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Argentina has had many different types of Heads of State, as well as many different types of government throughout its history. During Pre-Columbian times the territories that nowadays belong to Argentina were mainly inhabited by nomadic tribes, without any defined government. During the Spanish colonization of the Americas, the King of Spain retained the ultimate authority over the territories conquered in the New World, but eventually temporary Viceroys were designated for local government. The territories that would later belong to Argentina were included in the bigger Viceroyalty of Peru, and later in the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata. Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros was ousted during the 1810 May Revolution, and replaced with a Junta, the Primera Junta, that would turn itself into the Junta Grande in 1811 with the incorporation of provincial deputies. Acting on the name of King Ferdinand VII (taken prisoner by the Napoleonic French Empire), the Junta assumed legislative powers, delegating the administrative powers on a Triumvirate, which was to be soon followed by a second one.
In 1813 a Supreme National Assembly was elected, with constitutional and legislative mandates. It is commonly known as the Assembly of the Year XIII although it legislated until the Constitutional Assembly of 1816 known as the Congress of Tucuman, which officially declared Independence from Spain. In 1814, the Assembly had created a new executive authority, with atributions similar to that of a Head of State, called the Supreme Director of the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata. The office was to be occupied for fixed periods of time by Directors chosen by the Assembly, but proved in fact to be a very unstable office for most of the period, frequently subject to military mutinies or coups. In 1816, the Congress of Tucuman elected Juan Martin de Pueyrredon as Supreme Director so, after the July 9th Argentine Declaration of Independence, he would become the first Head of State of what was to become Argentina.
Pueyrredon had to quit office after the 1819 Constitution was enacted by the Congress (now assembled in Buenos Aires), due to the strong opposition from the Provinces and the Liga Federal to the centralist aspects of both the Directory system and the Constitution. In 1820, after the Federal forces defeated at Cepeda the last Director Jose Rondeau, the national organization had to wait until 1826 to experience a new, short-lived, attempt at establishing any central authority. On behalf of the Constitution of 1826, Bernardino Rivadavia was elected the first President of Argentina. Rivadavia and his Vice-President and succesor Vicente Lopez y Planes both resigned shortly after, as the Constitution was again rejected.
After those experiences, the Argentine Provinces organized themselves as a loose confederation, without any central authority, in what was to be known as the Argentine Confederation. After 1835, when Governor Juan Manuel de Rosas began to exercise his hegemony well beyond his own Buenos Aires Province, his post was granted with the administration of the foreign relations of the Confederation as a whole. Rosas kept his office until the Battle of Caseros of 1852 paved the way for a new Constitutional Assembly. In 1853, the current Constitution of Argentina was promulgated and Justo Jose de Urquiza became the first President of modern Argentina, acting both as Head of Government and Head of State. However, the Buenos Aires Province had rejected the Constitution and became an independent State until the aftermath of the 1859 Battle of Cepeda, although the internecine conflict continued. Only after the subsequent Battle of Pavon, in 1861, the former bonaerense leader Bartolome Mitre became the first President of a unified Argentine Republic.
The succession of constitutional Presidents run uninterrupted until the 1930 military ''coup d'etatled by Jose Felix Uriburu, which in the lapse of a few months derived in the so-called Infamous Decade of patriotic fraudof the 1930s. Another military, nationalist, coup took place in 1943 against the previous governments, ending in 1946 with the democratic election of Juan Peron. Then again, a violent military coup deposed Peron in the so-called Revolucion Libertadora of 1955, partially restoring civilian rule in 1958 but intervening again on the 1962 quiet coup.
Between 1966 and 1973, the authoritarian military government known as Revolucion Argentina hold power, as it later did the National Reorganization Process Juntas of 1976-1983.
Since the election of Raul Alfonsin in 1983, civilian governments regained rule and enjoyed an uninterrumped succession, according to the Constitutional provisions, until present.
Currently, the retrospective recognition as presidentsor heads of stateof any de factoruler that exercised its authority outside the Constitutional mandate is a controversial and relevant issue in Argentine politics.
The current Head of State of Argentina is President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who took office on 10th December, 2007 for a four-year term.
After the May Revolution, the Viceroy was replaced in Buenos Aires by two succesive Juntas, the Primera Junta, and then the Junta Grande which incorporated several provincial delegates. The difficulty of its collegiate composition for an effective Executive action was solved by establishing the First and Second Triumvirates, and then a unipersonal office called Supreme Director of the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata. These initial revolutionary governments did not declare Independence from Spain until 1816, in part due to serious internal disagreements about the political objectives of the Revolution, so the process was concealed with a formal alligeance to the prisioner King (in a move some historians call the Mask of Ferdinand VII). However, as the Independence War gained momentum, and the Spanish King was restored on his throne in 1815, the Revolutionaries proclaimed Independence on July 9 1816, but it was not recognized by any foreign power until mid 1820s. The name of the nation, back then, used to be United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata :
The defeat at the Battle of Huaqui generated a political crisis that led to the disband of the Junta Grande and its replacement by a triumvirate. Bernardino Rivadavia, despite being only a Secretary of War to the Triumvirate, was highly influential in this period.
The First Triumvirate was criticized for not having a strong commitment with the Argentine War of Independence. This led Jose de San Martin, Carlos Maria de Alvear and the Logia Lautaro to revolt against it, and promote instead a Government commited to the independentist cause.
The Second Triumvirate called for the Asamblea del Ano XIII which, among other things, replaced the authority of the Triumvirate with the unipersonal office of the Supreme Director.
Following the overthrown of Alvear, a Third Triumvirate took power for a couple of days until a new Director was chosen.
The first Presidential Government
After the 1820 dismissal of the UnitarianConstitution of 1819, a rather new one was only enacted in 1826, establishing a President of Argentina to wield the Executive Power of the Nation. This Constitution, and this office as well, were to be short-lived, because of its Centralistbias and also because of the difficulties arosen from the peace negotiations on the aftermath of the War with Brazil.
The Argentine Confederation
After the dissolution of the first Presidential Government, Argentina was to be without an effective central government for another 28 years. Since the 1830s, the nation began to be commonly known as Argentine Confederation . It was, in fact, a loose Confederation of Provinces during the years of the Pacto Federal, and until the 1852 Battle of Caseros. During this period, some Governor was to be designated by the other Provinces as a Chairman of Foreign Relationsfor the whole of the Confederation. Buenos Aires Province Governor Juan Manuel de Rosas retained this office for seventeen consecutive years, and became Supreme Chief of the Confederationin 1851, before he was overthrown by his former General-in-Chief Justo Jose de Urquiza at Caseros.
The Argentine Republic
The Provisional Director of the Argentine Confederation called for a Constitutional Assembly that enacted the 1853 Constitution. Since this Constitution (through a series of ammendments and reforms) is still effective to this day, the Presidents elected on its basis from then on are often referred to as constitutional presidents.
At the 1861 Battle of Pavon, the conflict between the Argentine Confederation and the State of Buenos Aires was decided in favour of the latter entity, and the dissolution of the National Authorities ensued. The Governor of Buenos Aires acted as interimPresident until subsequent elections ratified him in office, so becoming the first President of a unified Argentine Republic.'The Governments hereafter were elected by Free and Universal (Male) Suffrage (exception made of the de facto military governments):'
In 1930, the first military coup d'etatoccurred in Argentine modern history and its leader assumed the title of President. Months later, he was followed in office by a series of Presidents elected in an openly fraudulent fashion, the whole period being known as the Infamous Decade.
In 1943, another coup d'etatoccurred, bringing in a new line of military Presidents:
After the demisal of the last de factogovernment, a new President was elected by popular vote. In 1949, a new Constitution (which enabled presidential re-elections) was enacted. 'The 1952 Presidential election was the first one to allow Women's Suffrage:'
In 1955, a military coup self-styled Revolucion Libertadoradeposed the previous Government, annulled the 1949 Constitution and prohibited the expression and political representation of Peronism:
Although the Peronist movement was proscribed, a fragile Democracy was restored. The President elected in 1958 was deposed by a coupfour years later, succeeded by constitutional mechanisms and eventually new elections. But the new President was to be deposed soon after as well:
In 1966, the military coupself-styled Revolucion Argentinatook power:
In 1973, Peronism was allowed political expression. But the new democratic restoration was short-lived because of serious political turmoil:
On 24 March 1976, the National Reorganization Processmilitary dictatorships took power. It was to be the last military coup in Argentine history up to date:
In 1983, the last transition from military rule to civil elected authorities in Argentine History took place, so the current period is known as the Return to democracy. By the 1994 constitutional reform, the Presidential period was shortened to four years, and a single consecutive presidential re-election was enabled. Years later, a severe economic crisis led to the chaotical December 2001 riots in Argentina, which resulted in the resignation of the President and a rapid succession of interinates''. Since 2003, the normal succession of Presidents was restored.
President of Argentina
Politics of Argentina
List of Vice-Presidents of Argentina
Lists of incumbents
Rulers.org Argentina list of rulers for Argentina
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