Eva Duarte de Peron started her life in Los Toldos in Buenos Aires. She was born on May 7 1919. Her father spent some time in high position in the political ladder where he was able to acquire great wealth.
Her father died through a road accident in 1926 leading to the family to lead a poor life. At this moment, Eva was still in primary school. As she grew older, she took much of her life thinking on what she would do in her life. She was active in local theaters and spent much of her young life as an actor. She also engaged in poetry where she would right poems and perform recitations. She had the vision that her calling was in the public eye and therefore she refused to be just a small town girl. She collaborated with Tango singer Augustin Magadi whom she went with to the city of Buenos Aires where she started her life as an actress.
She arrived in Buenos Aires in the3 1930’s. By 1945, she had already become a star in acting. She was heard in numerous radio shows and appeared in many plays. She joined a company of Armado Disepolo who was one of the best directors at that time. In 1943, she joined a radio station known as Radio Belgrano in 1943 where she started a series where she continued until 1945. It is at this time when the political climate had started growing hot because the elections were near (Del Testa & Lemoine pg 144-146).
Eva got in a relationship with Juan Peron who was the chair of National department of labor. They faced some hardships at the beginning of their relationship. In 1945, Peron was asked to leave his office. This enhanced Eva to start questing for power when she realized that Peron was out of power. This motivated her to pull off her ideas.
She was able to influence others by making her own personal appeals to the workers and military. She asked for favour of all the people on the basis on their personal loyalty to Juan Peron. This shows one of the qualities of leadership which she showed because this was an effective tactic by requesting people to do something that is not necessary for them to do (Gunson & Chamberlain pg 221-222). This is a tactic, which Eva used in the rest of her political life.
Eva accompanied her husband in his campaign trails where at each campaign she greeted people and introduced her husband to give speech. In 1946, Peron won the elections with a landslide and became the 29th president of Argentina. The determinant of Eva to gain what she wanted us seen in whole of her life. She worked tirelessly to make her husband gain the power that he aspired. She was able to set goals, which were achievable throughout her political career.
This began when she was taken to labor secretariat where she was supposed to develop a labor policy for women (Adams pg 16). Despite the opposition that she got from men who thought that women were not supposed to hold such powerful positions, she was able to accomplish all, what was required of her in her position. The opposition did not deter her from doing what was expected of her (Chasteen & Wood pg 214-215).
She was a charismatic leader who showed evident strong need for power. She would work long hours during the day and during the night so that she would get her work done. She also used to gain influence and impress her followers with furs and expensive clothes and jewellery. After years of fighting for women rights and freedom in Argentina, a law was passed in 1947, which gave women the right to equal suffrage.
Eva worked with legislators, women who gathered in the civic centers, delegates who would come to see her and used the media to advertise the cause of equal suffrage to women. Her persistence and commitments was clear, as she would broadcast personal messages to all women urging them to join the fight for human rights. She possessed practical intelligence which helped her to network her ideas and which led to success. It is during this time that women in Argentina started seeing Eva as their spokesperson (Lewis pg 195-196). This is because she would motivate them and also encouraged and pushed them to go as far as they could in their lives.
Women movements acted as good stepping stone for Eva. She attained the position of the president of the Peronista Women’s Party. As a result of her leadership skills throughout the fight for women suffrage, women put their loyalty in her. They put trust on her to make the right political decisions on their behalf.
This lead to women to vote for Peron in the 1951 election as a show of allegiance to Eva because of her good leadership. It is believed that it is Eva’s constant workings with the descamisados or the shirtless ones that gave Peron the much political power that he enjoyed. Eva was able to make Eva Peron Foundation, which was established in 1948 to stand until 1955 when the military dismantled it. (Aufderheide pg 159).
Another characteristic that made Eva be a good leader is that she was able to articulate her goals, which had deep roots in the mind of her followers and in their hearts. She led the jobless, the laborers and the jobless. She was able to tell them what they wanted to hear and supplied them with what they needed in order to live.
She was able to connect what she told the people with her upbringing. She used herself as an example of what they could be because herself she came from a humble background to attain the position that she held. She gave people of Argentina hope and self confidence in their lives. This shows the kind of charismatic leader she was which helped people to be loyal to her.
Eva had a social exchange with Argentinean’s people. She provided them with hospitals, schools and houses. As a result of these connections, they gave her their everlasting loyalty. One of her greatest achievement was the construction of a huge housing project known as Eva city. (Chasteen & Wood pg 214-215). It consisted of four thousand homes where many people lived. This enhanced the connection that she had with the people.
Eva made also of self sacrifices by working long hours and she showed total dedication to her work. She would take breaks to go to benefits and to attend functions, which were established by the workers. This loyalty and dedication made people have so much love for her. She sent personal funds to Italy to assist the poor people in Italy.
It is this characteristic that people liked in Eva because they were able to see the more personal side of the leader and see the devotion she had to their cause by sacrificing her personal resources. Eva had great amount of surgency in her work. She was very dynamic, exuded self confidence and never showed any signs of staggering.
She wanted people to look at her for help and she wanted them to see her as their savior. She showed dominance in political matters and her extrovert character in 1947 when she addressed six hundred women. It is here where she insisted her name to become the battle cry for women allover the world. She was very courageous in his persistence for women to be given the same rights as men especially when the issue of women suffrage was a hot topic in Argentina (Spengler pg 27-30).
She was also an expert in matters of social welfare. She received also of praise from other countries for the social services that she offered. She received the medal and ribbon of the Legion of Honor by the French government. This made her to be elected as a knight to French government. She also received the Great Cross of Isabel the Catholic that is the highest decoration in Spain. Her transformational leadership led the country to become New Argentina.
She assisted in reduction of joblessness, hunger and poverty among the people. Her vision of creating a new society for her and the people realty (Lewis pg 195-196). As a result of the connection that she had with her followers, she was able to target what was most great importance to the masses by taking an active role in every project. Eva will remain to be remembered in Argentina and in all parts of the world because of her leadership during her times. This is because of all the contribution that she made in the society despite the criticisms that were directed towards her because she was a lady. However, she will be remembered for proving her critics wrong and proving that women can also be leaders just like men (Chasteen & Wood pg 214-215).
Adams Jerome. Liberators, Patriots, and Leaders of Latin America, 2nd edition, New York,
McFarland & Co., 2010.
Aufderheide Arthur .The scientific study of mummies, New York Cambridge
University Press 2003.
Chasteen John & Wood James. Problems in modern Latin American history: sources and
interpretations: completely revised and updated, Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield, 2004.
Del Testa David & Lemoine Florence. Government leaders, military rulers, and political
activists, New York, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001.
Gunson Phil & Chamberlain Greg .The dictionary of contemporary politics of South America,
1st edition, New York, Routledge, 1989.
Lewis Daniel .The history of Argentina, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.
Shafik Aasef .Global Peace Lovers,1st edition, Bloomington, Author House, 2009.
Spengler Kremena. Eva Peron: First Lady of the People, 1st edition, Minnesota,
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