Map of ArgentinaArgentina is the second largest country in South America. It is the 8th largest country in the world. It was founded in July 9th in 1816 after declaring independence from Spain. In 1829 General Juan Manuel de Rosas was elected governor of the province of Buenos Aires. He was a federalist and dictator and ruled with a strong fist. He was able to crush all opposition for over 20 years and turned the area into The Argentine Confederation.

By 1900 Argentina emerged as one of the leading nations in South America. The economy was based on cattle and grain production and Europe was filled with their products. There was a saying in Europe, “rich as Argentineans”. During this period Argentina beef became world famous. This is largely due to the mild and moist climate in the region and excellent soil. During World War 1, Argentina remained neutral although often helped the Allies with food and supplies. Buenos Aires history From about 1900 Argentina began to identify with Europe and the US rather than with the rest of Latin America. During this time the British invested heavily in building railways and the first subway in South America. In 1916 the Radicals, led by Hipólito Yrigoyen, won control of the government. The Radicals, with their emphasis on fair elections and democratic institutions, supported Argentina’s expanding middle class as well as to elites previously excluded from power.

In 1975, The cost of living increased by 335 percent, and strikes and demonstrations for higher wages were daily. The left and right parties killed over 700 people in kidnappings and terrorism. Lieutenant General Jorge Rafael Videla, seized power on March 24, 1976 with a military coup and imposed martial law. The economy remained chaotic. Videla launched a campaign of terror against political opponents and in 1977 the Argentine Commission for Human Rights, in Geneva, blamed the regime for 2300 political murders, 10,000 political arrests, and 20,000 to 30,000 disappearances. This was called the ideological war and many of its victims were middle class students and intellectuals. Today it is known as the Dirty War. In 1978, the mothers of these victims began holding demonstrations in Plaza de Mayo which continue to this day.

In 2001, after De la Rue resigned, the president of the Senate became president for 2 days. Adolfo Rodríguez Saá was then elected by the Congress but resigned a week later. This left the president of the Congress as president of the nation for 2 days. On Jan 2 2002 the national Congress elected Peronist Eduardo Duhalde, who had previously lost the recent presidential elections, as president. Duhalde faced a country sinking into povery and unemployment and riots and demonstrations. He hired Roberto Lavagna as Minister of Economy who controlled prices, encouraged global companies for jobs, and provide basic goods and services. After one year, Duhalde was pressured to hold elections and did so and in 2003 Nestor Kirchner took office and is currently the president. Next election is in 2007.

Argentina is famous for exporting beef, leather, and wine. Tango is a cultural export.

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About the author of this blog.

Tom Wick is an American expat living in Buenos Aires. An expert travel consultant and tour guide offering free travel inforamtion and private guided tours of Buenos Aires.

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Please write to me about any Buenos Aires Argentina travel information or about living in Buenos Aires as an expat.

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August 2020

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