Salvador Allende, Popular Unity, and the Chilean road to socialism: a study of the idea of a peaceful transition to socialism
LccF 3100 F67 1974 Microfiche
LcshChile - Politics and government - 1970-
Alende Gossens, Salvador, 1908-1973
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AbstractThe purpose of this thesis is to examine how the political concepts of persuasion and coercion can be used in a rapidly changing polity. The polity, Chile, elected Salvador Allende, a Marxist, as President in 1970. Allende led a minority coalition, Popular Unity (UP), which was, for the most part, founded on Marxist political and economic theory. Popular Unity believed that massive programs of socialization, nationalization, and income and land redistribution could be carried out peacefully by the use of persuasion and legal provisions contained in Chilean law. The alleged neutrality of the Chilean armed forces and the democratic tradition in Chile convinced UP that a peaceful transition to socialism was possible. The Allende government successfully persuaded the opposition in Congress to support the nationalization of large United States copper interests. However, when the government pressed ahead, nationalizing other monopolistic and semi-monopolistic enterprises by the use of decrees enacted in the early 1930's, confrontation developed between the government and the majority opposition. By 1973, the opposition feared that the government would soon control the economy and destroy the private base of opposition support. Confrontation escalated into acts of violence. The key to restoring stability was the military. Allende was a close associate of commander-in-chief Carlos Prats. But Prats' enthusiasm for Allende's policies was not shared by most of the officer corps. As confrontation increased, economic collapse became evident. Prats was forced to resign by his fellow officers, who then intervened to restore order on the side of anti-Marxist forces. A brutal golpe overthrew UP, and many of its leaders and supporters died or were imprisoned. The fact that UP may have been moving toward majority voter support might well have prodded the military to act when it did. Also, clandestine U.S. forces gave substantial support to groups opposing Allende, and therefore, helped make the golpe possible.
Bibliography: p. 149-155.
CitationFord, R. M. (1974). Salvador Allende, Popular Unity, and the Chilean road to socialism: a study of the idea of a peaceful transition to socialism (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. doi:10.11575/PRISM/14458
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