Utopia in Uruguay Redefined: Social Welfare Policy After 1940

  • Henry Finch
Part of the St Antony’s/Macmillan Series book series


Uruguay has long been acknowledged to have a remarkable history of reformist legislation in the area of social and labour policy. The foundation of that achievement was laid during the first three decades of the twentieth century, in which the influence of José Batlle y Ordóñez was dominant; and although advances were also made in Argentina, Chile and Brazil in the specific area of social security before 1930, the phenomenon of batllismo had parallels but no equivalents elsewhere in Latin America. After 1940 there was a new surge of interest in the area of social welfare, following the postdepression years of consolidation and repression of labour. Although social security legislation was not neglected in this new phase, the task in fact amounted to little more than rounding out a system whose main lines were already well established.


Social Security Minimum Wage Trade Union Pension Fund Social Security System 
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  1. 6.
    Finch, Political Economy, p. 24–5. During 1905–14 the ratio of new immigrants to total population was ten times greater in Argentina than in Uruguay: Ana M. Rothman, ‘Evolution of Fertility in Argentina and Uruguay’, ‘International Population Conference, London, 1969, vol. I (International Union for the Scientific Study of the Population Liége, 1971), p. 716.Google Scholar
  2. 32.
    See, for example, Lucía Sala de Touron and Jorge E. Landinelli, ‘50 Años del Movimiento Obrero Uruguayo’, in Pablo González Casanova (co-ordinator), Historia del Movimiento Obrero en América Latina, vol. IV (México, D.F., 1984) pp. 267–8; Héctor Rodríguez, Nuestros Sindicatos (1865–1965), 2nd edn (Montevideo, 1966), pp. 42–3.Google Scholar

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© Christopher Abel and Colin M. Lewis 1993

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  • Henry Finch

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