DJENDEREDJIAN julio Cesar
congresos y reuniones científicas
War is not an option. Debates and motives over Argentina non-entry into World War I, 1914-18
Congreso; Colloque International: des Balkans au Monde. Entrer en Guerre (1914-1918). Echelles globale et locales / From the Balkans to the World : going to war (1914-1918). A Local and Global Perspective; 2014
CISH / UNESCO
Argentina, probably the country which has most enthusiastically embraced the European way to modernity, found itself in 1914 amidst a huge economic and cultural crisis, whit consequences that would last long beyond the end of the hostilities. So, it is intriguing that, having been so strongly affected, Argentina has not been involved in the war itself. By 1918, only four American countries had not broken diplomatic relations with Germany, among them Argentina. Following the US outbreak in 1917, even so close Argentina?s neighbors as Brazil entered the war. Why not Argentina? Why, even after some Argentinean vessels have been sunk by U-boats, with major impact on public opinion? Why, from 1914 to 1918, governments of opposed political tendencies agreed to not go to war? This paper will consider some of the constraints, opinions, debates, and events that led Argentina to remain a neutral country until the end. We will be devoted, particularly, to the discussions over to enter or not to war. Those debates pounded hard the Argentinean society, affecting all people, foreigners or nationals, from higher to lower classes, urban or rural, men and women. Public opinion, led by intellectuals who set out their positions in books and newspapers, was not only limited to them. If voices of humble workers are not easily heard, they also took part. Moreover, a whole field to be discovered, for example, is that of women opinions. In big cities such as Buenos Aires, nearly 75% of women were literate, and most of teachers were women, who included in their classes topics about the war, spreading opinions and debates. Obviously, this paper will only call the attention on these historiographical problems, not trying to solve them. In any case, we will be mainly devoted to analyze how evolved the strong currents of opinion about the war, how they fight with each other, which consequences they brought, and why neutrality was held up until the end. Neutrality not necessarily means peace.