Mid-September Crisis

From Roses, Tulips, & Liberty
Mid-September Crisis
Part of The Silent War

Chilean military detachments stationed in the presidential residence. The soldiers pictured above would later defect to the FNC and participate in the coup d'etat.
DateSeptember 10-11, 1945 - September 30, 1945
Location
Chile
Result Loyalist and Carolinian victory; Chilean National Republic dismantled
Belligerents

Chilean National Front (FNC)

Peruvian National Republicans

Guerrera Administration Chilean Loyalists

Carolina (Carolinian Expeditionary Force)

The Mid-September Crisis or September Crisis (Spanish: Crisis de Mediados de Septiembre) was a period in Chilean history where a coup d'etat and attempted takeover of the Republic of Chile was orchestrated by the members of the Chilean National Front(FNC). This event was characterized by political chaos and strife during the tenure of President Lorenzo Guerrera. Members of the military sympathetic of the FNC launched a coup against the administration and seized control of the country. This incident would establish the short-lived Chilean National Republic, until its dissolution by the Carolinian Expeditionary Force and loyalist remnants by the end of the month.

Context

Chilean Political Instability

Chile following its independence was rife with corruption and cronyism, as the fledgling government had to deal with reconstruction efforts and consolidation of their currency. For the next 5 years, the administration focused on reconstruction of the nation and for their efforts, experienced a short golden age in which foreign investment from the UK, Carolina, Colombia, and other nations fueled the economy and industry of the nation. The 'golden age' would end in 1926, at the height of the European Economic Crisis, as it would hit the nation hard. Chile would experience a period of unrest as unfair wages would be levied on workers around the country. The country would experience political instability, as governments and administrations came and went, with the issues and pleas of the Chilean people gone unanswered.

The Great War

Chile was not militarily involved in the conflict, but aligned closely with the Cordial League. This alignment gave the Chilean government the funds it needed to recover from the EEC, as well as allies in order to not remain diplomatically isolated in the post-war era. This influenced the nation's anti National Republican stance and its foreign policy in the coming years.

Influence of National Republicans

Members of the Chilean National Front in a meeting.

After the Great War, the South American continent experienced a spread of National Republicanism; an ideology which aimed to establish a self-sufficient nationalist nation-state. This ideology became the root cause of the 1944 National Republican Coup, and the subsequent Peruvian Civil War. This created the belief among the Chilean populace that the spread of the ideology cannot be stopped, and that the ideology would enter the country one way or another. This belief motivated those dissatisfied with the current status quo to establish the Chilean National Front, or FNC. The political party gained widespread popularity among the middle class and resonated with those who shared the same impression, especially against those in the Chilean government.

Lorenzo Guerrera, the Chilean president tied to the infamous Valparaiso Scandal
Protesters composed of workers and members of the middle-class take to the streets of Santiago.

Guerrera Administration and Valparaiso Scandal

The Guerrera administration was just the latest in countless administrations and regime changes in the nation who pledged its citizens economic stability and prosperity for Chile. However, the administration failed to address the problems and issues plaguing the country, and their efforts only made things worse. Private companies and corporations in the nation used their money to influence members in the administration, aligning government policies in favor of the private companies. For the duration of Guerrera's tenure, his administration would double down on these policies, giving him the reputation as the president who endorsed cronyism in the nation.

The final straw for the administration would be the Valparaiso Scandal, in which numerous government secrets and plans were leaked in a hotel located in Valparaiso. These documents showed the public the motivations of government officials on the implementation of these policies. Numerous opposition parties would use this opportunity to slander Guerrera and his administration, citing the issues that remain due to his incompetence. The FNC would use the scandal to launch a propaganda campaign against the government, with slogans such as 'Crear poder popular!'(Create People Power!) and powerful messages drawing from the anger and outrage of the populace. Numerous protests around the country would propel Chile into another period of unrest and instability.

This sudden wave of protests would force Guerrera into declaring martial law and imposing the military and national guard in urban areas to 'suppress the protests accordingly'. Later accounts would look back on this moment as an unjustified use of the military and the start of the Mid-September Crisis.

Martial Law

On September 10, 1945, witness accounts would dub this day as the bloodiest day in Chilean history. In what seemed to be peaceful protests, military personnel were given the order to fire upon unarmed civilians. This act would be condemned by the international community, isolating Chile in the diplomatic stage. Lorenzo Guerrera would use his newfound presidential power to enact censorship laws, propaganda campaigns, and 'disappearances' of members of the opposition. The FNC, looked up by many who are against the Guerrera administration, would convince members of the military to defect and support a coup d'etat against the government. Members of the military who chose to defect to the FNC would play a part in the ousting of President Guerrera and serve as the NGN(Nueva Guardia Nacional) or New National Guard, the armed wing of the Chilean National Front.

Coup d'etat and FNC rule

On the dawn of September 11, 1945, the New National Guard and high-ranking members of the FNC would break into the presidential residence and detain the president and two his close associates. This incursion caused the deaths of 3 security guards in the area and one civilian. Before FNC forces reached the office of the president, President Lorenzo Guerrera and his close associates would escape through a hidden trapdoor and cross the border into neighboring Carolina. The president would then plead to the Carolinian government to send an expeditionary force to intervene in chaos erupting in Chile. When the New National Guard did a check of the residence, the president was nowhere to be found, not knowing that he was on his way across the border. The FNC would declare itself to be the legitimate government of Chile, and began state transformation as the National Republic of Chile.

FNC officials would elect Chairman Alessandro Mendoza as the leader of the new nation, and enacted on a mission to remove traces of the old government. Members of the FNC, supported by the NGN, would purge officials in the country part of the old regime and re-establish branches of the government, in the vision of the FNC. The Chilean National Republic would be recognized only by members of the International Republican Coalition(IRC), especially by the governments of Equador and Peru. However, aid by these nations were only limited to humanitarian aid, and the limited economic and military aid given was not enough to rebuild the country.

Carolinian Intervention

Chilean soldiers engage the Carolinian Expeditionary Forces in urban warfare somewhere in Valparaiso, Chile.