Carlos Saavedra Lamas was an Argentine politician, diplomat, legislator for labor rights, international law expert, and the first Latin American recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He went on to become one of the most powerful men in Argentina’s modern history. Lamas was born into an aristocratic family of Argentine patriots and excelled in school before studying law at the University of Buenos Aires and then beginning his career as a professor at La Plata University. Lamas was not only a legal eagle, but also someone who was deeply committed to improving the working conditions of his own country’s workers and was instrumental in enacting legislation relating to labor laws in the country. He was also a supporter of the International Labour Organization, which he helped found and served as president at one point. Lamas also served as Argentina’s foreign minister in the 1930s, during which time he demonstrated his abilities as an international law expert and diplomat. During his tenure as foreign minister, he was instrumental in bringing an acrimonious war between two South American countries to an end, which is one of the reasons he is regarded as one of the generation’s most influential diplomats.
Childhood & Adolescence
Carlos Saavedra Lamas was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 1 November 1878. Although it is known that he was born into an Argentine patriot’s family, his parents’ identities are unknown. The family, according to some accounts, was aristocratic.
Carlos Saavedra Lamas was an exceptional student who excelled in all subjects and was recognized as one of Lacordaire College’s most gifted students. Lamas later studied law at the University of Buenos Aires and was awarded a doctor of law in 1903.
After graduating from university, he continued his education in Paris, but the institutions he attended are unknown. Following that, he returned to Argentina and was appointed a professor at the University of La Plata.
Career of Carlos Saavedra Lamas
Carlos Saavedra Lamas taught constitutional law and history at the University of La Plata for four decades. He began his public career in 1906 as Director of Public Credit and was appointed secretary general of the Buenos Aires municipality a year later.
He was elected to Argentina’s parliament for the first time in 1908, and in addition to working on legislation regulating sugar production, colonisation, and coastal water rights, he was also involved in the country’s foreign policy. He was instrumental in Argentina’s arbitration treaty with Italy being resurrected. He was appointed Minister of Justice and Education seven years later.
Carlos Saavedra Lamas was a leading legal expert on labor law, authoring numerous treatises on the subject. He was instrumental in drafting labor legislation in his country and was a supporter of the International Labour Organization’s establishment in 1919. He led the organization’s Argentine chapter and authored the treatises ‘Centre of Social and Labor Legislation’ and ‘National Code of Labor Law’.
Argentina’s president, General Agustin P. Justo, was inaugurated in 1932, and the country’s foreign minister, Carlos Saavedra Lamas, was appointed the following year. During his six-year tenure as foreign minister, he was instrumental in ending the Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay and in establishing the South American Treaty of Non-aggression and Conciliation. He was appointed president of the League of Nations Assembly two years before the end of his tenure.
In 1938, following the conclusion of his tenure as foreign minister, he returned to academia. He began his career as a professor of political economy and law at the University of Buenos Aires and was named president three years later.
Significant Works of Carlos Saavedra Lamas
Lamas was without a doubt one of the most powerful men in Argentina and South America due to his role in international diplomacy and the development of Argentina’s labor laws. His most significant accomplishment, however, was bringing the Chaco War between Paraguay and Bolivia to a peaceful conclusion.
Awards and Accomplishments of Carlos Saavedra Lamas
Carlos Saavedra Lamas received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1936 for his role in bringing the Chaco War to an end.
He also received the Grand Cross of the French Legion of Honour and the equivalent awards from ten other countries.
Personal History and Legacies
Carlos Saavedra Lamas married the daughter of one of Argentina’s former presidents – Roque Saenz Pena – but his wife’s name is unknown. Additionally, there is no record of any children.
Lamas died in Buenos Aires on 5 May 1959 of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 80.
Estimated Net Worth
The Estimated Net Worth of Carlos Saavedra Lamas is unknown.