Encina, Francisco Antonio (1874–1965)

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Encina, Francisco Antonio (1874–1965)

The Chilean historian and politician Francisco Antonio Encina was born on September 10, 1874, in the city of Talca. Encina studied law at the University of Chile but soon tired of the profession, devoting himself instead to agriculture and politics. He served two terms in Congress (1906–1912) and joined the Unión Nacionalista, a strongly nationalistic party that emphasized economic development. His first significant work was Nuestra inferioridad económica (1912), a polemical book that criticized the predominantly humanistic educational curriculum. Encina's historiographical work was also characterized by a polemical tone, and his idiosyncratic views on race and national character derived from the ideas of Gustave Le Bon and Nicolás Palacios. The author of Portales (1934), La literatura histórica chilena y el concepto actual de la historia (1935), and La presidencia de Balmaceda (1952), Encina also ventured into wider Latin American history with his eight-volume series Bolívar y la independencia de la América española (1954–1963). His most significant work, however, is Historia de Chile desde la prehistoria hasta 1891 (20 vols., 1940–1952), a general history in the tradition of Diego Barros Arana's work but less research oriented and more favorable to Chilean authoritarian figures and institutions. The abridgement of this book by Leopoldo Castedo, Resumen de la Historia de Chile (3 vols., 1954), helped popularize Encina's unwieldy multivolume work. Encina died on August 23, 1965.

See alsoChile: The Twentieth Century .


Gazmuri, Cristián. La historiografía chilena (1842–1970). Santiago: Taurus Historia, 2006.

Donoso, Ricardo. Francisco Antonio Encina, simulador, 2 vols. Santiago: Ricardo Neupert, 1968.

                                           IvÁn JaksiĆ