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Argentina during the Great Depression

October 1929: Foreign investment curtailed. Exports drop 40%. Inflation increased. President Yrigoyen becomes scapegoat, violence, political instability, results in military coup in 1930. End of democracy in Argentina, beginning of "infamous decade". Period of harsh repression of political opponents, corruption, electoral fraud. Conservative economic policies: state intervention in the economy (no laissez-faire) Limit farm production, restrict imports (except from Great Britain), began industrialization (Import Substitution Industrialization -- ISI) as in other countries such as Brazil. Increase foreign capital to develop Argentine industry (electric power, automobile, petroleum, pharmaceutical etc.). Special trade agreement with Great Britain: Roca-Runciman Treaty 1933 Britain guaranteed purchase of chilled beef from Argentina, eased tariffs on cereals. Argentina eased tariffs on British imports, agreed to spend earnings from British market on British manufactured goods. Government reformed the banking and credit system. Government spending on developing infrastructure and other public works programs (alleviated unemployment). Crisis had passed by 1936 (unemployment fell sharply, meat and cereal prices rose, etc.). Consumer purchasing increased. 1930s also represented the growth of the industrial bourgeoisie (middle class)

Juan Domingo Pern

Military coup in 1943, Pern was a junior officer, then became the head of the Department of Labor (then secretary of Labor). Pern rose to vice-presidency...pro-labor policies led to his arrest in 1945. Massive protest by workers led to his release, then his election as president in 1946. Populist president (catered to various sectors in the society -- working class, military, industrialists, etc. --> did not include the large landowners.) Charismatic leader (often gave speeches to large crowds). Policies favored industrial growth, growth of military. Married to Eva "Evita" Pern, who helped with his popularity, especially with the workers (the "descamisados"). Also played an active role in fighting for social justice, women's rights, set up charities to help the poor, etc. (similar to Eleanor R.) Nationalized the railroads, central bank, utilities, communication industries, etc. IAPI: Government program to regulate agricultural production, bought commodities from farmers (at low fixed prices) then sold them on world market (at higher prices)...the profits were channeled into industrialization efforts. Social security programs, old-age pensions, etc. (similar to FDR) Economic strategy (concessions to foreign industry, less emphasis on

industrialization programs, labor productivity declined, printed more money to maintain govt. spending) alienated some elements of his coalition of workers, military, and industrialists. "Justicialismo" strategy: social justice, but growing oppression of opposition. Heavy use of police to intimidate opposition. Official labor union used to force compliance with his policies. Attacked the Catholic church, took over newspapers, imposed censorship. Eva Pern died in 1952, harming his popularity. Pern never did arm the descamisados ("shirtless ones", and as the military turned on him he fled into exile in 1955. Long-term impact of "Peronism" in Argentina. He returned in 1973, with his wife Isabela as vice-president (he had wanted Eva to be VP but military would not allow it). Died in 1974, Isabela became president, then overthrown by military junta....leads to the "dirty war" in Argentina.

The "Dirty War" or "La Guerra Sucia"

Actually began in late 1960s, and "ended" in 1982. Not a real "war" but rather a horrible campaign of violence and terror by the military government against the people of Argentina. Officially known as the "war against subversion". The Argentine government labeled as "subversive" many people who fought for social justice or who questioned the existing authority. "Desaparecidos": There were thousands of people who simply "disappeared" during this time period, as they were picked up by military death squads and never heard from again.

Many young children were taken from their parents, and many pregnant wome