The Rio de la Plata region
in the 19th Century - to the all of Rosas

  1. Independence in the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata

    1. British forces attack Buenos Aires, 1806

      1. At the point, Spain was an ally of France

      2. Spanish viceroy flees

      3. Creole-led forces expel the British, name a French officer, Santiago Liniers, as acting viceroy

    2. In 1807, Creole-led forces repel a British invasion of Montevideo

    3. In 1809, the Central Junta in Spain, trying to lead resistance to French occupation, sends a new viceroy

    4. 1810, the Central Junta collapses

      1. Creole leaders call a cabildo abierto

      2. Cabildo abierto deposes viceroy, establishes a revolutionary government

    5. Led by radicals such as Bernadino Rivadavia, new government pursues radical course

      1. Declares Buenos Aires an open port

      2. Secularized education, encouraged a free press, other liberal measures

      3. those who resisted were exiled or executed

      4. Government quite unstable

      5. Formal independence declared in 1816

  2. Splintering of the Rio de la Plata

    1. Buenos Aires

      1. Buenos Aires looked to outside world for ideas, economic growth - especially England

      2. Depended on free trade, primarily with Europe, mostly in beef products, to develop its economy

      3. Saw itself as the natural leader of the region

    2. The interior provinces

      1. Depended on a subsistence economy and production of a few stable goods for local trade

      2. Saw imported goods coming in through Buenos Aires as undermining their economy - cheap British textiles, for example

    3. Uruguay -- the "contested lands"

      1. As the independence wars unfolded, Uruguay and Montevideo became a battleground

      2. Buenos Aires, Brazil, Spanish royalists, and the British struggled for influence and control

      3. A "folk caudillo", Jose Gervasio Artigas, emerges as leader of an independence movement

      4. Uruguay will be alternately occupied by Brazilians and royalists, with Britain and Buenos Aires interfering

      5. Artigas would take Montevideo in 1815, but ousted by Brazilains in 1820

      6. Brazil and Buenos Aires would struggle over Uruguay in 1820s

      7. The British would eventually force a compromise, with Uruguay becoming fully independent in 1828

    4. Paraguay

      1. Paraguay resisted an effort by Buenos Aires to impose control in 1811, becoming independent

      2. Came under control of Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia

      3. Francia imposed tight control, isolating Paraguay from its neighbors

      4. Pursued internal autarky, avoiding interference from outside

      5. Crushed the local elites, confiscated their property, and encouraged intermarriage among creoles and Amerindians

      6. Imposed a ruthless dictatorship, but efforts at autarky and redistribution of wealth led to improvements in living conditions

      7. Remained in power till his death in 1840

  3. Juan Manuel de la Rosas and Argentine disunity

    1. The Liberal phase

      1. Between 1811 and 1829, a largely Liberal series of governments in Buenos Aires tried to impose unity on the La Plata region

      2. Encouraged European immigration, and looked to Europe for ideas, technology, capital, and trade

      3. Sought full separation of church and state

      4. Founded the University of Buenos Aires (1821), a library, museums, etc., to disseminate European knowledge and ideas

      5. Sought to unify de la Plata region under leadership of Buenos Aires - thus called unitarios

      6. There opponents in the provinces, who fought against centralization of power, became known as federales

    2. Juan Manuel de Rosas vs. Buenos Aires

      1. Although in agreement with Liberals that Buenos Aires should hold a dominant position, opposed to the rest of the Liberal program

      2. A very large landowner - held multiple estancias - large ranches for cattle and sheep

      3. Through patronage, controlled a large group of gauchos (cowboys) who became the backbone of a private army

      4. The efforts of Rivadavia and the liberals to change Argentine society threatened the power and livelihood of men like Rosas

      5. Also, the Buenos Aires government was ineffective at dealing with nomadic Amerindians

      6. For this, Rosas revolted against the Buenos Aires government, establishing total control by 1835

    3. Juan Manuel de Rosas vs. Buenos Aires, Caudillo of Buenos Aires

      1. Officially allied to the federales and committed to local rule, in reality he also sought to make Buenos Aires dominant

      2. Imposed a harsh rule in Buenos Aires, with a strong propaganda campaign against the "dirty unitarios"

      3. Continued to promote the beef and sheep trade, but primarily for the benefit of himself and landowners in Buenos AAires province

      4. Involved himself constantly in other provinces, in Uruguay, and Paraguay

      5. This, and a decline in the traditional beef industry, eventually led to his overthrow in 1852

      6. A civil war in Uruguay, triggered in part by Rosas's interference, led ultimately to a coalition of Argentine, British and French forces which defeated Rosas