Families in War and Peace: Chile from Colony to Nation
Reconquest and War to the Death: Patriot and Royalist Families Face Sanctions and Separation
Chapter 2 draws upon petitions, intercepted letters, military communiqués, and courts martial to explore how families mobilized politically and experienced the impact of war from 1814 to 1823. While some patriot leaders escaped over the Andes, others remained in Chile to face the restoration of Spanish rule in 1814. The wives of those imprisoned on suspicion of having participated in the independence movement denounced the tyranny of royal officials in terms of failed paternalism. But as patriot forces gained the upper hand after 1817, they carried out similar tactics that targeted not only known royalist activists but also their relatives. Particularly in southern Chile, where the conflict became as much a civil war as anti-imperial struggle, royalist civilians defied prohibitions against corresponding with the enemy. They sent letters in an effort to stay in touch with their loved ones, separated by voluntary or forced migrations, but faced trials for espionage.