Chile has always been at the end of the world. It was only partially incorporated into the Inca Empire and was a remote, poor part of the Spanish colonial empire. It was not until after Independence in 1818 that it became a more significant member of the global community. From approximately the 1840's on Chile had relatively stable and orderly governments, reading Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle, provides an interesting contrast with the Argentina of the time. By the 1870's Chile was a modern and relatively prosperous country, exporting wheat to California, copper and nitrates to the rest of the world. In the late 1870's there was a war between Chile and an alliance of Bolivia and Peru. The war was won by Chile which permanently incorporated the Pacific provinces of Bolivia and the most southern province of Peru into its territory. The victory led to 30 years of prosperity in Chile based on the exploitation of nitrates (salitre) and until the opening of the Panama canal of trade with the west coast of the USA. However, politically all was not well and there was a civil war in the 1890's between forces supporting the President Balmeceda and parliament, the forces supporting parliament won and Balmeceda committed suicide, the day his Presidency should have ended. The war was followed by a period of relatively stable governments dominated by parliament and a never ending succesion of coalition governments. This ended in the 1920's with a military intervention to impose a new constitution,  transferring power back to the presidency. Chile was very badly affected by the Great Depression and for a few years there was considerable political instability, including a short lived leftwing dictatorship. Order was restored in the mid-1930's  and constitutional regimes continued until the overthrow of the leftwing Unidad Popular government in 1973.