The PARLIAMENTARY ERA IN CHILE began in 1891, at the end of the Civil
War , and spanned until 1925 and the establishment of the 1925
Constitution . Also called "pseudo-parliamentary" period or
"Parliamentary Republic ", this period was thus named because it
established a quasi-parliamentary system based on the interpretation
of the 1833 Constitution following the defeat of President José
Manuel Balmaceda during the Civil War. As opposed to a "true
parliamentary" system , the executive was not subject to the
legislative power but checks and balances of executive over the
legislature were weakened. The President remained the head of state
but its powers and control of the government were reduced. The
Parliamentary Republic lasted until the 1925 Constitution drafted by
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries,
* 1 Parliamentarism * 2 Political structure and electoral practices * 3 Social groups * 4 The economy of saltpeter * 5 Presidents of the Parliamentary Republic * 6 See also * 7 Bibliography * 8 Sources
HISTORY OF CHILE
* 1891 Chilean Civil War * Parliamentary Republic * 1924 coup d'état
* 1925 coup d\'état
* 1973 coup d\'état * Military dictatorship
* Transition to democracy
* Chilean protests
Politics of Chile
* Economic history * Maritime history * Mining history * Chilean coups d\'état * Political scandals
* v * t * e
The pseudo-parliamentary system was established in
While the Parliament may withdraw his confidence to the Prime minister in a standard parliamentary system, the head of government is normally granted the power of dissolution of parliament , leading to the calling of new elections in order to have the sovereign people arbitrate between the legislative and the executive. However, in the Chilean system, the President of the Republic did not dispose of this power of dissolution, thus restricting his margins of decision.
The system of parties was very fluid, functioning on the basis of groups depending on individual personalities or caudillos who held the control of the parties and could form or dissolve cabinets. Furthermore, there was no established voting discipline in the parties. The custom was soon established for the President to nominate "universal cabinets" which included ministers from all parties. The stability of these cabinets was therefore dependent on the political intrigues in the National Congress.
Parliamentary instability was quite strong during this period, with a large rotation of cabinets. This pseudo-parliamentary system was terminated with the 1925 Constitution which declared incompatible the charges of ministers with parliamentary offices and made the approval of the Ley de Presupuestos automatic, which included the organization of the state income, if the Congress did not approve it after a while. It also enacted the election of the President at universal direct suffrage .
POLITICAL STRUCTURE AND ELECTORAL PRACTICES
The main parties between 1891 and 1925 included, from right to left , the Conservative Party , close to the Roman Catholic Church; various liberal groups in the center belonging to the National Party (aka Monttvarista after Manuel Montt and Antonio Varas ), the Liberal Party , the Liberal Democratic Party (or Balmacedista); and on the left the Radical Party and the Democrat Party . At the end of the 1910s, the Socialist Workers Party , associated with the labour movement , began to gain some importance.
These parties allied themselves either in the Coalition , grouping the Conservative Party and the liberals, or in the Liberal Alliance , composed by the liberals and the Radical Party.
As opposed to the
Conservative Republic (1831–1861) or the Liberal
Republic (1861–1891), the executive power did not interfere in the
elections as it did through intendants , governors and inspectors.
Elections were organized by the municipalities of
Three main social classes composed the Parliamentary Republic: the oligarchy , the middle classes and the working classes .
The aristocracy was formed by the landlords , politics, saltpeter entrepreneurs (many of whom were foreigners), bankers , physicians , intellectuals , etc. They were used to live in neoclassic palaces or mansions, following European fashion , etc. The oligarchy, however, was internally divided on some points, explaining the many parties and the two main shifting alliances, with the liberals joining either the Conservative Party or the Radical Party.
The working classes were formed by saltpeter workers, industrial workers and workers in public works, as well as landless peasants. The first lived in the North, in huts made of Calamina , where differences in temperature between day and night spanned 30 degrees Celsius. Others workers lived in conventillos (dormitories) or in round quarters (rooms without windows or lighting). Peasants lived in ranches. All worked without contract between 12 and 16 hours daily without Sunday sabbath. Some were paid by company scrips .
THE ECONOMY OF SALTPETER
Saltpeter was the main resource of
PRESIDENTS OF THE PARLIAMENTARY REPUBLIC
The charge of Vice-President was exercised as an interim by the Minister of Interior if the President died.
* Castedo, Leopoldo (1999) Chile: Vida y muerte de la República
Parlamentaria (De Balmaceda a Alessandri)
* Donoso, Ricardo Alessandri, agitador y demoledor. Cincuenta años
de historia política de Chile.
* Edwards, Alberto (1976) La fornda aristocrática. Historia de
* Eyzaguirre, Jaime
The original version of this article draws heavily on the corresponding article in the Spanish-language, which was accessed in the version of 4 May 2007.
* v * t * e
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