The Chilean people are celebrating their Independence Day on September 18, and you are invited to the party! And what a party it is! Like most Latin American countries, the celebrations for the ‘Fiestas Patrias’, as it is called locally, include parades, nationwide holidays, and dancing, but Chile takes it up a notch, with celebrations that begin even before Independence Day.
A small country, Chile was under the rule of the Spanish Empire for 300 long years. By the 18th century, an atmosphere of independence was gaining ground — the United States threw off British rule and Northern South America was fighting for freedom for New Granada. These examples lit a desire for independence in the Chilean people, too, a desire which was further compounded by their mismanagement under a corrupt Spanish-appointed governor, Francisco Antonio García Carrasco. In October 1808, he was caught stealing smuggled clothes from a British whaling warship and he caused the deaths of its captain and some crew members, fanning the flames of revolutionary thought among the Chileans.
Further spurring on the independence movement was France’s invasion of Spain and Portugal in 1808. French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte then installed his brother on the Spanish throne, imprisoning King Charles IV and his heir, Ferdinand VII. The colonies rebelled, in part because they did not want to pay taxes to the French government.
Some countries like Argentina and Ecuador chose a middle ground, declaring themselves independent until Ferdinand VII could take back the Spanish throne. Chile took the same route, and declared conditional independence from Spain on September 18, 1810, although only gaining total independence a decade later, after a drawn-out war. Nevertheless, because an important first step was taken on this day, Chileans have designated September 18 as their official Independence Day.
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According to nationaltoday.com. Source of photos: internet