History of Argentina
2,780,400 sq km (1,073,518 sq miles).
43,024,374 (estimate 2014).
15.5 per sq km (2014).
Capital: Buenos Aires. Population: 15,024,000 (estimate 2014).
Currency: Peso (P)
Argentina is situated in South America, east of the Andes, and is bordered by Chile to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east and Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay and Brazil to the north and northeast. There are four main geographical areas: the Andes, the North and Mesopotamia, the Pampas and Patagonia. The climate and geography of Argentina vary considerably, ranging from the great heat of the Chaco (El Chaco), through the pleasant climate of the central Pampas to the sub-Antarctic cold of the Patagonian Sea. Mount Aconcagua soars almost 7000m (23,000ft) and waterfalls at Iguazu stretch around a massive semi-circle, thundering 70m (230ft) to the bed of the Parana River. In the southwest is a small ’Switzerland’ with a string of beautiful icy lakes framed by mountains.
Government: Federal Republic. Gained independence from Portugal in 1822.
Head of State and Government: President Dilma Rousseff since 2011.
Language: Spanish is the official and most widely spoken language. Less common languages include English, German, Italian, and French.
Religion: More than 90 per cent Roman Catholic, with small Protestant and Jewish communities.
The history of Argentina was similar to the history of the rest of South America. People have been living in Argentina since the Paleolithic period (Stone Age) and the early inhabitants lived as small hunter-gatherer tribes. Some of the tribes were the: Onas, Yámana, Tehuelches, Guaraníes, Toba and Diaguita. Unlike many other tribes in South America, these tribes weren’t absorbed by the Incas because they didn’t have any materials that the Incas were interested in.
The first Europeans arrived in Argentina in 1502 when several Portuguese explorers arrived. Spanish influence began in 1516 when Juan Díaz de Solís arrived. Small settlements were established in the area of Argentina between 1536 and 1580. Colonization expanded in 1776 when the area became the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata consisting of Buenos Aires. The Spanish Influence weakened when their armada was defeated by the British. When their armada was defeated, they lacked the infrastructure to continue shipping and sailing to Argentina. Local powers gained control of the region during the May revolution. The revolution began when the locals had learned that much of Spain had been conquered by France. In 1825, the United Kingdom first recognized Argentinian Independence. After some internal struggles, Juan Mauel de Rosas gained control over Argentina from 1829-1852, and his actions led to the creation of a constitution in 1853, that is still in use today. The first Argentinian president was Bartolome Mitre.
Buenos Aires was federalized and officially connected to Argentina after a trade conflict in 1880 that led president Avellaneda to send troops to the city and settle the conflicts, also removing special privileges from the city. Roca, a commander who led troops into Buenos Aires was elected president, and his party, the National Autonomist Party ruled from 1880 to 1916. Throughout the next 15 years, Argentina experienced communist and radical rule. When the US stock market crashed, the people of Argentina became very poor, because they couldn’t export their goods to the US. The government bought all the citizens products, so they could have money, but then the government almost went broke. Because the government was so poor, the military began a coup, and overthrew the government. The military took control, and then began to get rid of communists, and left wing terrorists. The military began to torture and kill all of them, to get rid of their influence. Although, thousands of innocents were caught up in this struggle and killed. In 1977, a small group of women silently walked through the Plaza de Mayo, praying for their lost loved ones. Every Thursday after that, the Madres de Plaza de Mayo walked through there, protesting for their lost friends and family. International and diplomatic pressure was protecting the Madres de Plaza de Mayo protests, which forced the government not to harm the Madres de Plaza de Mayo. Eventually, the military began to run out of money, and many labor workers were going strike. The military eventually went bankrupt, and was overthrown. Democracy took over and still stands today.