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Seventeenth Day of October and Peron’s Leadership

It is profound to note that Juan Perón was a popular political figure during his era in Argentina. Although there are other public holidays that are commemorated in Argentina, seventeenth of October was considered by Argentines as the Loyalty Day for the country and the leadership of Peron.1 When Peron was imprisoned in Martin Garcia Island, it sparked a lot of anger and resentment among his supporters. When he was jailed, it triggered a mammoth labor demonstration. The crowd that gathered at the Plaza de Mayo wanted Juan to be set free. The demonstration took place on 17th October, 1945. It is against this backdrop that this paper analyzes the historical meaning of the political rituals linked to Peronism and Peron’s leadership with respect to events that took place on the aforementioned date.

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To begin with, it is vital to posit that seventeenth of October is usually taken as a fundamental day of celebrating Peronism. His leadership ideals augured so well with the people that he had such a massive support. The growing discontent in the political leadership of Argentina led to the emergence of strong labor unions that were mandated to fight for the rights of workers. Peron was one of the most renowned trade union leaders. In fact, he gained public recognition and identity when he was serving as a senior trade unionist.2

It is also interesting to note that trade unions in Argentina (during the era of Peron) were highly politicized in the sense that the unions directly confronted the incumbent without fear. On the other hand, the government reacted to trade unions’ demands with a lot of rage. In some cases, demonstrations led to serious confrontations between the two sides.

By 1945, it was almost impossible to disengage the activities of the trade unions from most government functions. In fact, Peron led a faction between junior military officials and trade unions in agitating for good governance and fair terms of service for workers.3 However, the initiative by this alliance was strongly contested by the economic technocrats, the military, and the conservative political class. The United States’ ambassador by that time (Braden) also opposed the move by Peron and the newly created alliance. This event grossly polarized Argentina.

On 12th July 1945, another demonstration took place. Due to myriads of other demonstrations that were held in succeeding months, Peron was eventually arrested and sentenced into a jail term. On October 17 1945, workers were mobilized in readiness for a major demonstration. Other trade union leaders assisted in organizing the demonstration. He portrayed his able leadership when he managed to quell the massive crowed of about 300,000 people that was ready to go on strike.

From the above discussion, it is evident that Peron’s leadership as a trade unionist expanded the democratic space for Argentines. Although he was not a political leader, he exemplified excellent political leadership that the whole country identified with quite well.

Another historical meaning derived from Peronism was the state interference with workers’ unions. This has been mapped out across the world in the sense that most governments often overlook the interests of workers.4 A powerful birth and growth of trade unionism was also a remarkable historical occurrence during the leadership of Peron.

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In summing up, it is prudent to reiterate that Peronism strengthened the institution of democracy in Argentina. In addition, Peron’s leadership created a strong political formation by strengthening constitutional order and the rule of law.

Bibliography

Plotkin, Mariano Ben and Zahniser, Keith. Manana Es San Peron: A Cultural History of Peron’s Argentina. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2007.

Footnotes

  1. Mariano Ben Plotkin and Keith Zahniser, Manana Es San Peron: A Cultural History of Peron’s Argentina. (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2007),41.
  2. Ibid, 43.
  3. Ibid, 44.
  4. Ibid, 46.

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StudyCorgi. "Seventeenth Day of October and Peron’s Leadership." May 13, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/seventeenth-day-of-october-and-perons-leadership/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Seventeenth Day of October and Peron’s Leadership." May 13, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/seventeenth-day-of-october-and-perons-leadership/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Seventeenth Day of October and Peron’s Leadership'. 13 May.

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