Chile, Socialist Republic of 100 Days

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Chile, Socialist Republic of 100 Days

The Socialist Republic of 100 Days, a radical political regime which ruled Chile from 4 June 1932 to 13 September of that year. Juan Esteban Montero, elected president in late 1931, could not revive Chile's Depression-devastated economy. In June 1932, the Chilean Air Force, under the command of Marmaduke Grove, rebelled, forced Montero from power, and established the Socialist Republic. In truth, this republic was a series of juntas which had seized power illegally and hence ruled without the consent of the nation.

The first junta consisted of General Arturo Puga, Socialist politician Eugenio Matte, and former ambassador to the United States Carlos Dávila. This junta dissolved the Congress Carlos Ibáñez had appointed, declared a moratorium on the collection of all debts, and returned all goods held in pawn at the government-owned Banco de Crédito Popular. On 16 June, Dávila forced Matte from power, exiling him with Grove to Easter Island.

The second junta, firmly under Dávila's control, while less socialist than its predecessor, nonetheless passed various laws giving the state more power to intervene in the economic process, including the right to establish prices and to seize and operate any private business. Eventually, in July, Dávila seized power for himself, only to be deposed in September by General Bartolomé Blanche, who, although tempted to remain in power, held elections which restored democracy to Chile and put Arturo Alessandri back into the presidency.

The Socialist Republic did accomplish some things. For one, it led to the creation of the Socialist Party, which would emerge as one of the nation's most powerful political blocs. It also enacted some laws which, while not sanctioned by a popularly elected congress, allowed the Allende administration (1970–1973) to attempt to seize control of Chile's industrial sector.

See alsoAllende Gossens, Salvador; Chile, Political Parties: Socialist Party.


Paul W. Drake, Socialism and Populism in Chile: The Origins of the Leftward Movement of the Chilean Electorate, 1932–52 (1971), pp. 71-83, 91, 94, 96, 149-152.

Manuel Dinamarca, La républica socialista chilena: Orígenes legítimos del partido socialista (1987), pp. 159-218.

Additional Bibliography

Faúndez, Julio. Izquierdas y democracia en Chile, 1932–1973. Santiago de Chile: Ediciones Bat, 1992.

Ponce Durán, Pedro. Oscar Schnake Vergara: Comienzos del socialismo chileno, 1933–1942. Santiago, Chile: Ediciones Documentas, 1994.

                                     William F. Sater