Chile
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Chile. República de Chile. National Flag. Coat of Arms. - Condor - National bird. - Huemul - National animal. - Copihue – National flower. Geography.

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Chile l.jpg
Chile

República de Chile

National Flag

Coat of Arms

- Condor -

National bird

- Huemul -

National animal

- Copihue – National flower



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Licancabur Volcano- Over 19,000 ft high- One of the highest altitude lakes in the entire world- Inactive for at least the past 1,000 years- Incan ruins found at summit



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Cordillera del Paine- Summit of about 9,000 feet- Set of three peaks is very well known, called the Torres del Paine




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Climate

Large climate differences between regions:

NORTHERNDry, aridCooler at nightLittle seasonal change

AVERAGES

Arica 64° F Antofagasta 61° F

Santiago 57° F

Puerto Montt 52° F

Punta Arenas 43° F

CENTRALClimate is very seasonal – warm, dry summers, cool, wet winters

SOUTHERNCool, humidLots of rain


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People

Population: 16,284,741

Spoken Language: Spanish

Literacy rate: 96.2%

Education: 8 year compulsory, 4 year secondary


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Government

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

Chief of State – President: 4 year terms, election by popular vote

Cabinet: Appointed by the President

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

National Congress: 49 seats, 38 elected, 1 appointed, 1 given to a former president

Chamber of Deputies: 120 members, elected to 4 year terms

JUDICIAL BRANCH

Supreme Court: 21 members, appointed by the president, ratified by the senate – president of the court elected by the members of the court

Current president: Michelle Bachelet Jeria (elected March 2006)‏


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Economy

GDP: $212.671 billion

MAJOR INDUSTRIES

Copper, other minerals, foodstuffs, fish processing, iron and steel, wood and wood products, transport equipment, cement, textiles

EXPORTS

Copper, fish, fruits, paper and pulp, chemicals, wine

IMPORTS

Consumer goods, chemicals, motor vehicles, fuels, electrical machinery, heavy industrial machinery, food


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Early History

  • Earliest known natives: Mapuche

  • 1470s: Incan conquest conquers northern Chile, held off by Mapuche warriors

  • 1536: Spanish conquistador Diego de Almagro of Peru explores central Chile, recieves control of southern portions of Incan territory in Chile

  • 1541: Another conquistador, Pedro de Valdivia, founds Santiago

  • 1546: Mapuche uprising, Santiago destroyed

  • Series of Spanish and Mapuche conflicts culminate with a “Great Uprising” of the Mapuche in 1600, which results in the destruction of all Spanish settlements in Southern and Central Chile.

  • Spanish territory in northern Chile continues to grow slowly


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Independence

  • Spanish king Ferdinand VII overthrown in 1808 by Joseph Bonaparte (Napoleon's brother), and a new governor is established over Chile - Francisco García Carrasco.

  • Carrasco is a harsh ruler, and his leadership begins to stir up a drive towards independence.

  • In 1810, a junta is established, creating the beginnings of a push towards complete independence from Spanish rule.

  • Sporadic war breaks out between Chile and Spain.

  • In 1817, a famous patriot of Chile, Bernardo O'Higgins, assisted by José de San Martín, known for his leadership in the Argentinian war for independence, march across the Andes and defeat the royalists

  • On February 12th, 1818, Chile is declared an independent republic


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Expansion

  • Near the end of the 19th century, Chile begins a strong push southward into Mapuche territory, bringing their border far to the south.

  • From 1879 through 1883 Chile fights the War of the Pacific with the joint forces of Bolivia and Peru, over the territory of the Atacama desert, which was full of extensive mineral resources.

  • The War of the Pacific results in Chile pushing its borders almost one third again to the north.

  • In 1881 Chile signed a treaty with Argentina which gave them full sovereignty over the territory surrounding the Strait of Magellan.


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Civil War

  • President José Manuel Balmaceda is elected in 1886, and begins to go against the constitution, moving slowly towards a dictatorship.

  • Congress attempts to depose Balmaceda, but he refuses to step down.

  • In 1891, tension between the parties supporting Congress and parties supporting the president developed into an armed conflict, resulting in the defeat of the presidential supporters.

  • President Balmaceda commits suicide when he learns of the defeat of his supporting forces.

  • Jorge Montt, a strong supporter of the Congressional party during the civil war, is elected the next president of Chile.


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The 20th century

  • A military coup in 1924, led by General Luis Altamirano brings great instability to Chile, and a series of 10 seperate governments rise and fall between then and 1932.

  • A constitution is re-established in 1932, bringing some semblance of stability back into the government.

  • In 1967, a depression began to hit Chile, coming to a head in 1970.

  • Inflation becomes a huge problem in 1973, escalating wildly, and throwing the government into enough disarray to open the door for political overthrow.

  • Military coup takes control of the government on September 11, 1973, led by General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte.


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20th Century to Present

  • Less than a month after General Pinochet comes to power, he begins to execute and torture people who oppose his leadership.

  • Over the first six months, over 1,000 people are executed – over 2,000 over the course of the next 15 years

  • Tens of thousands are forced to flee the country; nearly as many are captured and submitted to torture.

  • Pinochet remains in power for almost 17 years, and introduces several large changes to the Chilean government, including a large scale shift to a free market economy.

  • A new constitution is established, making Pinochet president with an 8 year term, in 1980.

  • Pinochet is not re-elected in 1988 - Patricio Aylwin becomes the new president.

  • Michelle Bachelet Jeria, Chile's current president, is elected in January 2006, becoming Chile's first woman president


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