Write a comment
Aristocratic Peruvian Republic - The Cathedral of Lima in 1920

Aristocratic Republic (1884 - 1930)

Time of restoration of the Republic of Peru after the War of the Pacific

After the War of the Pacific, the war expenditures, the loss of revenue from the Tarapaca region and a devastated country led to political instability with different civilian and military forces aiming for power and near bankruptcy which was averted by Peru accepting a proposal from its creditors giving them the right to control the railroads for 66 years, to mine up to three million tons of guano, and to receive 33 annual payments of £80,000 each.

War of the Pacific (1879 - 1884)

Political History of Peru
The War of the Pacific, also known as Saltpeter War or Ten Cents War, arose from a dispute between Chile and Bolivia over valuable mineral deposits...

President Nicolás de Piérola

An extraordinary effort of rebuilding the country began with the government initiating several social and economic reforms. In 1894 the Partido Democrata (Democratic Party) was founded by Nicolás de Piérola which attracted mostly the lower social class and can be seen as a counterpart to the Partido Civil which was founded by Manuel Prado 25 years earlier representing Peru’s oligarchs. A year later the party won the elections and Nicolás de Piérola became president, pushing the reconstruction of the country and accelerating the economic development. The agricultural sector started to boom, with mainly sugar, cotton and wool being produced and exported. Additionally, thanks to foreign investment, and here especially US capital, the production and export of minerals, notably copper, increased. And the exploitation of guano on the islands off the coast added to the economic recovery and brought the country decent wealth and prosperity.

President Augusto B. Leguía

During Augusto B. Leguía's presidencies (1908 - 1912 and 1919 - 1930) the sugar and cotton production was expanded, and expensive public works carried out which were mainly financed by loans from US banks. Furthermore, the US-owned International Petroleum Company gained the rights to the oil fields of La Brea and Pariñas. His dictatorship-like style of government and the increased dependence on foreign investment called the suppressed opposition from the most progressive sectors of Peruvian society against the landowner oligarchy into action.

President Leguia
Peruvian President Augusto B. Leguía (left) with José Bautista Saavedra (middle), President of Bolivia, and Alberto Salomón (right), Minister of Foreign Affairs, during a meeting in the Presidential Palace in Lima in 1924.

In 1924, the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA), a left-wing social democratic party which expressed the ideals of the unity of indigenous Americans and the elimination of US imperialism, was founded in Mexico by Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre who intended to create a network of anti-imperialist social and political movements throughout Latin America. The movement quickly swapped to Peru and in 1930 the Peruvian Aprista Party was founded which today - having politically moved to the center - is the oldest surviving political party in Peru and one of the most well-established. Back in the 1930s its anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist stand attracted intellectuals, the indigenous population, and the lower middle class.

And in 1928, the Partido Socialista del Perú (Peruvian Socialist Party) was established mainly under the leadership of José Carlos Mariátegui, the famous Peruvian intellectual, journalist and writer, which two years later was renamed Partido Comunista Peruano (Peruvian Communist Party).

After President Augusto B. Leguía settled the Tacna-Arica dispute with Chile in 1929 resulting in the Peruvian loss of the Arica region and angering extreme nationalists, and with the Great Depression in full swing draining foreign investment from Peru which made Peru's business community unhappy, his eleven-year dictatorship ended with being removed from office in a military coup.

Read the next chapter of Peru's history

Peru from 1930 to 1968

Political History of Peru
After President Augusto B. Leguía settled the Tacna-Arica dispute with Chile in 1929 resulting in the Peruvian loss of Arica and angering extreme n...

Say something here...
characters left
or post as a guest
All comments MUST be in English and will be moderated before publishing.
They will appear below within 24 hours.
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Be the first to comment.

Peru Newsflash

Peru Event Calendar

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Latest Content...

Latest Video

Maria Reiche - Memories

Maria Reiche - Memories

Submitted by: Tintin
05 December 2021

Long Reads...

  • Peruvian Archaeology

    The Mystery of the Nazca Lines in Peru

    In the 1920s, when people first flew across southern Peru, they made an astonishing discovery. Stretching below them,…
  • Peruvian Personalities & Founders

    Francisco Pizarro González (1474-1541)

    Francisco Pizarro, a peasant from Spain, was one of the least well-equipped conquerors in history. However, in the name…
  • Peruvian Archaeology

    The colorful Fabrics and Textiles of Peru

    Europe’s first knowledge of Peruvian textiles was acquired following the Spanish invasion of Peru in 1532, when the…
  • Peruvian Legends, Myths & Tales

    The Jeweled Frog and the Condor

    By a quiet pond, at the side of a cloud-topped mountain in Peru, lived a small green frog and his large green family.…
  • Peru Info

    Peruvian Economy

    The Peruvian economy is an emerging, social market economy highly dependent on foreign trade and classified as an upper…