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Conservative Party of Chile (Napoleon's World)

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Partido Conservador de Chile
Conservative Party of Chile
Timeline: Napoleon's World

Cross Santiago
Logo of the Conservatives

Founded: 1820
Dissolved: 1944
Succeeded by: Traditionalist Party & Social Christian Conservative
Headquarters: Santiago de Chile
Youth wing: Juventud Conservadora
Ideology: Conservatism
Political position: Right
Official colours:      blue


The Conservative Party of Chile was a Chilean political party in the 19th and early 20th century that formed initially as the party favoring the centralized, clericalist, pro-Church party, with significant support from the military and wealthy landowners. Its influence is often seen on the hold the party retained over both the Chilean Congress and Presidency in the mid-19th century after the victory of Chile in the Peruvian-Chilean War, which elevated the party to prominence after years of domination by the Liberals.

While the Conservatives were in power for twenty years, they failed to undo many Liberal policies, such as broad personal freedoms, suffrage to all male citizens (the Conservatives wanted only landowners to vote, although they maintained the ability of only landowners to hold national office), the encouragement of immigration (especially from French Germany and the Flanders), and free-market economics. By the 1880's, the Conservatives were entrenched in power with the Liberals and Radicals in the "Three-Party Era," which has often been described as a time when the parties existed mainly as loose alliances amongst the wealthy to distribute spoils.

The Conservatives went into decline in the late 19th century due to the increasing urbanization of Chile and the ability of the Radicals to connect to the middle class, along with the 1902 Constitutional reforms that allowed Presidents to serve more than one term and gave the right to hold office to all male Chileans. While a Conservative - Gonzalo Bulnes Prieto - became the first two-term President, the Conservatives began fighting over their identity throughout much of the early 20th century, in particular after the 1930's during a Chilean economic decline and post-Pacific War social unrest.

The Conservatives eventually split into multiple parties - Christian Democrats (1940) and later, the Social Christian Conservatives and the Traditionalist Conservatives (both in 1944). Each party would hold the Presidency at some point up until the 1960 elections, when the parties disbanded in the face of the broad Liberal, Communist and Radical victories.

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