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Argentine Declaration of Independence

What today is commonly referred as the Independence of Argentina was declared on July 9, 1816 by the Congress of Tucuman. Actually, Argentina was not a country yet; the congressmen joined in Tucuman declared the independence of the United Provinces of South America (still today one of the legal names of the Argentine Republic). The three Litoral provinces were expelled from the Congress, along with Banda Oriental, present-day Uruguay. At the same time, several provinces from the Alto Peru were represented that would later become part of present-day Bolivia.


The May Revolution of 1810 followed the deposition of the Spanish king Fernando VII by Napoleon. The revolution terminated the authority of the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata and replaced it with the Primera Junta.

When the king returned in 1814, Spain was determined to recover control over its colonies in the Americas. The royalists were victorious at the battles of Sipe-Sipe, Huaqui, Vilcapugio and Ayohuma, in what had been the Viceroyalty of Peru. From there they planned to attack the bases of Jose de San Martin, and to make their way to Buenos Aires.

On April 15, 1815, a revolution ended the mandate of Carlos Maria de Alvear and demanded that a General Congress be summoned. Delegate deputies, each representing 15,000 inhabitants, were sent from all the provinces to the sessions, which started on March 24, 1816. However, several territories that had until then belonged to the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata did not send delegates: the Banda Oriental , which was faithful to Jose Gervasio Artigas; Paraguay, which had already proclaimed its independence; and the Gran Chaco, still fighting against Native resistance.


The Congress was inaugurated in the city of Tucuman, with 33 deputies. The presidency of the Congress would be rotated monthly. Because the Congress had the freedom to choose topics to debate, endless discussions ensued.

The voting finally ended on July 9 with a declaration of independence. The Declaration pointed to the circumstances in Europe of the past six yearsthe the removal of the King of Spain by the Napoleon and the subsequent refusal of Ferdinand VII to accept constitutional rule both in the Peninsula and overseas. The Document claimed that Spanish America recovered its sovereignty from the Crown of Castile in 1808, when Ferdinand VII had been deposed, and therefore, any union between the overseas dominions of Spain and the Peninsula had been dissolved. This was a legal concept that was also invoked by the other Spanish American declarations of independence, such as Venezuela's (1811) and Mexico's (1813), which were responding to the same events. The president of the Congress at the time was Francisco Narciso de Laprida, delegate from San Juan Province. Subsequent discussions centered on what form of government the emerging state should adopt.

The congress continued its work in Buenos Aires in 1817, but it dissolved in 1820 after the Battle of Cepeda, which deepened the differences between the Unitarian Party, who favored a strong central government, and the Federales Argentina, who favored a weak central government.

The house where the declaration was adopted has been rebuilt and is now a museum and monument: the House of Tucuman.

Signatories of the declaration

Francisco Narciso de Laprida, Deputy for San Juan, President

Mariano Boedo, Deputy for Salta, Vice-president

Jose Mariano Serrano, Deputy for Charcas (present-day Bolivia), Secretary

Juan Jose Paso, Deputy for Buenos Aires, Secretary

Dr. Antonio Saenz, Deputy for Buenos Aires

Dr. Jose Darragueira, Deputy for Buenos Aires

Friar Cayetano Jose Rodriguez, Deputy for Buenos Aires

Dr. Pedro Medrano, Deputy for Buenos Aires

Dr. Manuel Antonio Acevedo, Deputy for Catamarca

Dr. Jose Ignacio de Gorriti, Deputy for Salta

Dr. Jose Andres Pacheco de Melo, Deputy for Chibchas (present-day Bolivia)

Dr. Teodoro Sanchez de Bustamante, Deputy for Jujuy

Eduardo Perez Bulnes, Deputy for Cordoba

Tomas Godoy Cruz, Deputy for Mendoza

Dr. Pedro Miguel Araoz, Deputy for Tucuman

Dr. Esteban Agustin Gazcon, Deputy for Buenos Aires

Pedro Francisco de Uriarte, Deputy for Santiago del Estero

Pedro Leon Gallo, Deputy for Santiago del Estero

Pedro Ignacio Rivera, Deputy for Mizque (present-day Bolivia)

Dr. Mariano Sanchez de Loria, Deputy for Charcas (present-day Bolivia)

Dr. Jose Severo Malabia, Deputy for Charcas (present-day Bolivia)

Dr. Pedro Ignacio de Castro Barros, Deputy for La Rioja

Lic. Geronimo Salguero de Cabrera y Cabrera, Deputy for Cordoba

Dr. Jose Colombres, Deputy for Catamarca

Dr. Jose Ignacio Thames, Deputy for Tucuman

Friar Justo de Santa Maria de Oro, Deputy for San Juan

Jose Antonio Cabrera, Deputy for Cordoba

Dr. Juan Agustin Maza, Deputy for Mendoza

Tomas Manuel de Anchorena, Deputy for Buenos Aires

See also

Congress of Tucuman

United Provinces of South America

Argentine War of Independence


9 de Julio de 1816: Declaracion de la Independencia

[[:wikisource:es:Acta de Declaracion de la Independencia Argentina|Act of Independence]] - Spanish Wikisource

Machine translations of the full text at College of Humanities and Social Sciences - North Carolina State University

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