Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Eva Peron Term Paper

Eva Peron Research Paper

"Don't cry for me Argentina," is probably the first thing that comes to one's mind when they hear the name Eva Peron who may be more commonly referred to as "Evita." The movie's account of a modern-day saint was superficial, forceful, and inspiring. She was motivated by an aspiration to help the poor. "The real Eva Peron began as something of a sex symbol," according to a published biography by Alicia Dujovne Ortiz, "but quickly left that phase behind." Probably soon after her marriage to the powerful army officer Juan Peron. She tried to make the situation better for the lots of poor people in Argentina, and they will never forget her. She was the one who kept their spirit alive.

To understand Evita's great accomplishments one must comprehend the circumstances of her childhood. Eva was born Maria Eva Ibarguren on May 7,1919 in the meager town of Los Toldos. Her father was a ranch manager named Juan Duarte and her mother, Juana Ibarguren, was his mistress. She was youngest of their five illegitimate children. On January 8, 1920, the Juana and the children received the news that Duarte had been killed in a car accident. The family had lost their only means of support. They decided to attend the funeral. Juana wanted her children to see their father for one last time. When they got there they weren't allowed to enter the Duarte estate.


Life was rough for the family so their mother got them all jobs working as cooks in homes of the rich. In Eva's autobiography, La Razon de mi Vida (The Reason for my Life), she frequently thought about her social status. "I remember I was very sad for many days when I discovered that in the world there were poor people and rich people; and the strange thing is that the existence of the poor did not cause me as much pain as the knowledge that at the same time there were people who were rich. "From each year I kept the memory of some injustice that roused me to rebellion."

When she was still a child she always knew she wanted to break out and get something better out of her life. She wanted to become an actress. At the age of 15, Eva seduced the singer Augustin Magaldi to take her with him on his journey to Buenos Aires, where she soon found work on stage and as a photo model. Before long, Eva got her first film contract and starred in some minor roles in such films as "Segundos afuera!, La Carga de los valiente, and El Mes infeliz del pueblo". Eventually she realized that she didn't have a very big talent on stage and on screen, but that she had a voice talent, and started working with great success in radio shows especially "My Kingdom of Love," where she acted out stories of famous women throughout history.

Eva was asked to appear at a national radio show that was a benefit charity for the victims of the January 15, 1944 earthquake in San Juan. Backstage, with the actors, singers, and radio stars was the Argentine military that included Colonel Juan Domingo Peron. He was the leader who controlled the military government. She was introduced to him and never left his side. In Eva's book she was quoted to say: "I put myself at his side. Perhaps this drew his attention to me and when he had time to listen to me I spoke up as best I could: If you say, the cause of the people is your own cause however great the sacrifice I will never leave your side until I die." She was 24, exactly half the age of Peron.

President Pedro P. Ramirez appointed him Minister of Labor and Welfare. She convinced him that his real power base should be the group of laborers living in the slums around the capital city. A flow of statements from the ministry set up minimum wages, better living conditions, salary increases and protection from employers. The working class began to see some of the profits of its labor. Peron became the Minister of War and Vice President of the Republic. The political confusion at the end of World War II led to his arrest and imprisonment. Eva summoned Peron's following that were known as the descamisados, or the shirtless ones, to help him. Before long, 200,000 descaminsados entered the capital city and demanded that Peron be their president.

They then were married and Eva became Eva Maria Duarte de Peron. Her dream of being legitimate finally came true. Juan Peron soon started his campaign for president in 1946 and won by a landslide. Eva stood proudly with her husband and the country's people adored her. Eva was a different kind of first lady. She told everyone to call her Evita, because nicknames in Argentina showed very close friends. She kept up loyalty to the workers by establishing the Social Aid Foundation. This charity helped build many hospitals and hundreds of schools. It trained nurses and gave money to the poor. She was also into woman's rights. She organized the Women's Party in Peron's Peronista Party. In 1947, she got congress to pass a bill giving women the right to vote. Afterwards, she arranged the Peronista Feminist Party to make sure that women would vote for Peron.

Eva gained the attention of the world with her Rainbow Tour of Europe to promote Argentinean interests. On the tour, she spent two and a half weeks in Spain. Eva attended dozens of banquets and receptions and her hosts showered her in gifts and jewels. Then she made her way to Italy. It proved to be somewhat of a letdown. Evita was a devout Catholic and hoped then when she met Pope Pius II, he would honor her with a papal title. Her visit was only 20 minutes and she left without a title. The British royalty refused to invite Evita to Buckingham Palace; she was insulted and cut her trip short.

In Argentina, charity was given through a society of women who called themselves the Sociedad de Beneficencia. It's functions had been to "manage and inspect schools for girls, homes for orphans, hospitals for women and all establishments for welfare of that sex." Normally, the society would ask the first lady to be their President but refused to ask Evita. She was so upset, she took away all of their federal funds and created a brand new charity called the Eva Peron Foundation. She ran the foundation herself and gave jobs to 14,000 workers on a permanent basis. The Foundation gave scholarships, and built homes, hospitals, and other welfare establishments.

Another one of Eva Peron's achievements with the foundation was Evita City. It was a huge housing project for the poor that was built in 1948. The houses were completely furnished with beds, tables, even clothes in the closets and they gave a bundle of money to each family. Each day hundreds of people lined up outside her office at the Ministry of Labor. She would listen and decide the best way to help each individual person. She showed much affection towards these people even with the constant warnings from people close to her. In order to fund her Foundation, she had every Argentine worker give one days pay to her each year. Private businesses were also expected to give contributions.

In 1950, the economy was stumbling. There were threats of a massive strike in the streets of Argentina. Peron had no choice but to declare martial law. Anyone who was against Peron was exiled or thrown in prison. Many thought the only way he stayed in power was because his wife held on to the affection of the poor. In 1951, he ran for re-election. Evita was eager to help but wanted to become vice president. A rally of more than a million people arose on August 22 as Peron was announcing his plans for re-election. Eva's supporters kept calling her name until she accepted the nomination for vice president. Argentinean military did not approve of a woman taking a job as vice president and told her if she was elected, she must step down because if something happened to Juan they didn't trust her being the commander in chief. They told her if she did not give up her campaign, there would be a revolution. It was a disappointment for Evita but she had no other choice.

It couldn't have come at a more difficult time. She had not been feeling well. She had barely any energy and was losing weight fast. A number of specialists examined her and found out she had uterine cancer. Juan was very shaken up. It was the same disease that killed his first wife. Evita refused to rest, she was determined to help her husband win his campaign and get re-elected. On Election Day she was too sick to go to the polls, so she voted from her hospital bed. Peron was victorious and nothing could keep her from attending his inauguration party. This would be the last time she ever appeared in public.

On July 26, 1952 Eva Maria Duarte de Peron died of uterine cancer. Juan Peron was devastated. He had lost his wife and his political partner. Evita did manage to write a will in which she gave most of her possessions to the people. "I desire that a permanent fund be constituted with all my assets [to be used] in the case of disasters affecting the poor and I want these to be seen as another proof of my love for them." She had a sum of money equivalent to a year's salary given to each family. The woman born from poverty got honors as that of a president. Even though the Vatican vetoed a plea to declare Evita a Catholic martyr, masses are still held today in honor of "The Lady of Hope." Evita was a saint for many and is a symbol of eternal love and admiration. Evita didn't die in the eyes of her people. She still lives on with a message of love.

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