Chilean Politics, 1920-1931: The Honorable Mission of the Armed Forces

By Frederick M. Nunn | Go to book overview

6. THE MISSION CONTINUES

"The army, now mark this well, gentlemen, shrinks from participation in politics, and therefore will not meddle in your activities. But you can be sure that it will not view with indifference the nonfulfillment of its ideal of national perfection, that is to say, neglect of the ends pursued by the revolutions of September 5 and January 23." Division General Mariano Navarrete Ciris to the Constitutional Consultative Commission, July 23, 192511

IN THE TWO-MONTH HIATUS BETWEEN JANUARY 23 AND ALESSANDRI'S REturn on March 20 the Bello government dealt with many problems, among which attempted overthrows figured prominently. So serious were the threats against the provisional regime that it became Carlos Ibáñez' chief function to ensure the government's existence. The powers that fell to Ibáñez when he entered the War Ministry in January 1925 and those he assumed during the ensuing time of stress were enough to make him the most powerful cabinet member for the next two years.

During the remainder of the Alessandri presidency (to October 1, 1925), and during the ill-fated term of Alessandri's successor, Ibáñez kept the armed forces out of politics by keeping himself in. That is to say, he restored discipline and eliminated plotting by working to become sole spokesman for the army and sole arbiter of intra-army affairs. It soon became clear that Ibáñez, with the aid of his colleagues, was the only man capable of doing this. Therefore, in two short years he became indispensable to both the armed forces and the civilian sector. His staunch advocacy of orderly social and political reform enhanced his position with regard to the latter.


Ibáñez Consolidates his Position: Restoration of Military Discipline

As soon as Ibáñez swore his oath of office as War Minister on January 28, 1925 he initiated steps to insure loyalty and discipline in the armed forces.

-88-

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Chilean Politics, 1920-1931: The Honorable Mission of the Armed Forces
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Part One - The Politics of Change, 1920-1924 7
  • 2. Year of the Lion 19
  • 3. White Anarchy 28
  • Part Two - The Military and the Politics of Change 1924-1927 45
  • 5. Military Rule 67
  • 6. the Mission Continues 88
  • Part Three - Politics on the Military's Terms, 1927-931 115
  • 8. the Institutionalized Mission 134
  • 9. the Mission Ends 160
  • Appendixes 177
  • Notes 185
  • Selective Bibliographical Note - On Chilean Politics and the Armed Forces, 1920-31 204
  • Index 213
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