Wednesday, January 19, 2022

History Of Chile

South AmericaChileHistory Of Chile

Read next

Before the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, the north of Chile was under Inca rule, while the indigenous Araucanians (Mapuche) inhabited the centre and south of the country. The Mapuche were also one of the last independent indigenous groups in America, and were only fully integrated into the Spanish-speaking order after Chile’s independence. Although Chile declared its independence in 1810 (in the midst of the Napoleonic Wars, which deprived Spain of a functioning central government for some years), the decisive victory over the Spanish was not achieved until 1818. In the Pacific War (1879-83), Chile conquered parts of Peru and Bolivia and maintained its presence in the northern regions. It was not until the 1880s that the Araucanians were completely subjugated. Although they were relatively untouched by the coups and arbitrary governments that plagued South America until the 1970s, things took a turn for the worse in that decade. When the popular communist/socialist democrat Salvador Allende won the free and fair elections of 1970, he ran on a platform of social justice and narrowing the gap (even then) between a handful of rich people and the rest of the population. However, although some centre-right parties (notably the Chilean Christian Democrats) supported his government, or at least did not attack it directly, he faced domestic opposition from some sectors of society as well as from the army, and also a difficult international situation, since the United States does not tolerate any kind of “communists” in its “backyard”. On 11 September 1973, the Allende government was overthrown by a coup d’état led by army chief Augusto Pinochet (whom Allende himself had chosen, believing him to be, if not loyal to himself, at least loyal to the constitution). Following the coup, Chile experienced Augusto Pinochet’s 17-year military dictatorship (1973-1990), during which some 3,000 people, mostly leftists and socialist sympathisers, died or disappeared. Although it is not clear to what extent the US or the CIA were involved in the coup that brought Pinochet to power, it is now widely accepted that Nixon and his foreign policy adviser Henry Kissinger were not unhappy with the outcome, and that the US and some European conservative leaders were among the biggest supporters of Pinochet’s regime in the 1970s and 1980s.

Pinochet was reviled worldwide for his methods, but a centre-left government came to power in Chile after he resigned following the loss of a national referendum. Although Pinochet’s neo-liberal policies (deregulation and privatisation above all) grew the economy, they hugely harmed the poorer segments of the population and widened the gap between rich and poor, a problem that, like Pinochet’s amendments to the constitution to ensure he got away with it (which he more or less did) and the fact that the conservatives still have a de facto veto on certain issues, still affects the country today. The new government of Patricio Aylwin has seen fit to maintain the free market policies that still characterise Chile to some extent today. Despite a comparatively higher GDP and a more robust economy than most Latin American countries, Chile currently has one of the most unequal distributions of wealth in the world, second only to Brazil in the Latin American region and even behind most developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The ten richest people in Chile own almost 42% of the country’s total wealth. In terms of income distribution, about 6.2% of the country is upper class, 19% middle class, 24% lower middle class, 38% lower class and 13% extreme poverty. These extreme distributions have caused much unrest in recent years, and in the early 2010s a youth and student protest movement drew attention to these problems. Although some measures have been proposed or adopted to alleviate the most extreme inequalities, their impact seems minimal in early 2015.

Chile is a founding member of the United Nations and the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), and is now a member of the OECD, the group of “most developed” countries by today’s international standards, making it the first South American country to have this honour.

Argentina and Chile have overlapping claims to Antarctica. Chile also claims a 1.25 million square kilometre portion of Antarctica, but due to the provisions of the Antarctic Treaty, a country’s territorial claims to Antarctica are never recognised or allowed to be exercised at any time. However, like Argentina, some Chileans take their claims in Antarctica and the surrounding islands seriously.

How To Travel To Chile

By airThe most common point of entry for foreign visitors is Arturo Merino-Benítez International Airport (SCL), located in the municipality of Pudahuel, 15 km (9.3 miles) northwest of downtown Santiago. It is the largest airport in Chile and one of the six busiest in South America in terms of...

How To Travel Around Chile

By airChile has a fairly good airport infrastructure. The main flight hub in Chile is the Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport (SCL) in Santiago, from where several airlines fly to the most remote parts of the country. These companies are the three Chilean airlines: LAN Airlines, Sky Airline and...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Chile

Citizens of the following countries may be exempted from the tourist visa requirement:Up to 90 days: Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland,...

Destinations in Chile

RegionsNorthern Chile (Arica-Parinacota, Tarapacá, Antofagasta, Atacama and Coquimbo regions).Visit the driest desert in the world, archaeological ruins and the Andean highlands.Central Chile (Valparaíso, Santiago, O'Higgins and Maule regions).In the heart of the country you can visit the main cities, the famous vineyards and some of the best ski resorts...

Weather & Climate in Chile

The diversity of Chile's climate ranges from the driest desert in the world in the north - the Atacama Desert - to the Mediterranean climate in the centre, the humid subtropical climate on Easter Island and the oceanic climate, including alpine tundra and glaciers in the east and south....

Accommodation & Hotels in Chile

There are many types of hotels in Chilean cities: some of the most common chains are Sheraton, Kempinsky, Ritz, Marriott, Hyatt and Holiday Inn. There are several hostels and small hotels of varying quality waiting to be discovered. On the backpacker trail, you can find residences in each small...

Things To See in Chile

With an extension from 17°S in the north to 55°S in the south, Chile is one of the longest countries in the world with several climatic zones and natural types. High mountains are present throughout the country. On the Chilean mainland, you can visit three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:...

Things To Do in Chile

Chile is home to the second largest leisure pool in the world (previously the largest until its builder completed an even larger pool in Egypt in 2015). It's located at the San Alfonso del Mar Resort in Algarrobo and you'll need a sailboat to navigate its 2km length.

Food & Drinks in Chile

Food in ChileChilean cuisine presents a great variety of dishes that were born from the fusion of the indigenous tradition and the Spanish colonial contribution, combining their dishes, customs and culinary habits. Contributions from German, Italian and French cuisine have been given thanks to the influence of the immigrants...

Money & Shopping in Chile

CurrencyThe currency of Chile is the Chilean peso (CLP). Other currencies are not widely accepted, but most cities have exchange offices with reasonable rates for euros and US dollars. Rates should be posted on prominent signs.As of mid-July 2012, 1 € ≡ CLP600, 1 GBP ≡ CLP763, 1 AUD1...

Festivals & Holidays in Chile

The festivities in Chile correspond to religious celebrations and civil commemorations. Due to its location in the southern hemisphere, the local high tourist season begins in December and ends in the first week of March. The beginning of this period is marked by two major festivals: Christmas, which is...

Traditions & Customs in Chile

Although modern in many ways, Chile is still fundamentally traditional. You will fare much better if you do not openly denigrate or disrespect these traditions. People speak in conversational tones.Unlike other Latin American countries, the Chilean police are admired for their honesty and competence. Report any complaints to the...

Internet & Communications in Chile

TelephonePayphones on the street are very susceptible to tampering or vandalism, so it is best to use a phone in a shop or station.Prepaid cards for mobile phones and landlines are sold in most newsagents, supermarkets, petrol stations, pharmacies and telephone retailers.GSM mobile networks are ubiquitous in all major...

Language & Phrasebook in Chile

Spanish is the official language of the country and is spoken everywhere. Chileans use their own dialect, Castellano de Chile, with many differences in pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary and slang. Spanish-speaking foreigners will have no trouble understanding it and will simply think it is funny, but non-native speakers often have...

Culture Of Chile

From the beginning of agricultural colonisation until the end of the pre-Hispanic period, the north of Chile was a region of Andean culture influenced by the traditions of the Altiplano, which extended to the northern coastal valleys, while the southern regions were areas of Mapuche cultural activity. Throughout the...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Chile

Stay Safe in ChileLike most large cities in South America, Santiago suffers from a high rate of pickpocketing and muggings. It is advisable not to walk around the city centre with expensive-looking jewellery or watches, even during the day. Stay alert and be especially careful in all busy areas...

Asia

Africa

South America

Europe

North America

Most Popular