The system includes the University of Chile and National Institute at Santiago, lyceums or high schools in all the provincial capitals and larger towns, normal schools at central points for the training of public school teachers, professional and industrial schools, military schools and primary schools.
The chief applications of Chile saltpetre are in the nitric acid industry, and in the manufacture of ordinary saltpetre for making gunpowder, ordinary Chile saltpetre being unsuitable by reason of its deliquescent nature, a property, however, not exhibited by the perfectly pure salt.
Like Brazil, Chile has been careful to preserve her foreign credit, and though an average indebtedness of about Do per capita may seem large for a nation with so much absolute poverty among its people, the government is finding no difficulty in negotiating new loans, the mineral resources of the country and the conservative instincts of the people being considered satisfactory guarantees.
In 1862 a treaty of peace and commerce with the United States was ratified, and in the following year a similar treaty was concluded with Belgium; but new causes of disagreement with Chile had arisen in the discovery of rich beds of guano on the eastern coast-land of the desert of Atacama, which threatened warfare, and were only set at rest by the treaty of August 1866, in which the 24th parallel of latitude was adopted as the boundary between the two republics.
The acid is found to exist to a slight extent in the free condition in some waters, but chiefly occurs in combination with various metals, as nitrates, principally as nitre or saltpetre, KN03, and Chile saltpetre, NaNO 3.
In that year Chile decided to explore the desert coast, and in 1843 that part of the desert extending north to the 26th parallel was organized into the province of Atacama.
After touching at Concepcion in Chile and at Easter Island, La Perouse proceeded to Hawaii and thence to the coast of California, of which he has given a very interesting account.
The only information at this period on the ornithology of South America is contained in the two works on Chile by Molina, published at Bologna in 1776 and 1782.
With Chile the de jure line is that of the Camarones ravine which separated the old department of Moquegua (including the provinces of Tacna and Arica) from that of Tarapaca.
Medina, Los aborjenes de Chile (Santiago, 1882); A.