Alternate History

Iglesias Era (Napoleon's World)

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The Iglesias Era refers to the social, economic and political environment and its changes during the 31-year rule of Eusebio Iglesias as President of Colombia, a period in which he served as its military dictator. During this time period, the economy of Colombia boomed and its economy rapidly industrialized, making it one of the first industrial powers in the Western hemisphere directly competitive with the United States. A strong, burgeoning middle class emerged in Colombia during this time period as its cities grew and prosperity extended to all corners of the country, significantly alleviating poverty in many of its provinces. It was also known as a time of increased political participation, as while Iglesias was the President-for-Life, the Colombian Congress added seats and women were granted suffrage for the first time. The peak of this time period was between 1877-1891, when the economic boom had its most transformative effect.

This economic growth is often compared to the similar and contemporary growth in Chile during the last quarter of hte 19th century, a period known in Chile as the "Good Years." Colombia's massive economic boom plateaued in the 1890's and eventually waned after the death of Iglesias, which caused a civil war. After the end of the Pacific War in 1929, Colombia would enter a slower but steadier thirty-year period of strong growth until the 1958 South American financial crisis. The Iglesias Era is fondly remembered as a Colombian golden age, although historians point out that the 1990's Colombian boom actually produced almost as much wealth in a third of the time.

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