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Peron rose to power with the support of working class people, called the decamisado or "shirtless ones". He gave support to labor unions, giving favored status to those who backed him. When he took office in 1946, he brought many utilities, railroads, and other industries under Argentinian control, taking them from foreign investors. He also established protective tariffs and invested enormous funds in the development of industry, which endeared him to capitalists within the country as well as the people who benefited from the jobs created. On the other hand, he instituted a number of social welfare policies, which actually alienated many of his supporters among industrialists. But these policies also were very expensive, and led to enormous deficits and inflation, which had severe social effects, driving many of his working-class supporters into poverty. He also alienated many socially conservative Argentinians, including the Catholic Church with his support for legislation that legalized divorce and prostitution. A series of coups drove Peron from power in 1955, even though he retained the support of large swaths of the Argentinian working class.
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