Juan Peron
by Zoe Graham

Juan Peron, born in Lobos, Argentina, October 8, 1895, trained as a military officer, allowing his rise to political power. Peron's leadership led to the reshaping of the Argentine economy as well as restrictions on civil liberties. Peron, participated and aimed to overthrow the civilian government, taking on the post of secretary of labor and social welfare in the new regime. He joined a secret group of military officers called the Grupo de Oficiales Unidos. Over the years of ruling, Peron’s influence over the whole grew. Perón's administration charted a bold new economic path for the country. Preaching industrialization and government intervention, Perón promoted a "Third Way" that was neither capitalist nor communist. He also severely restricted existing constitutional liberties and rewrote the law to allow his reelection in 1951.

All leaders have their ups and downs, but my leader Juan Peron became a massive let down to me. During his second term, things took a turn for the worse. The economy stagnated, and the working class, me, began to lose faith. His opposition, mostly conservatives who disapproved of his economic and social policies, began to get bolder and scarier not only for me, but really everyone. Yes, he was being the leader he wanted to be, but it was not ideal. After attempting to legalize prostitution and divorce, he was excommunicated. When he held a rally in protest, opponents in the military launched a coup which included the Air Force bombing the Plaza de Mayo during the protest, killing almost 400 people, I could have been 1 of those 400. On September 16, 1955, military leaders seized power in Cordoba, and were able to drive Peron out on the 19th. This was disappointing for various reasons but mostly I felt relieved. I do not believe in the violence, and I prayed that it would end with the end of his leadership.

Essential Question

What was it that made Peron, so influential, that he was able to create successful events?

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