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Long and narrow, Chile clings to the western edge of South America's South­ern Cone. Hugging - page 43 / 46





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478                           Politics of Latin America


1536 Diego de Almagro extends Spanish conquest to Chile; colonial period shapes social and economic systems; perennial Indian wars in central Chile against Mapuches

1810 Chile begins independence movement from Spain

1818 With help from Argentine general Jose de San Martin, general Bernardo CYHiggins finally liberates Chile from Spain; Chile becomes a republic

1833 Autocratic republic begins when Diego Portales7 new authoritarian constitution ends political instability and sets the groundwork for the Portilian state, which lasts until 1898

1837 Portales assassinated

1839 Chilean military defeats Peru-Bolivia Confederation in a war that be­gan in 1836

1851 Rebellion to democratize autocratic republic defeated

1879 War of the Pacific against Peru and Bolivia over mining concessions breaks out

1884 Chile wins War of the Pacific and permanently gains provinces of Arica, Tarapaca, and Antofagasta; Bolivia loses access to Pacific Ocean

1888 Mapuches finally defeated; Indian law allocates inalienable reserva­tions—reduccionesto Indian communities

1891 Civil war against president Jose Manuel Balmaceda ends autocratic republic; beginning of parliamentary republic

1925 Chile's Portilian constitution replaced by the constitution of 1925; po­litical instability engulfs Chile

1932 Political stability returns with election of Arturo Alessandri to presi­dency

1938 Popular Front government, devoted to progressive socioeconomic reform

1942 Popular Front officially dissolved, but center-Left coalitions keep re­formist Radical party candidates in the presidency

1946 Under pressure from the United States, President Gabriel Gonzalez Videla outlaws Communist party—which had been a part of his elec­toral and governing coalition—in 1948; Chile becomes a Cold War bat­tleground

1949 Women receive the right to vote

1952 Independent Carlos Ibanez elected president on an anti-political plat­form; he relegalizes Communist party and is plagued by economic dif­ficulties in the aftermath of the Korean War

1958 Jorge Alessandri becomes president; Chile has three democratic ad­ministrations that try global reform of Chile's economic, political, and social institutions; Alessandri's is the conservative attempt

1964 Eduardo Frei, Sr., becomes president; he heads a progressive Christ­ian Democratic administration that introduces many social and eco-

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