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History- Primera Etapa

by on October 31, 2011

1912 Sáenz Peña Law introduces universal, secret and compulsory male suffrage, end of the Generation of ’80

Hipólito Irigoyen

When Hipólito Irigoyen won elections for his first term (1916-1922), it was a victory of the Radicals vs. the Conservatives; however, they did not win majority in congress, which made it very difficult to pass laws for change. Irigoyen’s objectives were to reform the agro industrial and social models.  A student movement quickly followed and led to a University Reform, which eventually spread throughout America.

In January of 1919, the “Tragic Week” struck Buenos Aires, when police killed 700 people and left thousands injured.  The Argentine Regional Workers Federation called for a general strike after this.  In 1921, Irigoyen’s administrations ordained a Labor Code with give workers the right to strike, minimum wage laws, and collective contracts. (wiki)

During World War I, Argentina struggled to remain neutral despite the United States’ efforts to get American states involved.  Germany sank two civilian argentine ships, which lead to the expulsion of the German ambassador and ultimately the monetary aid to the USSR in 1922.

Aristocrat, Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear, also a member of the Radical Civic Union (URC) of which Irigoyen belonged to, took power (1922-1928).  His followers founded an opposition to Irigoyen’s party, Union Civica Radical Antipersonalista, while the new president abolished the reforms implemented by the previous leader.  Fascism arouse out of Italian influences by the Black shirts of Mussolini, which resulted in the bombing of the Italian consulate in 1928.

That same year, Irigoyen was re-elected, but his second term was even more corrupt than the first.  After only 2 year into his term, Irigoyen was over thrown by a military coup.  Argentina was already falling apart and so was the moral if it’s people.  What was once considered as the embodiment of the Argentine dream, now destroyed it and created the “invisible Argentina” with a shattered faith. (Crow 1992 (1946), p. 841)

In 1938, Roberto Ortiz, a wealthy corporation lawyer, stepped up to the presidency with hopes to restore integrity and honor back into politics.  Nevertheless, World War II came around and when the government gave their support to the Allies, Argentina was once again divided.  Ortiz became ill and could not carry out his term and his vice president, Ramon Castillo, took charge.  However, the country found itself in a hotbed for Axis activities.

A military coup lead by General Pedro Ramirez, over thru the government in June of 1943 and Axis activities continued.  Anti-Semitism spread and fascists took government jobs.  Hugo Wast, the minister of Education, fired University professors who opposed the government and instead put religion back into the classrooms, as well as anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism. (Crow 1992 (1946), p. 843)

Finally, in 1944, the U.S. and Great Britain were able to prove that Axis agents were filtered into the Argentine government and General Ramirez was forced to resign.  Vice-President Edelmiro Farrell took over and declared a war against Axis in 1945.

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