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            The present-day country of Chile has endured a very turbulent past. The people have been led through the years by a variety of different leaders, philosophies, and constitutions. .
             The first structured government was formed in 1810 and lasted until the "Battle of Rancagua" in 1814. This period was known as Patria Vieja in which a temporary constitution gave powers to the Chilean congress. The era of the Patria Vieja came to an end in 1814 when power was removed from the executive and vested in a "Supreme Dictator." Until 1823, their first Supreme Dictator Bernardo O?Higgins led Chile and sought to regulate the lives of citizens through several constitutional changes. He vested executive power in the Supreme Dictator and the system would be principally authoritarian. Also, the term of the Supreme Dictator would be limited to six years, but he could be re-elected for a period of four more. Since the new law was not retroactive, this assured O'Higgins of ten more years as dictator. In 1833, José Joaquín Prieto assumed power, and another constitution was created. The constitution of 1833 was also an authoritarian type, in that great executive power was given to the President of the Republic. This constitution remained in effect until 1925 when the new leader Jorge Alessandria, balanced the power between the executive and legislative branches.
             In the 1920s there was a growing gap between the middle class and the lower class. Arturo Alessandri Palma a reformist was elected, however the Conservative Congress would not cooperate with him. In 1924 Alessandri was overthrown by a military coup and he left the country. Then, pro-Alessandri reformers overthrew the military government and returned Alessandri to power. He was able to implement a new constitution that called for the direct popular election of the president, separation of church and state, and compulsory primary education.

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