Parallel Transformations: Labor and Government in Argentina, 1915-19221



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Parallel Transformations: Labor and Government in Argentina, 1915-19221

John Starosta Galante2

El presente artículo aborda las primeras etapas de la colaboración trabajadores-gobierno en la Argentina en fines de la década de 1910 e inicios de 1920. Se analiza la experiencia del Movimiento Sindical que en 1915 mantenía el liderazgo en la Federación Regional de Trabajadores de Argentina, anteriormente controlada por las tendencias anarquistas. Se observa centralmente el proceso durante un periodo de muy controvertidos encuentros entre los sindicatos y el Partido Radical, que en 1916 gana la elección presidencial Argentina, dando fin a un periodo de cuatro décadas de dominio del Partido Autonomista Nacional. Una vez en el poder, Sindicalistas y Radicales se involucraron en una (inconsistente y oportunista, si se quiere) colaboración sin predecentes.

Palabras claves: Argentina, Buenos Aires, Sindicalismo, Partido Radical, Hipólito Yrigoyen, Imigración italiana, Inmigrantes italianos.



This paper explores the early stages of labor-government collaboration in Argentina during the late 1910s and early 1920s. It does so through the experiences of the Syndicalist movement, which in 1915 secured the leading position in the formerly Anarchist-led Argentine Regional Workers Federation during a highly contested meeting of labor unions, and the Radical Party, which in 1916 won Argentina's presidential election and ended over four decades of political dominance by the National Autonomist Party. Once in power, Syndicalists and Radicals engaged in an unprecedented, if inconsistent and opportunistic, collaboration that illuminates a crucial part of the extended transition between the Anarchist-PAN period of labor-government confrontation and Peronism's fusion of organized labor and politics. The Syndicalists and Radicals' parallel rise and turbulent relationship, this paper argues, were built upon similarities in their ideological outlooks, organizational and mobilization strategies, approaches to class conflict, and membership that included large numbers of children of immigrants.

Keywords: Argentina, Buenos Aires, Syndicalism, Radical Party, Hipolito Yrigoyen, Italian inmmigration, Italian immigrants.

1 The author would like to thank Horacio Tarcus and the archivists at the Centro de Documentación e Investigación de la Cultura de Izquierdas en Argentina, Alicia Bernasconi at the Centro de Estudios Migratorios Latinoamericanos, and Julio Borzone at the Biblioteca Sindical Maderera ‘17 de Octubre.’ He would also like to extend his gratitude to Hernán Camarero and Roy Hora for their interest in and critical comments on this project during conversations in Buenos Aires. Special thanks go to Lila Caimari for her generous guidance and friendship.

2 John Galante is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Pittsburgh. He holds a master's degree in History from the University of Pittsburgh and a master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia University. John Galante has also worked as a New York-based journalist for Energy Intelligence Group, Dow Jones & Co. and as a freelancer. Mail: JSG44@pitt.edu


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