Like most of the countries, the history of Argentina has both glorious and dark days. Historians divide its history into four main phases: the pre-Columbian phase, the colonial phase, the nation-building phase, and modern Argentina.
The pre-Columbian phase starts from the earliest settlements of humans in the region what we today call Argentina and goes up to the sixteenth century. Archaeologists have found evidence of the earliest human settlements in the South of Patagonia about 13,000 years ago. During this period, most of the region was very thinly populated. Many native tribes continued to grow without any significant invader until the arrival of the Inca Empire. In the late fifteenth century, Topa Inca Yupanqui conquered the natives to ensure an adequate supply of metals. But his reign lasted only for half of a century. The arrival of the Spanish challenged the Inca Empire.
The colonial phase is assumed to start from 1530, but the actual date of its inception is 1502 when Amerigo Vespucci reached the land during a voyage. Spanish navigators Juan Diaz De Solis and Sebastian Cabot also reached the same territories in the later decades. The written history of Argentina started when Juan Diaz De Solis reached Río de la Plata in 1516. In 1536 by Pedro de Mendoza, a small settlement was established, one by Juan de Garay in 1580 and another by Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera in 1573. These were some small establishments that didn’t make any significant change. But the region's status was uplifted to a large extent in 1776 when the Spanish established the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. This Viceroyalty contained today’s many countries and their small parts. The British attacked the region in 1806 but were defeated by Santiago de Linears. There was a call for independence in the region after the beginning of the Peninsular War. The May Revolution of 1810 was finally successful in conquering most parts of Spain and ending what today is called Argentina's colonial phase.
Thus, began the phase of nation-building. The people of the region were indecisive about the form of government they should choose. For a brief period, the name of the Viceroyalty was changed to the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata. But this was just a nominal gesture. The people also considered a constitutional monarchy or a Regency. Two groups in the region led the politics of Argentina in the upcoming years: Unitarians and Federalists.
Unitarians were those people who wanted a powerful central government, and federalists were those people who believed that the power must be vested loosely in a federation of different provinces. As a result of the clashes between people, the state broke up into different countries, namely Uruguay and Bolivia, in the 1820s. Juan Manuel de Rosas became the ruler of Argentina in 1835. He was supposed to support federalists' efforts, but he turned out to be just another power-hungry dictator when he introduced repressive laws that powered the central government. A rebellion in 1852 removed him from his power. Meanwhile, the native of South Argentina were living peacefully until the late 19th century. A general named Juil Rica conquered a large part of South Argentina. The war was fought for many consecutive years, and it was finally over by 1880 with the Conquest of the Desert. This conquest also concludes the national building phase of Argentina.
1880 is widely considered as the precise year for the starting of the modern history of Argentina. However, it can also be argued that Argentina's modern history started well before the end of the national building phase. In 1857, the first railroad was built as a part of industrialization. Within 43 years of the first railroad, more than 10,000 miles of railroad was created. The number rose to more than 20,000 miles within the next 12 years. Now, it became easier for Argentina to transport the goods to the coast for export to the other countries. At the time, Argentina was famous for exporting grain, wool, and meat. In fact, a huge surge in export made Argentina the wealthiest country in South America by 1900.
Due to political commotion in Spain and Italy, a large number of immigrants entered the borders of Argentina. Despite the huge population surge, Argentina was the 7th most prosperous country in the whole world in the 1920s. The Wall Street Crash hit the economy. But the economy is not the only thing that was going bad in the country. The military staged a coup in 1930, and general Jose F. Uriburu declared himself as the president of Argentina. Shortly after this coup, a general election was called in Argentina. The results of this ‘democratic’ election were questioned as the Radical party was not allowed to take part in the election process despite being a major party. After that, elections were held in 1937. Roberto Ortiz became the president of Argentina, and Ramon Castillo became the vice-president. In 1940, Ramon Castillo became the president because of Ortiz’s ill health. The Argentinian army staged another coup in 1943 and changed the leadership of the country.
Initially, Argentina didn’t pick any side in World War II, but it finally declared war against axis powers in March 1945. Juan Peron was elected as the president of the country in the elections of 1946. Peron lost support over time, and Liberation's Revolution forced him to flee from the country in 1955. The revolution was followed by a number of short-lived presidencies and military rules. In 1976, Argentina saw the ‘mass disappearance’ of thousands of people under the military dictatorship. During this time, the economy of the country also fell flat. The inflation was finally controlled in the 1990s by the elected president Carlos Saul Menem. The country saw a devastating recession from 2001 to 2002 but picked a steady economic growth after that. Modern-day Argentina has stable politics and a growing economy.