Argentina in 20th century : The great depression and world war I

The world economic crisis that began in 1929 had serious repercussions in Argentina. In 1930 a military coup ousted Irigoyen’s second administration and instituted a brief military dictatorship. Falling foreign trade and unemployment intensified the prevailing sense of insecurity. In the 1930s earnings from agriculture declined, and thousands of people were forced to leave rural areas. They moved to cities, especially Buenos Aires. Former farm workers joined an emerging manufacturing economy that developed as imports declined. Economic conditions improved substantially during the administration of General Agustín P. Justo from 1932 to 1938, but political unrest continued.

During the 1930s Argentina had a very active right-wing nationalist movement that its opponents denounced as pro-fascist (see Fascism). The appeal of liberal democracy declined as the lure of authoritarian dictatorship grew. In 1943 a nationalist military junta, suspecting that the government was about to abandon its policy of neutrality and join the Allied Powers in World War II, overthrew the president.

The coup of 1943 dethroned the political system instituted almost a century earlier with the constitution of 1853. Right-wing nationalists led the new government. President Pedro Ramírez abolished all political parties, suppressed opposition newspapers, and stifled the remnants of democracy in Argentina.

Then in 1944 Allied pressure forced Ramírez to break diplomatic relations with Germany and Japan. Local opposition to the break led to the president’s fall and instatement of another military government committed to neutrality. Encarta
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