History, The Peron Era
descamisados, progressive coalition, consummate skill, lady of Argentina, decisive victory
Revival of political activity in Argentina was marked by the appearance of a new grouping, the Peronistas. Formally organized as the Justicialist Party, with Peron as its candidate for the presidency, this group found its main support among the most depressed sections of the agricultural and industrial working class. The Peronistas campaigned among these workers, popularly known as descamisados (Spanish for “shirtless ones” and implying that they were of the working class), with promises of land, higher wages, and social security. The elections, held on February 24, resulted in a decisive victory for Peron over his opponent, the candidate of a progressive coalition.
In October 1945, Peron married the former actress Eva Duarte. As first lady of Argentina, Eva Peron managed labor relations and social services for her husband’s government until her death in 1952. Adored by the masses, whom she manipulated with consummate skill, she was, as much as anyone, responsible for the popular following of the Peron regime. In October 1946, President Peron promulgated an ambitious five-year plan for the expansion of the economy. During 1947 he deported a number of German agents and expropriated about 60 German firms. After these moves, relations between Argentina and the United States improved steadily.
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