By Herbert C. Huser, National Defense University. Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies
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Extra info for Argentine civil-military relations: from Alfonsín to Menem
94 The document would not definitively establish the rule of law (estado de derecho) over the rule of force. The forms of representative democracy were not enough; the habits of democracy did not accompany them. 95 Politics—both franchise and governance—was in the hands of a few, relatively wealthy, usually landed men. 96 This sector dominated the Golden Age of 1880–1914, as Argentina became a strong national entity, built a modern infrastructure, and organized its economy principally around agricultural commodities for export.
Roots of Movimentismo Midway through the second era, tenuously linked events occurred in the civilian and military realms. ” 97 Within 2 decades, the Radicals had become the political vehicle of the evolving middle class (based considerably on the expanding population of immigrants) and were dedicated to popular sovereignty (or at least adult male participation, achieved in 1912). The UCR became the first mass party in Argentina and combined constitutionalist and populist elements. It was, in its early incarnations, the first expression of movimentismo in Argentine politics.
The military became the bane of the Radicals’ existence, and the underlying distrust and enmity reverberate to the present day. But to no small degree, the Radicals witnessed the creation of a modern, professional military establishment in Argentina, and the evolution of the Argentine military (especially the army) under the Irigoyen and Alvear administrations had profound effects on the civil-military relationship in the following era. 98 The transformation of the Argentine Army and Navy into corporate, professional armed forces was the remaining current forming the basis for an aspirant to legitimacy of political authority.