Argentina in the 1930’s

Argentina in the 1930’s

When President Irigoyen, in 1928, was taken for the second time to the largest assembly of the Argentine Republic (he had been president of the Republic as an exponent of the radical party from 1916 to 1922) he owed him to a fraction of the old party, that of the Personalists, against which the same radical party, was fighting the fraction of Antipersonalisti (this split of the party manifested itself during the radical legislature Marcello Alvear, 1922-28).

Ippolito Irigoyen was the typical representative of the Argentine radical party. A party which – the terminological analogy with European movements of this kind must not mislead – essentially did not have its own defined and detailed program: the program resulted in a negative attitude towards the other parties. In fact, in reality, Irigoyen and his followers gave an example of a fundamental political unscrupulousness towards those political principles, of a European brand, which they pretended to uphold. Irigoyen based his policy on elements of a purely personal nature; he availed himself of the popularity gained during the world war with some calming measures and with the support of neutrality,

Then, as he got older, those who were the deteriorating sides of his personality came more clearly to the surface and the inability of the regime he directed, in the domestic and international sectors, ended up arousing the most lively concerns in the country.

In fact, Argentina saw its prestige diminish among the states of South America. This fed the opposition force of the antagonist party, but with the outbreak of the world economic crisis large masses of the people also passed into opposition. The personalist party, of which Irigoyen was the exponent, declined so rapidly in strength and prestige, as the partial congressional elections of 1930 proved. With the decadence of the personalist party revealed in this way, a successful coup d’etat was made possible which led to a general, the conservative Uriburu, at the head of the provisional government. The regime of dictatorship established by it in the first half garnered a certain favor also because it adopted measures and measures that the country expected. But the Uriburu showed a tendency to accentuate the authoritarian character of his regime and to attack it, through constitutional changes, on solid and lasting foundations. This trend ended up adversely affecting his own supporters, so that a compromise was reached by calling new elections. In this circumstance a new political displacement originated: the conservative party, which had changed its name to that of the national democratic, the anti-personalist party, formed by the radical fraction opposed to Irigoyen, and the independent socialist party merged giving rise to the so-called so that a compromise was reached by calling new elections. In this circumstance a new political displacement originated: the conservative party, which had changed its name to that of the national democratic, the anti-personalist party, formed by the radical fraction opposed to Irigoyen, and the independent socialist party merged giving rise to the so-called so that a compromise was reached by calling new elections. In this circumstance a new political displacement originated: the conservative party, which had changed its name to that of the national democratic, the anti-personalist party, formed by the radical fraction opposed to Irigoyen, and the independent socialist party merged giving rise to the so-called concordance. In opposition, later linked in the popular front, the radicals, the socialists, the progressive democrats. In the elections of 1931 the moderate fraction of the concordance manifested its importance, Uriburu desisted from the presidential candidacy (he came to Europe and died of operation in the same year) and in his place the concordance presented General Augustín Justo, who was elected president for the legislature 1932-1938. The anti-personal radicals could not present a candidate of their own.

In 1937 (5 September) the new presidential elections took place. The concordance group, which had in General Augustín Justo, an exponent of its own already in power, presented as a candidate Dr. Roberto Ortiz Minister of Finance in the Justo government and ex-Minister of Public Works in the radical government of Marcello Alvear (1922-28). The radical party presented Alvear as candidates and the socialist party Dr. Nicola Repetto. The elections, which take place with the two-tier system, have succeeded in favor of the concordancia group: Ortiz was elected president of the Republic and dr. Castillo, of the same group, vice-president. This electoral victory, obtained despite the radical party’s reorganization, was made possible by the excellent impression aroused in the country by the previous Justo administration, of which the Ortiz administration wants to be the continuation. The Ortiz government came into operation on February 15, 1938.

Argentina, invited member of the S. d. N., suspended his collaboration with this body in November 1920, not having obtained the application of some proposals of his delegation for a universalization of the S. d. N. and a democratization of representation on the Governing Council. For this fact, the Republic desisted from any concrete collaborative work with the League until, in September 1933, after some modifications to the constitution, in view of the commitments that the pact of the S. d. N. entailed, the Argentine government communicated to the secretariat of the S. d. N. that the Argentine parliament had sanctioned membership in the S. d. N.

Since then Argentina has made use of its membership of the S. d. N. to counter the interventionist tendencies of the United States in the American continent, based on the famous Monroe doctrine. Indeed, Argentina’s absence from the S. d. N. also appeared at certain moments determined by the hostility of the Republic to that direction of American politics, that the Covenant of the S. d. N. had accepted and sanctioned. And by joining the S. d. N. in September 1933 the Argentine government set out to establish that it did not intend to recognize the Monroe doctrine, “which is but a unilateral political declaration and does not constitute a regional agreement”.

However, at the Pan-American Conference in Montevideo in December 1933 the differences between Argentina and the United States diminished considerably and the representatives of the Argentine Republic and those of the United States collaborated amicably and closely. On that occasion a convention was adopted denying the right of one state to intervene in the affairs of another state, and on that occasion the US secretary, Cordell Hull, declared that he was hostile to any interference with freedom, with sovereignty, internal affairs and the provisions of governments and other nations: declarations that could only be very welcome in Argentina.

This clearing of relations with the United States led to an extraordinary pan-American conference for peace on December 10, 1936 in Buenos Aires, in which four particular conventions were adopted, while the important topics (such as that of the establishment of a Pan-American court of justice) were postponed to the Pan-American Conference in Lima of 1938.

On August 3, 1932, Argentina signed a declaration with 18 other American republics regarding the non-recognition of territorial acquisitions obtained by force. Since 10 October 1933 it has been linked to Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay, Uruguay by the Saavedra Lamas pact of non-aggression and conciliation. Relations with the Catholic Church are excellent. The appointment as cardinal in 1935 of the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Capello, was very well received. For Argentina 2011, please check

Education, as the official statistics show, is now in progress, but the results achieved are not yet satisfactory, because still in 1931 only 75% of Argentine school-age children attended primary school. Over the past 50 years, several reforms have been carried out in the secondary education sector. But so far the efficient branches are rather the middle ones.

During the Italo-Ethiopian conflict Argentina’s demeanor was friendly towards Italy. If it had also voted on the sanctions, it is true, however, that they never entered into force. On 11 May 1936, Senator Sanchez Sorondo presented to the Senate a project for the lifting of sanctions, which was supported by Sorondo in the session of 15 May and then postponed to the study of the Foreign Affairs Commission. On 2 June the permanent delegate of Argentina at the S. d. N., Ruiz Guinazu, sent a letter to the general secretary in which, having recalled the reservation he had formulated on the decision of the Council of 12 May, he requested the convening of the Assembly, during which the member states could examine the problems that gave rise to the conflict and express their opinion on the course to be followed. It was following the Argentine initiative that on June 15 Mr. Avenol called the Assembly for the day 30, during which the Argentine delegate explained the reasons that had led his government to ask for the Assembly to be convened.

In the past Argentina absorbed a large mass of Italian exports: in 1913, in current lire, about 800 million; in 1926, one billion and 100 million; in 1931, 700 million; in ’33, 400 million; then, due to exchange rate discrimination, it fell rapidly in 1934 to 210 million and in 35 to less than 200. From a percentage of 9% of the total Argentine import, Italy fell in 1937 to a percentage of 5%, and it is also overtaken by Germany, Belgium, Brazil, etc. With the Anglo-Argentine commercial treaty of 7 August 1933 (later extended to Belgium, Holland, Germany, Switzerland and Spain) Argentina granted significant exchange and customs facilities to those countries that ensured the placement of its agricultural products. Italy, owing to the diminished need for agricultural products, it had found itself in a particularly unfavorable position compared to those countries that were already operating with currencies unanchored from the gold block and which also benefited from the exchange rate discrimination granted by Argentina under special treaties: exchange rate discrimination, around 20%, given by the difference between the official exchange rate, valid for the countries with which agreements were made, and the free exchange rate, valid for countries not linked by agreements. On March 4, 1937, to put an end to an abnormal situation and bring economic relations between the two countries to an effectively constructive level, trade agreements were signed in Buenos Aires between Italy and Argentina, on the basis of which the customs convention of June 1 1934 is updated. L’ Italy assures Argentina an export quota, for 1937, of an overall figure of 460 million lire. Argentina, for its part, does not guarantee a certain quota for our exports, but grants the official exchange rate for all goods imported from Italy.

In 1937 Argentina’s exports to Italy rose to 1,052,975 lire; and imports from Italy to 402,477 lire.

Argentina in the 1930's