Perón and Peronism

Samuel Amaral

in Latin American Studies

ISBN: 9780199766581
Published online October 2011 | | DOI:
Perón and Peronism

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  • Regional and Area Studies
  • History of the Americas


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Peronism is an Argentine political phenomenon born on 17 October 1945. Its name comes from an army colonel named Juan Perón, a key figure of the military dictatorship established in 1943. Three periods can be identified in the history of Peronism: 1943–1955, 1955–1976, and 1976–present. During the first period, Perón was elected president twice, and his wife, Eva, acquired star status. Intensive social policies were carried out by the government at the expense of society, and there was an increasing political polarization. Following a clash with the Catholic Church, Perón was ousted by the army generals in September 1955. The Peronist Party was banned, and Peronism was thought to disappear—but it did not. Political instability characterized the second period. The dilemma was how integrate Peronism into the democratic fold. When a solution was found after eighteen years, it implied Perón’s return to Argentina and to the presidency. By then, Peronism had turned into a labor-based party. Once in office again, Perón had to confront rising political violence. When he died, Isabel Perón failed to follow in his footsteps. The armed forces removed her, and a new period began for Peronism and Argentina. During the third period, Peronism changed again. After losing the 1983 presidential election that put an end to the last military dictatorship, Labor lost influence vis-à-vis the newly elected governors and mayors. At this point, Peronism turned into a political force based upon extended clientelistic networks. The literature on the first period is overwhelming and still growing. The literature on the second period focuses mainly on what were the main Peronist actors while Perón was in exile—trade unions and guerrillas and their peripheral organizations. The literature on the third period is much thinner, because, with Peronism’s merging into mainstream politics, there was less need for specific studies.

Article.  15324 words. 

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies ; History of the Americas

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