Juan Peron
of Argentina
by Emma Holland

1) Profile

Juan Perón became Dictator and president of Argentina for three terms. He started as a military officer which lead to an increase in political power to reshape the economy and civil liberties of Argentina. He was able to run as president for three terms because he had a very large number of supporters based on his practices to benefit the working class which was the most common class in Argentina. During Perón’s first term he was able to industrialize the nation and increasing the economy while the working class was gaining trust in him as a valuable leader. Throughout his second term Perón was drove out of power because the economy stagnated, and the working class began to lose faith in him. The third term resulted in Perón being in exile the new government made any support of Perón illegal, he maintained great influence over Argentine politics from exile, and candidates he supported frequently won elections. Many people of Argentina wished for him to return to power.

2) Video

This clip clearly demonstrates the dictatorial qualities of Juan Perón throughout his rule over Argentina. He is known as a successful leader because he was able to benefit Argentina by improving the economy and introducing human rights to the people, for example, giving women the right to vote. Juan Perón gained political power with his support by the military based on his previous position in the army. Also, during his first term he gained many supporters because of how he favored the working class. He became very popular and after his first wife passed away, he had a new wife who was a famous movie star, Eva. He became even more popular and gained more power after Eva became vice president and they were able to control all decisions in Argentina. Juan was involved in a secret police organization that enforced the ways of Perón. Dictatorial qualities were shown after the opposers of Juan's presidency began to go missing from their homes and never seen again. He had very strong beliefs and with a rise of power, support from the public, and help of the military he was able to be president of Argentina for three terms. He became a dictator who abused his powers and forced strict values on the people, for example, he supported Nazism and did not allow Jewish people to immigrate to their country. Towards the end of his second term the military overthrew Perón because of his ruling and obvious control over the public. During the beginning of his third term he had a new wife as Vice President and this became a time of chaos for Argentina because the economy collapsed and there was conflicts between the Peronist groups. Juan Perón had great accomplishments throughout his rule but presented himself as a clear dictator because he strongly opposed those against him and with his power he had over controlled the public.

3) Letter

                                                                                                                               May 20, 1949

Dear members of Secret Police,

I am reaching out to you today to clarify that my rules as dictator of Argentina are to be enforced on the people. I want to conclude that those who oppose my ways and laws must be taken care of. I will not lose my power and control over the people and with your help you will see benefits for yourself and family because I will increase pay. I am making a strong attempt to improve the economy by favoring the working class by industrializing Argentina to provide more jobs for the common people. I have decided to change the ways of the old constitution and write a new one and I am threatened by the church's power, so I am beginning to plan an attack against the Catholic church. Catholicism is deeply rooted in Argentina and the public will not approve, therefore you need to act upon these people. Also as a supporter of Nazism I will not allow Jewish people to come to Argentina so if a Jewish person is seen, take care of it. I will enjoy working together throughout my rule, and confiscate this letter after read.

Juan Perón

4) Essential Question

Even though Juan Perón had great accomplishments during his rule, did he overall benefit or damage Argentina as a dictator?