WIT Press
Britain and the Making of Argentina

Britain and the Making of Argentina

Authors: Gordon Bridger, UK


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“When in the centuries to come, the Argentine nation tells the world of the use it has made of its sovereignty, the name of Great Britain will figure in its story as the principal factor of its political, social and economic progress, whose influence has been at all times beneficial for the fortunes of the Republic, and must be so with greater efficacy in the future”

General Bartolome Mitre – 1905

By 1914, Argentina had become one of the world’s largest trading nations and, according to some, the tenth most prosperous country in the world. She exported more than all the South American countries together. Argentina was the agricultural ‘El Dorado’ of the world.

It was principally British technology, British capital, British management, combined with massive immigration from southern Europe, which converted Argentina from an economic backwater into the wealthiest country in South America. Buenos Aires became the richest, most European city, in the southern hemisphere. This sadly neglected history needs retelling as it is not without relevance today. While it is a history of development it has been personalized to bring alive the pioneering achievements of the many thousands of British people who contributed to its transformation.( Its author, a development economist, traces his family’s involvement with Argentina, to its earliest days of independence).