A continuation of a Marxist history of Argentina:
Civil Wars, Paraguay War and the moulding of a semicolony


Here goes the second part of the 3rd. installment. I will leave you just at the moment when the first Left wing immigrants come down from the ships.

I hope you find all this useful.

Nestor. Third installment, part two

Civil Wars, Paraguay War and the moulding of a semicolony

We had finished the first part of our third installment with the battle of Caseros, in 1852 (not 1853, it was a typo: 1853 is the year of the Constitution). Caseros is a meaningful moment in Argentine history, and in many respects in the history of Uruguay and Paraguay.

The final result of Caseros was that Argentina split in two. The policy of the Federal leader of Buenos Aires Juan Manuel de Rosas had reached a stalemate and, eventually, a blind end. Rosas had kept the Inland provinces in disarray by constantly delaying the constitutional congress, arguing that until the provinces did not have their own domestic matters arranged, it was pointless to imagine that they could arrange the whole of the Confederation. This was a trick, of course, since the domestic matters of the provinces could only be arranged if and when the port of Buenos Aires and the Customs House were put under the rule of the whole set of provinces and not of Buenos Aires only. And in order for this to happen, a Constitution was needed.

This was clear for the Litoral provinces and for Entre Rios in particular: during the Anglo-French blockades to Buenos Aires in the 40s, the Entrerrianos had discovered that a large inflow of riches was entering their province through the minor trade that had passed through their ports on the Uruguay river (Concepciˇn del Uruguay, Concordia, Gualeguaych˙) because, with the blockade working, the commercial classes of Buenos Aires could not strictly enforce their dictatorship of the only port. What would not happen when Buenos Aires were subject to the will of the whole country?

So that the leaders of the Litoral, at last, rose against the Federals in Buenos Aires, with the support of the whole Federal party of the Inland country and, for very different reasons, of Brazil and of the Unitary party of Buenos Aires. The Brazilian intervention would be explained later, during the bloody Paraguay war, so we shall leave it behind for a while. What matters now is that the Unitary party of Buenos Aires had learnt nothing from the past and, at the same time, one man within the party had learnt everything that had to be learnt. This man was Bartolome Mitre, a figure that will appear once and again in our history, and will be of particular importance through his hegemonic influence over the immigrants and the "progressives" after 1875. His first political task was to secede Buenos Aires from the rest of the country. A State of Buenos Aires and a Confederate Argentine State would appear within a couple of years.

1. A House divided in South America <