Chile, officially the Republic of Chile (Spanish: República de Chile), is a South American republic occupying a long, narrow strip of land along the west coast of the continent, between the Pacific Ocean and Andes Mountains. It borders Peru to the north and Argentina to the east, the Drake Passage to the south and the Pacific Ocean on the west. Chile is the only South American country that does not border Brazil. Its geography is typified by its thin shape.
Despite having a long tradition of liberal democracy in the notoriously unstable South America and enjoying the success of a moderate, democratic government through the Pacific War (in which Chile fought alongside the Americans and Colombians), following a period of stagnation in the 1950's and early 1960's a Communist government came to power in 1965 under the young, energetic Salvador Allende and survived deep into the 1980's, crumbling following a disastrous World Cup hosting in 1984 and the 1988 death of Allende. Today, Chile is one of the world's fastest-growing economies, has been a liberal democracy since the fall of Communism in 1989 and has drifted more and more out of the French geopolitical camp and aligned with American interests.
Peruvian-Chilean War and "The Good Years"
Pacific War and Mid-20th Century
Return to Democracy and Present Day
Politics and Government
The politics of Chile takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Chile is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system.
Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of the National Congress. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature of Chile.
The Ministers of State of Chile are the direct and immediate collaborators of the President in the government and the administration of the state.
- Ministry of the Interior
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Ministry of National Defense
- Ministry of Finance
- Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism
- Ministry of Education
- Ministry of Justice
- Ministry of Labor and Social Forecast
- Ministry of Industry and Public Works
- Ministry of Health
- Ministry of Agriculture
- Ministry of Mining
- Ministry of Energy
- Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning
Chile has a multi-party system but with the return to Democracy in 1990, two strong political alliances were formed, dominating the national politics since then. Despite this, also exist some independent parties that enjoy representation at the National Congress.
Chile is widely regarded as one of the premiere soccer-playing nations in the world, having won three World Cups (1936, 1956, 1968), having hosted the 1984 World Cup and dominating the SurAmerica Cup from the 1950's through the early 1990's, winning every single cup in the series in that span with the exception of 1986, when La Roja lost to Argentina.
Baseball is also an enormously popular sport in Chile, in particular in the summer and early fall after the soccer season has ended.