What is The History of Argentina Summary
Argentina, the second giant in Latin America and the eighth country with the largest territorial extension in the world, has a history, at least, interesting. Learns about the beginnings of the current Republic of Argentina, from its pre-Columbian cultures and their relationship with the Inca Empire to the process of emancipation from the Spanish Crown and the events that led to the formation of the current Argentine nation. History of Argentina.
Pre-History of Argentina
Archaeological records prove the presence of the first inhabitants in the Region of Argentina approximately 13,000 years ago. According to studies, these inhabitants were nomads. History of Argentina.
Historical periods (13000 BC.C.-1450 AD.C.)
Contrary to what it may seem, the history of the pre-Columbian cultures of the southern region of South America is as rich and extensive as that of the Mesoamerican pre-Columbian cultures; in fact, and like the latter, its history can be classified into three distinct periods: History of Argentina.
Early History of Argentina Documentary
Early Period Of Argentina This period ranges from the first pre-Columbian settlements in the current territory of Argentina until 650 AD.C. From this period it is worth highlighting the following cultures:
- Condorhuasi culture: developed in the current Argentine province of Catamarca.
- Tafí culture: it happened in the western part of the province of Tucumán.
- La Candelaria Culture: took place in the eastern and southern areas of the province of Salta, but also in the northern region of the province of Tucumán.
Middle Period of Argentina
The Middle Period comprises from the end of the Early Period, around 650 AD. C., until 850 AD.C. Like the previous period, it also had its own outstanding cultures:
- Culture of La Aguada: developed between the current Argentine provinces of Catamarca and La Rioja.
- Tiahuanaco culture: comprised present-day Peru and Bolivia, apart from northern Chile.
- Sunchituyoc Culture: located in the province of Santiago del Estero.
Argentina Late Period
For its part, the Late Period comprises from the year 850 AD. C. until 1450 AD. C. (yes, forty-two years before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in America). Similarly, it is also characterized by having its own cultures:
- Culture of Santa María: developed in the northern part of the current Argentine province of Catamarca and in the southwestern region of the province of Salta.
- Culture of Bethlehem: located mainly in the current Argentine department of Belén (Catamarca).
- Breakdown Culture: focused on the province of Santiago del Estero.
Pre-Columbian Cultures The Inca Empire (1479–1535)
Extension and domination of the Inca Empire in South America
In 1438, the appearance of the Inca Empire, the largest and most powerful of the pre-Columbian empires, would mark the beginning of the decline of the Culture of Bethlehem and the Breakdowns culture. History of Argentina.
These last argentine pre-Columbian cultures would pale in front of the immense power of the invasions of the Inca Empire, which would soon spread along much of the west coast of South America (from the Ancasmayo River, current Angasmayo River, located south of the city of San Juan de Pasto in Colombia, to the Maule River, in Chile).
In Argentina, the Incas occupied the present provinces of Catamarca, Tucumán, Salta, Jujuy, La Rioja and San Juan between 1479 and 1535. History of Argentina.
These conquests are attributed to the tenth Inca, Túpac Yupanqui, son and successor of the mythical Inca Pachacutec, who would initiate the expansionist policies of the Inca Empire. History of Argentina.
The Spanish Conquest
In 1492 Christopher Columbus arrived in America initiating the Spanish conquest of the continent. At the time of the conquest, in the north of the Argentine territory lived indigenous peoples influenced by the Inca Empire, such as the Diaguitas who were cultivators, there were also hunter-gatherer communities. On the other hand, Buenos Aires had its first foundation in 1536, the second and definitive one was in 1580 (the year in which the Cabildo was also founded). By the end of the sixteenth century, most of the important cities of present-day Argentina had been founded.
Spanish Conquest And Defeat Of The Inca Empire
During their short stay in the Argentine territory, the Incas would establish multiple agricultural and tissue production centers. From 1525, the technological and cultural development of the Incas would be abruptly stopped by multiple warlike conflicts. On the one hand, the twelfth Inca, Huáscar, would face his half-brother Atahualpa for the throne of the empire; on the other, the Spaniards would conquer much of the territory of the Inca Empire, thus founding the Viceroyalty of Peru.
Foundation of the Viceroyalty of Peru
From the foundation of the Viceroyalty of Peru to the foundation of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata (1542–1776)
At first, the Viceroyalty of Peru, which had been founded in 1542 by the Spanish monarchy, extended throughout almost the entire South American territory, although, in practice, the reality was different, since some regions of Argentina, such as Patagonia, Pampeana and the Gran Chaco, were outside the jurisdiction of said viceroyalty. History of Argentina.
Indigenous Conquest of The City of Santa María de los Buenos Aires
On February 3, 1536, Pedro de Mendoza, who at that time served as the first governor of the Río de la Plata and Paraguay, founded the Port of Buenos Aires, where they would face a powerful indigenous insurrection.
The power of these Indians would be such that it would force them to emigrate to the Fort of Asunción; they had successfully repelled the Spanish army. History of Argentina.
Spanish reconquest And Birth Of The Governorship Of Nueva Andalucía
In 1573, Juan de Garay founded the city of Santa Fe on the territory that historians baptized as Argentino Reyno.
Seven years later, this settlement had obtained enough military power to reconquer the city of Santa María de los Buenos Aires from the hand of the Indians. History of Argentina.
Thanks to the command of Juan de Garay, the reconquest of Buenos Aires was a resounding success. After this, in 1568, the city of Buenos Aires would become part of the governorship of Nueva Andalucía along with the current Argentine provinces of Tucumán, Mendoza, San Juan and San Luis; however, this governorship would only remain in force for about half a century.
Separation of Nueva Andalucía and birth of the governorship of the Río de la Plata
Thus, in 1617, from the extinct governorate of Nueva Andalucía two new governorates would emerge:
- Governorate of Paraguay.
- Governorate of the Río de la Plata.
Thanks to the political-territorial division of both governorates and the autonomy that, de facto, the governorship of the Río de la Plata had obtained, the future Argentine State would begin to form.
On the other hand, in a cultural sense, various Jesuit missions will contribute greatly to the formation of autonomy and stability of the governorate of the Río de la Plata.
Rather, that it did not collapse in the face of a potential indigenous insurrection, since they would expand Christianity through the evangelization of the Huarpes and Mapuches (both indigenous tribes of the region). History of Argentina.
Bourbon Reforms And Birth of The Viceroyalty of The Río de la Plata
After the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the House of Bourbon would take control of the Spanish Crown until the abdications of Bayonne and the subsequent accession to the throne of Spain of José Bonaparte, who was the brother of the mythical Napoleon Bonaparte, in 1808.
For nearly a century, the Bourbon kings would implement a series of reforms in their American colonies to make them even more dependent on the Spanish Empire and give a greater benefit to the Crown.
These reforms would bring with them, in 1777, the separation of the Viceroyalty of Peru and the birth of a new viceroyalty: the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata.
This viceroyalty had Buenos Aires as its capital and Pedro de Cevallos as its first viceroy. Many things are said about the latter, which, almost in their entirety, are compliments or compliments, since his management as viceroy is recognized as one of the most efficient of all the Spanish viceroys in history.
As for the territorial extension of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, it covered part of the current States of Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia.
On the other hand, its social characteristics were not far from the characteristics of other Spanish viceroyalties. In this sense, the caste system that was applied in the Viceroyalty of New Spain was, for practical purposes, the same applied in the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata.
Thus, at the top of society were the peninsular Spaniards, followed by the Creole Spaniards, then by the mestizos and mulattoes, and, finally, by the blacks, whether they were native to Africa or born in American colonies. History of Argentina.
The Independence boom of the nineteenth century (1800–1816)
Political, social and philosophical causes of the independence boom of the nineteenth century
Each and every one of the countries and regions of the world has its own turning point in history, that is, that moment from which its history radically changes its course, bringing with it changes that, otherwise, would hardly have occurred.
Now, as far as Latin America is concerned, its historical turning point occurs, without a doubt, at the beginning of the nineteenth century with the outbreak of the independence boom in each of the Spanish viceroyalties.
The causes of the fervent desire for emancipation and self-determination of the American peoples are many. On the one hand, the ideas of The Enlightenment, which had been born in Europe as a response to the absolutism of the Ancien Régime, would spread to such an extent that even the whole of Latin America would be submerged under this philosophical thought.
However, among the numerous victims of Napoleon, one kingdom of Europe stands out in particular: Spain. In 1808, Napoleon would not only force the successive abdication of the kings of Spain Charles IV and his son Ferdinand VII in his favor, but would also hand over the Crown of Spain to his brother, José Bonaparte.
It would be, then, the assault on the Spanish Crown by the House bonaparte, together with the fervent desire for autonomy and emancipation, which both natives and Creole Spaniards shared due to the great tax pressure that the Crown of Spain had begun to progressively exert after the Bourbon reforms, which would finally unleash a wave of independence movements throughout Latin America. History of Argentina.
Argentine War of Independence
The Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata would soon join the wave of movements that demanded the recognition of its autonomy and independence from the Spanish Crown.
Thus, on May 18, 1810, the May Revolution would break out, a social rebellion that would bring with it the dismissal of Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros, the abolition of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata and the beginning of the War of Independence after the declaration of the formation of a First Government Junta, under the name of United Provinces of the Río de la Plata.
After little more than six years of arduous battles, developed mainly on three different fronts (eastern front, northern front and Andes front), the war would culminate in victory for the independentists.
Thanks to the intervention of other belligerents, such as Chile, Gran Colombia and Peru, they would manage to defeat the forces of the royalist Army of the Crown of Spain and proclaim the Independence of Argentina on July 9, 1816.
Argentine Civil War and Post-Independence External Conflicts (1814–1880)
Beginning of the post-independence Period in Latin America
The emancipation and independence of the Spanish colonies in South America would be nothing but the beginning of new conflicts and political-military tensions, although, on this occasion, the enemy to be defeated would not be on the other side of the Atlantic but in the newly emancipated South American countries.
In the case of Argentina, it would face both internal and external tensions.
Argentine Post-Independence Period. Internal Conflicts: Unitarians and Federalists
As for its internal conflicts, Argentina would be plagued by a series of civil wars between the Federal Party, which sought the establishment of a federal republic, and the Unitarian Party, which advocated the formation of a centralist government.
It would not be until 1880, after 66 years of civil conflict, that the wars between federalists and unitarians would come to an end, declaring the imposition of the Argentine Constitution of 1853 and the federalization of Buenos Aires as the official capital of Argentina. History of Argentina.
Argentine Post-Independence Period
External Conflicts: War of the Triple Alliance
On the other hand, as far as international conflicts are concerned, in 1864 Argentina would face, together with the Empire of Brazil and Uruguay (all members of the Triple Alliance), the Paraguayan Republic, since the latter had implemented interventionist policies without any reservation. History of Argentina vs brazil.
Unsurprisingly, Paraguay’s pretensions would result in a resounding defeat, one that would cause it to lose more than 50% of its total population and approximately 90% of its male population by the end of the war in March 1870. History of Argentina.
Argentine Post-Independence Period.
Territorial changes: conquest of the Desert and conquest of the Chaco
At the end of the nineteenth century, the Republic of Argentina would begin a series of military campaigns in the extreme south of South America; these would be known as the Conquest of the Desert and the Conquest of the Chaco or Gran Chaco.
In these campaigns, Argentina would confront different indigenous peoples of the region, such as the Mapuches, the Tehuelches, the Ranqueles, the Wichis and the Tobas.
After a successful campaign of conquest, which many historians consider more a genocide than a war, Argentina would manage to take possession of the Chaco and Pampas plains, as well as the territory of eastern Patagonia.
Since then, Argentina has been ranked number eight on the list of countries with the largest territorial extension in the world. History of Argentina.
Period of the Conservative Republic (1880–1916)
From 1880 to 1916, that is, during the Argentine historical period that is known under the name of conservative Republic, Argentina would experience enormous economic and demographic growth.
This was due to the extensive territory it had acquired after numerous campaigns of conquest in the extreme south of South America, the development of its livestock and agricultural industries, the reduction of the fiscal pressure and a gigantic European immigration that would grow the population of Argentina by 300% by the end of that period.
It would be during this stage that the occupation of Antarctica by Argentine expeditions would take place, although the sovereignty of the Argentine territories in Antarctica would not be recognized until December 1, 1959 through the signing of the Antarctic Treaty (treaty in which thirteen countries from different parts of the world are signed).
Finally, it is important to note that, during the period of the Conservative Republic, specifically in the years 1895 and 1896, Argentina had the highest GDP per capita in the world.
In this way, it surpassed great powers such as the United States, Belgium, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Switzerland, a milestone that no other South American country has achieved. History of Argentina.
The Radical Stage (1916–1930)
Between 1916 and 1930 the presidential mandates of Hipólito Yrigoyen (1916–1922; 1928–1930) and Marcelo T. de Alvear (1922–1928), whose political doctrine is known as radicalism.
During this period, specifically during the first term of President Hipólito Yrigoyen, one of the worst workers’ massacres in the history of Argentina would take place.
It is estimated that, during that fateful month of January 1919, the military and police troops of Argentina, supported by shock groups related to fascist ideologies, murdered at least 700 people. History of Argentina.
Infamous Decade or Neoconservative Restoration (1930–1943)
On September 6, 1930, the civic-military coup d’état orchestrated by the radical general José Félix Uriburu would successfully overthrow the radical president Hipólito Yrigoyen. In this way, Argentina would enter a historical period known as the Infamous Decade or Neoconservative Restoration.
The policies applied during the thirteen years of the Infamous Decade would bring with it a considerable growth of the industrial sector, which would manage to far surpass the agricultural sector, so that the massive migration from the countryside to the city was inevitable. History of Argentina.
During the Infamous Decade, Argentina would be ruled by four different presidents:
- José Félix Uriburu (1930–1932).
- Agustín Pedro Justo (1932–1938).
- Roberto Marcelino Ortiz (1938–1942).
- Ramón S. Castillo (1942–1943).
The latter would be overthrown by the so-called Revolution of 43, which would begin the government of Juan Domingo Perón.
Juan Domingo Perón: the beginning of Peronism (1943–1976)
On June 4, 1946, Juan Domingo Perón would assume the position as president of the Argentine nation after the success of the Revolution of 43. His rise to power would bring with it the polarization of Argentine society, dividing it into two large groups: Peronists and anti-Peronists.
Now, what were the arguments presented by each social group?
- The Peronists alluded that Perón was, at the very least, a just president, because he sought the greatest social equality among the Argentine people.
- His detractors, the anti-Peronists, maintained that interventionist economic policies, excessive nationalism and the exacerbated increase in public spending by the Perón government had been the causes of Argentina’s coming economic and political crises.
Be that as it may, Perón would be overthrown in 1955 by the revolutionary movement known as the Liberating Revolution.
However, eighteen years later, Perón would return to govern after the presidential terms of Arturo Frondizi (1958–1962), Arturo Umberto Illia (1963–1966), Juan Carlos Onganía (1966–1970), Roberto Marcelo Levingston (1970–1971) and Alejandro Agustín Lanusse (1971–1973).
Perón’s third presidential term (October 12, 1973 –July 1, 1974) would be interrupted by the sudden death of the Argentine president from ventricular fibrillation on July 1, 1974.
After his death, Perón would be succeeded by his wife, María Estela Martínez de Perón, better known as Isabel Perón or Isabelita, who would be the first woman in the world to occupy the head of state.
Isabelita’s fate would be far from that of her husband, since, after facing a severe economic and political crisis, she would be deposed by a new coup d’état on March 24, 1976. This coup d’état would start the dictatorial regime of Jorge Rafael Videla.
National Reorganization Process (1976–1983)
After the overthrow of President María Estela Martínez de Perón, a permanent dictatorship would be installed in Argentina, which is known, by self-designation, as the National Reorganization Process.
During this period, the head of state fell to four different military juntas, each of which appointed its own (de facto) presidents. These were as follows:
- Jorge Rafael Videla (1976–1981).
- Roberto Eduardo Viola (1981).
- Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri (1981-1982)
- Reynaldo Bignone (1982–1983).
It was at this time that the Mothers and Grandmothers of Plazo de Mayo were born, associations that were dedicated to denouncing the disappearances of children during the Argentine military dictatorship. History of Argentina.
Falklands War (1982)
In 1982, in the twilight of the National Reorganization Process, the Falklands War would break out, an international war in which Argentina and the United Kingdom would fight for control and sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands.
Despite the titanic efforts of the Argentine Armed Forces, the United Kingdom would emerge victorious under the command of the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher.
The Argentine defeat in the face of the overwhelming military superiority of the United Kingdom would result in the discontent of the Argentine population at the recklessness of its government.
This discontent, in turn, would force the dictatorial regime to call democratic elections in 1983: elections in which Raúl Alfonsín would be elected, starting a new democratic period. History of Argentina.
Argentina Return of Democracy
Economic crisis and Kirchnerism (1983-present)
Return to democracy
From the end of 1983 to the beginning of 2003, Argentina’s history would be marked by all the wounds left by a successive series of coups d’état and dictatorial governments, among which stand out a long history of human rights violations and an economic crisis aggravated by the increase in foreign debt.
Of this period, the presidential mandates of Carlos Menem (1989–1995; 1995–1999) and Fernando de la Rua (1999–2001).
Between 2001 and 2003, Argentina would face a very serious economic crisis, in which they would even declare themselves in default because they were not able to comply with the payment of the external debt.
As if that were not enough, the Argentine economic crisis of the early twentieth century would be aggravated by unprecedented political instability, which would not see its end until the arrival of the presidential mandate of Néstor Kirchner on May 25, 2003.
From Néstor Kirchner to Alberto Fernández
Perón’s political-economic practices would once again return to the history of Argentina through Kirchnerism, that is, the consecutive mandates of Néstor Kirchner and his wife, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, between 2003 and 2015.
Mauricio Macri’s presidential term (2015–2019) would be a recess for an Argentina plagued by the Peronist model, and the like, where the gigantic size of the state, enormous fiscal pressure and exacerbated public spending had led Argentine society into a series of successive economic and social crises. History of Argentina.
Macri’s government, like many of its predecessors, would be unable to reverse nearly a century of bad decisions, both political and economic. History of Argentina.
The Peronist model, which was believed to be extinct with the last term of President Cristina Fernández, would return from the hand of Alberto Fernández, who was elected in the 2019 presidential elections after beating his predecessor, former Argentine President Mauricio Macri, by eight percentage points. History of Argentina.
Currently, the government of Alberto Fernández faces an inflationary economic crisis that seems to be getting worse and worse. As if that were not enough, in parallel with this crisis are the events caused by a global pandemic. History of Argentina.
History of the Argentina Flag
Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina