Prehistory

Chile belongs to the South Andean Archaeological Region. Northern Chile was affected by the agricultural cultures of Bolivia and Peru from 800 BC, while the southern part of the country, especially the Land of Fire, retained an economy based on catch and coastal resources from 5000 BC. and into historical times. Dates from Tagua-Tagua in central Chile (9400 BC) as well as the Angelfield Island, Fell Cave and Palli Aike (ca. 7000-6000 BC) show that hunters reached southernmost South America very early.

Agriculture as well as llama and alpaca care came relatively late and in a developed form to Chile. Ceramics appeared between 500 BC and 600 AD, probably also under northern influence (see Tiahuanaco). A number of new regional ceramic styles appeared after 1000 AD. Large ceremonial centers and monumental art were not developed in Chile, but fortified cities existed even before the Inca culture. This dominated northern Chile from 1450 to 1532.

History

History Timeline of Chile

The Spanish possession of Chile was a consequence of the Spanish conquest of the Incarct. To see more information other than history, please visit Abbreviationfinder to learn more about climate, population, government, and economy for the country of Chile. One of Peru’s conquerors, Diego de Almagro, believed that there were rich gold deposits south of the Atacama Desert and marched there with a well-equipped expedition. After major punishments, they arrived in Chile in 1536 but did not find the riches they sought and stopped the trial after a few months. Chile was then populated by close to one million Native Americans, who belonged to many different tribes but mostly spoke a common language (mapuche). More than half of Chile had belonged to the Incarct, whose expansion had been stopped in southern Chile by the Araucans. In 1540 Pedro de Valdivia made another attempt to establish in Chile. On the Mapocho River, in fertile, temperate central Chile, he and his men founded Santiago in 1541, and in the coming years many other cities, such as La Serena, Concepción and Valdivia. It was easy to colonize central Chile, but in the south the Spaniards met resistance and never managed to gain permanent control.

During colonial times, Chile was part of the Viceroy of Peru. The constant wars against the Indians cost both people and money. Gold production was considerable after the conquest and increased again during the 18th century. However, the main industries were agriculture and livestock management and were dominated by some wealthy landlord families. In the core area, the Indians were quickly assimilated, and the Spaniards and Native American women gave rise to the mestizo population that quickly became and still is today the dominant population group.

Chile was liberated from Spain in connection with the French occupation of Spain (1808–14), when the colonies were left without central government. On September 18, 1810 – the anniversary celebrated as Chile’s National Day – the Santiago City Council, extended with other significant citizens, gathered and appointed an interim government. It was not yet decided to sever the contacts with Spain. Soon, however, the leadership of more radical Creoles such as Bernardo O’Higgins and José Miguel Carrera, who had independence as their goal, was taken. However, the road there was not easy. The Spaniards regained control of Chile in 1814, but were finally defeated in 1818 by an Argentinean-Chilean army led by the Argentine General San Martín.

In 1818, Chile was declared an independent state. The new nation went through a short period of internal struggles. As early as 1830, however, a stable, centralized and conservative oligarchic regime had been formed, led by Diego Portales in 1837. The rapid establishment of a functioning state apparatus and a professional civil servants’ corps made Chile an exception in Latin America. A solid foundation had been laid for the country’s territorial and economic expansion during the 19th century.

Chile’s strength was already demonstrated in the 1830s in a victorious war against Peru and Bolivia. A growing mineral export, later supplemented with large quantities of wheat and flour, gave rise to a long growth cycle, which lasted until the 1870s. In the so-called war of war (1879–83) against Peru and Bolivia, Chile’s victory was total. The country annexed huge, mineral-rich areas in the north. A still free Indian people, the Araucans in the south, were finally defeated in 1883. Territorial gains more than doubled the country’s area. The colonization, i.e. of Germans, spread in the forest area to the south. Salpet exports from the newly minted northern provinces dominated the next expansion cycle, which lasted until 1930. In 1891, Chile was shaken by a brief civil war. Nationalist President José Manuel Balmaceda was overthrown by Congress and the Navy.

Due to its success, Chile emerged as a distinctive country in the early 1900s. Urbanization increased rapidly, as did the urban middle class; crafts and industry flourished. At the same time, a powerful proletariat was formed in northern Chile. The labor movement grew, and a precursor to the later Communist Party was formed in 1912.

In 1920, the candidate of social reform, Arturo Alessandri, won the presidential election. His term ended with two military interventions, one that deposed him in 1924 and another that re-elected him as president in 1925. These events and the president’s great popularity paved the way for a new constitution and progressive social legislation (1925).

The international depression in 1930 struck very hard against Chile, which had a strong export-oriented economy. Carpet export’s complete collapse led to political and social unrest. Many governments came and went in 1931–32; one of them set up a socialist republic that lasted for twelve days. In 1933, some of its leaders formed the Socialist Party.

A people front, which consisted of, among other things, the radical, socialist and communist parties came to power in 1938. During Pedro Aguirre Cerda’s brief but significant presidency (1938–41), an energetic social policy was launched, while industrialization received active state support. However, the reforms applied to the urban, not the agrarian sector. Low-productive agriculture, based on an extremely unequal ownership structure, remained unaffected. The dominant export product was copper, which took over the role of the carpets, but the mines were then owned by North American companies.

After the war, cooperation between the center and left parties was discontinued, and the Communist Party was banned in 1948. During General Carlos Ibáñez’s term of office (1952–58), the situation was normalized again. Industrialization also continued during the presidency of Conservative Jorge Alessandri (1958–64). However, the weak points of the economy became increasingly clear. It created too few jobs, agriculture did not keep pace and the dependence on copper exports exposed the trade balance to constant strain. Despite recurring stabilization plans, this led to budget deficits and inflation. Population growth and migration from the countryside also created large marginalized social groups in the cities. The slums expanded. These problems, such as e.g. the Cuban Revolution,

Eduardo Frei, the presidential candidate of the Christian Democratic Party, came to power in 1964 with a radical reform program that promised land reform, increased Chilean influence over the copper mines and support for the poor slum dwellers. The program was initiated with support from the US but only led to further radicalization and demands for even more far-reaching changes. The Right reacted strongly to these demands, pointing out the government’s reforms as the cause of the problems. The left criticized Frei for half-asses, and social unrest flared up.

  • Countryaah: Check to see the location of Chile on the world map. Also covers major mountains, rivers and lakes in Chile.

In 1970, the socialist Salvador Allende defeated the right-wing candidate, President Jorge Alessandri, by a small majority (36.3% of the vote against 34.9%). Allende had been running for the Alliance Popular Union Alliance, formed mainly by socialists and communists. His program was pronounced socialist, although socialism would be gradually achieved. Allende gained power on November 4, 1970, and immediately set about a revolutionary reform effort.

Workers’ wages were significantly raised, the copper mines, some banks and parts of the industry nationalized. However, Allende’s plans for a gradual transition to socialism were shattered in the same way as Frei’s previous reform project. The government coalition split, and a spontaneous wave of land and factory occupations frightened many. Allende never had full control over his own employees and followers. After a time of confusion, the opposition was able to gather its forces and begin the fight against the president. The economic situation deteriorated markedly in 1972. A far-reaching distribution policy, along with hoarding, sabotage and non-investment, led to shortages of goods, corruption and parallel markets. The US’s blocking of international credit to Chile as well as its support for the extreme right did not make the situation any easier. The March 1973 congressional elections showed that the government, despite the support of large sections of the population, was in a parliamentary minority. However, the opposition did not get the majority that would have allowed a constitutional provision of Allende.

The military coup on September 11, 1973 dramatically set the stage for the socialist experiment and also led to Allende’s death. A wave of never-seen terror in Chile shook the country and resulted in thousands of Chileans being murdered, disappeared or taken asylum. With Augusto Pinochet at the forefront, the generals banned all organizations beyond their control with the exception of the church. The political ambitions of the government junta, however, went much further than crushing the left. Soon it turned out that plans were set for a new community project, based on an open and liberalized economy.

It was a project that ran counter to Chile’s earlier development. The price was a deep economic depression, an unemployment rate of over 20% and a halved real wage. After a period of adjustment, Chile’s economy showed great instability. Periods of strong recovery and growth (1977–81 and 1984–90) and of acute depression (1982–83) replaced each other. Politically, the military was shaken by widespread protests in connection with the economic depression of 1982–83. An attempt to permanently Pinochet’s regime through a free referendum failed in 1988, and in the first Democratic presidential election of almost 20 years 1989, Christian Democrat Patricio Aylwin won.

Chile’s economic situation in 1990 seemed better than in any other South American country. The newcomer Aylwin thus had a rare opportunity to lead a democratization process in the context of a growing economy, and both he and his successor have stubbornly struggled to subordinate military civilian rule. In connection with the arrest of former dictator Augusto Pinochet in London in 1998, a legal examination of the military’s role in Chilean society was initiated. Chile’s path away from the dictatorship was made clear by the presidential elections in the 2000s when candidates for Allende’s old Socialist Party won – Ricardo Lagos 2000 and Michelle Bachelet in 2006, who also became Chile’s first female president. In 2010, however, Conservative Sebastián Piñera was elected new president;

The businessman Piñera wanted to focus his policy on more effective government administration and law enforcement as well as reforms to strengthen the country’s small and medium-sized businesses. However, he was allowed to begin his reign to deal with the rebuilding after a powerful earthquake that claimed the lives of 800 people and the rescue operation for 33 miners who were trapped after a race. The workers were stuck underground for 70 days and the drama became a world news. Piñera’s popularity soared and he was seen as an effective president. The following year, large demonstrations began, where students demanded that university fees be removed, a claim the government rejected. The students were supported by many other groups in the community and the protests came to dominate the policy for several years. Partly as a result, Piñera’s popularity quickly fell.

At the 2013 parliamentary elections, the left-middle coalition retained the majority in both chambers of Congress, and in the 2014 presidential election, Socialist Party candidate Michelle Bachelet was re-elected with 62 percent of the vote. In her installation speech, she promised to ban profits in the country’s schools and to abolish the fees for university education. Bachelet also presented several social reforms aimed at reducing income gaps in society.

However, Bachelet’s term of office came to an end with corruption scandals and her popularity declined rapidly. After Michelle Bachelet’s resignation in 2018, her representative Sebastián Piñera was re-elected to the post of President

2019 was marked by extensive popular protests. The igniting spark of dissatisfaction was sharply raised fees in Santiago’s metro, but criticism of the country’s rulers quickly developed into a nationwide movement against substandard healthcare, increasing economic gaps and social inequality.

The planned climate conference COP25 to be held in Chile in December 2019 was canceled.

History of Chile
Tagged on: