The Peronist victories in the 1962 elections, the subsequent military coup, and the nationalistic platform of the President elected in 1963 have again focused attention on the Argentine political scene. Much has been written about these and other aspects of contemporary Argentine politics; however, one major factor that has been almost completely ignored is the split within Argentine Radicalism that produced two separate Radical Parties. This article attempts to point out some of the reasons for the formation of these parties and also to trace their evolution through July, 1963.
The 1957 split was not the first to occur within the Unión Cívica Radical (Radical Civic Union or UCR); in fact the party was born of the 1891 split of the Civic Union into Nationals and Radicals. Although the UCR had definite internal factions as early as 1897, the first real split in the party came in 1922, when many Radicals left to form the Anti-personalist UCR under the leadership of President Marcelo T. Alvear.