"La oligarquia" (Oligarchy) is the name given by Peronism to Argentina's wealthy landed aristocracy, which was the dominant class in Argentine politics prior to the ascent of president Hipolito Yrigoyen in 1916. Among the charges levelled by Peronism and the left against this class was that they showed little interest in expanding beyond farming, allowing foreign companies, (mainly British), to build the Argentine railway system, as well most industrial facilities and public utilities.
The immense wealth generated by the fertile pampas afforded members of this class a rich lifestyle. Their mansions in the north side of Buenos Aires, and their creature comforts, were designed to mirror Paris. On their trips to Europe they popularized tango dance; their profligacy was so noted that the French created the expression, "rich as an Argentine."
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