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    Argentina History Viceroyalty
    Source: Argentina National Department of Culture

      The first colonizers to arrive in South America were Spaniards. In a way, this happened by mere chance, since they intended to find a passage to India. Basically motivated by the expectations of finding precious metals, it is not surprising that the Spanish crown should consider Lima rather than Buenos Aires, which only had virgin lands and nomadic tribes with hostile natives.

      That is why the Viceroyalty of Peru developed slowly, always under the shadows of the Inca Empire.

      It was the interest aroused by the development of the port of Buenos Aires for countries such as Portugal (which expanded its colonizing campaigns up to Plata River), England and France, (which carried out expeditions in Patagonia and Malvinas) that made Spain aware of the importance and autonomy of this region.

      Viceroyalty of Plata River. Thus the Viceroyalty of Plata River was created in 1776. While, in the beginning, the population was distributed among different points of the interior, but, thanks to the prosperity of the littoral stockbreeders and the merits of the port of Buenos Aires, from which leather, tallow and wool were exported, economic activity was increasingly centered in Buenos Aires.

      When May Revolution broke out in 1810, Plata River was a valued business center which sought to get rid of the Spanish monopoly. European powers which were more recent and stronger than the worn-out Spanish empire, such as England, boosted the dismemberment of the Viceroyalty.

      Finally, and as a consequence of this process, the structuring of the Argentine territory could be achieved. It has:

      • A surface of 1,077,923 sq. mi. (2.791.810 km2), which corresponds to tne American emerged portion.
      • An Antartic portion of 372,819 sq. mi. (965.597 km2).
      • It is divided into 23 provinces and Buenos Aires city.


      NOTE: The information regarding Argentina on this page is re-published from Argentina's National Department of Culture. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Argentina History information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Argentina History should be addressed to the National Department of Culture.

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    Revised 25-Jul-02
    Copyright © 2001 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)