Youth Organization of the Radical Party (FORJA)

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Youth Organization of the Radical Party (FORJA)

Established on 29 June 1935, the Fuerza de Orientación Radical de la Joven Argentina (FORJA; Youth Organization of the Radical Party) tried to revive the Unión Cívica Radical (Radical Party) as a viable political force during the Concordancia (1931–1943).

FORJA appeared as the Radical Party foundered. The overthrow of the second administration of Hipólito Irigoyen in 1930 and the ex-president's death in 1933 weakened the popular or Personalist core of the party. The conservative Anti-Personalist Radical Party faction, led by Marcelo T. de Alvear, lost support when it accepted a minority role in the Concordancia. Rigged elections, the arrest of party activists, and censorship made it difficult to conduct normal operations.

In the face of these challenges, intellectuals, journalists, and activists worked in FORJA with a set of common goals. In books, pamphlets, and articles they challenged the conservative and repressive policies of the national government. They organized meetings to build popular support. They called on the people and the nation to pursue policies that would help Argentina achieve economic and political independence from the power of foreign companies and their allies, the oligarchy within the country. They were particularly critical of the role that Great Britain played in Argentina's development. Most important, they remained loyal to the Radical Party's core faith in popular democracy and open, free, and honest elections.

FORJA's leaders included established Radicals and new figures. They included Luis Dellepiane, Gabriel del Mazo, Arturo Jauretche, and Raúl Sca-labrini Ortiz.

As World War II put significant economic and diplomatic pressure on Argentina, FORJA became more militant and extreme. Strongly in favor of Argentina's neutrality, its leadership grew more nationalistic. The military coup of 4 June 1943, restricted its activities. The subsequent rise of Peronism thwarted its efforts to establish a popular political base.

See alsoAlvear, Marcelo Torcuato de; Concordancia; Irigoyen, Hipólito.


Halperín Donghi, Tulio. La república imposible. Buenos Aires: Ariel, 2004.

Juaretche, Arturo. FORJA y la década infame. Buenos Aires: Editorial Coyoacán, 1962.

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

                                        Daniel K. Lewis