The guano age in Peru


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History Today
Vol. 30, no. 6 (June 1980), p. 13-18


After gaining its independence from Spain in 1824, Peru experienced a boom as a result of demand for guano as fertiliser. The guano deposits on the Chincha Islands were worked by Chinese labourers in conditions no better than slavery, as the next article shows. The guano boom came to an end when it was replaced by nitrate as the preferred fertiliser and Chile seized Peruvian nitrate deposits in the War of the Pacific from 1879-84