Chile is an independent nation in South America. With the capital city of Santiago, Chile 2020 population is estimated at 19,116,212 according to countryaah. Today’s Chile began to be colonized in the 16th century by Spaniards, who gradually took control of most of the country despite continued resistance from the indigenous people of Mapuche. Chile gained independence from Spain in 1818 and gradually developed into one of South America’s most liberal and democratic states, although periods of military dictatorship existed.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Chile, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
The indigenous people of Chile lived as hunters and farmers, scattered in small communities, when the area was invaded by the Incaricet in the 15th century. The Inca people, already ruling in Ecuador and Peru, seized northern Chile but were halted in the south by the Araucans. For Chile political system, please check diseaseslearning.
When the Spanish conquered the Incaricet in the 1530s, the indigenous peoples forced them to turn at the Atacama Desert to the north. The Spanish Pedro de Valdivia made a second attempt a little later and in 1541 he and his men reached the fertile valley in central Chile, where they founded the city of Santiago.
In the south, Valdivia encountered strong resistance and he was killed in 1553 by the mapuche, led by the legendary chief Lautaro. A treaty was concluded in 1646 between Spaniards and indigenous peoples, giving the latter the right to rule over certain areas. The population is estimated to have reached one million people when Europeans arrived. After a century of confrontation with the Spaniards and new diseases from Europe, the number of urinals had dropped by half.
In 1883, one of the indigenous peoples’ most important attachments to the Spanish military force fell. Since then, mapuche has, in particular, waged a long struggle to regain the land taken from them, while other peoples submitted to the Spanish dominion.
The Spanish crown granted lands to the colonizers in proportion to how much domestic labor was available in each area, and the urinals were often forced into slavery. There were also some Africans among the slaves, but the slaves were not enough. On the large estate, most workers were miseries (of mixed European and domestic origin), which were used extensively by landowners.
Chile becomes independent
Colonial Chile obeyed a Spanish so-called Viceroy of Lima. A process of making the colony independent began, after the French emperor Napoleon had forced Ferdinand VII of Spain to abdicate in 1808. Napoleon appointed his brother Joseph as new king of Spain, but the people of Chile refused to recognize him. The Chileans instead joined the revolt of other South American colonies against Spain. An independent government was formed for the first time in 1810, but four years later Spain succeeded in regaining power. The battles between independence supporters and Hispanic Creoles (the descendants of immigrant Europeans) continued and only in 1818 did Chile formally become independent. Chile banned slavery in 1823, well before most other American countries.
Political chaos prevailed during the 1820s. In 1830, conservative forces defeated liberal groups after protracted and violent battles. Three years later, a constitution was adopted in which power was concentrated to the president, while voting rights were limited to a few. Catholicism was at the same time made a state religion.
The Conservatives ruled the country for three economically successful decades. The success was based on the expansion of big farms with the help of a growing number of poor agricultural workers.
The liberals came to power in 1861. Chile’s economy, which had exports of wheat, silver and copper as its base, ended up in a severe crisis during the international economic depression of the 1870s. The silver mines started theirs, and when Bolivia confiscated the minette mines partially owned by Chileans, Chile went to war. Peru joined behind Bolivia. In 1879-1883 the so-called Pacific War or the War of the Nets were fought. Chile won and its area more than doubled by the conquest of the nitrate and copper-rich provinces of Tarapacá from Peru and Antofagasta from Bolivia. As a result, Bolivia was cut off the coast, while Chile strengthened its economy, mainly through nitrate exports. The country’s territory grew further by finally defeating the militarily strong Araukan Indians in the south.
Parliamentarism is introduced
In the north, Spaniards and indigenous peoples were mixed early on, and the Mestis came to form a majority of the population. Cities grew strongly. A minority of European origin, land and miners and traders, dominated the economy. Strikes and demands for social justice were met by hard means. When the government and the president wanted to create greater influence over the economy, the social elite protested. A brief civil war broke out in 1891. After that, parliamentarism was introduced, which meant that the government must have the support of parliament.
Liberal Arturo Alessandri won the presidential election in 1920 with promises to improve the situation of the poor. However, his reforms created political strife. Conservative militias deposed Alessandri in 1924, but the following year he was reinstated by reformists. In a new constitution in 1925, the church was separated from the state, the president regained lost power and the right to vote was given to all literate men over 21 years of age. In 1949, women were also given the right to vote.
But the military continued to interfere in politics, and in 1927 Colonel Carlos Ibáñez took power. He created the national police, carabineros, persecuted political opponents and introduced press censorship. Nitrate exports collapsed during the international economic depression after 1929. The repression and soaring unemployment prompted a general strike, which forced Ibáñez to resign in 1931. Instead, Alessandri returned to the presidential post in 1932. Communists, socialists and center parties joined in 1936 in a popular front, and two years later the presidential election of the front’s candidate, Pedro Aguirre, was won.
From the early 1930s to the early 1970s, Chile was the only country in Latin America with functioning democracy.
Reforms are promised after a fire disaster
President Piñera promises to reform the prison system since a fire in a crowded prison demanded the life of 81 prisoners.
The mine drama gets a happy resolution
33 miners who have been trapped underground for 69 days are rescued through a specially drilled several hundred meters long tunnel.
Indigenous development projects
Piñera promises in an invitation to the mapuche people (see Population and languages) that the government will implement development projects in the southern region of Araucania, where many mapuche live, for the equivalent of $ 4 billion.
Chile is shaken by one of the strongest quakes measured, with magnitude 8.8. The earthquake triggers a tsunami that hits several locations along the coast. Over 500 people perish and hundreds of thousands of people lose their homes. The city of Concepción is among the worst affected. Lack of food and water in some places leads to unrest. Soldiers are sent to Concepción and the Maule region to assist in the rescue work but also to intervene against looting. Nightly curfew is introduced in both Concepción and Maule.
Piñera wins the presidential election
Sebastian Piñera wins the second round with 52 percent of the vote against 48 percent for Eduardo Frei who is running for the Concertación. This is the first time the right has been given power since democracy was reintroduced in 1989. Piñera will take office in March.