A New World Wreathed in Freedom - An Argentine Revolution TL

14 - The General Assembly, the Cabildos and the Provinces (The UP in 1830, Part 2)
The General Assembly, the Cabildos and the Provinces
The delineation of powers and responsibilities between the cabildos and the General Assembly were an equally fraught and sometimes inconsistent process: by retroactively legitimizing the sweeping authority the Cabildo of Buenos Aires had assumed for itself and subsequently conferred upon the Junta, the General Assembly held a near absolute power over the territory of the former Viceroyalty. But in practice, much of the early work of the General Assembly consisted precisely of defining which powers had “returned” to the cabildos: the overwhelming majority of cabildos in the country were strictly municipal and local in nature, but the more prominent cabildos could wield significant authority in their interiors, while cabildos like Chuquisaca, Asuncion and eventually Montevideo could reasonably demand for themselves the viceroyal powers that Buenos Aires had established could be inherited.

So the General Assembly’s first task was to arrange the precarious balancing act between the wide range of cabildo sizes: it recognized special privileges for the cities that had held viceroyal institutions like Buenos Aires (which was also awarded two more delegates for its role in the beginning of the revolution), Montevideo, Asuncion and Chuquisaca, declaring their provinces indivisible and granting them 4 delegates. Then it recognized the largest cities of the interior, in particular those that were seats of regional power and influence like Cordoba and Tucuman, by empowering them to convene provincial assemblies and granting them each 2 delegates for the General Assembly. And finally, it established a threshold for obtaining recognition to the General Assembly, first 15 then later 10,000 inhabitants, expanding the Assembly to 80 delegates by 1830 from an original 36, and opening the door to even further expansion when it voted to conduct the nation’s first census in 1831 and reapportion delegates accordingly.

This turned the cabildo simultaneously into a key component of every-day local government and into an electoral district in and of itself: between elections for delegates to the General Assembly, the cabildos continued to function as the seats of the municipal governments that most Platines interacted with on a daily basis. Initially a source of tension with the provinces, it also created the space for the more influential cabildos to reassert themselves and exercise considerable authority over their provincial borders. Asunción was in many ways the model for the system that grew organically from this process, as the paraguayan cabildo had never stopped functioning as it had during the Viceroyalty, exercising authority over a large swathe of the northern reaches of the country.

The process was more gradual in the rest of the country, as Montevideo struggled with years of occupation and Chuquisaca’s provincial authority was intimately intertwined with the military forces guarding it from invasion. By 1830, however, provinces had organized throughout the country and took on political lives of their own: native governors came to power in Misiones and the Upper Amazonian provinces, while native representatives occupied high ranking posts in Paraguay, and exerted such influence in the Upper Perú that the province would change its name to Collao, to further distance itself from its colonial vestiges.

But it was a constant tug of war of competencies with the national government, as local laws and rulings overlapped frequently with national laws and rulings. Most provinces had adopted local constitutions based on the national model and most had also passed legislation along similar lines to the first laws drafted by the General Assembly, so the result was more often than not redundancy as opposed to conflict. But when conflicts did inevitably arise, the dual role of the Cabildo turned into a long-term advantage for the General Assembly’s supremacy: the Assembly’s constitutional role as “assembly of the cabildos” placed it in a privileged legal position, as Platine jurisprudence gravitated towards an interpretation of retrocession of sovereignty that recognized the provinces as previous to independence but “derived from the cabildos”, essentially arguing that it was the cabildos, and not the provinces, that had ceded that sovereignty to the General Assembly.

Paradoxically, the Province of Buenos Aires would be the last to truly assert itself as a provincial government: the former capital’s grip on the most important positions in the national government meant that the Buenos Aires Cabildo was more frequently focused on national debates, with administration of the local government reduced to a side job for the myriad civil servants attached to the Cabildo’s delegation that commuted to and from La Plata between sessions. But when most of its delegates were locked out of the cabinet after the Liberals lost their majority in 1826, the Buenos Aires cabildo’s relationship with the national government changed.

Coinciding with a national trend in favor of loosening the reins of the national government in the provinces, Buenos Aires quickly became a model of centralized provincial control that contrasted heavily with the more diffuse administrations that characterized Paraguay and Uruguay. Mariano Moreno remained an influential figure in the city, and his supporters only further consolidated their grip on the local government as the national government shifted towards the Federalists.

Long-time Morenist Bernardino Rivadavia cemented his place in Platine history with his revolutionary term as Governor of Buenos Aires starting in 1828: a firm believer in the state and using its power for national improvement, he applied in Buenos Aires what he felt the national government was too reticent to do itself. He’d found the University of Buenos Aires in 1828, creating the country’s first liberal university to complement the three colonial universities of Córdoba (1613), Chuquisaca (1624), and Asunción (1733), and would be the first to spearhead the process of secularization of education and public records.

His expansive interpretation and exercise of provincial powers was transformative: in the feedback loop of provincial and national competencies, he continued to push the boundaries of what the state could and should do, going further than even Moreno had in his time as General Secretary. He reinvested the port’s customs duties into public works, including the first rail projects in the country that attempted to emulate innovations from the UK and the US, and would be a model for like minded governors in the interior who emulated his ambitious projects as the Federalist-led national government began to fracture after 1830.

The question of provincial competencies would change in the 1830s, and the political landscape with it: at first the provinces were understood as responsible for the things that the General Assembly didn’t or couldn’t do, but the combination of a radical Liberal government in Buenos Aires and a radically anti-centralist Federalist government in La Plata expanded those responsibilities to include what the General Assembly could but wouldn’t do.

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Bernardino Rivadavia pushed the boundaries of provincial power, using public funds to build the foundations of a modern state including the first experiments with railroads in the country.
 
This has been an excellent read so far and I'm looking forward to more. Being Peruvian, I've admittedly been more attentive to the parts dealing with Peru and Alto Peru/Collao but one of your most recent updates brought up a point that I think there's decent odds you've been mulling over in becoming a influence later into this TL that I'm curious to pick your brain on. That being the cross-cultural ties between Peru and Collao, unfounded Peruvian irridentism towards Collao, the historical support for unification across both states, etc. Granted, some of these aspects will be butterflied and given enough time Collao will be fixated on its fellow citizens over Peru, but egotistical Peruvian elites in Lima won't see that way.

It seems to me like there's plausibility for some or all of Peru to be integrated into, annexed, or defect to the government in the UP given the right scenarios. I had a slight feeling that you were mulling over a personal union between the UP and Peru under a Quechua monarch claiming legitimacy via the Inca realm for a bit, but I haven't kept up with the non-TL comments to see how that went over. Another scenario that seems plausible is that within the first few decades of Peruvian independence and the UP still being seen positively by the people south of Lima, divisions between the north, south, and Lima could escalate such that a civil war, secession, etc. could break out that sees southern Peru petition to join the UP. Another angle might be increasing tensions between the white/mestizo oligarchs of Lima versus the native Quechua leading to a general defection to the UP of much of the Andean provinces and Arequipa?

Might be weird to see a Peruvian so interested in chopping up or dissolving their own country but I get the impression that the groundwork has been set for the UP to expand its borders with minimal to no war and Peru seems like the easiest candidate by far. I'm also one of those people that's a big fan of seeing the subject of a TL having their success maximized where feasible akin to viewing the subject state as a protagonist of sorts. It's by far the most Quechua-friendly of the post-colonial states, looks to be the most economically successful of them too which will be a powerful influence, has a lot of prestige and goodwill going for it in South Peru, and is almost certain to be out of the geopolitical weight class of Peru within a couple of decades at most. I see a lot of factors that could push things in that direction given the right circumstances.
 

Taimur500

Banned
This has been an excellent read so far and I'm looking forward to more. Being Peruvian, I've admittedly been more attentive to the parts dealing with Peru and Alto Peru/Collao but one of your most recent updates brought up a point that I think there's decent odds you've been mulling over in becoming a influence later into this TL that I'm curious to pick your brain on. That being the cross-cultural ties between Peru and Collao, unfounded Peruvian irridentism towards Collao, the historical support for unification across both states, etc. Granted, some of these aspects will be butterflied and given enough time Collao will be fixated on its fellow citizens over Peru, but egotistical Peruvian elites in Lima won't see that way.

It seems to me like there's plausibility for some or all of Peru to be integrated into, annexed, or defect to the government in the UP given the right scenarios. I had a slight feeling that you were mulling over a personal union between the UP and Peru under a Quechua monarch claiming legitimacy via the Inca realm for a bit, but I haven't kept up with the non-TL comments to see how that went over. Another scenario that seems plausible is that within the first few decades of Peruvian independence and the UP still being seen positively by the people south of Lima, divisions between the north, south, and Lima could escalate such that a civil war, secession, etc. could break out that sees southern Peru petition to join the UP. Another angle might be increasing tensions between the white/mestizo oligarchs of Lima versus the native Quechua leading to a general defection to the UP of much of the Andean provinces and Arequipa?

Might be weird to see a Peruvian so interested in chopping up or dissolving their own country but I get the impression that the groundwork has been set for the UP to expand its borders with minimal to no war and Peru seems like the easiest candidate by far. I'm also one of those people that's a big fan of seeing the subject of a TL having their success maximized where feasible akin to viewing the subject state as a protagonist of sorts. It's by far the most Quechua-friendly of the post-colonial states, looks to be the most economically successful of them too which will be a powerful influence, has a lot of prestige and goodwill going for it in South Peru, and is almost certain to be out of the geopolitical weight class of Peru within a couple of decades at most. I see a lot of factors that could push things in that direction given the right circumstances.
Exactly what you said.
 
Interesting development and what I expected (the growth of provincial independency from the central government) seems to be happening.

Now, as someone from Buenos Aires I can say with authority that BsAs becoming more economically powerful and better unified tends to end with "lets take over the country" or "let's secede", so I wonder what angle you are pursuing here. I'm also curious (though I hadn't commented it before) about why no one else tried to pry the port revenue from the province, as historically that was always a point of contention between BsAs and the other provinces.


Also, what kind of railroad are we talking about here? Because by this time that was still cutting edge tech, IIRC the first public railway using steam locomotives in Britain had only been inaugurated in 1830, so I think realistically (unless this is something really small) you should push this development a little further in time.
 
This has been an excellent read so far and I'm looking forward to more. Being Peruvian, I've admittedly been more attentive to the parts dealing with Peru and Alto Peru/Collao but one of your most recent updates brought up a point that I think there's decent odds you've been mulling over in becoming a influence later into this TL that I'm curious to pick your brain on. That being the cross-cultural ties between Peru and Collao, unfounded Peruvian irridentism towards Collao, the historical support for unification across both states, etc. Granted, some of these aspects will be butterflied and given enough time Collao will be fixated on its fellow citizens over Peru, but egotistical Peruvian elites in Lima won't see that way.

It seems to me like there's plausibility for some or all of Peru to be integrated into, annexed, or defect to the government in the UP given the right scenarios. I had a slight feeling that you were mulling over a personal union between the UP and Peru under a Quechua monarch claiming legitimacy via the Inca realm for a bit, but I haven't kept up with the non-TL comments to see how that went over. Another scenario that seems plausible is that within the first few decades of Peruvian independence and the UP still being seen positively by the people south of Lima, divisions between the north, south, and Lima could escalate such that a civil war, secession, etc. could break out that sees southern Peru petition to join the UP. Another angle might be increasing tensions between the white/mestizo oligarchs of Lima versus the native Quechua leading to a general defection to the UP of much of the Andean provinces and Arequipa?

Might be weird to see a Peruvian so interested in chopping up or dissolving their own country but I get the impression that the groundwork has been set for the UP to expand its borders with minimal to no war and Peru seems like the easiest candidate by far. I'm also one of those people that's a big fan of seeing the subject of a TL having their success maximized where feasible akin to viewing the subject state as a protagonist of sorts. It's by far the most Quechua-friendly of the post-colonial states, looks to be the most economically successful of them too which will be a powerful influence, has a lot of prestige and goodwill going for it in South Peru, and is almost certain to be out of the geopolitical weight class of Peru within a couple of decades at most. I see a lot of factors that could push things in that direction given the right circumstances.
This is the fun part of not approaching this story with a fixed destination in mind: I hadn't actually thought of this, but you raise some very interesting points! One thing is undeniable: an Incan restoration is popular on both sides of the border in the Cuzco/Collao region, and the eventual coronation of a new Sapa Inca would reverberate throughout the north of the United Provinces. But you raised the issue of tensions between the heavily native Cuzco region with the more criollo Lima, and that has certainly sent me out chasing butterflies: the Cuzco rebels have a much stronger hand when it comes time to sit down and rebuild the country, and it'll surely come up when the matter of where the new Inca should be crowned - and more importantly, where he should set up court - is debated.

But I'm treading carefully, because to a certain extent this is all happening concurrently with the current string of updates, just "off" camera.
Interesting development and what I expected (the growth of provincial independency from the central government) seems to be happening.

Now, as someone from Buenos Aires I can say with authority that BsAs becoming more economically powerful and better unified tends to end with "lets take over the country" or "let's secede", so I wonder what angle you are pursuing here. I'm also curious (though I hadn't commented it before) about why no one else tried to pry the port revenue from the province, as historically that was always a point of contention between BsAs and the other provinces.
Two factors have helped ITTL I think: first, the distinction between national and local government in Buenos Aires developed slowly, because of the frequent overrepresentation of porteños in the national government; second, while it remains the largest port, the city has some more competition, and the national government has a couple of extra sources of revenue (port duties in Montevideo and the mines of Collao).

"Let's take over the country" sentiments aren't as common, simply because the questions they're all mulling over are "how did we lose control of it?" and "does it matter as long as they leave us alone?".
Also, what kind of railroad are we talking about here? Because by this time that was still cutting edge tech, IIRC the first public railway using steam locomotives in Britain had only been inaugurated in 1830, so I think realistically (unless this is something really small) you should push this development a little further in time.
It's very much a vanity project at the moment, and serves more as a proof of concept than anything more substantial. The US was getting its first rail lines around this period as well, and I think it's likely that the typically anglophilic Buenos Aires liberals would seek to emulate it enthusiastically. But it is mostly for show: wooden rail is a lot more feasible for now, and the country hasn't developed the infrastructure for a domestic railroad industry. Basically, it's not a public railway, it's mostly just a prestige project that's meant to be visible even if it's just shuffling people back and forth a few hundred meters (although keep in mind that the US's B&O line is incorporated at around this time, and would begin operating in 1830). Canals are still king, though.
Just caught up with this. Great stuff!
Thank you, and welcome aboard!
 
15 - The 1831 Census and the 1832 Election
1831 Census
The biggest change of the 1830s was the realization of the first full census of the United Provinces: lack of infrastructure or interest by Colonial authorities had resulted in a dearth of accurate records of the country’s population, forcing the revolutionary governments to rely on the patchy reports of the Cabildos or the inconsistent colonial records. Even as peace returned to the region and the national government found its bearings, the country’s infrastructure remained in poor condition, and the end of the independence wars unfortunately coincided with the outbreak of the Panic of 1825 and the rapid deterioration of the national government’s financial situation.

Things had stabilized by 1830, and the General Assembly approved the realization of the country’s first decennial census, to be conducted the following year. It was an ambitious plan, especially combined with the promise of further enlargement of the Assembly and the reapportionment of delegates accordingly, but it passed with overwhelming support from both Liberals - who stood to benefit by better representation of their sizable Collaoan electorate - and Federalists hoping to further dilute power in the General Assembly through its enlargement.

The total population for the United Provinces - which by then occupied most of the Chaco region on paper, and had expanded its southern frontier to the Rio Negro - came out to 2.98 million inhabitants. Nearly half of that population lived in Collao, with its 1.3 million people nearly doubling their delegation in the General Assembly as a result; Paraguay would gain three new delegates as well, with a recorded population of 180 thousand; Uruguay’s 100 thousand people would see it gain only one extra delegate. The remaining 1.4 million people were spread out in the remaining territory of the country, with the provinces of Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Tucumán all expanding their delegations to the General Assembly as a result. Buenos Aires remained the largest city in the country, creeping towards the title of first city in the nation to surpass 100 thousand inhabitants with 85,000 people living in the city itself in 1830.

It wouldn’t be until subsequent censuses that the gradual shift in the country’s population towards the plains, with the largest cities in the interior still being concentrated in Collao and northern Argentina. Part of it is due to active efforts at land redistribution into the more sparsely populated lowlands, but a bigger reason is the improvement in the roads and canals that facilitated travel towards the Atlantic, combined with the growing stream of people arriving from the Atlantic. The census revealed however that the United Provinces were the least densely populated of the former viceroyalties, with Chile concentrating a population half as large in a territory only a tenth its size, while both Perú and Colombia had higher populations.

The 2nd Party System
While the 1st Party System of the United Provinces is difficult to pin down, with a nebulous beginning and a gradual consolidation that gave way to an abrupt end, it is easier to identify the 2nd Party System: the formation of the Anti-Masonic party in 1831 peeled away the most conservative elements of the Federalist party, and quickly displaced the Federalists in the provinces where the clergy or the landowners were most influential.

This split the political landscape into thirds: the Anti-Masonic party became a rallying point for conservatives throughout the country, who could no longer tolerate what they saw as the excesses of revolution with the war for independence long gone; the Federalists lived on, further embracing the radical egalitarianism of its founders and finding a fertile base of support in the ever-expanding frontier and the yeomen that reaped the benefits of the revolutionary land reforms; while the Liberals remained primarily the party of the Buenos Aires bourgeoisie and intelligentsia with a base of support in Collao due to the lasting popularity of the Liberals as the party of the Revolution.

1831 is also significant, because it coincided with a new expansion of the General Assembly as it incorporated the d’Hondt system to allocate additional delegates awarded to the most populous cities. Buenos Aires, Chuquisaca, Asunción, Montevideo, Tucumán and Córdoba had all grown considerably, and with newer cabildos representing as few as 8,000 inhabitants like in Puerto Madryn, the Assembly’s original apportionment was now considered the baseline upon which additional delegates are incorporated as cities grow.

This expansion simultaneously blunted the impact of the split on the Federalist party and facilitated the rapid growth of the Anti-Masonic party, allowing them to secure delegates even in the cities. It also alleviated the severe under-representation of the north, with Chuquisaca alone getting enough additional delegates to match Buenos Aires’ new number. The Liberal party’s transition to its 2nd Party System incarnation can be traced to this change, ultimately consolidating Monteagudo’s preeminence in the party and ushering in the period of Collaoan leadership of the party.

An unexpected consequence of this was the sudden transformation of Buenos Aires into a competitive province: some local liberals jumped ship at the loss of national influence in the party, and ironically allied themselves with the Federalists who had earlier displaced them from the national government. The prospect of a centralist national government dominated by someone from another province terrified them more than radical egalitarians who didn’t believe in forcing it on the provinces, eating away at the once invincible Morenist machine. But with the growing prominence of conservative federalists, with future Federalist governor of Buenos Aires Juan Manuel de Rosas at the helm, Guido's government faltered: Federalist gains in Collao stalled then reversed rapidly, with the party losing all the gains from the previous decade as more Rosistas got elected in the former capital.

Although the Supreme Director’s position remained above this partisan fray, with San Martín winning reelection in 1832 unanimously, it marked a shift in the way the General Assembly operated: the rapid consolidation of the Anti-Masonic party allowed it to outperform expectations, with their dozen seats enough to prevent both the Liberals and the Federalists from claiming a majority on their own. It would leave the Liberals 3 delegates short of a majority, with the surviving Collaoan Federalists giving Bernardo de Monteagudo the votes he needed to become the first General Secretary not from Buenos Aires.

Thus the 2nd Party System was born: the Liberal Party had grown beyond its origins as a clique of porteño radicals enamored with revolution and the ideas of Moreno into a national party focused on internal development and free trade; the Federalists had evolved into a more cohesive party, less defined by its opposition to the Liberals and more focused on the dual goals of promoting land redistribution to expand the frontier and the expansion of provincial powers; and the Anti-Masonic Party - later rebranded as the Catholic Party - became a home for Platines who, without yearning for a return to Spanish rule, balked at the erosion of Church power and the legal egalitarianism encouraged by the Liberals and supported by the Federalists.

1832 Election Infobox.png

Bernardo de Monteagudo's election as General Secretary finally broke Buenos Aires' monopoly on the post, and signaled the beginning of more nationalized parties.
 
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I apologize for the impromptu hiatus, this is sadly a very poorly documented period of Argentine history so more and more of this is going to be essentially fictional even as I try and keep recognizable names involved in the narrative. I also regret that San Martín's election as Supreme Director is just mentioned in passing, I'll be sure to mock up an infobox for the occasion, and only wish I'd done it in time for the holiday commemorating him in Argentina (August 17).
 
It's interesting to see the consolidation of proper parties versus the equivalent of what Argentina had at the time (can't really speak for the other member countries of the UP but they probably weren't much better).

Though to be honest this all feels a little too democratic if you ask me. I know that there is a lot of room for interpretation and that the Cabildo system means things aren't as autocratic as OTL, but the people would not rule, the landowner and burgher classes would never allow it (and to be honest the peasant masses of the era wouldn't be that capable either if their descendants actions in the voting booth are anything to go by).

So it really feels somewhat strange to read democracy "working" when they are a loosely affiliated confederacy full of would be nobles and autocrats that would be perfectly at home in middle ages Europe or antebellum Southern US.


Except for that an interesting update and the creation of proper parties that are more than "I hate this guy" or "I support this guy" are s welcome development for the country, as it'll give them access to long term projects and increased stability (as long as they learn to play by the rules, I'm looking at you Juan Manuel "la Mazorca" de Rosas).
 
It's interesting to see the consolidation of proper parties versus the equivalent of what Argentina had at the time (can't really speak for the other member countries of the UP but they probably weren't much better).

Though to be honest this all feels a little too democratic if you ask me. I know that there is a lot of room for interpretation and that the Cabildo system means things aren't as autocratic as OTL, but the people would not rule, the landowner and burgher classes would never allow it (and to be honest the peasant masses of the era wouldn't be that capable either if their descendants actions in the voting booth are anything to go by).

So it really feels somewhat strange to read democracy "working" when they are a loosely affiliated confederacy full of would be nobles and autocrats that would be perfectly at home in middle ages Europe or antebellum Southern US.


Except for that an interesting update and the creation of proper parties that are more than "I hate this guy" or "I support this guy" are s welcome development for the country, as it'll give them access to long term projects and increased stability (as long as they learn to play by the rules, I'm looking at you Juan Manuel "la Mazorca" de Rosas).
This is a very valid criticism, and something that has been niggling away at my mind as I write this; but it also brought to mind a Contemporary History class on the origins and consolidation of modern democracy: people need not be formally allowed to vote for something resembling democracy to occur, in the same way that that formal right to vote does not necessarily mean that this right is freely (or actually) used. The franchise is more akin to pre-chartist UK, ballots aren't really a thing, and the actual elections still take place at Cabildos, with popular participation being more a matter of agitation outside rather than participation inside. Basically, the "popular vote" boils down to "a result that pisses off the crowd outside will not win inside" - we're still a far, far cry away from even Jacksonian democracy.

The General Assembly has more or less achieved what it has achieved through institutional capture of local leaders through the recognition of the Cabildos as the legitimate way to defend their interests.

EDIT: I do recognize that it makes the relative absence of political violence vanishingly unlikely, but then again, the political violence of the civil wars was exceptionally brutal, but political violence itself was commonplace IOTL. It's a bit handwavy, but let's just imagine that political violence exists, but is limited to brawls and only rarely leads to killings.
 
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EDIT: I do recognize that it makes the relative absence of political violence vanishingly unlikely, but then again, the political violence of the civil wars was exceptionally brutal, but political violence itself was commonplace IOTL. It's a bit handwavy, but let's just imagine that political violence exists, but is limited to brawls and only rarely leads to killings
I mean, you could reference it tangentially and made it understood it happens but nothing else. Political violence would be a fact of life, just like it was everywhere else at the time (and later on) except for some stupidly conservative nor stable nations. So instead of handwaving it just mske it clear once or twice that head busting and partisans clashes are a common feature of election time, then just not name it until it becomes "plot relevant".
 
Though to be honest this all feels a little too democratic if you ask me. I know that there is a lot of room for interpretation and that the Cabildo system means things aren't as autocratic as OTL, but the people would not rule, the landowner and burgher classes would never allow it (and to be honest the peasant masses of the era wouldn't be that capable either if their descendants actions in the voting booth are anything to go by).

So it really feels somewhat strange to read democracy "working" when they are a loosely affiliated confederacy full of would be nobles and autocrats that would be perfectly at home in middle ages Europe or antebellum Southern US.
While,it could be related to OTL, I think that the key difference that seems that you have missed it's that ITL the land ownership aside to more distributed among the population and that it's a more socially and racially diverse (with the obvious political consequences) 'landower class' rather than concentrated among a few families as OTL and/or as in your examples...
 
While,it could be related to OTL, I think that the key difference that seems that you have missed it's that ITL the land ownership aside to more distributed among the population and that it's a more socially and racially diverse (with the obvious political consequences) 'landower class' rather than concentrated among a few families as OTL and/or as in your examples...
Not at all. There is a push for land redistribution but that only concerns frontier territories, which are kinds worthless when compared with the much superior Pampa agricultural land or the much more heavily developed older territories of the Virreynato. The landowner class was there from day one, they were the ones pushing for the revolution and the original caudillos as shown by this very same story. Nevermind that "racial diversity" does not really change things. It doesn't matter if the guy acting like s 1200's french baron is an hispsnic guy named Julian de la Vega or an incan Tupac Amaru, both are the same kind of person at the end of the day.

I'm all for "wank" timelines, but that doesn't mean I'll ignore facts of history just because they aren't convenient and from what I've seen so far Minifidel is the same.
 
Not at all. There is a push for land redistribution but that only concerns frontier territories, which are kinds worthless when compared with the much superior Pampa agricultural land or the much more heavily developed older territories of the Virreynato.
Well, the Pampa's lands characterization aside that's seems to have its roots from an OTL retrospective vision...Because,the Pampa land/weather relation it isn't uniform nor all of it it's favourable to the agriculture also that I don't think that could be appropriate nor fair to qualify as 'worthless' to the border regions that in TL are the whole Uruguay's river Eastern Band (Uruguay) plus Misiones Orientales and Paraguay? Also, aside that the agricultural lands of the Uruguay wouldn't have nothing to envy to the Pampas but Ithink that could be worth to remember that the new Nation would have a quasi monopoly in the Yerba Mate production. But more important to be noted that in this stage the Pampas and all of the other agricultural have it a greater potential...But for that it could develop its full potential would be needed aside of the existence of a foreign market that's still not existed, of an massive inversion that should be not only economic but in agricultural techniques... But about all it 'd require a change in the hegemonic (OTL, at least) mindset that favored the cattle economy over the farming...
Also, perhaps I misinterpreted or I'm reading another story but if well the bigger or more notorious of the land redistribution was applied to the border regions it that as well was made in the litoral Provinces...
The landowner class was there from day one, they were the ones pushing for the revolution and the original caudillos as shown by this very same story. Nevermind that "racial diversity" does not really change things. It doesn't matter if the guy acting like s 1200's french baron is an hispsnic guy named Julian de la Vega or an incan Tupac Amaru, both are the same kind of person at the end of the day.
Disagree, first cause you're generalizing and equalizing to all of the Caudillos, which, it's wrong cause Artigas can not be compared to J.M.Rosas or to E. Lopez. But fundamentally because, a bigger social and ethnic inclusion and/or access to the land ownership aside of the social effects, it 'd have a direct political consequences... Because on one hand it 'd butterflied the existence of so many dispossessed and/or without any hope to access to the lands nor to get any work. People, that in OTL, would formed both the Caudillos armies cannon folder and their main support base, in OTL...
Also, and even more important it would avoid the OTL's social and economic dependency to which were subjected larges swathes of the population caused by the quasi feudal dependency to which they were subject by the great landowners and some of the Caudillo...
 
Well, the Pampa's lands characterization aside that's seems to have its roots from an OTL retrospective vision...Because,the Pampa land/weather relation it isn't uniform nor all of it it's favourable to the agriculture also that I don't think that could be appropriate nor fair to qualify as 'worthless' to the border regions that in TL are the whole Uruguay's river Eastern Band (Uruguay) plus Misiones Orientales and Paraguay? Also, aside that the agricultural lands of the Uruguay wouldn't have nothing to envy to the Pampas but Ithink that could be worth to remember that the new Nation would have a quasi monopoly in the Yerba Mate production. But more important to be noted that in this stage the Pampas and all of the other agricultural have it a greater potential...But for that it could develop its full potential would be needed aside of the existence of a foreign market that's still not existed, of an massive inversion that should be not only economic but in agricultural techniques... But about all it 'd require a change in the hegemonic (OTL, at least) mindset that favored the cattle economy over the farming...
Uruguay is a pretty well settled (or at least divided) territory, same for most of Paraguay except for the Chaco regions (and the lands are kinda worthless agriculturally anyway) , which is where the money comes from. So the places where you can plant crops or raise cattle are already mostly divided between the "unofficial" gentry already.

Remember, most of the Vicerroyalty of the River Plate was a shithole, literally the least developed territory of the Spanish crown in the Americas. It's even put in context by this story in which even after skipping decades of civil war and other issues the UP still got barely two times the population of Chile (which has a tenth or less of the land).

As of now the country must have some pretty limited exports which are all probably related to silver, cattle and maybe some other oddities. This means that everything outside of Potosi and the Pampas/Uruguay area is kinda worthless as land. This will change in the future but the future isn't now.

I think people are getting too wrapped up in the idea of "United Provinces dropped the idiot ball for 15 seconds and stopped self destructing" and forget that even then the place was no USA, even if we started working together from day one (as is the case in this story) the territories of Argentina and Uruguay are barely worth the effort outside of their port cities, Bolivia is a mess that just came out of some of the heaviest of the fighting in the war and that Paraguay wants to do their own thing and that they weren't that successful OTL either.

Also, perhaps I misinterpreted or I'm reading another story but if well the bigger or more notorious of the land redistribution was applied to the border regions it that as well was made in the litoral Provinces...
The border regions are specifically getting a better distribution as a way to enforce the UP's claim on the land. Most of the good cattle/agricultural land was already under the control of the vicerroyalty and the parts which weren't (eg south BsAs) won't remain out of the ahnds of the very rich land owning class for long.

Disagree, first cause you're generalizing and equalizing to all of the Caudillos, which, it's wrong cause Artigas can not be compared to J.M.Rosas or to E. Lopez. But fundamentally because, a bigger social and ethnic inclusion and/or access to the land ownership aside of the social effects, it 'd have a direct political consequences... Because on one hand it 'd butterflied the existence of so many dispossessed and/or without any hope to access to the lands nor to get any work. People, that in OTL, would formed both the Caudillos armies cannon folder and their main support base, in OTL...
This is a very big assumption. just owning land does not magically distance you from your enviroment and the loyalties you may have. The caudillos will get their sworn men no matter what, because their quasi-feudal relationship remains or do you think that just owning a piece of land means that "el don" won't still be your boss?
About Artigas, I actually brough this up and was told by Minifidel that it's not that Artigas is a "good guy" as much as that he is so hands on and prone to "soldier's life" that he doesn't play well with the power games. He, like most of the caudillos of the era, is still an asshole, just one who isn't cut out to be a Rosas or Urquiza.

And again, if the natives are properly integrated this time around (which is still a very big if, as "not being marginalized" isn't the same as "properly integrated") they will just fill the niche criollos or foregin inmigration would have, which is still being cannon fodder and pseudo-serfs for the not-gentry of South America.

Also, and even more important it would avoid the OTL's social and economic dependency to which were subjected larges swathes of the population caused by the quasi feudal dependency to which they were subject by the great landowners and some of the Caudillo...
Yeaaah, this is very debatable. Leaving aside how as per the technology and development of the era they can barely be above subsistence farming and how we'll still depend upon British and other foreign capital (and guess who's going to be securing it?), there is nothing stopping the landowners from securing that land after someone settles it. Give some poor homesteader an offer he can't refuse yb buying their land for a pittance, offer them to let them work it in your name and then you get a bonded serf for almost nothing.

In short I think they'll be less powerful as they were OTL but they'll still dominate the lands that are currently useful for anything and by the time this changes they'll already be the established political class. This isn't me saying shit out of my ass, this is exactly what happened everywhere else so thinking the shithole that was South America at the time is going to be the first real democracy seems kinda far fetched.



So getting back to the subject. Short term I expect the UP to follow a direction similar to OTL Argentina after we stopped being stupid, but with a stronger federalism and a bigger population base. This bigger population base (and access to more resources) will allow for a little local industry. All of this combined with avoiding the mono-economy most of the constituent nations of the UP had means they'll probably not crash and burn the second the international markets takes a stumble.
 
This is going to be me thinking out loud based on both of your comments about how the social and economic realities have diverged from OTL, so please let me know if anything is jumbled or unclear.

First thing's first: land distribution will vary pretty wildly from province to province, and the level of concentration will generally fluctuate based on a) how much combat took place in the region and b) how long the region in question has been settled extensively. With these criteria, you can draw a pretty straight line from Salta to Buenos Aires that was more or less spared of combat and has a couple of centuries of land consolidation, and where you'll find a lot more land concentration - these are also the regions where the Federalists lose the most support to the Anti-Masonic/Catholic party - simply because the way to get these elites on side was to safeguard their privileges. Some land reform has taken place, but it has been haphazard and depended on the political sympathies of the local Federalists; however, the lack of civil wars and the need for men to fight on the frontier means that the dispossessed and landless peasants have other outlets.

The Littoral provinces however, at least Mesopotamia, Paraguay and Uruguay, have all experienced far more land distribution and have far larger yeomen populations; in the first, it's the product of land reforms implemented by Belgrano in the Junta's name, but in Paraguay it's the product of their purge of their Spanish elite and the redistribution of their lands; it's more concentrated than the rest of the littoral, but less concentrated than even Buenos Aires. Finally, Uruguay was the site of very radical land reform sponsored by Artigas and facilitated by the urgent need to repopulate the border regions after the war with Brazil.

Finally there's Collao: the landed elite here were hit especially hard by the independence wars, not just because the territory was the front line of fighting for over a decade, but also because their wealth was very linked to the mita system and the subjugation of the natives, and the Revolutionary government stormed in, abolished the mita, then enforced that abolition at gun point with the Army of the North. But this was only possible because a) a lot of those land owners chose to flee to Perú, forfeiting their lands in fact if not on paper, and b) the surviving Incan/Quechuan/Aymaran nobles were spared because they were still providing much of the militia vital to supplement Army of the North's professional core. Castelli, and later Balcarce and San Martín, all encouraged and favored distributing land to individual natives, but they had to do so while balancing their need to not alienate their native allies. However, the abolition of the mita still means that - like in the Argentine interior - the frontier is also an alternative for demobilized, displaced or dispossessed natives. This is also made slightly easier in Collao because the region doesn't really make much of its money from agricultural exports, so the land's value is mostly political to begin with. Arrangements like working in the mines between harvests are probably commonplace, with sustenance farming being the norm.

As for exports, the Platine economy is still absolutely reliant on agricultural exports and mining exports, but the transition from primarily ranching to primarily planting is still ongoing. It has accelerated more in Buenos Aires though, as ranching is pushed further south thanks to improved irrigation around the Paraná basin itself. Keep in mind however that colonial cottage industries have survived in better shape, thanks to avoiding the severance of the north/south trade links caused by the destruction of the country's mule stock at the Battle of Salta. Internal consumption hasn't collapsed into nothing as a result, although the biggest threat to that cottage industry is actually imported British goods; but there's also the ever so slight bud of a local financial system - heavily leveraged to the UK but local - in Buenos Aires, again aided by the fact that their livelihoods weren't essentially obliterated by war (since a lot of Buenos Aires' merchant class had deep ties to the transport industry, since it was profitable for them to own the mules that carried the products to port for export).

The more I look at the divergences, the more I realize just how unfathomably calamitous the Argentine Civil Wars actually were, with literally lost decades. It's absolutely true that La Plata was by all accounts an after thought and a backwater as far as the Spanish crown was concerned, but it wouldn't be quite as much of a shit hole if it hadn't had to basically start from scratch in terms of internal communication and trade.
 
More or less what I expected then.

Frontier territories are the most "radical" but at the same time the less developed. More distributed land but less economic power for now.

On the other hand the "settled" land is as conservative as it get except for Uruguay which got demolished.

Honestly a lot of this will depend on what the impending civil war (because I'm pretty damm sure we are getting one down the line, 20 to 30 years from now) goes and what the sides are. So far we got "FREE MIRKIT AND SECULARISM!!!", "I AM THE LORD OF THE LAND, FOR GOD AND COUNTRY OBEY ME PEASANTS!!!" and "WHAT'S THIS THING YOU CALL CENTRAL GOVERNMENT, CAN I BURN IT?" groups, but the middle one could easily intermix with the other two. So what final shape the country takes will be interesting to say the least.

The more I look at the divergences, the more I realize just how unfathomably calamitous the Argentine Civil Wars actually were, with literally lost decades. It's absolutely true that La Plata was by all accounts an after thought and a backwater as far as the Spanish crown was concerned, but it wouldn't be quite as much of a shit hole if it hadn't had to basically start from scratch in terms of internal communication and trade.
So. Much. This.

People get into a tizzy about whether Argentina is to us a shithole currerntly because of Peron or because of the 30's coup or the world wars, of the British, etc. In truth it was those early wasted years, were we went backwards instead of forward. Entire decades lost. Years where we could have grown, made law and given direction, where industries and populations could have thrieved and yet all we got was war after war, disaster after disaster. Disunity and infighting, destruction and humillation. Truly the question is not how we are as bad as we are today but how we didn't end up worse.
 
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