The Cultural Significance of British Recognition of Chile’s Independence, 1817–1831
Great Britain formally recognised the Independence of Chile in 1831. This was the outcome of a long process of formal negotiations that began as early as 1813, when the first Chilean diplomatic envoys were sent to London to get support from Britain and to open up commercial relations. Such negotiations took place in a context of warfare both in Europe and Spanish America. Chileans did not initially succeed in the negotiations because Britain declared its neutrality in the conflict between Spain and its colonies and did not accept to negotiate with Chilean envoys as representatives of a state that did not exist. This chapter analyses the diplomatic negotiations between British and Chilean state actors about the recognition of Chile’s independence, focusing in the contested images and representations about Chile that circulated in the period and the role played by the United States.
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