Diego Portales

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Diego Portales.

Diego Portales was a Conservative Chilean trader and minister who was fundamental in the consolidation of the Chilean State. He was the writer of the 1833 Chilean Constitution which gave a lot of power to the President. Diego Portales belived that in the colony the Spanish king was an element of unification and order, so he wanted to create something similar with the President figure.

He prioritized order over democracy, since only married land owners over 21 could vote.

Portales thought that the Peru–Bolivian Confederation was a threat to Chilean dominance and sovereignty so in 1836 he started a war against the Condederation in which some Peruvians oppositions allied with Chile.

Some rebel soldiers in Quillota murdered him in 1837 since they were against the war. Portales never saw the ending of the war (1839) that he stated, and never saw the stability that his Constitution granted to Chile during several decades. While a lot of South American countries were in civil wars and with unstable regimes, Chile enjoyed of stability and prosperity thanks to the Institutions that Portales created. The 1833 Constitution was replaced in 1925.