Week Ten

This week focused primarily on populism in Latin America which emerged from different movements during the 1930’s through the 1950’s. This was also the beginning of a new age of technology as items such as the radio came into use. This united people and nations because now, they could actually hear their political leaders. The radio established a sense of closeness because political figures were actively being listened to by thousands. For many, this gave them a feeling of belonging. Before the radio came into use, people who lived outside of cities, in more rural areas, had no way of forming their own opinions about politics if they weren’t even able to connect with politics. Populism and technology gave more opportunity to lower classes, especially workers, to develop their political views and impressions.

This week’s readings in the textbook were all about the Peronista Party, more specifically about Eva Peron. Eva Peron, or Evita as she preferred, was the wife of General Juan Peron (who later became the President of Argentina). The Peron’s were extremely high regarded people who stepped up when Argentina was in desperate need of hope. It is Peron “who gave them social, moral and spiritual dignity” (Dawson, 229). As populists, they promised to “subject [themselves] to the decision of the people”. Minorities including women, children, workers and elders were thrilled when he came into power, however the oligarchy at the time was furious because equality was now being promoted for the minorities through Peron’s “Justicialismo”. Unfortunately for the oligarchists, this was concerning because they, of course, wanted to remain rich and powerful.

I think it’s really interesting that Eva preferred to be called Evita, considering that a nickname is not usually something that would be used in politics. However, I think that this actually worked in her favor because it helped her established a closer connection with her supporters. This close-knit relationship she built with the Vanguard of Descamisados can be seen and understood when they cheered her name in “The Renunciamiento” speech.

I was also very intrigued by how devoted Evita was to her husband. In “The Renunciamiento as Compiled from Newsreel and Archive Footage” Eva states, “I was never interested in deceit or slander when they unleashed their tongues against a frail Argentine woman…it made me happy inside, because I served my people and my General…It is not Eva Peron they attack, it is Peron” (Dawson, 233). It is obvious in this quote how loyal Eva is to her husband because she will endure anything to serve Peron.

Would Peron have had the same kind of influence on the nation had radios not been invented yet? Now that I’m thinking about this question, I don’t think he would’ve had the same kind of influence because the people that were primarily affected in this populist era were those in a lower class and I imagine they were living in more rural areas, whereas politics usually circulate more in larger cities…Let me know what you all think.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *