Juan Domingo Perón was a leader of a group of military conspirators that overthrew Argentina’s ineffectual civilian government in 1943. He began building a political empire based in the labor unions.
Perón came to power in 1946. His Labor Party won a narrow, but complete, election victory with the backing of the working classes. Argentina’s postwar economy began to sag, and inflation and corruption grew.
After his reelection in 1951, Perón became increasingly authoritarian as Argentina’s economy declined. He suppressed the liberal opposition and restricted constitutional liberties. He also seized control of the press to control criticism of his regime.
His greatest political resource was his charismatic wife, Eva “Evita” Perón. She died in 1952, and the national coalition that had backed him collapsed.
Perón attempted to separate church and state. Church leaders responded by excommunicating him. A group of military officers plotted to overthrow him. Perón was forced to flee to Paraguay. In 1960, he settled in Spain where he served as leader-in-exile to the “Peronists”—a powerful faction of Argentines who remained loyal to him and his system.
The civilian and military governments that followed Perón failed to resolve Argentina’s economic troubles. Peronismo became the most powerful political force in the country. In 1971, the military regime announced restoration of a constitutional democracy in Argentina. In March 1973, Peronists won control of the government in national elections. Perón returned in June amid great public excitement.
In October 1973, Perón was elected president in a special election. His second wife, Isabel Perón, was elected vice president. When he died on July 1, 1974, his wife became president. Argentina was suffering from inflation, political violence, and labor unrest. In March 1976, a right-wing military junta took power and ruled harshly until 1982.
Source: Perón deposed in Argentina
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