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U.S.-Argentine relations in the 1950s

Norma Delia Gonzalez, University of Massachusetts Amherst


The relationships between the United States and Argentina, traditionally complicated by diplomatic rivalry in the sphere of inter-American relations and by commercial difficulties derived from the non-complementary and often competitive nature of their economies, had reached their lowest level during World War II. However, in the aftermath of the war, a combination of international and domestic developments would lead Argentina to seek a rapprochement with the United States. The breakdown of Argentina's long commercial and financial relationship with Britain combined with its growing dependence on the United States as a source of capital goods, technology and financial capital, provided a powerful incentive for the Southern country to seek an alliance with Washington. On the other hand, the opportunity to exert a closer influence on the policies adopted by Argentina was welcomed by Washington since, although Argentina was a country of only peripheral strategic and economic importance for the United States, the course it followed acquired larger significance for Washington in the context of its impact on the development of inter-American relationships. However, although the circumstances seemed to be favorable for an improved relationship, the path toward rapprochement would be slow, difficult and uneven, as a combination of cultural misunderstandings, persisting stereotypes and structural economic constraints complicated the efforts made by both sides to find satisfactory solutions to the problems that stood between them. This dissertation is the first systematic study of the relationships between Argentina and the United States in the 1950s based on extensive archival research of recently opened documents. It focuses on the strategies adopted by three different Administrations led respectively by Juan D. Peron, the military and Arturo Frondizi to lead Argentina through the transition to a more autonomous and diversified industrial economy and on their efforts to enlist the collaboration of U.S. private and public capital in this process. It analyzes the ways in which the Eisenhower Administration responded to the new opportunities and challenges offered by these developments in Argentina within the context of inter-American relations in the Cold War.

Subject Area

American history|Latin American history|International law|International relations

Recommended Citation

Gonzalez, Norma Delia, "U.S.-Argentine relations in the 1950s" (1992). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9219435.