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Argentina: The Long Decline

Argentina's political and economic crisis and European relations
by

Yasemin Kahveci

on 12 October 2010

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Transcript of Argentina: The Long Decline

ARGENTINA Argentina:
- Possessed economic success
comparable to


- Attained financial superiority
- Became a wealthy country
due to trading
with Europe
Export of meat and grain
Attributed to the creation of consensus among the creole elites of landowners and merchants
Urban population was mainly employed in ancillary activities Reginal caudillismo had been overcame by the early decades of twentieth century. The country adopted constitutional democracy which guranteed political freedom. The Radical Party led by Argentinean commander Hipólito Yrigoyen revealed the conflict among Argentinean people in first two decades of the twentieth century. Hipólito was seeking to build a dominant, imperious national party from a special group of people who opposed the creation of oligarchic parties. He backed the university movement, which originated in the city of Córdoba in 1918, and he succeeded in convincing the intellectuals and liberal professionals to be his followers. He desired to unite the middle class and working class. However, his aim of coalition of the two groups had interfered with the Great War in Europe which eventually impacted the economic sources - meat and grain - of Argentina badly. This movement led to rise of the prices, as well as to the increase in unemployment, which caused the working class to protest against the government. The anarchists and syndicalist consisted of Spanish and Italian immigrants, who led the Argentine trade unions and possessed the belief of abolishing the government by general striking of the bourgeois state. In order to prevent the expansion of bourgeois state, and the general strike by the syndicalist, a bloody event occurred between anarchists and militants of the right-wing Argentine Patriotic League in 1919, which ultimately, broke the strike and the leadership of anarchists and syndicalist during this street fighting. The termination of the war in Europe in 1920 caused an increase in labor wages. After the crisis of 1919, the chief Hipólito attempted rebuild the coalition of middle and working class. The Radical Party, specifically, the urban middle class, was unable to resolve the conflict of inflation. Once again, Yrigoyen ran for the election of 1928 in which he promised the community to fight the inflation. This led to win the election; however, his policies were soon disregarded by the society. Finally, the Radical Party did not succeed in solving this problem.
In 1932, General Agustin P. Justo was chosen to become the head of the Concordancia coalition government, whose followers mainly consisted of Conservative National Democrats, the Independent Nationalist Socialist Party and the Anti-Personalist Radicals. His principal goal was to stabilize the economy that was destroyed during the presidency of Yrigoyen. Argentina encountered a threat of being shut out of its largest export market as Britain implemented a policy of Imperial Preference in 1932, which was trade agreement which made the meat producers in Australia and South Africa superior over their competitors in return for British access to their markets.

The Argentine government was successful in protecting its trade value, exports, to Britain by constituting a policy named Roca-Runciman Treaty, which guaranteed Argentine exports of beef to the British market in return for a decline in import tariffs on British goods. During the period of Concordancia government, the industrial growth in certain imports like textiles, electrical goods and processed goods had occurred, which was provoked by the rise in demand. The occurrence of the Second World War further led to the progress of nationalism. The Nationalists advocated the idea of implementing a policy of state-led industrialization to produce in in order to decrease economy's reliance on exports since Argentine's markets in Europe were inaccessible.
The Concordancia Governments (1932-43) The Rule of Péron (1946-55) Juan Domingo Péron's plan to gain power was to gather the urban classes against the estancieros and foreign business, however, intense nationalist movement during his period demanded the advocate of groups from both the extreme right and left of the Argentine political spectrum. Peronism can be depicted as a form of caudillismo of industrial society; its advocates were the working class. These laborers allowed themselves to be organized by state into loyal unions in exchange for substantial social and economic benefits. Reduction in meet exports was caused due to internal policy decisions. Although there was still demand for beef by the Britain, which was considered Argentina's most significant export market, increase in wages led to rises in the consumption of beef in Argentina itself. This act caused the reduction of exports and foreign earnings. The expulsion of Juan Domingo Perón from the political stage of Argentina did not conclude the period Peronism; however, El Líder exercised superior power over the politics of Argentina. His followers included the urban lower-middle and working classes. Limited democracy once again
became main type of politics after the country collapsed into inflation and the budget deficiency became a major problem. Contrary to Perón ideals, Onganía’s (1966-70) strategy was to create a system in which power was mainly exercised by the armed forces in order to maintain social order while technical experts dealt with the process of economic modernization. The restoration of democracy in 1983 was greeted with content and excitement because it indicated a return to the principles upon which the republic had been found. The need for political, as well as economic restoration was caused by the harm and detriment of trade with the European countries and high tariffs provided by them. "Caudillismo is a Spanish word which means "leader" or sometimes simply "boss." In Latin America it has acquired a more pejorative sense where it has come to be used in reference to any quasi-military regime which is controlled by a charismatic leader. Over time, it has come to be used even outside Latin America with any government controlled by the military. In every case, however, it does denote a type of authoritarianism. " An oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small segment of society distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, or military control. *Cited from: http://atheism.about.com/library/glossary/political/bldef_caudillismo.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligarchy *Resources: The Penguin History of Latin America
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