Argentina

Argentina

Overview
For alternative meanings, see Argentina (disambiguation)
Argentina (disambiguation)
Argentina is a country in South America.Argentina may also refer to:* The name of Argentina* La Argentina, the stage name of Antonia Mercé y Luque , an Argentine flamenco dancer...

 and Argentine (disambiguation)
Argentine (disambiguation)
Argentine, Argentinian, and Argentinean refer to anything that originates in Argentina, a country in South America. It may also be used to refer to silver...

.

Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 by land area, after Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. It is constituted as a federation
Federalism
Federalism is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant with a governing representative head. The term "federalism" is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and...

 of 23 provinces
Provinces of Argentina
Argentina is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city...

 and an autonomous city
Autonomous city
Autonomous city is a type of administrative division.-Argentina:The 1994 amendment of the Argentine Constitution granted Buenos Aires city, formerly a federal district of Argentina, the status of autonomous, and changed its formal name to Autonomous City of Buenos Aires .Another large city that is...

, Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

. It is the eighth-largest country in the world by land area and the largest among Spanish-speaking nations
Hispanophone
Hispanophone or Hispanosphere denotes Spanish language speakers and the Spanish-speaking world. The word derives from the Latin political name of the Iberian Peninsula, Hispania, which comprised basically the territory of the modern states of Spain and Portugal.Hispanophones are estimated at...

.

Argentina's continental area is between the Andes
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

 mountain range
Mountain range
A mountain range is a single, large mass consisting of a succession of mountains or narrowly spaced mountain ridges, with or without peaks, closely related in position, direction, formation, and age; a component part of a mountain system or of a mountain chain...

 in the west and the Atlantic Ocean in the east.
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Encyclopedia
For alternative meanings, see Argentina (disambiguation)
Argentina (disambiguation)
Argentina is a country in South America.Argentina may also refer to:* The name of Argentina* La Argentina, the stage name of Antonia Mercé y Luque , an Argentine flamenco dancer...

 and Argentine (disambiguation)
Argentine (disambiguation)
Argentine, Argentinian, and Argentinean refer to anything that originates in Argentina, a country in South America. It may also be used to refer to silver...

.

Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 by land area, after Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. It is constituted as a federation
Federalism
Federalism is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant with a governing representative head. The term "federalism" is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and...

 of 23 provinces
Provinces of Argentina
Argentina is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city...

 and an autonomous city
Autonomous city
Autonomous city is a type of administrative division.-Argentina:The 1994 amendment of the Argentine Constitution granted Buenos Aires city, formerly a federal district of Argentina, the status of autonomous, and changed its formal name to Autonomous City of Buenos Aires .Another large city that is...

, Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

. It is the eighth-largest country in the world by land area and the largest among Spanish-speaking nations
Hispanophone
Hispanophone or Hispanosphere denotes Spanish language speakers and the Spanish-speaking world. The word derives from the Latin political name of the Iberian Peninsula, Hispania, which comprised basically the territory of the modern states of Spain and Portugal.Hispanophones are estimated at...

.

Argentina's continental area is between the Andes
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

 mountain range
Mountain range
A mountain range is a single, large mass consisting of a succession of mountains or narrowly spaced mountain ridges, with or without peaks, closely related in position, direction, formation, and age; a component part of a mountain system or of a mountain chain...

 in the west and the Atlantic Ocean in the east. It borders Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

 and Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

 to the north, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 and Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

 to the northeast, and Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 to the west and south. Argentine claims over Antarctica
Argentine Antarctica
Argentine Antarctica is a sector of Antarctica claimed by Argentina as part of its national territory. The Argentine Antarctic region, consisting of the Antarctic Peninsula and a triangular section extending to the South Pole, is delimited by the 25° West and 74° West meridians and the 60° South...

, as well as overlapping claims made by Chile
Antártica
The Chilean Antarctic Territory is the territory in Antarctica claimed by Chile. The Chilean Antarctic Territory ranges from 53°W to 90°W and from the South Pole to 60°S, partially overlapping Argentine and British Antarctic claims...

 and the United Kingdom
British Antarctic Territory
The British Antarctic Territory is a sector of Antarctica claimed by the United Kingdom as one of its 14 British Overseas Territories. It comprises the region south of 60°S latitude and between longitudes and , forming a wedge shape that extends to the South Pole...

, are suspended by the Antarctic Treaty of 1961. Argentina also claims the Falkland Islands  and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, which are administered by the United Kingdom as British Overseas Territories
British overseas territories
The British Overseas Territories are fourteen territories of the United Kingdom which, although they do not form part of the United Kingdom itself, fall under its jurisdiction. They are remnants of the British Empire that have not acquired independence or have voted to remain British territories...

.

A recognised middle power
Middle power
Middle power is a term used in the field of international relations to describe states that are not superpowers or great powers, but still have large or moderate influence and international recognition. There is no single specific definition of which countries are middle powers.-Definition:There is...

, Argentina is Latin America's third-largest economy, with a "very high" rating on the Human development index
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...

. Within Latin America, Argentina has the fifth highest nominal GDP per capita and the highest in purchasing power terms. Analysts have argued that the country has a "foundation for future growth due to its market size, levels of foreign direct investment, and percentage of high-tech exports as share of total manufactured goods", and it is classed by investors as an emerging economy. Argentina is a founding member of the United Nations, Mercosur
Mercosur
Mercosur or Mercosul is an economic and political agreement among Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Founded in 1991 by the Treaty of Asunción, which was later amended and updated by the 1994 Treaty of Ouro Preto. Its purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people,...

, the Union of South American Nations, the Organization of Ibero-American States
Organization of Ibero-American States
The Organization of Ibero-American States is an intergovernmental organization, comprising the Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking nations of America and Europe, plus Equatorial Guinea in Africa....

, the World Bank Group
World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is a family of five international organizations that makes leveraged loans, generally to poor countries.The Bank came into formal existence on 27 December 1945 following international ratification of the Bretton Woods agreements, which emerged from the United Nations Monetary...

 and the World Trade Organization
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

, and is one of the G-15
Group of 15
The Group of 15 was established at the Ninth Non-Aligned Movement Summit Meeting in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in September 1989.This informal forum was set up to foster cooperation and provide input for other international groups, such as the World Trade Organization and the Group of Eight...

 and G-20 major economies
G-20 major economies
The Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 major economies: 19 countries plus the European Union, which is represented by the President of the European Council and by the European Central Bank...

.

Etymology



Argentina is derived from the poetic Spanish argento ("silver"). The first use of Argentina can be traced to the 1602 poem La Argentina y conquista del Río de la Plata (Argentina and the conquest of the silver river) by Martín del Barco Centenera
Martin del Barco Centenera
Martín del Barco Centenera was a Spanish cleric, explorer and author.A street in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, is named after him.-Life:Born 1535 at Logrosán, in the Diocese of Plasencia in Extremadura region ; died c. 1602...

. Although this name for the La Plata Basin
La Plata Basin
The Río de la Plata Basin , sometimes called the Platine basin or Platine region, is the name given to the hydrographical area that covers parts of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay...

 was already in common usage by the 18th century, the area was formally called Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata
Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata
The Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, , was the last and most short-lived Viceroyalty of the Spanish Empire in America.The Viceroyalty was established in 1776 out of several former Viceroyalty of Perú dependencies that mainly extended over the Río de la Plata basin, roughly the present day...

 in 1776. The autonomous governments that emerged from the 1810 May Revolution
May Revolution
The May Revolution was a week-long series of events that took place from May 18 to 25, 1810, in Buenos Aires, capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish colony that included roughly the territories of present-day Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay...

 replaced "Viceroyalty" with "United Provinces".

One of the first prominent uses of the demonym "Argentine" was in the 1812 first Argentine National Anthem
Argentine National Anthem
The Argentine National Anthem is the national anthem of Argentina. The name of the song originally was Marcha Patriótica , and was later renamed Canción Patriótica Nacional and finally Canción Patriótica . A copy published in 1847 called it Himno Nacional Argentino and the name has remained ever...

, which made reference to the ongoing Argentine War of Independence
Argentine War of Independence
The Argentine War of Independence was fought from 1810 to 1818 by Argentine patriotic forces under Manuel Belgrano, Juan José Castelli and José de San Martín against royalist forces loyal to the Spanish crown...

. The first formal use of the name was in the 1826 constitution, which used both the terms "Argentine Republic" and "Argentine Nation". The Constitution was repealed, and the territories were instead known as the "Argentine Confederation
Argentine Confederation
The Argentine Confederation is one of the official names of Argentina, according to the Argentine Constitution, Article 35...

". This name was used in the 1853 Constitution, being changed to that of the "Argentine Nation" in 1859, and to the "Argentine Republic" per an 1860 decree, when the country achieved its current organization. Nevertheless, the names of the "United Provinces of the Río de la Plata", "Argentine Republic" and "Argentine Confederation" are acknowledged as legitimate names of the country.

Early history



The earliest evidence of humans in Argentina dates from 11,000 BC and was found in Patagonia
Patagonia
Patagonia is a region located in Argentina and Chile, integrating the southernmost section of the Andes mountains to the southwest towards the Pacific ocean and from the east of the cordillera to the valleys it follows south through Colorado River towards Carmen de Patagones in the Atlantic Ocean...

 (Piedra Museo
Piedra Museo
Piedra Museo is an archaeological site in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina, and one of the earliest known archaeological remains in the Americas.-Overview:...

, Santa Cruz). These finds were of the Diaguita
Diaguita
The Diaguita, also called Diaguita-Calchaquí, are a group of South American indigenous peoples. The Diaguita culture developed between the 8th and 16th centuries in what are now the provinces of Salta, Catamarca, La Rioja and Tucumán in northwestern Argentina, and in the Atacama and Coquimbo...

s, Huarpes, and Sanavirones indigenous peoples, among others. The Inca Empire
Inca Empire
The Inca Empire, or Inka Empire , was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru. The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century...

, under Sapa-Inca Pachacutec, invaded and conquered present-day north-western Argentina in 1480, a feat usually attributed to Túpac Inca Yupanqui
Tupac Inca Yupanqui
Topa Inca Yupanqui , translated as "noble Inca accountant," was the tenth Sapa Inca of the Inca Empire, and fifth of the Hanan dynasty. His father was Pachacuti, and his son was Huayna Capac. Topa Inca belonged to the Qhapaq panaca....

. The tribes of Omaguacas, Atacamas, Huarpes and Diaguitas were defeated and integrated into a region called Collasuyu. Others, such as the Sanavirones, Lule-Tonocoté, and Comechingones, resisted the Incas and remained independent from them. The Guaraní developed a culture based on yuca
Cassava
Cassava , also called yuca or manioc, a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae native to South America, is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates...

, sweet potato
Sweet potato
The sweet potato is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are an important root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. Of the approximately 50 genera and more than 1,000 species of...

, and yerba mate
Yerba mate
Maté, yerba maté or erva maté , Ilex paraguariensis, is a species of holly native to subtropical South America in northeastern Argentina, Bolivia, southern Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay...

. The central and southern areas (Pampas and Patagonia) were dominated by nomadic cultures, the most populous among them being the Mapuche
Mapuche
The Mapuche are a group of indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina. They constitute a wide-ranging ethnicity composed of various groups who shared a common social, religious and economic structure, as well as a common linguistic heritage. Their influence extended...

s. The Atacaman
Atacameño
The Atacameños are a Native American people who inhabited the Andean portion of the Atacama Desert, mainly in what is today Chile's Antofagasta Region. Their language is known as Kunza....

 settlement of Tastil
Santa Rosa de Tastil
Santa Rosa de Tastil is a rural municipality in Salta Province in northwestern Argentina. It is located in the Lerma Valley, near the ruins of the ancient indigenous city of Tastil, and is populated only by eleven persons, three of which are employees of the Moisés Serpa Regional Museum of Tastil...

 in the north had an estimated population of 2,000 people, the highest populated area in pre-Columbian Argentina.

The most advanced indigenous populations were the Charrúa
Charrua
The Charrúa were an indigenous people of southern South America in the area today known as Uruguay and southern Brazil. They were a nomadic people that sustained themselves through fishing and foraging...

s and Guaraníes, who developed some basic agriculture and the use of pottery
Pottery
Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery . Pottery also refers to the art or craft of the potter or the manufacture of pottery...

. Most of their population were located at other sites of South America however, and their presence at the territory of modern Argentina was scarce by comparison.

Colonial Period


European explorers arrived in 1516. Spain established the Viceroyalty of Peru
Viceroyalty of Peru
Created in 1542, the Viceroyalty of Peru was a Spanish colonial administrative district that originally contained most of Spanish-ruled South America, governed from the capital of Lima...

 in 1542, encompassing all its holdings in South America. Their first settlement in modern Argentina was the Fort of Sancti Spiritu established in 1527 next to the Paraná River
Paraná River
The Paraná River is a river in south Central South America, running through Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina for some . It is second in length only to the Amazon River among South American rivers. The name Paraná is an abbreviation of the phrase "para rehe onáva", which comes from the Tupi language...

. Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

, a permanent colony, was established in 1536 but was destroyed by natives. The city was established again in 1580 as part of the Governorate of the Río de la Plata.

The area which encompassed much of the territory that would later become Argentina was largely a territory of Spanish immigrants and their descendants (known as criollos
Criollo (people)
The Criollo class ranked below that of the Iberian Peninsulares, the high-born permanent residence colonists born in Spain. But Criollos were higher status/rank than all other castes—people of mixed descent, Amerindians, and enslaved Africans...

), mestizo
Mestizo
Mestizo is a term traditionally used in Latin America, Philippines and Spain for people of mixed European and Native American heritage or descent...

s, native cultures, and descendants of African slaves. A third of Colonial-era settlers gathered in Buenos Aires and other cities, others lived on the pampas, as gaucho
Gaucho
Gaucho is a term commonly used to describe residents of the South American pampas, chacos, or Patagonian grasslands, found principally in parts of Argentina, Uruguay, Southern Chile, and Southern Brazil...

s for example. Indigenous peoples inhabited much of the remainder and most of Patagonia
Patagonia
Patagonia is a region located in Argentina and Chile, integrating the southernmost section of the Andes mountains to the southwest towards the Pacific ocean and from the east of the cordillera to the valleys it follows south through Colorado River towards Carmen de Patagones in the Atlantic Ocean...

 and Gran Chaco
Gran Chaco
The Gran Chaco is a sparsely populated, hot and semi-arid lowland region of the Río de la Plata basin, divided among eastern Bolivia, Paraguay, northern Argentina and a portion of the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, where it is connected with the Pantanal region...

 remained under indigenous control.

Buenos Aires became the capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata
Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata
The Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, , was the last and most short-lived Viceroyalty of the Spanish Empire in America.The Viceroyalty was established in 1776 out of several former Viceroyalty of Perú dependencies that mainly extended over the Río de la Plata basin, roughly the present day...

 in 1776, which was created over some former territories of the Viceroyalty of Peru. The Río de la Plata area was forced to import goods overland via Lima
Lima
Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima...

 after 1595, and a reliance on contraband
Contraband
The word contraband, reported in English since 1529, from Medieval French contrebande "a smuggling," denotes any item which, relating to its nature, is illegal to be possessed or sold....

 emerged. After 1776, however, Buenos Aires flourished as a commercial hub. In 1806 and 1807 the city was the site of two ill-fated British invasions
British invasions of the Río de la Plata
The British invasions of the Río de la Plata were a series of unsuccessful British attempts to seize control of the Spanish colonies located around the La Plata Basin in South America . The invasions took place between 1806 and 1807, as part of the Napoleonic Wars, when Spain was an ally of...

. The resistance was headed both times by the French Santiago de Liniers
Santiago de Liniers
Jacques de Liniers was a French officer in the Spanish military service, and a viceroy of the Spanish colonies of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. He is more widely known by the Spanish form of his name, Santiago de Liniers...

, who would become viceroy
Viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

 through popular support. The news of the overthrow of the Spanish King Ferdinand VII during the Peninsular War
Peninsular War
The Peninsular War was a war between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French and Spanish armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugal in 1807. Then, in 1808, France turned on its...

 created great concern in the Viceroyalty. The May Revolution
May Revolution
The May Revolution was a week-long series of events that took place from May 18 to 25, 1810, in Buenos Aires, capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish colony that included roughly the territories of present-day Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay...

 of 1810 took place in Buenos Aires, removing Viceroy Cisneros
Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros
Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros de la Torre was a Spanish naval officer born in Cartagena. He took part in the Battle of Cape St Vincent and the Battle of Trafalgar, and in the Spanish resistance against Napoleon's invasion in 1808. He was later appointed Viceroy of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la...

 from government and replacing him by the Primera Junta
Primera Junta
The Primera Junta or First Assembly is the most common name given to the first independent government of Argentina. It was created on 25 May 1810, as a result of the events of the May Revolution. The Junta initially had representatives from only Buenos Aires...

.

Building of a nation-state



During the following decade a war for independence
Argentine War of Independence
The Argentine War of Independence was fought from 1810 to 1818 by Argentine patriotic forces under Manuel Belgrano, Juan José Castelli and José de San Martín against royalist forces loyal to the Spanish crown...

 ensued in the former Viceroyalty, its regions divided between patriots
Patriot (Spanish American Revolution)
Patriots was the name the peoples of the Spanish America, who rebelled against Spanish control during the Spanish American wars of independence, called themselves. They supported the principles of the Age of Enlightenment and sought to replace the existing governing structures with Juntas...

 and royalists. While the cities of present-day Argentina would align with the independents after 1811, the other regions would follow differing paths: Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

 seceded, declaring its independence from Spain 1811 and from Argentina in 1842. Upper Peru
Upper Peru
Upper Peru was the region in the Viceroyalty of Peru, and after 1776, the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, comprising the governorships of Potosí, La Paz, Cochabamba, Los Chiquitos, Moxos and Charcas...

 was disputed with the royalists from Peru
Viceroyalty of Peru
Created in 1542, the Viceroyalty of Peru was a Spanish colonial administrative district that originally contained most of Spanish-ruled South America, governed from the capital of Lima...

 until it declared independence as Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

 in 1824. The eastern bank of the Uruguay river
Banda Oriental
The Banda Oriental del Uruguay was the South American territory east of the Uruguay River and north of the Río de la Plata, coinciding approximately with the modern nation of Uruguay, the Brazilian State of Rio Grande do Sul and some parts of Santa Catarina...

 was invaded
Luso-Brazilian invasion
The Luso-Brazilian invasion of the Banda Oriental, also known as the Portuguese Invasion of 1816 and the War against Artigas , was an armed conflict between the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves and the people of the Banda Oriental and the Misiones Province...

 by the Brazilian-Portuguese Empire in 1817 and declared independence
1828 Treaty of Montevideo
Treaty of Montevideo : In a treaty signed on August 27, 1828, after British mediation, Brazil and Argentina recognized the independence of Uruguay....

 as Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

 in 1828 after the Argentina-Brazil War.

Internal conflicts would cause political instability within the patriots. In just four years the Primera Junta was replaced by the Junta Grande
Junta Grande
Junta Grande is the most common name for the executive government of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata , that followed the incorporation of provincial representatives into the Primera Junta .- Origin :...

, the first
First Triumvirate (Argentina)
The First Triumvirate was the executive body of government that replaced the Junta Grande in the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata...

 and second triumvirates
Second Triumvirate (Argentina)
The Second Triumvirate was the governing body of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata that followed the First Triumvirate in 1812, shortly after the May Revolution, and lasted 2 years....

, and the first Supreme Director
Supreme Director of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata
The Supreme Director of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata , was a title given to the executive officers of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, according to the form of government established in 1814 by the Asamblea del Año XIII...

. In 1813 an Assembly
Asamblea del Año XIII
The Assembly of Year XIII was a meeting called by the Second Triumvirate governing the young republic of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata on October 1812....

 convened to declare independence but it could not do so due to political disputes. A Civil War
Argentine Civil War
The Argentine Civil Wars were a series of internecine wars that took place in Argentina from 1814 to 1876. These conflicts were separate from the Argentine War of Independence , though they first arose during this period....

 ensued between the provinces joined into the Federal League
Liga Federal
The Federal League or League of Free Peoples was a confederal state based around Montevideo from 1815 to 1820...

 and the Supreme Directorship.

By 1816 the United Provinces of South America
United Provinces of South America
The United Provinces of South America was the original name of the state that emerged from the May Revolution and the early developments of the Argentine War of Independence...

 were under severe internal and external threats. In July a new Congress
Congress of Tucumán
The Congress of Tucumán was the representative assembly, initially meeting in Tucumán, that declared the independence of the United Provinces of South America on July 9, 1816, from the Spanish Empire....

 declared independence
Argentine Declaration of Independence
What today is commonly referred as the Independence of Argentina was declared on July 9, 1816 by the Congress of Tucumán. In reality, the congressmen that were assembled in Tucumán declared the independence of the United Provinces of South America, which is still today one of the legal names of the...

 and named Juan Martín de Pueyrredón
Juan Martín de Pueyrredón
Juan Martín de Pueyrredón y O'Dogan was an Argentine general and politician of the early 19th century. He was appointed Supreme Director of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata after the Argentine Declaration of Independence.-Early life:Pueyrredón was born in Buenos Aires, the fifth of...

 as the Supreme Director. The military campaign became the responsibility of José de San Martín
José de San Martín
José Francisco de San Martín, known simply as Don José de San Martín , was an Argentine general and the prime leader of the southern part of South America's successful struggle for independence from Spain.Born in Yapeyú, Corrientes , he left his mother country at the...

, who led an army
Army of the Andes
The Army of the Andes was a military force created by the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata and mustered by general José de San Martín in his campaign to free Chile from the Spanish Empire...

 across the Andes
Crossing of the Andes
The Crossing of the Andes was one of the most important feats in the Argentine and Chilean wars of independence, in which a combined army of Argentine soldiers and Chilean exiles invaded Chile leading to Chile's liberation from Spanish rule...

 in 1817 and defeated the Chilean royalists. With the Chilean navy at his disposal he then took the fight to the royalist stronghold of Lima
Lima
Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima...

. San Martín's military campaigns complemented those of Simón Bolívar
Simón Bolívar
Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios Ponte y Yeiter, commonly known as Simón Bolívar was a Venezuelan military and political leader...

 in Gran Colombia
Gran Colombia
Gran Colombia is a name used today for the state that encompassed much of northern South America and part of southern Central America from 1819 to 1831. This short-lived republic included the territories of present-day Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, northern Peru and northwest Brazil. The...

 and led to the independent's victory in the Spanish American wars of independence.

The 1820 Battle of Cepeda
Battle of Cepeda (1820)
The Battle of Cepeda of 1820 took place on February 1 in Cañada de Cepeda, Santa Fe, Argentina.It was the first major battle that saw Unitarians and Federals as two constituted sides. Federal League Provinces of Santa Fe and Entre Ríos joined forces to topple the 1819 centralist Constitution, and...

, fought between the Centralists
Unitarian Party
Unitarianists or Unitarians were the proponents of the concept of a Unitary state in Buenos Aires during the civil wars which shortly followed the Declaration of Independence of Argentina in 1816. They were opposed to the Argentine Federalists, who wanted a federation of independent provinces...

 and the Federalists
Federales (Argentina)
Federales was the name under which the supporters of federalism in Argentina were known, opposing the Unitarios that claimed a centralised government of Buenos Aires Province, with no participation of the other provinces of the custom taxes benefits of the Buenos Aires port...

, resulted in the end of the centralized national authority
Supreme Director of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata
The Supreme Director of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata , was a title given to the executive officers of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, according to the form of government established in 1814 by the Asamblea del Año XIII...

 and created a power vacuum. A new constitution was enacted in 1826, during the War with Brazil, when Bernardino Rivadavia
Bernardino Rivadavia
Bernardino de la Trinidad Gónzalez Rivadavia y Rivadavia was the first president of Argentina, from February 8, 1826 to July 7, 1827 . He was a politician of the United Provinces of Río de la Plata, Argentina today...

 was elected the first President of Argentina
President of Argentina
The President of the Argentine Nation , usually known as the President of Argentina, is the head of state of Argentina. Under the national Constitution, the President is also the chief executive of the federal government and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.Through Argentine history, the...

. This constitution was soon rejected by the provinces, due to its Centralist bias, and Rivadavia resigned shortly after. The provinces then reorganized themselves as the Argentine Confederation
Argentine Confederation
The Argentine Confederation is one of the official names of Argentina, according to the Argentine Constitution, Article 35...

, a loose confederation
Confederation
A confederation in modern political terms is a permanent union of political units for common action in relation to other units. Usually created by treaty but often later adopting a common constitution, confederations tend to be established for dealing with critical issues such as defense, foreign...

 of provinces that lacked a common head of state. They would instead delegate some important powers to the governor of Buenos Aires Province
Buenos Aires Province
The Province of Buenos Aires is the largest and most populous province of Argentina. It takes the name from the city of Buenos Aires, which used to be the provincial capital until it was federalized in 1880...

, such as debt payment or the management of international relations.

Governor Juan Manuel de Rosas
Juan Manuel de Rosas
Juan Manuel de Rosas , was an argentine militar and politician, who was elected governor of the province of Buenos Aires in 1829 to 1835, and then of the Argentine Confederation from 1835 until 1852...

 ruled from 1829 to 1832, and from 1835 to 1852. During his first term he convened the Pacto Federal
Pacto Federal
The Federal Pact was a treaty first signed by the Argentine provinces of Buenos Aires, Entre Ríos and Santa Fe on 4 January 1831, for which a Federal military alliance was created to confront the Unitarian Liga Unitaria...

 and defeated the Unitarian League
Unitarian League
The Unitarian League was a league of provinces of Argentina led by José María Paz, established in 1830, aiming to unite the country under unitarian principles. It was composed by the provinces of San Luis, La Rioja, Catamarca, Mendoza, San Juan, Tucumán, Córdoba, Salta and Santiago del Estero. It...

. After 1835 he was given the "Sum of public power
Sum of public power
The sum of public power is a legal figure from Argentina, included in its constitution. It represents the sum of the three powers, and deems the complete delegation of them into the executive power as a crime of high treason....

". He faced unitarian resistance
Argentine Civil War
The Argentine Civil Wars were a series of internecine wars that took place in Argentina from 1814 to 1876. These conflicts were separate from the Argentine War of Independence , though they first arose during this period....

 and a constant state of war, including a French blockade from 1838 to 1840, the War of the Confederation
War of the Confederation
The War of the Confederation , was a conflict between the Peru-Bolivian Confederation on one side and Chile, Peruvian dissidents and Argentina, on the other, fought mostly in the actual territory of Peru and which ended with a Confederate defeat and the dissolution of the...

 in the north, an Anglo-French blockade
Anglo-French blockade of the Río de la Plata
The Anglo-French blockade of the Río de la Plata was a five-year long naval blockade imposed by France and Britain on the Argentine Confederation ruled by Juan Manuel de Rosas. It was imposed in 1845 to support the Colorado Party in the Uruguayan Civil War and closed Buenos Aires to naval commerce...

 from 1845 to 1850, and the Corrientes Province
Corrientes Province
Corrientes is a province in northeast Argentina, in the Mesopotamia region. It is surrounded by : Paraguay, the province of Misiones, Brazil, Uruguay, and the provinces of Entre Rios, Santa Fe and Chaco.-History:...

 revolt. Rosas remained undefeated during this series of conflicts and prevented further loss of national territory. His refusal to enact a national constitution, pursuant to the Pacto Federal, led to Entre Ríos Province
Entre Ríos Province
Entre Ríos is a northeastern province of Argentina, located in the Mesopotamia region. It borders the provinces of Buenos Aires , Corrientes and Santa Fe , and Uruguay in the east....

 Governor Justo José de Urquiza
Justo José de Urquiza
Justo José de Urquiza y García was an Argentine general and politician. He was president of the Argentine Confederation from 1854 to 1860.He was governor of Entre Ríos during the government of Juan Manuel de Rosas, governor of Buenos Aires with powers delegated from the other provinces...

's reclaiming provincial sovereignty. He defeated Rosas at the Battle of Caseros
Battle of Caseros
The Battle of Caseros was fought near the town of Caseros, more precisely between the present-day train stations of Caseros and Palomar in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, on 3 February 1852, between the Army of Buenos Aires commanded by Juan Manuel de Rosas...

, forcing him into exile. The San Nicolás Agreement
San Nicolás Agreement
The San Nicolás Agreement was a pact signed on May 31, 1852 and subscribed by all but one of the 14 provinces of the United Provinces of the River Plate . The treaty consisted of 19 articles, and its goal was to set the bases for the national organization of the young Argentine state...

 followed and in 1853 the Constitution of Argentina
Constitution of Argentina
The constitution of Argentina is one of the primary sources of existing law in Argentina. Its first version was written in 1853 by a Constitutional Assembly gathered in Santa Fe, and the doctrinal basis was taken in part from the United States Constitution...

 was promulgated. Following the secession of the State of Buenos Aires
State of Buenos Aires
The State of Buenos Aires was a secessionist republic resulting from the overthrow of the Argentine Confederation government in the Province of Buenos Aires on September 11, 1852. The State of Buenos Aires was never recognized by the Confederation or by foreign nations; it remained, however,...

 from the Confederation, and its later return, Bartolomé Mitre
Bartolomé Mitre
Bartolomé Mitre Martínez was an Argentine statesman, military figure, and author. He was the President of Argentina from 1862 to 1868.-Life and times:...

 was elected the first president of the unified country in 1862. National unity was further advanced by the War of the Triple Alliance
War of the Triple Alliance
The Paraguayan War , also known as War of the Triple Alliance , was a military conflict in South America fought from 1864 to 1870 between Paraguay and the Triple Alliance of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay...

, which left over 300,000 dead and devastated Paraguay.

After 1875 a wave of foreign investment
Foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment or foreign investment refers to the net inflows of investment to acquire a lasting management interest in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor.. It is the sum of equity capital,other long-term capital, and short-term capital as shown in...

 and immigration from Europe led to the strengthening of a cohesive state, the development of modern agriculture and to a near-reinvention of Argentine society and economy. The rule of law
Rule of law
The rule of law, sometimes called supremacy of law, is a legal maxim that says that governmental decisions should be made by applying known principles or laws with minimal discretion in their application...

 was consolidated, in large measure, by Dalmacio Vélez Sársfield
Dalmacio Vélez Sársfield
Dalmacio Vélez Sársfield was an Argentine lawyer and politician who wrote the Argentine Civil Code of 1869, the vast majority of which remains in use to this day.-Life and times:...

 whose 1860 Commercial Code and 1869 Civil Code laid the foundation for Argentina's statutory laws. General Julio Argentino Roca
Julio Argentino Roca
Alejo Julio Argentino Roca Paz was an army general who served as President of Argentina from 12 October 1880 to 12 October 1886 and again from 12 October 1898 to 12 October 1904.-Upbringing and early career:...

's military campaign
Conquest of the Desert
The Conquest of the Desert was a military campaign directed mainly by General Julio Argentino Roca in the 1870s, which established Argentine dominance over Patagonia, which was inhabited by indigenous peoples...

 in the 1870s established Argentine dominance over the southern Pampas and Patagonia, subdued the remaining native peoples, and left 1,300 indigenous dead. Waged to suppress Malón
Malón
Malón or maloca was a military raiding tactic of the Mapuche peoples from the 17th to the 19th centuries.The "maloca" among the Mapuche is described as a means of obtaining justice, by Juan Ignacio Molina:...

 raids, some contemporary sources indicate that the "Conquest of the Desert" was a campaign of genocide by the Argentine government.

Modern history


Argentina increased in prosperity and prominence between 1880 and 1929 and emerged as one of the ten richest countries in the world, benefiting from an agricultural export-led economy as well as British and French investment. Driven by immigration and decreasing mortality the Argentine population grew fivefold and the economy 15-fold. Conservative élites
Generation of '80
The Generation of '80 was the governing elite in Argentina from 1880 to 1916. Members of the oligarchy of the provinces and the country's capital, they first joined the League of Governors , and then the National Autonomist Party...

 dominated Argentine politics through nominally democratic means until 1912, when President Roque Sáenz Peña
Roque Sáenz Peña
Roque Sáenz Peña Lahitte was President of Argentina from 12 October 1910 to 9 August 1914, when he died in office...

 enacted universal male suffrage
Sáenz Peña Law
The Sáenz Peña Law was Law 8871 of Argentina, sanctioned by the National Congress on 10 February 1912, which established the universal, secret and mandatory male suffrage though the creation of an electoral list...

 and the secret ballot
Secret ballot
The secret ballot is a voting method in which a voter's choices in an election or a referendum are anonymous. The key aim is to ensure the voter records a sincere choice by forestalling attempts to influence the voter by intimidation or bribery. The system is one means of achieving the goal of...

. This allowed their traditional rivals, the centrist Radical Civic Union
Radical Civic Union
The Radical Civic Union is a political party in Argentina. The party's positions on issues range from liberal to social democratic. The UCR is a member of the Socialist International. Founded in 1891 by radical liberals, it is the oldest political party active in Argentina...

, to win the country's first free elections in 1916. President Hipólito Yrigoyen
Hipólito Yrigoyen
Juan Hipólito del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús Irigoyen Alem was twice President of Argentina . His activism became the prime impetus behind the obtainment of universal suffrage in Argentina in 1912...

 enacted social and economic reforms and extended assistance to family farmers and small business
Small business
A small business is a business that is privately owned and operated, with a small number of employees and relatively low volume of sales. Small businesses are normally privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships...

. Yrigoyen was overthrown by a coup in 1930, however, which led to another decade of Conservative rule. The Concordance
Concordancia (Argentina)
The Concordancia was a political alliance in Argentina. Three Presidents belonging to the Concordance were in power from 1931 to 1943, a period known in Argentina as the "Infamous Decade."...

 regime strengthened ties
Roca-Runciman Treaty
The Roca-Runciman Treaty was a commercial agreement between Argentina and Great Britain signed in London by the Vice President of Argentina, Julio Argentino Roca, Jr., and the president of the British Board of Trade, Sir Walter Runciman, the British envoy....

 with the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 and their electoral policy was one of "patriotic fraud
Infamous Decade
The Infamous Decade in Argentina is the name given to the period of time that started in 1930 with the coup d'état against President Hipólito Yrigoyen by José Félix Uriburu...

". The country was neutral
Neutral country
A neutral power in a particular war is a sovereign state which declares itself to be neutral towards the belligerents. A non-belligerent state does not need to be neutral. The rights and duties of a neutral power are defined in Sections 5 and 13 of the Hague Convention of 1907...

 during World War I and most of World War II
Argentina in World War II
Argentina stayed neutral during most of World War II, despite internal disputes and pressure of the United States to join the Allies. Argentina broke relations with the Axis powers on January 26, 1944, and declared war on March 27, 1945.-First years:...

, becoming an important source of foodstuffs for the Allied Nations
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

.

In 1946, General Juan Perón
Juan Perón
Juan Domingo Perón was an Argentine military officer, and politician. Perón was three times elected as President of Argentina though he only managed to serve one full term, after serving in several government positions, including the Secretary of Labor and the Vice Presidency...

 was elected president, creating a populist
Populism
Populism can be defined as an ideology, political philosophy, or type of discourse. Generally, a common theme compares "the people" against "the elite", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members of various political or social...

 movement referred to as "Peronism
Peronism
Peronism , or Justicialism , is an Argentine political movement based on the programmes associated with former President Juan Perón and his second wife, Eva Perón...

". His wife Eva
Eva Perón
María Eva Duarte de Perón was the second wife of President Juan Perón and served as the First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. She is often referred to as simply Eva Perón, or by the affectionate Spanish language diminutive Evita.She was born in the village of Los Toldos in...

 was popular and played a central political role until her death in 1952, mostly through the Eva Perón Foundation
Eva Perón Foundation
The Eva Perón Foundation was a charitable foundation begun by Eva Perón, a prominent Argentine political leader, when she was the First Lady and Spiritual Leader of the Nation of Argentina. It operated from 1948 to 1955...

 and the Female Peronist Party
Female Peronist Party
The Female Peronist Party, also known as the Feminist Peronist Party and the Peronist Feminist Party, was the women's wing of the Peronist Justicialist Party of Argentina. It was founded by Eva Peron in the late 1940s. After the Peronist Feminist Party was founded, twice the amount of women were...

, as women's suffrage
Women's suffrage
Women's suffrage or woman suffrage is the right of women to vote and to run for office. The expression is also used for the economic and political reform movement aimed at extending these rights to women and without any restrictions or qualifications such as property ownership, payment of tax, or...

 was granted in 1947. During Perón's tenure, wages and working conditions improved appreciably, unionization
General Confederation of Labour (Argentina)
The General Confederation of Labour of the Argentine Republic is a national trade union centre of Argentina founded on September 27, 1930, as the result of the merge of the USA and the COA trade union centres...

 was fostered, strategic industries and services were nationalized
Nationalization
Nationalisation, also spelled nationalization, is the process of taking an industry or assets into government ownership by a national government or state. Nationalization usually refers to private assets, but may also mean assets owned by lower levels of government, such as municipalities, being...

, as well as import substitution industrialization and urban development being prioritized in the agrarian sector.

Formerly stable prices and exchange rates were disrupted however: the peso lost around 70% of its value from 1948 to 1950, and inflation reached 50% in 1951. Foreign policy became more isolationist, straining US-Argentine relations. Perón intensified censorship as well as repression: 110 publications were shuttered, and numerous opposition figures were imprisoned and tortured. Advancing a personality cult
Loyalty Day (Argentina)
The Loyalty Day is a commemoration day in Argentina. It remembers October 17, 1945, when a massive labour demonstration at the Plaza de Mayo demanded the liberation of Juan Perón, who was jailed in Martín García island...

, Perón rid himself of many important and capable advisers while promoting patronage. A bombing of Plaza de Mayo
Bombing of Plaza de Mayo
The bombing of Plaza de Mayo was a massacre which took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on June 16 1955.At 12:40 pm, a number of aircraft from the Argentine Navy and Air Force strafed and bombed Plaza de Mayo square in Buenos Aires, in what remains to this day the largest aerial bombing ever on...

 was followed some months later by a violent coup
Revolución Libertadora
The Revolución Libertadora was a military uprising that ended the second presidential term of Juan Perón in Argentina, on September 16, 1955.-History:...

 which deposed him in 1955. He fled into exile, eventually residing in Spain.
Following an attempt to purge the Peronist
Peronism
Peronism , or Justicialism , is an Argentine political movement based on the programmes associated with former President Juan Perón and his second wife, Eva Perón...

 influence and the banning of Peronists from political life, elections in 1958 brought Arturo Frondizi
Arturo Frondizi
Arturo Frondizi Ercoli was the President of Argentina between May 1, 1958, and March 29, 1962, for the Intransigent Radical Civic Union.-Early life:Frondizi was born in Paso de los Libres, Corrientes Province...

 to office. Frondizi enjoyed some support from Perón's followers, and his policies encouraged investment to make the country self-sufficient in energy and industry, helping reverse a chronic trade deficit for Argentina. The military frequently interfered on behalf of conservative, agrarian interests however, and the results were mixed. Frondizi was forced to resign in 1962. Arturo Illia was elected in 1963 and enacted expansionist policies but, despite prosperity, his attempts to include Peronists in the political process resulted in the armed forces retaking power in a quiet 1966 coup.

Though repressive
La Noche de los Bastones Largos
La Noche de los Bastones Largos was the violent dislodge of five faculties of the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina on July 29, 1966 by the Federal Police...

, this new regime continued to encourage domestic development and invested record amounts into public works
Public works
Public works are a broad category of projects, financed and constructed by the government, for recreational, employment, and health and safety uses in the greater community...

. The economy grew strongly and income poverty declined to 7% by 1975. Partly because of their repressiveness, however, political violence began to escalate and Perón, still in exile, skilfully co-opted student and labor protests which eventually resulted in the military regime's call for free elections in 1973, and Perón's return from Spain.
Taking office that year, Perón died in July 1974 leaving his third wife Isabel
Isabel Martínez de Perón
María Estela Martínez Cartas de Perón , better known as Isabel Martínez de Perón or Isabel Perón, is a former President of Argentina. She was also the third wife of another former President, Juan Perón...

, the Vice President, to succeed him in office. Mrs. Perón had been chosen as a compromise among feuding Peronist factions who could agree on no other running mate; secretly though, she was beholden to Perón's most fascist advisers. The resulting conflict, between left and right-wing extremists, led to mayhem, financial chaos and a coup d'état in March 1976 which removed her from office.

The self-styled National Reorganization Process
National Reorganization Process
The National Reorganization Process was the name used by its leaders for the military government that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983. In Argentina it is often known simply as la última junta militar or la última dictadura , because several of them existed throughout its history.The Argentine...

 intensified measures against armed groups on the far left, such as People's Revolutionary Army
People's Revolutionary Army (Argentina)
The Ejército Revolucionario del Pueblo was the military branch of the communist Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores in Argentina...

 and the Montoneros
Montoneros
Montoneros was an Argentine Peronist urban guerrilla group, active during the 1960s and 1970s. The name is an allusion to 19th century Argentinian history. After Juan Perón's return from 18 years of exile and the 1973 Ezeiza massacre, which marked the definitive split between left and right-wing...

 who had kidnapped and murdered people almost weekly since 1970. Repression was quickly extended to the opposition in general and, during the "Dirty War
Dirty War
The Dirty War was a period of state-sponsored violence in Argentina from 1976 until 1983. Victims of the violence included several thousand left-wing activists, including trade unionists, students, journalists, Marxists, Peronist guerrillas and alleged sympathizers, either proved or suspected...

", thousands of dissidents "disappeared". These abuses were aided and abetted by the CIA
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 in Operation Condor
Operation Condor
Operation Condor , was a campaign of political repression involving assassination and intelligence operations officially implemented in 1975 by the right-wing dictatorships of the Southern Cone of South America...

, with many of the military leaders that took part in abuses trained in the School of the Americas.

The new dictatorship brought some stability at first, and built numerous important public works, but frequent wage freezes and deregulation of finance
Big Bang (financial markets)
The phrase Big Bang, used in reference to the sudden deregulation of financial markets, was coined to describe measures, including abolition of fixed commission charges and of the distinction between stockjobbers and stockbrokers on the London Stock Exchange and change from open-outcry to...

 led to a sharp fall in living standards
Standard of living
Standard of living is generally measured by standards such as real income per person and poverty rate. Other measures such as access and quality of health care, income growth inequality and educational standards are also used. Examples are access to certain goods , or measures of health such as...

 and record foreign debt
External debt
External debt is that part of the total debt in a country that is owed to creditors outside the country. The debtors can be the government, corporations or private households. The debt includes money owed to private commercial banks, other governments, or international financial institutions such...

. Deindustrialization, the peso's collapse, and crushing real interest rate
Real interest rate
The "real interest rate" is the rate of interest an investor expects to receive after allowing for inflation. It can be described more formally by the Fisher equation, which states that the real interest rate is approximately the nominal interest rate minus the inflation rate...

s, as well as unprecedented corruption, public revulsion over the Dirty War, and finally the 1982 defeat by the British in the Falklands War
Falklands War
The Falklands War , also called the Falklands Conflict or Falklands Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands...

, discredited the military regime and led to free elections in 1983
Argentine general election, 1983
The Argentine general election of 1983 was held on 30 October and marked the return of Democracy after the 1976's dictatorship self-known as National Reorganization Process...

.

Contemporary history




Raúl Alfonsín
Raúl Alfonsín
Raúl Ricardo Alfonsín was an Argentine lawyer, politician and statesman, who served as the President of Argentina from December 10, 1983, to July 8, 1989. Alfonsín was the first democratically-elected president of Argentina following the military government known as the National Reorganization...

's government took steps to account for the disappeared, established civilian control of the armed forces, and consolidated democratic institutions. The members of the three military juntas were prosecuted and sentenced to life terms. The previous regime's foreign debt, however, left the Argentine economy saddled by the conditions imposed on it by both its private creditors and the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

, and priority was given to servicing the foreign debt at the expense of public works and domestic credit. Alfonsín's failure to resolve worsening economic problems caused him to lose public confidence. Following a 1989 currency crisis that resulted in a sudden and ruinous 15-fold jump in prices, he left office five months early.

Newly elected President Carlos Menem
Carlos Menem
Carlos Saúl Menem is an Argentine politician who was President of Argentina from 1989 to 1999. He is currently an Argentine National Senator for La Rioja Province.-Early life:...

 began pursuing privatizations and, after a second bout of hyperinflation
Hyperinflation
In economics, hyperinflation is inflation that is very high or out of control. While the real values of the specific economic items generally stay the same in terms of relatively stable foreign currencies, in hyperinflationary conditions the general price level within a specific economy increases...

 in 1990, reached out to economist Domingo Cavallo
Domingo Cavallo
Domingo Felipe "Mingo" Cavallo is an Argentine economist and politician. He has a long history of public service and is known for implementing the Convertibilidad plan, which fixed the dollar-peso exchange rate at 1:1 between 1991 and 2001, which brought the Argentine inflation rate down from over...

, who imposed a peso-US$ fixed exchange rate
Argentine Currency Board
The Argentine Currency Board pegged the Argentine peso to the U.S. dollar between 1991 and 2002 in an attempt to eliminate hyperinflation and stimulate economic growth. While it initially met with considerable success, the board's actions ultimately failed. In contrast of what most people think,...

 in 1991 and adopted far-reaching market-based
Market economy
A market economy is an economy in which the prices of goods and services are determined in a free price system. This is often contrasted with a state-directed or planned economy. Market economies can range from hypothetically pure laissez-faire variants to an assortment of real-world mixed...

 policies, dismantling protectionist
Protectionism
Protectionism is the economic policy of restraining trade between states through methods such as tariffs on imported goods, restrictive quotas, and a variety of other government regulations designed to allow "fair competition" between imports and goods and services produced domestically.This...

 barriers and business regulations
Deregulation
Deregulation is the removal or simplification of government rules and regulations that constrain the operation of market forces.Deregulation is the removal or simplification of government rules and regulations that constrain the operation of market forces.Deregulation is the removal or...

, while accelerating privatization
Privatization
Privatization is the incidence or process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency or public service from the public sector to the private sector or to private non-profit organizations...

s. These reforms contributed to significant increases in investment and growth with stable prices through most of the 1990s; but the peso's fixed value could only be maintained by flooding the market with dollars, resulting in a renewed increase in the foreign debt. Towards 1998, moreover, a series of international financial crises and overvaluation of the pegged peso caused a gradual slide into economic crisis. The sense of stability and well being which had prevailed during the 1990s eroded quickly, and by the end of his term in 1999, these accumulating problems and reports of corruption had made Menem unpopular.
President Fernando de la Rúa
Fernando de la Rúa
Fernando de la Rúa is an Argentine politician. He was president of the country from December 10, 1999 to December 21, 2001 for the Alliance for Work, Justice and Education ....

 inherited diminished competitiveness in exports, as well as chronic fiscal deficits. The governing coalition
Alliance for Work, Justice and Education
The Alliance for Work, Justice and Education was a party coalition in Argentina around the turn of the third millennium...

 developed rifts, and his returning Cavallo to the Economy Ministry
Minister of Economy of Argentina
The Minister of Economy is the head of the Ministry of Economy and Production of Argentina, concerned with finance and monetary matters. The position within the Government of Argentina is analogous to the finance ministers of some countries and the United States Treasury Secretary...

 was interpreted as a crisis move by speculators. The decision backfired and Cavallo was eventually forced to take measures to halt a wave of capital flight
Capital flight
Capital flight, in economics, occurs when assets and/or money rapidly flow out of a country, due to an economic event and that disturbs investors and causes them to lower their valuation of the assets in that country, or otherwise to lose confidence in its economic...

 and to stem the imminent debt crisis (culminating in the freezing of bank accounts
Corralito
Corralito was the informal name for the economic measures taken in Argentina at the end of 2001 by Minister of Economy Domingo Cavallo in order to stop a bank run, and which were fully in force for one year. The corralito almost completely froze bank accounts and forbade withdrawals from U.S...

). A climate of popular discontent ensued, and on 20 December 2001, Argentina dove into its worst institutional and economic crisis
Argentine economic crisis (1999-2002)
The Argentine economic crisis was a financial situation, tied to poilitical unrest, that affected Argentina's economy during the late 1990s and early 2000s...

 since the 1890 Barings financial debacle
Panic of 1890
The Panic of 1890 was an acute depression, although less serious than other panics of the era. It was precipitated by the near insolvency of Barings Bank in London. Barings, led by Edward Baring, 1st Baron Revelstoke, faced bankruptcy in November 1890 due mainly to excessive risk-taking on poor...

. There were violent street protests, which clashed with police and resulted in several fatalities. The increasingly chaotic climate, amid riots
December 2001 riots (Argentina)
The December 2001 uprising was a period of civil unrest and rioting in Argentina, which took place during December 2001, with the most violent incidents taking place on December 19 and December 20 in the capital, Buenos Aires, Rosario and other large cities around the country.- Background :The...

 accompanied by cries that "they should all go", finally resulted in the resignation of President de la Rúa.

Three presidents followed in quick succession over two weeks, culminating in the appointment of interim President Eduardo Duhalde
Eduardo Duhalde
-External links:...

 by the Legislative Assembly on 2 January 2002. Argentina defaulted
Default (finance)
In finance, default occurs when a debtor has not met his or her legal obligations according to the debt contract, e.g. has not made a scheduled payment, or has violated a loan covenant of the debt contract. A default is the failure to pay back a loan. Default may occur if the debtor is either...

 on its international debt, and the peso's 11 year-old tie to the U.S. dollar was rescinded, causing a major depreciation
Depreciation (currency)
Currency depreciation is the loss of value of a country's currency with respect to one or more foreign reference currencies, typically in a floating exchange rate system. It is most often used for the unofficial increase of the exchange rate due to market forces, though sometimes it appears...

 of the peso and a spike in inflation. Duhalde, a Peronist with a centre-left economic position, had to cope with a financial and socio-economic crisis, with unemployment as high as 25% by mid 2002, and the lowest real wage
Real wage
The term real wages refers to wages that have been adjusted for inflation. This term is used in contrast to nominal wages or unadjusted wages. Real wages provide a clearer representation of an individual's wages....

s in sixty years. The crisis accentuated the people's mistrust in politicians and institutions. Following a year racked by protest, the economy began to stabilize in late 2002, and restrictions on bank withdrawals were lifted in December.

Benefiting from a devalued exchange rate
Exchange rate
In finance, an exchange rate between two currencies is the rate at which one currency will be exchanged for another. It is also regarded as the value of one country’s currency in terms of another currency...

 the government implemented new policies based on re-industrialization, import substitution
Import substitution
Import substitution industrialization or "Import-substituting Industrialization" is a trade and economic policy that advocates replacing imports with domestic production. It is based on the premise that a country should attempt to reduce its foreign dependency through the local production of...

 and increased exports and began seeing consistent fiscal and trade surpluses. Governor Néstor Kirchner
Néstor Kirchner
Néstor Carlos Kirchner was an Argentine politician who served as the 54th President of Argentina from 25 May 2003 until 10 December 2007. Previously, he was Governor of Santa Cruz Province since 10 December 1991. He briefly served as Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations ...

, a left-wing Peronist, was elected president in May 2003. During his administration, Argentina restructured its defaulted debt
Argentine debt restructuring
Argentina went through an economic crisis beginning in the mid-1990s, with full recession between 1999 and 2002; though it is debatable whether this crisis has ended, the situation has been more stable, and improving, since 2003....

 with a steep discount (about 66%) on most bonds, paid off debts with the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

, renegotiated contracts with utilities and nationalized some previously privatized enterprises. Kirchner and his economists, notably Roberto Lavagna
Roberto Lavagna
Roberto Lavagna is an Argentine economist and politician, and was the former Minister of Economy and Production of Argentina from April 27, 2002, to November 28, 2005.-Career:...

, also pursued a vigorous incomes policy
Incomes policy
Incomes policies in economics are economy-wide wage and price controls, most commonly instituted as a response to inflation, and usually below market level.Incomes policies have often been resorted to during wartime...

 and public works investment.

Argentina has since been enjoying economic growth, though with high inflation. Néstor Kirchner forfeited the 2007 campaign, in favor of his wife Senator
Argentine Senate
The Argentine Senate is the upper house of the Argentine National Congress. It has 72 senators: three for each province and three for the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires...

 Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Cristina Elisabet Fernández de Kirchner , commonly known as Cristina Fernández or Cristina Kirchner is the 55th and current President of Argentina and the widow of former President Néstor Kirchner. She is Argentina's first elected female president, and the second female president ever to serve...

, who became the first woman to be elected President of Argentina
President of Argentina
The President of the Argentine Nation , usually known as the President of Argentina, is the head of state of Argentina. Under the national Constitution, the President is also the chief executive of the federal government and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.Through Argentine history, the...

. She saw controversial plans for higher agricultural export taxes defeated by Vice President Julio Cobos
Julio Cobos
Julio César Cleto Cobos is an Argentine politician, currently serving as the Vice President of Argentina alongside President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. He started his political career as member of the Radical Civic Union , becoming Governor of Mendoza in 2003...

' surprise tie-breaking vote against them in July 2008, following massive agrarian protests and lockouts
Lockout (industry)
A lockout is a work stoppage in which an employer prevents employees from working. This is different from a strike, in which employees refuse to work.- Causes :...

 from March to July. The global financial crisis has since prompted Mrs. Kirchner to step up her husband's policy of state intervention in troubled sectors of the economy. On 15 July 2010, Argentina became the first country in Latin America and the second country in the Southern Hemisphere to legalize same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage typically refer to such recognition as marriage equality....

.

Politics



The Argentine Constitution of 1853
Argentine Constitution of 1853
The Argentine Constitution of 1853 was the first constitution of Argentina, approved with the support of the governments of the provinces —though without that of the Buenos Aires Province, who remained separated of the Argentine Confederation until 1859, after several modifications to the...

 mandates a separation of powers
Separation of powers
The separation of powers, often imprecisely used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state. The model was first developed in ancient Greece and came into widespread use by the Roman Republic as part of the unmodified Constitution of the Roman Republic...

 into executive, legislative
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

, and judicial
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 branches at the national and provincial level. The political framework is a federal representative democratic
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

 republic, in which the President is both head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 and head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

, complemented by a pluriform multi-party system
Multi-party system
A multi-party system is a system in which multiple political parties have the capacity to gain control of government separately or in coalition, e.g.The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in the United Kingdom formed in 2010. The effective number of parties in a multi-party system is normally...

.

Executive power resides in the President and the Cabinet. The President and Vice President are directly elected to four-year terms and are limited to two terms. Cabinet ministers are appointed by the President and are not subject to legislative ratification. The current President is Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Cristina Elisabet Fernández de Kirchner , commonly known as Cristina Fernández or Cristina Kirchner is the 55th and current President of Argentina and the widow of former President Néstor Kirchner. She is Argentina's first elected female president, and the second female president ever to serve...

, with Julio Cobos
Julio Cobos
Julio César Cleto Cobos is an Argentine politician, currently serving as the Vice President of Argentina alongside President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. He started his political career as member of the Radical Civic Union , becoming Governor of Mendoza in 2003...

 as Vice President.

Legislative power is vested in the bicameral National Congress
Argentine National Congress
The Congress of the Argentine Nation is the legislative branch of the government of Argentina. Its composition is bicameral, constituted by a 72-seat Senate and a 257-seat Chamber of Deputies....

, comprising a 72-member Senate
Argentine Senate
The Argentine Senate is the upper house of the Argentine National Congress. It has 72 senators: three for each province and three for the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires...

 and a 257-member Chamber of Deputies
Argentine Chamber of Deputies
The Chamber of Deputies is the lower house of the Argentine National Congress. This Chamber holds exclusive rights to create taxes, to draft troops, and to accuse the President, the ministers and the members of the Supreme Court before the Senate....

. Senators serve six-year terms, with one-third standing for re-election every two years. Members of the Chamber of Deputies are elected to four-year terms by a proportional representation
Proportional representation
Proportional representation is a concept in voting systems used to elect an assembly or council. PR means that the number of seats won by a party or group of candidates is proportionate to the number of votes received. For example, under a PR voting system if 30% of voters support a particular...

 system, with half of the members standing for re-election every two years. A third of the candidates presented by the parties must be women.

The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The Supreme Court has seven members appointed by the President in consultation with the Senate. The judges of all the other courts are appointed by the Council of Magistrates of the Nation
Council of Magistrates of the Nation
The Council of Magistrates of the Nation is an organ of the Judicial Branch of the Government of Argentina. It is in charge of appointing judges, of presenting charges against them to an Accusation Jury, and of suspending or deposing them....

, a secretariat composed of representatives of judges, lawyers, the Congress and the executive.

Though declared the capital in 1853, Buenos Aires did not become the official Capital until 1880. The 1994 amendment of the Argentine Constitution included a limited form of devolution
Devolution
Devolution is the statutory granting of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to government at a subnational level, such as a regional, local, or state level. Devolution can be mainly financial, e.g. giving areas a budget which was formerly administered by central government...

 to Buenos Aires. The national government reserved control of the Argentine Federal Police (the federally administered city force), the Port of Buenos Aires
Port of Buenos Aires
The Port of Buenos Aires is the principal maritime port in Argentina. Operated by the Administración General de Puertos , a State enterprise, it is the leading transshipment point for the foreign trade of Argentina....

, and other faculties, however.

Argentina is divided into twenty-three provinces (provincias; singular provincia) and one Autonomous City. Buenos Aires Province is divided into 134 partidos, while the remaining Provinces are divided into 376 departments
Departments of Argentina
Departments form the second level of administrative division in the provinces of Argentina. There are no departments in the city of Buenos Aires, which has so far been divided into neighbourhoods as its administrative divisions, but is to be divided now into communes by a recently passed local act...

 (departamentos). Departments and Partidos are further subdivided into municipalities or districts. With the exception of Buenos Aires Province
Buenos Aires Province
The Province of Buenos Aires is the largest and most populous province of Argentina. It takes the name from the city of Buenos Aires, which used to be the provincial capital until it was federalized in 1880...

, the nation's provinces have chosen in recent years to enter into treaties with other provinces, forming four federated regions aimed at fostering economic integration and development: Center Region
Center Region (Argentina)
The Center Region of Argentina is the political and economical association of the provinces of Córdoba, Santa Fe and Entre Ríos...

, Patagonic Region, New Cuyo Region, and the Argentine Greater North Region.

Foreign policy


Argentina is a full member of the Mercosur
Mercosur
Mercosur or Mercosul is an economic and political agreement among Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Founded in 1991 by the Treaty of Asunción, which was later amended and updated by the 1994 Treaty of Ouro Preto. Its purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people,...

 block together with Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela; and five associate members: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. From 2003 Argentina has emphasized Mercosur
Mercosur
Mercosur or Mercosul is an economic and political agreement among Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Founded in 1991 by the Treaty of Asunción, which was later amended and updated by the 1994 Treaty of Ouro Preto. Its purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people,...

, which has some supranational legislative functions, as its first international priority; by contrast, during the 1990s, it relied more heavily on its relationship with the United States. Argentina is a founding signatory and permanent consulting member of the Antarctic Treaty System
Antarctic Treaty System
The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements, collectively called the Antarctic Treaty System or ATS, regulate international relations with respect to Antarctica, Earth's only continent without a native human population. For the purposes of the treaty system, Antarctica is defined as all of the land...

 and the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat
Antarctic Treaty Secretariat
The Antarctic Treaty Secretariat is an organization created in 2003 by the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting for the management of several ATCM tasks such as the support of the annual meeting of signatory countries of the Antarctic Treaty, and the publication of the ATCM annual report.The...

 is based in Buenos Aires.

Argentina has long claimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands , and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, which are administered by the United Kingdom as British Overseas Territories, as well as almost 1000000 sqkm in Antarctica, between 25°W and 74°W and south of 60°S. The Antarctic claim overlaps claims by Chile and the United Kingdom, though all claims to Antarctica fall under the provisions of the Antarctic Treaty. Since 1904, a scientific post
Orcadas Base
Base Orcadas is an Argentine station in Antarctica, and the first permanent Antarctic station in the area defined by the Antarctic Treaty System. It is located on Laurie Island, one of the South Orkney Islands , at above sea level and from the coastline....

 has been maintained in Antarctica by mutual agreement. While Argentina has employed threats and force to pursue its claims against Chile in the Beagle channel
Operation Soberanía
Operación Soberanía was the codename of a planned Argentine military invasion of Chile to be carried out on 22 December 1978 due to the Beagle conflict dispute. The invasion was halted at the last minute and did not take place....

, against Britain in Antarctica and the Falklands
Falklands War
The Falklands War , also called the Falklands Conflict or Falklands Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands...

 and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Invasion of South Georgia
The Invasion of South Georgia , also known as the Battle of Grytviken, took place on 3 April 1982, when Argentine naval forces seized control of the east coast of South Georgia after overpowering a small group of Royal Marines at Grytviken...

, as well as against illegal trawlers
Sinking of the Chian-der 3
The Sinking of the Chian-der 3 was an incident occuring on 28 May 1986, when the Taiwanese-flagged trawler Chian-der 3 was detected, tracked, fired upon, set on fire and eventually sunk by the Coast Guard vessel GC-28 Prefecto Derbes of the Prefectura Naval Argentina, at a location outside of the...

, this is the exception rather than the rule in Argentine international relations.

Argentina was the only Latin American country to participate in the 1991 Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 under the United Nations mandate, and played an important role in Operation Uphold Democracy
Operation Uphold Democracy
Operation Uphold Democracy was an intervention designed to remove the military regime installed by the 1991 Haitian coup d'état that overthrew the elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide...

, in Haiti. Argentina has contributed worldwide to peacekeeping
Peacekeeping
Peacekeeping is an activity that aims to create the conditions for lasting peace. It is distinguished from both peacebuilding and peacemaking....

 operations, including those in El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

, Honduras, Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

, Guatemala, the Ecuador-Peru dispute, Western Sahara
Western Sahara
Western Sahara is a disputed territory in North Africa, bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Its surface area amounts to . It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly...

, Angola, Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

, Cyprus, Croatia, Kosovo
Kosovo
Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

, Bosnia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

 and Timor Leste. In recognition of its contributions to international security
International security
International security consists of the measures taken by nations and international organizations, such as the United Nations, to ensure mutual survival and safety. These measures include military action and diplomatic agreements such as treaties and conventions. International and national security...

, U.S. President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 designated Argentina as a major non-NATO ally
Major non-NATO ally
Major non-NATO ally is a designation given by the United States government to close allies who have strategic working relationships with US armed forces but are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization...

 in January 1998. It was last elected as a member of the UN Security Council in 2005. The United Nations White Helmets
White Helmets
The White Helmets Commission is a humanitarian aid and peacekeeping agency based on an initiative launched by Argentina in 1993.-History:...

, a bulwark of peacekeeping and humanitarian aid
Humanitarian aid
Humanitarian aid is material or logistical assistance provided for humanitarian purposes, typically in response to humanitarian crises including natural disaster and man-made disaster. The primary objective of humanitarian aid is to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain human dignity...

 efforts, were first deployed in 1994 following an Argentine initiative.

Military



The armed forces of Argentina comprise an army
Argentine Army
The Argentine Army is the land armed force branch of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic and the senior military service of the country.- History :...

, navy
Argentine Navy
The Navy of the Argentine Republic or Armada of the Argentine Republic is the navy of Argentina. It is one of the three branches of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic, together with the Army and the Air Force....

 and air force
Argentine Air Force
The Argentine Air Force is the national aviation branch of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic. , it had 14,606 military and 6,854 civilian staff.-History:...

, and number about 70,000 active duty personnel, one third fewer than levels before the return to democracy in 1983. The President is commander-in-chief
Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

 of the armed forces, with the Defense Ministry exercising day-to-day control. There are also two other forces; the Naval Prefecture
Argentine Naval Prefecture
The Argentine Naval Prefecture, in Spanish Prefectura Naval Argentina or PNA, is a service of the Argentine Interior Ministry charged with protecting the country's rivers and maritime territory...

 (which patrols Argentine territorial waters
Territorial waters
Territorial waters, or a territorial sea, as defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, is a belt of coastal waters extending at most from the baseline of a coastal state...

) and the National Gendarmerie
Argentine National Gendarmerie
The Argentine National Gendarmerie is the gendarmerie and corps of border guards of Argentina.The Argentine National Gendarmerie has a strength of 12,000....

 (which patrols the border regions); both arms are controlled by the Interior Ministry but maintain liaison with the Defense Ministry. The minimum age for enlistment in the armed forces is 18 years and there is no obligatory military service
Conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

.

Historically, Argentina's military has been one of the best equipped in the region (for example, developing its own jet fighters as early as the 1950s); but recently it has faced sharper expenditure cutbacks than most other Latin American armed forces. Real military expenditures declined steadily after 1981 and though there have been recent increases, the defense budget is now around US$3 billion. The armed forces are currently participating in major peacekeeping operations in Haiti
United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti
The United Nations Stabilisation Mission In Haiti , also known as MINUSTAH, an acronym of the French translation, is a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti that has been in operation since 2004. The mission's military component is led by the Brazilian Army and the force commander is...

 and Cyprus
United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus
The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus was established in 1964 to prevent a recurrence of fighting between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and to contribute to the maintenance and restoration of law and order and a return to normal conditions...

.

Provinces



Argentina is composed of twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city
Autonomous city
Autonomous city is a type of administrative division.-Argentina:The 1994 amendment of the Argentine Constitution granted Buenos Aires city, formerly a federal district of Argentina, the status of autonomous, and changed its formal name to Autonomous City of Buenos Aires .Another large city that is...

 (Ciudad autónoma de Buenos Aires). The city and the provinces have their own constitutions, but exist under a federal system
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

. The administrative divisions of the Provinces are the departments
Departments of Argentina
Departments form the second level of administrative division in the provinces of Argentina. There are no departments in the city of Buenos Aires, which has so far been divided into neighbourhoods as its administrative divisions, but is to be divided now into communes by a recently passed local act...

 , and the municipalities
Municipalities of Argentina
A municipality is one form of a country subdivision of Argentina. It is a city, town, or township, which is -below the department level- part of a province. The provinces organize the municipalities in their territories according to their own municipal regime....

 ( or intendencias), except for Buenos Aires Province
Buenos Aires Province
The Province of Buenos Aires is the largest and most populous province of Argentina. It takes the name from the city of Buenos Aires, which used to be the provincial capital until it was federalized in 1880...

, which is divided into partido
Partido
A partido is an administrative subdivision of the . They are formally considered to be a single municipality, and usually contain one or more population centers...

s. The City of Buenos Aires is divided into communes.

Geography




The total surface area (excluding the Antarctic claim) is 2766891.2 km² (1,068,302.7 sq mi), of which 30200 km² (11,660.3 sq mi) (1.1%) is water. Argentina is about 3900 km (2,423.4 mi) long from north to south, and 1400 km (869.9 mi) from east to west (maximum values). There are four major regions: the fertile central plains of the Pampa
Pampa
The Pampas are the fertile South American lowlands, covering more than , that include the Argentine provinces of Buenos Aires, La Pampa, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos and Córdoba, most of Uruguay, and the southernmost Brazilian State, Rio Grande do Sul...

s, source of Argentina's agricultural wealth; the flat to rolling, oil-rich southern plateau of Patagonia including Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland, across the Strait of Magellan. The archipelago consists of a main island Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego divided between Chile and Argentina with an area of , and a group of smaller islands including Cape...

; the subtropical northern flats of the Gran Chaco
Gran Chaco
The Gran Chaco is a sparsely populated, hot and semi-arid lowland region of the Río de la Plata basin, divided among eastern Bolivia, Paraguay, northern Argentina and a portion of the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, where it is connected with the Pantanal region...

, and the rugged Andes mountain range along the western border with Chile.

The highest point above sea level is in Mendoza province at Cerro Aconcagua
Aconcagua
Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Americas at . It is located in the Andes mountain range, in the Argentine province of Mendoza and it lies west by north of its capital, the city of Mendoza. The summit is also located about 5 kilometres from San Juan Province and 15 kilometres from the...

 (6962 m (22,841 ft)), also the highest point in the Southern
Southern Hemisphere
The Southern Hemisphere is the part of Earth that lies south of the equator. The word hemisphere literally means 'half ball' or "half sphere"...

 and Western Hemisphere
Western Hemisphere
The Western Hemisphere or western hemisphere is mainly used as a geographical term for the half of the Earth that lies west of the Prime Meridian and east of the Antimeridian , the other half being called the Eastern Hemisphere.In this sense, the western hemisphere consists of the western portions...

. The lowest point is Laguna del Carbón
Laguna del Carbón
Laguna del Carbón is an endorheic salt lake in the Gran Bajo de San Julián of Santa Cruz Province, Argentina, 54 km from Puerto San Julián...

 in Santa Cruz province, -105 m below sea level. This is also the lowest point in South America. The geographic center of the country is in south-central La Pampa province. The easternmost continental point is northeast of Bernardo de Irigoyen, Misiones
Bernardo de Irigoyen, Misiones
Bernardo de Irigoyen is a city in the province of Misiones, Argentina. It has 10,889 inhabitants as per the , and is the head town of the General Manuel Belgrano Department...

,(26°15′S 53°38′W) the westernmost in the Mariano Moreno
Mariano Moreno
Mariano Moreno was an Argentine lawyer, journalist, and politician. He played a decisive role in the Primera Junta, the first national government of Argentina, created after the May Revolution....

 Range in Santa Cruz province.(49°33′S 73°35′W) The northernmost point is at the confluence of the Grande de San Juan and Mojinete rivers in Jujuy province,(21°46′S 66°13′W) and the southernmost is Cape San Pío in Tierra del Fuego. (55°03′S 66°31′W)

The major rivers are the Paraná
Paraná River
The Paraná River is a river in south Central South America, running through Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina for some . It is second in length only to the Amazon River among South American rivers. The name Paraná is an abbreviation of the phrase "para rehe onáva", which comes from the Tupi language...

 (the largest), the Pilcomayo
Pilcomayo River
The Pilcomayo River is a river in central South America. At long, it is the longest western tributary of the Paraguay River. Its drainage basin is in area, and its mean discharge is ....

, Paraguay
Paraguay River
The Paraguay River is a major river in south central South America, running through Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina...

, Bermejo
Bermejo River
The Bermejo River is a river in South America that flows from Bolivia to the Paraguay River in Argentina. The river is generally called Bermejo in spite of its different names along its way, but it also has its own Native American names; in Wichí it is called Teuco, and in Guaraní it is called Ypitá...

, Colorado
Colorado River (Argentina)
The Colorado River is a river in the south of Argentina.The Colorado river marks most of the political limit between the provinces of Neuquén and Mendoza, and between Rio Negro and La Pampa...

, Río Negro, Salado and the Uruguay
Uruguay River
The Uruguay River is a river in South America. It flows from north to south and makes boundary with Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, separating some of the Argentine provinces of the Mesopotamia from the other two countries...

. The Paraná and the Uruguay join to form the Río de la Plata
Río de la Plata
The Río de la Plata —sometimes rendered River Plate in British English and the Commonwealth, and occasionally rendered [La] Plata River in other English-speaking countries—is the river and estuary formed by the confluence of the Uruguay River and the Paraná River on the border between Argentina and...

 estuary, before reaching the Atlantic. Regionally important rivers are the Atuel
Atuel River
The Atuel River is a river located mainly in the south of the Argentine province of Mendoza, with its last part in La Pampa. It is a tributary of the Desaguadero River....

 and Mendoza
Mendoza River
The Mendoza River is a river in the province of Mendoza, Argentina. It is formed in the Andes range between the Aconcagua and the Tupungato, by the confluence of the Vacas, the Cuevas and the Tupungato Rivers, the last being its major tributary....

 in the homonymous province, the Chubut
Chubut River
The Chubut River is located in the Patagonia region of southern Argentina. Its name comes from the Tehuelche word chupat, which means "transparent". The Argentine Chubut Province, through which the river flows, is named after it...

 in Patagonia, the Río Grande in Jujuy and the San Francisco River in Salta.
There are several large lakes including Argentino and Viedma in Santa Cruz, Nahuel Huapi
Nahuel Huapi Lake
Nahuel Huapi Lake is a lake in the lake region of northern Patagonia between the provinces of Río Negro and Neuquén, in Argentina. The lake depression consists of several glacial valleys carved out along faults and Miocene valleys that were later dammed by moraines.Nahuel Huapi lake, located...

 between Río Negro and Neuquén, Fagnano
Fagnano Lake
Cami Lake is a lake located on the main island of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, and shared by Argentina and Chile....

 in Tierra del Fuego, and Colhué Huapi
Lake Musters and Lake Colhue Huapi
Lake Musters and lake Colhué Huapi form the terminal stage of the Senguerr river endorheic basin, located in the patagonic central region of Argentina in the south of Chubut province...

 and Musters in Chubut. Lake Buenos Aires and O'Higgins/San Martín Lake
O'Higgins/San Martín Lake
The lake known as O'Higgins in Chile and San Martín in Argentina is located around coordinates in Patagonia, between the Aysén Region and the Santa Cruz Province....

 are shared with Chile. Mar Chiquita, Córdoba, is the largest salt water lake in the country. There are numerous reservoirs created by dams. Argentina features various hot springs, such as Termas de Río Hondo
Termas de Río Hondo
Termas de Río Hondo is a city in the province of Santiago del Estero, Argentina. It has 27,838 inhabitants as per the . It is located on the banks of the Dulce River, 65 km north of the provincial capital Santiago del Estero, near the artificial Río Hondo Lake....

 with temperatures between 65 °C (149 °F) and 89 °C (192 °F).

The largest oil spill in fresh water was caused by a Shell Petroleum tanker in the Río de la Plata, off Magdalena
Magdalena, Buenos Aires
Magdalena is a town in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. It is the head town of the Magdalena Partido.Founded in 1611, the hamlet grew slowly until the late nineteenth century. The Parish of Santa María Magdalena , consecrated in 1776, inaugurated its current temple in 1860...

, on 15 January 1999, polluting the environment, drinking water, and local wildlife.

The 4665 km (2,898.7 mi) long Atlantic coast has been a popular local vacation area for over a century, and varies between areas of sand dunes and cliffs. The continental platform is unusually wide; this shallow area of the Atlantic is called the Argentine Sea
Argentine Sea
thumb|150px|Argentine Sea, off the [[Atlantic Ocean|atlantic]] coast of ArgentinaThe Argentine Sea refers to the sea within the continental shelf off the Argentine mainland...

. The waters are rich in fisheries and possibly hold important hydrocarbon energy resources. The two major ocean currents affecting the coast are the warm Brazil Current
Brazil Current
The Brazil Current is a warm water current that flows south along the Brazilian south coast to the mouth of the Río de la Plata. This current is caused by diversion of a portion of the Atlantic South Equatorial Current from where that current meets the South American continent...

 and the cold Falkland Current
Falkland Current
The Falkland Current is a cold water current that flows northward along the Atlantic coast of Patagonia as far north as the mouth of the Río de la Plata. This current results from the movement of water from the West Wind Drift as it rounds Cape Horn. It takes its name from the Falkland Islands....

. Because of the unevenness of the coastal landmass, the two currents alternate in their influence on climate and do not allow temperatures to fall evenly with higher latitude. The southern coast of Tierra del Fuego forms the north shore of the Drake Passage
Drake Passage
The Drake Passage or Mar de Hoces—Sea of Hoces—is the body of water between the southern tip of South America at Cape Horn, Chile and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica...

.

Climate


The generally temperate climate ranges from subtropical in the north to subpolar
Subarctic climate
The subarctic climate is a climate characterized by long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool to mild summers. It is found on large landmasses, away from the moderating effects of an ocean, generally at latitudes from 50° to 70°N poleward of the humid continental climates...

 in the far south. The north is characterized by very hot, humid summers with mild drier winters, and is subject to periodic droughts. Central Argentina has hot summers with thunderstorms (western Argentina produces some of the world's largest hail), and cool winters. The southern regions have warm summers and cold winters with heavy snowfall, especially in mountainous zones. Higher elevations at all latitudes experience cooler conditions.

The hottest and coldest temperature extremes recorded in South America have occurred in Argentina. A record high temperature of 49.1 °C (120.4 °F), was recorded at Villa María
Villa María
Villa María is a city in Córdoba Province, Argentina, and the head town of the General San Martín Department. It is located in the center of rich agricultural land. The area leads the country in production of milk...

, Córdoba, on 2 January 1920. The lowest temperature recorded was -39.0 C at Valle de los Patos Superior, San Juan, on 17 July 1972.

Major wind currents include the cool Pampero Winds
Pampero Winds
The pampero is a burst of cold polar air from the west, southwest or south on the pampas in the south of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. This wind picks up during the passage of a cold front of an active low passing by. It takes the form of a squall line and there is a marked drop in temperature...

 blowing on the flat plains of Patagonia and the Pampas; following the cold front, warm currents blow from the north in middle and late winter, creating mild conditions. The Zonda
Zonda wind
Zonda wind is a regional term for the foehn wind that often occurs on the eastern slope of the Andes, in Argentina. The Zonda is a dry wind which comes from the polar maritime air, warmed by descent from the crest, which is some 6,000 m above sea level...

, a hot dry wind, affects west-central Argentina. Squeezed of all moisture during the 6000 m (19,685 ft) descent from the Andes, Zonda winds can blow for hours with gusts up to 120 km/h (75 mph), fueling wildfires and causing damage; when the Zonda blows (June–November), snowstorms and blizzard
Blizzard
A blizzard is a severe snowstorm characterized by strong winds. By definition, the difference between blizzard and a snowstorm is the strength of the wind. To be a blizzard, a snow storm must have winds in excess of with blowing or drifting snow which reduces visibility to 400 meters or ¼ mile or...

 (viento blanco) conditions usually affect higher elevations.

The Sudestada
Sudestada
Sudestada is the Spanish name for a climatic phenomenon common to the Río de la Plata and its surrounding region. The phenomenon consists of a sudden rotation of cold southern winds to the south-east...

 ("southeasterlies") could be considered similar to the Nor'easter
Nor'easter
A nor'easter is a type of macro-scale storm along the East Coast of the United States and Atlantic Canada, so named because the storm travels to the northeast from the south and the winds come from the northeast, especially in the coastal areas of the Northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada...

, though snowfall is rare but not unprecedented. Both are associated with a deep winter low pressure system. The sudestada usually moderates cold temperatures but brings very heavy rains, rough seas and coastal flooding. It is most common in late autumn and winter along the central coast and in the Río de la Plata estuary.

The southern regions, particularly the far south, experience long periods of daylight from November to February (up to nineteen hours) and extended nights from May to August.

Biodiversity


Subtropical plants dominate the Gran Chaco in the north, with the Dalbergia
Dalbergia
Dalbergia is a large genus of small to medium-size trees, shrubs and lianas in the pea family, Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. The genus has a wide distribution, native to the tropical regions of Central and South America, Africa, Madagascar and southern Asia...

 genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 of trees well represented by Brazilian Rosewood and the quebracho tree
Quebracho tree
Quebracho is a common name in Spanish to describe very hard wood tree species. The etymology of the name derived from quiebrahacha, or quebrar hacha, meaning "axe-breaker".-Species:...

; also predominant are white and black algarrobo
Carob tree
Ceratonia siliqua, commonly known as the Carob tree and St John's-bread, is a species of flowering evergreen shrub or tree in the pea family, Fabaceae...

trees (prosopis alba
Prosopis alba
Prosopis alba is a South American tree species that inhabits the center part of Argentina, the Gran Chaco ecoregion and part of the Argentine Mesopotamia. It is known as Algarrobo Blanco in Spanish, which means "white carob tree"...

 and prosopis nigra
Prosopis nigra
Prosopis nigra is a South American leguminous tree species that inhabits the Gran Chaco ecoregion , in Argentina and Paraguay...

). Savannah-like areas exist in the drier regions nearer the Andes. Aquatic plants thrive in the wetlands of Argentina. In central Argentina the humid pampas are a true tallgrass prairie
Tallgrass prairie
The tallgrass prairie is an ecosystem native to central North America, with fire as its primary periodic disturbance. In the past, tallgrass prairies covered a large portion of the American Midwest, just east of the Great Plains, and portions of the Canadian Prairies. They flourished in areas with...

 ecosystem
Ecosystem
An ecosystem is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving , physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water and sunlight....

. The original pampa had virtually no trees; some imported species like the American sycamore or eucalyptus
Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus is a diverse genus of flowering trees in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. Members of the genus dominate the tree flora of Australia...

 are present along roads or in towns and country estates (estancias). The only tree-like plant native to the pampa is the evergreen Ombú
Ombú
Phytolacca dioica, commonly known as ombú, is a massive evergreen herb native to the Pampa of South America. The bush has an umbrella-like canopy that spreads to a girth of 12 to 15 meters and can attain a height of 12 to 18 meters . The ombú grows fast but being herbaceous its wood is soft and...

. The surface soils of the pampa are a deep black color, primarily mollisols
Mollisols
Mollisols are a soil order in USDA soil taxonomy. Mollisols form in semi-arid to semi-humid areas, typically under a grassland cover. They are most commonly found in the mid-latitudes, namely in North America, mostly east of the Rocky Mountains, in South America in Argentina and Brazil, and in...

, known commonly as humus. This makes the region one of the most agriculturally productive on Earth; however, this is also responsible for decimating much of the original ecosystem, to make way for commercial agriculture. The western pampas receive less rainfall, this dry pampa is a plain of short grasses or steppe
Steppe
In physical geography, steppe is an ecoregion, in the montane grasslands and shrublands and temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biomes, characterized by grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes...

. The national government maintains 29 national parks.

Most of Patagonia lies within the rain shadow
Rain shadow
A rain shadow is a dry area on the lee side of a mountainous area. The mountains block the passage of rain-producing weather systems, casting a "shadow" of dryness behind them. As shown by the diagram to the right, the warm moist air is "pulled" by the prevailing winds over a mountain...

 of the Andes, so the flora, shrubby bushes and plants, is suited to dry conditions. The soil is hard and rocky, making large-scale farming impossible except along river valleys. Coniferous
Pinophyta
The conifers, division Pinophyta, also known as division Coniferophyta or Coniferae, are one of 13 or 14 division level taxa within the Kingdom Plantae. Pinophytes are gymnosperms. They are cone-bearing seed plants with vascular tissue; all extant conifers are woody plants, the great majority being...

 forests in far western Patagonia and on the island of Tierra del Fuego, include alerce
Fitzroya
Fitzroya is a monotypic genus in the cypress family.-Species:The single living species, Fitzroya cupressoides, is a tall, long-lived conifer native to the Andes mountains of southern Chile and Argentina, where it is an important member of the Valdivian temperate rain forests...

, ciprés de la cordillera
Austrocedrus
Austrocedrus is a genus of conifer belonging to the cypress family Cupressaceae. It has only one species, Austrocedrus chilensis, native to the Valdivian temperate rain forests and the adjacent drier steppe-forests of central-southern Chile and western Argentina from 33°S to 44°S latitude...

, ciprés de las guaitecas
Pilgerodendron
Pilgerodendron is a genus of conifer belonging to the cypress family Cupressaceae. It has only one species, Pilgerodendron uviferum, and is endemic to the Valdivian temperate rain forests and Magellanic subpolar forests of southern Chile and southwestern Argentina. It grows from 40 to 55°S in...

, huililahuán
Podocarpus nubigenus
Podocarpus nubigenus is a species of podocarp, endemic to the Valdivian temperate rain forests of southern Chile and adjacent southwestern Argentina. It is the southernmost podocarp in the world, It grows from 38° to Ultima Esperanza , It grows in wet and swampy soils...

, lleuque
Prumnopitys andina
Prumnopitys andina , the Chilean plum yew, is an evergreen coniferous tree native to south-central Chile and a few areas in adjacent parts of westernmost Argentina from 36 to 40° South latitude...

, mañío hembra
Saxegothaea
Saxegothaea is a genus comprising a single species of conifer belonging to the podocarp family Podocarpaceae, its full scientific name is Saxegothaea conspicua, native to southern South America...

 and pehuén
Araucaria araucana
Araucaria araucana is an evergreen tree growing to tall with a trunk diameter. The tree is native to central and southern Chile, western Argentina and south Brazil. Araucaria araucana is the hardiest species in the conifer genus Araucaria...

, while broadleaf trees include several species of Nothofagus
Nothofagus
Nothofagus, also known as the southern beeches, is a genus of 35 species of trees and shrubs native to the temperate oceanic to tropical Southern Hemisphere in southern South America and Australasia...

such as coihue, lenga and ñire
Nothofagus antarctica
Nothofagus antarctica , is a deciduous tree or shrub native to southern Chile and Argentina from about 36°S to Tierra del Fuego . The southernmost occurrence is on Hoste Island, making it the southernmost trees on earth...

. Other introduced trees present in forestry plantations include spruce
Spruce
A spruce is a tree of the genus Picea , a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the Family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and boreal regions of the earth. Spruces are large trees, from tall when mature, and can be distinguished by their whorled branches and conical...

, cypress
Cupressus
The genus Cupressus is one of several genera within the family Cupressaceae that have the common name cypress; for the others, see cypress. It is considered a polyphyletic group...

 and pine
Pine
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

. Common plants are the copihue
Copihue
Lapageria rosea, commonly known as the Copihue Lapageria rosea, commonly known as the Copihue Lapageria rosea, commonly known as the Copihue (co-pee-way Lapageria rosea, commonly known as the Copihue (co-pee-way...

 and colihue
Chusquea culeou
Chusquea culeou is a gramineae perennial bush of the bamboo subfamilly that grows in the humid temperate forests of Chile and southwestern Argentina....

.

In Cuyo
Cuyo (Argentina)
Cuyo is the name given to the wine-producing, mountainous area of central-west Argentina. Historically it comprised the provinces of San Juan, San Luis and Mendoza. The term New Cuyo is a modern one, which indicates both Cuyo proper and the province of La Rioja...

, semiarid thorny bushes and other xerophile
Xerophile
Xerophiles are extremophilic organisms that can grow and reproduce in conditions with a low availability of water, also known as water activity. Water activity is a measure of the amount of water within a substrate that an organism can use to support sexual growth. Xerophiles are often said to...

 plants abound. Along the many rivers grasses and trees grow in significant numbers. The area presents optimal conditions for the large scale growth of grape vine
Vitis
Vitis is a genus of about 60 species of vining plants in the flowering plant family Vitaceae. The genus is made up of species predominantly from the Northern hemisphere. It is economically important as the source of grapes, both for direct consumption of the fruit and for fermentation to produce...

s. In northwest Argentina there are many species of cactus
Cactus
A cactus is a member of the plant family Cactaceae. Their distinctive appearance is a result of adaptations to conserve water in dry and/or hot environments. In most species, the stem has evolved to become photosynthetic and succulent, while the leaves have evolved into spines...

. No vegetation grows in the highest elevations (above 4000 m (13,123.4 ft)) because of the extreme altitude.

Many species live in the subtropical north. Prominent animals include big cat
Big cat
The term big cat – which is not a biological classification – is used informally to distinguish the larger felid species from smaller ones. One definition of "big cat" includes the four members of the genus Panthera: the tiger, lion, jaguar, and leopard. Members of this genus are the only cats able...

s like the jaguar
Jaguar
The jaguar is a big cat, a feline in the Panthera genus, and is the only Panthera species found in the Americas. The jaguar is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere. The jaguar's present range extends from Southern United States and Mexico...

, puma, and ocelot
Ocelot
The ocelot , pronounced /ˈɒsəˌlɒt/, also known as the dwarf leopard or McKenney's wildcat is a wild cat distributed over South and Central America and Mexico, but has been reported as far north as Texas and in Trinidad, in the Caribbean...

; primates (howler monkey
Howler monkey
Howler monkeys are among the largest of the New World monkeys. Fifteen species are currently recognised. Previously classified in the family Cebidae, they are now placed in the family Atelidae. These monkeys are native to South and Central American forests...

); large reptiles (crocodile
Crocodile
A crocodile is any species belonging to the family Crocodylidae . The term can also be used more loosely to include all extant members of the order Crocodilia: i.e...

s), the Argentine Black and White Tegu
Argentine Black and White Tegu
The Argentine black and white tegu, , is the largest species of tegu. It is also known as the Argentine giant tegu. It belongs to the teiid family...

 and a species of caiman
Caiman
Caimans are alligatorid crocodylians within the subfamily Caimaninae. The group is one of two subfamilies of the family Alligatoridae, the other being alligators. Caimans inhabit Central and South America. They are relatively small crocodilians, with most species reaching lengths of only a few...

. Other animals include the tapir
Tapir
A Tapir is a large browsing mammal, similar in shape to a pig, with a short, prehensile snout. Tapirs inhabit jungle and forest regions of South America, Central America, and Southeast Asia. There are four species of Tapirs: the Brazilian Tapir, the Malayan Tapir, Baird's Tapir and the Mountain...

, peccary
Peccary
A peccary is a medium-sized mammal of the family Tayassuidae, or New World Pigs. Peccaries are members of the artiodactyl suborder Suina, as are the pig family and possibly the hippopotamus family...

, capybara
Capybara
The capybara , also known as capivara in Portuguese, and capibara, chigüire in Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador ronsoco in Peru, chigüiro, and carpincho in Spanish, is the largest living rodent in the world. Its closest relatives are agouti, chinchillas, coyphillas, and guinea pigs...

, bush dog
Bush Dog
The bush dog is a canid found in Central and South America, including Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru , Ecuador, the Guianas, Paraguay, northeast Argentina and Brazil...

, and various species of turtle and tortoise
Tortoise
Tortoises are a family of land-dwelling reptiles of the order of turtles . Like their marine cousins, the sea turtles, tortoises are shielded from predators by a shell. The top part of the shell is the carapace, the underside is the plastron, and the two are connected by the bridge. The tortoise...

. There are a wide variety of birds, notably hummingbird
Hummingbird
Hummingbirds are birds that comprise the family Trochilidae. They are among the smallest of birds, most species measuring in the 7.5–13 cm range. Indeed, the smallest extant bird species is a hummingbird, the 5-cm Bee Hummingbird. They can hover in mid-air by rapidly flapping their wings...

s, flamingo
Flamingo
Flamingos or flamingoes are gregarious wading birds in the genus Phoenicopterus , the only genus in the family Phoenicopteridae...

s, toucan
Toucan
Toucans are members of the family Ramphastidae of near passerine birds from the Neotropics. The family is most closely related to the American barbets. They are brightly marked and have large, often colorful bills. The family includes five genera and about forty different species...

s, and swallow
Swallow
The swallows and martins are a group of passerine birds in the family Hirundinidae which are characterised by their adaptation to aerial feeding...

s.

The central grasslands are populated by the giant anteater
Giant Anteater
The Giant Anteater, Myrmecophaga tridactyla, is the largest species of anteater. It is the only species in the genus Myrmecophaga. It is found in Central and South America from Honduras to northern Argentina...

, armadillo
Armadillo
Armadillos are New World placental mammals, known for having a leathery armor shell. Dasypodidae is the only surviving family in the order Cingulata, part of the superorder Xenarthra along with the anteaters and sloths. The word armadillo is Spanish for "little armored one"...

, pampas cat
Pampas Cat
The Colocolo is a small spotted and striped cat native to the west Andean slope in central and northern Chile. Until recently it included the more widespread Pampas Cat and Pantanal Cat , and some maintain these as subspecies of the Colocolo...

, maned wolf
Maned Wolf
The maned wolf is the largest canid of South America, resembling a large fox with reddish fur.This mammal is found in open and semi-open habitats, especially grasslands with scattered bushes and trees, in south, central-west and south-eastern Brazil The maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is the...

, mara
Mara (mammal)
The maras are a genus of the cavy family. They are the sole representatives of the subfamily Dolichotinae. These large relatives of guinea pigs are common in the Patagonian steppes of Argentina but live in other areas of South America as well such as Paraguay...

, cavia
Cavia
Cavia is a genus in the subfamily Caviinae that contains the rodents commonly known as guinea pigs. The best-known species in this genus is the domestic guinea pig, Cavia porcellus, an important meat animal in South America and a common household pet in the West.-Taxonomic controversy:Cavia are...

s, and the rhea
Rhea (bird)
The rheas are ratites in the genus Rhea, native to South America. There are two existing species: the Greater or American Rhea and the Lesser or Darwin's Rhea. The genus name was given in 1752 by Paul Möhring and adopted as the English common name. Möhring's reason for choosing this name, from the...

 (ñandú), a large flightless bird. Hawk
Hawk
The term hawk can be used in several ways:* In strict usage in Australia and Africa, to mean any of the species in the subfamily Accipitrinae, which comprises the genera Accipiter, Micronisus, Melierax, Urotriorchis and Megatriorchis. The large and widespread Accipiter genus includes goshawks,...

s, falcon
Falcon
A falcon is any species of raptor in the genus Falco. The genus contains 37 species, widely distributed throughout Europe, Asia, and North America....

s, heron
Heron
The herons are long-legged freshwater and coastal birds in the family Ardeidae. There are 64 recognised species in this family. Some are called "egrets" or "bitterns" instead of "heron"....

s, and tinamou
Tinamou
The tinamous are a family comprising 47 species of birds found in Central and South America. One of the most ancient living groups of bird, they are related to the ratites. Generally ground dwelling, they are found in a range of habitats....

s (perdiz, Argentine "false partridges") inhabit the region. There are also pampas deer
Pampas Deer
Pampas deer, Ozotoceros bezoarticus, live in the grasslands of South America at low elevations. They are also known as Venado or Gama. Their habitat includes water and hills, often with winter drought, and grass that is high enough to cover a standing deer...

 and pampas fox
Pampas Fox
The Pampas fox , also known as graxaim, sorro, Azara's fox, or Azara's zorro, is a medium sized zorro or "false" fox native to South American pampas and its range is through central South America in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil...

es. Some of these species extend into Patagonia.

The western mountains are home to different animals. These include the llama
Llama
The llama is a South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since pre-Hispanic times....

, guanaco, vicuña
Vicuña
The vicuña or vicugna is one of two wild South American camelids, along with the guanaco, which live in the high alpine areas of the Andes. It is a relative of the llama, and is now believed to share a wild ancestor with domesticated alpacas, which are raised for their fibre...

, among the most recognizable species of South America. Also in this region are the fox, viscacha
Viscacha
Viscachas or vizcachas are rodents of two genera in the family Chinchillidae. They are closely related to chinchillas, and look similar to rabbits...

, Andean Mountain Cat, kodkod
Kodkod
The Kodkod , also called Guiña, is the smallest cat in the Americas and also has the smallest distribution, being found primarily in central and southern Chile and marginally in adjoining areas of Argentina...

, and the largest flying bird in the New World, the Andean Condor
Andean Condor
The Andean Condor is a species of South American bird in the New World vulture family Cathartidae and is the only member of the genus Vultur...

.

Southern Argentina is home to the cougar, huemul
Huemul (zoology)
Hippocamelus is a genus of Cervidae, the deer family. It comprises two endangered Andean species, commonly known as Huemul , and Taruca. The huemul have a stocky, thick, and short-legged body. These mammals live at high altitudes in the summer, then move down the mountains in the fall and spend the...

, pudú
Pudú
The pudús are two species of South American deer from the genus Pudu; the world's smallest deer. The name is a loanword from Mapudungun the language of the indigenous Mapuche people of southern Chile...

 (the world's smallest deer), and introduced, non-native wild boar. The coast of Patagonia is rich in animal life: elephant seals, fur seals, sea lions and species of penguin. The far south is populated by cormorant
Cormorant
The bird family Phalacrocoracidae is represented by some 40 species of cormorants and shags. Several different classifications of the family have been proposed recently, and the number of genera is disputed.- Names :...

s.

The territorial waters of Argentina have abundant ocean life; mammals such as dolphins, orca
Orca
The killer whale , commonly referred to as the orca, and less commonly as the blackfish, is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family. Killer whales are found in all oceans, from the frigid Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas...

s, and whales like the southern right whale
Right whale
Right whales are three species of large baleen whales consisting of two genera in the family Balaenidae of order Cetacea. Their bodies are very dark gray or black and rotund....

, a major tourist draw for naturalists. Sea fish include sardines, Argentine hakes
Hake
The term hake refers to fish in either of:* family Phycidae of the northern oceans* family Merlucciidae of the southern oceans-Hake fish:...

, dolphinfish
Pompano dolphinfish
The pompano dolphinfish is a species of surface-dwelling ray-finned fish found in tropical and subtropical waters. They are one of only two members of the Coryphaenidae family, the other being the mahi-mahi or common dolphinfish....

, salmon
Salmon
Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family Salmonidae. Several other fish in the same family are called trout; the difference is often said to be that salmon migrate and trout are resident, but this distinction does not strictly hold true...

, and shark
Shark
Sharks are a type of fish with a full cartilaginous skeleton and a highly streamlined body. The earliest known sharks date from more than 420 million years ago....

s; also present are squid
Squid
Squid are cephalopods of the order Teuthida, which comprises around 300 species. Like all other cephalopods, squid have a distinct head, bilateral symmetry, a mantle, and arms. Squid, like cuttlefish, have eight arms arranged in pairs and two, usually longer, tentacles...

 and King crab
King crab
King crabs, also called stone crabs, are a superfamily of crab-like decapod crustaceans chiefly found in cold seas. Because of their large size and the taste of their meat, many species are widely caught and sold as food, the most common being the red king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus.King...

 (centolla) in Tierra del Fuego. Rivers and streams in Argentina have many species of trout
Trout
Trout is the name for a number of species of freshwater and saltwater fish belonging to the Salmoninae subfamily of the family Salmonidae. Salmon belong to the same family as trout. Most salmon species spend almost all their lives in salt water...

 and the South American golden dorado
Golden dorado
The Golden Dorado is a large river fish that lives in central and east-central South America. Despite having Salminus in its name, the dorado is not related to any species of salmon, nor to the saltwater fish also called dorado...

 fish. Well known snake species inhabiting Argentina include boa constrictors
Boa (genus)
Boa is a genus of non-venomous boas found in Mexico, Central and South America, Madagascar and on Reunion Island. Four species are currently recognized.The largest member of this group, B...

 and a very venomous pit viper named the yarará. The Hornero
Hornero
The horneros are members of the genus Furnarius in the family Furnariidae, native to South America.Horneros are brown birds with rather short tails and fairly long bills. They are known for building mud nests that resemble old wood-fired ovens...

 was elected the National Bird after a survey in 1928.

Economy


Argentina has a market-oriented economy
Market economy
A market economy is an economy in which the prices of goods and services are determined in a free price system. This is often contrasted with a state-directed or planned economy. Market economies can range from hypothetically pure laissez-faire variants to an assortment of real-world mixed...

 with abundant natural resource
Natural resource
Natural resources occur naturally within environments that exist relatively undisturbed by mankind, in a natural form. A natural resource is often characterized by amounts of biodiversity and geodiversity existent in various ecosystems....

s, a well-educated population, an export-oriented agricultural sector and a relatively diversified industrial base.

The nation's services sector accounts for around 59% of the economy and 72% of employment, manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

 is 21% of GDP and 13% of employment, and agriculture is 9% of GDP, with 7% of employment; construction, mining, and public utilities divide the rest. Agriculture, including processed goods, provided 54% of export earnings in 2010, however, while industrial manufactures accounted for 35% (energy staples and metal ores were most of the remainder).

High inflation has been a weakness of the Argentine economy for decades. Officially hovering around 9% since 2006, inflation has been privately estimated at over 20%, becoming a contentious issue again. The urban income poverty rate
Poverty threshold
The poverty threshold, or poverty line, is the minimum level of income deemed necessary to achieve an adequate standard of living in a given country...

 has dropped to 18% as of mid-2008, a third of the peak level observed in 2002, though still above the level prior to 1976. Income distribution
Income distribution
In economics, income distribution is how a nation’s total economy is distributed amongst its population.Income distribution has always been a central concern of economic theory and economic policy...

, having improved since 2002, is still considerably unequal.

Argentina ranks 105th out of 178 countries in the Transparency International
Transparency International
Transparency International is a non-governmental organization that monitors and publicizes corporate and political corruption in international development. It publishes an annual Corruption Perceptions Index, a comparative listing of corruption worldwide...

's Corruption Perceptions Index for 2010. Reported problems include both government and private-sector corruption, the latter of which include money laundering, trafficking in narcotics and contraband, and tax evasion. The Kirchner administration responded to the Global financial crisis of 2008–2009 with a record public-works program, new tax cuts and subsidies, and the transfer of private pensions to the social security system. Private pension plans, which required growing subsidies to cover, were nationalized to shed a budgetary drain as well as to finance high government spending and debt obligations.

Argentina has, after its neighbour Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, the second-highest Human Development Index
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...

, and the highest GDP per capita in purchasing power terms in Latin America. Argentina is one of the G-20 major economies
G-20 major economies
The Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 major economies: 19 countries plus the European Union, which is represented by the President of the European Council and by the European Central Bank...

, with the world's 27th largest nominal GDP, and the 22nd largest by purchasing power. The country is classified as upper-middle income or a secondary emerging market by the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

.

History




Argentina's economy developed from 1875 onwards with a surge of agricultural exports, as well European investment and immigration. This boom ended in 1930, after which the economy began to slowly lose ground.
Domestic instability and global trends, however, contributed to Argentina's decline from its noteworthy position as the world's 10th wealthiest nation per capita in 1913 to 62nd by 2010 (though it remains above the world average in purchasing power parity
Purchasing power parity
In economics, purchasing power parity is a condition between countries where an amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries. The prices of the goods between the countries would only reflect the exchange rates...

 terms). Though no consensus exists explaining this, systemic problems include burdensome debt, monetary uncertainty, excessive regulation, barriers to free trade, and a weak rule of law with corruption and a large bureaucracy.

Even during the long decline from 1930 to 1980 the Argentine economy created Latin America's largest middle class as a proportion of the population. A crisis period of two decades followed José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz
José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz
José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz was an Argentine executive and policy maker. He served as Minister of the Economy under de facto President Jorge Rafael Videla between 1976 and 1981, and shaped economic policy during the self-styled National Reorganization Process military dictatorship.-Early...

's financial liberalization
Big Bang (financial markets)
The phrase Big Bang, used in reference to the sudden deregulation of financial markets, was coined to describe measures, including abolition of fixed commission charges and of the distinction between stockjobbers and stockbrokers on the London Stock Exchange and change from open-outcry to...

 policies of the late 1970s, leading to an increased debt burden and interrupted industrial development and upward social mobility. Expansionary policies
Expansionary monetary policy
In economics, expansionary policies are fiscal policies, like higher spending and tax cuts, that encourage economic growth. In turn, an expansionary monetary policy is monetary policy that seeks to increase the size of the money supply...

 and commodity exports triggered a rebound in GDP beginning in 2003. This trend has been largely maintained, creating millions of jobs and encouraging internal consumption
Consumption (economics)
Consumption is a common concept in economics, and gives rise to derived concepts such as consumer debt. Generally, consumption is defined in part by comparison to production. But the precise definition can vary because different schools of economists define production quite differently...

. The socio-economic situation improved steadily, and the economy grew around 9% annually for five consecutive years until 2007, with another 7% in 2008.

The global recession of 2007–10 hit the country hard in 2009 with GDP growth slowing to 0.8%. Argentine debt restructuring
Argentine debt restructuring
Argentina went through an economic crisis beginning in the mid-1990s, with full recession between 1999 and 2002; though it is debatable whether this crisis has ended, the situation has been more stable, and improving, since 2003....

 offers in 2005 and 2010 resumed payments on the majority of its almost $100 billion in defaulted bonds from 2001. The economic minister Amado Boudou
Amado Boudou
Amado Boudou is an Argentine businessman and government policy maker who serves as Minister of the Economy since 2009. He was elected Vice President of Argentina as running mate of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in the 2011 general election.-Early life and career:Amado Boudou was born in Mar del...

 said that with the offer, the Argentine government hoped "to end the shame of 2001 once and for all." High GDP growth resumed in 2010, and the economy expanded by 8.5%.

Science and technology


Argentina has contributed many distinguished doctors, scientists and inventors to the world, including three Nobel Prize laureates in sciences. Argentines have been responsible for major breakthroughs in world medicine; their research has led to significant advances in wound-healing therapies and in the treatment of heart disease
Heart disease
Heart disease, cardiac disease or cardiopathy is an umbrella term for a variety of diseases affecting the heart. , it is the leading cause of death in the United States, England, Canada and Wales, accounting for 25.4% of the total deaths in the United States.-Types:-Coronary heart disease:Coronary...

 and several forms of cancer. Domingo Liotta
Domingo Liotta
Domingo Santo Liotta, MD is a pioneer of heart surgery, creator of multiple cardiac prostheses including the first total artificial heart used in a human being.-Early life:...

 designed and developed the first artificial heart
Artificial heart
An artificial heart is a mechanical device that replaces the heart. Artificial hearts are typically used in order to bridge the time to heart transplantation, or to permanently replace the heart in case transplantation is impossible...

 successfully implanted in a human being in 1969. René Favaloro
René Favaloro
Dr. René Gerónimo Favaloro was an Argentine cardiac surgeon who created the technique for coronary bypass surgery....

 developed the techniques and performed the world's first ever coronary bypass surgery
Coronary artery bypass surgery
Coronary artery bypass surgery, also coronary artery bypass graft surgery, and colloquially heart bypass or bypass surgery is a surgical procedure performed to relieve angina and reduce the risk of death from coronary artery disease...

, and Francisco de Pedro invented a more reliable artificial cardiac pacemaker
Cardiac pacemaker
right|thumb|350px|Image showing the cardiac pacemaker which is the SA nodeThe contraction of heart muscle in all animals with hearts is initiated by chemical impulses. The rate at which these impulses fire controls the heart rate...

.
Bernardo Houssay
Bernardo Houssay
-External links:* * . WhoNamedIt.* . Nobel Foundation....

, the first Latin American awarded with a Nobel Prize in the Sciences, discovered the role of pituitary hormones
Pituitary gland
In vertebrate anatomy the pituitary gland, or hypophysis, is an endocrine gland about the size of a pea and weighing 0.5 g , in humans. It is a protrusion off the bottom of the hypothalamus at the base of the brain, and rests in a small, bony cavity covered by a dural fold...

 in regulating glucose
Glucose
Glucose is a simple sugar and an important carbohydrate in biology. Cells use it as the primary source of energy and a metabolic intermediate...

 in animals; César Milstein
César Milstein
César Milstein FRS was an Argentine biochemist in the field of antibody research. Milstein shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1984 with Niels K. Jerne and Georges Köhler.-Biography:...

 did extensive research in antibodies
Antibody
An antibody, also known as an immunoglobulin, is a large Y-shaped protein used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects such as bacteria and viruses. The antibody recognizes a unique part of the foreign target, termed an antigen...

; Luis Leloir discovered how organisms store energy converting glucose into glycogen
Glycogen
Glycogen is a molecule that serves as the secondary long-term energy storage in animal and fungal cells, with the primary energy stores being held in adipose tissue...

 and the compounds which are fundamental in metabolizing
Metabolism
Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that happen in the cells of living organisms to sustain life. These processes allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments. Metabolism is usually divided into two categories...

 carbohydrate
Carbohydrate
A carbohydrate is an organic compound with the empirical formula ; that is, consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with a hydrogen:oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 . However, there are exceptions to this. One common example would be deoxyribose, a component of DNA, which has the empirical...

s. A team led by Alberto Taquini
Alberto Carlos Taquini
Alberto Carlos Taquini was an Argentine cardiologist, clinical resarcher and academic.-Life and work:Taquini was born in Buenos Aires to Carlota Castiglioni and Alberto Taquini. He enrolled at the University of Buenos Aires, and graduated with a Medical Degree in 1929...

 and Eduardo Braun-Menéndez
Eduardo Braun-Menéndez
Eduardo Braun-Menéndez was a noted Argentine physiologist.-Life and work:Born in Punta Arenas, Chile, he was a naturalized Argentine citizen from a very early age, and was raised in Buenos Aires....

 discovered angiotensin
Angiotensin
Angiotensin, a peptide hormone, causes blood vessels to constrict, and drives blood pressure up. It is part of the renin-angiotensin system, which is a major target for drugs that lower blood pressure. Angiotensin also stimulates the release of aldosterone, another hormone, from the adrenal cortex...

 in 1939, and was the first to describe the enzymatic nature of the renin-angiotensin system
Renin-angiotensin system
The renin-angiotensin system or the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system is a hormone system that regulates blood pressure and water balance....

 and its role in hypertension
Hypertension
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a cardiac chronic medical condition in which the systemic arterial blood pressure is elevated. What that means is that the heart is having to work harder than it should to pump the blood around the body. Blood pressure involves two measurements, systolic and...

. The Leloir Institute
Leloir Institute
The Leloir Institute is a non-profit research center in Buenos Aires specializing in biotechnology, including biochemistry, cellular biology, molecular biology, and related activities.-Overview:...

 of biotechnology
Biotechnology
Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purpose...

 is among the most prestigious in its field in Latin America and in the world.

Dr. Luis Agote
Luis Agote
Luis Agote was an Argentine physician and researcher. He was one of the first to perform a non-direct blood transfusion using sodium citrate as an anticoagulant...

 devised the first safe method of blood transfusion
Blood transfusion
Blood transfusion is the process of receiving blood products into one's circulation intravenously. Transfusions are used in a variety of medical conditions to replace lost components of the blood...

, Enrique Finochietto
Enrique Finochietto
Enrique Finochietto was a distinguished Argentine academic, physician and inventor.-Life and work:...

 designed operating table tools such as the surgical scissors that bear his name ("Finochietto scissors") and a surgical rib-spreader. They have likewise contributed to bioscience in efforts like the Human Genome Project
Human Genome Project
The Human Genome Project is an international scientific research project with a primary goal of determining the sequence of chemical base pairs which make up DNA, and of identifying and mapping the approximately 20,000–25,000 genes of the human genome from both a physical and functional...

, where Argentine scientists have successfully mapped the genome
Genome
In modern molecular biology and genetics, the genome is the entirety of an organism's hereditary information. It is encoded either in DNA or, for many types of virus, in RNA. The genome includes both the genes and the non-coding sequences of the DNA/RNA....

 of a living being, a world first.

Argentina's nuclear program
Nuclear power
Nuclear power is the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity. Nuclear power plants provide about 6% of the world's energy and 13–14% of the world's electricity, with the U.S., France, and Japan together accounting for about 50% of nuclear generated electricity...

 is highly advanced, having resulted in a research reactor
Research reactor
Research reactors are nuclear reactors that serve primarily as a neutron source. They are also called non-power reactors, in contrast to power reactors that are used for electricity production, heat generation, or maritime propulsion.-Purpose:...

 in 1957 and Latin America's first on-line commercial reactor in 1974. Argentina developed its nuclear program without being overly dependent on foreign technology. Nuclear facilities with Argentine technology have been built in Peru, Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, Australia and Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. In 1983, the country admitted having the capability of producing weapon-grade uranium
Uranium
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons...

, a major step needed to assemble nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

s; since then, however, Argentina has pledged to use nuclear power only for peaceful purposes. As a member of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency
International Atomic Energy Agency
The International Atomic Energy Agency is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons. The IAEA was established as an autonomous organization on 29 July 1957...

, Argentina has been a strong voice in support of nuclear non-proliferation efforts and is highly committed to global nuclear security.

In other areas, Juan Vucetich
Juan Vucetich
Juan Vucetich was a Croatian-born Argentine anthropologist and police official who pioneered the use of fingerprinting.-Biography:...

, a Croatian immigrant, was the father of modern fingerprint
Fingerprint
A fingerprint in its narrow sense is an impression left by the friction ridges of a human finger. In a wider use of the term, fingerprints are the traces of an impression from the friction ridges of any part of a human hand. A print from the foot can also leave an impression of friction ridges...

ing (dactiloscopy). Raúl Pateras Pescara
Raúl Pateras Pescara
Raúl Pateras Pescara de Castelluccio , marquis of Pateras-Pescara, was an Argentine lawyer and inventor specializing in seaplanes and helicopters, as well as motors, compressors, and the Pescara free-piston engine.-Biography:At the beginning of the 20th century, his family returned from Buenos...

 demonstrated the world's first flight of a helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

, Hungarian-Argentine László Bíró
László Bíró
László József Bíró was the inventor of the modern ballpoint pen.Bíró was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1899. He presented the first production of the ball pen at the Budapest International Fair in 1931...

 mass-produced the first modern ball point pens and Eduardo Taurozzi developed the pendular combustion engine. Juan Maldacena, an Argentine-American scientist, is a leading figure in string theory
String theory
String theory is an active research framework in particle physics that attempts to reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity. It is a contender for a theory of everything , a manner of describing the known fundamental forces and matter in a mathematically complete system...

. Argentine built satellites include LUSAT-1 (1990), Víctor-1 (1996), PEHUENSAT-1 (2007), and those developed by CONAE, the Argentine space agency, of the SAC series.
The Pierre Auger Observatory
Pierre Auger Observatory
The Pierre Auger Observatory is an international cosmic ray observatory designed to detect ultra-high-energy cosmic rays: single sub-atomic particles with energies beyond 1020 eV...

 near Malargüe
Malargüe
- Transport and infrastructures :- Transportation :Malargüe is linked to the north of Mendoza by National Route 40. This route continues south, entering Neuquén Province, but is only partially built and not well maintained beyond Malargüe City....

, Mendoza, is the world's foremost cosmic ray
Cosmic ray
Cosmic rays are energetic charged subatomic particles, originating from outer space. They may produce secondary particles that penetrate the Earth's atmosphere and surface. The term ray is historical as cosmic rays were thought to be electromagnetic radiation...

 observatory.

Demographics



In the , Argentina had a population of 36,260,130, and preliminary results from the 2010 census were of 40,091,359 inhabitants. Argentina ranks third in South America in total population and 33rd globally. Population density is of 15 persons per square kilometer of land area, well below the world average of 50 persons. The population growth rate in 2010 was an estimated 1.03% annually, with a birth rate of 17.7 live births per 1,000 inhabitants and a mortality rate of 7.4 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants. The net migration rate
Net migration rate
Net migration rate is the difference of immigrants and emigrants of an area in a period of time, divided per 1,000 inhabitants...

 has ranged from zero to four immigrants per 1,000 inhabitants.

The proportion of people under 15 is 25.6%, somewhat below the world average of 28%, and the proportion of people 65 and older is relatively high at 10.8%. In Latin America this is second only to Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

 and well above the world average, which is currently 7%. Argentina has one of Latin America's lowest population growth rates, recently about 1% a year, as well as a comparatively low infant mortality rate. Its birth rate of 2.3 children per woman is still nearly twice as high as that in Spain or Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, compared here as they have similar religious practices and proportions. The median age is approximately 30 years and life expectancy
Life expectancy
Life expectancy is the expected number of years of life remaining at a given age. It is denoted by ex, which means the average number of subsequent years of life for someone now aged x, according to a particular mortality experience...

 at birth is 76.7 years.

Ethnography




As with other areas of new settlement such as Canada, Australia, and the United States, Argentina is considered a country of immigrants. Most Argentines are descended from colonial-era settlers, and 19th and 20th century immigrants from Europe. Argentina was second only to the US in the numbers of European immigrants received and, at those times, the national population doubled every two decades. The majority of these European immigrants came from Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and Spain. 86.4% of Argentina's population self-identify as being of European descent. An estimated 8% of the population is Mestizo
Mestizo
Mestizo is a term traditionally used in Latin America, Philippines and Spain for people of mixed European and Native American heritage or descent...

 and 4% of Argentines are of Arab
Arab Argentine
An Arab Argentine is an Argentine citizen or resident alien whose ancestry traces back to any of various waves of immigrants, largely of Arab cultural and linguistic heritage and/or identity, originating mainly from what is now Lebanon and Syria but also there are some individuals from the...

 or Asian
Asian Argentine
An Asian-Argentine is defined as an Argentine of Asian ancestry, either born within Argentina, or born elsewhere and later to become a citizen or resident of Argentina. Asian-Argentines settled in Argentina in large numbers during several waves of immigration in the twentieth century...

 heritage.

Recent Illegal immigration
Illegal immigration
Illegal immigration is the migration into a nation in violation of the immigration laws of that jurisdiction. Illegal immigration raises many political, economical and social issues and has become a source of major controversy in developed countries and the more successful developing countries.In...

 has mostly been coming from Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

 and Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

, with smaller numbers from Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, Ecuador and Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

. The Argentine government estimates that 750,000 inhabitants lack official documents and has launched a program called Patria Grande ("Greater Homeland") to encourage illegal immigrants to declare their status in return for two-year residence visas——so far over 670,000 applications have been processed under the program.

Religion


The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion but also requires the government to support Roman Catholicism economically. Until 1994 the President and Vice President had to be Roman Catholic, though there were no such restrictions on other government officials; although since 1945 members of other religious groups have held prominent posts. Catholic policy remains influential in government though, and still helps shape a variety of legislation. In a study assessing world-wide levels of religious regulation and persecution, with scores ranging from 0–10 where 0 represented low levels of regulation or persecution, Argentina received a score of 1.4 on Government Regulation of Religion, 6.0 on Social Regulation of Religion, 6.9 on Government Favoritism of Religion and 6 on Religious Persecution.

According to the World Christian Database Argentines are: 92.1% Christian, 3.1% agnostic, 1.9% Muslim, 1.3% Jewish, 0.9% atheist, and 0.9% Buddhist and others. Argentine Christians are mostly Roman Catholic with estimates for the number of Catholics varying from 70% to 90% of the population (though perhaps only 20% attend services regularly).

Evangelical
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 churches have been gaining a foothold since the 1980s with approximately 9% of the total population, Pentecostal churches and traditional Protestant denominations are present in most communities and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims 330,000 followers in Argentina (their seventh-largest congregation in the world).

Argentina has the largest Jewish population of any country in Latin America. A recent study found that approximately 11% of Argentines are non-religious (which includes those who believe in God but do not follow a religion), 4% are agnostics and 5% are atheist. Overall 24% attended religious services regularly. Protestants were the only group with a majority of followers who regularly attended services.

Language




The de facto official language of Argentina is Spanish, usually called castellano (Castilian) by Argentines. Argentina is the largest Spanish-speaking society
Hispanophone
Hispanophone or Hispanosphere denotes Spanish language speakers and the Spanish-speaking world. The word derives from the Latin political name of the Iberian Peninsula, Hispania, which comprised basically the territory of the modern states of Spain and Portugal.Hispanophones are estimated at...

 that universally employs voseo
Voseo
Voseo is the use of the second person singular pronoun vos in many dialects of Spanish. In dialects that have it, it is used either instead of tú, or alongside it....

(the use of the pronoun
Pronoun
In linguistics and grammar, a pronoun is a pro-form that substitutes for a noun , such as, in English, the words it and he...

 vos instead of (you), which occasions the use of alternate verb forms as well). The most prevalent dialect is Rioplatense
Rioplatense Spanish
Rioplatense Spanish or River Plate Spanish is a dialectal variant of the Spanish language spoken mainly in the areas in and around the Río de la Plata basin of Argentina and Uruguay, and also in Rio Grande do Sul, although features of the dialect are shared with the varieties of Spanish spoken...

, whose speakers are primarily located in the Río de la Plata basin
La Plata Basin
The Río de la Plata Basin , sometimes called the Platine basin or Platine region, is the name given to the hydrographical area that covers parts of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay...

. Italian and other European immigrants influenced Lunfardo
Lunfardo
Lunfardo is a dialect originated and developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the lower classes in Buenos Aires and the surrounding Gran Buenos Aires, and from there spread to other cities nearby, such as Rosario and Montevideo, cities with similar socio-cultural situations...

, the slang spoken in the Río de la Plata region, permeating the vernacular vocabulary of other regions as well. A phonetic study conducted by the Laboratory for Sensory Investigations of CONICET and the University of Toronto
University of Toronto
The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated on the grounds that surround Queen's Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King's College, the first institution of higher learning in Upper Canada...

 showed that the accent of the inhabitants of Buenos Aires (known as porteño
Porteño
Porteño in Spanish is used to refer to a person who is from or lives in a port city, but it can also be used as an adjective for anything related to those port cities....

s
) is closer to the Neapolitan language
Neapolitan language
Neapolitan is the language of the city and region of Naples , and Campania. On October 14, 2008 a law by the Region of Campania stated that the Neapolitan language had to be protected....

, spoken in Southern Italy, than any other spoken language.

According to Ethnologue there are around 1.5 million Italian speakers (making it the second most spoken language in the country) and 1 million speakers of the North Levantine dialect of Arabic
Levantine Arabic
Levantine Arabic is a broad variety of Arabic spoken in the 100 to 200 km-wide Eastern Mediterranean coastal strip...

 (spoken in Syria, Lebanon and Cyprus). Standard German
Standard German
Standard German is the standard variety of the German language used as a written language, in formal contexts, and for communication between different dialect areas...

 is spoken by 400,000—500,000 Argentines of German ancestry, making it the fourth most spoken language.

Some indigenous communities have retained their original languages. Guaraní
Guaraní language
Guaraní, specifically the primary variety known as Paraguayan Guaraní , is an indigenous language of South America that belongs to the Tupí–Guaraní subfamily of the Tupian languages. It is one of the official languages of Paraguay , where it is spoken by the majority of the population, and half of...

 is spoken by some in the north east, especially in Corrientes (where it enjoys official status) and Misiones. Quechua is spoken by some in the north west and has a local variant in Santiago del Estero
Santiago del Estero
Santiago del Estero is the capital of Santiago del Estero Province in northern Argentina. It has a population of 244,733 inhabitants, making it the twelfth largest city in the country, with a surface area of 2,116 km². It lies on the Dulce River and on National Route 9, at a distance of...

. Aymara
Aymara language
Aymara is an Aymaran language spoken by the Aymara people of the Andes. It is one of only a handful of Native American languages with over three million speakers. Aymara, along with Quechua and Spanish, is an official language of Peru and Bolivia...

 is spoken by members of the Bolivian immigrant community. In Patagonia there are Welsh
Welsh language
Welsh is a member of the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages spoken natively in Wales, by some along the Welsh border in England, and in Y Wladfa...

-speaking communities
Welsh settlement in Argentina
Y Wladfa refers to the Welsh settlement in Argentina, which began in 1865 and occurred mainly along the coast of Chubut Province in the far southern region of Patagonia...

 with around 25,000 using it as their second-language. Recent immigrants have brought Chinese and Korean
Korean language
Korean is the official language of the country Korea, in both South and North. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in People's Republic of China. There are about 78 million Korean speakers worldwide. In the 15th century, a national writing...

 (mostly to Buenos Aires). English, Brazilian Portuguese
Brazilian Portuguese
Brazilian Portuguese is a group of Portuguese dialects written and spoken by most of the 190 million inhabitants of Brazil and by a few million Brazilian emigrants, mainly in the United States, United Kingdom, Portugal, Canada, Japan and Paraguay....

 and French are also spoken. English is commonly taught at schools as a second language with Portuguese and French to a lesser extent.

Urbanization



Argentina is highly urbanized. The ten largest metropolitan areas account for half of the population, and fewer than one in ten live in rural areas. About 3 million people live in Buenos Aires City and the Greater Buenos Aires
Greater Buenos Aires
Greater Buenos Aires is the generic denomination to refer to the megalopolis comprising the autonomous city of Buenos Aires and the conurbation around it, over the province of Buenos Aires—namely the adjacent 24 partidos or municipalities—which nonetheless do not constitute a single administrative...

 metropolitan area totals around 13 million, making it one of the largest urban areas in the world.

The metropolitan areas of Córdoba
Córdoba, Argentina
Córdoba is a city located near the geographical center of Argentina, in the foothills of the Sierras Chicas on the Suquía River, about northwest of Buenos Aires. It is the capital of Córdoba Province. Córdoba is the second-largest city in Argentina after the federal capital Buenos Aires, with...

 and Rosario have around 1.3 million inhabitants each and Mendoza
Mendoza, Argentina
Mendoza is the capital city of Mendoza Province, in Argentina. It is located in the northern-central part of the province, in a region of foothills and high plains, on the eastern side of the Andes. As of the , Mendoza's population was 110,993...

, Tucumán, La Plata
La Plata
La Plata is the capital city of the Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and of La Plata partido. According to the , the city proper has a population of 574,369 and its metropolitan area has 694,253 inhabitants....

, Mar del Plata
Mar del Plata
Mar del Plata is an Argentine city located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, south of Buenos Aires. Mar del Plata is the second largest city of Buenos Aires Province. The name "Mar del Plata" had apparently the sense of "sea of the Río de la Plata region" or "adjoining sea to the Río de la Plata"...

, Salta
Salta
Salta is a city in northwestern Argentina and the capital city of the Salta Province. Along with its metropolitan area, it has a population of 464,678 inhabitants as of the , making it Argentina's eighth largest city.-Overview:...

 and Santa Fe
Santa Fe, Argentina
Santa Fe is the capital city of province of Santa Fe, Argentina. It sits in northeastern Argentina, near the junction of the Paraná and Salado rivers. It lies opposite the city of Paraná, to which it is linked by the Hernandarias Subfluvial Tunnel. The city is also connected by canal with the...

 have at least half a million people each.

The population is unequally distributed amongst the provinces: about 60% live in the Pampa region (21% of the total area), including 15 million people in Buenos Aires Province
Buenos Aires Province
The Province of Buenos Aires is the largest and most populous province of Argentina. It takes the name from the city of Buenos Aires, which used to be the provincial capital until it was federalized in 1880...

; Córdoba Province
Córdoba Province (Argentina)
Córdoba is a province of Argentina, located in the center of the country. Neighboring provinces are : Santiago del Estero, Santa Fe, Buenos Aires, La Pampa, San Luis, La Rioja and Catamarca...

 Santa Fe Province
Santa Fe Province
The Invincible Province of Santa Fe, in Spanish Provincia Invencible de Santa Fe , is a province of Argentina, located in the center-east of the country. Neighboring provinces are from the north clockwise Chaco , Corrientes, Entre Ríos, Buenos Aires, Córdoba, and Santiago del Estero...

 and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires have 3 million each. Seven other provinces have over one million people each: Mendoza, Tucumán, Entre Ríos, Salta, Chaco, Corrientes and Misiones. Tucumán is the most densely populated with 60 inhabitants/km², the only Argentine province more densely populated than the world average, while the southern province of Santa Cruz has around 1 inhabitant/km².

Most European immigrants settled in the cities, and the many small towns founded along the expanding railway system. From the 1930s rural migration into the nation's larger cities accounted for much of their population growth. Argentine cities were originally built in a colonial Spanish grid style
Urban planning
Urban planning incorporates areas such as economics, design, ecology, sociology, geography, law, political science, and statistics to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities....

 and many still retain this general layout, which is known as a damero (checkerboard). Most of the larger cities also feature boulevards and diagonal avenues inspired by Haussmann's renovation of Paris
Haussmann's renovation of Paris
Haussmann's Renovation of Paris, or the Haussmann Plan, was a modernization program of Paris commissioned by Napoléon III and led by the Seine prefect, Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann, between 1853 and 1870...

. The city of La Plata, designed at the end of the 19th century by Pedro Benoit
Pedro Benoit
Pedro Benoit was an Argentine architect, engineer and urbanist best known for designing the layout of the city of La Plata.-Life and times:...

, combines the checkerboard layout with added diagonal avenues at fixed intervals——it was also the first in South America to have electric street lights.

Culture


Argentine culture has significant European influences. Buenos Aires, its cultural capital, is largely characterized by both the prevalence of people of European descent, and of conscious imitation of European styles in architecture
Architecture of Argentina
The Architecture of Argentina can be said to start at the beginning of the Spanish colonisation, though it was in the 18th century that the cities of the country reached their splendour...

. The other big influence is the gauchos and their traditional country lifestyle of self-reliance. Finally, indigenous American traditions (like yerba mate
Yerba mate
Maté, yerba maté or erva maté , Ilex paraguariensis, is a species of holly native to subtropical South America in northeastern Argentina, Bolivia, southern Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay...

 infusions) have been absorbed into the general cultural milieu.

Literature




Argentina has a rich literary history, as well as one of the region's most active publishing industries. Argentine writers have figured prominently in Latin American literature since becoming a fully united entity in the 1850s. The struggle between the Federalists (who favored a loose confederation
Confederation
A confederation in modern political terms is a permanent union of political units for common action in relation to other units. Usually created by treaty but often later adopting a common constitution, confederations tend to be established for dealing with critical issues such as defense, foreign...

 of provinces based on rural conservatism) and the Unitarians (pro-liberalism and advocates of a strong central government that would encourage European immigration), set the tone for Argentine literature of the time.

The ideological divide between gaucho epic Martín Fierro
Martín Fierro
Martín Fierro is a 2,316 line epic poem by the Argentine writer José Hernández. The poem was originally published in two parts, El Gaucho Martín Fierro and La Vuelta de Martín Fierro . The poem is, in part, a protest against the modernist tendencies of Argentine president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento...

 by José Hernández, and Facundo by Domingo Faustino Sarmiento
Domingo Faustino Sarmiento
Domingo Faustino Sarmiento was an Argentine activist, intellectual, writer, statesman and the seventh President of Argentina. His writing spanned a wide range of genres and topics, from journalism to autobiography, to political philosophy and history...

, is a great example. Hernández, a federalist, was opposed to the centralizing, modernizing and Europeanizing tendencies. Sarmiento wrote in support of immigration as the only way to save Argentina from becoming subject to the rule of a small number of dictatorial caudillo
Caudillo
Caudillo is a Spanish word for "leader" and usually describes a political-military leader at the head of an authoritarian power. The term translates into English as leader or chief, or more pejoratively as warlord, dictator or strongman. Caudillo was the term used to refer to the charismatic...

 families, arguing such immigrants would make Argentina more modern and open to Western European influences and therefore a more prosperous society.

Argentine literature of that period was fiercely nationalist. It was followed by the modernist
Modernist literature
Modernist literature is sub-genre of Modernism, a predominantly European movement beginning in the early 20th century that was characterized by a self-conscious break with traditional aesthetic forms...

 movement, which emerged in France in the late 19th century, and this period in turn was followed by vanguardism
Vanguardism
In the context of revolutionary struggle, vanguardism is a strategy whereby an organization attempts to place itself at the center of the movement, and steer it in a direction consistent with its ideology....

, with Ricardo Güiraldes
Ricardo Güiraldes
Ricardo Güiraldes was an Argentine novelist and poet, one of the most significant Argentine writers of his era, particularly known for his 1926 novel Don Segundo Sombra, set amongst the gauchos.-Life:...

 as an important reference. Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo , known as Jorge Luis Borges , was an Argentine writer, essayist, poet and translator born in Buenos Aires. In 1914 his family moved to Switzerland where he attended school, receiving his baccalauréat from the Collège de Genève in 1918. The family...

, its most acclaimed writer, found new ways of looking at the modern world in metaphor and philosophical debate and his influence has extended to writers all over the globe. Borges is most famous for his works in short stories such as Ficciones
Ficciones
Ficciones is the most popular anthology of short stories by Argentine writer and poet Jorge Luis Borges, often considered the best introduction to his work. Ficciones should not be confused with Labyrinths, although they have much in common. Labyrinths is a separate translation of Borges' material,...

 and The Aleph.

Some of the nation's notable writers, poets and intellectuals include: Juan Bautista Alberdi
Juan Bautista Alberdi
Juan Bautista Alberdi was an Argentine political theorist and diplomat. Although he lived most of his life in exile in Montevideo and Chile, he was one of the most influential Argentine liberals of his age.-Biography:...

, Roberto Arlt
Roberto Arlt
Roberto Arlt was an Argentine writer.-Biography:He was born Roberto Godofredo Christophersen Arlt in Buenos Aires on April 2, 1900. His parents were both immigrants: his father Karl Arlt was a Prussian from Posen and his mother was Ekatherine Iobstraibitzer, a native of Trieste and Italian speaking...

, Enrique Banchs
Enrique Banchs
Enrique Banchs was an Argentine poet. He published all his work in the space of four years at the beginning of the 20th century, then lay dormant until his death. In his four works, Las barcas , El libro de los elogios , El cascabel del halcón and La urna...

, Adolfo Bioy Casares
Adolfo Bioy Casares
Adolfo Bioy Casares was an Argentine fiction writer, journalist, and translator. He was a friend and collaborator with his fellow countryman Jorge Luis Borges, and wrote what many consider one of the best pieces of fantastic fiction, the novella The Invention of Morel.-Biography:Adolfo Bioy...

, Silvina Bullrich
Silvina Bullrich
Silvina Bullrich was a best-selling Argentine novelist, as well as an accomplished journalist, translator and screenwriter.-Life and work:...

, Eugenio Cambaceres
Eugenio Cambaceres
Eugenio Cambaceres Argentine writer and politician. In the 1880s he wrote four books, with Sin rumbo being his masterpiece. His promising literary career was cut short when he died of tuberculosis....

, Julio Cortázar
Julio Cortázar
Julio Cortázar, born Jules Florencio Cortázar, was an Argentine writer. Cortázar, known as one of the founders of the Latin American Boom, influenced an entire generation of Spanish speaking readers and writers in the Americas and Europe.-Early life:Cortázar's parents, Julio José Cortázar and...

, Esteban Echeverría
Esteban Echeverría
José Esteban Antonio Echeverría was an Argentine poet, fiction writer, cultural promoter, and political activist who played a significant role in the development of Argentine literature, not only through his own writings but also through his organizational efforts...

, Leopoldo Lugones
Leopoldo Lugones
Leopoldo Lugones Argüello was an Argentine writer and journalist.-Early life:Born in Villa de María del Río Seco, a city in Córdoba Province, in Argentina's Catholic heartland, Lugones belonged to a family of landed gentry...

, Eduardo Mallea
Eduardo Mallea
Eduardo Mallea was an Argentine essayist, cultural critic, writer and diplomat. In 1931 he became editor of the literary magazine of La Nación.-Work:...

, Ezequiel Martínez Estrada
Ezequiel Martínez Estrada
Ezequiel Martínez Estrada was an Argentine writer, poet, essayist, and literary critic. An admired biographer and critic, he was often political in his writings, and was a confirmed anti-Peronist...

, Tomás Eloy Martínez
Tomás Eloy Martínez
Tomás Eloy Martínez was an Argentine journalist and writer.-Life and work:Born in San Miguel de Tucumán, Martínez obtained a degree in Spanish and Latin American literature from the University of Tucumán, and an MA at the University of Paris...

, Victoria Ocampo
Victoria Ocampo
Victoria Ocampo Aguirre was an Argentine writer and intellectual, described by Jorge Luis Borges as La mujer más argentina ....

, Manuel Puig
Manuel Puig
Manuel Puig was an Argentine author...

, Ernesto Sabato
Ernesto Sabato
Ernesto Sabato , was an Argentine writer, painter and physicist. According to the BBC he "won some of the most prestigious prizes in Hispanic literature" and "became very influential in the literary world throughout Latin America"...

, Osvaldo Soriano
Osvaldo Soriano
Osvaldo Soriano, Journalist and writer. Born January 6, 1943 in Mar del Plata, Argentina – died on January 29, 1997 in Buenos Aires.-Biography:...

, Alfonsina Storni
Alfonsina Storni
Alfonsina Storni was one of the most important Latin-American poets of the modernist period.-Life:Storni was born in Sala Capriasca, Switzerland to an Argentine beer industrialist living in Switzerland for a few years. There, Storni learned to speak Italian...

 and María Elena Walsh
María Elena Walsh
María Elena Walsh was an Argentine poet, novelist, musician, dramaturge, writer and composer, mainly known for her songs and books for children.-Biography:...

.

Visual arts




Numerous Argentine architects have enriched their own country's cityscapes and, in recent decades, those around the world. Juan Antonio Buschiazzo
Juan Antonio Buschiazzo
Juan Antonio Buschiazzo was an Italian architect and engineer who contributed to the modernisation of Buenos Aires, Argentina in the 1880s and to the construction of the city of La Plata, the new capital of the Buenos Aires Province.Born in 1845 in Pontinvrea, Province of Savona, Liguria,...

 helped popularize Beaux-Arts architecture and Francisco Gianotti
Francisco Gianotti
Francisco Gianotti was an architect who designed many important Art Nouveau buildings in Buenos Aires, Argentina....

 combined Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau is an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that were most popular during 1890–1910. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art"...

 with Italianate styles, each adding flair to Argentine cities during the early 20th century. Francisco Salamone
Francisco Salamone
Francisco Salamone was an Argentine architect of Italian descent who, between 1936 and 1940, during the Infamous Decade, built more than 60 municipal buildings with elements of Art Deco style in 25 rural communities on the Argentine Pampas within the Buenos Aires Province...

 and Viktor Sulĉiĉ
Viktor Sulcic
Viktor Sulčič, also known as Víctor Sulcic, was a Slovenian born architect in Argentina. He was born in 1895 in Križ near Trieste, died in 1973 in Buenos Aires....

 left an Art Deco
Art Deco
Art deco , or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and...

 legacy, and Alejandro Bustillo
Alejandro Bustillo
Alejandro Bustillo was an Argentine painter and architect who left his mark in various tourist destinations in Argentina, especially in the Andean region of the Patagonia....

 created a prolific body of Rationalist architecture. Clorindo Testa
Clorindo Testa
Clorindo Manuel José Testa is an Italian-Argentine architect and artist. He graduated from the School of Architecture at the Universidad de Buenos Aires in 1948....

 introduced Brutalist architecture
Brutalist architecture
Brutalist architecture is a style of architecture which flourished from the 1950s to the mid 1970s, spawned from the modernist architectural movement.-The term "brutalism":...

 locally and César Pelli
César Pelli
César Pelli is an Argentine architect known for designing some of the world's tallest buildings and other major urban landmarks. In 1991, the American Institute of Architects listed Pelli among the ten most influential living American architects...

's and Patricio Pouchulu
Patricio Pouchulu
Patricio Pouchulu is a Futurist contemporary architect.Born in Buenos Aires, he graduated as an Architect at Universidad de Buenos Aires before moving to London to study with Peter Cook at The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, where he got a M.Arch...

's Futurist
Futurist architecture
Futurist architecture is an early-20th century form of architecture characterized by anti-historicism and long horizontal lines suggesting speed, motion and urgency. Technology and even violence were among the themes of the Futurists. The movement was founded by the poet Filippo Tommaso...

 creations have graced cities, worldwide. Pelli's 1980s throwbacks to the Art Deco glory of the 1920s, in particular, made him one of the world's most prestigious architects.

One of the most influential Argentine figures in fine arts was Xul Solar
Xul Solar
Xul Solar was the adopted name of Oscar Agustín Alejandro Schulz Solari , Argentine painter, sculptor, writer, and inventor of imaginary languages.-Biography:...

, whose surrealist
Surrealism
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members....

 work used watercolors as readily as unorthodox painting media; he also "invented" two imaginary languages. The works of Cándido López
Cándido López
Cándido López was an Argentine painter and soldier. Born in Buenos Aires, he is considered one of Argentina's most important artists. He is most famous for his detailed paintings and drawings of battles of the War of the Triple Alliance, in which he also fought, losing his right arm...

 and Florencio Molina Campos
Florencio Molina Campos
Florencio Molina Campos was an Argentine illustrator and a painter known by his typical traditional scenes of the Pampa. His work represents gauchesco scenes with a bit of humor....

 (in Naïve art
Naïve art
Naïve art is a classification of art that is often characterized by a childlike simplicity in its subject matter and technique. While many naïve artists appear, from their works, to have little or no formal art training, this is often not true...

 style), Ernesto de la Cárcova
Ernesto de la Cárcova
Ernesto de la Cárcova was an Argentine painter of the Realist school.-Life and work:Ernesto de la Cárcova was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1866. Taking an early interest in the canvas, he studied at the local Society for the Stimulus of Fine Arts under painter Francisco Romero...

 and Eduardo Sívori
Eduardo Sívori
Eduardo Sívori was an Argentine artist widely regarded as his country's first realist painter.-Life and work:...

 (realism), Fernando Fader
Fernando Fader
Fernando Fader was a French-born Argentine painter of the Post-impressionist school.-Life and work:Fernando Fader was born in Bordeaux, France in 1882. His father, of Prussian descent, relocated the family to Argentina in 1884, settling in the western city of Mendoza before returning to France a...

 (impressionism
Impressionism
Impressionism was a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s...

), Pío Collivadino
Pío Collivadino
Pío Collivadino was an Argentine painter of the post-impressionist school.-Life and work:Pío Collivadino was born in Buenos Aires, in 1869...

 and Cesáreo Bernaldo de Quirós
Cesáreo Bernaldo de Quirós
Cesáreo Bernaldo de Quirós was an Argentine painter of the post-impressionist school.- Life and work :De Quirós was born in Gualeguay, Entre Ríos Province, in 1879. He began to paint at age eight, and shortly afterwards, created a facial composite sketch that resulted in a fugitive criminal's...

 (post-impressionist), Emilio Pettoruti
Emilio Pettoruti
Emilio Pettoruti was an Argentine painter, who caused a scandal with his avant-garde cubist exhibition in 1924 in Buenos Aires. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Buenos Aires was a city full of artistic development...

 (cubist), Antonio Berni
Antonio Berni
Delesio Antonio Berni was a figurative artist, born in Rosario, province of Santa Fe, Argentina. He worked as a painter, an illustrator and an engraver. His father, Napoleón Berni, was an immigrant tailor from Italy...

 (neo-figurative
Neo-figurative
Neo-figurative art describes an expressionist revival in modern form of figurative art. The term neo and figurative emerged in the 1960s in Mexico and Spain to represent a new form of figurative art.-Neo-figurative artists:...

), Gyula Košice
Gyula Kosice
Gyula Kosice, born Fernando Fallik in Košice is a naturalized Argentine sculptor, plastic artist, theoretician and poet, one of the most important figures in kinetic and luminal art and luminance vanguard....

 (constructivism
Constructivism (art)
Constructivism was an artistic and architectural philosophy that originated in Russia beginning in 1919, which was a rejection of the idea of autonomous art. The movement was in favour of art as a practice for social purposes. Constructivism had a great effect on modern art movements of the 20th...

), Eduardo Mac Entyre
Eduardo Mac Entyre
Eduardo Mac Entyre is an Argentine painter well-known for his Pop art, particularly his geometric designs.Born in Buenos Aires to a Scottish father and Belgian mother, Mac Entyre began pursuing his talent for sketches at the age of twenty...

 (Generative art
Generative art
Generative art refers to art that has been generated, composed, or constructed in an algorithmic manner through the use of systems defined by computer software algorithms, or similar mathematical or mechanical or randomised autonomous processes....

), Guillermo Kuitca
Guillermo Kuitca
Guillermo Kuitca is an Argentinean artist who was born in Buenos Aires in 1961, where he continues to work and live. Kuitca's work has been shown extensively around the globe, and is included in many important public collection, including The Tate Gallery, England; The Metropolitan Museum of Art,...

 (abstract
Abstract art
Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world. Western art had been, from the Renaissance up to the middle of the 19th century, underpinned by the logic of perspective and an...

), and Roberto Aizenberg
Roberto Aizenberg
Roberto Aizenberg was a painter and sculptor...

 (Surrealism
Surrealism
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members....

) are a few of the best-known Argentine painters.

Others include Benito Quinquela Martín
Benito Quinquela Martín
Benito Quinquela Martín , 1890 – January 28, 1977) was an Argentine painter born in La Boca, Buenos Aires. Quinquela Martín is considered the port painter-par-excellence and one of the most popular Argentine painters...

, a quintessential 'port' painter for whom the working class and immigrant-bound La Boca
La Boca
La Boca is a neighborhood, or barrio of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires. It retains a strong European flavour, with many of its early settlers being from the Italian city of Genoa. In fact the name has a strong assonance with the Genoese neighborhood of Boccadasse , and some people believe that...

 neighborhood, in particular, was excellently suited. A similar environment inspired Adolfo Bellocq
Adolfo Bellocq
Adolfo Bellocq was an influential Argentine artist known for his lithographs.Born in Buenos Aires, Bellocq was self-taught in the art of xylography and engraving. He was appointed Director of the Lithography Workshop at Buenos Aires' renowned Ernesto de la Cárcova Fine Arts School, in 1928...

, whose lithographs have been influential since the 1920s. Evocative monuments ny Realist sculptors Erminio Blotta
Erminio Blotta
Erminio Blotta was an Argentine self-taught sculptor of Italian origin.-Biography:He was born in Morano Calabro...

, Lola Mora
Lola Mora
Lola Mora was a sculptor, born in a barn in the , though generally considered native to Trancas, province of Tucumán, where she was recorded and baptized. She is known today as a rebel and a pioneer of women in her artistic field...

 and Rogelio Yrurtia
Rogelio Yrurtia
Rogelio Yrurtia was a renowned Argentine sculptor of the Realist school.-Life and work:Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina to Basque immigrants in 1879, Rogelio Yrurtia enrolled in the local Society for the Promotion of Fine Arts in 1899. A talented student, he quickly earned a scholarship on which...

 became the part of the national landscape and today, Lucio Fontana
Lucio Fontana
Lucio Fontana was an Italian painter, sculptor and theorist of Argentine birth. He was mostly known as the founder of Spatialism and his ties to Arte Povera.-Early life:...

 and León Ferrari
León Ferrari
León Ferrari , is a contemporary conceptual artist.Born in Buenos Aires, Ferrari employs methods such as collage, photocopying and sculpture in wood, plaster or ceramics. He often uses text, particularly newspaper clippings or poetry, in his pieces...

 are acclaimed sculptors
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

 and conceptual art
Conceptual art
Conceptual art is art in which the concept or idea involved in the work take precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns. Many of the works, sometimes called installations, of the artist Sol LeWitt may be constructed by anyone simply by following a set of written instructions...

ists. Ciruelo is a world-famous fantasy artist and sculptor, and Marta Minujín
Marta Minujín
Marta Minujín is an Argentine Conceptual artist.-Life and work:Marta Minujín was born in the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. She met a young economist, Juan Carlos Gómez Sabaini, and married him in secret in 1959; the couple had two children...

 is an innovative Conceptual artist.

Film and theatre



The Argentine film industry
Cinema of Argentina
The cinema of Argentina has a tradition dating back to the late nineteenth century, and continues to play a role in the culture of Argentina....

 creates around 80 full-length motion pictures annually. The per capita number of screens is one of the highest in Latin America, and viewing per capita is the highest in the region. The world's first animated feature films were made and released in Argentina, by cartoonist Quirino Cristiani
Quirino Cristiani
Quirino Cristiani was an Argentine animation director and cartoonist, responsible for the world's first two animated feature films as well as the first animated feature film with sound, even though the only copies of these two films were lost in a fire...

, in 1917 and 1918. Since the 1980s, Argentine films have achieved worldwide recognition, such as The Official Story
The Official Story
The Official Story is a 1985 Argentine drama film directed by Luis Puenzo, and written by Puenzo and Aída Bortnik. It stars Norma Aleandro, Héctor Alterio, and Chunchuna Villafañe, among others. In the United Kingdom, it was released as The Official Version.The film is about an upper middle class...

 (Best foreign film oscar in 1986), Man Facing Southeast
Man Facing Southeast
Man Facing Southeast is a Spanish-language motion picture originally released in Argentina in 1986 as Hombre mirando al sudeste.-Summary:...

, A Place in the World
A Place in the World (film)
A Place in the World is an Argentine drama film co-written, co-produced and directed by Adolfo Aristarain. The film features José Sacristán, Federico Luppi, Leonor Benedetto, and others....

, Nine Queens, Son of the Bride
Son of the Bride
Son of the Bride is an Argentine comedy drama film, directed by Juan José Campanella and written by Campanella and Fernando Castets. The executive producers were Juan Vera and Juan Pablo Galli, and it was produced by Adrián Suar...

, The Motorcycle Diaries
The Motorcycle Diaries (film)
At the end of the film, after his sojourn at the leper colony, Guevara confirms his nascent egalitarian, anti-authority impulses, while making a birthday toast, which is also his first political speech. In it he evokes a pan-Latin American identity that transcends both the arbitrary boundaries of...

, Blessed by Fire
Iluminados Por El Fuego
Blessed by Fire is an Argentine film about the Falklands War written and directed by Tristán Bauer. The film features Gastón Pauls, Pablo Ribba, César Albarracín and Hugo Carrizo among others...

, and The Secret in Their Eyes, winner of the 2009 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
The Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film is one of the Academy Awards of Merit, popularly known as the Oscars, handed out annually by the U.S.-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences...

. A new generation of Argentine directors has caught the attention of critics worldwide. Argentine composers Luis Enrique Bacalov and Gustavo Santaolalla
Gustavo Santaolalla
Gustavo Alfredo Santaolalla is an Argentine musician, film composer and producer. He has won two Academy Awards for Best Original Score in two consecutive years, for Brokeback Mountain in 2005 and Babel in 2006.-Life and career:...

 have been honored with Academy Award for Best Original Score
Academy Award for Best Original Score
The Academy Award for Original Score is presented to the best substantial body of music in the form of dramatic underscoring written specifically for the film by the submitting composer.-Superlatives:...

 nods. Lalo Schifrin
Lalo Schifrin
Lalo Schifrin is an Argentine composer, pianist and conductor. He is best known for his film and TV scores, such as the "Theme from Mission: Impossible". He has received four Grammy Awards and six Oscar nominations...

 has received numerous Grammys and is best known for the Theme from Mission: Impossible
Theme from Mission: Impossible
"Theme from Mission: Impossible" was the theme tune of the TV series Mission: Impossible . The theme was written and composed by Lalo Schifrin and has since gone on to appear in several other works of the Mission: Impossible franchise, including the 1988 TV series, the film series and the video...

.

Buenos Aires is one of the great capitals of theater. The Teatro Colón is a national landmark for opera and classical performances; its acoustics are considered the best in the world. With its theatre scene of national and international caliber, Corrientes Avenue
Corrientes Avenue
Avenida Corrientes is one of the principal thoroughfares of the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires. The street is intimately tied to the tango and the porteño sense of identity...

 is synonymous with the art. It is thought of as 'the street that never sleeps' and sometimes referred to as the Broadway of Buenos Aires. The Teatro General San Martín
Teatro General San Martín
The Teatro General San Martin is an important public theater in Buenos Aires, located on Corrientes Avenue and adjacent to the cultural center of the same name...

 is one of the most prestigious along Corrientes Avenue and the Teatro Nacional Cervantes
Cervantes Theatre (Buenos Aires)
The Cervantes National Theatre in Buenos Aires is the national stage and comedy theatre of Argentina.-History:The Cervantes Theatre of Buenos Aires owes its existence, in part, to the 1897 relocation to Argentina of Spanish theatre producer María Guerrero and her company, who popularized...

 functions as the national stage theater of Argentina. The Teatro Argentino de La Plata
Teatro Argentino de La Plata
The Teatro Argentino de La Plata is the second most important lyric opera house in Argentina, after the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. The Teatro Argentino is located in a central block of the city of La Plata, the capital of Buenos Aires Province...

, El Círculo in Rosario
Rosario
Rosario is the largest city in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina. It is located northwest of Buenos Aires, on the western shore of the Paraná River and has 1,159,004 residents as of the ....

, Independencia
Teatro Independencia
The Teatro Independencia is the premier performing arts venue in Mendoza, Argentina.-History and overview:The theatre resulted from a provincial project for the creation of a hub for tourism along Independence Square, downtown...

 in Mendoza and Libertador
Libertador Theatre
The Libertador San Martín Theatre is the premier stage theatre, opera house and concert hall in Córdoba, Argentina.-Overview:...

 in Córdoba are also prominent. Griselda Gambaro
Griselda Gambaro
Griselda Gambaro is an Argentine writer, whose novels, plays, short stories, story tales, essays and novels for teenagers often concern the political violence in her home country that would develop into the Dirty War. One recurring theme is the desaparecidos and the attempts to recover their...

, Copi
Copi
Raúl Damonte Botana , better known by the nom de plume Copi , was an Argentine writer, cartoonist, and playwright who spent most of his career in Paris.-Biography:Damonte spent most of his youth in Montevideo...

, Roberto Cossa
Roberto Cossa
Roberto Cossa is a prominent Argentine playwright and theatre director.-Life and work:Roberto Cossa was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and raised in the quiet residential borough of Villa del Parque. He first performed in theatre at the age of 17 and, in 1957, he and friends founded the San...

, Marco Denevi
Marco Denevi
Marco Denevi was an Argentine award-winning author of novels and short stories, as well as a lawyer and journalist. His work is characterized by its originiality and depth, as well as a criticism of human incompetence. His first work, a mystery called Rosaura a las diez , was a Kraft award...

, Carlos Gorostiza
Carlos Gorostiza
Carlos Gorostiza is a prominent Argentine playwright, theatre director and novelist.-Life and work:Carlos Gorostiza was born to Basque Argentine parents in the upscale Buenos Aires borough of Palermo...

, and Alberto Vaccarezza
Alberto Vaccarezza
Bartolomé Ángel Venancio Alberto Vaccarezza was an Argentine poet and playwright.Vaccarezza was born in Buenos Aires on April 1, 1886. He is usually credited as the foremost exponent of the sainete genre, having written its most popular play, El Conventillo de La Paloma...

 are a few of the more prominent Argentine playwrights. Julio Bocca
Julio Bocca
Julio Bocca is one of the most important ballet dancers of the later part of the 20th century and arguably the most important Argentine dancer of all time....

, Jorge Donn
Jorge Donn
Jorge Donn, born in El Palomar, Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 25 February 1947, was an internationally-known ballet dancer, he was best known for his work with the Maurice Béjart's Ballet company, and his participation as lead dancer in Claude Lelouch's film Les Uns et les Autres. He died of AIDS on...

, José Neglia
José Neglia
José Neglia was a notable Argentine ballerino, who perhaps more than any other figure, helped popularize the classical ballet in his country.-Life and work:...

 and Norma Fontenla
Norma Fontenla
Norma Fontenla was an Argentine prima ballerina.-Life and work:Fontenla was born in 1930, and while still a child, began attending the National Conservatory of Music and Scenic Art, in Buenos Aires. She was later accepted into the dance school of the Colón Theatre, the nation's premier opera house...

 are some of the great ballet dancers of the modern era.

Music




Tango, the music and lyrics (often sung in a form of slang called lunfardo
Lunfardo
Lunfardo is a dialect originated and developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the lower classes in Buenos Aires and the surrounding Gran Buenos Aires, and from there spread to other cities nearby, such as Rosario and Montevideo, cities with similar socio-cultural situations...

), is Argentina's musical symbol. The golden age of tango (1930 to mid-1950s) mirrored that of Jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 and Swing in the United States, featuring large orchestral groups too, like the bands of Osvaldo Pugliese
Osvaldo Pugliese
Osvaldo Pedro Pugliese was an Argentine tango musician. He developed dramatic arrangements that retained strong elements of the walking beat of salon tango but also heralded the development of concert-style tango music.Some of his music, mostly since the 50s, is used for theatrical dance...

, Anibal Troilo
Aníbal Troilo
Aníbal Carmelo Troilo was an Argentine tango musician.Anibal Troilo was a bandoneon player, composer, and bandleader in Argentina. His orquesta típica was among the most popular with social dancers during the golden age of tango , but he changed to a concert sound by the late 1950s...

, Francisco Canaro
Francisco Canaro
Francisco Canaro was an Uruguayan-Argentine violinist and tango orchestra leader.His parents, Italians emigrated to Uruguay, and later - when Francisco Canaro was less than 10 years old, they emigrated to Buenos Aires in the late nineteenth century. Canaro was born in San José de Mayo, Uruguay,...

, Julio de Caro
Julio de Caro
Julio de Caro was an Argentine composer, musician and conductor prominent in the Tango genre.-Life and work:...

 and Juan D'Arienzo
Juan D'Arienzo
Juan d'Arienzo was an Argentine tango musician, also known as "El Rey del Compás" . Departing from other orchestras of the golden age, D'Arienzo returned to the 2x4 feel that characterized music of the old guard, but he used more modern arrangements and instrumentation...

. Incorporating acoustic music
Acoustic music
Acoustic music comprises music that solely or primarily uses instruments which produce sound through entirely acoustic means, as opposed to electric or electronic means...

 and later, synthesizers into the genre after 1955, bandoneon
Bandoneón
The bandoneón is a type of concertina particularly popular in Argentina and Uruguay. It plays an essential role in the orquesta típica, the tango orchestra...

 virtuoso Ástor Piazzolla
Ástor Piazzolla
Ástor Pantaleón Piazzolla was an Argentine tango composer and bandoneón player. His oeuvre revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music...

 popularized "new tango"
Nuevo tango
Tango Nuevo - either a form of music in which new elements are incorporated into traditional Argentine tango, or an evolution of tango dance that began to develop in the 1980s...

 creating a more subtle, intellectual and listener-oriented trend. Today tango enjoys worldwide popularity; ever-evolving, neo-tango is a global phenomenon with renown groups like Tanghetto
Tanghetto
Tanghetto is a musical group based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and one of the most important on the neo tango scene.The style of Tanghetto is a blend of tango and electronic music. Formed in 2001 by producer and composer/songwriter Max Masri . Then Max Masri asked guitarist and composer Diego S...

, Bajofondo and the Gotan Project
Gotan Project
Gotan Project is a musical group based in Paris, consisting of musicians Philippe Cohen Solal , Eduardo Makaroff , and Christoph H. Müller .-History:...

.

Argentine rock
Argentine rock
Argentine rock , is composed or made by Argentine bands or artists, in the Spanish language. For nearly half a century it has been a major popular genre, and it is considered part of the popular music tradition of Argentina alongside Argentine Tango, and Argentine folk music.The moment when...

 developed as a distinct musical style in the mid-1960s, when Buenos Aires and Rosario became cradles of several garage groups and aspiring musicians. Today it is widely considered the most prolific and successful form of Rock en Español
Rock en Español
Rock en español is the Spanish-language rock music. While the term is used widely in English, it is used in Spanish mainly to distinguish such music from "Anglo rock." It is a style of rock music that developed in Latin American countries and Latino communities, along with other genres like...

. Bands such as Soda Stereo
Soda Stereo
Soda Stereo were an Argentine rock band who are recognized as one of the most influential and important Latin American and Ibero-American bands of all time...

 or Sumo
Sumo (band)
Sumo was a 1980s Argentine alternative rock band, merging post-punk with reggae and ska. Headed by Italian-born Luca Prodan, it remained underground for most of its short activity, but was extremely influential in shaping contemporary Argentine rock. Sumo introduced British post-punk to the...

, and composers like Charly García
Charly García
Charly García is a singer-songwriter, pianist and keyboardist from Argentina with a long career in rock music, forming successful groups such as Sui Generis and Serú Girán, cult status groups like La Máquina de Hacer Pájaros, and as a solo musician.-Early years:Charly García was the eldest son in...

, Luis Alberto Spinetta
Luis Alberto Spinetta
Luis Alberto Spinetta , is an Argentine musician. He is one of the most influential rock musicians of South America, and together with Charly García is considered the father of Argentine rock. He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in the residential neighbourhood of Belgrano...

, and Fito Páez
Fito Páez
Rodolfo "Fito" Páez Ávalos is an Argentine popular rock and roll pianist, lyricist, Spanish language singer and film director.-Early career:...

 are referents of national culture. Seru Giran
Seru Giran
Serú Girán was an Argentinian rock supergroup. From 1978 the group consisted of Charly García , David Lebón , Pedro Aznar , and Oscar Moro . It is considered one of the best in the history of Argentine rock, both musically, and conceptually and staging...

 bridged the gap into the 1980s, when Argentine bands became popular across Latin America and elsewhere. Current popular bands include: Babasonicos
Babasónicos
Babasónicos is an Argentine rock band, formed in the early 1990s along with others such as Peligrosos Gorriones and Los Brujos. After emerging in the wave of Argentine New Rock bands of the late '80s and early '90s, Babasonicos became one of the banner groups of the "sonic" underground rock...

, Rata Blanca
Rata Blanca
Rata Blanca is a heavy metal band from Argentina formed in the 1980s.-Biography:The band was founded by Walter Giardino after he left V8. Rata Blanca played together for about two years before their debut on August 15, 1987 in the theater "Luz y Fuerza" in Buenos Aires...

, Horcas
Horcas
Horcas is a heavy metal band from Argentina created in 1988 by Osvaldo Civile, former guitarist for V8, Argentina’s landmark heavy metal outfit in the 1980s. After quitting V8 in 1985, and impressed by the new generation of thrash metal bands from the Bay Area led by Metallica, Civile set out to...

, Attaque 77
Attaque 77
Attaque 77 is an Argentine rock group formed in 1987.-History:Formed in 1987 as a group of friends who got together to play their favorite songs, most of them by The Ramones, their favorite band and the one that influenced them the most...

, Bersuit, Los Piojos
Los Piojos
Los Piojos were a rock band from Argentina, highly popular, and one of the seminal bands of the 1990s Argentine suburban rock movement.As with most suburban rock bands, their formative sound owes a significant amount to the style of the Rolling Stones...

, Intoxicados
Cristian Álvarez (musician)
Cristian Pity Álvarez is an Argentine rock musician born June 28 in 1972 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was raised at the Piedrabuena Complex, western part of the city....

, Catupecu Machu
Catupecu Machu
Catupecu Machu is an Argentine rock band, usually classified as within Rock en Español. Its current band members are Fernando Ruíz Díaz in voices and guitar; Sebastián Cáceres in bass guitar; Javier "Il Grosso" Herrlein in drums and accordion; and Macabre in keyboards and samplers.-Biography:The...

, Carajo
Carajo
Carajo is a rock band from Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was formed in 2001 with Marcelo "Corvata" Corvalan on bass and vocals, Andres "Andy" Vilanova on drums and Hernan "Tery" Langer on guitar and backing vocals...

 and Miranda!
Miranda!
Miranda! is an Argentine electro pop band formed in 2001. Band members include Alejandro Sergi , Juliana Gattas , Lolo Fuentes , Bruno de Vincenti , and since 2003, Nicolás Grimaldi...

.

European classical music is well represented in Argentina. Buenos Aires is home to the world-renowned Colón Theater
Colón Theater
To Redirect to homonymous theatre in Bogotá see Teatro de Cristobal ColónThe Teatro Colón is the main opera house in Buenos Aires, Argentina, acoustically considered to be amongst the five best concert venues in the world.The present Colón replaced an original theatre which opened in 1857...

. Classical musicians, such as Martha Argerich
Martha Argerich
Martha Argerich is an Argentine pianist.-Early life:Argerich was born in Buenos Aires and started playing the piano at age three...

, Eduardo Alonso-Crespo
Eduardo Alonso-Crespo
Eduardo Alonso-Crespo is an Argentine composer of classical music.- Biography :Argentine composer and conductor Eduardo Alonso-Crespo was born in San Miguel de Tucumán in 1956, and grew up in the neighboring city of Salta, in Northwestern Argentina...

, Daniel Barenboim
Daniel Barenboim
Daniel Barenboim, KBE is an Argentinian-Israeli pianist and conductor. He has served as music director of several major symphonic and operatic orchestras and made numerous recordings....

, Eduardo Delgado
Eduardo Delgado
Eduardo Delgado is an Argentine classical pianist and teacher, currently living in California. Born in Rosario, Argentina, he is a recipient of the Vladimir Horowitz Award and has received grants from the Mozarteum Argentino, Martha Baird Rockefeller, and the Concert Artists Guild. In 1999, he was...

 and Alberto Lysy
Alberto Lysy
Alberto Lysy was a prestigious Argentine violinist and conductor.-Life and work:Alberto Lysy was born in Buenos Aires to Ukrainian immigrants in 1935. At age five, his father introduced him to the violin. Lysy left school at age 13 to devote more time to the instrument, and was subsequently...

, and classical composers such as Juan José Castro
Juan José Castro
Juan José Castro was an Argentine composer and conductor.Born in Avellaneda, Castro studied piano and violin under Manuel Posadas and composition under Eduarno Fornarini, in Buenos Aires. In the 1920s he was awarded the Europa Prize, and then went on to study in Paris at the Schola Cantorum under...

 and Alberto Ginastera
Alberto Ginastera
Alberto Evaristo Ginastera was an Argentine composer of classical music. He is considered one of the most important Latin American classical composers.- Biography :...

 are internationally acclaimed. Some cities have annual events and important classical music festivals like Semana Musical Llao Llao
Semana Musical Llao Llao
Semana Musical Llao Llao is a classical music festival in Argentina. The festival was created in 1993 and is held at the Llao Llao Hotel, near Bariloche. The Festival breaks through the Argentine tradition, and brings classical music to the foothills of the Andes...

 in San Carlos de Bariloche
San Carlos de Bariloche
San Carlos de Bariloche, usually known as Bariloche, is a city in the , situated in the foothills of the Andes on the southern shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake and is located inside Nahuel Huapi National Park...

 and the multitudinous Amadeus in Buenos Aires.

Beyond dozens of regional dances, a national Argentine folk style emerged in the 1930s. Perón
Juan Perón
Juan Domingo Perón was an Argentine military officer, and politician. Perón was three times elected as President of Argentina though he only managed to serve one full term, after serving in several government positions, including the Secretary of Labor and the Vice Presidency...

's Argentina would give rise to Nueva Canción
Nueva canción
Nueva canción is a movement and genre within Latin American and Iberian music of folk music, folk-inspired music and socially committed music...

, as artists began expressing in their music objections to political themes. The style went on to influence the entirety of Latin American music
Latin American music
Latin American music, found within Central and South America, is a series of musical styles and genres that mixes influences from Spanish, African and indigenous sources, that has recently become very famous in the US.-Argentina:...

. Today, Chango Spasiuk
Chango Spasiuk
Horacio "Chango" Spasiuk is an Argentine chamamé musician and accordion player.Of Ukrainian grandparents, El Chango had a strong Polka music influence from his early days; Eastern European musical influences were also already present in the chamamé music of the region...

 and Soledad Pastorutti
Soledad Pastorutti
Soledad "La Sole" Pastorutti is an Argentine folk singer, who brought the genre to the younger generations at the end of the 20th century, and the beginning of the 21st....

 have brought folk back to younger generations. Leon Gieco
León Gieco
Raúl Alberto Antonio Gieco, better known as León Gieco is a pop-folk music composer and interpreter. He is known for mixing popular folkloric genres with Argentine rock, and for lyrics with social and political connotations...

's folk-rock bridged the gap between Argentine folklore and Argentine rock, introducing both styles to millions overseas in successive tours.

Media



The print media industry is highly developed and independent of the government, with more than two hundred newspapers. The major national newspapers are from Buenos Aires, including the centrist Clarín
Clarín (newspaper)
Clarín is the largest newspaper in Argentina, published by the Grupo Clarín media group. It was founded by Roberto Noble on 28 August 1945. It is politically centrist but popularly understood to oppose the Kirchner government...

, the best-selling daily in Latin America and the second most widely circulated in the Spanish-speaking world. Other nationally circulated papers are La Nación (center-right, published since 1870), Página/12
Página/12
Página/12 is a newspaper based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.Página/12 was founded on May 25, 1987, by journalist Jorge Lanata in association with writer Osvaldo Soriano and investigative journalist Horacio Verbitsky...

 (left-wing), Ámbito Financiero
Ámbito Financiero
Ámbito Financiero is an Argentine newspaper founded on December 9, 1976 by economist Julio A. Ramos. It was initially sold in downtown Buenos Aires, covering mainly the daily prices of the U.S. dollar, gold, stocks, etc., and included other editorials....

 (business conservative), Olé (sports) and Crónica
Crónica (newspaper)
Crónica is a newspaper published in Buenos Aires, Argentina.Founded on July 29, 1963, by publisher Héctor Ricardo García, it became well known for its oversized headlines and yellow press approach; as García explained: "we needed a strident daily, with large and shocking headlines, like the kind...

 (populist). The most circulated newsmagazine is Noticias
Noticias (magazine)
Noticias de la Semana is a weekly newsmagazine in Spanish published in Argentina, where it is known simply as Noticias . Founded and published by Jorge Fontevecchia in a format similar to U.S...

.

Radio broadcasting in Argentina is predated only by radio in the United States
Radio in the United States
Radio is one of the major mass media of the United States.-History:The beginning of regular commercially licensed sound broadcasting in the United States in 1920 ended the print monopoly over the media and opened the doors to the more immediate and pervasive electronic media...

, and began on 27 August 1920, when Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...

's Parsifal
Parsifal
Parsifal is an opera in three acts by Richard Wagner. It is loosely based on Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, the 13th century epic poem of the Arthurian knight Parzival and his quest for the Holy Grail, and on Chrétien de Troyes' Perceval, the Story of the Grail.Wagner first conceived the work...

 was broadcast by a team of medical students led Enrique Susini
Enrique Telémaco Susini
Enrique Telémaco Susini was an Argentine entrepreneur and media pioneer.In 1920, Susini led the effort for the first radio broadcast in Argentina, and subsequently established one of the earliest regular radio stations in the world...

 in Buenos Aires' Teatro Coliseo. There are currently 260 AM broadcasting
AM broadcasting
AM broadcasting is the process of radio broadcasting using amplitude modulation. AM was the first method of impressing sound on a radio signal and is still widely used today. Commercial and public AM broadcasting is carried out in the medium wave band world wide, and on long wave and short wave...

 and 1150 FM broadcasting
FM broadcasting
FM broadcasting is a broadcasting technology pioneered by Edwin Howard Armstrong which uses frequency modulation to provide high-fidelity sound over broadcast radio. The term "FM band" describes the "frequency band in which FM is used for broadcasting"...

 radio stations in Argentina.

The Argentine television industry is large and diverse, widely viewed in Latin America, and its productions seen around the world. Argentines enjoy the highest availability of cable and satellite television in Latin America, similar to percentages in North America.

Argentine comic artists have contributed prominently to national culture, including Alberto Breccia
Alberto Breccia
Alberto Breccia was an Uruguay-born Argentine comics artist and writer.-Biography:Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Breccia moved with his parents to Buenos Aires, Argentina when he was three years old...

, Dante Quinterno
Dante Quinterno
Dante Quinterno was an Argentine comics artist, famous for being the creator of the Patoruzú, Isidoro Cañones and Patoruzito characters....

, Oski
Oscar Conti (Oski)
Oscar "Oski" Conti was a prominent Argentine cartoonist and humorist.-Life and work:Oscar Esteban Conti was born in Buenos Aires in 1914. Enrolling at the National Fine Arts School, he helped finance his studies by creating caricatures for local advertisers...

, Francisco Solano López, Horacio Altuna
Horacio Altuna
Horacio Altuna is an Argentine comics artist.-Biography:Born in Córdoba, Altuna made his debut in the comics world in 1965 for publisher Editorial Columbia...

, Guillermo Mordillo
Guillermo Mordillo
Guillermo Mordillo , known simply as Mordillo, is a creator of cartoons and animations and was one of the most widely published cartoonists of the 1970s...

, Roberto Fontanarrosa
Roberto Fontanarrosa
Roberto Alfredo Fontanarrosa was an Argentine cartoonist and writer. He created the characters Inodoro Pereyra, a fictional gaucho, and Boogie, el aceitoso, a fictional serial killer.-Early life:...

, whose grotesque characters captured life's absurdities with quick-witted commentary, and Quino
Quino
Joaquín Salvador Lavado, better known by his pen name Quino is an Argentine cartoonist. His comic strip Mafalda is very popular in Latin America and many parts of Europe.-Early life and work:...

, known for the soup-hating Mafalda
Mafalda
Mafalda is a comic strip written and drawn by Argentine cartoonist Joaquín Salvador Lavado, better known by his pen name Quino. The strip features a 6-year-old girl named Mafalda, who is deeply concerned about humanity and world peace and rebels against the current state of the world...

 and her comic strip
Comic strip
A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions....

 gang of childhood friends.

Sports


The official national sport of Argentina is pato
Pato
Pato is a game played on horseback that combine elements from polo and basketball. It is the national sport of Argentina.Pato is Spanish for "duck", as early games used a live duck inside a basket instead of a ball. Accounts of early versions of pato have been written since 1610. The playing field...

, played with a six-handle ball on horseback, but the most popular sport is association football. The national football team
Argentina national football team
The Argentina national football team represents Argentina in association football and is controlled by the Argentine Football Association , the governing body for football in Argentina. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti and their head coach is Alejandro...

 has won 25 major international titles including two FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup, often simply the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association , the sport's global governing body...

s, two Olympic gold medals and fourteen Copa América
Copa América
The Copa América —previously known as South American Championship—is an international football competition contested between the men's national teams of CONMEBOL, the sport's continental governing body...

s. Over one thousand Argentine players play abroad, the majority of them in European football leagues. There are 331,811 registered football players, with increasing numbers of girls and women, who have organized their own national championships since 1991 and were South American champions in 2006.

The Argentine Football Association
Argentine Football Association
The Argentine Football Association is the governing body of football in Argentina. It organises the Argentine football league and the Argentina national football team. It is based in Buenos Aires...

 (AFA) was formed in 1893 and is the eighth oldest national football association in the world. The AFA today counts 3,377 football clubs, including 20 in the Premier Division. Since the AFA went professional in 1931, fifteen teams have won national tournament titles, including River Plate
Club Atlético River Plate
Club Atlético River Plate is an Argentine sports club based in the Nuñez neighborhood of Buenos Aires. It is best known for its professional football team, which currently competes in Nacional B, the second tier of Argentine football....

 with 33 and Boca Juniors
Boca Juniors
Club Atlético Boca Juniors is an Argentine sports club based in La Boca neighborhood of Buenos Aires. It is best known for its professional football team, which currently plays in the Primera División....

 with 24. Over the last twenty years, futsal and beach soccer have become increasingly popular. The Argentine beach football team was one of four competitors in the first international championship for the sport, in Miami, in 1993.

Basketball is the second most popular sport; a number of basketball players play in the U.S. National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 and European leagues including Manu Ginóbili
Manu Ginobili
Emanuel David "Manu" Ginóbili is an Argentine professional basketball player. Coming from a family of professional basketball players, he is a member of the Argentine men's national basketball team and the San Antonio Spurs in the National Basketball Association .Ginóbili spent the early part of...

, Andrés Nocioni
Andrés Nocioni
Andrés Marcelo Nocioni is an Argentine professional basketball player. He is under contract with the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers, but is playing for Peñarol de Mar del Plata during the NBA lockout. A regular member of the Argentine national team, Nocioni was part of the team that won a gold medal at...

, Carlos Delfino
Carlos Delfino
Carlos Francisco Delfino is an Argentine professional basketball player. He also has Italian citizenship. Delfino plays at the small forward and shooting guard positions. He stands tall and weighs . He is also noted for his defensive skills...

, Luis Scola
Luis Scola
Luis Alberto Scola Balvoa is an Argentine professional basketball player. The power forward-center for the Argentine national team is currently signed with the NBA's Houston Rockets. He formerly was a Euroleague star with the ACB's Saski Baskonia...

 and Fabricio Oberto
Fabricio Oberto
Fabricio Raúl Jesús Oberto is an Argentine professional basketball player. At and , he plays as a center. With Liga Nacional de Básquet in his native Argentina, Oberto began playing professionally in 1993 and later played overseas with teams in Spain and Greece...

. The men's national basketball team won Olympic gold in the 2004 Olympics
Basketball at the 2004 Summer Olympics
Basketball at the 2004 Summer Olympics took place at the Helliniko Olympic Indoor Arena in Athens, Greece for the preliminary rounds, with the latter stages being held in the Olympic Indoor Hall at the Athens Olympic Sports Complex....

 and the bronze medal in 2008
Basketball at the 2008 Summer Olympics
Basketball contests at the 2008 Olympic Games were held from August 9, 2008 to August 24, 2008. Competitions were held at the Wukesong Indoor Stadium in Beijing, China...

. Argentina is currently ranked first by the International Basketball Federation
International Basketball Federation
The International Basketball Federation, more commonly known as FIBA , from its French name Fédération Internationale de Basketball, is an association of national organizations which governs international competition in basketball...

. Argentina has an important rugby union football
Rugby union in Argentina
Rugby union is a popular team sport played in Argentina. The first rugby match played in the country dates back to 1873, as the game was introduced by the British...

 team, "Los Pumas
Argentina national rugby union team
The Argentina national rugby team, nicknamed Los Pumas, represents Argentina in international rugby union matches. The team, which plays in sky blue and white jerseys, is organised by the Argentine Rugby Union .Argentina played its first international rugby match in 1910 against a touring British...

", with many of its players playing in Europe. Argentina beat host nation France
France national rugby union team
The France national rugby union team represents France in rugby union. They compete annually against England, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in the Six Nations Championship. They have won the championship outright sixteen times, shared it a further eight times, and have completed nine grand slams...

 twice in the 2007 Rugby World Cup
2007 Rugby World Cup
The 2007 Rugby World Cup was the sixth Rugby World Cup, a quadrennial international rugby union competition inaugurated in 1987. Twenty nations competed for the Webb Ellis Cup in the tournament, which was hosted by France from 7 September to 20 October. France won the hosting rights in 2003,...

, placing them third in the competition. The Pumas are currently eighth in the official world rankings
IRB World Rankings
The IRB World Rankings is a ranking system for men's national teams in rugby union, managed by the International Rugby Board , the sport's governing body. The teams of the IRB's member nations are ranked based on their game results, with the most successful teams being ranked highest...

. Other popular sports include field hockey (particularly amongst women
Las Leonas
Argentina national women's field hockey team represents Argentina in women's field hockey. They are also known by the nickname Las Leonas, meaning "The Lionesses"...

), tennis, auto racing, boxing, volleyball, polo and golf.

The Vamos vamos Argentina
Vamos vamos Argentina
Vamos vamos Argentina is a very popular chant in Argentina, used by supporters in sports events, mainly in football matches of the national team and related celebrations.-Lyrics:In Spanish:English translation:...

 chant is a trademark of Argentine fans during sporting events.

Cuisine



Dishes & drinks from Argentina


Besides many of the pasta, sausage and dessert dishes common to continental Europe, Argentines enjoy a wide variety of Indigenous and Criollo
Criollo people
The Criollo class ranked below that of the Iberian Peninsulares, the high-born permanent residence colonists born in Spain. But Criollos were higher status/rank than all other castes—people of mixed descent, Amerindians, and enslaved Africans...

 creations, which include empanada
Empanada
An empanada is a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries in Latin America, Southern Europe and parts of Southeast Asia. The name comes from the verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. Empanada is made by folding a dough or bread patty around the stuffing...

s (a stuffed pastry), locro
Locro
Locro is a hearty thick stew popular along the Andes mountain range. The dish is a classic Ecuadorian cheese and potato soup from the Ecuadorian cuisine. This is also a dish in Peruvian cuisine, which at one point held the center of the Inca empire. It typical also in Argentina prepared by the...

 (a mixture of corn, beans, meat, bacon, onion, and gourd), humita
Humita
Humita is a Native American dish from pre-Hispanic times, and a traditional food in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. It consists of masa harina and corn, slowly cooked in oil....

s and yerba mate
Mate (beverage)
Mate , also known as chimarrão or cimarrón, is a traditional South American infused drink, particularly in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, southern states of Brazil, south of Chile, the Bolivian Chaco, and to some extent, Syria and Lebanon...

, all originally indigenous Amerindian staples, the latter considered Argentina's national beverage. Other popular items include chorizo
Chorizo
Chorizo is a term encompassing several types of pork sausages originating from the Iberian Peninsula.In English, it is usually pronounced , , or , but sometimes ....

 (a spicy sausage), facturas (Viennese-style
Viennese cuisine
Viennese cuisine is the cuisine that is characteristic of Vienna, Austria, and its residents. Viennese cuisine is often treated as equivalent to Austrian cuisine, but while elements of Viennese cuisine have spread throughout Austria, other Austrian regions have their own unique variations...

 pastry) and Dulce de leche
Dulce de leche
Dulce de leche is a thick,creamy, caramel-like milk-based sauce or spread.Literally translated, dulce de leche means "sweet from milk". It is prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk to create a product that derives its taste from caramelised sugar. It is a popular sweet in Latin America, where...

, a sort of milk caramel
Caramel
Caramel is a beige to dark-brown confection made by heating any of a variety of sugars. It is used as a flavoring in puddings and desserts, as a filling in bonbons, and as a topping for ice cream, custard and coffee....

 jam.

The Argentine barbecue, asado
Asado
Asado is a term used both for a range of barbecue techniques and the social event of having or attending a barbecue in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and southern Brazil. In the former countries asado is also the standard word for barbecue. An asado usually consists of beef alongside various...

 as well as a parrillada, includes various types of meats, among them chorizo, sweetbread
Sweetbread
Sweetbreads or ris are culinary names for the thymus or the pancreas especially of the calf and lamb...

, chitterlings
Chitterlings
Chitterlings are the intestines of a pig, although cattle and other animals' intestines are similarly used, that have been prepared as food. In various countries across the world, such food is prepared and eaten either as part of a daily diet, or at special events, holidays or religious...

, and morcilla (blood sausage
Blood sausage
Black pudding, blood pudding or blood sausage is a type of sausage made by cooking blood or dried blood with a filler until it is thick enough to congeal when cooled. The dish exists in various cultures from Asia to Europe...

). Thin sandwiches, sandwiches de miga
Sandwiches de miga
Sandwiches de miga are popular food items in Argentina where they are consumed mainly at parties. The sandwiches de miga are similar to the English cucumber sandwich, which is a typical tea-time food, and resembles the Italian Tramezzino. They are single or double layered sandwiches, made from a...

, are also popular. Argentines have the highest consumption of red meat
Red meat
Red meat in traditional culinary terminology is meat which is red when raw and not white when cooked. In the nutritional sciences, red meat includes all mammal meat. Red meat includes the meat of most adult mammals and some fowl ....

 in the world.

The Argentine wine
Argentine wine
The Argentine wine industry is the fifth largest producer of wine in the world. Argentine wine, as with some aspects of Argentine cuisine, has its roots in Spain...

 industry, long among the largest outside Europe, has benefited from growing investment since 1992; in 2007, 60% of foreign investment worldwide in viticulture
Viticulture
Viticulture is the science, production and study of grapes which deals with the series of events that occur in the vineyard. When the grapes are used for winemaking, it is also known as viniculture...

 was destined to Argentina. The country is the fifth most important wine producer in the world, with the annual per capita consumption of wine among the highest. Malbec grape, a discardable varietal in France (country of origin), has found in the Province of Mendoza an ideal environment to successfully develop and turn itself into the world's best Malbec
Malbec
Malbec is a purple grape variety used in making red wine. The grapes tend to have an inky dark color and robust tannins, and are long known as one of the six grapes allowed in the blend of red Bordeaux wine. The French plantations of Malbec are now found primarily in Cahors in the South West...

. Mendoza accounts for 70% of the country's total wine production. "Wine tourism
Wine tourism
Wine tourism refers to tourism whose purpose is or includes the tasting, consumption or purchase of wine, often at or near the source. Wine tourism can consist of visits to wineries, vineyards and restaurants known to offer unique vintages, as well as organized wine tours, wine festivals or other...

" is important in Mendoza province, with the impressive landscape of the Cordillera de Los Andes and the highest peak in the Americas, Mount Aconcagua, 6952 m (22,808 ft) high, providing a very desirable destination for international tourism.

National emblems


Argentina has a number of national symbols, some of which are extensively defined by law.

The National Flag
Flag of Argentina
The national flag of Argentina is a triband, composed of three equally wide horizontal bands coloured light blue, white and light blue. There are multiple interpretations on the reasons for those colors...

 consists of three, equal in width, horizontal stripes, colored light blue, white and light blue, with the Sun of May
Sun of May
The Sun of May is one of the national emblems of Argentina and Uruguay, and it is featured on the countries' flags.-Features and specifics:The Sun of May is a representation of the Inca sun god Inti...

 in the centre of the middle, white stripe. The flag was designed by Manuel Belgrano
Manuel Belgrano
Manuel José Joaquín del Corazón de Jesús Belgrano , usually referred to as Manuel Belgrano, was an Argentine economist, lawyer, politician, and military leader. He took part in the Argentine Wars of Independence and created the Flag of Argentina...

 in 1812; it was adopted as a national symbol 20 July 1816. The Coat of Arms of Argentina
Coat of arms of Argentina
The coat of arms of Argentina was established in its current form in 1944, but has its origins in the seal of the General Constituent Assembly of 1813. It is supposed that it was chosen quickly because of the existence of a decree signed on February 22 sealed with the symbol...

, which represents the union of the provinces
Provinces of Argentina
Argentina is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city...

, came into use in 1813 as a seal for official documents.

The Argentine National Anthem
Argentine National Anthem
The Argentine National Anthem is the national anthem of Argentina. The name of the song originally was Marcha Patriótica , and was later renamed Canción Patriótica Nacional and finally Canción Patriótica . A copy published in 1847 called it Himno Nacional Argentino and the name has remained ever...

, adopted in 1813, was written by Vicente López y Planes
Vicente López y Planes
Alejandro Vicente López y Planes was an Argentine writer and politician who acted as interim President of Argentina from July 7, 1827 to August 18, 1827...

 with music by Blas Parera
Blas Parera
Blas Parera was a Spanish music composer. He lived his part of his life in Buenos Aires.He was born in Catalunya, Spain and, in 1797, he moved to Buenos Aires. He contributed in the defence of the port of Buenos Aires during the British invasions of the Río de la Plata...

. It has been subsequently shortened to only three paragraphs, after omitting the lyrics' attacks against former occupant Spain.

The Cockade of Argentina
Cockade of Argentina
The Argentine cockade is one of the national symbols of Argentina, instituted by decree on February 18, 1812 by the First Triumvirate, who determined that "the national cockade of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata shall be of colours white and light blue [...]".The National Cockade Day...

 was first used during the May Revolution
May Revolution
The May Revolution was a week-long series of events that took place from May 18 to 25, 1810, in Buenos Aires, capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish colony that included roughly the territories of present-day Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay...

 of 1810 and was made official two years later. The Hornero
Rufous Hornero
The Rufous Hornero, Furnarius rufus, is a large ovenbird from eastern South America. Also known as the Red Ovenbird, it is a common species of second-growth scrub, pastures and agricultural land, and the species is often seen near areas of human inhabitation...

, habitating practically across all the national territory, was unanimously designated as Argentina's national animal in 1927. The ceibo
Ceibo
*Ceibo is Spanish for Erythrina crista-galli*Ceibo is also one of South America air forces maneuvers*Ceibo is also a manufacturer of Ceibo Emulators*The national tree of Argentina....

 is the country's designated national flower and tree, while the horseback game of pato
Pato
Pato is a game played on horseback that combine elements from polo and basketball. It is the national sport of Argentina.Pato is Spanish for "duck", as early games used a live duck inside a basket instead of a ball. Accounts of early versions of pato have been written since 1610. The playing field...

 is its national sport
National sport
A national sport or national pastime is a sport or game that is considered to be an intrinsic part of the culture of a nation. Some sports are de facto national sports, as baseball is in the U.S., while others are de jure as lacrosse and ice hockey are in Canada.-De jure national sports:-De facto...

.. Asado
Asado
Asado is a term used both for a range of barbecue techniques and the social event of having or attending a barbecue in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and southern Brazil. In the former countries asado is also the standard word for barbecue. An asado usually consists of beef alongside various...

 is the designated national dish
National dish
A national dish is a dish, food or a drink that is considered to represent a particular country, nation or region.A dish can become a national dish for a variety of reasons. It can be the national dish because it is a staple daily food for the majority of the population. It can also be the national...

, the Rhodochrosite
Rhodochrosite
Rhodochrosite is a manganese carbonate mineral with chemical composition MnCO3. In its pure form, it is typically a rose-red color, but impure specimens can be shades of pink to pale brown. The streak is white. Its Mohs hardness varies between 3.5 and 4. Its specific gravity is 3.5 to 3.7. It...

 the national stone, and wine the national liquor.

The Virgin of Lujan
Our Lady of Luján
Our Lady of Luján is a celebrated 16th-century icon of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ. The image, also known as the Virgin of Luján represents a famous Marian advocation. The image still exists; it is on display in the Basilica of Luján in Argentina...

 is Argentina's patron saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

.

Education



After independence Argentina built a national public education system in comparison to other nations, placing the country high in the global rankings of literacy
Literacy
Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

. Today Argentina has a literacy rate of 97%, and three in eight adults over age 20 have completed secondary school studies or higher.

School attendance is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 17. The Argentine school system consists of an elementary or lower school level lasting six or seven years, and a secondary or high school level lasting between five to six years. In the 1990s, the system was split into different types of high school instruction, called Educacion Secundaria and the Polimodal. Some provinces adopted the Polimodal while others did not. A project in the executive branch to repeal this measure and return to a more traditional secondary level system was approved in 2006. President Domingo Faustino Sarmiento is credited with pushing for and implementing a free and modern education system in Argentina. The 1918 university reform shaped the current tripartite representation of most public universities.

Education is funded by tax payers at all levels except for the majority of graduate studies. There are many private school institutions in the primary, secondary and university levels. Around 11.4 million people were enrolled in formal education of some kind in 2006, including 1.5 million in the nation's 85 universities.

Public education in Argentina is tuition-free from the elementary to the university levels. Though literacy was nearly universal as early as 1947, the majority of Argentine youth had little access to education beyond the compulsory seven years of grade school during the first half of the 20th century; since then, when the tuition-free system was extended to the secondary and university levels, demand for these facilities has often outstripped budgets (particularly since the 1970s). Consequently, public education is now widely found wanting and in decline; this has helped private education flourish, though it has also caused a marked inequity between those who can afford it (usually the middle and upper classes) and the rest of society, as private schools often have no scholarship systems in place. Roughly one in four primary and secondary students and one in six university students attend private institutions.

There are thirty-eight public universities across the country, as well as numerous private ones. The University of Buenos Aires
University of Buenos Aires
The University of Buenos Aires is the largest university in Argentina and the largest university by enrollment in Latin America. Founded on August 12, 1821 in the city of Buenos Aires, it consists of 13 faculties, 6 hospitals, 10 museums and is linked to 4 high schools: Colegio Nacional de Buenos...

, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Universidad Nacional de La Plata
Universidad Nacional de La Plata
The National University of La Plata is one of the most important Argentine national universities and the biggest one situated in the city of La Plata, capital of Buenos Aires Province...

, Universidad Nacional de Rosario, and the National Technological University
National Technological University
The National Technological University is a National University of Argentina, specializing in engineering and exact sciences. Hosting over 75,000 students, its student body is comparable to Argentina's third-largest university and exceeded significantly only by the University of Buenos Aires...

 are among the most important. Public universities faced cutbacks in spending during the 1980s and 1990s, which led to a decline in overall quality.

Health care




Health care is provided through a combination of employer and labor union-sponsored plans (Obras Sociales), government insurance plans, public hospitals and clinics and through private health insurance plans. Government efforts to improve public health can be traced to Spanish Viceroy Juan José de Vértiz
Juan José de Vértiz y Salcedo
Juan José de Vértiz y Salcedo was a Spanish colonial politician born in New Spain, and Viceroy of the Río de la Plata.-Biography:...

's first Medical Tribunal of 1780. Following independence, medical school
Medical school
A medical school is a tertiary educational institution—or part of such an institution—that teaches medicine. Degree programs offered at medical schools often include Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Bachelor/Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Philosophy, master's degree, or other post-secondary...

s were established at the University of Buenos Aires (1822) and the National University of Córdoba (1877). The training of doctors and nurses at these and other schools enabled the rapid development of health care cooperatives, which during the presidency of Juan Perón became publicly subsidized Obras Sociales. Today, these number over 300 (of which 200 are related to labor unions
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

) and provide health care for half the population; the national INSSJP (popularly known as PAMI) covers nearly all of the five million senior citizens.

Health care costs amount to almost 10% of GDP and have been growing in pace with the proportion of Argentines over 65 (7% in 1970). Public and private spending have historically split this about evenly: public funds are mainly spent through Obras, which in turn, refer patients needing hospitalization to private and public clinics; private funds are spent evenly between private insurers' coverage and out-of-pocket expenses.

There are more than 153,000 hospital beds, 121,000 physicians and 37,000 dentists (ratios comparable to developed nations
Developed country
A developed country is a country that has a high level of development according to some criteria. Which criteria, and which countries are classified as being developed, is a contentious issue...

). The relatively high access to medical care has historically resulted in mortality patterns and trends similar to developed nations': from 1953 to 2005, deaths from cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular disease
Heart disease or cardiovascular disease are the class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels . While the term technically refers to any disease that affects the cardiovascular system , it is usually used to refer to those related to atherosclerosis...

 increased from 20% to 23% of the total, those from tumors from 14% to 20%, respiratory problems from 7% to 14%, digestive maladies (non-infectious) from 7% to 11%, strokes a steady 7%, injuries, 6%, and infectious
Infection
An infection is the colonization of a host organism by parasite species. Infecting parasites seek to use the host's resources to reproduce, often resulting in disease...

 diseases, 4%. Causes related to senility led to many of the rest. Infant deaths have fallen from 19% of all deaths in 1953 to 3% in 2005.

The availability of health care has also reduced infant mortality
Infant mortality
Infant mortality is defined as the number of infant deaths per 1000 live births. Traditionally, the most common cause worldwide was dehydration from diarrhea. However, the spreading information about Oral Re-hydration Solution to mothers around the world has decreased the rate of children dying...

 from 70 per 1000 live births in 1948 to 12.1 in 2009 and raised life expectancy at birth
Life expectancy
Life expectancy is the expected number of years of life remaining at a given age. It is denoted by ex, which means the average number of subsequent years of life for someone now aged x, according to a particular mortality experience...

 from 60 years to 76. Though these figures compare favorably with global averages, they fall short of levels in developed nations and in 2006, Argentina ranked fourth in Latin America.

See also



  • South America Life Quality Rankings
  • South America Life Quality Rankings - Economy and Finance
  • South America Life Quality Rankings - Law and Justice


External links