Date of Award

Spring 2003

Document Type

Thesis

Department

History

First Advisor

David Messenger

Second Advisor

Erik Pratt

Third Advisor

Tomas Graman

Abstract

On September 4, 1970, Salvador Allende, leader of the Marxist political party Unidad Popular, was elected president. This sent tremors through the United States government and through the foreign business community in Chile. For the U.S. government the election meant the presence of a second, freely elected, leftist government in the western hemisphere. For the international corporations operating in Chile it meant the probable nationalization of their Chilean property, a policy promoted by the new president during Chile’s election campaign. Allende promised to give back to the people of Chile the foreign owned industries, especially the industry of copper. For the international copper companies operating in Chile, this promise could prove disastrous. No company was threatened more than the Anaconda Company.

In 1970 Anaconda and the rest of the business community sat on the edge of two different worlds. In the industrial old world, business was characterized by companies that operated in primarily a single industry ruled by large cumbersome structures. Aside from a few notable exceptions, most companies were able to make a profit by focusing their energy on one profitable source of income. In the new era, in the north, business was moving away from reliance on refinement of natural resources toward communication based businesses. Industrial based businesses were being forced to adjust through diversification. The world of the Anaconda Company’s former bosses Marcus Daly and Con Kelly, men who understood handshakes to be binding contracts, was coming to an end.

Share

COinS