Argentina Facts and History

Argentina Facts and History - They Go Beyond Soccer and Tango

Think Argentina, and a stadium full of wild, cheering soccer fans in blue and white swim before our eyes. But of course there's so much beyond soccer about this amazing Latin country.
Vacayholics Staff
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2017
Latins are tenderly enthusiastic. In Brazil they throw flowers at you. In Argentina they throw themselves.
~ Marlene Dietrich

That explains the sentimentality and enthusiasm of Argentinians. The name, Argentina, is derived from the Latin word argentum which means silver. Argentum has its roots from the Greek word argentos which means "shining white". This beautiful, shining country is the home to highly regarded and internationally recognized social and cultural endowments as the Tango music and dance, Argentinian wine and, most significantly, legendary soccer players like Diego Maradona, Carlos Tevez, Alfredo Di Stefano, Gabriel Batistuta, Mario Kempes, Lionel Messi, contribute to the popularity charts. Argentina has a rich history and there are many interesting facts that would amaze us all.

History

Interesting past of this amazingly hospitable and pastorally beautiful country.
  • Northwestern Argentina was invaded and conquered by the Inca king, King Pachacutec in 1408. After defeating various regional tribes like Atacamas, Omaguacas, Diaguitas and Huarpes, a collective region, named Collasuyu was established.
  • The first European explorer to set foot upon Argentinian soil was Juan Diaz de Solis who came to this region in search of gold in 1516. During this time, a chunk of the indigenous population was wiped out owing to diseases brought along by the Europeans.
  • In 1542, the Viceroyalty of Peru was established by the Spanish government which covered all the regions it held in South America.
  • A permanent colony was established by Spain in 1580 as part of the Governorate of the Rio de la Plata which came to be known as Buenos Aires.
  • A Portuguese trading post across the Rio de la Plata was established in 1680.
  • The fight for Argentina's independence against Spain was led by Jose de San Martin in 1812 following the overthrowing of the Spanish monarch by Napoleon in 1810.
  • The official declaration of independence from Spain by the Argentinian provinces took place in 1816.
  • Argentina adopted a constitution and declared itself a republic nation in 1853.
  • General Juan Peron became a significant figure in Argentina's political circuit in the year 1943 and was ultimately elected as the President in 1946.
  • Juan Peron fled Argentina in 1955 owing to the strong rebellions of the army and navy against his government.
  • Peron was again elected as the Argentinian president in 1973 and continued his office till his death in 1974.
  • The war with United Kingdom for Argentina's claims on the Falklands Islands began in 1982.
Lesser Known Facts
  • Let's begin with the flag of Argentina. There are two versions to the Argentinian flag. The first one is with the 'Sun of May' and the other without it. Both flags have the National flag status. However, with regards to their usage and symbolism, the Official Ceremonial Flag (the one with the Sun of May) is regarded as the civil, war and state flag of Argentina while the Ornamental flag (the one without the Sun of May) is regarded as an alternate civil flag.
  • Argentina is the fifth largest wine-producing country in the world, boasting of around 1800 operating wineries within its political boundaries. The Penaflor winery in Argentina ranks as the second largest winery in the world.
  • Based upon landmass and surface dimensions, Argentina is the eighth largest country after Russia, Canada, United States, China, Brazil, Australia, and India.
  • The official language of Argentina is Spanish and the majority of the population comprises European races.
  • The most original form of Tango traces its origins to Argentina.
  • The earliest footsteps of human civilization in the Argentinian region has been found in Patagonia.
  • The tallest mountain in the entire region of South America, Mount Aconcagua, is situated in Argentina.
  • Argentinian law governs that only a Roman Catholic can be regarded eligible to be elected as, and hold the office of the President or the Vice President of the nation.
  • The national sport of Argentina, Pato, is a combination of basketball and polo.
  • Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was the first woman to be elected as the President of Argentina.
  • The Argentinian armed forces has 70, 000 personnel.
  • In terms of population, Argentina is the 30th most populated country.
Mount Aconcagua
Argentina Flag
General Jose de San Martin
Tango dancers