History of Argentina

In 1516, Spanish explorer Juan Díaz de Solís traveled along the Río de la Plata river of Argentina and in 1536 the Spaniards founded a small settlement. In 1806 and 1807 British forces tried to occupy Spanish regions in and around Buenos Aires. But their attempt was failed due to strong resistance offered by locals. In 1816 Argentine Declared independence.

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During the decades before 1916, an era not so distant for the citizenry to have forgotten the rapid pace of recent changes, Argentina had embarked on a program that contemporaries called “progress.” The first efforts in pursuit of progress could be traced back to the middle of the nineteenth century, with the great expansion in capitalism as the world began to become fully integrated into the international capitalist system. These efforts had mixed results and for diverse reasons. The greatest problem was the absence of effective institutions. State building was therefore a primordial concern. By 1880, when General Julio A. Roca assumed the presidency, the most difficult obstacles had been overcome, but much remained to be done.

The first task was to assure peace and stability and to assert effective control over the national territory. After 1810 and for some seven decades, civil wars had been endemic. Provincial authorities had fought among themselves and against Buenos Aires. The year 1862 marked a turning point, as the new national state, little by little and with little luck in the beginning, began to dominate those who had heretofore challenged its power, in the process ensuring that the army held a monopoly on the use of force.

Some outstanding problems were resolved during and after the Paraguayan War (1865-70). The province of Entre Ríos, Buenos Aires’ great rival in the establishment of a new state, and then the province of Buenos Aires itself— whose rebellion had been defeated in 1880—both had to accept the transformation of the city of Buenos Aires into the federal capital. The state then established its dominion over vast territories inhabited by indigenous peoples.

Recent years have witnessed an awakening in society and a recuperation of practices that were common during the early years of the democratic transition but that fell into misuse during the height of Menem’s government. On December 10, 2007, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner took over the presidency from her husband, after winning elections.

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