- Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia
fullName = Royaume d'Araucanie et de Patagonie
Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia
shortName = Araucania and Patagonia
secondImageType = Coat of Arms
motto = Independencia y Libertad
englishMotto = Independence and Liberty
foundationDate = 1860
leadership = Orélie Antoine I (
Orélie-Antoine de Tounens)
purpOrgStruct = Monarchy
The Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia (French: "Royaume d'Araucanie et de Patagonie"; sometimes referred to as "New France") was an ephemeral political entity established in the 19th century by a French lawyer and adventurer named
Orélie-Antoine de Tounensin southern South America. At the time the local indigenous Mapuchepopulation of Araucaníaand Patagoniawere engaged in a desperate armed struggle to retain their independence in the face of hostile military and economic encroachment by the governments of Chileand Argentina, who coveted the Mapuche lands for their agricultural potential.
While visiting the region in 1860, Orélie-Antoine came to sympathise with the Mapuche cause, and a group of "
loncos" (Mapuche tribal leaders) in turn elected him to the position of King—possibly in the belief that their cause might be better served with a European acting on their behalf. Orélie-Antoine then set about establishing a government, created a blue, white and green flag, and had coins minted for the nation under the name of "Nouvelle France".
His efforts at securing international recognition for the Mapuche were thwarted by the Chilean and Argentinian governments, who captured, imprisoned and then deported him on several occasions. The supposed founding of the Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia led to the approval of the
Occupation of the Araucaníaby Chilean forces. Chilean president José Joaquín Pérezauthorized Cornelio Saavedra Rodríguez, commander the Chilean troops invading Araucanía to capture Orélie-Antoine. He did not receive further punishment because he was deemed to be insane by both Chilean and Argentine authorities and sent to a madhouse in Chile. King Orélie-Antoine I eventually died penniless in Francein 1878 after years of fruitless struggle to regain his perceived legitimate authority over his conquered kingdom.
The first Araucanian king's present-day successor, Prince Felipe, lives in
Franceand has renounced his predecessor's claims to the Kingdom, but he has kept alive the memory of Orélie-Antoine, and lent continued support to the ongoing struggle for Mapuche self-determination by authorising the minting of forty or so coins in cupronickel, silver, gold, and palladiumsince 1988.
*King Orélie Antoine I (1860–1878)Piccirilli, R: "Diccionario histórico argentino.", page 260. Ediciones Historicas, 1953.]
*King Aquiles I (1878–1902)Sociedad Chilena de Historia y Geografía, Archivo Nacional (Chile): "Revista chilena de historia y geografía.", page 277. Impr. Universitaria, 1931.]
*King Antonio II (1902–1903)Braun Menéndez, A: "Pequeña historia patagónica.", page 128. Emecé Editores, 1959.]
*Queen Laura Teresa I (1903–1916)
*King Antonio III (1916–1952)
*Prince Felipe (1952–present)
Occupation of the Araucanía
Conquest of the Desert
French colonization of the Americas
* [http://www.geocities.com/tourtoirac/ North American Aracaunian Royalist Society]
* [http://www.araucania.org/ Website of the Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia]
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