Justo, José Agustín Pedro (1876–1943)

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Justo, José Agustín Pedro (1876–1943)

José Agustín Pedro Justo (b. 26 February 1876; d. 11 January 1943), general and president of Argentina (1932–1938); leader of the Concordancia. Born in Concepción del Uruguay, Entre Ríos Province, Justo gained national prominence as a member of the Argentine army. After graduating from the Military College of San Martín in 1892, he rose rapidly through the ranks. He gained influence over a generation of military officers as the director of his alma mater between 1915 and 1922.

Having achieved the rank of brigadier general, he entered national politics in 1922, when President Marcelo T. de Alvear (1922–1928) appointed him minister of war. Along with other members of the Alvear administration, Justo joined the Anti-Personalist wing of the Radical Civic Union. In opposition to the second administration of President Hipólito Irigoyen (reelected 1928), he joined with the planners of the Revolution of 1930. When the military, led by General José Felíx Uriburu, seized power, he participated in the provisional government as commander-in-chief of the army.

Justo became the leading spokesman for conservative politicians who hoped to impose limits on democracy and to use the government to protect their interests. When support for Uriburu faded in 1931, the provisional government sponsored elections engineered to favor the conservatives, and Justo, with the support of the National Democratic Party and the Anti-Personalist Radicals, was elected president. Serving from 1932 to 1938, he directed the consolidation of the Concordancia, a coalition of conservative political forces that controlled Argentine politics until 1943.

Justo's administration maneuvered Argentina through the Great Depression. The fiscal innovations initiated under Justo, including the Roca-Runciman Pact (1933), the Pinedo Plan, the establishment of a national income tax, and the creation of Argentina's Central Bank, were overshadowed by the growing reliance on electoral fraud, censorship, and repression that maintained the Concordancia in power.

See alsoArgentina: The Twentieth Century Concordancia .


Robert A. Potash, The Army and Politics in Argentina, 1928–1945: From Yrigoyen to Perón (1969).

David Rock, Argentina, 1516–1987: From Spanish Colonization to Alfonsín, rev. ed. (1987), pp. 216-231.

Additional Bibliography

Fernández Lalanne, Pedro E. Justo-Roca-Cárcano: El 30 y otras décadas. Buenos Aires: Editorial Sinopsis, 1996.

López, Mario Justo, Germán Darío Gómez, and Jorge Eduardo Waddell. Entre la hegemonía y el pluralismo: Evolución del sistema de partidos politicos. Buenos Aires: Lumiére, 2001.

Pinedo, Enrique. Los relegados. Buenos Aires: Corregidor, 2000.

                                          Daniel Lewis