In the late nineteenth century, those factions that were still associated with the endless struggle between unitarians and federal sectors, were crossed by other sectors. The conservative attempt to create a single party failed to prevent avant-garde ideas from bringing new condiments. The existence of intense contact with European immigration would open the way for certain innovative trends, which were based on social flows beyond the Atlantic. Even the anarchists ended up having a space between the options of modern Argentina.
Without warning it, the lay postulates to which Julio Argentino Roca himself adhered, gradually opened the way to a new type of thought that he himself did not share . This would become noticeable since 1890. The avant-garde would identify themselves more with the first workers' movements than with the well-off classes . So, opposing the hegemony represented by the National Autonomist Party of Roca , Leandro N. Alem founded the Radical Party in 1891 and Juan B. Justo in 1896 the Socialist Party .
The affinity between the two currents, without going into details, did not seem so strange. Roca's followers soon began to confuse each other. Despite the fact that radicalism was from its federal and social democratic bases, in later times and in a derogatory manner, the Conservatives would refer to radicals as part of a much-cited “ socialist coalition .”
Marcela García Sebastiani, professor at the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology at the Complutense University of Madrid, expresses in “ Radicals and Socialists in Peronist Argentina” :
“By 1936, and in the light of the experience of the Popular Fronts on the European stage, an opposition to the government had formed a joint of which the UCR, the PS, the Progressive Democratic Party and the Communist Party were part.” With the description of this context, he concludes by explaining that “the then called Popular Front aroused the most exacerbated criticism from the conservatives in power .”
This association between radicals and socialists , however, was undermined at different times by its intense differences. The situation can be clearly represented when it comes to talking about the uncompromising opposition of the socialist Alfredo Palacios to the radical government of Hipolito Yrigoyen .
Despite this distancing to which their own evolution precipitated them, the struggle of both historical blocs was fundamental for the intellectual development of the last decade of the nineteenth century. David Rock in “ Argentine Radicalism” (Ediciones Amorrortu - Buenos Aires, 1977), describes in detail the Radical Uprisings of 1890 . Opposition to the policies pursued by the Conservatives in resolving the country's internal problems was very determined. However, they did nothing but tighten the government's approach. The president completely ignored the opposition by treating her with contempt. When not, resorting to force.
Julio Argentino Roca was the most finished representative of the famous Eighty Generation . His conception of Argentina then went through the modernization of Buenos Aires , which was given a classic European architectural look. The aim would have been to remove the colonial imprint on a city more open to the Old World than to the interior. On the other hand, the development of Patagonia also occupied Roca's mind. It inaugurated a new communications system that connected the Strait of Magellan to the Rio de la Plata. With such actions it was clear that the Conquest of the Desert had not been left behind; it would still be his great gesture and was included in his ideology. Although it took second place with respect to the development of the capital, it did not abandon the possibility of annexing the south to Buenos Aires . Of course, such a way of thinking would lead to new conflicts. Many of them are still open today.
The Law on the Residence of Foreigners proposed by Miguel Cané, passed in 1902, ended up causing serious incidents for many decades, until its repeal. It gave the State the possibility to arrest any alien suspected of disrupting public order, without the intervention of a judge.
Many of those socialists and anarchists who came from Revolutionary Europe ended up being expelled from the country. It is true that the same law allowed the entry of Patagonian settlers and immigrants from the First Wave, but it must also be said that this was a scenario of great ideolo restrictionsgic.
However, current historiography admits that the episodes of Tragic Patagonia that occurred in 1920 and 1921 have their origin in this circumstance. The workers' strike in Santa Cruz could not be avoided, due to the poor conditions that the Conquest of the Desert had led to. Everything was missing and the territory was immense. At that time he ruled Yrigoyen , who yielded to requests from various sectors interested in swiftly defusing the problem. As a result, many of the tacit agreements between the new political movements of the twentieth century ended up dissolving. The idea was, first of all, not to get infected with the Russian Revolution .
But the south of the country was still a desert. The conquest was very complex and could not be solved. Earlier those lands were the dominion of chiefs and untamed spirits of unspeakable ancestors. Now the cold was the ungodly witness to the same ideological battles that were fought in Buenos Aires .
Julio Argentino Roca was president for two terms. His political party dominated the country from 1873 to 1916 (although he died in 1904). The Conquest of the Desert would be his great gesture, but the results were very questionable. Thirty years after those events, their consequences were still impossible to sustain. It was when the famous episode of Tragic Patagonia took place.
Leandro N. Alem, founder of the Radical Party in 1891.
Juan B. Justo, founder of the Socialist Party in 1896.
Luis Brandoni, Héctor Alterio and Pepe Soriano, among others, starred in the film “La Patagonia rebelde” (scene). Directed by Héctor Olivera and production by Fernando Ayala and himself, it premiered in 1974. It narrated the episodes that took place during the Santa Cruz strike in the 1920s.
“ Argentine radicalism” (David Rock, Ediciones Amorrortu - Buenos Aires, 1977) and the work of Marcela García Sebastiani, “Radicals and Socialists in Peronist Argentina (1946 — 1945)”, published in Madrid, Frankfurt and Ibero-America by Vervuert, 2006, represent two examples of history of the same force in the context of the nascent last century.
Sergio es un autor e historiador argentino que revisa los movimientos segregacionistas a través de la historia. Ha publicado entre otros libros, Los Escribas de Dios, Los Músicos de Dios, Breve Historia del Mundo y Mitos a Medias. Actualmente es docente de Pensamiento del Siglo XX en la Dirección de Cultura de la Universidad de Belgrano y escribe para Ediciones Fortnel.