Juan Domingo Perón Essay

4482 words - 18 pages

Juan Domingo Perón

Juan Domingo Perón, born in 1895 in Lobos, Argentina, was the President of Argentina on two occasions separated by eighteen years. He first came to power by the election of February 28,1946. He ruled for almost ten years until he was pressured to resign by the Argentine military and in September of 1955 he left the country. He spent almost the next twenty years in exile but never lost touch with the Argentine people and especially the Argentine labor movement. In 1973, after eighteen years of exile, Perón returned to Argentina and was elected president again with his third wife Isabel as vice-president. His power as a ruler came out of the special connection that he made with the working classes and unions before and during his first term. Perón was a military man by trade, attending the National Military Academy at age fifteen. He became a captain by 1924 and a professor of military history by 1930. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1936 and was named minister of war during the unrest and bloodless coup of 1944. Perón got his first experience with labor as the head of the National Labor Department. That position evolved into the head of the Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare just over a month later in December of 1944. Right away Perón required that all employers give employees a one month's pay bonus every year. This was the beginning of a series of policies that would make Perón the labor union's president. His ability to come back to power after being out of the country for so long was the product of his close relationship with the labor forces and working class. There are however a few special factors that must be considered when making this claim; namely the background of the labor movement and the way in which labor continued to follow Peronist ideas even after Juan was gone from office. These labor forces developed such tremendous loyalty to Juan Perón as a result of his special brand of politics which provided that the economic solvency of the working class was the biggest priority of the government.
Organized labor in Argentina before the golpe of 1943 was in a state of constant change and motion. Beginning with the golpe de estado that overthrew president Hipolito Yrigoyen in September of 1930, the political climate of Argentina was a turmoiltuous backdrop for the labor movement. The formation of the Conferatción General del Trabajo [CGT] took place in the same year. The CGT was a conglomerate of the largest labor unions in the country, like railroad workers unions, construction workers unions and textile workers unions. This marked the beginning of a new type of unionization. The unions that formed between 1930 and 1943 were not only larger and more directed at labor than trades, but they were willing to cooperate with the government. They were "bread-and-butter" unions, now less interested in being in opposition to the state because they had gotten into industries that...

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