How many and which political Constitutions has Chile had?

How many and which political Constitutions has Chile had?
How many and which political Constitutions has Chile had?

This document is considered a fundamental piece of republican political modernity and its basic principle is the definition of a unitary State.

Since the beginning of the independence process at the beginning of the 19th century, different forms of State organization have been implemented in Chile, which became Political constitutions.

This document is considered a fundamental piece of republican political modernity and its majority, with the exception of the Federal Laws of 1826have as their basic principle the definition of a Unit state.

According to specialists, its elaboration, implementation, content and even subsequent crisis, it is only possible to understand it within a historical context in which multiple variables influence, among them: political, social and even civil or military groups that may be in power. .

Also, the national and international political-ideological context, the economic elements and the social structure, among others.

The political constitutions that Chile has had in its history

He historian and teacher at Usach, Cristóbal García-Huidobro, detailed for THE DYNAMO, There are seven formal constitutions in the history of Chile.

“The constitutions that go from 1818 to 1828 are constitutions that are framed in a period known as constitutional trials. Deep down, Chile was learning to be an independent Republic, we were trying to give ourselves solid legal and political institutions, but we didn’t know how to do it,” explained the teacher.

García-Huidobro He also specified that “we had been a monarchy for 250 years and then we became a Republic,” where foreign ideas were taken and tried to be applied. At the same time, that period was marked by the great discussion of the type of state that was going to be had, unitary or federal, and how centralized or decentralized it could be.

Later, the Constitution of 1833, is considered one of the oldest in the world, after that of the United States at the time of its repeal. The expert highlighted that it is “It is the most curious, because although it went down in history as clearly presidential, it had parliamentary aspects and in fact the pseudo-parliamentary regime that emerged after the civil war of 1891 was built around those enclaves.

“The Constitution of 1825 is presidential and centralizing over time and if you compare it with that of ’80, presidentialism is more reinforced in that of ’25,” said García-Huidobro, who added that the latter “is more bourgeois, with new rights added to the fundamental economic and social rights.”

For the historian, the Magna Carta of 1980 has many innovations, for example: “It proposes a third generation right such as “living in a pollution-free environment,” but in its current text it was a worthy daughter of the cold war and This was noticeable in its elements related to limited pluralism, called “Directed Democracy”, but with its reforms of ’89 and 2005 it became quite democratized,” he concluded.

List and summary of the seven constitutions

  • Constitution of 1818: It was promulgated on October 23, 1818, during the government of the supreme director Bernardo O’Higgins. It ceased to govern on October 30, 1822, during the same administration. He enshrines the principle of popular sovereignty that grants the nation the power to install its government and dictate the laws that govern it.
  • Constitution of 1822: Promulgated on October 30, 1822, during the government of Bernardo O’Higgins. It ceased to govern on January 28, 1823, the date of his resignation from the position of supreme director and consists of 248 articles. It provides that the Government of Chile has a representative character, being composed of three independent powers: Legislative, Executive and Judicial.
  • Constitution of 1823: Promulgated on December 29, 1823, during the government of supreme director Ramón Freire. Its application was suspended in July 1824, and it formally governed until January 10, 1825, when it was declared insubsistent. It consists of 277 articles distributed in 24 Titles, which establish fundamental rights and their guarantees, national sovereignty, the separation of powers and the figure of the Supreme Director with broad powers.
  • Constitution 1828: Promulgated on August 8, 1828, under the government of Francisco Antonio Pinto. Its validity extended until May 25, 1833. It is the first text that uses the title of “Political Constitution of the Republic of Chile.”
  • Constitution 1833: Sworn and promulgated on May 25, 1833, under the government of José Joaquín Prieto. The main authors were the lawyers Manuel José Gandarillas, liberal, and Mariano Egaña, conservative. In force until the coup d’état of September 11, 1924, it is considered the longest in the political history of Chile, ruling for 91 years.

Constitutions from 1900

  • Constitution of 1925: Promulgated on September 18, 1925 by the President Arturo Alessandri Palma, is submitted to a plebiscite on August 30 of the same year. It puts an end to the parliamentary system by establishing a presidential regime. Since the coup d’état of September 11, 1973, it has been subordinated to military power and is dictated in a context of crisis of the oligarchic parliamentary order and rise of the middle and popular sectors.
  • Constitution 1980: Promulgated on October 21, 1980 and published three days later, during the regime of Augusto Pinochet. The Study Commission of the New Political Constitution, created by Decree No. 1064, of the Ministry of Justice, published on November 12, 1973, intervenes in its preparation. Through Decree Law No. 3465, published on August 12, 1980, A plebiscite was called for September 11 of that year, intended for citizens to speak out. It came into force on March 11, 1981, undergoing major modifications in 2005 under the Government of Ricardo Lagos.

It should be noted that the Federal Laws of January 31, 1826, during the government of Supreme Director Ramón Freire, dictated the Project for the administration of the provinces, which was in force until June 2, 1827.

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