Discovery and colonial times
In 1516 Juan Díaz de Solís (* around 1470, † 1516) discovered the mouth of the La Plata. In the 1830s, the Spaniards established the first permanent bases along the Paraná and Paraguay rivers. A first foray into the Argentine northwest byFernando Rojas soon followed the establishment of the first cities from Peru and Chile. Administratively, the territory was subdivided into the three governorates and captains general of Tucumán, Paraguay and Río de la Plata with the centers of Córdoba, Asunción and Buenos Aires, all belonging to the Viceroyalty of Peru. In 1776 a separate viceroyalty Río de la Plata with the capital Buenos Aires was founded as a bulwark against the Portuguese expansion in the Banda Oriental (today Uruguay) and in the direction of today’s Bolivia (center of Spanish precious metal production).
The way to independence
After the Napoleonic occupation of Spain, a junta was formed in Buenos Aires on May 25, 1810, which deposed the viceroy and formally ruled in the name of King Ferdinand VII. General Manuel Belgrano (* 1770, † 1820) drove the Spaniards out of northwest Argentina after several battles (1812/13), and General J. de San Martín secured independence through the liberation of Chile (1817/18) and Peru (1821). A congress in Tucumán on July 9th, 1816 declared the independence of the “United Provinces of the Río de la Plata”.
According to usaers, the attempt of the Creole government junta to unite the entire viceroyalty of La Plata under the leadership of Buenos Aires into an independent republic failed. A civil war between “Unitarians” and “Federalists” had already broken out during the struggle for independence. The center of the liberal-minded Unitarians who aspired to a unified state was the city of Buenos Aires, against whose hegemony the federalists in the interior resisted. In Buenos Aires, governments and constitutions changed in rapid succession; Caudillos seized power in the provinces. Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia became independent. The 14 remaining La Plata provinces formed a confederation in 1825 under the leadership of the Unitarians, which with Bernardino Rivadavia (* 1780, † 1845) appointed the president and passed a constitution in 1826. From 1829 J. M. de Rosas, the federal leader of the great ranchers and gauchos in the province of Buenos Aires, ruled the country. With dictatorial means he eliminated the rulers in the provinces and created the basis of a united Argentina. After Rosas’ overthrow (1852), a congress passed the federal constitution of 1853. However, the province of Buenos Aires separated from the confederation, and it was not until 1880 that the unified state of Argentina came into being. In 1865–70, Argentina, alongside Brazil and Uruguay, waged the costly war against C. A. López, the dictator of Paraguay.
From the economic boom to the end of the Second World War
The basis of economic development after independence was agriculture and trade. 1880 began a phase of economic boom (until 1913) with radical changes in the economic and social structure, which had been prepared by the mass immigration from Europe (especially from Italy and Spain) that began in 1850. Cattle breeding lost importance compared to the grain cultivation, which the immigrants mainly pursued. The south of the country (Patagonia) was colonized after campaigns against the indigenous population, the infrastructure of the hinterland of Buenos Aires expanded, and new agricultural zones opened up. Argentina became the leading exporter of beef and grain v. a. to Europe. The inflow of capital, especially from Great Britain, enabled growth, British companies took control of the rail network, much of the banks and trading companies. The high export income led to an expansion, but not to an intensification of agricultural production. The urban middle class strengthened through economic development; she demanded political participation and fought against election rigging. As the most important new political party, the Unión Cívica Radical (UCR) was formed in 1890 she demanded political participation and fought against election rigging. As the most important new political party, the Unión Cívica Radical (UCR) was formed in 1890 she demanded political participation and fought against election rigging. As the most important new political party, the Unión Cívica Radical (UCR) was formed in 1890 Leandro N. Alem (* 1844, † 1896). After the electoral reform (1912) under the conservative President R. Sáenz Peña ( 1910–14; * 1851, † 1914), the UCR achieved its political breakthrough in the 1916 elections; with the victory of its presidential candidate, H. Yrigoyen, the middle class first came to political influence. In terms of foreign policy, President Yrigoyen (1916–22) followed a strict line of neutrality; domestically, he tried to push through a national capitalist development with social reforms against large landowners, trade and foreign companies. In 1922 he was succeeded by Marcelo de Alvear (* 1868, † 1942), also a member of the UCR, in office. 1928 was Yrigoyen re-elected President. After a phase of economic boom in the 1920s, the global economic crisis turned into a time of political and social tension in Argentina. Conservative forces and opposition groups within the UCR joined forces with dissatisfied officers under the leadership of General José Uriburu (* 1868, † 1932) against the authoritarian leadership style of Yrigoyen and overthrew him (1930).
In the decades that followed, the military was a decisive factor in Argentina’s domestic policy, annulling social reforms and pursuing a policy of opening up to the war. a. for US capital. With the backing of the armed forces, generals and conservative politicians came to the presidency: Uriburu (1930–32), Agustín Justo (1932–38), Roberto Ortiz (1938–42) and Ramón Castillo (1942–43). Domestic tensions, however, did not ease and intensified during World War II. In 1943, after a coup, the military took over with Presidents Arturo Rawson (1943) and Pedro Ramírez (1943–44) took power himself. Under pressure from the Allies, Argentina, which had been neutral for a long time during World War II, declared war on Germany and Japan on March 27, 1945.