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|Ratified||15 May 1850|
|Author(s)||Felipe Arana and Henry Southern|
|Signatories||Argentine Confederation and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland|
|Purpose||End the Anglo-French blockade of the Río de la Plata|
In the late 1840s, the Argentine Confederation attempted to regulate traffic on the Paraná and Uruguay rivers, which impacted upon Anglo-French trade with the landlocked Paraguay. As a result, Britain and France took military action in the Anglo-French blockade of the Río de la Plata. Although militarily successful, the victories against Argentine forces proved somewhat pyrrhic and both withdrew their forces and made treaties with Argentina. The peace treaty with the British is referred to as the Convention of Settlement ; or the Arana–Southern Treaty.
The Argentine Confederation was the last predecessor state of modern Argentina; its name is still one of the official names of the country according to the Argentine Constitution, Article 35. It was the name of the country from 1831 to 1852, when the provinces were organized as a confederation without a head of state. The governor of Buenos Aires Province managed foreign relations during this time. Under his rule, the Argentine Confederation resisted attacks by Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, France and the UK, as well as other Argentine factions during the Argentine Civil Wars.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a sovereign state established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland.
The July Monarchy was a liberal constitutional monarchy in France under Louis Philippe I, starting with the July Revolution of 1830 and ending with the Revolution of 1848. It marks the end of the Bourbon Restoration (1814–1830). It began with the overthrow of the conservative government of Charles X, the last king of the House of Bourbon.
France and Britain imposed a five-year-long naval blockade on the Argentine Confederation ruled by Juan Manuel de Rosas. It was imposed in 1845 to support the Colorado Party in the Uruguayan Civil War and closed Buenos Aires to naval commerce. The Anglo-French navy trespassed into the internal waters of Argentina, in order to sell their products, as Rosas maintained a protectionist policy.
Juan Manuel de Rosas, nicknamed "Restorer of the Laws", was a politician and army officer who ruled Buenos Aires Province and briefly the Argentine Confederation. Although born into a wealthy family, Rosas independently amassed a personal fortune, acquiring large tracts of land in the process. Rosas enlisted his workers in a private militia, as was common for rural proprietors, and took part in the disputes that led to numerous civil wars in his country. Victorious in warfare, personally influential, and with vast landholdings and a loyal private army, Rosas became a caudillo, as provincial warlords in the region were known. He eventually reached the rank of brigadier general, the highest in the Argentine Army, and became the undisputed leader of the Federalist Party.
The Colorado Party is a political party in Uruguay.
The Uruguayan Civil War, also known in Spanish as the Guerra Grande, was a series of armed conflicts between the leaders of Uruguayan independence. While officially the war lasted from 1839 until 1851, it was a part of armed conflicts that started in 1832 and continued until the final military defeat of Blancos in 1904. Out of supporters of presidents Rivera and Oribe grew Colorado Party and the National Party, both of which received backing and support from foreign sources, including neighboring Empire of Brazil, the Argentine Confederation, Buenos Aires Province as well as European powers, primarily the British Empire and the Kingdom of France, but also a legion of Italian volunteers including Giuseppe Garibaldi.
A key engagement in the blockade was the Battle of Vuelta de Obligado, where a combined British and French fleet forced their way into the Paraná River despite fierce resistance from the Argentine forces. Although the British and French forces crushed the Argentine forces, inflicting appalling casualties, the damage to the fleet was so extensive it stayed 40 days in Obligado making repairs. The expedition also proved a commercial failure as Paraguay proved to be less wealthy than expected and merchant ships were forced to return with many of their goods unsold. On their return the convoy again faced fierce resistance with several merchant ships sunk by cannon fire.
The naval Battle of Vuelta de Obligado took place on the waters of the Paraná River on 20 November 1845, between the Argentine Confederation, under the leadership of Juan Manuel de Rosas, and a combined Anglo-French fleet. The action was part of the larger Anglo-French blockade of the Río de la Plata. Although the attacking forces broke through the Argentine naval defenses and overran the land defenses, the battle proved that foreign ships could not safely navigate Argentine internal waters against its government's wishes. The battle also changed political feeling in South America, increasing support for Rosas and his government.
The Paraná River is a river in south Central South America, running through Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina for some 4,880 kilometres (3,030 mi). It is second in length only to the Amazon River among South American rivers. The name Paraná is an abbreviation of the phrase "para rehe onáva", which comes from the Tupi language and means "like the sea". It merges first with the Paraguay River and then farther downstream with the Uruguay River to form the Río de la Plata and empties into the Atlantic Ocean.
Paraguay, officially the Republic of Paraguay, is a country of South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Although it is one of only two landlocked countries in South America, the country has coasts, beaches and ports on the Paraguay and Paraná rivers that give exit to the Atlantic Ocean through the Paraná-Paraguay Waterway. Due to its central location in South America, it is sometimes referred to as Corazón de Sudamérica.
Whilst the British commander Ouseley requested additional forces to support a continued campaign a number of factors compelled the British to break with their French allies. The outcome of the expedition with the cost of victory and limited commercial opportunities changed British attitudes. Argentina owed a substantial debt to Barings Bank and suspension of payments due to the blockade had caused financial concerns. The Times had also printed an allegation that Ouseley had a personal financial interest in the blockade, causing a political scandal. Tomás Samuel Hood was sent to Buenos Aires with the instruction to negotiate a settlement with Rosas at all costs.
Sir William Gore Ouseley was a British diplomat who served in various roles in Washington, D.C., Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. His main achievement were negotiations concerning ownership of Britain's interests in what is now Honduras and Nicaragua.
Barings Bank was a British merchant bank based in London, and the world's second oldest merchant bank. It was founded in 1762 by Francis Baring, a British-born member of the German-British Baring family of merchants and bankers.
The Times is a British daily national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register, adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers, since 1981 a subsidiary of News UK, itself wholly owned by News Corp. The Times and The Sunday Times do not share editorial staff, were founded independently, and have only had common ownership since 1967.
Although the Anglo-French force defeated Argentine forces, the cost of victory proved excessive in light of the resistance from the Argentines. As a result, the British sought to exit from the confrontation. Negotiations to end the conflict took nearly two years from 1848 to 1849. The final result was a peace treaty, the Arana-Southern Convention known as "Convention for the perfect restoration of friendly relations between the Argentine Confederation and Her Britannic Majesty" (Convención para restablecer las perfectas relaciones de amistad entre la Confederación Argentina y Su Majestad Britanica). It is also known as the "Convention of Settlement" or the “Arana-Southern Treaty”.
The treaty is viewed as a considerable triumph for the Argentine dictator General Rosas, as it was the first time the emerging South American nations were able to impose their will on two European empires (Britain and France). However, Rosas, as he had previously over the debt to Barings Bank, was prepared to concede Argentina's claim to the Falkland Islands in the Convention.The treaty settled "the existing differences" between the two nations.
The Convention was signed on 24 November 1849 and ratified on 15 May 1850. The treaty came into force after ratification. Details of the Arana–Southern Treaty were published by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, volume 37.
The Anglo-French blockade of the Río de la Plata was followed by a rebellion of Justo José de Urquiza against Rosas. In February 1852 Urquiza defeated Rosas at the battle of Caseros and replaced him. Shortly after Urquiza's victory, Sir Charles Hotham, who took part in the early conflict, wrote to the Earl of Malmesbury (who had replaced Lord Palmerston) suggesting that it was time to consider breaking the Arana-Southern treaty and allow the free navigation of the Argentine rivers.
Urquiza held two interviews with the British representative Robert Gore, and in the second one he expressed his "plans to develop the resources of this great and rich country; the opening of the rivers to all nations, being the ships free to sail rivers and lift or drop cargo without having to stop previously in Buenos Aires."The British focused their diplomatic efforts on obtaining a navigation agreement opening up the rivers for navigation. The Foreign office contacted France for this end, and both countries sent a diplomatic mission to Argentina in May 1852, led by Sir Charles Hotham and Michel de Saint-Georges, to put an end to the restrictions of the Arana–Southern Treaty and Arana-Lepredour Treaty. They had an interview with Urquiza in August, who agreed with their proposals.
During a lull in the siege and blockade of Buenos Aires, between 10 and 13 July 1853, Urquiza signed navigation agreements with agents of Great Britain, France and the United States which guaranteed the free navigation of Argentine inland rivers for foreign trade. In the opinion of James Scobie, his intention was to obtain a legal instrument to force these governments to protect freedom of navigation in the event that the province of Buenos Aires tried to cut the Confederate communications with the outside.The free navigation of the rivers was included in the Constitution of Argentina of 1853.
It has been asserted that "Between the re-establishment of British rule on the Falkland Islands in 1833 and the ratification of the treaty, Argentina sent annual protests to the British government by means of the Message to Congress, thereby maintaining Argentina's claim to the islands". Following the treaty, such protests ceased and Argentina did not protest again diplomatically until 1888. The matter was not raised again before the Argentine Congress until 1941. The British government cites this change as evidence that "there is no question over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands".
As negotiations on the Convention of Settlement progressed, it became apparent that Argentina was prepared to acquiesce Britain’s possession of the Falklands. On 27 July 1849, the British Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston stated in the House of Commons:
… a claim had been made many years ago, on the part of Buenos Ayres, to the Falkland Islands, and had been resisted by the British Government. Great Britain had always disputed and denied the claim of Spain to the Falkland Islands, and she was not therefore willing to yield to Buenos Ayres what had been refused to Spain. 10 or 12 years ago the Falkland Islands, having been unoccupied for some time, were taken possession of by Great Britain, and a settlement had ever since been maintained there; and he thought it would be most unadvisable to revive a correspondence which had ceased by the acquiescence of one party and the maintenance of the other.
Manuel Moreno, the Argentine ambassador wrote to Lord Palmerston protesting against this statement.The Moreno letter referred to Palmerston's description of "the acquiescence of one party and the maintenance of the other" and several recent protests including the Messages to Congress. Palmerston replied, stating that “I have always understood the matter in question to stand exactly in the way described by you in your letter.”
Lord Palmerston's letter is interpreted either as recognition that Argentina continued to protest or as a belief that the Falklands issue had been settled by Argentina’s acquiescence.
A number of historians have commented on the relation of the Convention of Settlement to the Falklands dispute. The Mexican diplomat and historian Carlos Pereyra considers that General Rosas gave up the claim to the Falklands in order to end Britain's involvement in the River Plate.
The impact of the treaty was also raised in a 1950 debate on Argentina's claim to the Falklands by a member of the Argentine Chamber of Deputies, Absalón Rojas.
Other Argentine historians have commented on the impact that the Convention of Settlement has upon Argentina's modern sovereignty claim, such as historian Alfredo R. Burnet-Merlín.Ernesto J. Fitte considers that the Argentine Confederation should have included its restitution in the treaty.
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The Papal mediation in the Beagle conflict followed the failure of negotiations between Chile and Argentina, when, on 22 December 1978, the Argentinian Junta started Operation Soberanía, to invade Cape Horn and islands awarded to Chile by the Beagle Channel Arbitration. Soon after the event, Pope John Paul II offered to mediate and sent his personal envoy, Cardinal Antonio Samoré, to Buenos Aires. Argentina, in acceptance of the authority of the Pope over the overwhelmingly Catholic Argentine population, called off the military operation and accepted the mediation. On 9 January 1979, Chile and Argentina signed the Act of Montevideo formally requesting mediation by the Vatican and renouncing the use of force.
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The Argentine Civil Wars were a series of civil wars that took place in Argentina from 1814 to 1880. These conflicts were separate from the Argentine War of Independence (1810–1820), though they first arose during this period.
The French blockade of the Río de la Plata was a two-year-long naval blockade imposed by France on the Argentine Confederation ruled by Juan Manuel de Rosas. It closed Buenos Aires to naval commerce. It was imposed in 1838 to support the Peru–Bolivian Confederation in the War of the Confederation, but continued after the end of the war. France didn't land ground forces, but instead took advantage of the Uruguayan Civil War and the Argentine Civil Wars, supporting Fructuoso Rivera and Juan Lavalle against Manuel Oribe and Rosas.
Pascual Echagüe, was an Argentine soldier and politician. He served as Governor of Entre Ríos and Santa Fe provinces and Minister of War and Navy during the governments of Urquiza and Derqui. He participated in the Argentine Civil Wars and the Uruguayan Civil War.
The Anglo-French blockade of the Río de la Plata was a five-year-long naval blockade imposed by France and Britain on the Argentine Confederation ruled by Juan Manuel de Rosas. It was imposed in 1845 to support the Colorado Party in the Uruguayan Civil War and closed Buenos Aires to naval commerce. The Anglo-French navy trespassed into Argentina’s internal waters to sell their products, as Rosas maintained a protectionist policy to improve the weak Argentine economy. Eventually both Britain and France gave in, signing treaties in 1849 (Britain) and 1850 (France) acknowledging the Argentine sovereignty over its rivers.
The Argentine Civil Wars were a series of internecine wars that took place in Argentina from 1814 to 1876. These conflicts were separate from the Argentine War of Independence, though they first arose during this period.
Lucio Norberto Mansilla was an Argentine military man and politician. He was the first governor of the Entre Ríos Province and fought in the battle of Vuelta de Obligado.
In the late 1840s, Argentina attempted to regulate traffic on the Paraná and Uruguay rivers, which impacted upon Anglo-French trade with the landlocked Paraguay. As a result, Great Britain and France intervened militarily in the Anglo-French blockade of the Río de la Plata. Although militarily successful, the victories against Argentine forces proved somewhat pyrrhic and both withdrew forces following treaties concluded with Argentina. The peace treaty with France is referred to as the Arana–Lepredour Treaty.
José María Pinedo was a commander in the navy of the United Provinces of the River Plate, one of the precursor states of what is now known as Argentina. He took part in the Argentine War of Independence, the Argentine Civil Wars and the Cisplatine War. He is also known for failing to resist the British return to the Falkland Islands in 1833.
María Sáez Pérez de Vernet is known for the personal diary she wrote during her residence in Port Louis, Falkland Islands, as the wife of the founder of a settlement there, Luis Vernet. Her diary has been preserved, together with other personal documents and letters, in the Argentine National Archive.
A principios de mayo la última misión anglofrancesa se ponía en ruta a Buenos Aires para borrar los tratados Southern y Lepredour
En lo sucesivo, la Confederación Argentina no intentaría nada positivo por recuperar las Malvinas; fuera de ofrecerlas otra vez en canje, ahora al emisario Falconet de la casa Baring, de olvidarse después de incluir su devolución en la convención Arana-Southern de 1849 restableciendo la amistad apenas levantado el bloqueo inglés del Río de la Plata, y de dedicarle un parrafito en los mensajes anuales a la Legislatura, la cuestión de la reivindicación territorial no fue un asunto que llegó a quitarle el sueño a Juan Manuel de Rosas.
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