History of Argentina
For thousands of years, Native Americans lived in Argentina. These people lived in at least 20 major tribes. These natives were mainly farmers and lived in villages. They developed trading systems. Some were nomads who lived by hunting. Some of these people belonged to the Incan empire.
In 1520, Ferdinand Magellan met the Native Americans at the tip of the South American continent. He felt that these people were very tall and he wrote about the terrifying giants since they looked so different in Patagonia. Soon, they discovered that these people would not attack them but they felt The first Spaniard to land in Argentina was Juan Diaz de Solis who was sent to find a connection to the Pacific Ocean. When pieces of silver were found in this area, the area was termed Argentina after word for silver, argentum.
The Spanish tried to establish a trade route from Buenos Aires but the route used was full of hostile tribes and flooded frequently. The Spanish tried to use the native Americans as slaves and this did not work. Native Americans, Araucanians invaded Argentina from Chile. The Spanish began fearing attacks and finally returned 1580 to re-colonize the area but real interest did not begin until 1700ís. In 1806, the British tried to attack control of this area and were defeated by the locals who did liked neither the Spanish rule or the British rule. They were hearing about the success of the American Revolution and also thirsted for independence. Revolution resulted in 1810 and independence from Spain from was granted about six years later. A well respected general, General Jose de San Martin. He fought against the stronghold of Spain which was then Chile. When General Martin defeated the Spanish there, Spainís power in South America declined. However, Argentinaís independence gave way to some instability in the government. Finally in 1862, Argentina became a unified nation.
The rule was generally peaceful until military coups that erupted. After a second coup in 1943, Juan Domingo Peron became the leader until he was overthrown in 1955. He regained power in 1973 but died in 1974. His wife, Isabel then became the first woman to head a national government in the Western Hemisphere. In 1976, the military took rule again. This was called a "Dirty War" against the people. Many civilians either disappeared or died in this time. In 1982, Argentina warred with Britain to get control of the Falkland Island (Islas Malvinas). When the military was defeated, the military power in Argentina decreased. Finally, Argentina became a democratic nation. In 1995, they wrote a new constitution. Elections are held to chose the officials. The president serves a four year term.
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