Skip to main content

Semana Trágica

Semana Trágica

Semana Trágica, a period of labor unrest that shook Argentina in early January 1919. The Semana Trágica (Tragic Week) was the result of a conflict that had been brewing for quite some time. Since the Radicals had come to power in 1916, they had been courting labor for its support. This courtship created resentment among conservative and business circles. Employers were allied against the Radicals' labor policies and in 1918 even created a strikebreaking body called the Asociación Nacional de Trabajo. Discontent among workers increased in part also as a result of the poor economic situation after World War I.

The problems began outside the metallurgical plant of Talleres Metalúrgicos Pedro Vasena, where workers had been on strike since 2 December 1918. At 4:00 p.m. on 7 January, as a truck under armed guard made its way into the plant, shots were fired, and a confrontation took place between security forces and strikers. Two hours later four people were dead, and thirty were wounded. Two days later a general strike was called by FORA IX (Federación Obrera Regional Argentina) in solidarity with the metallurgical workers. The workers took to the streets very early, and clashes with security forces soon ensued, such as the one that began in a cemetery at the burial of one of the victims of the fighting on 7 January. Many were killed. In desperation, President Hipólito Irigoyen called in the army to restore order, perhaps the first time the army had been used to quell social unrest. Thousands were arrested. After the strike was crushed, civilian vigilante groups patrolled the streets for several days in a sort of witch hunt against those suspected of having instigated the strike. Among their targets were Russian Jews, who were accused of planning a Communist uprising. There are no definite figures as to the casualties. Government sources put the figures at about forty dead and several hundred wounded. On the other hand, labor sources put the death toll at over 100. The strike reflected the long-standing antagonism between labor and business.

See alsoArgentina: The Twentieth Century .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Julio Godio, La Semana Trágica de enero de 1919 (1972).

Edgardo J. Bilsky, La Semana Trágica (1981).

Enrique Díaz Araujo, La Semana Trágica de 1919: Precedida de un estudio de los antecedentes de la inmigración y la rebelión social, 2 vols. (1988).

Additional Bibliography

Alexander, Robert Jackson. A History of Organized Labor in Argentina. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003.

Deutsch, Sandra McGee. Las Derechas: The Extreme Right in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, 1890–1939. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999.

Lvovich, Daniel. Nacionalismo y antisemitismo en la Argentina. Buenos Aires: Javier Vergara, Grupo Zeta, 2003.

Munck, Ronaldo, Ricardo Falcón, and Bernardo Galitelli. Argentina: From Anarchism to Peronism: Workers, Unions, and Politics, 1855–1985. Atlantic Highlands: Zed Books, 1987.

Rock, David. Authoritarian Argentina: The Nationalist Movement, Its History, and Its Impact. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

Seibel, Beatriz. Crónicas de la semana trágica: Enero de 1919. Buenos Aires: Corregidor, 1999.

                                      Juan Manuel PÉrez

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Semana Trágica." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Semana Trágica." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 13, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/semana-tragica

"Semana Trágica." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Retrieved November 13, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/semana-tragica

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.