Chile 1960 CE

Chile has experienced social, economic and political turmoil.

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What is happening in Chile in 1960CE

The demand for Chile’s chief export, nitrate, rose greatly with the coming of the World War 1, but advances during the war led to the development of synthetic nitrates. Chilean exports plummeted, putting the Chilean economy into depression. The resulting social unrest, and the conservative parties’ obstructive actions in blocking social and economic reforms in parliament, undermined support for the old elite within the country at large. The polarisation of Chilean politics between conservatives and socialists made political stability hard to achieve – and the worldwide Great Depression of the early 1930’s, in which Chile fully participated, made things worse. Short-lived governments followed, oscillating between conservatives, supported by the old landed elite, and socialists, supported by the discontented and radicalised middle and working classes. Governments were never strong enough to grapple effectively with the country’s economic problems, and high inflation and austerity programmes were the order of the day.

With World War 2, and then the Cold War, the economic situation has improved markedly for Chile, as demand for its metals and other products has risen. Nevertheless, social inequalities have continued to blight the country.

Next map, Chile in 2005

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