The Maule region, with approximately 900,000 inhabitants (National Census, 2002), is the seventh of Chile's thirteen administrative divisions. It borders the Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins region to the north and the Bío-Bío region to the south. The region is divided into four provinces: Curicó, Cauquenes, Talca, and Linares. Its capital city is Talca and it has a temperate Mediterranean climate. Agricultural production and forestry are its main economic activities. The region is rich in traditions. Its leading tourist attractions are the traditional area of Vichuquén, the church of San Francisco de Curicó, the Constitución resort area, many national reserves, and the hot springs complex of Quinamávida. It was in the city of Talca that Bernardo O'Higgins signed Chile's declaration of independence in 1818, after battling the Spanish army.
The Spaniards settled in the area in the midst of the seventeenth century. Its capital, Talca, was founded in 1692 by Tomás Marín de Poveda.
Bethell, Leslie, ed: Historia de América Latina, Barcelona, Crítica, 1992–1998. Available in English as The Cambridge History of Latin America, 11 vols. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984–2002.