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The History of Argentina

The oldest archaeological finds in the Argentine area date from ca. 10,000 BC About. 500 BC taught the Indians in Argentina to grow potatoes, hold llamas, and work in ceramics and metals. In the last of three ceramic periods, after approx. 1000 AD, rich bronze works were made. Somewhat younger are hires for urban development and fortifications.

History of Argentina

This culture is related to the corresponding period in the forest area further in the northeast. But the Native American culture of the land today known as Argentina was technologically and organizationally very simple compared to the Aztec, Mayan and Inca cultures.

It is estimated that by the colonization of the Europeans there was a Native American population of approx. 300 000. Approx. In 1480, Northwest Argentina was incorporated into the Incaret.

The colonial past

Río de la Plata's estuary was discovered by Europeans in 1516. 1520 reached Fernão de Magalhães on his circumnavigation Patagonian coast. From the west and north, the northwestern part of the country was colonized in the middle of the 16th century.

Argentina was part of the Viceroy of Peru until 1776. See abbreviationfinder for geography, history, society, politics, and economy of Argentina. The direct trade with Spain was very small, and most goods to the country were imported via the west coast of South America. Río de la Plata had very little significance. Northwest Argentina provided foodstuffs to the silver mining community of Potosí in Bolivia, which generated good revenue.

The Viceroy of Río de la Plata, which also included Paraguay and Bolivia, was established in 1776. In 1778, trade with Spain was released. Córdoba was the most important city in the colony. The city was centrally located in Argentina and got its university in 1613, administered by Spanish conservative Jesuits. This position was broken towards the end of the 18th century, when Buenos Aires became the economic, political and cultural capital. This was due to the fact that trade with Peru lost its importance in favor of the transatlantic.

Independence and time until approx. 1930

The independence movement succeeded in 1810 to free Buenos Aires from Spanish domination, and in 1816 Argentina declared itself independent of Spain. A sharp contradiction arose between the "centralists" in Buenos Aires, who supported the citizenship, and the "federalists" in the country, supported by the larger landowners.

The country's strong man from 1835 to 1852, Juan Manuel de Rosas, was a federalist, but through his powerful course contributed to promoting the cause of the centralists. He led an ongoing foreign policy, with war on Bolivia and Uruguay, and in the years 1845-48 against France and the United Kingdom.

In Rosas's time, Argentina became the most powerful state in South America. This was partly due to Brazil surviving a civil war. When Brazil again became a great power, Rosas was defeated in 1852. After he was deposed, the provincial provinces joined together in a separate federation, but Buenos Aires conquered this by joining the 1861 Argentina itself with Uruguay and Brazil in the Triple Alliance and went to war against Paraguay in 1865. The war lasted for five years and led to the largest genocide in Latin America after the colonial era.

In 1880, Buenos Aires became the national capital and a center of power for the incumbent presidents who later could not be rocked.

An economic boom began for Argentina in the 1870s. The original subpopulated country received 6 million immigrants from Europe between 1860 and 1930, and especially Spain and Italy. Despite the fact that Spanish has remained the national language of Argentina, the Italian influence has been as strong as the Spanish. Also from Western Europe many emigrated to Argentina, and more Scandinavians settled there than in any other country in Latin America. The Indians were brutally slaughtered, and the country therefore had a purely European character in terms of population.

Railway construction accelerated in the 1870s. As an agricultural country, Argentina became one of the world's leaders, with first-class meat and wheat for export. Foreign capital came primarily from the United Kingdom, which became Argentina's most important trading partner until the Second World War.

From 1880 to 1916, Argentina was dominated by the conservative and national party PAN, supported by landlords. Economic growth was explosive until 1890, when inflation ran rampant and confidence disappeared in the British capital market. The result was that economic growth stopped and Argentina received a considerable foreign debt. But agriculture recovered quickly from the crisis, and it was during this period that Argentina became the world's leading supplier of agricultural products.

Unlike most other states in the region, Argentina had a middle class, which had the so-called radical party (UCR), founded in 1889, as a voice tube. It had a sting against the landlords, but was otherwise liberal. During the crisis of the 1890s, UCR significantly increased its importance. In 1912 general voting rights were implemented and the political life in the country dominated from 1916 to 1930. The party was very corrupt. The economic crisis that began after the collapse of the New York Stock Exchange in 1929 led to unrest in Argentina as well, and the army began its later strong political position when in 1930 it helped to overthrow radical President Hipólito Irigoyen.

Conservative forces then ruled the country until 1943. Corruption was no less than before, and the growing industrial working class was kept out of social life. Nationalist officers did a coup in 1943. They had great sympathy for the Axis powers in Europe, and their goal, behind a program of cooperation between the countries of the region, was to make Argentina the Latin America's leading state.

Traditional Argentine contempt for the predominantly non-white population of the other republics, and not least in Brazil, which was the main challenger to the leadership position, made it easy for the new government to play further on nationalist sentiments.

Perón era

In 1943 Colonel Juan Domingo Perón became head of the Secretariat for Labor and Social Care. A strong association with the CGT trade union laid the foundation for populism in Argentina. This was a whole new and revolutionary element of Argentina's politics.

By free elections in 1946, Perón was elected president, and he was re-elected in 1951. Perón's populism was characterized by strong nationalism, economic independence and social justice, and had similarities to fascist movements in Europe. Among other things, the Soviet Union objected to the country joining the UN.

Perón nationalized foreign property, prioritized industrialization at the expense of agriculture, and helped to elevate the workers' economic and social standing to a very high degree. Against the United States, he spoke a violent language in his speeches. As a person, Perón was both personally and financially corrupt, but his way of life did rather to strengthen his popularity among the masses, where he and his active wife Eva ("Evita", who died in 1952) became the subject of pure cult.

The old upper class, however, did not consider him highly. Inwardly, his regime was politically authoritarian, while the spiritual life remained relatively free. Buenos Aires held the position as one of the support points for culture in Latin America. Argentina, which had a very favorable starting position in 1945, was harmed by the unbalanced policy, and when Perón saw himself forced to support agriculture, his popularity among the workers declined.

He also joined the Catholic Church when the state and church were separated in 1955, and the officer corps eventually became skeptical of him, not least because of the suspicion that he might find his own armed supporters against regular military power. In September 1955 he was overthrown by the army and fled to exile in Spain.

1955–76: Instability

The years leading up to 1973 became extremely troubling for Argentina. The elected presidents Arturo Frondizi (1958–62) and Arturo Illia (1963–66) were both deposed by the army. From his exile in Madrid, Perón cast his shadow over political life, and his often fanatical followers were the best organized group in Argentina.

The March 1973 election brought the Peronist candidate Héctor Cámpora to power, with almost half the votes. A conflict broke out between the factions of the Peronist movement. Cámpora took office as president in May, Perón returned to Argentina in June, and Cámpora resigned from his position in July in favor of Perón, who in September ran for election with his new wife, Isabel, as vice presidential candidate.

Perón received more than 60 percent of the vote and assumed power the following month. To some extent, he seemed a stabilizing element, but his power was broken and he was unable to exercise the necessary leadership.

After his death in July 1974, Isabel Perón took over as president, and she made strong efforts to keep the Peronist myth alive. The country's problems were now almost insurmountable. Inflation was estimated at 600 per cent per year in 1975, foreign exchange reserves shrank drastically, and political murders and kidnappings were the order of the day.

The new president was manipulated by the most reactionary wing of the Peronist movement, which eventually deposed her at a military coup in March 1976.

Military rule and democratization 1976–89

The regime that came to power in 1976 declared that it would seek to redress the country's poor economy and put an end to political violence. The National Assembly was dissolved and all political and professional activities temporarily banned. The "dirty war" carried out by the army intelligence service and the death squadron AAA was aimed at physically exterminating the guerrilla organizations People's Revolutionary Army (ERP) and Monteneros (the radical left within the Peronist movement).

The number of missing (Spanish: los desaparecidos) under General Jorge Rafael Videla's regime (1976-81) varies due to uncertain source material. The most sober estimates are around 8,000 people, while several human rights organizations, both Argentine and international, believe the real figure is somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 people.

Argentina also had two territorial conflicts going on. The one with neighbor Chile about some islands at the inlet of the Beagle Canal, near the southern tip of the continent. The parties signed a friendship agreement in 1984 and committed to finding a solution that gave Chile sovereignty but Argentina certain maritime rights. The second conflict was with Britain over the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), known as the Falkland War. In April 1982, Argentine troops invaded the Falkland Islands. Following British countermeasures, the Argentine forces capitulated in June, which also led to the fall of General Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri.

In 1982, more than a thousand unidentified bodies were found in several cemeteries, and it was believed that these were victims of the Videla regime. The demand for a public account of the fate of the disappeared increased with the relatives and the liberal opinion. The junta admitted in 1983 that most of the missing from the 1970s had died. At the same time, the democratic process had begun. The government contacted civilian politicians about organizing political parties and transitioning to democracy.

However, the economic crisis persisted; unemployment passed 18%, and inflation galloped further at an accelerated rate, to 2340% in 1983. The same year a currency reform was implemented.

The October 1983 election became a triumph for the radical party UCR and Raúl Alfonsín. The new civilian president immediately initiated replacements in the top military leadership as well as prepared measures aimed at drastically reducing the country's defense spending. Former Presidents Videla, Viola and Galtieri, along with six junta members, were indicted as responsible for the killings and torture. Videla received life imprisonment, Viola 17 years, while Galtieri was acquitted (Galtieri, however, was placed under a new charge in 1986 for his role in the Falkland War and was sentenced to twelve years in prison).

The verdicts were criticized by the opposition for being too mild. But it nevertheless caught the attention that, for the first time in Latin American history, a settlement was made with representatives of a brutal dictatorship. The demand for amnesty for the convicted officers led to dramatic riots led by Colonel Aldo Rico in 1987 and 1988 and Mohammed Ali Seineldin in 1988. In January 1989, former ERP leaders attacked the La Tablada military embassy under the name Movement Alt for the Fatherland (MTP). The attack was a defeat for the MTP, and President Alfonsín set up a Security Council in collaboration with the army to prevent new military uprisings.

An economic reform in 1985 meant temporary control of inflation, but Alfonsín did not succeed in stabilizing the economy.

New Peronism

The 1989 election campaign was between Alfonsín's successor Eduardo Angeloz and the Peronist party's Carlos Saúl Menem. Expectations of populist Peronist rhetoric had a breakthrough among the working class, and Menem won the election. Instead of focusing on a nationalist state-directed economy, Menem advocated a dramatic restructuring of the economy to satisfy the International Monetary Fund (IMF). After a new military rebellion in 1990, Menem gave amnesty to the convicted protagonists of "the dirty war" in an attempt at national reconciliation.

Support for Menem's policy could be recorded by the progress of the Peronist Party in the local elections in 1991. Menem also went to the brink of establishing a Common Market (MERCOSUR) with Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. In 1993, Alfonsín's Radical Party (UCR) and the Menem Justice Party (PJ) joined an alliance that excluded almost all opposition. The rebel Aldo Rico led a minority party based on the interests of the military, and Menem thus managed to bring the military under political control.

Menem had to endure a lot of criticism for the increasing institutionalized corruption and gradual political control of the judiciary and business, despite a radical wave of privatization. Menem, like its Mexican presidential colleague Salinas (1988–94), made vigorous attempts to step into the ranks of the industrialized rich countries and therefore pursued a very US-friendly policy.

"Tango crisis" and chaos

Carlos Saúl Menem was re-elected in 1995 after the constitution was reformed to allow this. The country was now in a period of economic growth, in which the privatization of state business and a deliberate strategy for attracting foreign capital were important elements of government policy. But major tasks remained, to ensure sustainable development. This was related, among other things, to a public sector and a pension system, both of which had a stronger growth than there was a financial basis for.

Corruption prevented the implementation of business and district measures - and promoted the currency flight. Uneven distribution and a poverty gap were a visible result of political mistakes and neglect. A government debt that passed $ 100 billion also placed increasing demands on ability to pay. These problems were exacerbated, and it developed into a crisis when a dramatic decline in neighboring Brazil hit the Argentine economy fully towards the end of 1998. The two largest South American countries are economically closely linked; Almost a third of Argentina's exports went to Brazil. The decisions on measures and countermeasures now led to a strained relationship between the two countries.

Menem's peronist party suffered defeat in the 1999 presidential election. With 51% of the votes, Fernando de la Rúa, who was at the head of an alliance between his own radical people's party UCR and the left-wing solidarity front Frepaso, triumphed. In his first year as president, unemployment rose to over 15%, later rising to over 25%. Crisis measures based on tax increases, in part drastic salary reductions for public employees and cuts in public measures triggered social unrest and several rounds of general strikes.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United States were still resilient as creditors, more to prevent the crisis from spreading than in confidence that Argentina would manage its loans. At the turn of the year 2001/02, however, the creditors stopped. The country was in effect bankrupt - and had five presidents in just two weeks. The weekend before Christmas was de la Rúa literally chased out of the presidential palace, and after three very brief interlude was Eduardo Duhalde - Peronist left populist profile and vice president under Menem from 1989 to 1991 - was appointed interim head of state until elections in 2003. His coalition government seized on what seemed to be the prelude to a political and economic recovery, but first things were to get worse.

As one element of their crisis packages, the Duhalde government abolished the fixed exchange rate policy from the early 1990s, which linked the peso to the dollar in a 1: 1 ratio. In the wake of the devaluation of the peso, 70% in six months followed in 2002. Gross national income (GNI) declined, and purchasing power reached a historic bottom. The so-called "tango crisis", which was considered the most serious in the country's history, was constantly exacerbated. Dozens of lives were lost in riots, mass demonstrations surfaced in the street scene.

Nearly 50% of the population fell below the poverty line. The authorities took emergency measures to prevent regular hunger. Many "ordinary people" stood in the queue for food distribution, participated in shoplifting - or emigrated; middle class weathered. The country's numerous small farmers experienced a dramatic deterioration. Access to withdraw savings was limited, desperate crowds also gathered outside the bank premises. Inflation was again out of control. The distrust of the politicians took hold. The local elections this fall had to be suspended. At the presidential election in April of the following year, 85,000 police officers were expelled.

Towards the end of 2002, however, the crisis seemed to culminate. Néstor Carlos Kirchner, from the center/left wing of the Peronist Party, won the presidential election. The only real opponent, President Carlos Menem, resigned shortly before the second round. This was the first time that two rounds had to be conducted - because none of the 19 candidates achieved more than 50% of the vote in the first place.

Menem had been acquitted of corruption charges, but was considered to carry a heavy political responsibility for the crisis. Kirchner gathered a large majority in Congress, and soon gained an unusually high popularity in the population. With more political power than his predecessors, he advocated for social equalization, the fight against corruption and to give the state a more important role in the restructuring work. The IMF had tightened its requirements for budget cuts and repayments, but was now able to enter into new loans.

The economy again showed clear growth trends, and optimism was about to return both on the stock exchanges and among most people. Creditworthiness further increased when President Kirchner in 2005 got the largest debt settlement in the country's history, where a necessary majority of creditors agreed to repayment agreements of up to 40 years. But government debt still accounted for nearly three-quarters of gross national income, in the country that has Latin America's third-largest economy.

In 1998/99, relations with the United Kingdom were normalized after the Falklands War in 1982. However, the theme was undermined and flared up again in the autumn 2007 election campaign, where there were both demands and promises to regain the archipelago as Argentine territory. And as late as the year before, the issue was brought to the surface by the British - who again determined that the colonial status of 1833 was not a negotiating topic. The darkest clouds from the junta era dissolved, into the new century, in line with President Kirchner's promise of full settlement of the past. The laws that secured police officers and military impunity for torture and murder during the "dirty war" were declared invalid shortly before the 25th anniversary of the military coup in 2001 and formally repealed in subsequent years - following replacements by Supreme Court judges.

Around 400 charges were thus expected, and sentencing followed on a continuous basis. At the 30-year mark in 2006, the government decided to open all the junta-era archives, with information on those between 10,000 and 30,000 who still had "disappeared" status. International human rights organizations noted victory for a protracted struggle, and the well-known activist group Mothers on Maiplassen ended their business.

Nestor Kirchner's center/left wing in the Peronist Party - Partido Justicialista (PJ) - strengthened its position in the national election supplementary elections in 2005 and now got both a majority in the Senate and the largest block in the lower house. However, Kirchner chose to resign after his first term in office, and in the fall of 2007, Argentina got its first elected female president - his wife, the 55-year-old lawyer Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

Already in the first round of elections, she defeated by a solid margin a total of 14 opponents from a weak and divided opposition. She entered politics as a senator from Buenos Aires at the 2005 election, following a duel with President Eduardo Duhaldes wife Hilda. The ensuing popularity wave reminded many of Juan Peron, and the financial windfall was good at the presidential inauguration in December 2007. But the challenges were also significant. Unemployment and poverty continued to pose serious social problems, despite an economic growth rate of 8-9%; The gap between the richest and the poorest parts of the population has doubled since the military coup in 1976. Crime increased, statistics told of more deaths than traffic deaths in Buenos Aires, and Argentina emerged as a major country in drug exports from South America to the United States and Europe.

Cristina de Kirchner proposed to curb its predecessor's collaboration with Hugo Chávez 'Venezuela and consolidated the cooperation with Lula da Silvas Brazil, thus building on a broad-based cooperation agreement signed in 2004, as a counterbalance to the United States in the work on an All-American Free Trade Area. But she also signaled a foreign policy course with more room to improve relations with the United States than under its predecessor. However, the vision for Argentina to take on a more active international role soon had to give way to domestic problems.

A strong escalation of the export tax on key agricultural products maize, soy and cereals triggered roadblocks, strike actions and mass demonstrations - the battle also broke down in the Peronist Party - while a tax bill ended with a thunderous political defeat in the National Assembly for the new president. In addition, food prices increased by 30-40% in 2008, and economists estimated real inflation to be around 25%, compared to officially 9%.

However, a controversial plan was adopted to nationalize the country's ten private pension funds and increase state ownership in the business sector, as the financial crisis in the autumn of 2008 became noticeable in Argentina as well. Kirchner's popularity dropped like a rock, including among her core voters, workers and the lower middle class. The president promised to continue the spouse's policy, but critics believed it was mostly made when Nestor Kirchner, now the leader of the Peronist Party, figured as her only real adviser. In the June 2009 by-election, the party lost its pure majority in both chambers of the National Assembly, and Nestor Kirchner did not reach the regional elections in the Peronist High Court of Buenos Aires.

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