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Chile: Should Governments Change - Essay Example

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This paper provides an in-depth analysis of the situation that affected the Chilean society in 1973 and the political and socio-economic situations that led to sequential event, what divided Chilean society and shortly about Allende's regime…
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Chile: Should Governments Change
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Chile: Should Governments Change

Download file to see previous pages... The Chilean 1973 coup d’état will remain in the history books. The coup was an event exacerbated by Cold War. It followed as an after event of political and social unrest that existed between the conservative Congress of Chile and the Socialism of President Salvador Allende. The discontent of the two culminated to a coup d’état, which was under the mantle of the Chilean military and endorsed by the United States government (Torcal and Mainwaring 57). Augusto Pinochet was the commander in chief of the armed forces at the time the coup was taking place. Before the fateful events of 1973, Chile prided itself as a country full of democracy and good constitutional practice (Silva 390). Unlike most of its neighboring countries, the military rule was usually short lived. The armed rule distanced themselves from the politics and public life. In the sixties, the Chilean politics became outwardly polarized. Divisions permeated the Chilean civil society. In this context, moderation that existed before was to be interpreted as a sign of weakness (Tusalem 360).
A sequence of contributing factors led to the coup. One of the factors that had major prominence in the coup was the victory of the Salvador Allende. His victory made the political situation more polarized than before. In 1971, the economic situation in Chile became rattled by investor and the market reaction. The government intervention created tension between the supporters and the critics. The Parliament, in which the Populist Unity did not have a say, made a resolution accusing Allende for violating the constitution (Torcal and Mainwaring 57). They further alleged that Allende wanted to institute a totalitarian system of governance. Speculations were high that coup d’etat would follow. The economic and social reforms that were taking place in the country were linked to the polarization of the state. The reforms and the debate surrounding them led to tense moments. The process was to be stalled by a military coup, which was led by Augusto Pinochet. The subsequent policies that followed suit were aimed at causing enormous dislocations in the Chilean society. The aftermath of the political upheavals led to policies that were aimed at dismantling and destroying institutions that were considered to be an expression of the previous orders. It is also alleged that the coup was a watershed of Cold War that operated under the stewardship of the US government and the Soviet Union. The US feared that there would be a return of Marxist movement in Chile under Allende’s rule. Thus, the US government mounted pressure on the elected socialist government. Under his rule, Allende nationalized the US copper firms and the social program expenditure rose rapidly (Tusalem 360). The rule under Allende faced other major disappointments. The per capita of the country dropped considerably, there was poor international market trade between the country and other nations, and imports prevailed the exports. The country also faced high inflation rates (Torcal and Mainwaring 57). The poor social, economic and political issues were the major causes of resistance that triggered the revolt. The economic deadlock and an inflation of 15% were enough reasons to mount into political upheavals. The sudden change of government from socialism to military rule should be placed under two categories (Silva 390). The epicenter of this sudden transition in 1973 was underpinned in the question of whether the military rule had the enough competencies to revert the economic situation. The aftermath of the military rule should also be kept in mind when making the justification of the governmental change. Any governmental change within a country forges for a unified citizenry (Torcal and Mainw ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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