Liberal-Conservative Fusion (Chile)
The Liberal-Conservative Fusion (or Fusion Liberal-Conservadora in Spanish) was an alliance between Chilean liberal and conservative political movements that existed from 1858 to 1873.
The two groups were united in their opposition to the political choices of the time. Liberals represented the laiety population (non-clergy) and were in favor of more political liberties and firmer boundaries on presidential powers granted by the Constitution of 1833. Conservatives started off with the clergry's influence: they had the Church, with an independent function with respect to patronage, and had firm support from the president. Their coalition united opposition to the authoritarian practices of the government of Manuel Montt and its minister of the Interior, Antonio Varas. They were structured to display a united front before the electoral intervention of the National or Montt-Varista Party.
Not all liberals accepted the fusion. The future radicals separated in 1859 with a party consisting of more laity, an anti-clergy program, and the separation of the Church and State. They arrived in the political arena with the election of Jose Joaquin Perez who displaced the Montt-Varistas. The presidency of Federico Errazuriz Zanartu garnered the rest of the conservatives (1873) because of his religious subject. As result, a new coalition was formed which integrated liberal and radical elements. This was called the Liberal Alliance, which gave the new legislative core to the government of Errazuriz Zanartu in 1875.
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