- Download our Moving to Argentina Guide (PDF)
- 11,000 BCE: The first indigenous peoples arrive in the region now known as Argentina. Indigenous peoples, including the Inca, Charrúa and Mapuche, live in the region long before the arrival of the Spanish.
- 1438: The Inca Empire has a significant influence on the region, particularly in the northwest of the country. Indigenous communities develop their own unique cultures, languages and social systems which are largely independent of one another.
- 1516: Spanish explorer Juan Díaz de Solís arrives in the Río de la Plata region and claims it for Spain.
- 1536: Spanish explorer Pedro de Mendoza establishes the first settlement in Argentina, named Ciudad de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre (City of Our Lady Saint Mary of the Good Wind) – known nowadays as Buenos Aires.
- During the colonial period, indigenous peoples are forced to work in mines and on large estates, which are controlled by the Spanish. The region also becomes an important centre for the slave trade, with African slaves being brought from Angola through Brazil to work on these estates. Indigenous people of Argentina have been treated like second-class citizens into the 21st century.
- 1776: The Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata is created, including present-day Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and parts of Bolivia and Brazil. The capital is Buenos Aires.
Independence and early nationalism
- 1810: The May Revolution in Buenos Aires marks the beginning of the Argentine War of Independence.
- 1816: The Argentine Declaration of Independence is proclaimed, marking the beginning of the country's journey towards independence.
- 1820: The Battle of Cepeda marks the beginning of a period of civil wars known as the Argentine Confederation. The early years of independence are characterised by political instability and conflict, including the Argentine Civil Wars of the 1820s and 1830s.
- 1852: The Battle of Caseros ends the Argentine Confederation.
- 1853: The Argentine Constitution is enacted, establishing a federal system and a presidential republic.
- 1862: Buenos Aires becomes the capital of Argentina.
- 1868: Domingo Faustino Sarmiento becomes President and initiates a period of modernisation and expansion.
- 1878–1884: The Conquest of the Desert, a military campaign led by the Argentine army, results in the subjugation of indigenous peoples in Patagonia and the expansion of Argentine territory.
- 1930: A military coup overthrows President Hipólito Yrigoyen and begins a period of authoritarian rule known as the Infamous Decade.
The Age of Perón
- 1946: The Perónist movement, led by General Juan Perón, gains control of the government and begins a period of political, social and economic transformation.
- Perón's policies focus on improving the lives of the working class, including the implementation of social security, labour laws, and other protections for workers. The country also experiences significant industrialisation, with the expansion of manufacturing and the growth of the automobile and steel industries.
- Perón's government is also characterised by authoritarianism, censorship and political repression, particularly towards opponents of the government.
- 1955: A military coup overthrows Perón and begins a period of political instability known as the Liberating Revolution.
- 1966: A military coup led by General Juan Carlos Onganía begins a period of authoritarian rule known as the Argentine Revolution. The dictatorship lasts until 1970.
- 1973: Juan Perón returns to power. After his death in 1974, his third wife, Vice-President Isabel Perón succeeds him.
- 1976: A military coup overthrows President Isabel Perón and begins a period of state terrorism known as the Dirty War. The dictatorship of Jorge Rafael Videla, who rules with an iron fist for seven years, is characterised by widespread human rights abuses, including the torture, disappearance and murder of political opponents.
- 1982: Argentina invades the Falkland Islands, which are administered by the United Kingdom. The ensuing conflict lasts for several months and results in the defeat of the Argentine military. The war has significant political consequences in Argentina, leading to the downfall of the military dictatorship and the restoration of democracy.
- 1983: Democracy is restored.
- 1990: Argentina restores full diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom, although Argentina maintains claim to Falklands.
- 1992: Argentina introduces a new currency, the peso, which is pegged to the US dollar.
- 1999: Fernando de la Rua of the centre-left Alianza opposition coalition wins the presidency, and inherits 114 billion-dollar public debt after a year of recession in the country.
- 2001: Argentina experiences a severe economic crisis that results in a default on its foreign debt, widespread unemployment and social unrest. The crisis has significant political consequences, leading to the resignation of the president and the rise of a new political movement known as the piqueteros.
- 2003–2014: Argentina is governed by Nestor Kirchner and his wife, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. The Kirchners implement a series of social and economic policies aimed at reducing poverty and promoting social justice, including increases in public spending, subsidies for the poor and nationalisation of several industries. Their governments are also marked by conflicts with the media, the judiciary and the business sector.
- 2014: Argentina defaults on its international debt for the second time in 13 years, after failing to resolve its differences with US hedge funds, holding 1.3 billion dollars worth of bonds, bought at a discount after the country last defaulted.
- 2020: The Covid-19 pandemic hits Argentina, leading to widespread lockdowns and economic disruption. The government implements measures to support vulnerable populations and stimulate the economy, but the country continues to face significant challenges.
►To learn more about life in Argentina, read Culture Shock in Argentina
Are you an expat living in Argentina?
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