Plan of Santiago, Chile, published shortly after its independence.
Plan of the city of Santiago, Chile, with a view of the surrounding countryside including a canal extending from the Maypo (Maipo) to the Mapocho rivers. Items are numbered for identification in key within image. Cartographic elements include compass rose and some topographical features.
The map appeared in Travels into Chile, over the Andes, in the years 1820 and 1821, with some sketches of the productions and agriculture; mines and metallurgy; inhabitants, history, and other features, of America; particularly of Chile, and Arauco.
Chilean Independence--Modernizing Santiago
Prior to Chilean Independence, in the last part of the 18th Century, there was a push to modernize the City and its institutions. In 1767, the corregidor Luis Manuel de Zañartu, began construction of the Calicanto Bridge, effectively allowing the city to join La Chimbato north of the river. At the same time, construction began on the river embankments to prevent overflows of the Mapocho River. In 1780, Governor Agustín de Jáuregui hired the Italian architect Joaquín Toesca, who would design, among other important works, the façade of the cathedral, the Palacio de La Moneda, the canal San Carlos, and the final construction of the embankments during the government of Ambrosio O'Higgins. These important works were opened permanently in 1798. The O'Higgins government also oversaw the opening of the road to Valparaíso in 1791, which connected the capital with the country's main port.
On September 10, 1810, the First Government Junta in Santiago was proclaimed, beginning the process of establishing the independence of Chile. The city, which became the capital of the new nation, was threatened by various events, especially the nearby military actions.
The royal government lasted until 1817, when the Army of the Andes secured victory in the battle of Chacabuco, reinstating the patriot government in Santiago. The Spanish army gained new victories in 1818 and headed for Santiago, but their march was definitively halted on the plains of the Maipo River, during the Battle of Maipú on 5 April, 1818.
With the end of the war, Bernardo O'Higgins was accepted as Supreme Director, recommencing a number of public works in Santiago.
Two new earthquakes hit the city, one on 19 November 1822, and another on 20 February, 1835. These two events, however, did not prevent the city's rapid, continued growth. In 1820, the city reported 46,000 inhabitants, while in 1854, the population reached 69,018.