General issues: Confederation 1858-1862, Federal republic 1862-Present
Country name one general issues: Argentina
- Buenos Aires, Republic 1858-1859
- Provincial issues: Buenos Aires 1862, Cordoba 1858, Corrientes 1856-1880
- Private issues, Telegraph issues 1887-1894:
- Compania Telegrafica del Rio de la Plata
- Ferro-carril Andino
- Ferro-carril Argentino del Este
- Ferro-carril Buenos Aires al Pacifico
- Ferro-carril Buenos Aires y Pto. De la Ensenada
- Ferro-carril Central al Norte
- Ferro-carril Oeste Argentino
- Ferro-carril Santa Fe a Las Colonias
- Telegrafo Trasandino
- Private issues: Tierra del Fuego 1891
Currency: 1 Peso = 100 Centavos 1858-1985, 1 Austral = 100 Centavos 1985-1992, 1 Peso = 100 Centavos 1992-Present
Population: 4 542 000 in 1900, 41 450 000 in 2013
Political history Argentina
Building the nation
Argentina is located in South America. The future Argentina is colonized by Spainin the 16th century. At the start of the 19th century it is part of the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata to which the future Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay also belong. The conquest of Spain by Napoleon triggers what would become independence movements all through the Spanish possessions in the Americas. In Buenos Aires the viceroy is deposed in 1810, signalling the start of a war of independence. Formal independence is declared in 1816 as the United Provinces of South America – a name that would be changed to United Provinces of Rio de la Plata in 1820. Some provinces of the former Viceroyalty break away in this process of nation building to become separate independent states: Paraguay in 1811, Bolivia in 1825 and Uruguay in 1828. In 1831, the remaining provinces form the Argentine Confederation. The history of the Argentine Confederation is one of continued conflicts that at times escalate into civil war. In 1852, the province of Buenos Aires declares independence as the republic of Buenos Aires. In 1853, the provinces loyal to the Confederation adopt a constitution that will transform Argentina from a confederation of largely independent states to a federal republic with a central government – a constitution has been upheld until today. Buenos Aires, in 1859, rejoins the Confederation and in 1860 the Republic of Argentina is formally proclaimed. In 1861 Buenos Aires will break away from the Argentine republic once more to return a year later. Finally, in 1862, the first national president of the republic will be elected. Argentina having become a federal republic, the provinces, until today, have a large degree of self government – allowing the provinces to have their own constitution and parliament. Individual provinces will revolt against the federal government until 1880.
Extending the nation: colonization of the interior and southern regions
When Argentina is united as a federal republic in 1862, the provinces that form the republic control only part of the country as we know it today. Large parts of the country are, at the time, inhabited only by the indigenous Amerindian peoples – Argentine has known some 30 Amerindian peoples – and have yet to be colonized. These territories – the Chaco, Pampa and Patagonia regions – are in 1862 claimed for Argentina as national territories to be administered by the federal government. In the 1870’s, major efforts are made to bring these territories under control. The last major battle with the resisting Amerindian peoples is fought in 1884 in Patagonia. In 1881, the external borders of Argentinean Patagonia have been agreed upon with Chile. Going through a number of administrative changes, the national territories will, in the 1950’s, gain the status of provinces equal to that of the founding provinces.
Extending the nation: territorial gains
From 1864 to 1870, Argentina is, with Bolivia and Brazil, involved in the Triple Alliance War against Paraguay. This conflict – started by Paraguay – will develop into the largest armed conflict in the history of South America. The Alliance comes out victorious. Parts of Paraguay are ceded to the members of the Alliance. Negotiations with Argentina are finalized in 1876 resulting in the acquisition of the Formosa and Misiones territories – part of the latter is ceded to Brazil in 1895. Formosa and Misiones are administered as national territories until becoming provinces in the 1950’s. A further extension of the territory of Argentina is effected in 1889 when Bolivia cedes the Los Andes territory – part of which will be ceded to Chile in 1899. Los Andes is administered as a national territory until divided in 1943 between the adjacent provinces.
Political and economical developments from 1880
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries political power in Argentina is largely in the hands of a select group of landowners. Although a democratic state, voting rights are limited. A military coup in 1930 starts a period of several decades in which military dictatorships alternate with periods of democratically elected governments. Probably one of the most striking and popular presidents in modern Argentinean history is Juan Peron, who held office from 1946 to 1955 and again from 1973 to 1974. The military junta that ruled the country from 1976 to 1983 is known for the period of excessive state repression known as the ‘Dirty War’. The ‘Mothers of the Plaza Mayo’ demonstrated, until 2006, to resolve the many cases of persons that disappeared during this period. This military junta also initiated the 1982 Falklands War in which Argentina occupied the Falklands Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The British victory in the Falklands War brought down the military junta. Since 1983, Argentina has been a stable democracy.
Economically Argentina developed rapidly from the 1880’s. By the early 20th century Argentina ranked among the top ten of countries with the highest per capita GDP in the world. Also, between 1880 and 1930, Argentina is a country with mass immigration – mainly from Europe – second only to the United States. From the 1930’s, the Argentine economy is less vigorous. With governments swinging from nationalization to privatization, Argentina has known several periods of crises and hyperinflation.In terms of per capita GDP, Argentina ranks 78th out of 203 countries in the world.
Since the 1820’s, Argentina has claimed the Falkland Islands – a British possession since 1833. Furthermore, Argentina claims South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands – also British possessions – and, since 1946, a sector of Antarctica between the 25th and 74th degree of west longitude and south of the 60th degree of south latitude – including the South Shetland and South Orkney Islands. A claim that overlaps with the claims of Chile and Great Britain. The territories thus claimed are considered to be part o the Argentinean province of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and the South Atlantic Islands. The claim to Antarctica is subject to the Antarctic Treaty, effective since 1961, that sets aside the Antarctic as a scientific preserve and stipulates that a presence in the Antarctic does not constitute a basis for a claim to de jure sovereignty. Argentina operates a number of scientific bases in the Antarctic.
Postal history Argentina
The first stamps to be issued in Argentina were issued in 1856 by the province of Corrientes. The design of the stamps is copied from the ‘Ceres’ design of France. Corrientes issued stamps until 1880 when they were superseded by the issues on the national level. Further provinces to have issued stamps were Cordoba and Buenos Aires. Cordoba issued stamps from 1858 that were valid only for provincial mail. The stamps of Cordoba were withdrawn in 1860. Buenos Aires issued its first stamps in 1858 as the independent republic of Buenos Aires – a set prepared in 1857 was never issued. From 1862 stamps were issued as a province of the Argentine republic. The stamps of Buenos Aires were withdrawn in 1864.
On a national level, the first stamps were issued in Argentina in 1858. They were inscribed ‘Confeon Argentina'‘Argentine Confederation’ and show the coat of arms of the Confederation. The first stamps inscribed ‘Republica Argentina’ were issued in 1862 and show the coat of arms of the republic. Argentina has almost exclusively issued stamps with themes of national interest.
Local issues are listed for Tierra del Fuego by Michel and Stanley Gibbons. Tierra del Fuego had a gold rush after gold was found in 1883. The explorer and entrepeneur Julius Popper set up several gold digger camps. The stamps were issued in 1891 and were used to pay for mail being taken from these camps to Punta Arenas or Ushuaia where they would enter the Chilean or Argentinean mail systems.
Yvert & Tellier lists telegraph stamps issued by telegraph and railroad companies. These would be state owned or private companies – many of the railroad companies at the time being in British hands. Stamps were issued by these companies in 1887 to be used until 1894.
Foreign offices existed in Buenos Aires. A British office using British stamps from 1860 to 1873, a French office using French stamps from 1860 to 1878 and Italian office using the ‘Estero’ issues for Italian offices abroad from 1856 to 1873.