Great European immigration wave to Argentina

Further information: Immigration to Argentina
Immigrants' Hotel, Buenos Aires. Built in 1906, it could accommodate up to 4,000.

The great European immigration wave to Argentina took place in the late 19th and early 20th century. It consisted mostly of Italian and Spanish immigrants, along with other nationalities such as Slavs (especially Ukrainians, Poles, and Russians), French, Germans, and Irish among others. During this period Argentina saw a huge increase in population. The European immigrants modified the politics of Argentina by introducing political movements from their source countries, such as labor unionism, anarchism and socialism.


Percentage of Argentines —by provinces and territories— that where born in Europe (1914)

Before the immigration, Argentina was sparsely populated. The Spanish colonization of the Americas favored Mexico and Peru, the southern Spanish regions had no sources of wealth and had lower populations. This population decreased even more in the 19th century, during the Argentine War of Independence and the Argentine Civil Wars. Several Argentines from that time period, such as Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and Juan Bautista Alberdi, thought that it was imperative to populate the country. The Constitution of Argentina of 1853 promoted European immigration in its 25th article, which prohibited any barriers on immigration.

As the immigration came from several European countries, there was no single reason that led to the immigrants leaving their home countries. Some of them simply sought a better lifestyle, but many others escaped from ongoing conflicts within Europe. Some Spanish and Italian immigrants had been part of the International Workers' Association, and some German immigrants had been removed from Germany by a decree of Bismarck that banned socialism in 1878. Spanish immigrants escaped from the Third Carlist War.

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