Argentina Essay, Research Paper
Argentina is located in southern South America, bordered on the north by Bolivia and Paraguay; on the east by Brazil, Uruguay, and the Atlantic Ocean; on the south by the Atlantic Ocean and Chile; and on the west by Chile. Argentina s official name is Republica Argentina. Its capital city is Buenos Aries. Other main cities are Cordoba, Rosario, and La Plata. Argentina is 1,065,189 sq. miles. Its monetary unit is the Peso. It is at least 1 + times the size of Mexico. The only country in South America that is larger than Argentina is Brazil. It has many rivers that are contained in it, such as the Salado, Parana and Colorado. The climate throughout most of the country is mild.
The population of Argentina is 32, 901,000. The life expectancy is average. Male is 68.22 years, and female is 74.97 years. 85% of the population is White. Argentina also has a very large literacy rate. The literacy rate of people over the age of 15 is 95%. The main religion among the people is Catholicism. 90% of the people are catholic, but only 20% of them are practicing. The official language of the people is Spanish. Argentina is a federal republic headed by a president, who is assisted by a council of ministers. Legislative powers are carried out by a national congress that consists of a Senate and House of Deputies.
A new constitution was passed in 1949, which was abolished in 1956. All constitutional provisions were suspended in 1966 following a military takeover. The constitution of 1853 was again suspended, but was reinstated when Argentina returned to civilian rule in 1983. The preamble and much of the text of the constitution of 1853 reflect the ideas and aims of the U.S. constitution. Argentina s president is elected to a four-year term, and the president can be elected to a second term. The presidential mandate allows for executive participation in drawing up legislation, as well as execution of law. The president is also the commander in chief of the armed forces.
The lower chamber of the National Congress, which is called the House of Deputies, has 254 members. The upper chamber is the Senate and it has 72-members. Deputies are elected to four-year terms by a system of proportional representation. Each province elects three senators to six-year terms. Three senators represent the capital Buenos Aires.
Argentina s economy is based primarily on the production of agricultural products and the raising of livestock, but manufacturing and mining industries have shown marked growth in recent decades. Argentina is one of the world s leading cattle and grain producing regions; the country s main manufacturing enterprises are food processing and flour milling plants.
The Spanish soldier Pedro de Mendoza began colonization of the region in 1535. Spanish settlers from Peru established Santiago De Estero, the first permanent settlement on what is now Argentine soil, in 1553. Santa Fe was founded in 1573, and in 1580 the resettlement of Buenos Aires was begun. Buenos Aires, the center of a flourishing trade in smuggled goods, grew steadily. By the middle of the 18th century, its population numbered close to 20,000.
In June 1806, a British fleet under the command of Admiral Home Riggs Popham attacked Buenos Aires. The viceroy offered no defense against the attack, which was made without authorization by the British government. The invaders occupied the city but were expelled by a citizen army the following August. A revolutionary group led by General Justo Urquiza, a former governor of Entre R os Province, overthrew the dictatorial regime of Rosas in 1852, who received assistance from Uruguay and Brazil. In 1853 a federal constitution was adopted, and Urquiza became the first president of the Argentine Republic. During the first decade of the 20th century, the country emerged as one of the leading nations of South America. It began to figure prominently in hemispheric affairs, and in 1914 helped to mediate a serious dispute between the United States and Mexico.
In the period preceding the presidential elections of 1937, Fascist organizations became increasingly active. In May 1936, following the organization of a left wing Popular Front, the Argentine right wing parties united in a so-called National Front. This organization, which openly advocated establishment of a dictatorship, successfully supported the finance minister, Roberto M. Ortiz, for the presidency. Contrary to the expectations and demands of his supporters, however, Ortiz took vigorous steps to strengthen democracy in Argentina. In July 1940, President Ortiz, unable to hold office because of illness, designated Vice President Ram n S. Castillo as acting president. Castillo, who had officially succeeded to the presidency following the resignation of Ortiz in June 1942, was removed from office one year later by a military group headed by General Arturo Rawson. On the eve of his assumption of office as provisional president, however, Rawson s associates forced him to resign. The provisional presidency went to General Pedro Ram rez, one of the leaders of the revolt. Ram rez shortly abolished all political parties, suppressed opposition newspapers, and generally stifled the remainders of democracy in Argentina. In January 1944, in a complete reversal of foreign policy, his government broke diplomatic relations with Japan and Germany. Revival of political activity in Argentina was marked by the appearance of a new grouping, the Peronistas. Formally organized as the Labor party, with Per n as its candidate for the presidency, this group found its main support among the most depressed sections of the agricultural and industrial working class. The Peronistas campaigned among these workers, popularly known as descamisados (Spanish for shirtless ones ), with promises of land, higher wages, and social security. The elections held on February 24, resulted in a decisive victory for Per n over his opponent, the candidate of progressive coalition. In October 1945, Per n married the former actress Eva Duarte. As first lady of Argentina, Eva Per n managed labor relations and social services for her husband s government until her death in 1952. Adored by the masses, which she manipulated with consummate skill, she was, as much as anyone, responsible for the popular following of the Per n regime.
On June 16, 1955, dissident elements of the Argentine navy and its air arm launched a rebellion in Buenos Aires. The army remained loyal, however, and the uprising was quickly crushed. Tension increased during the next few weeks, as factions within the government and the military maneuvered for position. Finally, on September 16, insurgent groupings in all three branches of the armed forces staged a concerted rebellion. After three days of civil war, during which approximately 4000 people were killed, Per n resigned and took refuge on a Paraguayan gunboat in Buenos Aires Harbor. On September 20 the rebellious leader Major General Eduardo Lonardi took office as provisional president, promising to restore democratic government. Per n went into exile, first in Paraguay and later in Spain. The constituent assembly, which opened in Santa Fe in September, unanimously readopted the constitution of 1853 after the Intransigent Radicals and some others withdrew. When general elections were held in February 1958, Frondizi won the presidency with Peronist and Communist support, and his Intransigent Radical party won a majority in the legislature. Representative government was restored on May 1. Peronist swept the elections in March 1973, and C mpora was inaugurated as president on May 25.
Terrorism escalated, now joined by rightist vigilantes, with numerous kidnappings, soaring ransom demands, and killings. Divisions between moderate and leftist Peronistas also brought widespread violence. On June 20, when Per n returned to Buenos Aires, a riot resulted in approximately 380 casualties. A month later C mpora resigned, and in September Per n was elected president, with more than 61 percent of the votes. His third wife, Isabel de Peron, was elected vice president. The strain, however, proved too much for the aging Per n. He died on July 1, 1974, and his wife succeeded him, becoming the first woman chief executive of a modern Latin American state.
After repeated cabinet crises and an abortive air force rebellion in December 1975, a military junta led by the army commander, Lieutenant General Jorge Rafael Videla, seized power on March 24, 1976. The junta dissolved the legislature, imposed martial law, and ruled by decree. For the first few months after the military takeover, terrorism remained rampant, but it waned somewhat after the Videla government launched its own terror campaign against political opponents. In 1977, the Argentine Commission for Human Rights, in Geneva, blamed the regime for 2300 political murders, some 10,000 political arrests, and 20,000 to 30,000 disappearances. The economy remained chaotic. Field Marshal Roberto Viola succeeded Videla as president in March 1981, himself deposed in December 1981 by the commander in chief of the army, General Leopoldo Galtieri. Galtieri s government rallied the country behind it in April 1982 by forcibly occupying the British-held Falkland Islands. After a brief war Great Britain recaptured the islands in June, and Major General Reynaldo Bignone replaced the discredited Galtieri.
The Latin American Integration Association (LAIA), founded in 1980, replaced LAFTA as a more loosely defined entity for reducing tariffs on intercontinental trade. Between 1986 and 1990, Argentina signed a number of integration treaties designed to further reduce trade barriers between Latin American countries.
With an unprecedented international debt, and inflation at more than 900 percent, Argentina held its first presidential election in a decade in October 1983. The winner was the candidate of the Radical party, Ra*l Alfons n. Under Alfons n, the armed forces were reorganized; former military and political leaders were charged with human rights abuses; the foreign debt was restructured; fiscal reforms (including a new currency) were introduced; and a treaty to resolve a dispute with Chile over three Beagle Channel islands was approved. Inflation remained unchecked, however, and in May 1989 the Peronist candidate, Carlos Sa*l Menem, was elected president. With Argentina s economy deteriorating rapidly, Menem imposed an austerity program. During the early 1990s, his government curbed inflation, balanced the budget, sold off state enterprises to private investors, and rescheduled the nation s debts to commercial banks. In 1992 full diplomatic relations with Britain were restored, helping to heal the wounds of the Falklands War. In January 1994 the country signed the Treaty of Tlatelolco, making Argentina a nuclear weapons-free state. Also in 1994, leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay signed the Asunci n treaty, which confirmed those countries intention to create the Southern Cone Common Market by the end of 1994.
In 1994 Argentina adopted a new constitution. The most notable change shortens the presidential term from six to four years and allows the president to seek a second consecutive term. In 1994 Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay signed a treaty that created the Southern Cone Common Market. The agreement took effect on January 1, 1995, allowing 90 percent of trade between member countries to proceed duty free. This agreement, combined with the privatization of state industries, helped Argentina to continue its economic recovery. In May 1995 Carlos Saul Menem won a second presidential term.