Eva Duarte De Peron Essay, Research Paper
Eva Duarte de Peron
Eva Maria Duarte was born on May 7, 1919. Her life began in the small village of La Union, Argentina. La Union is a small town near Buenos Aires. She was the youngest of five illegitimate children of Juan Duarte. Her father died in a car wreck when she was very young, and her family was forced to move to Junin. She was not allowed to attend the funeral of her father because the funeral was held by Juan s real family, not the family that was created by an affair. Once in Junin, her family ran a boarding house in order to pay the bills. Travelers would rent rooms from them. She decided to move to Buenos Aires when she was 15. The stories of how she got to Buenos Aires are numerous. The most widely accepted one is that Augustine Magaldi, a famous Argentine tango singer, took her there. Once in Buenos Aires, she became an actress on the radio and later in the movies. Immersed in the reality of life, Eva Duarte dedicated ten years to her “passion for the arts.” In 1945, having achieved the right to be considered a “star,” she said in an interview for the movie magazine Radiolandia, “I am not an adventuress, although some (those who never forgive a young woman for succeeding) make me out to be one. I have spent more than five years dedicated to what is in me a firmly-rooted vocation: the arts. These have been five years of troubles, of noble struggles when I’ve known the uncertainty of adversity as well as the gratification of success” (Radiolandia, April 7, 1945).
Eva Duarte had climbed up that stage early on and would continue to affirm her right to be there. In 1939 she and Pascual Pelliciotta headed the Company of the Theater of the Air, first in Radio Mitre, then in Radio Prieto. On May 1, 1939, the soap opera “Los Jasmines del ‘80″ was broadcast for the first time. Eva’s radio programs appeared on the Radio Argentina, El Mundo, and, finally, in 1943, on Radio Belgrano when she began a series which would continue until 1945, “The Biographies of Illustrious Women,” among them Elizabeth I of England, Sarah Bernhard, Margarita Well de Pat, Isadora Duncan, Mme. Chiang Kai Shek, Catherine the Great.
“I was lucky,” she said in the Radiolandia interview, “to go from one microphone to the next until I came to the one which for me is the best radio has to offer. In Radio Belgrano I found people who believed in my possibilities. Here I have reached the height of my career, a very rewarding career which began modestly but grew as I dedicated myself to my work, as I strove to perfect myself and to assimilate the very valuable lessons I received.
When Eva Duarte actress leaves the radio stage Eva Per n will take her place. Her voice will continue to reach each home, not as the incarnation of another woman’s but as her own. By then she will have made a commitment to a cause and to a man, to Colonel Juan Domingo Per n.
She met Juan Peron on January 22, 1944 at a concert to help the victims of an earthquake in San Juan, Argentina. She later married him on October 21, 1945 in a small civil service.
Per n had become the key figure in the new military government-and the most irritating as far as the opposition was concerned. Eva’s presence and the place Per n accorded her presented another target; this time his own colleagues would take aim at it. If Per n was atypical, the woman at his side was even more so: she had decided to stand at the side of her man, not behind him. And Per n had accepted that which was unacceptable at the time. She helped her husband to get elected president of Argentina in 1946. He won 54% of the vote. This may not seem like a large victory, but there were over 20 people running for president in that election, with no one coming close to Peron. Almost all of Peron’s support came from the descamisados, the working class. The word descamisados is directly translated as “the shirtless”. Evita and Peron worked hard to gain and keep their loyalty. The upper and middle classes hated Evita. This was mostly due to the fact that she worked hard to help the poor, usually at their expense.
After her husband’s election, “she became the most powerful woman her country had ever seen”. She was the Secretary of Labor. She controlled the ministry of health where she started the first successful program to stop tuberculosis and malaria. Both of these diseases were at epidemic levels in Argentina. Evita started the tradition of rigorously teaching religion in schools in Argentina. She controlled the Democracia, Laborista, and Noticias graficas. All of these were prominent newspapers in Argentina. She used them for the purpose of propaganda for her husband. Any paper which had anti-Peronistic articles were quickly silenced by the government. Another one of her accomplishments was the forming of the Maria Eva Duarte de Peron Welfare Foundation. It was a social welfare organization which gave money, housing, clothing and much more to the poor.
Even though Eva was not an elected representative, she held much political power and influence. Evita made the suggestion to her husband that he give women the right to vote. When women finally were given the right to vote, Evita formed the Peronista Women’s party. As the name suggests, the party was completely loyal to Peron. In 1952, with Evita as the leader of the party they demanded the re-election of Juan Peron. At this same election, the people demanded that Evita be nominated for vice-president. For a while it seemed like it might happen, but Evita was not destined to become Argentina’s first woman vice-president. Even if her health weren’t failing, the military strongly opposed her nomination. With the military against her, there was no chance that she could have been elected without a coup.
On September 24, 1951 Eva Peron was diagnosed with uterine cancer. She had been having severe abdominal pain. She was not able to perform her day to day tasks. Some mornings it was impossible for her to even get out of bed. Even with her severe health problems, she was still able to make one final public public appearance at Juan’s second inauguration. She had a metal device holding her in the standing position as their car drove through the streets. She wore a huge fur coat which attempted to make her look her healthy, but in actuality she was not much more than skin and bones.
She died on July 26, 1952. After hearing of her death, the country went into instantaneous mourning. Plans were made for a tomb to be erected honoring Evita. The tomb was partially finished when Juan was overthrown and fled the country. The new government was extremely Anti-Peronistic. They felt that if her body was kept in the country, it would become a symbol of Peronism. They buried her body in a small cemetery in Italy. They then placed a false headstone marking her body. Her body was returned to Juan Peron shortly before he returned to power in Argentina. When Peron died while in office, Juan and Evita’s bodies were placed side by side during the funeral. She was buried in the Duarte family tomb in the Recoletta cemetery.