Carlés, Manuel (1872–1946)
Carlés, Manuel (1872–1946)
Manuel Carlés (b. 30 May 1872; d. 25 October 1946), Argentine politician, teacher, and president of the anti-leftist Argentine Patriotic League (1919–1946).
Carlés was born in Rosario, Santa Fe, to a prominent family. Although he never joined the Radical Civic Union (Unión Cívica Radical), he favored efforts to reform politics and participated in the Radical revolt of 1893. He served as national deputy from 1898 to 1912 and supported President Roque Sáenz Peña (1910–1914), who helped institute electoral democracy. After 1912 he devoted himself to the law and to his teaching at several schools, including the Colegio Militar de la Nación and Escuela Superior de Guerra, where he influenced many future military officers. He initially sympathized with the government of the Radical leader Hipólito Irigoyen (1916–1922, 1928–1930), who appointed him interventor (temporary administrator) in Salta in 1918. The next president, the Radical Marcelo T. de Alvear (1922–1928), appointed him interventor in San Juan in 1922.
Nevertheless, Carlés, like other middle- and upper-class Argentines, thought that the Irigoyen government was not doing enough to repress leftism. During the Semana Trágica (Tragic Week) disturbances between labor and the forces of order in Buenos Aires in 1919, military officers and civilians, including Carlés, formed militias to protect bourgeois neighborhoods and attack worker areas. Militias spread throughout the country. On 20 January 1919 these groups united to form the Argentine Patriotic League and on 5 April, Carlés was elected its president, a post he retained until his death. In the early postwar years, the League violently suppressed strikes and leftist groups. In 1923 an anarchist unsuccessfully attempted to kill Carlés. Fearing a leftist resurgence and disorder, Carlés influenced the League and the public to turn against Irigoyen in 1930 and thus helped inspire the coup of that year. General José F. Uriburu's (1930–1932) antidemocratic excesses, however, led Carlés to denounce this administration and return to his Radical roots. While he continued to criticize leftism, during the 1930s Carlés opposed electoral fraud and supported Marcelo Alvear's efforts to unite and strengthen Radical forces.
Pedro P. Maglione Jaimes, "Una figura señera—Manuel Carlés," La Nación, 12 January 1969.
David Rock, Politics in Argentina, 1890–1930: The Rise and Fall of Radicalism (1975).
Sandra McGee Deutsch, Counterrevolution in Argentina, 1900–1932: The Argentine Patriotic League (1986).
Caterina, Luis María. La liga patriótica argentina: Un grupo de presióm frente a las convulsiones sociales de la década del veinte. Buenos Aires: Corregidor, 1995.
Sandra McGee Deutsch