Who won the War of the Pacific stages main battles end

Pacific War

Armed conflict that between 1879 and 1884 pitted Chile against Peru and Bolivia. Here we will let you know Who won the War of the Pacific.

Date 1879-1884.
Place Waters of the Pacific and coastal regions of Bolivia and Peru.
Belligerents Chile vs. Peru and Bolivia.
Outcome Victoria from Chile.

The War of the Pacific, also called the Guano and Saltpeter War, was an armed conflict that between 1879 and 1884 pitted Chile against Peru and Bolivia .

This war took place in the waters of the Pacific Ocean , in the Atacama desert and in the valleys and mountains of Peru .

The trigger for the war was Bolivia‘s decision to confiscate assets from Chilean companies that exploited the Atacama desert . These companies refused to pay export duties established by the Bolivian governmentChile alleged that the imposition of these taxes violated the provisions of a boundary treaty of 1874 and declared war on Bolivia. As Peru had signed a defensive alliance treaty with Bolivia in 1873, it entered the war in favor of its ally.

After several military campaigns, the governments of Chile, Peru and Bolivia agreed to sign an armistice that ended the war. The subsequent peace treaties benefited Chile, which managed to obtain economic advantages and annex territories that previously belonged to Bolivia and Peru.

Enhance your reading: Cristero war results/causes/consequences/characters

Stages of the Pacific War

Historians often divide the Pacific War into five phases or stages:

  • Maritime campaign (1879) : the war operations at sea began with the Chilean defeat in the naval combat of Iquique, on May 21, 1879. The following confrontations, such as the combats of Punta Gruesa and Angamos, ended in victories of Chile, which managed to occupy the Bolivian port of Antofagasta and control the Pacific maritime space. This allowed him to supply and reinforce the troops advancing north.
  • Tarapacá Campaign (1879) : the first clashes on land took place in the Peruvian department of Tarapacá, which was occupied by Chile. The defeat of the armies of Peru and Bolivia in this campaign caused the removal of their respective presidents: Mariano Ignacio Prado and Hilarión Daza.
  • Campaign of Tacna and Arica (1880) : Chile managed to occupy the city of Tacna (May 26) and the port of Arica (June 7), taking control of southern Peru. Bolivia withdrew from the war and the Arica Conference took place, in which the United States tried to mediate, without success, between Chile and Peru.
  • Lima Campaign (1881) : the war continued and the Chilean troops advanced north, defeating the Peruvians in the battles of Chorrillos (January 13) and Miraflores (January 15). Shortly after they occupied the city of Lima.
  • Sierra Campaign (1881-83) : Peruvian forces tried to resist in the mountainous areas, but the Chilean troops managed to definitively defeat them at the Battle of Huamachuco (July 10, 1883).

Causes and consequences of the Pacific war


Among the main causes of the outbreak of the Pacific War are:

  • The imprecise border delimitation between the territories of Chile and Peru, which came from colonial times.
  • The exploitation by Chilean companies of the riches of the Atacama desert, in territories where the boundaries between Bolivia and Chile were not clear.
  • The decision of the Bolivian government to confiscate assets belonging to Chilean companies that exploited the Atacama desert and that refused to pay export duties.
  • The defensive alliance pact signed between Bolivia and Peru in 1873, which guaranteed the integrity of the territories of both countries and mutual support in the face of military threats.

Enhance your reading: Plan of Ayala purpose/important points/causes/effects


The Pacific War had territorial, political and socio-economic consequences:

  • Territorial consequences :
    • In 1883 the Ancón Treaty was signed , according to which Chile extended its territory by annexing the Peruvian department of Tarapacá. The provinces of Tacna and Arica were also under his administration. In 1929, the Treaty of Lima was signed , by which Chile returned Tacna to Peru, while Arica was definitely under its jurisdiction.
    • In 1884 Chile and Bolivia agreed to a truce and began to negotiate a boundary treaty , which was signed in 1904. By virtue of this agreement, Chile was left in the power of the maritime coastline that it had occupied in 1879, so Bolivia lost its exit to the sea and became a Mediterranean country.
    • Chile and Argentina shared the Puna de Atacama which, in 1890, Bolivia ceded to Argentina in exchange for the province of Tarija . In 1900, the territories incorporated by Argentina became part of the National Territory of Los Andes, which lasted until 1943.
  • Political consequences :
    • The defeat in the War of the Pacific generated political instability in Bolivia and Peru. In this country, a civil war broke out that pitted the supporters of the military leaders Miguel Iglesias and Andrés Cáceres, who accused each other of responsibility for the defeat in the war.
  • Socio-economic consequences :
    • Bolivia was forced to return the seized assets to Chilean companies.
    • Chile benefited economically by controlling territories rich in saltpeter, guano, copper, iron, and other minerals.
    • Bolivia was economically weakened by the loss of its coastline and the access to the Pacific Ocean.
    • Peru suffered a severe economic crisis due to the blockade that the Chilean army carried out on its saltpeter, guano and sugar producing regions.
    • Chile lost around 3,000 men while Bolivia and Peru lost around 15,000.

Battles of the Pacific War

During the Pacific War the following battles were fought:

Name Date Belligerents Outcome
Combat of Iquique 1879 Chile Vs. Peru Peruvian victory
Battle of Angamos 1879 Chile Vs. Peru Chilean victory
Battle of San Francisco 1879 Peru and Bolivia Vs. Chile Chilean victory
Battle of tarapaca 1897 Peru Vs. Chile Peruvian victory
Battle of the angels 1880 Peru Vs. Chile Chilean victory
Battle of Arica 1880 Peru Vs. Chile Chilean victory
Battle of Chorrillos 1881 Peru Vs. Chile Chilean victory
Battle of Miraflores 1881 Peru Vs. Chile Chilean victory
Battle of Huamachuco 1883 Peru Vs. Chile Chilean victory

End of the Pacific war/ Who won the war

By 1890, after Chile managed to occupy the area of ​​Tacna and Arica, Bolivia abandoned the war . Instead, Peru continued fighting against Chile.

After the failure of Peru against Chile in the battle of Huamachuco, carried out on July 10, 1883, plus the failure of the last battles, Peru definitively ceded the provinces of Tarapacá, Tacna and Arica to Chile in the Treaty de Ancón , signed on October 20, 1883.

By 1884, Bolivia and Chile signed a truce pact that officially ended the war between them. In said treaty, various conditions were established that were accepted by both parties.

After more than 10 years, on June 3, 1929, the Treaty of Lima signed by Chile and Peru returned the territory of Tacna to Peru, while Arica was definitively in the hands of Chile.

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