According to YOUREMAILVERIFIER, the Argentina is the second largest country in South America and one of the world’s largest meat exporters. In 1991, it formed the Southern Common Market ( Mercosur ) with Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. At the end of the decade, it entered a serious political and economic crisis. The country’s capital, Buenos Aires, is one of the largest cities in South America. Check out its history.
The first permanent Spanish settlers arrived in Argentina in 1535. In 1536, the village of Santa María del Buen Aire was founded, which had to be evacuated in 1541, due to the attack by Indians. In 1580, Buenos Aires was founded again and soon became the economic and strategic center of the La Plata Basin.
In 1776, Spain founded the Viceroyalty of the River Plate. In 1806 and 1807, the United Kingdom tried to invade Buenos Aires, but was defeated by the colonists. Taking advantage of the situation, the city’s commercial bourgeoisie sparked a revolution in 1810. The viceroy was removed, the United Provinces of the River Plate were created and Buenos Aires established its first autonomous government.
King Fernando VII ascended the Spanish throne in 1814 and tried to regain overseas dominance, contrary to the interests of the commercial bourgeoisie of Buenos Aires. Therefore, in July 1816, the provinces declared themselves independent. After a period of armed struggle, General José de San Martín commanded the army that ensured the independence of Argentina, Chile and Peru.
In 1826, Bernardino Rivadavia was elected president of Argentina, but he remained in power only until 1829, when Juan Manuel de Rosas took over and established the military dictatorship. In 1833, the United Kingdom occupied the Malvinas Islands.
A coup d’état deposed the president in 1852 and, after the Constitution was proclaimed, General Justo José de Urquiza assumed the Presidency and Paraná became the capital. The Buenos Aires bourgeoisie tried, unsuccessfully, to separate itself from the confederation.
From 1864 to 1870, Argentina allied itself with Brazil and Uruguay in the War of Paraguay. In 1891, Hipólito Yrigoyen founded the Radical Civic Union (UCR), formed by representatives of the middle class. In 1916, Yrigoyen was elected president.
Three years later, the army violently suppressed a series of strikes organized by the unions. In 1930, a coup d’état toppled the president.
Juan Domingo Perón
Another coup d’état in 1943, led by then Colonel Juan Domingo Perón, overthrew the government and led General Arturo Rawson to the presidency. However, the power was in fact exercised by Perón. In October 1945, there was a great popular mobilization in his favor. The following year, Perón was elected president. His wife, Eva Perón (Evita), became his main advisor. The couple consolidated their populist policy by bringing unions and workers’ representative bodies into the sphere of direct influence of the State.
In 1948, Perón began implementing his economic program, nationalizing strategic sectors of the economy, creating social and labor protection laws, among other measures. In foreign policy, it supported the policy of non-aligned countries – that is, it did not commit itself to any bloc of countries.
In 1951, Perón suppressed freedom of expression and, in 1954, came into conflict with the Catholic Church. A coup d’état forced him to resign the following year and flee into exile in Spain. General Eduardo Lonardi became president of the provisional government. But another coup put General Pedro Aramburu in power. The Aramburu military dictatorship rejected non-alignment in the Cold War and Argentina followed the US foreign policy to prevent the spread of Communism in Latin America.
As of 1958, the new President Arturo Frondizi’s economic policy produced an enormous concentration of income and increased the unemployment rate, which triggered a series of demonstrations against the government.
In 1962 and 1966, the Armed Forces carried out two more coups d’état. The next government, by General Juan Carlos Onganía, represented the beginning of a new authoritarian and anti-peronist cycle. The economic policy adopted by Onganía caused a profound economic stagnation. There were strikes and protests by workers and students against the government.
In 1970, Onganía was overthrown and General Roberto Levingston assumed the Presidency, being replaced the following year by General Alejandro Agustín Lanusse. In 1973, the candidate of the Justicialista de Liberación Front, Héctor José Cámpora, was elected president and authorized Perón to return from exile. He resigned shortly thereafter and new elections were called. Perón was elected, and his third wife, María Estela Martínez de Perón (called Isabelita), became vice president.
Perón died in 1974 and Isabelita assumed the Presidency. In 1976, a military junta, led by General Jorge Videla, carried out yet another coup, deposed Isabelita, dissolved Congress and took over the government.
The military junta suspended all individual and constitutional rights and started the so-called Dirty War – the elimination of opponents of the dictatorship through imprisonment, kidnapping and murder. The junta implemented an economic policy that ruined the country’s industrial park and dramatically increased public debt.
In 1981, General Roberto Viola took command of the military junta. Shortly afterwards, he was replaced by General Leopoldo Galtieri.
In 1982, the military junta sent troops to the Falkland / Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, initiating the invasion of the archipelagos. The onslaught was an attempt to awaken people’s nationalism. The UK’s reaction was immediate. After 45 days of fighting, Argentina surrendered. In the face of defeat, Galtieri resigned and the military junta called general elections for 1983.
Raúl Alfonsín (UCR) was elected president. As soon as he took office, he had to face hyperinflation. It implemented a series of budget cuts to reduce the fiscal deficit. In 1985, it launched the Austral Plan, whose main measures were the freezing of prices and salaries and the replacement of the national currency, the peso, by the austral, whose quotation was pegged to the US dollar.
Alfonsín ordered the prosecution of the military responsible for human rights violations during the Dirty War and for the invasion that resulted in the Malvinas War.
The Alfonsín government has also made progress in foreign policy, by signing, for example, an agreement with Chile to end the dispute over the Lennox, Nueva and Piction islands in the Beagle Channel.
The officers’ trial created enormous tension in the armed forces. In 1987, isolated units of the Army – the painted faces – rebelled, demanding an end to the trials and an amnesty for the military condemned by the courts. Alfonsín sent two bills to Congress stating that the low-ranking military could not be held criminally responsible and limiting the number of lawsuits filed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office. In the meantime, unemployment increased and the country entered a recession. In 1988, two new military rebellions broke out.
In the 1989 elections, Carlos Menem, the candidate for President of the Justicialista Party (PJ), won. Upon taking office, Menem began to implement a neoliberal economic adjustment program. His government granted two presidential pardons to the military responsible for the Dirty War, which provoked protests from human rights organizations.
Argentina adopted a submissive foreign policy to the United States and even sent a Navy frigate to join the international coalition against Iraq in the 1991 Gulf War.
In the same year, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay signed the Treaty of Asunción, which created Mercosur, a free trade agreement between the four countries.
The Argentine government implemented a new economic plan, substituted the austral for the peso and adopted the equation of the currency with the US dollar. Initially, the Convertibility Plan, by Minister Domingo Cavallo, caused a deep recession, but there was a brutal drop in inflation rates. Because of economic growth, the president was able to re-elect himself in 1995, but Argentina’s problems have not been resolved. The Asian (1997), Russian (1998) and Brazilian (1999) crises affected the Argentine economy. The measures adopted by the government were cuts in the budget and a reduction in the salary of civil servants.
Government of the street
In the 1999 presidential elections, the Alliance candidate, Fernando de la Rúa, was elected. In 2000, several companies went bankrupt and the industrial park remained denationalized and unstructured. In 2001, the crisis worsened. After the resignation of two economy ministers, former minister Domingo Cavallo resumed his post.
Crisis and Poverty
The main effects of convertibility were deindustrialization, the increase in social inequalities and unemployment and the excessive dependence on speculative capital. Trade sales and industrial production fell and poverty increased.
In December, looting and protests took place in much of the country. Cavallo resigned, followed by President De la Rua. Adolfo Rodríguez Saá (PJ) assumed the Presidency and announced the moratorium (suspension of payment) on the external debt. In a short time, he lost his party’s support and resigned.
In January 2002, Congress elected President of the Republic Senator Eduardo Duhalde (PJ). Duhalde’s first measures did not contain the crisis. Three months later, the economics and production ministers and the chief of staff resigned. In December, withdrawals from the population’s current accounts and savings accounts, which had been retained since December 2001, were released.
For more than 12 years, Argentina was ruled by the Kirchners, from 2003 to 2007 by Nestór Kirchner and from 2007 to 2015 by Cristina Kirchner, his wife. They had a populist style of governing, with a cult of Perons and measures of income distribution. Argentina has gone through a period of economic expansion, thanks to the high demand for commodities from China, but in the past 4 years it has suffered from a severe recession that lasts until today.
In 2015, Mauricio Macri assumed the Argentine presidency with the challenge of raising the Argentine economy again, which faces a crisis of investor mistrust.