The Radical Party of Chile is a Chilean political party, created in the middle of XIX Century.
Was formed in 1863 by some dissatisfied liberals. Not co-incidentally, it was formed shortly after the organization of the Grand Lodge of Chile, and it has maintained a close relationship with Chilean Freemasonry throughout its life. As such, it represented the anti-clericalist position in Chilean politics, and was instrumental in producing the "theological reforms" in Chilean law in the early 1880s. These laws removed the cemeteries from the control of the Roman Catholic church, established a civil registry of births and death in place of the previous record keeping of the church, and established a civil law of matrimony, which removed the determination of validity of marriages from the church. Prior to these laws, it was impossible for non-Catholics to contract marriage in Chile, and meant that any children they produced were illegitimate. Non-Catholics had also been barred from burial in Catholic cemeteries, which were virtually the only cemeteries in the country; instead, non-Catholics were buried in the beaches, and even on the Santa Lucia Hill in Santiago, which, in the 19th century, functioned as Santiago's dump.
At the arrival of the 20th century, the PR decided to adhere to social-democratic ideals, and began to pursue collaboration with diverse governments during the parliamentary era, leading many of its members to occupy key military posts. In 1920 it gave its support to the reformist government of Arturo Alessandri. Chile was one of the countries with the largest rate of infant mortality in the world, and social matters were a major source of conflict in Chile.
To end the political crisis which erupted in Chile in 1924, the conglomerate backed the candidacy of Conservative Luis Barros Borgoño during the 1925. While the Radicals formed the cabinet of the President Barros Borgoño, they intended to put forth Juan Esteban Montero as a candidate in 1930. However, due to the war that year, that idea was abandoned and the Radicals decided to support a new government of Alessandri Palma.
In 1934, after the many arguments over the political conduct of the government, the PR left the Alessandri's government, adding itself to the Communist Party and the Socialist party, thus forming the Popular Front, and in the presidential elections of 1935, the radical Pedro Aguirre Cerda achieved a close victory over the conservative candidate, with the motto "To govern is to educate."
Candidates supported by the Radical Party:
- 1930: Luis Barros Borgoño (Conservative)
- 1930: Arturo Alessandri (Liberal)
- 1936: Pedro Aguirre Cerda
- 1942: Juan Antonio Ríos
- 1846: Gabriel Gonzalez Videla