León Solís Universidad de Chile


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This article presents a detailed account of the conflictive relationship that evolved between the chilean lower classes and the elite during the first phase of the war of Independence (1810-1814). Based upon a wide range of documents, the author demonstrates that the deep schims which divided the social body during the nineteenth century had its roots in tho se early days of the Republic. It focuses its atention on the military aspects, examining both the forced recruitmen of peasants and inquilinos from the haciendas and its subsequent dessertion from the warring armies. Neither patriots nor monarchists, the lower classes showed their determination to remain outside the civil war. Thus, they became an important third party in the conflict, under the guise of montoneros and bandits, that continued fighting against the national authorities well after the Independence wars had ended.