Arturo Alessandri

Alessandri, Arturo (ärtōˈrō älĕssänˈdrē) [key], 1868–1950, president of Chile (1920–25, 1932–38). The 1920 presidential candidate of the Liberal Alliance, a coalition of all the enemies of the conservatives, Alessandri was elected on a reform platform. During his first administration, the conservatives were able to block most of his program, and when his cabinet refused to support him, Alessandri went (1924) into voluntary exile. Returning in 1925, he supervised the writing of a new constitution that guaranteed universal male suffrage, granted greater provincial powers, and effectively ended the power of the conservative-clerical oligarchy. During these years, Chile underwent a political reformation that was supported essentially by the middle class and the labor unions. His second term was also stormy, but marked by continued political and social reforms.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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