The Spanish colonization of what is today
Argentina began in the early 16th century. The
colonizers pushed away the Native American people who
previously lived in the area, which came into being in
two Spanish Viceroys, Peru and Río de la Plata. The
latter declared its independence in 1816, but it took
almost half a century before the Republic of Argentina
was formed. Wool, frozen meat and wheat were exported to
Europe and by 1900 the new state was one of the world's
ten richest countries. At the same time, several new
radical parties gained greater influence. After the
World Depression of 1929, the economy had problems, and
both 1930 and 1943 the military took power.
Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Argentina, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
Among Argentina's original inhabitants, there were no
well-developed civilizations like the Inca Indians. But
in the northwest, groups belonging to the Incas'
cultural area lived, including quechua and groups in
Gran Chaco, which had ties to Indians further north. In
the south, hunter and gatherer people lived as puelche
on Pampas and tehuelche in Patagonia, but the area was
sparsely populated when the Spaniards arrived in the
early 16th century.
Juan Díaz de Solís reached the Río de la Plata bay
between Argentina and Uruguay in 1516. Three decades
later, the Spanish founded a settlement in the place
where Buenos Aires is today. It was soon abandoned in
search of gold and silver inland. Famine and resistance
from Native Americans forced the colonizers to move
north along the Paraná River. From there, the Spaniards
again spread south. Argentina was incorporated into the
Spanish Viceroy of Peru, but became a
relatively unnoticed area on its outskirts.
Forced labor and new diseases led to a decline in the
indigenous population. Black slaves from Africa were
brought into Argentina, but there was still a shortage
of labor. Livestock farming became the most important
Buenos Aires became the capital of 1776 in a new
Viceroy, Río de la Plata, which
included the territories that today comprise Argentina,
Uruguay, Paraguay and parts of Bolivia. The new colony
was intended to strengthen Spain's influence over the
South Atlantic, where British and French gained a
Among the inhabitants of the colony, ideas began to
spread about releasing themselves from Spain. The
Viceroy collapsed after Spain weakened during the
Napoleonic Wars in Europe. in the early 19th century. In
1816, the Viceroy proclaimed an independent state, the
United Provinces of South America, but
only after several years did separatists win over those
who wanted to be faithful Spain.
Within the country, severe conflicts raged.
Unitarios, dominated by well-established
merchant circles in the city of Buenos Aires, advocated
a strong central government, while federal,
conservative landowners in the inland, wanted
far-reaching self-government for the provinces. At the
head of the Federales stood strong leaders,
caudillos, who were often military. The major
estate owner Juan Manuel de Rosas became governor of
Buenos Aires in 1829. In association with several
caudillos, he drove self-government for the provinces
and waged war against the Indians at Pampas to provide
new land for the landowners.
From 1835 they ruled the Rosas with dictatorial
methods, but in 1852 a united opposition managed to
defeat him militarily. The following year, a new federal
constitution was adopted. However, it took until 1861
before all of Argentina could be united in one republic.
The country was ruled by strong central governments.
With the help of railways and new agricultural
technology, Pampas was exploited. Freighters with
freezer rooms began to cross the Atlantic. Wool, frozen
meat, wheat and blue alfalfa (alfalfa) were exported to
Europe. Argentina for a short period became one of the
world's richest countries and with British investments
in railways and meat production laid the foundation for
the country's modern business world. The Indians at
Pampas stood in the way of this development, but their
resistance was crushed in the early 1880s. Several of
the officers who defeated them received vast lands as
The need for labor increased. It was filled by
European immigrants who mainly settled in cities and
The growing middle and working class in the cities
demanded political influence, which has traditionally
been limited to landowners. In the 1890s, two new left
parties were formed, the Radical Party
and the Socialist Party, and in the
early 1900s European immigrants formed radical unions.
The Radical Party was granted a hearing in 1912 for its
demand for universal suffrage for men and its leader
Hipólito Yrigoyen was elected president in 1916.
The Yrigoy was forced to reign in a coalition with
conservative groups but managed to introduce pensions
and a general school system and improved workers'
rights. But the president also had authoritarian moves
and corruption prospered under his rule. High inflation
hit hard on the working class and many strikes were
carried out. In 1919, Russian-Jewish immigrants, accused
of agitating for communism, were attacked by crowds and
The influx of European immigrants continued until the
economic world depression in the 1930s. With it broke a
long period of growth. The government's authority was
undermined and in 1930 the military took power.
The opposition was prevented from holding or
boycotting the 1931 election won by General Augustín
Pedro Justo. He was supported by a loosely composed
political alliance, Concordancia,
between conservative, liberal and reform-oriented
socialist groups. A number of faltering and corrupt
governments followed, supported by the military and
dominated by landowners. For fear of losing their most
important export market, the British were given
far-reaching benefits in Argentina, including trade. But
economic and social decay drove a group of young army
commanders to seize power in 1943.
Life imprisonment for Videla
Former dictator Jorge Videla is sentenced to life
imprisonment for crimes against humanity.
Néstor Kirchner dies
Former President Néstor Kirchner dies in a heart
attack, 60 years old.
The conflict between Kirchner's and the media
The Kirchner couple's conflict with media companies
Grupo Clarín and La Nación continues. In a report, the
newspapers are accused of cooperating with the junta to
force the Graiver family to sell the country's only
newsprint maker. The then owner David Graiver died under
mysterious circumstances in a plane crash in 1976.
According to the government, Grupo Clarín's CEO would
have threatened to kill Graiver's widow if the family
did not agree to sell the company.
Foreign exchange reserves can be used to pay off
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner issues two
decrees that require more than $ 6 billion to be taken
from the foreign exchange reserve for debt repayment,
both to multilateral and private lenders. The opposition
goes to court to try to prevent this but loses. At the
end of the month, the court approves the president's
Corruption charges mother couple Kirchner
New revelations come about that the president and her
husband exchanged $ 2 million in October 2008 just
before the international financial crisis picked up.
Earlier, the opposition Citizens Coalition has accused
the couple of enriching themselves illegally, as their
private wealth has increased by 158 percent in 2008
New restrictions on ship traffic to the Falkland
Argentina introduces new controls for vessels passing
through the country's territorial waters en route to the
The Governor is forced to step down
In early 2010, President Cristina Fernández de
Kirchner dismissed Governor Martin Redrado via decree
since he refused to allow the government to use over $ 6
billion from the foreign exchange reserve to pay off
foreign debt. It is questioned whether the president has
the right to dismiss Redrado, but after several trips in
court he resigns himself.