Argentina (/ˌɑrdʒənˈtiːnə/, officially the Argentine Republic (Spanish: República Argentina [reˈpuβlika aɾxenˈtina]), is the second largest country in both South America and the Latin America region.
The country is a federation of 23 provinces and the autonomous city of Buenos Aires, its capital and largest city. It is the eighth-largest country in the world by land area and the largest among Spanish-speaking nations by geographical area of 2,780,400 km2 and is the fourth by population, with over 41 million people. Argentina is a founding member of the United Nations, Mercosur, the Union of South American Nations, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the World Bank Group and the World Trade Organization, and is one of the G-15 and G-20 major economies.
Is located in South America, bordered by Chile to the west and south, Bolivia and Paraguay to the north and Brazil and Uruguay to the northeast. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands (Spanish: Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
Argentina is the succesor state of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, an overseas colony of the Spanish Empire. Argentina declared independence during the Argentine War of Independence, which was followed by the Argentine Civil Wars during most of the 19th century. The country faced several military coups and political instability during the 20th century, along with periodic economic crisis that continue to this day.
A recognized Southern Cone power, and middle power, Argentina is Latin America's third-largest economy, with a "very high" rating on the Human development index. Within Latin America, Argentina has the fifth highest nominal GDP per capita and the highest in purchasing power terms. The Legatum Institute have argued that the country has a "foundation for future growth due to its market size, levels of foreign direct investment, and percentage of high-tech exports as share of total manufactured goods", and it is classed by investors as middle emerging economy.
Argentina is the Latin American country with the most Nobel Prizes, for a total of five, all obtained during the second half of the twentieth century. The country has three Nobel prizes in science and two of peace. The most important aspects of science and technology in Argentina are concerned with medicine, nuclear physics, biotechnology, nanotechnology, space and rocket technology and several fields related to the country's Main Economic Activities. The country also has the mega exhibition center of science, technology, industry and art that are Latin America's largest.
Name and Etymology
Argentina is derived from the Latin argentum ("silver"). La Plata Basin does not have any sources of silver, but the first Spanish conquerors arrived in the area following rumors of the existence of silver mountains, hence the name. The first use of the name Argentina can be traced to La Argentina, a 1602 poem by Martín del Barco Centenera. Although this name for the La Plata Basin was already in common usage by the 18th century, the area was formally called Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, and United Provinces of the Río de la Plata after independence.
The first formal use of the name was in the 1826 constitution, which used both the terms "Argentine Republic" and "Argentine Nation". The Constitution was repealed, and the territories were instead known as the "Argentine Confederation". This name was used in the 1853 Constitution, being changed to that of the "Argentine Nation" in 1859, and to the "Argentine Republic" per an 1860 decree, when the country achieved its current organization. According to the 35th Article of the 1994 Constitution, all the former names of the country since 1810 are legally valid.
In the English language, the country was traditionally called "the Argentine", mimicking the typical Spanish usage la Argentina. This fell out of usage in English during the mid to late 20th century, and now the country is simply referred to as "Argentina".
The area now known as Argentina was relatively sparsely populated until the period of European colonization. The earliest traces of human life are dated from the Paleolithic period, and there are further traces in the Mesolithic and Neolithic. However, large areas of the interior and piedmont were apparently depopulated during an extensive dry period between 4000 and 2000 B.C.
The Uruguayan archaeologist Raúl Campá Soler divided the indigenous peoples in Argentina into three main groups: basic hunters and food gatherers, without development of pottery, advanced hunters and food gatherers, and farmers with pottery. The second group could be found in the Pampa and south of Patagonia, and the third one included the Charrúas and Minuane people and the Guaraníes.
Some of the different groups included the Onas at Tierra del Fuego, the Yámana at the archipelago between the Beagle Channel and Cape Horn, Tehuelches in the Patagonia, many peoples at the litoral, guaycurúes and wichis at Chaco. The Guaraníes had expanded across large areas of South America, but settled at the northeastern provinces of Argentina. The Toba (Komlek) nation and the Diaguita which included the Calchaqui and the Quilmes lived in the North and the Comechingones in what is today the province of Cordoba. The Charrua (which included the Minuane people), yaros, Bohanes and Chanás (and Chaná-Timbú) were located in the actual territory of Entre Ríos and the Querandí in Buenos Aires.
Spanish colonial era
Europeans first arrived in the region with the 1502 voyage of Amerigo Vespucci. The Spanish navigator Juan Díaz de Solís visited the territory which is now Argentina in 1516. In 1536 Pedro de Mendoza established a small settlement at the modern location of Buenos Aires, which was abandoned in 1541.
A second one was established 1580 by Juan de Garay, and Córdoba in 1573 by Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera. Those regions were part of the Viceroyalty of Peru, whose capital was Lima, and settlers arrived from that city. Unlike the other regions of South America, the colonization of the Río de la Plata estuary was not influenced by any gold rush, since it lacked any precious metals to mine.
The first European explorer, Juan Díaz de Solís, arrived on the Río de la Plata in 1516. Spain established the Viceroyalty of Peru, encompassing all its holdings in South America. Buenos Aires was established in 1536 but was destroyed by natives. The city was established again in 1580. The colonization of modern Argentina came from 3 different directions: from Paraguay, establishing the Governorate of the Río de la Plata, from Peru and from Chile.
Buenos Aires became the capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in 1776, with territories from the Viceroyalty of Peru. Buenos Aires and Montevideo resisted two ill-fated British invasions in 1806 and 1807. The resistance was headed both times by the French Santiago de Liniers, who would become viceroy through popular support. The ideas of the Age of Enlightenment and the example of the Atlantic Revolutions generated criticism to the Absolute monarchy. The overthrow of the Spanish King Ferdinand VII during the Peninsular War created great concern in the Americas, so many cities deposed the monarchic authorities and appointed new ones, working under the new political ideas. This started the Spanish American wars of independence across the continent. Buenos Aires deposed the viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros in 1810, during the May Revolution.
Independence and civil wars
The May Revolution of 1810 began the Argentine War of Independence between patriots and royalists. The Primera Junta, the new government in Buenos Aires, sent military campaigns to Córdoba, Upper Peru and Paraguay, and supported the rebellions at the Banda Oriental. The military campaigns were defeated, so Buenos Aires signed an armistice with Montevideo. Paraguay stayed Non-interventionist during the remainder of the conflict, Upper Peru defeated further military campaigns, and the Banda Oriental would be captured by William Brown during renewed hostilities. The national organization, either under a centralized government located in Buenos Aires or as a federation, began the Argentine Civil Wars as well, with the conflicts of Buenos Aires and José Gervasio Artigas.
The Argentine Declaration of Independence was issued by the Congress of Tucumán in 1816. Martín Miguel de Güemes kept royalists at bay on the North, while José de San Martín made the Crossing of the Andes, securing the independence of Chile. With the Chilean navy at his disposal he then took the fight to the royalist stronghold of Lima. San Martín's military campaigns complemented those of Simón Bolívar in Gran Colombia and led to the independent's victory in the Spanish American wars of independence.
The 1820 Battle of Cepeda, fought between the Centralists and the Federalists, resulted in the end of the centralized national authority. A new centralist constitution was enacted in 1826, during the War with Brazil, and Bernardino Rivadavia was appointed the first President of Argentina. It was rejected by the provinces, forcing Rivadavia to resign. The new governor Manuel Dorrego was deposed and executed by Juan Lavalle, which exacerbated the civil war. Juan Manuel de Rosas organized the resistance against Lavalle and restored the deposed authorities. The provinces then reorganized themselves as a loose confederation of provinces that lacked a common head of state. They would instead delegate some important powers to the governor of Buenos Aires Province, such as debt payment or the management of international relations.
Juan Manuel de Rosas ruled from 1829 to 1832, and from 1835 to 1852. During his first term he convened the Federal pact and defeated the Unitarian League. After 1835 he received the "Sum of public power". He faced several a French blockade from 1838 to 1840, the War of the Confederation in the north, an Anglo-French blockade from 1845 to 1850, and the Corrientes province revolt. Rosas remained undefeated during this series of conflicts and prevented further loss of national territory. His refusal to enact a national constitution, pursuant to the Federal pact, led to Entre Ríos governor Justo José de Urquiza to turn against Rosas and sanction the Constitution of Argentina of 1853. Rejecting it, Buenos Aires seceded from the Confederation and became the State of Buenos Aires. The war between both lasted nearly a decade, and ended with the victory of Buenos Aires at the battle of Pavón.
Buenos Aires rejoined the Confederation, and Bartolomé Mitre was elected the first president of the unified country in 1862. He began military campaigns against both the remaining federals in Argentina, the whites from Uruguay, and Paraguay. The War of the Triple Alliance, in alliance with Uruguay and Brazil, left over 300,000 dead and devastated Paraguay. Unable to influence the election of later presidents, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and Nicolás Avellaneda followed him. Albeit unitarians, they were not from Buenos Aires, and had conflicts with him. Mitre attempted twice to secede Buenos Aires from the country once more, but failed. Avellaneda federalized Buenos Aires, after defeating a final failed attempt to secede it.
Since the colonial times, huge territories were under the control of indigenous peoples. All governments since then attempted in some way to stay in good terms, kill them, or push them to ever farther frontiers. The final conflict was the Conquest of the Desert, waged by Julio Argentino Roca in the 1870s. With this military operation, Argentina seized control of Patagonia.
Rise of Peronism
The bases of modern Argentina were established by the Generation of '80, a political movement that opposed Mitre and sought to industrialize the country. A wave of European immigration led to the strengthening of a cohesive state, the development of modern agriculture and to a near-reinvention of Argentine society and economy. The country emerged as one of the ten richest countries in the world, benefiting from an agricultural export-led economy as well as British and French investment. Driven by immigration and decreasing mortality the Argentine population grew fivefold and the economy 15-fold. However, the National Autonomist Party (PAN) could not meet its original goals of industrialization, and the country stayed as a pre-industrial society. President Juárez Celman faced an economic crisis that generated popular discontent and the Revolution of the Park in 1890, led