Landscaping Patagonia: A Spatial History of Nation-making in the Northern Patagonian Andes, 1895-1945 Restricted; Files Only

Picone, María de los Ángeles (Spring 2019)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/k643b207w?locale=en
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Abstract

My dissertation examines how explorers, settlers, authorities, visitors, and bandits in the Northern Patagonian Andes, a border region between Chile and Argentina, created new understandings of the nation through their regional, often cross-border experiences of a space. This study shows how these different actors sought to make Patagonia their own by transforming a collection of geographical sites into a landscape that evoked a shared past and a common future. I examine the changing ways that people imagined the Northern Patagonian Andes and how they depicted it to others. My project analyzes written, visual, and geospatial sources to reveal multiple understandings of the border region that generated different interpretations of the nation.

Between 1895 and 1945, the Chilean and Argentine governments introduced a myriad of policies to stretch their control over the Northern Patagonian Andes, such as negotiating the boundary, building infrastructure, and granting lands to settlers. Simultaneously, settlers built evolving trans- Andean economic and social networks that defined and redefined this transnational region. Through their spatial experiences with and in the Northern Patagonian Andes, authorities, residents, and passers-by created new versions of nationhood. Their experiences in the areas between Lake Llanquihue (Chile) and Lake Nahuel Huapi (Argentina) encapsulated ideas about the region. Surveying the passes, opening roads, traveling miles to the nearest police station or post office, and participating in commemorative ceremonies are just some of the experiences people employed to make sense of the space around them.

Studying the relationship between nature and culture from a transnational perspective furthers our understanding of how different groups compete over, and build, their national identities. My research shows that borders are not just static lines on maps but constructions of an imagined space. My cross-border approach highlights the deeply interpretative nature of nation-making that might otherwise remain obscured. Thus, my dissertation foregrounds alternative histories of nation-making in border regions advancing our understanding of the relationship between nature and culture.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Writing a Spatial History of Patagonia ........................................................................ 1

What is Patagonia? ....................................................................................................................................... 4

Landscaping Patagonia ................................................................................................................................. 8

Borders, Regions, and the Northern Patagonian Andes ............................................................................... 12

Dissertation structure ............................................................................................................................... 18

Chapter 1: From Desert to Garden: Scientists, Travelers, and Authorities across Patagonia through 1900s.......... 22

Introduction .............................................................................................................................................. 22

The Desert and the Mountain: “A thousand Patagonian sights” in travel accounts. ............................... 27

De-signifying Patagonia: How expeditions made the Desert ............................................................30

Re-signifying Patagonia: The Promise of the Cordillera ..................................................................46

Science for the Nation: Scientific Explorations of Patagonia. ................................................................ 53

Service to the State: Scientific Institutions in Chile and Argentina ................................................54

Circulating Patagonia: Scientific networks of explorers .................................................................58

Negotiating the Border on the Ground: Hans Steffen’s and Francisco Moreno’s Explorations of the Patagonian Andes ....................... 60

Negotiating the Chilean-Argentine border. ..................................................................................61

How to draw a borderline on the ground: Hans Steffen and Francisco Moreno ..........................64

Delineating Nations on Paper: Andean Toponymy in the Scholarly Debate ................................71

Conclusion ........................................................................................................................................ 75

Chapter 2: Blurry Borderlines: From Border Negotiations to Ambiguous Understandings of Patagonia (1890-1915)................... 78

Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 78

Patagonia: A Historical Problem for New Authorities ....................................................................... 80

Somewhere “in the South”: Descriptions of Patagonia in Chile and Argentina .................................. 85

How to rule an ambiguous territory ................................................................................................... 99

Conclusion ...................................................................................................................................... 113

Chapter 3: Spatial Transformation and Identities in Northern Patagonia: Trading Companies and Local Residents, 1895-1915............. 115

Introduction .................................................................................................................................... 115

“You shall not pass”: trading companies, statehood, and Patagonian space. ................................... 117

Control over Roads: the Sociedad Agrícola y Frigorífica de Cochamó, 1905-1910. ......................... 129

The Island that was not an Island: The Ñuble-Rupanco Farming Company, 1905-1911. .................. 135

The Chile-Argentina and the making of the Llanquihue-Nahuel Huapi Region, 1895-1912. .............. 143

Germans and German-Chileans in Osorno ............................................................................... 147

German architecture across the Andes ...................................................................................... 150

Conclusion ...................................................................................................................................... 163

Chapter 4: Morality and Crime in Northern Patagonia: Local Elites, Police Forces, and Ruthless Bandits, 1910-1930. ................ 165

Introduction .................................................................................................................................... 165

The Northern Patagonian Andes in Context, 1910-1930................................................................... 168

Prophylaxis in Patagonia: Ideas about Public Health and Social Control ........................................ 173

An Unhealthy Toast: Inebriation and Public Morality ................................................................ 176

Law and Border: Action and reaction to banditry ............................................................................ 182

Local Press and the Making of Patagonia ...................................................................................185

Dangerous Mountains: Bandits and Foreigners in the Andes .....................................................189

Policing the Border: Safeguarding the interests of the people .......................................................... 201

Policing Neuquén: Statistics and geography .............................................................................. 210

Conclusion ...................................................................................................................................... 213

Chapter 5: Locality as a National Metaphor: Travel and the Making of the Fatherland in the Llanquihue-Nahuel Huapi Region, 1930-1945. ................... 215

Introduction .................................................................................................................................... 215

National Parks in the History of Chile and Argentina ............................................................... 219

Patagonia as She-land: Nature, Virginity, and Tourism ................................................................... 225

Untouched Nature: Virginity and Travel .................................................................................... 229

Women, modernity, and landscape .............................................................................................. 233

The Peak, the Forest, and the Water: Depictions of a National Touristscape in Chile ...................... 239

The Feminization of Landscapes in Chilean Publications .......................................................... 239

The Allure of Chilean Volcanoes ................................................................................................ 245

Appropriation of Visual Discourses ........................................................................................... 252

Building an Argentine Touristscape ................................................................................................. 254

French influencers in Argentine urban design ......................................................................... 257

Making the City in the Park...................................................................................................... 259

Conclusion ...................................................................................................................................... 265

Epilogue ................................................................................................................................. 267

Bibliography .......................................................................................................................... 271

Archives .......................................................................................................................................... 271

Newspapers and Periodicals ............................................................................................................ 271

Published Primary Sources.............................................................................................................. 273

Published Maps ............................................................................................................................... 276

Secondary Sources .......................................................................................................................... 278

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