A DISRUPTED DESERT, A BUDDING REPUBLIC: CAUDILLISMO AND POLITICAL STRUGGLES IN SOUTHERN PERU (TARAPACÁ 1842-1858)
UN DESIERTO CONVULSIONADO, UNA REPÚBLICA EN CIERNES: CAUDILLISMO Y PUGNAS POLÍTICAS EN EL EXTREMO SUR DEL PERÚ (TARAPACÁ 1842-1858)
Luis Castro Castro
The Battle of Tarapacá in 1842 was a socio-political turning point for the Tarapacá Province as it showed the consolidation of saltpeter businessmen as a corporate group with distinct economic and political interests. Eventually and rather hastily, this made them clash with the remnants of the former dominant group, whose origins lay in silver mining and agriculture. In this context, this article aims to describe and analyze a rarely addressed period and an absolutely forgotten process, namely, how the groups with power of the Tarapacá Province understood and what stance they took on the constant revolts and revolutions in Peru between 1840 and 1850, where the unique scenario, on the one hand, strained the local dynamics with the general processes and, on the other, aggravated the continuing conflict arising from the efforts of the Tarapacá inhabitants to promote the saltpeter industry and the emergence of a local caudillismo willing to fight for small amounts of power.