Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the most mobile of the combat arms, an individual soldier in the cavalry is known by a number of designations such as cavalryman, dragoon or trooper. The designation of cavalry was not usually given to any military forces that used animals, such as camels. Cavalry had the advantage of improved mobility, and a man fighting from horseback had the advantages of greater height, another element of horse mounted warfare is the psychological impact a mounted soldier can inflict on an opponent. In Europe cavalry became increasingly armoured, and eventually became known for the mounted knights, in the period between the World Wars, many cavalry units were converted into motorized infantry and mechanized infantry units, or reformed as tank troops. Most cavalry units that are horse-mounted in modern armies serve in purely ceremonial roles, modern usage of the term generally refers to specialist units equipped with tanks or aircraft.
The shock role, traditionally filled by heavy cavalry, is filled by units with the armored designation. Before the Iron Age, the role of cavalry on the battlefield was largely performed by light chariots, the chariot originated with the Sintashta-Petrovka culture in Central Asia and spread by nomadic or semi-nomadic Indo-Iranians. The power of mobility given by mounted units was recognized early on, Cavalry techniques were an innovation of equestrian nomads of the Central Asian and Iranian steppe and pastoralist tribes such as the Persian Parthians and Sarmatians. The photograph above left shows Assyrian cavalry from reliefs of 865–860 BC, at this time, the men had no spurs, saddle cloths, or stirrups. Fighting from the back of a horse was more difficult than mere riding. The cavalry acted in pairs, the reins of the archer were controlled by his neighbours hand. Even at this time, cavalry used swords, shields. The sculpture implies two types of cavalry, but this might be a simplification by the artist, Later images of Assyrian cavalry show saddle cloths as primitive saddles, allowing each archer to control his own horse.
As early as 490 BC a breed of horses was bred in the Nisaean plain in Media to carry men with increasing amounts of armour. However, chariots remained in use for purposes such as carrying the victorious general in a Roman triumph. The southern Britons met Julius Caesar with chariots in 55 and 54 BC, the last mention of chariot use in battle was by the Caledonians at the Mons Graupius, in 84 AD. During the classical Greek period cavalry were usually limited to citizens who could afford expensive war-horses
Rimfire is a method of ignition for metallic firearm cartridges as well as the cartridges themselves. It is called rimfire because the pin of a gun strikes and crushes the bases rim to ignite the primer. Once the rim of the cartridge has been struck and the bullet discharged, while many other different cartridge priming methods have been tried since the 19th century, only rimfire technology and centerfire technology survive today in significant use. Frenchman Louis-Nicolas Flobert invented the first rimfire metallic cartridge in 1845 and his cartridge consisted of a percussion cap with a bullet attached to the top and the idea was to improve the safety of indoor shooting. In English-speaking countries, the Flobert cartridge corresponds to.22 BB, Rimfire cartridges are limited to low pressures because they require a thin case so that the firing pin can crush the rim and ignite the primer. Rimfire cartridges of.44 caliber up to.56 caliber were once common when black powder was used as a propellant, modern rimfire cartridges use smokeless powder which generates much higher pressures and tend to be of.22 caliber or smaller.
Rimfire cartridges are typically inexpensive, primarily due to the inherent cost-efficiency of the ability to manufacture the cartridges in large lots, the price of metals used in the cartridges increased in 2002, the prices of the ammunition further increased in 2012 possibly due to hoarding. The idea of placing a priming compound in the rim of the cartridge evolved from an 1831 patent, by 1845, this had evolved into the Flobert.22 BB Cap, in which the priming compound is distributed just inside the rim. The.22 BB Cap is essentially just a percussion cap with a round ball pressed in the front, intended for use in an indoor gallery target rifle, it used no gunpowder, but relied entirely on the priming compound for propulsion. Its velocities were very low, comparable to an airgun, the next rimfire cartridge was the.22 Short, developed for Smith & Wessons first revolver, in 1857, it used a longer rimfire case and 4 grains of black powder to fire a conical bullet. This led to the.22 Long, with the bullet weight as the short.
This was followed by the.22 Extra Long with a longer than the.22 Long. The.22 Long Rifle is a.22 Long case loaded with the heavier Extra Long bullet intended for performance in the long barrel of a rifle. Larger rimfire calibers were used during the American Civil War in the Henry Repeater, the Spencer Repeater, the Ballard rifle and the Frank Wesson carbine. The early 21st century has seen a revival in interest in rimfire cartridges, a new and increasingly popular rimfire, the 17 HMR is based on a.22 WMR casing with a smaller formed neck which accepts a.17 bullet. The advantages of the 17 HMR over.22 WMR and other rimfire cartridges are its much flatter trajectory, the.17 HM2 is based on the.22 Long Rifle and offers similar performance advantages over its parent cartridge, at a significantly higher cost. While.17 HM2 sells for about four times the cost of.22 Long Rifle ammunition, it is significantly cheaper than most centerfire ammunition. A notable rimfire cartridge that is still in production in Europe and this cartridge can fire a small ball, but is primarily loaded with a small amount of shot, and used in smoothbore guns as a miniature shotgun, or garden gun
Military and commercial producers continue to pursue the goal of caseless ammunition. A cartridge without a bullet is called a blank, One that is completely inert is called a dummy. Some artillery ammunition uses the same concept as found in small arms. In other cases, the shell is separate from the propellant charge. In popular use, the bullet is often misused to refer to a complete cartridge. The cartridge case seals a firing chamber in all directions excepting the bore, a firing pin strikes the primer and ignites it. The primer compound deflagrates, it does not detonate, a jet of burning gas from the primer ignites the propellant. Gases from the burning powder pressurize and expand the case to seal it against the chamber wall and these propellant gases push on the bullet base. In response to pressure, the bullet will move in the path of least resistance which is down the bore of the barrel. After the bullet leaves the barrel, the pressure drops to atmospheric pressure. The case, which had been expanded by chamber pressure.
This eases removal of the case from the chamber, brass is a commonly used case material because it is resistant to corrosion. A brass case head can be work-hardened to withstand the pressures of cartridges. The neck and body portion of a case is easily annealed to make the case ductile enough to allow reforming so that it can be reloaded many times. Steel is used in some plinking ammunition, as well as in military ammunition. Steel is less expensive than brass, but it is not feasible to reload, Military forces typically consider small arms cartridge cases to be disposable, one-time-use devices. However, case weight affects how much ammunition a soldier can carry, steel is more susceptible to contamination and damage so all such cases are varnished or otherwise sealed against the elements. One downside caused by the strength of steel in the neck of these cases is that propellant gas can blow back past the neck
Battle of Nashville
The Battle of Nashville was a two-day battle in the Franklin-Nashville Campaign that represented the end of large-scale fighting west of the coastal states in the American Civil War. In one of the largest victories achieved by the Union Army during the war, Thomas attacked and routed Hoods army, largely destroying it as an effective fighting force. After a brief period of pursuit, Sherman decided to disengage and to conduct instead his March to the Sea, leaving the matter of Hoods army, Hood devised a plan to march into Tennessee and defeat Thomass force while it was geographically divided. He pursued Maj. Gen. John M. Schofields army from Pulaski to Columbia and attempted to intercept and destroy it at Spring Hill. Because of a series of Confederate command miscommunications in the Battle of Spring Hill, Schofield was able to withdraw from Columbia, furious at his failure at Spring Hill, Hood pursued Schofield to the north and encountered the Federals at Franklin behind strong fortifications.
In the Battle of Franklin on November 30, Hood ordered almost 31,000 of his men to assault the Federal works before Schofield could withdraw across the Harpeth River and Nathan Bedford Forrest, and in Missouri against Sterling Price. While Wilsons cavalry had combat experience, most of it had been of the wrong kind at the hands of Nathan Bedford Forrest, John Hunt Morgan and it was composed of garrison troops and railroad guards from Tennessee and Georgia and included eight regiments of United States Colored Troops. Union forces had been constructing defensive works around Nashville since the time the city was occupied in February 1862, by 1864, a 7-mile-long semicircular Union defensive line on the south and west sides of the city protected Nashville from attacks from those directions. The line was studded with forts, the largest being Fort Negley, the trench line was extended to the west after December 1. The Cumberland River formed a defensive barrier on the north. Smiths troops had arrived by river on November 30, and their transports had been escorted by a fleet of tinclad and ironclad gunboats.
Thus, the barrier was well-defended. From east to west the line was manned by the Steedmans division, the XXIII Corps, the IV Corps. Nathan Kimball, Washington Lafayette Elliott, and Samuel Beatty, XXIII Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield, with divisions commanded by Maj. Gen. Darius N. Couch and Brig. Gen. Jacob D. Cox, Detachment of the Army of the Tennessee, John McArthur and Kenner Garrard and Col Jonathan B. Moore, Provisional Detachment, commanded by Maj. Gen. James B, Hoods Army of Tennessee arrived south of the city on December 2 and took up positions facing the Union forces within the city. As he was not nearly enough to assault the Federal fortifications. Rather than repeating his fruitless frontal attack at Franklin, he entrenched and waited, after Thomas had smashed his army against the Confederate entrenchments, Hood could counterattack and take Nashville
Smith & Wesson
Smith & Wesson is a manufacturer of firearms in the United States. The corporate headquarters are based in Springfield, founded in 1852, Smith & Wessons pistols and revolvers have become standard issue to police and armed forces throughout the world, in addition to their popularity among sport shooters. Apart from firearms, Smith & Wesson has been known for the types of ammunition it has introduced over the years. Wesson founded the Smith & Wesson Company in Norwich, Connecticut in 1852 to develop the Volcanic rifle, Smith developed a new Volcanic Cartridge, which he patented in 1854. The Smith & Wesson Company was renamed Volcanic Repeating Arms in 1855, Smith left the company and returned to his native Springfield, Wesson stayed on as plant manager with Volcanic Repeating Arms. As Samuel Colts patent on the revolver was set to expire in 1856 and his research pointed out that a former Colt employee named Rollin White held the patent for a Bored-through cylinder, a component he would need for his invention.
Wesson reconnected with Smith and the two partners approached White to manufacture a newly designed revolver-and-cartridge combination, rather than make White a partner in their company and Wesson paid him a royalty of $0.25 on every revolver that they made. It would become Whites responsibility to defend his patent in any court cases which led to his financial ruin. The orders for the Smith & Wesson Model 1 revolver outpaced the production capabilities. In 1860 demand was so great that Smith & Wesson expanded into a new facility, at the same time, the companys design was being infringed upon by other manufacturers which led to numerous lawsuits filed by Rollin White. In many of these part of the restitution came in the form of the offender being forced to stamp Manufactured for Smith & Wesson on the revolvers in question. Whites vigorous defense of his patent caused a problem for armsmakers in the United States at the time as they could not manufacture cartridge revolvers, at the end of the war the US Government charged White with causing the retardation of arms development in America.
Demand for revolvers declined at the close of the Civil War, in 1870 the company introduced a large frame revolver in heavier calibers than the pocket sized revolvers it had been making. The design was known as the Smith & Wesson Model 3, after an organized campaign by the NRA and NSSF, thousands of retailers and tens of thousands of firearms consumers boycotted Smith & Wesson. On 11 May 2001, Saf-T-Hammer Corporation acquired Smith & Wesson Corp. from Tomkins plc for US$15 million, Saf-T-Hammer assumed US$30 million in debt, bringing the total purchase price to US$45 million. The acquisition of Smith & Wesson was chiefly brokered by Saf-T-Hammer President Bob Scott, after the purchase, Scott became the president of Smith & Wesson to guide the 157-year-old company back to its former standing in the market. On 15 February 2002, the name of the newly formed entity was changed to Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation, about 2006 Smith & Wesson refocused its marketing on big box retailers, according to Smith & Wesson CEO Mike Golden in a 2008 conference call with investors.
In December 2014, Smith & Wesson Holding announced it was paying $130.5 million for Battenfeld Technologies, the company made the acquisition with the eventual intent to merge all its existing Smith & Wesson, M&P and Thompson Center Arms accessories into a single division
George Armstrong Custer
George Armstrong Custer was a United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars. Raised in Michigan and Ohio, Custer was admitted to West Point in 1857, with the outbreak of the Civil War, Custer was called to serve with the Union Army. Custer developed a reputation during the Civil War. He participated in the first major engagement, the First Battle of Bull Run on July 21,1861, near Washington and his association with several important officers helped his career as did his success as a highly effective cavalry commander. He was wounded in the Battle of Culpeper Court House in Virginia on September 13,1863, in 1864, Custer was awarded another star and brevetted to major general rank. At the conclusion of the Appomattox Campaign, in which he and his troops played a role, Custer was present at General Robert E. Lees surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant. After the Civil War, Custer remained a general in the United States Volunteers until they were mustered out in February 1866.
He reverted to his permanent rank of captain and was appointed a lieutenant colonel in the 7th Cavalry Regiment in July 1866 and he was dispatched to the west in 1867 to fight in the American Indian Wars. The battle is known in American history as Custers Last Stand. Custer and his regiment were defeated so decisively at the Little Bighorn that it has overshadowed all of his prior achievements, according to family letters, Custer was named after George Armstrong, a minister, in his devout mothers hope that her son might join the clergy. Custer was born in New Rumley, Ohio, to Emanuel Henry Custer, a farmer and blacksmith and he had two younger brothers, Thomas Custer and Boston Custer, both of whom died with him on the battlefield at Little Bighorn. His other full siblings were the familys youngest child, Margaret Custer, and Nevin Custer, Custer had three older half-siblings. It was in large, close knit family that Custer. Emanuel Custer was an outspoken Democrat who taught his children politics, in a February 3,1887 letter to his sons widow, Libby, he related an incident when Autie was about four years old.
He had to have a tooth drawn, and he was much afraid of blood. When I took him to the doctor to have the tooth pulled, it was in the night and I told him if it bled well it would get right away. When he got to the doctor he took his seat, the forceps slipped off and he had to make a second trial. He pulled it out, and Autie never even scrunched, going home, I led him by the arm
American Indian Wars
These conflicts occurred in the current boundaries of the United States from the time of earliest colonial settlements until 1924. In many cases, wars resulted from competition for resources and land ownership as Europeans and raiding took place as a result of conflicts between European governments and the United States. These governments enlisted Native Americans tribes to help them conduct warfare against each others settlements, after 1776, many conflicts were local, involving disputes over land use, and some entailed cycles of reprisal. In the 1800s, conflicts were spurred by ideologies such as Manifest Destiny, in the years leading up to the Indian Removal Act of 1830 there were many armed conflicts between settlers and Native Americans. Prior to the Act of 1830, some conflicts were resolved through sale or exchange of territory through treaties between the government and specific tribes. The 1830 act authorized the removal of indigenous peoples who lived East of the Mississippi River to the West.
As United States citizens continued to settle areas towards the Pacific, the policy of removal was refined to move some indigenous peoples to very specific reservations. The 2010 census found 2,932,248 Americans who identified themselves as being Native American, no consensus exists on how many native people lived in the Americas before the arrival of Columbus, but extensive research has been and continues to be conducted. Estimates on the population of pre-Colombus North America range from a low of 2.1 million to 7 million people to 18 million, scholars believe that the overwhelming main causes were new infectious diseases carried by European explorers and traders. Native Americans had no acquired immunity to diseases, which had been chronic in Eurasian populations for over five centuries. For instance, some estimates indicate case fatality rates of 80–98% in Native American populations during smallpox epidemics. They have cost the lives of about 19,000 white men and children, including those killed in individual combats, the actual number of killed and wounded Indians must be very much higher than the number given.
Fifty percent additional would be a safe estimate, from about 1600 onwards, the process of European colonization of North America by the English, Spanish and Swedish was contested by various indigenous tribes. Similarly, in the American Revolution and the War of 1812, the British planned to set up an Indian nation in what is now the Ohio-Wisconsin area to block further American expansion. The U. S. protested and finally, in 1812, most Indian tribes, especially those allied with Tecumseh, supported the British and were ultimately defeated by General William Henry Harrison. The latter were defeated by General Andrew Jackson and after such warfare, many refugees from defeated tribes went over the border to Canada, those in the South went to Florida while it was under Spanish control. During the early 19th century, the government was under pressure by settlers in many regions to expel Native Americans from their areas. Some resisted fiercely, most notably the Seminoles in a series of wars in Florida and they were never finally defeated, although some Seminole did remove to Indian Territory
Colonel (United States)
It is equivalent to the naval rank of captain in the other uniformed services. The pay grade for colonel is O-6, the insignia of the rank of colonel, as seen on the right, is worn on the officers left side. The insignia for a colonel is an eagle which is a stylized representation of the eagle dominating the Great Seal of the United States. As on the Great Seal, the eagle has a U. S. shield superimposed on its chest and is holding an olive branch, however, in simplification of the Great Seal image, the insignia lacks the scroll in the eagles mouth and the rosette above its head. On the Great Seal, the branch is always clutched in the eagles right-side talons. The head of the eagle faces towards the branch, rather than the arrows. As a result, the head of the eagle faces towards the viewers left. During World War II the military insignia for the rank of Colonel changed somewhat with the eagle facing the arrows and this was done only during war years. These special war eagles, although rare, can sometimes be found in surplus or memorabilia sales.
In the United States Army and United States Air Force, the eagle is worn with the head of the eagle to the wearers right. In the United States Marine Corps, United States Navy, United States Coast Guard and NOAA, the United States rank of colonel is a direct successor to the same rank in the British Army. The first colonels in America were appointed from Colonial militias maintained as reserves to the British Army in the American colonies, upon the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, colonial legislatures would grant commissions to men to raise a regiment and serve as its colonels. Thus, the first American colonels were usually respected men with ties in local communities, such was the origin of the phrase soldier and statesman. With the post-war reduction of the US Army, the rank of colonel disappeared, the first insignia for the rank of colonel consisted of gold epaulettes worn on the blue uniform of the Continental Army. The first recorded use of the insignia was in 1805 as this insignia was made official in uniform regulations by 1810.
The rank of colonel was relatively rare in the early 19th century, partly because the U. S. Army was very small, and the rank was usually obtained only after long years of service. During the War of 1812 the Army grew rapidly and many colonels were appointed, a number of other colonels were appointed by brevet - an honorary promotion usually for distinguished service in combat. The American Civil War saw an influx of colonels as the rank was commonly held in both the Confederate army and Union Army by those who commanded a regiment
Battle of Chickamauga
The Battle of Chickamauga, fought September 18–20,1863, marked the end of a Union offensive in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia called the Chickamauga Campaign. The battle was the most significant Union defeat in the Western Theater of the American Civil War and it was the first major battle of the war that was fought in Georgia. After his successful Tullahoma Campaign, Rosecrans renewed the offensive, aiming to force the Confederates out of Chattanooga, in early September, Rosecrans consolidated his forces scattered in Tennessee and Georgia and forced Braggs army out of Chattanooga, heading south. The Union troops followed it and brushed with it at Daviss Cross Roads, Bragg was determined to reoccupy Chattanooga and decided to meet a part of Rosecranss army, defeat it, and move back into the city. On September 17 he headed north, intending to attack the isolated XXI Corps, as Bragg marched north on September 18, his cavalry and infantry fought with Union cavalry and mounted infantry, which were armed with Spencer repeating rifles.
Fighting began in earnest on the morning of September 19, Braggs men strongly assaulted but could not break the Union line. The next day, Bragg resumed his assault, in late morning, Rosecrans was misinformed that he had a gap in his line. Longstreets attack drove one-third of the Union army, including Rosecrans himself, Union units spontaneously rallied to create a defensive line on Horseshoe Ridge, forming a new right wing for the line of Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas, who assumed overall command of remaining forces. Although the Confederates launched costly and determined assaults and his men held until twilight, Union forces retired to Chattanooga while the Confederates occupied the surrounding heights, besieging the city. General-in-chief Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck and President Abraham Lincoln were insistent that Rosecrans move quickly to take Chattanooga, seizing the city would open the door for the Union to advance toward Atlanta and the heartland of the South. Chattanooga was a rail hub, and an important manufacturing center for the production of iron and coke.
Situated between Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Raccoon Mountain, and Stringers Ridge, Chattanooga occupied an important, defensible position. Although Braxton Braggs Army of Tennessee had about 52,000 men at the end of July, into Braggs Department of Tennessee, which added 17,800 men to Braggs army, but extended his command responsibilities northward to the Knoxville area. This brought a third subordinate into Braggs command who had little or no respect for him, Lt. Gen. Leonidas Polk and Maj. Gen. William J. Hardee had already made their animosity well known. Buckners attitude was colored by Braggs unsuccessful invasion of Buckners native Kentucky in 1862, as well as by the loss of his command through the merger. A positive aspect for Bragg was Hardees request to be transferred to Mississippi in July, but he was replaced by Lt. Gen. D. H. Hill, a general who did not get along with Robert E. Lee in Virginia. The Confederate War Department asked Bragg in early August whether he could assume the offensive against Rosecrans if he were given reinforcements for Mississippi and he demurred, concerned about the daunting geographical obstacles and logistical challenges, preferring to wait for Rosecrans to solve those same problems and attack him.
He was concerned about a sizable Union force under Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside that was threatening Knoxville, Bragg withdrew his forces from advanced positions around Bridgeport, which left Rosecrans free to maneuver on the northern side of the Tennessee River
Battle of Gettysburg, Third Day cavalry battles
The East Cavalry Field fighting was an attempt by Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuarts Confederate cavalry to get into the Federal rear and exploit any success that Picketts Charge may have generated, David McM. Gregg and George Armstrong Custer repulsed the Confederate advances. Cavalry forces played a significant role at Gettysburg only on the first, on the first day, the Union cavalry division of Brig. Gen. John Buford successfully delayed Confederate infantry forces under Maj. Gen. Henry Heth until Union infantry could arrive on the battlefield. By the end of the day Bufords troopers had retired from the field, on the Confederate side, most of Maj. Gen. Stuarts cavalry division was absent from the battlefield until late on the second day. Hamptons brigade camped to the north, following a minor clash with Union cavalry at Hunterstown that afternoon. Lees orders for Stuart were to prepare for operations on July 3 in support of the Confederate infantry assault against the center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge.
Stuart was to protect the Confederate left flank and attempt to move around the Union right flank, Confederate cavalry forces under Stuart for this operation consisted of the three brigades he had taken on his ride around the Union Army and the brigade of Col. Albert G. Jenkins. Although these four brigades should have amounted to approximately 5,000 men, and following their nine-day ride around Maryland and Pennsylvania and their horses were weary and not in prime condition for battle. Union cavalry forces were from the corps of Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton, since most of Bufords division had retired to Westminster, only two divisions were ready for action. Stationed near the intersection of the Hanover Road and the Low Dutch Road—directly on Stuarts path—was the division of Brig. Gen. David McM. Gregg had two brigades present at Gettysburg, under Col. John B. McIntosh and Col. J. Irvin Gregg, David Greggs one-brigade command was supplemented by the newly formed Michigan Brigade of Brig. Gen. George Armstrong Custer.
Custer was assigned to the division of Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick but happened to be on loan to David Gregg, altogether,3,250 Union troopers opposed Stuart. The other brigade from Kilpatricks division, commanded by Brig. Gen. Elon J. Farnsworth, was stationed to the southwest of the Round Top mountain and this was a foolish error because he alerted Gregg to his presence. The brigades of McIntosh and Custer were positioned to block Stuart, as the Confederates approached, Gregg engaged them with an artillery duel and the superior skills of the Union horse artillerymen got the better of Stuarts guns. Stuart decided on a cavalry charge to break their resistance. He ordered an assault by the 1st Virginia Cavalry, his own old regiment, the battle started in earnest at approximately 1,00 p. m. at the same time that Col. Edward Porter Alexanders Confederate artillery barrage opened up on Cemetery Ridge. Fitz Lees troopers came pouring through the farm of John Rummel, Gregg ordered Custer to counterattack with the 7th Michigan.
Custer personally led the regiment, shouting Come on, you Wolverines, waves of horsemen collided in furious fighting along the fence line on Rummels farm
Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a South American country occupying a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, Chilean territory includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernández, Salas y Gómez and Easter Island in Oceania. Chile claims about 1,250,000 square kilometres of Antarctica, the arid Atacama Desert in northern Chile contains great mineral wealth, principally copper. Southern Chile is rich in forests and grazing lands, and features a string of volcanoes and lakes, the southern coast is a labyrinth of fjords, canals, twisting peninsulas, and islands. Spain conquered and colonized Chile in the century, replacing Inca rule in northern and central Chile. After declaring its independence from Spain in 1818, Chile emerged in the 1830s as a relatively stable authoritarian republic, in the 1960s and 1970s the country experienced severe left-right political polarization and turmoil.
The regime, headed by Augusto Pinochet, ended in 1990 after it lost a referendum in 1988 and was succeeded by a coalition which ruled through four presidencies until 2010. Chile is today one of South Americas most stable and prosperous nations and it leads Latin American nations in rankings of human development, income per capita, state of peace, economic freedom, and low perception of corruption. It ranks high regionally in sustainability of the state, Chile is a founding member of the United Nations, the Union of South American Nations and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. There are various theories about the origin of the word Chile, another theory points to the similarity of the valley of the Aconcagua with that of the Casma Valley in Peru, where there was a town and valley named Chili. Another origin attributed to chilli is the onomatopoeic cheele-cheele—the Mapuche imitation of the warble of a locally known as trile. The Spanish conquistadors heard about this name from the Incas, Almagro is credited with the universalization of the name Chile, after naming the Mapocho valley as such.
The older spelling Chili was in use in English until at least 1900 before switching over to Chile, stone tool evidence indicates humans sporadically frequented the Monte Verde valley area as long as 18,500 years ago. About 10,000 years ago, migrating Native Americans settled in fertile valleys, settlement sites from very early human habitation include Monte Verde, Cueva del Milodon and the Pali Aike Craters lava tube. They fought against the Sapa Inca Tupac Yupanqui and his army, the result of the bloody three-day confrontation known as the Battle of the Maule was that the Inca conquest of the territories of Chile ended at the Maule river. The next Europeans to reach Chile were Diego de Almagro and his band of Spanish conquistadors, the Spanish encountered various cultures that supported themselves principally through slash-and-burn agriculture and hunting. The conquest of Chile began in earnest in 1540 and was carried out by Pedro de Valdivia, one of Francisco Pizarros lieutenants, who founded the city of Santiago on 12 February 1541.
Although the Spanish did not find the gold and silver they sought, they recognized the agricultural potential of Chiles central valley