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Chile History Timeline

Easter Island Easter Island

1500s - 1800s

  • (1535) Indigenous Araucanian people successfully resisted Spanish invasion of Chile
  • (1541) Pedro de Valdivia began Spanish conquest, founded Santiago
  • (1553) Araucanians captured, killed Valdivia
  • (1810) Junta in Santiago proclaimed autonomy for Chile
  • (1814) Spain regained control of Chile
  • (1817) Spanish defeated by Army of the Andes led by Jose de San Martin, Bernardo O'Higgins
  • (1818) Chile became independent with O'Higgins as supreme leader
  • (1879-84) Chile increased territory size after defeating Peru and Bolivia in War of the Pacific
1900s
  • (1927) General Carlos Ibanez del Campo seized power, established dictatorship
  • (1929) Economic crash
  • (1932) Chile, Peru signed Extradition Treaty
  • (1939) 8.3 magnitude earthquake in Chillan, killed approximately 30,000 people
  • (1945) Peru, Paraguay, Chile, and Ecuador joined United Nations
  • (1948-58) Communist Party banned
  • (1964) Eduardo Frei Montalva elected president, failed to curb inflation
  • (1970) Salvador Allende first democratic elected Marxist president
  • (1973) General Augusto Pinochet ousts Allende, established a brutal dictatorship
  • (1989-90) Patricio Aylwin won presidential election; General Pinochet remained commander-in-chief of the army
  • (1990) Inflation hit 26%
  • (1994-95) Eduardo Frei elected president
  • (1998) General Pinochet retired from the army, appointed senator for life
2000s
  • (2000) Socialist Ricardo Lagos elected president
  • (2002) A general census performed; General Pinochet resigned as lifelong senator
  • (2004) President Lagos signed law giving rights for divorce
  • (2005) 45 young soldiers died in blizzard
  • (2006) Michelle Bachelet elected Chile's first woman President; Chile, China signed free-trade deal; Pinochet died
  • (2007) President Bachelet signed decree to allow morning-after contraceptive pill; government paid compensation to families of Pinochet's 12 victims
  • (2008) Peru filed lawsuit at International Court of Justice over maritime territory dispute; Chaiten volcano erupted after 9,000 years lying dormant
  • (2009) President Bachelet first Chilean leader to visit Cuba in four decades; Peruvian Air Force officer accused of spying for the Chilean military
  • (2010) 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck central Chile, hundreds died, caused widespread damage; Sebastian Pinera defeated President Eduardo Frei in presidential election; 33 miners trapped underground for 69 days brought to safety

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