Juan Peron of Argentina 1946-1952, 1973-1974
Background: Argentina • Located in the south of South America • First trace of humans goes back to 11000 BC • Incas lived there under the rule of King Pachautec • In 1516, Europeans landed on the shores of the Buenos Aires colony • From 1806-1807, the British launched two invasions on the colony • 2 nations formed out of Argentina: The United Provinces of South America and the Liga Federal • An official Constitution was written in 1853 • 1870-the beginning of modern agriculture and a new society and economy • 1911-First free elections occurred, resulting in a president for the working class • Neutral in WWII
Background: Juan Peron • Born in Lobos, Argentina, on October 8, 1895 • Was brought up strictly Catholic • Peron entered military school at age 16 • Married his first wife Aurelia Tizon in 1929, but she died of cancer nine years later • In 1938, he was sent as a military observer to Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Albania, and Yugoslavia • These visits familiarized Peron with Mussolini's government, along with other European governments at the time
Origins of the Single-Party State • June 1943-there was a coup d'etat against the Conservative President by the GOU (United Officer's Group) • Peron, as a colonel, had a large role in the coup d'etat as part of the Labor Union. This increased his power in the military government • After the coup, labor laws long desired by the working class were promoted, and the Department of Labor became a major component of the government • Peron used celebrities and public figures to fundraise for the new government, gaining him strong public approval • New President Ramirez suspended Spain's alliance with the Axis Powers, but he soon loses his seat • Peron was friendly with the new President Farrell, who appointed him Vice President/Secretary of War • Peron was forced to resign and was arrested by opponents after giving an anti-conservative speech • Mass demonstrations by the people regained him his freedom, and more support than ever
Establishment of the Single-Party State • Juan Peron gained support after an earthquake in San Juan that killed thousands of people. He became part of the relief effort and large amounts of money from celebrities and other fundraising. • Peron was promoted to Vice President and Secretary of War when President Ramirez was unseated. • Peron gave a speech on September 18, 1945 that solidified his opponents dislike of him, and led to his resignation on October 9th. He was arrested October 13th, but released with the help of The General Confederation of Labor. The GCT helped Peron gain support for the presidential elections. • He gained support through his wife's connection with labor groups. • He became president of Argentina on June 4, 1946.
Political, Economic, and Social Policies • During his two reigns, Juan Peron followed his political movement of peronism. The goal behind peronism was to create social equality for all people of Argentina. There was only one class: the working class. The people were to work to better the community. • Juan Peron wanted social justice and econmic independence. • He tried to achieve economic independence through a five year plan, that would increase the workers pay and improve industrialization by 40%. • Peron used heavy taxes for the rich, and lowered the poor and working class tax. • The lack of involvement in WWII helped Argentina decrease much of its debt.
Education, Arts, Media, and Propaganda • Juan Peron's first wife Eva, created a foundation to help develop more schools and scholarships. • To keep support of Peron, the Peronism doctrine was integrated into the education system. Textbooks and other teaching material portrayed the importance of a Peronist Argentina. • Policies of Juan Peron, like the Five Year Plan, were revered within the literature and lesson plans in the educational system. • Teachers against Peronism were fired and Education became heavily regulated by the government.
Women's Rights • Peron's wife, Eva, heavily supported social equality. • She created the Female Peronist Party, that supported both equal rights for women and the Peronist Ideals. • In 1947, Women's suffrage was passed in Argentina. • Eva did not want women's rights to be gained as a competition with men, as seen in Europe. She thought women needed to reach their potential and find there place in the world. • Eva tried to make sure women were informed about political and economic poltics to ensure the health of the family.
Foreign Relations -Policy from 1949 onwards was "The Third Way," neither supporting The U.S. or The Soviet Union completely, but remaining on friendly terms with both -Succeeded in annoying both United States and Soviet Union, but on the whole was effective -Defied U.S. and re-opened trade with Cuba -Economic independence a major goal -Re-established diplomatic relations with the USSR for the first time since the Bolshevik Revolution -Relations with U.S. went downhill despite ratification of Truman's Rio Pact and Peron's proposal to send troops to Korea -Refused to accept large foreign loans, did not join IMF -During third term defied U.S. and re-opened trade with Cuba
Why did the people of your country support/embrace the ruler? -Eva Peron was extremely popular with Women's Rights groups and the labor movement, and by extension so was Juan -Passed labor reforms that had been called for for many years -Working class real wages increased significantly, working conditions improved dramatically including much more numerous benefits -Strengthened and encouraged unions -Improved economy, if briefly -Bought infrastructure from foreign companies and reduced debt -Rate of residential construction was one of the highest in the world -Established the ministry of health, opened 4,200 clinics -Invested very heavily in social programs, such as 9,000 new schools
How did the ruler of your country maintain power? • Juan Peron fired any opposing people with significant influence on the population (i.e. teachers, authors, etc.) • Peron limited the Media's image, and kept followers through education and propaganda. • Juan Peron would use military force when necessary, but he preferred to use less violence.