Print version ISSN 0121-1617
LEON LEON, Marco Antonio. FROM LABOR COMPULSION TO EDUCATION: IDLENESS, UTILITY, AND PRODUCTIVITY IN THE TRANSITION FROM THE COLONIAL TO THE REPUBLICAN PERIOD IN CHILE (1750-1850). hist.crit. [online]. 2010, n.41, pp. 160-183. ISSN 0121-1617.
Through a revision of primary and secondary sources, this article analyzes the coexistence of ideas, beliefs, and practices that viewed physical or premechanical labor as a punishment (based on the necessity of forced labor) as well as a virtue (which should be incorporated into the customs of a people through education). The article argues not only that these views paralleled each other, but also that, at the beginning of the process of Chilean independence, the ideas of Salas, especially, but also Egana, and Henriquez showed a new way of understanding education for work as important for all classes and how, in this way, intellectual and physical labor could be brought together to improve productivity in the future. This logic, which could have led towards a social redefinition, was rejected by the oligarchic groups in power since 1830 since it threatened their interests.
Keywords : Social history; work; criminalization; popular education; lower-class groups; Chile.