1943 Argentine coup d'état

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1943 Argentine coup d'état
Revolucion del 43.jpg
A newspaper announcing the beginning of the coup.
Date June 4, 1943
Location Argentina
Also known as Revolution of '43
Outcome End of Ramón Castillo's presidency.
military dictatorship instaured

The 1943 Argentine coup d'état, also known as the Revolution of '43, was a coup d'état on June 4, 1943, which ended the government of Ramón Castillo, who had been fraudulently elected to office[1] of vice-president, as part of the period known as the Infamous Decade. The military was opposed to Governor Robustiano Patrón Costas, Castillo's hand-picked successor, the principal landowner in Salta Province, as well as a main stockholder in the sugar industry. The only serious resistance to the military coup came from the Argentine Navy, which confronted the advancing army columns at the Navy's School of Mechanics.


The heads of state of Argentina during this time period were Arturo Rawson, Pedro Pablo Ramírez and Edelmiro Farrell. During this period, the internal disputes in Argentina about the stance towards World War II, where society and politicians were torn between staying neutral and safely providing foodstuffs to the Allies, or joining the allied side. Ramírez suspended relations with the Axis Powers on January 1944, and Farrell entered the War on March 1945, at a time when the war was mostly decided.

The government also saw the rise of Colonel Juan Domingo Perón, a member of the United Officers' Group (GOU), who would become one of the most influential politicians in Argentine history. Perón worked as an assistant to Secretary of War General Edelmiro Farrell during Ramírez' time in office, and then as the head of a mostly insignificant Department of Labour. From that position, he endorsed and enforced a set of labour laws that gained him high popular prestige, especially among the working classes, and the alliance of the socialist and syndicalist labor unions, thus levering his position inside the military government. When Farrell succeeded Ramírez, Perón was designated Vice-President and Secretary of War, and retained the labor portfolio, which was promoted to Ministry. As Minister of Labor, Perón settled industrial disputes in favour of labour unions and introduced a wide range of social welfare benefits for unionized workers.[2] Leveraging his authority on behalf of striking abattoir workers and the right to unionize, he became increasingly thought of as having presidential timber.

As he faced a growing opposition within the armed forces, Perón was forced to resign on October 9, 1945, and arrested four days later, but mass demonstrations organized by the General Confederation of Labour forced his release on October 17, a day later remembered as Loyalty Day by the Peronist movement. Upon his release, Farrell pledged to step down and call for elections. Juan Perón became President after winning a landslide on the February 1946 elections.


The government coup of June 4, 1943 was influenced by two main factors: The Infamous Decade that preceded it, and World War II.

Main article: Infamous Decade

The Infamous Decade (1930-1943)

What is known as the Infamous Decade began on September 6, 1930 with the military coup led by corporatist, catholic-nationalist general, Jose Felix Uriburu. Uriburu overthrew President Hipólito Yrigoyen of the Radical Civic Union, who had been democratically elected in 1928 to serve his second term. On September 10, 1930, Uriburu was recognized as de facto president of the nation by the Supreme Court.[3] This court order laid the foundation for the doctrine of de facto governments and would be used to legitimize all other military coups.[4] The de facto government of Uriburu outlawed the Radical Civic Union.

The local elections of Buenos Aires on April 5, 1931, had an unexpected result for the government. The radical candidate, Honorio Pueyrredón, won the election despite the national party's confidence of their own victory and despite the radical party's lack of leadership. Although the radical party still lacked a few votes in the electoral college and the national party could still negotiate with the socialists to prevent the radicals from winning the governorship, the government began to panic. Uriburu reorganized the cabinet and appointed ministers from the “liberal” sector. He cancelled the local government elections for the provinces of Cordova and Santa Fe. On May 8, 1931 he cancelled the appeal to the provincial electoral college, and on May 12, he named Manuel Ramón Alvarado[5] as de facto governor of Buenos Aires.[6]

A few weeks later, a revolt led by Lieutenant Colonel Gregorio Pomar, broke out in the province of Corrientes. Although the revolt was rapidly brought under control, it gave Uriburu the excuse he was looking for. He closed all the premises of the Radical Civic Union, arrested dozens of its leaders, and prohibited the electoral colleges from electing politicians that were directly or indirectly related with Yrigoyen. Because Pueyrredón had been a minister of Yrigoyen, this meant that he could not be elected. However, Uriburu also exiled Pueyrredón from the country with Alvear, a prominent leader of the radical party.[6] In September he called for elections in November and shortly after, he annulled the elections in Buenos Aires.[7] [8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rock, David. Authoritarian Argentina. University of California Press, 1993.
  2. ^ The Penguin History of Latin America by Edwin Williamson
  3. ^ Palermo, Vicente (2008). Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture - "Uriburu, Jose Felix (1868-1932)". Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons. pp. 206–207. 
  4. ^ Historia Integral Argentina, Partidos, ideologías e intereses, T. 7 El sistema en crisis, Buenos Aires:CEAL, pag 88/89
  5. ^ Béjar (1983): 33-36.
  6. ^ a b Walter, Richard J. (1985). The Province of Buenos Aires and Argentine Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 98–118. 
  7. ^ Nallim, Jorge A. (2012). Transformations and Crisis of Liberalism in Argentina 1930-1955. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 10–11. 
  8. ^ Cattaruzza (2012): 118-119.