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Argentina celebrates bicentenary of revolution

May 25, 2010 - ARGENTINA

On 25 May 1810, revolutionaries deposed the Spanish viceroy and formed a junta. The royalists were defeated in the war that followed, and independence was declared on 9 Jul 1816. Argentina is one of several South American countries marking the bicentenary of their revolution in 2009-2010. It is likely to celebrate the milestone by trying to rescue its own revolutionary heroes from relative obscurity on the continent, where Simón Bolívar, a Venezuelan independence leader, has acquired cult status.

On 25 May 1810, revolutionaries deposed the Spanish viceroy and formed a junta. The royalists were defeated in the war that followed, and independence was declared on 9 Jul 1816. Argentina is one of several South American countries marking a bicentenary in 2009-2010. It is likely to celebrate the milestone by trying to rescue its own revolutionary heroes from relative obscurity on the continent, where Venezuelan independence leader Simón Bolívar has acquired cult status. Street parties, tango-dancing, music and traditional food will mark the occasion, and Argentina will open a Bicentennial Cultural Center for the occasion. It plans to stage many exhibitions and festivities throughout the country on May 25, which is an annual holiday. The country is restoring historical monuments for the bicentenary, and special stamps and coins can be expected. Ministers of culture of the Ibero-American group met in 2007 to form the Bicentennial Group. Made up by Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Venezuela and Chile--nations that began their emancipation process from the Spanish crown between 1809 and 1811--it aims to coordinate independence activities across the continent. Bolivia and Ecuador celebrate their bicentennials in 2009, followed by Argentina, Chile, and Mexico in 2010. Venezuela' celebrated in 2010, though the actual date is in 2011. Paraguay's is due in 2011. Colombia has decided to commemorate its anniversary in 2019. Guatemala and Peru follow in 2021. On the continent, the Argentine José de San Martín, has lost ground as a hero of the fratricidal wars that broke Spain's hegemony over the American continent to Bolivar. Many statues, plazas, streets, schools, monuments are dedicated to san Martín, and the bicentennial will be an opportunity to set him back in the spotlight with other Argentine leaders in the struggle. Dr. Mariano Moreno, an Argentine writer, lawyer, politician and journalist, is considered among the founding fathers of the Republic of Argentina. He emerged as a leader in the first years of the 19th Century, first in the fighting against the British and then in the movement for independence from Spain. His promising political career ended prematurely when he died at sea under suspicious circumstances: he was only 32. Manuel Belgrano is also regarded as one of the liberators, but is associated with a string of military failures. In modern times, he is best known as the namesake of a war ship sunk in the Atlantic by the British Navy during the war over the Falklands Islands. Martin de Pueyrredón is also associated with failure. He assisted San Martín in the Chilean campaign of 1817-18. Congress promulgated a unitarian constitution in 1819 that was rejected by the people, so his success at averting anarchy was brief. The civil war of 1820 followed. UPDATED May/10

Grupo Bicentenario

Bicentennial Group (QuePasa)

Encyclopedia Britannica

Building Latin American bicentennials in an age of globalization (OLA)

Date written/update: 2010-05-25