Buenos Aires (crs)
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The city of Buenos Aires, the capitol of Argentina, was first established on 2 February 1536 by a Spanish expedition led by Pedro de Mendoza. The settlement founded by Mendoza was located in what is today the San Telmo district of Buenos Aires, south of the city center. Attacks by the indigenous people forced the settlers away, and in 1542 the site was abandoned. A second settlement was established in 1580 by Juan de Garay, who arrived by sailing down the Paraná River from Asunción. He dubbed the settlement "Santísima Trinidad" and its port became "Puerto de Santa María de los Buenos Aires." From its earliest days, Buenos Aires depended primarily on trade. Charles III of Spain declared Buenos Aires an open port in the late 18th century. The capture of Porto Bello by British forces also fueled the need to foster commerce via the Atlantic route. One of his rulings was to split a region from the Viceroyalty of Perú and create instead the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, with Buenos Aires as the capital. However, Charles's placating actions did not have the desired effect, and the porteños, some of them versed in the ideology of the French Revolution, became even more convinced of the need for Independence from Spain. During the British invasions of the Río de la Plata, British forces attacked Buenos Aires twice. In 1806 the British successfully invaded Buenos Aires, but an army from Montevideo led by Santiago de Liniers defeated them. In the brief period of British rule, the viceroy Rafael Sobremonte managed to escape to Córdoba and designated this city as capital. Buenos Aires became again the capital after its liberation, but Sobremonte could not resume as viceroy. Santiago de Liniers, chosen as new viceroy, armed the city to be prepared against a possible new British attack, defeating the invasion attempt of 1807. The militarization generated in society changed the balance of power favorably for the criollos (in contrast to peninsulars), as well as the development of the Peninsular War in Spain. An attempt by the peninsular merchant Martín de Álzaga to remove Liniers and replace him with a Junta was defeated by the criollo armies. However, by 1810 it would be those same armies who would support a new revolutionary attempt, successfully removing the new viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros. This is known as the May Revolution. This event started the Argentine War of Independence, and many armies left Buenos Aires to fight the diverse strongholds of royalist resistance, with varying levels of success. Formal independence from Spain was declared in 1816, in the Congress of Tucumán. Buenos Aires managed to endure the whole Spanish American wars of independence without falling again into royalist rule. Historically, Buenos Aires has been Argentina's main venue for liberal and free-trade ideas, while many of the provinces, especially to the northwest, advocated a more conservative Catholic approach to political and social issues. Much of the internal tension in Argentina's history, starting with the centralist-federalist conflicts of the 19th century, can be traced back to these contrasting views. In the months immediately following the 25 May Revolution, Buenos Aires sent a number of military envoys to the provinces with the intention of obtaining their approval. Many of these missions ended in violent clashes, and the enterprise fueled the tensions between the capital and the provinces.
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