Following a reflection of a couple of years ago, in the context of my old job at the UNDP, I made a first version of a historical examination of the construction of the territory in Chile, under the point of view of the evolution of the concentration -which gives, besides, a perspective that may be of interest to periodise our history.
The paper argues that we can recognize at least the following periods:
1540s-1598: The Conquest, characterized by a concentration on what is now the south of the country. The period ends with the rebellion of 1598, which involves the abandonment of what had been the main effort of the colony
1598-1700’s: A period where the only place of concentration of social and demographic was important to James. More that most of the activity occurred in Santiago and its surroundings, although in fact in part importance was near, what is important is that there is no other center relevant.
1700’s-1850’s-a Period of deconcentration. From the beginning of the founding of the bourbons of cities until the mid-NINETEENTH century it is observed a strong growth (population and economic) of the different territories, where Santiago goes (returns) to be at most primus inter pares
1850’s-1970’s: The classic period of ‘concentration’, the first in the pair Santiago-Valparaíso and then in Santiago. That is the area that is growing, while many others stagnate. The weight of the centre, and in particular of Santiago, is on the increase throughout this period
1970’s-present. What characterizes more clearly the period is the excess of the increase of the concentration. While this does not decrease, the weight of Santiago continues to rise. If this is in addition to the fact of the substantial growth of the country in the last few decades, which has manifested itself in the various territories, we find a dynamic very different to the previous one.
In general, what you try to show the article is that for a part of what is still a common representation of the situation of the territories (a centre thriving against some territories in arrears) does not account for the current reality, and in fact it is a phenomenon that has not characterized Chile during much of its history. It is not something perennial.
Here’s the link.