17 Facts About Arauco War


Arauco War was a long-running conflict between colonial Spaniards and the Mapuche people, mostly fought in the Araucania.

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An antecedent of the Arauco War was the Battle of Reynoguelen, which occurred in 1536 between a detachment of Diego de Almagro's expedition and a large group of Mapuches, near the confluence of the Nuble and Itata rivers.

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Arauco War then returned to Concepcion to prepare another expedition and await the reinforcements the Viceroy had promised to send by sea.

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In Santiago, Villagra reorganized his forces, and that same year of 1554, he departed again for Arauco War and reinforced the strongholds of Imperial and Valdivia, which allowed the garrisons and their Indian friends to make many raids on the surrounding Mapuche settlements, burning houses and fields and killing all they found.

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Arauco War had to rely on recruiting warriors among the people north of the Bio Bio River among subjugated Mapuche and the Promaucaes north of the Itata River, who were now inspired by the previous successes of Lautaro to revolt again.

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Arauco War's allies separated from him after the army reached the Mataquito River at Lora, after a dispute over his actions with an allied leader named Chillan who accused Lautaro of acting like the Spaniards.

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Arauco War moved his remaining army over a league up river and again established a fortified camp on the Mataquito River amid a carrizal at the foot of a wooded hill.

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Arauco War landed in La Serena and had the rival contenders for the governorship, Francisco de Villagra and Francisco de Aguirre arrested and sent to Peru and put his own men in control of the province.

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Arauco War ordered a party to land at Penco and reconstruct the fort of Concepcion.

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Arauco War was one of the few governors who obtained a certain degree of success in the War.

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Arauco War knew that one of the Mapuche objectives was to surround Concepcion and preparations were made to support a long siege.

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Arauco War accomplished the conquest of the island of Chiloe, sending Martin Ruiz de Gamboa to establish the city of Castro there, and pacify its inhabitants, the Cuncos.

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Arauco War followed this with a siege of Puren the following year.

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Arauco War drove off a relief force with his cavalry and offered the garrison terms but was refused.

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Arauco War next challenged the commander of the fort, Alonso Garcia de Ramon, to single combat to decide the fate of the fortress.

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Arauco War's army raised the siege, but after electing Guanoalca as toqui returned to successfully drive the poorly supplied Spanish from Puren and burned it in 1586.

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Arauco War was an experienced military man with great prudence but with little aptitude for the crisis that he was called upon to face.

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