Cultural Background for Learning Spanish in Buenos Aires: Argentine History Part IV of IV

Published: 10th January 2012
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The most recent period to examine when considering the cultural background of Argentina is the period that began around 1880 and continues to this day. If you gain an understanding of this more modern period of history, it will help you to have more of an appreciation for the entire region when you attend Spanish immersion school in Buenos Aires. While many people who learn Spanish in Argentina know little about the region's history, if you take the time to learn more it will give your entire experience added depth.

Some important milestones took place in the late part of the 19th century. For example, Argentina and Chile's border disputes resolved through a series of treaties. However, the Long Depression set back Argentina's quickly growing economy. The country's GDP fell quickly by 11% just between 1890-1891 alone.

The next major incident concerning Argentine politics occurred when radicals began to control the government. In the election that took place in 1916 only 745,000 people were allowed to vote even though the population was 7.5 million. In 1918 there was a student movement that began at the University of Cordoba. This turned into the University Reform that actually ended up spreading throughout South America.

Due to the Radicals, Argentina remained neutral during WW1. They ended up even exporting goods and issuing credit to Europe. In 1922, the radical leadership ended when an aristocrat named Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear defeated Yrigoyen. There was a great deal of left-wing activism in the 1920's.

The years between 1930-1943 are considered the Infamous Decade. While Argentina was one of the richest countries in the world in 1929, the Crash of 1929 and Depression ended all of this. Part of the reason this time period was called the Infamous Decade is that there was fraud in elections, and corruption was rampant in the government.

The Revolution of 43 occurred from 1943-1946. During these years, the G.O.U. Grupo de Oficiales Unidos demanded that President Catillo designed. Many say that this was the end of the Infamous Decade. One of the members of the GOU Ramirez took power and stopped supporting the axis powers.

Many are familiar with Juan Peron who became president and started peronism. His wife Eva Peron is also very familiar, especially due to the movie and musical Evita. Juan Peron started a foreign policy that was isolationist and expanded government spending- leading to inflation. He was deposed by the Catholic Church in 1955 and went into exile.

More recently, in 1966-1973, the Revolucion Argentina took place. The goal was to start a new political and social order that opposed democracy that was too liberal as well as communism. As a result, the military took on a stronger role. Peron returned to power in 1973. People hoped that this change would calm things down, as the left was starting up various underground movements. However, Peron's return only created violence between left-wing and right-wing peronism.

Since about 1983, Argentina has returned to democracy. Currently, President Kirchner is in office and the economy has strongly rebounded under his control. Another piece of good news is under the Kirchner administration, the foreign debt of the country has been restructured.

When you attend a Spanish immersion school in Buenos Aires, this is a great opportunity to learn more about the country's modern political scene. Take time to talk to locals and listen in on conversations. You can understand more about history and politics when you learn Spanish in Argentina than you ever could have from a book.


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ECELA Buenos Aires lets you learn Spanish in Argentina year round. The standard course is 20 hours per week with many opportunities to study the national and local cultures as attend the Spanish immersion school in Buenos Aires.

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