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May Revolution


The May Revolution was a series of revolutionary political and social events that took place during the early nineteenth century in the city of Buenos Aires, capital of the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata, a colony of the Spanish Crown which at the time contained the present-day nations of Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay. The consequence of the revolution was that the head of the Viceroyalty, Viceroy Cisneros, was ousted from office, and role of government was assumed by the Primera Junta.

The May Revolution was the starting point of the Argentine War of Independence, but without a formal declaration of independence. The Primera Junta did not recognize the authority of the Regency Counsel of Spain and Indies, but still ruled in the name of the Spanish King Ferdinand VII, deposed by the abdications of Bayonne and replaced by the French Joseph Bonaparte, brother of the French emperor Napoleon. However, historians disagree on whenever such loyalty was genuine or an elaborate trick to conceal the revolutionaries' true desire for independence. The Argentine Declaration of Independence took place during the Congress of Tucuman on July 9, 1816.

The May Revolution involves the events that took place during a week known as "may week" , that spans from May 18, when the defeat of the Junta of Seville was confirmed, to May 25, when Viceroy Cisneros was ousted from office. The conquest of Seville, which took place in February 1, 1810, was known in Buenos Aires by May, when British ships arrived with newspapers. After a failed attempt by Cisneros to conceal the news, a group of Criollo lawyers and military organized an Open Cabildo to decide the fate of the viceroyalty. It took place on May 22 at the Buenos Aires Cabildo and the result was to end Cisneros's mandate and replace him with a Junta. However, the president of the Junta designated afterwards was Cisneros, which motivated a high level of popular unrest, as Cisneros would remain in power, even if under a new title. This was seen by most of the involved parties as detracting from the results of the Open Cabildo. Cisneros finally resigned on May 25, and another Junta was designed instead. The Primera Junta requested other cities to join them, motivating a later war between those that did and those that did not, and later against Spanish armies themselves. Along with similar events at other cities in the Spanish South America, the May Revolution was one of the starting points of the Spanish American wars of independence.

Causes

International causes

The United States had emancipated themselves from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, which provided a tangible example that led Criollos to believe that revolution and independence from Spain could be realistic aims. In the time between 1775 and 1783 the Thirteen Colonies started the American Revolution, first rejecting the governance of the Parliament of Great Britain, and later the British monarchy itself, and waged the American Revolutionary War against their former rulers. The changes were not just political, but also intellectual and social, combining both a strong government with personal liberties. The text of the Declaration of Independence stated that all men are created equal (and thus become equal before the law), and had unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They had also chosen a republican form of government, instead of keeping a monarchic one. Even more, the fact that Spain aided the colonies in their struggle against Britain weakened the argument that ending allegiance to the mother country could be considered a crime.

The ideals of the French Revolution of 1789 were spreading as well. During the Revolution, centuries of monarchy were ended with the overthrow and execution of the King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette, and the removal of the privileges of the nobility. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was highly popular among the young Criollos. The French Revolution also boosted liberal ideals in political and economic fields. Some of the notorious political liberal authors, who opposed monarchies and absolutism, were Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Montesquieu, Denis Diderot and Jean Le Rond d'Alembert, while the most notorious economic liberal was Adam Smith. Liberal ideas also reached the church, and the concept of the divine right of kings started to be questioned. Francisco Suarez claimed that political power did not pass directly from God to the governor, but to the population and though it to the governor. According to Suarez, such power belongs to the people and is delegated to the governor, but if such governors did not serve the public good as they should, they would become tyrants and the people would have the right to fight them and choose new governors. The falling consensus about the divine right being legitimate gave room to monarchies being replaced by republics in France and the United States, but also to constitutional monarchies, such as in Great Britain.

However, the spread of such ideals was mainly forbidden in the Spanish territories, as well as the traffic of related books or their unauthorized possession. Such blockades started when Spain [[French Revolutionary Wars: Campaigns of 1793|declared war]] on France after the execution of Louis XVI, but was kept as well after the [[French Revolutionary Wars: Campaigns of 1796|peace treaty of 1796]]. Nevertheless, the events of 1789 and the statements of the French Revolution spread around Spain despite the efforts to keep them at bay. Even more, the National Convention declared that France would give shelter and aid to all populations aiming to become free, and made many plans to disrupt the power of Spain over their overseas colonies. Many enlightened Criollos came into contact with those authors and their works during university studies. such as Manuel Belgrano in Spain or Mariano Moreno, Juan Jose Castelli or Bernardo Monteagudo at the American university in Chuquisaca. Books from the US also found their way into the Spanish colonies through Caracas, due to the closeness of Venezuela to the United States and West Indies.

The Industrial Revolution started in Britain, with manual labour and horse-drawn vehicles being replaced by machine-based manufacturing and transportation aided by railways and steam power. This led to dramatic increases in the productive capabilities of Britain, and the need of new markets to sell the surplus of coal, steel and clothes. The Napoleonic Wars, where Britain was at war with France, made this a difficult task, after Napoleon countered the British naval blockade with the Continental System, not allowing Britain to trade with any other European country. Thus, England needed to be able to trade with the Spanish colonies, but could not do so because they were restricted to trade only with their own metropoli. For this end they tried to conquer key cities during the British invasions, and after it to promote their emancipation. The Industrial Revolution also gave room to authors who proposed a liberal economy, like Adam Smith. Francois Quesnay compared the worldwide economy with a living organism, stating that economics worked beyond political power and should not be affected by it.

The Napoleonic wars were taking place in Europe, involving France, England and most European countries. Portugal broke the blockade imposed on British trade and, as a result, was invaded by France. However, the Royal Family and the bulk of the kingdom's administration fled to colonial Brazil, in a move to preserve Portuguese sovereignty. Under the pretext of reinforcing the Franco-Spanish army occupying Portugal, French Imperial troops began filing into Spain. Shortly before the Spanish King Charles IV abdicated due to the mutiny of Aranjuez and gave the throne to his son, Ferdinand VII. Feeling that he was forced to abdicate, Charles IV requested that Napoleon restore him to power. Napoleon helped remove Ferdinand VII from power, but did not return the crown to the former king: instead, he crowned his own brother Joseph Bonaparte, as the new Spanish King. This whole process is known as the Abdications of Bayonne. Joseph's designation found severe resistance in Spain, and the Junta of Seville took power in the absence of the King. Until then, Spain had been an ally of France against Britain, but at this point the Spanish resistance changed sides and allied with Britain against France. The Junta of Seville was eventually defeated as well, being replaced by another one located in Cadiz.

National causes

During colonial times Spain was the only buyer of goods from the viceroyalty, and by law it was forbidden to trade with other nations. This situation damaged the viceroyalty, as Spain's economy was not powerful enough to buy and sell the quantities of goods that the Americas required. and many of them were even brought by Spain to France or Britain and then resold in the Americas at a higher price. Buenos Aires was even more damaged, as Spain did not send enough ships to the city. To prevent the risk of piracy the trade ships had to be followed by war ships, which made the journey very expensive. Lacking any gold or silver resources, or established indigenous populations to employ systems of encomienda, it was more profitable for Spain to send them all to Mexico or Lima. This led Buenos Aires to develop a system of smuggling to obtain, by illegal means, the products that could not be received otherwise. This smuggling was allowed by most local authorities, and developed similar amounts of traffic as the legal commerce with Spain. This whole situation developed two antagonistic groups: the ones who made leather products and wanted free commerce to be able to sell them, and the ones who benefited from the prices of the smuggled products, which would have to sell them at lower prices if such commerce was allowed.

In the political structure most authoritative positions were filled by people designated by the Spanish monarchy, most of them Spanish people from Europe, without strong compromises with American problems or interests. This created a growing rivalry between the Criollos, people born in America, and the peninsulares, people arrived from Europe . Despite the fact that all of them were considered Spanish, and that there was no legal distinction between Criollos and Peninsulares, most Criollos thought that Peninsulares had undue weight in political conflicts and expected a higher intervention in them, sentiment shared by the lower clergy. This practice was mainly the result of social prejudice. Criollos were also angered by the ease of immigrants from Spain, regardless of having humble origins, to acquire properties and social distinction that was negated to them. This rivalry evolved later into a rivalry between supporters of becoming autonomous from Spain and supporters of keeping things the way they were. However, this process was much slower than the one experimented by the British colonies in North America, in part because the educative system was managed almost exclusively by the clergy, influencing the development of a population as conservative as in the mother country.

Buenos Aires and Montevideo had successfully resisted two British invasions. The first one was in 1806, when a British army led by William Carr Beresford took control of Buenos Aires, until being defeated by an army from Montevideo, led by Santiago de Liniers. The following year a bigger army took Montevideo, but failed to take Buenos Aires, being forced to surrender and leave both cities. There was no Spanish aid from Europe either time, and to prepare for the second invasion Liniers formed militias with Criollos, despite regulations prohibiting this. This gave them military power and political influence they did not have had before, with the biggest Criollo army being the Patricios Regiment led by Cornelio Saavedra. The victory achieved without help also boosted confidence on independence, by stating that the Spanish aid was not needed. The prestige earned by Buenos Aires before the other cities of the viceroyalty was exploited by Juan Jose Paso during the open cabildo to justify taking an immediate action and hear the opinions of other cities afterwards.

By the ending of 1808 the whole Royal Family of Portugal left Europe, with the country being attacked by Napoleon, and settled in Brazil. The regent prince arrived with his wife, Charlotte Joaquina, daughter of Charles IV and sister of Ferdinand VII. When the news of the imprisonment of Ferdinand VII arrived in South America, Charlotte tried to take control of the viceroyalties as regent, a project known as Carlotism. She could do so due to the derogation of the salic law by Charles IV in 1789, and she intended to prevent a French invasion in the Americas. Some Criollos like Castelli, Beruti, Vieytes and Belgrano supported the project, considering it a chance to get a local government instead of one in Europe, or a medium for a later declaration of independence. Other Criollos like Moreno, Paso or Saavedra were critics of it, as well as most peninsular Spaniards and Viceroy Liniers. They suspected the whole project of concealing Portuguese ambitions in the region, and her public image wasn't positive: the people around her in Brazil (like the infant Pedro Carlos de Bourbon), and her relations with her husband, caused strong public dislike. Charlotte also rejected her supporters, as they intended her to lead a constitutional monarchy, while she wanted to retain an absolute monarchy. Britain, with strong presence in Portugal, also opposed the project: they did not want to let Spain, now allied with them against France, be split into many kingdoms, and did not consider Charlotte able to prevent separatism.

Prelude

Liniers government

After the successful liberation of Buenos Aires from the English troops, the population refused to let Rafael de Sobremonte, who had fled to Cordoba with the public treasury, remain as governor. Although he fled in line with a law from the time of Pedro de Cevallos, which required the treasury be kept safe in the case of a foreign attack, he was seen as a coward by the population because of it. The Real Audiencia of Buenos Aires did not let him return to Buenos Aires or resume governing, and the new viceroy was then Santiago de Liniers, acclaimed as hero of the battles with high popular support. He was designated as an interim viceroy first, and later confirmed by the King Charles IV of Spain.

The government of Liniers was popular among Criollos, but found resistance from peninsular Spaniards, such as Martin de Alzaga or Francisco Javier de Elio. The French birth of Liniers was also a source of criticism when France invaded Spain and started the Peninsular War, which included the removal of the Spanish kings by the French occupying forces. Despite the clear statements by Liniers of remaining loyal to the Spanish Empire and his refusal to accept Joseph Bonaparte as king, his political enemies created rumours that he was plotting to accept Bonaparte. They also promoted in the Rio de la Plata the xenophobia that was taking place in Spain against the French, as an indirect means to attack Liniers and lower his prestige. Javier de Elio created a Junta in Montevideo, which would scrutinise all the orders coming from Buenos Aires and reserved the right to ignore them, without openly denying the authority of the viceroy or declaring themselves independent.

Riot of Alzaga

Martin de Alzaga, a Spanish merchant based in Buenos Aires, set off a riot in order to remove Liniers. On January 1, 1809, an open cabildo demanded the resignation of the Viceroy Liniers and appointed a Junta on behalf of Ferdinand VII, chaired by Alzaga; the Spanish militia and a group of people summoned by the bell of the council supported the rebellion. A small number of Criollos (notably Mariano Moreno) supported the riot as a means to gain independence, but most of them did not. The lawyer Juan Jose Castelli even started a legal case against Alzaga accusing him of independentism. The seeming contradiction is explained in that the goals of Alzaga were not those of the Criollos: he wanted to remove the viceroy to avoid being constrained by his political authority, but he intended to keep the social differences between Criollos and European Spaniards unchanged.

Criollo militias led by Cornelio Saavedra surrounded the square, causing the insurgents to disperse. The leaders were exiled, and the rebel units were dissolved. As a result, military power was in the hands of natives who had sustained Liniers: all military units still active after the riot were Criollo, with no militias that would answer to the peninsular Spaniards. The rivalry between Criollos and peninsular Spaniards deepened. The perpetrators of the plot, exiled to El Carmen, were rescued by Elio and taken to Montevideo.

Appointment of Cisneros

In Spain, the Junta of Seville decided to end the fighting in the Rio de la Plata, providing a replacement for Liniers in the form of Don Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros, who arrived in Montevideo in June 1809. Manuel Belgrano detailed in his autobiography that he that he proposed that Liniers resist his removal and reject the appointment of Cisneros, on the grounds that Liniers had been confirmed as Viceroy by a Spanish king still in the government, while Cisneros may lack such legitimacy. Nevertheless, Liniers accepted to give up his government to Cisneros, without any resistance. The handover took place in Colonia del Sacramento, not in Buenos Aires, because the Junta received many conflicting reports about the politicians and the nature of the events taking place, and Cisneros wanted to make sure of the real state of things before arriving to the capital. Javier de Elio accepted the authority of the new viceroy and dissolved the Junta of Montevideo, becoming once again the governor of the city. Cisneros rearmed the Spanish militias disbanded after the coup against Liniers, and pardoned those responsible for them.

In economic terms, given the difficulties and costs of trade with Spain, Cisneros accepted the proposal of Mariano Moreno and established on November 6, 1809 the free trade agreements with other powers. The main beneficiaries were Britain and livestock sectors, exporting hides. However, traders who profited from smuggling asked Cisneros to set aside free trade, which he agreed to do in order to keep their support. This led in turn to the British, Mac Kinnon and Captain Doyle as representatives, to demand a review of the measure, invoking the character of allies against Napoleon in Spain and Britain. Mariano Moreno also criticized the cancellation, making the "Representacion de los Hacendados", which is considered the most comprehensive economic report on the time of vice-royalty. Cisneros finally decided to grant an extension of free trade, which would end on May 19, 1810.

On November 25, 1809 Cisneros created the Political Surveillance Court with the aim of pursuing the supporters of French ideologies and those who encouraged the creation of political regimes that opposed the dependence on Spain. This, and a proclamation issued by the viceroy to prevent the spreading of news that might be considered subversive, made the Criollos think that a formal pretext would be enough to take actions that would lead to the outbreak of a revolution. On April 1810, Cornelio Saavedra expressed his famous quote to his friends: ''It's not time yet, let the figs ripen and then we'll eat them''.

Revolutions in Upper Peru

Discontent with Spanish officials was also expressed in Upper Peru. On May 25, 1809, a revolution in Chuquisaca deposed the governor and president of the Royal Audiencia of Charcas, Ramon Garcia de Leon y Pizarro, and accused him of supporting a Portuguese protectorate under the authority of Princess Charlotte. Military command fell to Colonel Juan Antonio Alvarez de Arenales, who due to uncertainty as to who should be in charge of civilian affairs, also exercised some civil powers. On July 16, in the city of La Paz, a second revolutionary movement led by Colonel Pedro Domingo Murillo and other individuals forced the governor, Tadeo Davila and the Bishop of La Paz, Remigio de la Santa y Ortega, to resign. Political power went to the local cabildo until a "Junta Tuitiva de los Derechos del Pueblo" , headed by Murillo, was formed.

The first revolution did not intend to alter Chuquisaca's loyalty to the king, while the revolution of La Paz openly declared independence. Today, historians do not agree on whether the revolution of Chuquisaca was motivated by independence or if it was just a dispute between supporters of Ferdinand VII and Carlota. Consequently, there is disagreement on whether the first revolution to proclaim independence in Spanish America was that of Chuquisaca or that of La Paz. The researchers Juan Reyes and Genoveva Loza support the latter, arguing that in Chuquisaca the Spanish system of government was maintained and that it did not support the revolution in La Paz, while others such as Charles Arnade, Teodocio Imana, Gabriel Rene Moreno or Felipe Pigna argue that the Chuquisaca revolution supported independence, citing as its main foundation the political philosophical concept of the "Syllogism of Chuquisaca" that proposed self-determination.

The reaction of Spanish officials defeated these movements. An army with 1,000 men from Buenos Aires found no resistance at Chuquisaca, took control of the city and deposed the Junta. La Paz, on the other hand, was defended by Murillo, but his 800 men were completely outnumbered by the more than 5,000 men sended from Lima by Abascal. Murillo and the other leaders were beheaded and their heads exhibited to the people as deterrent. The measures taken against those revolutions reinforced the feeling of inequity among Criollos because they contrasted greatly with the pardon Martin de Alzaga received after serving some time in jail. This deepened the resentment of the locals against the Spanish mainland. Among others, Juan Jose Castelli was present at the proceedings of the University of Saint Francis Xavier where the Syllogism of Chuquisaca was developed and which influenced his positions during the week of May.

May week

Is it normally called "may week" by academics beginning with the confirmation of the fall of the Junta of Seville and ending with the dismissal of Cisneros and the confirmation of the Primera Junta.

On May 14, the British war schooner HMS Mistletoe arrived at Buenos Ares from Gibraltar, carrying newspapers from the previous January announcing the dissolution of the Junta of Seville. The city of Seville was taken by the French, who already dominated most of the Peninsula. The newspaper also said that some of its members had taken refuge on the island of Leon in Cadiz. The Junta was one of the last bastions of power of the Spanish crown, and had fallen to the Napoleonic Empire, which had previously removed the King Ferdinand VII through the abdications of Bayonne. Such news were confirmed in Buenos Aires on the 17th, with the arrival to Montevideo of the British frigate HMS John Paris; the news provided by it added as well that members of the Junta of Seville had been refused. Cisneros tried to hide the news by establishing rigorous monitoring around the British warships and seizing every newspaper that landed from the boats, but one of them came into the hands of Manuel Belgrano and Juan Jose Castelli. They were responsible for spreading the news, which challenged the legitimacy of the Viceroy, appointed by the fallen Junta.

Cornelio Saavedra, head of the regiment of Patricians, who in the past had advised against taking rushed actions against the Viceroy, was also made aware of the news. Saavedra considered, from a strategic standpoint, that the ideal time to proceed with the revolutionary plans would be the time when Napoleon's forces gained a decisive advantage in their war against Spain. Upon hearing the news of the fall of the Junta of Seville, Saavedra decided that the perfect time to take action against Cisneros had arrived. Martin Rodriguez proposed to overthrow the viceroy by force, but Castelli and Saavedra rejected this idea and preferred the celebration of an open cabildo.

Friday, May 18

Viceroy Cisneros attempted to conceal the news from the people; however, the rumor had already spread throughout Buenos Aires. He decided then to give his own version of the facts through a proclamation, while trying to calm down the Criollos. He asked for allegiance to King Ferdinand, but popular unrest continued to intensify. Despite being aware of the news, he only said that the situation in the Peninsula was delicate, but did not confirm the fall of the Junta.

Not fooled by the Viceroy's story, some Criollos decided to meet at the houses of Nicolas Rodriguez Pena and Hipolito Vieytes. During these secret sessions they decided to name a representative commission to ask Cisneros for an open cabildo composed by Juan Jose Castelli and Martin Rodriguez. They intended to decide there the future of the Viceroy.

Saturday, May 19

During the night of May 19 there were further discussions at Rodriguez Pena house. It was requested to Viamonte to call Saavedra, who joined the meeting. There was a number of both military leaders, such as Rodriguez, Ocampo, Balcarce, Diaz Velez, and civil ones such as Castelli, Vieytes, Alberti or Paso. It was decided to make Belgrano and Saavedra met with senior alcalde Juan Jose de Lezica, and Castelli with the procurator, Julian de Leyva, calling for support of the cabildo. They wanted to ask Viceroy to open a cabildo, saying that if not granted, it would be demanded by the population itself.

Sunday, May 20

Lezica sent Cisneros the request he had received, and he consulted Leyva, who favored the making of an open cabildo. Before deciding, the Viceroy summoned military commanders to come forward at seven o'clock in the evening at the fort. Cisneros demanded a response to his request for support, but Colonel Cornelio Saavedra, head of Patricios Regiment, responded on behalf of all the natives saying:

There was a new meeting at Rodriguez Pena's home at midnight, where the military leaders explained the events that took place. Castelli and Martin Rodriguez were sent to the Fort for a new interview with Cisneros. The guardians let them pass unannounced, and they found Cisneros playing cards with brigadier Quintana, prosecutor Caspe and aide Coicolea. Castelli and Rodriguez demanded an open cabildo and Cisneros reacted in anger, considering their request an outrage, but Rodriguez interrupted him and forced him to give a definitive answer. After a short private discussion with Caspe, Cisneros reluctantly gave his consent to the creation of the open cabildo. It would be opened on May 22.

On the same night there was a theatre production on the theme of tyranny, called "Rome Saved", which was attended by many of the revolutionaries. The police chief tried to convince the actor not to appear and, with the excuse of being ill, to replace the work with "Misanthropy and repentance," by the German poet Kotzebue. Rumors of police censorship spread quickly, so Morante came and performed the work planned, in which he played Cicero. In the fourth act, Morante made a patriotic roman speech, talking about Rome being menaced by the gallus and the need to have a strong leadership to resist the danger. This scene flared the revolutionary spirits, which led to frenzied applause to the work. Juan Jose Paso stood up and shouted "Viva Buenos Aires libre!" ("Long live free Buenos Aires!"), which produced a small fight with other people present.

After the play, the revolutionaries were called once again to Pena's house. They learned the result of the last meeting, and were unsure if Cisneros really intended to keep his word. As a result, they decided to organize a demonstration for the following day, in order to ensure that the open cabildo was celebrated as decided.

Monday, May 21

At 3pm, the Cabildo began its work routine, but was interrupted by 600 armed men, grouped under the name "Infernal legion" , which occupied the Plaza de la Victoria, nowadays Plaza de Mayo, and loudly demanded the convention of an Open Cabildo and the resignation of Viceroy Cisneros. They carried a portrait of Fernando VII and the lapel of their jackets bore a white ribbon symbolizing the Criollo-Spanish unity. Among the rioters were Domingo French and Antonio Beruti. The demonstration was so strong that some rumors circulated saying that Cisneros had been killed in it and that Saavedra would take the government. The people distrusted Cisneros and did not believe he was going to keep his word to allow the making of the open cabildo the next day. The liquidator Leiva failed to calm the crowd by ensuring that it would be held as planned. People settled down and dispersed through the intervention of Cornelio Saavedra, head of the Regiment of Patricians, who said that the claims of the Infernal Legion had their military support.

On May 21 invitations were distributed among 450 leading citizens and officials in the capital. The guest list was compiled by the Cabildo, trying to guarantee the result by selecting people that would be likely to support the Viceroy. For this, they prepared a list a guests taking into account the most prominent residents of the city. However, the revolutionaries countered such move by making a similar one on their own: Agustin Donado (French and Beruti colleague), in charge of printing the invitations, printed many more than requested and distributed the surplus among the Criollos. By the night, Castelli, Rodriguez, French and Beruti visited all the barracks to harangue the troops and prepare them for the following day.

Tuesday, May 22

According to the official acts, of the 450 invited guests at the open cabildo, only about 251 attended. French and Beruti, commanding 600 men armed with knives, shotguns and rifles, controlled access to the square, with the aim of ensuring that the open cabildo had a majority of Criollos. All the note-worthy religious and civil people were present, as well as militia commanders and many neighbours. The troops were garrisoned and on alert, ready to take action in case of commotion.

The meeting lasted from morning to midnight, with various times, including the reading of the proclamation of the Cabildo, the debate, and the vote, individual and public, written by each attendee and past the minutes of the meeting. The debate in the council had as its main theme the government's legitimacy and the authority of the Viceroy. The principle of retroversion of the sovereignty of the people stated that, missing the legitimate monarch, the power returned to the people; and they were entitled to form a new government. This principle was commonplace in Spanish scholasticism and rationalist philosophy, but had no precedents of being applied in case law.

There were two main positions, those who argued that the situation should remain unchanged, supporting Cisneros in his office of Viceroy, and those who believed they should form a Junta to replace him, as in Spain; and a measured one between both. The promoters of the change did not recognize the authority of the Regency Council, arguing that the colonies in America were not consulted in its formation. The debate also covered, tangentially, the rivalry between Criollos and the peninsular Spanish, as proponents of keeping the Viceroy considered that the will of the Spanish should prevail over that of the Criollos.

One of the speakers at the first position was the bishop of Buenos Aires, Benito Lue y Riega, leader of the local church. Lue y Riega argued that:

Juan Jose Castelli was the main orator of the revolutionaries. He based his speech on two main ideas: the expiration of the legitimate government, stating the Junta of Seville was dissolved and had no rights to designate a Regency, and the mentioned principle of retroversion of sovereignty.

He spoke after Riega, arguing that the American people should assume the direction of their destinations until cessation of the impediment of Ferdinand VII to return to the throne.

Pascual Ruiz Huidobro stated that since the authority that had appointed Cisneros had expired, he should be left apart from any function of government, and that in its role as representative of the people the council should assume and exercise authority. His vote was supported by Melchor Fernandez, Juan Leon Ferragut, Joaquin Grigera, among others.

Attorney Manuel Genaro Villota, representative of the conservative Spanish, said that the city of Buenos Aires had no right to make unilateral decisions about the legitimacy of the Viceroy or the Regency Council without the participation of other cities in the debate of the other cities of the viceroyalty. He argued that it would break the unity of the country and establish as many sovereignties as cities. The purpose of such a point of view was to keep Cisneros in power by delaying possible actions. Juan Jose Paso accepted him being right at the first point, but argued that the conflicted situation in Europe and the possibility that Napoleon's forces may continue conquering the American colonies were demanding an urgent solution. He designed then the "argument of the oldest sister", for which Buenos Aires took the initiative to make changes deemed necessary and appropriate, upon the express condition that other cities would be invited to comment as soon as possible. The rhetorical figure of the "oldest sister", comparable to business management, is a name that makes an analogy between the relationship of Buenos Aires and other cities of the viceroyalty with a filial relationship.

The priest Juan Nepomuceno Sola thought the command was given to the Cabildo, but only provisionally, until the completion of a governing Junta to call on representatives of all populations of the Viceroyalty. His vote was supported by Manuel Alberti, Azcuenaga, Escalada, Argerich or Aguirre, among others.

Cornelio Saavedra suggested that the control should be delegated to the council until the formation of a governing junta, in the manner and form that the council deemed appropriate. He pointed out the phrase "(...) and there is no doubt that it is the people that makes the authority or command." At the time of the vote, Castelli's position was coupled with that of Saavedra.

Manuel Belgrano was near a window, and in case of problems with the regular development of the open cabildo he would give a signal by waiving a white cloth. The people gathered in the Plaza, in that case, would have forced their way into the Cabildo. However, there were no problems and this alternative plan was not implemented.

Wednesday, May 23

The debate took all day, and the vote counting took place very late in the night. After the presentations, a vote was taken by the continuity of the Viceroy, alone or associated, or dismissal. The voting lasted for a long time, and decided to dismiss the Viceroy by a large majority: 155 votes to 69. The votes against Cisneros were distributed as follows:

Plan under which the authority vested in the Cabildo: 4 votes

Plan Juan Nepomuceno de Sola: 18 votes

Plan Pedro Andres Garcia, Juan Jose Paso and Luis Jose Chorroarin: 20 votes.

Plan Ruiz Huidobro: 25 votes

Plan and Saavedra Castelli: 87 votes

At dawn on May 23 a document was released, stating that the Viceroy should end his mandate. The authority would temporarily fall into the Cabildo, until the designation of a government Junta. After completing the open cabildo, notices were placed at various points throughout the city that reported the creation of the Junta and the call to deputies from the provinces, and called to refrain from attempting actions contrary to public policy.

Thursday, May 24

On the 24th the Cabildo, following a proposal by the liquidator Leyva, interpreted the results of the open cabildo and formed the new Junta, which was to be maintained until the arrival of deputies from the rest of the viceroyalty. Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros was the president and commander of arms, along with four members: the Criollos Cornelio Saavedra and Juan Jose Castelli, and the Spanish Juan Nepomuceno Sola and Jose Santos Inchaurregui. There are many interpretations for the motives of this action. Historian Diego Abad de Santillan states that the formula responded to the proposal of Bishop Benito Lue y Riega to keep the Viceroy in power with partners or attachments, even though the same proposal would have been defeated in elections at the open cabildo, and that with it the lobbyists felt that in this way they could contain the threat of revolution taking place in society. Felix Luna, on the other hand, considers it an effort to avoid conflicts by using a middle ground solution by conceding things to all the parties involved, as Cisneros would remain in office, but sharing power with Criollos.

It was also included a constitutional regulation of 13 articles, written by Leyva, to govern the actions of the Junta. Among the principles included, provided that the Junta would not exercise judicial power, which would be exercised by the Court, that Cisneros could not act without the backing of other members of the Junta, that the council could depose the members who neglected their duty and must approve proposals for new taxes, which would sanction a general amnesty on the opinions in the open council of 22, and that the councils would request them to send deputies inside. The armed forces's commanders gave their agreement, including Saavedra, and Pedro Andres Garcia.

When the news was announced, both the people and the militia became agitated, and the place was invaded by a mob led by French and Beruti. Cisneros staying in power, albeit with a different post than Viceroy, was seen as an affront to the will of the open cabildo. Colonel Martin Rodriguez explained that if their soldiers were ordered to support Cisneros, they would have to open fire against the population and that most soldiers would revolt, as they shared the desire to remove the Viceroy from power. There was discussion on Rodriguez Pena's house, where he began to doubt the loyalty of Saavedra. Castelli pledged to intervene for the people to be consulted again, and between Mariano Moreno, Matias Feliciano Chiclana Irigoyen and calmed down the military and youth in the plaza.

At night, a delegation headed by Castelli and Saavedra went to the residence of Cisneros informing the state of unrest and popular rebellion of the troops, announcing their resignations to the Junta and demanding his own one. Cisneros wrote his resignation and sent it to the Cabildo, who would consider it the following day. A delegation of the Patriots claimed the house of receiver Leyva is reconvening of the people, despite their initial resistance finally agreed to do so.

Friday, May 25

On the morning of 25 May, despite the bad weather, a crowd began gathering in the Main Plaza, current Plaza de Mayo, with the militia led by Domingo French and Antonio Beruti. It demanded the annulment of the Junta designated the previous day, the final resign of Viceroy Cisneros and the formation of a Junta without him. The historian Bartolome Mitre said French and Beruti distributed blue and white ribbons among the guests, later historians doubt that statement, but consider it possible that distinctives were distributed among the revolutionaries for self-identification. Despite Cisneros having resigned the night before, it was rumored that the Cabildo may reject his resignation. The crowd's agitation lead to the chapter house being overrun. Due to the delays in issuing a decision, people began to stir, claiming "The people want to know what it is all about!".

The council met at nine in the morning and requested the popular agitation was suppressed by force. For this, they summoned the chief commanders, but they did not obey their orders. Several, including Saavedra, did not present, those that did said not only they could not support the government but neither themselves, and if they tried to repress the demonstrations they would be disobeyed.

The people gathered in the Plaza, led by French and Beruti, invaded the Cabildo again. They were requested to deliver their requests in a written manner, and with signatures. After a long interval, a document with 411 signatures (still conserved) was delivered. This paper designated the composition of the Primera Junta and an expedition of 500 men to assist the provinces. The document had many illegible signatures, the signatures of most army commanders, and many known neighbours. French and Beruti signed the document stating "for me and for six hundred more". However, there is no unanimous view among historians about the authorship of that document. Some like Vicente Fidel Lopez claim that was exclusively the product of the popular initiative. For others, such as historian Felix Luna, the composition shows such a level of balance among the political and ideological parties involved that it can't be considered the result of an improvised initiative. The president Saavedra had a decisive intervention in the revolution and had prestige among all parties. Juan Jose Paso, Manuel Belgrano, Juan Jose Castelli and Mariano Moreno were lawyers influenced by the libertarian ideas, and the first three were supporters of the Carlotist project. Juan Larrea and Domingo Matheu were peninsular Spanish, involved in commercial activities of medium importance. Both of them were supporters of Martin de Alzaga, as well as Moreno. Miguel de Azcuenaga was another military, with contacts among the high society, and the priest Manuel Alberti represented the aspirations of the lower clergy. Miguel Angel Scenna points in his book "Las brevas maduras" that "such balance could not have been the result of chance or influences from outside of local context, but of a compromise of parties". Both authors deny the theory that claims that the composition of the Junta may had been suggested by the British: there was no time for that, nor there was any British man in Buenos Aires important enough as to influence in such matters.

The Chapter went to the balcony to submit directly to the ratification of the people's request. But given the lateness of the hour and the weather, the number of people in the square had declined, which Leiva pointed to ridicule the claim of the deputation to speak on behalf of the people. This filled the patience of the few who were in the square in the drizzle. From that time (says the minutes of the Town Hall),

It should be noted that the clapper of the bell of the Cabildo had been ordered removed by the Viceroy Santiago de Liniers after the riot of Alzaga at 1809. With the prospect of more violence, the request was read aloud and ratified by the attendees. The rules that govern the Junta were roughly the same as that proposed for the Junta of 24, adding that the council would control the activity of the members and that the Junta would appoint replacements in case of vacancies. Then, Saavedra spoke to the crowd gathered in the rain, and then moved to Fort between salvos of artillery and ringing of bells. Meanwhile, Cisneros dispatched Jose Melchor Lavin to Cordoba to warn Santiago de Liniers about what happened and to demand military action against the Junta.

The Primera Junta was composed as follows:

President

Cornelio Saavedra

Vowels

Dr. Manuel Alberti

Col. Miguel de Azcuenaga

Dr. Manuel Belgrano

Dr. Juan Jose Castelli

Domingo Matheu

Juan Larrea

Secretaries

Dr. Juan Jose Paso

Dr. Mariano Moreno

Viewpoint of Cisneros

The deposed Viceroy Cisneros gave his version of events the week of May in a letter to King Ferdinand VII dated June 22, 1810:

Revolutionary purposes

The government created on May 25 was pronounced loyal to the deposed Spanish king Ferdinand VII, but historians do not agree on whenever such loyalty was genuine or not. Since Mitre, many historians consider that such loyalty was merely a political deception to gain factual autonomy. The Primera Junta did not pledged allegiance to the Regency Counsel of Spain and the Indies, an agency of the Spanish monarchy still in operation, and in 1810 the possibility that Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated and Ferdinand returned to the throne still seemed remote and unlikely. The purpose of the deception would have been to gain time to strengthen the position of the patriotic cause, avoiding the reactions that may have led by a revolution, on the grounds that monarchical authority was still respected and that no revolution took place. The ruse is known as the "Mask of Ferdinand VII" and would have been upheld by the Primera Junta, the Junta Grande, and the First and Second Triumvirates. The Assembly of Year XIII was intended to declare independency, but failed to do so because of other political conflicts between its members; however, it suppressed mentions to Ferdinand VII from official documents. The supreme directors held an ambivalent attitude until the declaration of independence of 1816.

For Britain the change was favorable, as it facilitated trade with the cities of the area without seeing it hampered by the monopoly that Spain maintained over their colonies. However, Britain prioritized the war in Europe against France, allied with the Spanish power sector that had not yet been submitted, and could not appear to support American independentist movements or allow military attention of Spain being divided into two different fronts. Consequently, they pushed for independence demonstrations not being made explicit. This pressure was exerted by Lord Strangford, the British ambassador at the court of Rio de Janeiro, expressing support to the Junta, but conditioned "...if the behavior is consistent and that Capital retained on behalf of Mr. Dn. Fernando VII and his legitimate successors." However, the following conflicts between Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Artigas led to internal conflicts in the British front, between Strangford and the Portuguese regent John VI of Portugal.

Since Juan Bautista Alberdi, later historians such as Norberto Galasso, Luis Romero or Jose Carlos Chiaramonte held in doubt the interpretation made by Mitre, and designed a different one. Alberdi thought that "The Argentine revolution is a chapter of the Hispanoamerican revolution, which is such of the Spanish one, and this, as well, of the European revolution." They did not consider it a dispute between independentism and colonialism, but instead a dispute between the new libertarian ideas and absolutism, without the intention to cut the relation with Spain, but to reformulate it. Thus, it would have the characteristics of a civil war instead. Some points that would justify the idea would be the inclusion of Larrea, Matheu and Belgrano in the Junta and the later appearance of Jose de San Martin: Larrea and Matheu were Spanish, Belgrano studied for many years in Spain, and San Martin had lived so far most of his adult life waging war in Spain against the French. When San Martin talked about the enemies, he called them "royalists" or "Goths", but never "Spanish".

According to those historians, the Spanish revolution against absolutism got mixed with the Peninsular War. Charles IV was seen as an absolutist king, and by standing against his father many Spanish got the wrong understanding that Ferdinand VII sympathized with the new enlighten ideas. Thus, the revolutions made in the Americas in the name of Ferdinand VII would have been seeking to replace the absolutist power with others made under the new ideas. Even if Spain was at war with France, the ideals themselves of the French Revolution were still respected by those people. However, those revolutions pronounced themselves enemies of Napoleon, but did not face any active French military attack, which promoted instead fights between Spanish armies for keeping the old order of maintaining the new one. This situation would have changed with the final defeat of Napoleon and the return of Ferdinand VII to the throne, as he restored absolutism and persecuted the new libertarian ideas within Spain. For the people in South America, the idea of remaining as part of the Spanish Empire, but with a new relation with the mother country, was no longer a feasible option: the only remaining options at this point would have been a return to absolutism, or independentism.

Cornelio Saavedra spoke about the issue privately with Juan Jose Viamonte in a letter from 27 June 1811, addressing topics such as a known display of independentism by Maximo de Zamudio. This letter was subsequently rescued. In it, he explicitly mentioned the situation as a deception to avoid England from declaring war on them.

It should be noted that the groups who supported or carried out the revolution were not completely homogeneous in their purpose, and several had disparate interests together. The progressive Criollos and young people, represented on the Junta by Moreno, Castelli, Belgrano and Paso, aspired to far-reaching political, economic and social reforms. Moreover, the military and bureaucrats, whose views were carried forward by Saavedra, simply wanted a renewal of office holders, aspiring to remove the Spanish from the exclusive use of power, but inheriting their privileges and powers. The merchants and landlords subordinated the political issues to the economic decisions, particularly with respect to the opening or not of trade with England. Finally, some groups shuffled possibilities to replace the authority of the Regency Council with that of Charlotte of Portugal or the British crown, but such projects have had limited impact. These groups worked together for the common goal of expelling Cisneros from power, but after the Primera Junta was settled they began to express their internal differences.

No religious factors were involved in the revolution: all the revolutionaries and royalists agreed to support Catholicism. Still, most church leaders opposed the revolution. In Upper Peru the royalists and religious authorities sought to equate the revolutionaries with heretics, but the revolutionary leaders always promoted conciliatory policies in the religious aspects. For instance, Mariano Moreno translated The Social Contract to Spanish, but left aside the chapters that criticized religion. The priests and monks, however, were divided geographically: the provinces "from below" were loyal to the revolution, while those of Upper Peru preferred to remain loyal to the monarchy.

Aftermath

Neither the council of regency, the members of the Royal Court or the Spanish population from Europe believed the premise of loyalty to King Ferdinand VII, not willingly accepting the new situation. Audience members did not want to swear in members of the Primera Junta, and in doing so they did it with expressions of contempt. On June 15 members of the Royal Court secretly swore allegiance to the Council of Regency and sent circulars to the inner cities, calling to disregard the new government. To stop their maneuvers, the Junta convened to all members of the audience, Bishop Lue y Riega and the former Viceroy Cisneros, arguing that their lives were in danger, sending them on the British ship Dart. Its captain Mark Brigut Larrea was instructed not to stop at any American port and transfer all shipped to the Canary Islands. Following the successful removal of the aforementioned groups a new audience was appointed, composed entirely of natives loyal to the revolution.

With the exception of Cordoba, cities that are now part of Argentina endorsed the Primera Junta. The Upper Peru did not take position, due to the outcomes of revolutions in Chuquisaca and La Paz shortly before. Paraguay was undecided. In the Banda Oriental there was a strong royalist stronghold, as in Chile.

Santiago de Liniers led a counterrevolution in Cordoba, against which it was led the first military movement of the government's independence. However, despite the rise of Liniers and his prestige as a hero against the British invasions, the population of Cordoba in general supported the revolution, which led to the power of his army being sapped by desertions and sabotage. The counter-rising of Liniers was quickly smothered by the forces led by Francisco Ortiz de Ocampo. However, once captured Ocampo refused to shoot Liniers who had fought alongside him in the British invasions, so that the execution was done by Juan Jose Castelli.

After quelling the rebellion, the Junta proceeded to send military expeditions to many other cities, demanding support for the Primera Junta. The military service was requested to almost all families, both poor and rich, whereupon most of the patrician families chose to send their slaves to the army instead of to their children. This is one of the reasons for the decline of the black population in Argentina.

Montevideo, which had a rivalry with the city of Buenos Aires from time before, opposed the Primera Junta and was declared new capital of the viceroyalty by Spanish Juntas, which appointed Francisco Javier de Elio as new Viceroy. The city was well defended and could resist possible attacks from Buenos Aires, but the peripheral cities around Montevideo acted contrary to it and supported the change. Led by Jose Gervasio Artigas, they kept Montevideo under siege until the defeat of the royalists.

The Captaincy General of Chile (modern Chile) followed a process similar to the May Revolution during the same year and was ruled by a Government Junta, starting a brief period known as Patria Vieja. However, they would be defeated in 1814 during the battle of Rancagua, and with the Reconquista Chile would become again a royalist stronghold. Even so, the Andes mountain range provided an effective natural barrier between the revolutionaries and Chile, so there was no military confrontation with them until the completion of the Crossing of the Andes by Jose de San Martin and the Army of the Andes at 1817. After it, the Royalists in Chile were defeated.

The Primera Junta expanded its membership to incorporate within itself the deputies sent by the cities that supported the Revolution, after which the Junta became known as the Junta Grande. Juntas would be dissolved after the defeat on the battle of Huaqui, replaced by triumvirates, and later by the unipersonal authority of a Supreme Director. With Martin Miguel de Guemes holding the royalist armies at bay in the north, and San Martin attacking the royalist stronghold in Lima from the sea (using Chilean ships), the war moved to the north of South America, and Buenos Aires would engage instead into the Argentine Civil Wars.

Consequences

According to historian Felix Luna in his book "A Brief History of the Argentines", one of the most important consequences of the May Revolution in society was the paradigm shift, which was the way the relationship between the people and rulers was considered. Until that time, the conception of common good prevailed: while respecting fully the royal authority, when considering that a warrant from the crown of Spain was detrimental to the common good of the local population, it was half-met or ignored. This was a normal procedure. With the revolution, the concept of common good gave way to popular sovereignty, driven by people like Moreno, Castelli or Monteagudo, which held that in the absence of legitimate authority the people had the right to appoint their own leaders. Over time, popular sovereignty would give way to majority rule, which posits that it is the majority of the population that determines, at least in theory, the current government. This maturation of the ideas was slow and gradual, and took many decades to crystallize in an election, but was what finally led to the adoption of the republican system as the form of government of Argentina. Domingo Faustino Sarmiento stated similar points at Facundo, but noticing that cities were more pervious to those changes while rural areas were more resistant to them, leading to the appearance of caudillos.

Another consequence, also according to the aforementioned historian, was the disintegration of the territories that belonged to the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata in several different territories. Most of the cities composing it had populations, productions, attitudes, contexts and interests of their own. These people were held together by the authority of the Spanish government, but with the disappearance of it, people in Montevideo, Paraguay and Upper Peru began to distance themselves from Buenos Aires. The short duration of the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata, barely 38 years, failed to forge a patriotic feeling to link them as a common unit. Juan Bautista Alberdi also sees in the May Revolution one of the early manifestations of the power struggles between the city of Buenos Aires and the interior, one of the axes around which revolved the Argentine civil wars. Alberdi wrote in his book "Escritos postumos" as follows:

Historical perspective

Historiographical studies of the May Revolution do not face many doubts or unknown details. Most important details about it were properly recorded at the time, and made available to the public by the Primera Junta as patriotic propaganda. Because of this, the different historical views on the topic differ on interpretations of the meanings, causes and consequences of the events rather than the accuracy of the depiction of the event themselves. The modern historical vision of the revolutionary events do not differ significantly from the contemporary ones.

The first remarkable historiographical school of interpretation of the history of Argentina was founded by Bartolome Mitre. Mitre regarded the May Revolution as an iconic expression of political egalitarianism, the conflict between modern freedoms and oppression represented by the Spanish monarchy, and the attempt to establish a national organization on constitutional principles as opposed to the leadership of the caudillos.

Meanwhile, Esteban Echeverria epitomized the ideals of May in the concepts of progress and democracy. In future, these concepts would be the axis around which revisionist history would differ from the canonical history in reference to the events of May. The canonical version claimed progress and justify the abandonment or delay the realization of democratic ideals in order not to risk the economic prosperity of society arguing that even then was not able to properly take advantage of political freedom. This situation was known as the establishment of the "Possible Republic."

In the opposite lane, revisionism openly criticized the lack of formation of a true democracy. The historian Jose Maria Rosa, for example, asserted that the canonical history portrayed the revolution as the exclusive product of a small sector of the population driven by the desire to trade freedoms and individual liberties, minimizing the involvement of the masses or the desire for independence for independence itself. Rosa also found that the canonical history sought to minimize or conceal the political stances of Manuel Belgrano, presenting him instead only as a military leader.

The figure of Mariano Moreno also led to disputes over his confrontational methods. Some historians see him as the main driver of the revolution, or the government emerging from it, while others relativize his influence. Disparities also exist on his account or not as a Jacobin, the popular uprooting of his positions, or the analyze of his thoughts, his sources or his actions. There's also an alleged document called "Operations plan" setting radical goals and measures for the Junta, and whose authenticity and authorship by Moreno is under high controversy. However, beyond the value judgments of every historian, there is consensus among them in regard to Mariano Moreno as one of the protagonists in May with the most radical revolutionary position and determination.

National homages

Currently, May 25 is remembered as a patriotic date in Argentina, with the character of a national holiday. The holiday is set by law 21.329 and it is immovable, meaning it is celebrated exactly on May 25 regardless of day of the week. In the year 2010 will be 200 years of the May Revolution, leading to the Bicentennial of Argentina.

The date, as well as the image of a Cabildo in a generic form, are used in different variants to honor the May Revolution. Two of the most notable are the Avenida de Mayo and the Plaza de Mayo at Buenos Aires, at the latter it was erected the Piramide de Mayo a year after the revolution, which was rebuilt to its present form in 1856. "May 25" is the name of several administrative divisions, cities, public spaces and landforms of Argentina. There are departments under this name in the provinces of Chaco, Misiones, San Juan, Rio Negro and Buenos Aires, the later one holding the Veinticinco de Mayo city. The cities of Rosario (Santa Fe), Junin (Buenos Aires) and Resistencia (Chaco) have eponymous squares. The King George Island is under sovereignty claims of Argentina, Britain and Chile, as part of the Argentine Antarctica, British Antarctic Territory and Chilean Antarctic Territory; with Argentina knowing it as "Isla 25 de Mayo".

A commemorative Cabildo is also used at coins of 25 cents, and an image of the Sun of May on the 5 cents of the current Argentine Peso. An image of the Cabildo during the Revolution was also included the back of the back of banknotes of 5 pesos of the former Peso Moneda Nacional.

In popular culture

The nature of anniversaries of May 25 drives each year the description in children's magazines in Argentina, for example Billiken, as well as textbooks use in primary schools. These publications often omit some aspects of the historical event, as their violence or political content might be considered inappropriate for minors, such as the high arming of the population of that time (following the preparation against the second British invasion) or the class struggle between the Criollos and the Spanish peninsulares. Instead, it focuses on the revolution as an event devoid of violence and that inevitably would have happened one way or another, and the emphasis is on secondary issues such as the weather on 25 and if that day it rained or not, or whether the use of umbrellas was widespread or limited to a minority. It is also presented as archetypal of the revolution the presence of various workers, including a mazamorreros delivering pies among the people in the plaza on May 25. This was reported by the National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism as an example of discrimination against black people in Argentina, and therefore requested a reformulation of textbooks facing the academic year 2009.

The events were represented at "La Revolucion de Mayo", an early silent films from Argentina, shot in 1909 by Mario Gallo and premiered in 1910, the centenary year. It was the first Argentine fiction film done with professional actors.

Among the songs inspired by the events of May is the "Candombe de 1810". The tango singer Carlos Gardel sang "El Sol del 25", with lyrics by Domingo Lombardi and James Rocca, and "Salve Patria" by Eugenio Cardenas and Guillermo Barbieri. Peter Berruti, meanwhile, created "Gavota de Mayo" with folk music.

The revolution of May is also represented on a comic book with scripts by the historian Felipe Pigna along with Stephen D'Aranno and Julio Leiva, and illustrations of Miguel Scenna. It is part of a series of comic books entitled "The comic book Argentina by Felipe Pigna" , which also made similar productions on other developments in Argentina's history as the British invasions or the Conquest of the Desert, or biographies of national heroes like Jose de San Martin, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and Manuel Belgrano. The comic takes place after the arrival of Cisneros to Buenos Aires until the death of Mariano Moreno at sea. The stage of the Primera Junta is portrayed favorably to Moreno and unfavorable to Saavedra.

Felipe Pigna also directed the TV documentary Algo habran hecho por la historia argentina, which was intended to recount the highlights of the history of Argentina in a way accessible to the public. For those using a companion to whom he explained the story (Mario Pergolini in the first season) and alternated between explanations from the present explanations in the presence of representatives of times explained, and scenes in which various actors representing specific situations. The revolution of May it was in the first chapter of the first season, and had the cooperation of the actors Ernesto Larrese (Juan Jose Castelli), Pablo Rago (Mariano Moreno), Gabo Correa (Domingo French), Marcelo D'Andrea (Juan Jose Paso), Norberto Lasalle (Santiago de Liniers), Fernando Llosa (Cornelio Saavedra), Hector Malamud (Benito Lue y Riega), Pablo Razuk (Nicolas Rodriguez Pena), Marcelo Savignone (Manuel Belgrano) and Fabiana Garcia Lago (Maria Guadalupe Cuenca), among others.

See also

Primera Junta

Argentine War of Independence

Argentine Declaration of Independence

History of Argentina

External links

La Revolucion de Mayo

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