Traders with a great understanding of the land, from cattle to cavalry, Argentinians make many uses of their natural riches.
Proclaimed by the Congress of Tucumán in 1816, the independence of the United Provides of the Río de la Plata was secured by the victorious march of San Martin’s armies across the Andes in the 1820s. From 1862 onward, the definitive unification of the Argentine provinces provided lasting stability to the country’s institutions and ended decades of civil war. The victory of free trade proponents and the influx of foreign capital marked the start of a long era of economic development that extended into the 1930s.Find out more:
Modern-day Argentina emerged in 1862 from the former territories of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, following 50 years of military conflicts between federalist provinces and unionist forces known as porteñas. The porteñas’ eventual victory led to the creation of a federal republic under the aegis of the new capital, Buenos Aires. Aristocrats, military figures, and large landowners were the leading actors in Argentine political life during the first decades of independence. Only the election of Hipólito Yrigoyen under universal suffrage in 1916 would interrupt this elite’s domination of the country’s institutions.
Argentina benefitted from its agricultural capacities and the continued growth of European demand to assert itself as a major exporter of raw materials. Fully integrated into the late 19th century’s globalized trading networks, the farming sector was the object of British investments that enabled it to increase yields. As a producer of leather and meat – salted or canned – Argentina capitalized on the advent of the first large-scale industrial refrigerators to further increase its exports.
The landowners’ considerable political influence and the economic dominance of agricultural issues precipitated the conquest of the Pampas and Patagonia regions, to the detriment of their indigenous populations. At the same time, policies encouraging European immigration led to the arrival of 5.7 million people between 1857 and 1926.
The first animated feature in film history was about Argentine political life. Written, animated and directed by Quirino Cristiani, the movie El Apóstol, based on Argentina’s then-president, Hipólito Yrigoyen, was shown in Buenos Aires for the first time in 1917.