Hipolito Yrigoyen (1852-1933) was elected Argentina's first president in free elections in 1916, and served his first term until 1922. Although he was somewhat reclusive and not an articulate speaker, he nonetheless was a charismatic leader who was able to project a democratic image. His mediating skills were sharpened by his need to reconcile the needs of the middle class and the large landowners. He was admired as a clever dealmaker, but was also considered a manipulator without a real agenda/program in mind. At the start of his first six-year term, he made an effort to broaden his power base by showing a concern for the workers of Argentina and supporting the union leaders. He lost the election in 1922, but was re-elected in 1928 and served a second six-year term.

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