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Home > Discover the main milestones of the History of Argentina

History of Argentina

Due to their geographical situations, Argentina and Chile has been the last countries to welcome people on their land. Indeed, most of historians think the first peopling in South America was from Asian immigration.

From first people to colonisation by Spanish people, to the contemporary and most recent facts, we introduce the main milestones of the Argentinian History.

2015 : Mauricio Macri is becoming President of Argentina

Elected after a second historical tour, Mauricio Macri has became president of the Republic of Argentina in December 10th 2015

2002-2015 : the Kichner years

Contemporary and political history of Argentina: Nestor Kirchner, President of the Argentinian Republic from 2003 to 2007 and Cristina Kirchner to 2015.

Menem times

Menen was leading from 1989 to 1999 and Argentina experiences an economic crisis in 2001.

The Falkland Islands

Modern History of Argentina, the Falkland Islands war happened between april and june 1982 against the United Kingdom

Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo – Grandmoters of May Place

These grandmothers were also called the crazy ladies of the May Place, as they are fighting since 1977 to find their missing son and great grandchild.

From 1976 to 1983: the military dictatorship in Argentina

This time was also called « El Proceso » and was ended in 1983. After Peron died, in March 1976, Videla General organized the “Proceso de Reorganizacion Nacional” (National Reorganization Process). This program signed the beginning of a painful page of the Argentinian History. Many opponents to the leading party are tortured and assassinated (trade unionists, students, intellectuals, priests, etc). There would be approximately 40 000 people killed during this period. Today, Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo are still parading every Thursday in front of the presidential palace asking for truth and justice for the missing ones. The economic situation at this time was also a disaster with more than 45 billions debt.

Eva Perón, a key figure of Argentina

Eva Duarte was an icon for Argentinians. Eva Perón was the wife of Juan Peron general, president of Argentina from 1946 to 1955 and from 1973 to 1974. Actress, trade unionist and politician, she died in 1952 at 33 years old from a cancer.

Perón’s years

Juan Domingo Perón was born in 1895 in Buenos Aires region. He became president in 1946 and brought economic dynamism to the country. He also strengthened on social actions by improving workers lives with health insurance and housing benefit.

The economic situation became tough: due to inflation and external deficit, the president has to set an austerity policy. In 1955, a putsch is ending his mandate. Peron has to leave Argentina and goes to Paraguay and then Spain.

From 1955 to 1973, Argentina has to face dark military dictatorships. 18 year after, Peron is elected again as President and dies in 1974. His second wife is becoming president after his death. 

The golden time of Argentina

From 1880 to 1914, Argentina experienced a prosperity phase with a thriving agriculture and a high number of migrants from Europe arriving by boats. A lot of people from Ireland, Switzerland, Italy, Germany is coming to find the El Dorado. That’s why Argentina is such a cultural mix today. The number of inhabitant went from 300 000 to 600 000 between 1869 and 1874.

Construction of the State

Although they seem united, lots of regions within Argentina are fighting one against each other. Bernardino Rivadavia tried to set up the same federal system as in USA with a new constitution which centralizes the political power in Buenos Aires. The region’s governors are opposed as they fear to be limited in their actions.

Juan Manuel De Rosas is becoming president in 1829 and set up the centralization of the political power by prohibiting press’ freedom, and fighting against intellectuals to set up dictatorship.

Rosas is dismissed in 1852 by Urquiza which allowed a new phase for the history of Argentina. A new liberal constitution as in USA is announced in 1853, guarantying region’s autonomy.  Urquiza set up a new policy opened to foreign means to encourage international trade and immigration.

Roca General is the first minister and ordered the extermination of the Indians inhabitant of Patagonia. This war, called the “Desert Conquest” allowed to gather 34 millions of hectares redistributed to 1500 colonists.

The independance of the country

The General San Martin is giving a turning point for the independence of Argentina and other countries of South America (Chile in 1818 and Peru in 1821). According to his ideas, the Tucuman congress is declaring the independence in 1816.

The colonial era in Argentina

The Spanish conquista faced autochthone inhabitants: there were Guaranis and Querandis around Rio Parana and Mapuche and Tehuelches in Patagonia. The Spanish Crown gave lands to Spanish people using the services of indians. Some of the autochthones had to pay to have Spanish lessons and catholic religion learning.

The explorer times

Since Christopher Colombus discovered the American continent in 1492, territories were explored by Spanish and Portuguese authorities.

Juan Diaz de Solis was the first Spanish navigator discovering the Rio Parana Detroit in 1516. Many expeditions related that Indians were wearing silver plates: And that’s how we call now Rio de la Plata (the Silver River).

In 1520, Magellan explored also the region and reached the Pacific Ocean. His name was attributed to the Detroit which brought new perspectives to explore the world.

The Inca invasion

From 850 and 1480 before J.C, the main civilization is called the Diaguites. They are settled in Calchaqui Valley, to the east side of Tucuman. They are living mainly from agriculture and also llama and alpaca livestock farming. Diaguites people were also expert in ceramic and metal art. Many funeral urns, golden and copper jewellery were found in the Calchaqui valley. 

On the road from Cafayate to Tucuman, you can understand better this region’s history thanks to the Quilmes ruins. Indeed, the Quilmes Indians were part of the same linguistic group as the Diaguites. The Spanish explorer had to fight a lot to win these powerful warriors.

First Inhabitants

Archaeologist found that first inhabitants were living in Argentinian land since 12 000 years although other archaeology studies related it would be from 40 000 years ago. Many caves can illustrate the first existence of people, particularly “Las Cueva de las Manos” (the Hands’ Cave) from 9000 before JC.

Between 700 and 1300 after JC, the North West region is experiencing a strong development which is quite paradoxical as today the region is considered as one of the poorest within Argentina. At this time, the North West is under the influence of the Tiahuanaco Empire located in Bolivia. Then, the region was part of the Inca Empire were people lived from agriculture and alpacas and llamas livestock farming. From an artistic point of view, the North West was a very creative region as there were a lot of ceramic and wood sculpture art. Archaeologists also discovered many copper and bronze coins of a very high quality.

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