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The Demise of Democracy. Prelude to the Coup of 1930. The Rise of the Modern Military. Origins of the Modern Military Poor performance in the War of the Triple Alliance 1864-1870 Establishment of Colegio Militar in 1870 to train young officers, but not recruits

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The Demise of Democracy

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The Demise of Democracy

Prelude to the Coup of 1930


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The Rise of the Modern Military

  • Origins of the Modern Military

    Poor performance in the War of the Triple Alliance 1864-1870

    Establishment of Colegio Militar in 1870 to train young officers, but not recruits

    1890 boundary dispute with Chile led to formation of Escuela Superior de Guerra (War Academy), promotion of officers now based on education


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Role of German Officers

  • 1890s Argentina purchased munitions and weapons from Prussia

  • 1899 German officers invited to organize War Academy

  • 1900-1914, Germans dressed in Argentine uniforms taught officers—best students did advanced studies in Germany

  • During World War I not all army officers in favor of the Germans


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Social Origins of Army Officers

  • Military became new avenue for middle-class mobility. Earned promotions by merit, not ascription. Perón among poor students helped by grades

  • By 1928 40% of generals were 2nd Generation Argentines, including 1 Slav and 1 Jew

  • Many middle class and most openly supported Yrigoyen before 1916

  • After 1905, military statutes openly discouraged military participation in politics


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Prelude to the Coup of 1930

  • Argentina in the early Twentieth Century

    • Important trade links with Great Britain

      • Loans, cattle, and wheat

    • Traditional animosity towards the US in Pan American Congresses

    • Important industrial investments by Germany in electricity and chemicals

    • Argentina and World War I

      • Declared neutrality like US; continued neutrality, unlike the US after 1916

      • Under Yrigoyen administration, Argentina refused to join the League of Nations

      • Impact of World War on Argentine economy

      • Establishment of petroleum monopoly, 1922

        • Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF)


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Prelude to the Coup of 1930

  • Domestic politics under Yrigoyen

    • PAN in control of Congress – most legislation thwarted

    • Yrigoyen’s political style – federal style, Klan Radical

    • Labor relations mostly good until Semana Trágica, 1919

    • Positive aspects of first administration

      • Limited labor reform

      • University reform, 1918

      • General economic boom due to neutrality

      • Giant increase in literacy due to public education

        • By 1922, only 14% illiteracy


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Yrigoyen and Military

  • Many military men offended by federation intervention—they were too professional to be used by police

  • After WWI, army wanted to modernize—Y reluctant

  • Yrigoyen gave special rewards to those military working in YPF, and those who supported military intervention

  • Military men felt they were being pushed into politics


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Formation of Logia San Martin

  • Founded as a secret organization in 1920 to oppose Yrigoyen

  • Wanted to remove political influences from the military, lobby for greater budget

  • Dissolved in 1926 after Marcelo T. Alvear appointed Col. Augustín P. Justo, very anti-Yrigoyen Minister of War

  • Army received first large military appropriation in 1923--$78 million


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Prelude to the Coup of 1930

  • Elections of 1922

    • Who would replace Yrigoyen?

      • He wanted to be reelected

    • Radicals selected Marcelo T. Alvear

      • Patrician family

      • Father was a founder of Unión Cívica Radical Party (UCR)

      • Had been ambassador to France under Yrigoyen

      • Yrigoyen thought he would be a puppet

    • Alvear and the Anti-Personalists

      • Reversed Argentina’s neutral international position

      • Gave oil contracts to foreign companies

      • Challenged Yrigoyen’s dominance of the party

      • Treated the military more favorably and professionally


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Prelude to the Coup of 1930

  • Rise of Argentine nationalist movement

    • Definition: neutrality, anti-Semitic, anti-liberal, authoritarian, corporatist, pro-Hispanic tradition, pro-Rosas, and pro-Catholic

    • Reaction to rise of middle class to politics and fear of the working classes

    • Wanted military coup to relieve Argentina of its democratic burden

    • Looked to Primo de Rivera government of Spain in 1920s

      • Anti-democratic, authoritarian, and anti-labor

      • Promoted important reforms of infrastructure

    • Totally opposed to return of Yrigoyen in 1928


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Prelude to the Coup of 1930

  • The Return of Hipólito Yrigoyen

    Most member of Logia San Martín horrified.

    Yrigoyen in his 70s –seen as senile

    Big disputes about provincial rights for drilling for petroleum—opposed by YPF

    Impact of depression

    All led to military coup led by General Uriburu


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