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History, Depression and Turmoil

Fascist organizations, world economic crisis, neutrality, political unrest, Ortiz

The world economic crisis that began in 1929 had serious repercussions in Argentina. Unemployment and other hardships caused profound social and political unrest. Economic conditions improved substantially during the administration of General Augustin Justo, but political turbulence intensified, culminating in an unsuccessful Radical uprising in 1933 and 1934. In the period preceding the presidential elections of 1937, Fascist organizations became increasingly active. In May 1936, following the organization of a left-wing Popular Front, the Argentine right-wing parties united in a so-called National Front. This organization, which openly advocated establishment of a dictatorship, successfully supported the finance minister, Roberto M. Ortiz, for the presidency. Contrary to the expectations and demands of his supporters, however, Ortiz took vigorous steps to strengthen democracy in Argentina. Countermeasures were adopted against the subversive activities of German agents, who had become extremely active after the victory of National Socialism in Germany. The corrupt electoral machinery of the country was overhauled. Ortiz proclaimed neutrality after the outbreak of World War II in 1939, but he subsequently cooperated closely with the other American republics on matters of hemispheric defense.

Article key phrases:

Fascist organizations, world economic crisis, neutrality, political unrest, Ortiz, presidential elections, Unemployment, Roberto, dictatorship, Countermeasures, hardships, presidency, Argentina, finance minister, democracy, Economic conditions, supporters, expectations, period, Germany, country


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