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Salvadoran political history from 1932 until 1979

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Salvadoran's during the early months of 1932.
  3. The oligarchy's hand over of direct political power to the armed forces.
  4. The first problem faced by the Hernandez Martinez government.
  5. The minister of government, General Salvador Castaneda Castro and the problem of poverty.
  6. January of 1944 assembly meeting for the amending the constitution.
  7. The coup of 1948.
  8. CGR' anticipation of the increased industrial development in El Salvador.
  9. Student protests inspired by the Cuban Revolution at the University of San Salvador.
  10. Conclusion.

The outbreak of the Salvadoran civil war at the end of the 1970's and its continuation throughout the following decade, had an immensely detrimental impact on the society as a whole. While the crimes perpetrated by all relevant actors have been well documented in the annals of history, it is important to ask how the tiny Central American country found itself in such a dire political situation. Through an analysis of the period between the 1932 peasant revolt and the oligarchy's subsequent handing over of State power to the military, and the failure of the 1979 Proclamation of the Armed Forces and the official end of the oligarch-military alliance, the level of violence that erupted in El Salvador during the 1980's seemed a foregone conclusion. By looking primarily at the instability of Salvadoran political institutions between 1932 and 1979 an explanation of the various roles played by the military, oligarchy, and U.S. foreign policy are needed for any understanding of the country's deep seeded political frustrations that carved the path toward civil war.

[...] The opening of the political process under Rivera and Sanchez Hernandez had created expectations of real reform within the Salvadoran opposition. On March 12th of 1972 the UNO asked voters in the Department of San Salvador to deface their ballots in the municipal and legislative elections. Under the Salvadoran system defaced ballots were counted as null. When the majority of votes tallied were nullified the UNO asked that the election be invalidated. (Montgomery 1995, 64) While the departmental electoral board of San Salvador ruled in favor of the UNO their decision was overturned by the CCE. [...]

[...] Aguirre's coup ended a six month opening within Salvadoran political life and sent Romero and other opposition leaders into exile. (Williams, & Walter, 33) The coup and subsequent exiling of important opposition leaders left the presidency to General Salvador Castaneda Castro in January of 1945. While not as repressive as Hernandez Martinez, the Castaneda government was equally unwilling to take up the economic and social reforms that El Salvador so badly needed. (Montgomery 1982, 62) Changes did take place in March of 1945 when the new government declared a general political amnesty, allowed for the existence of some political organizations, and reorganized the government and the army. [...]

[...] The official party's rhetorical commitment but practical failure to enact social, political, and economic reform alienated all sides of the Salvadoran political spectrum. In 1967 the Salvadoran Oligarchy created a party to the right of the PCN called The Partido Popular Salvadoreno (PPS). In 1972 the PPS was joined by the Frente Unido Democratico Independiente (FUDI). The FUDI nominated General Jose Alberto Medrano as its presidential candidate. (Williams, & Walter, 80) Both the left and center viewed Sanchez Hernandez's failed reforms as a signal that a coalition must be formed to combat the PCN. [...]

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