This article shows the relationship between knowledge and politics at the end of the eighteenth century in the kingdom of Chile. The focus of the article is an object and a fortuitous event. Their peculiar stories were closely linked. The first is an object called «pino de Chile», which aroused the interest of naturalists and politicians. The second, is a particular event: At the end of 1780 the battleship San Pedro Alcántara, anchored in the city of Concepción, suffered a lightning attack that demonstrated the importance of wood in this historical period. This accident led to the discovery of new «pine forests» in the «país de indios». The discovery caused and mobilized cognitive and political actions both in Madrid and Chile, resulting in those involved locally taking formal action. This particular object and this unforeseen event showed not only the relationship between natural knowledge and politics, but also the importance of local empire management.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts
- Literature and Literary Theory