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The Commerce Consulate of Buenos Aires was one of the most important institutions of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, along with the viceroy, the Cabildo and the religious ones.
The Consulate was set up in 1794 at the request of local merchants. It was a collegial body which functioned as a commercial court (called the Court) and as a society of economic development (called Governing Board). The Consulate was directly under command of the Spanish Crown, and it was directly governed by the rules dictated by the House of Trade in Seville.
It was largely a guild of merchants with powers delegated by the king in trade matters. It could settle lawsuits and claims brought by merchants and was financed by levying taxes. With the passing of the years it would increase the power of control over customs.
The Secretary of the Consulate was required to propose annually, through the reading of a Consular Report, ways to promote agriculture, encourage industry and protect the commerce of the region. Manuel Belgrano, Secretary of the Embassy since its inception, set for himself the goal to transform a poor and virgin region into a rich and prosperous one.
The first and only Secretary of the Consulate, Manuel Belgrano, had to play with caution in assuming the leadership of that task the 3 June, 1794. Having been designated as perpetual secretary of the consulate, he wrote the guidelines that would follow in its efforts of economic development, in a document which has survived. The ideals of the Consulate and what could be achieved for the benefit of the viceroyalty, however, were far from desired.
He did not adopt a position of outright opposition, but a tone of education, which included frequent praise and prostrations to the king and the authorities. The criticism was always, therefore, about the contrast between the situation he complained about (apparently without accusing any person or body) and what the authorities had not done to ensure general welfare, making them therefore guilty of neglect or inaction. The date on which Belgrano became leader, 3 June, was named Economist day in Buenos Aires in 2003.
Manuel José Joaquín del Corazón de Jesús Belgrano y González, usually referred to as Manuel Belgrano, was an Argentine economist, lawyer, politician, and military leader. He took part in the Argentine Wars of Independence and created the Flag of Argentina. He is regarded as one of the main Libertadores of the country.
The Argentine War of Independence was fought from 1810 to 1818 by Argentine patriotic forces under Manuel Belgrano, Juan José Castelli and José de San Martín against royalist forces loyal to the Spanish crown. On July 9, 1816, an assembly met in San Miguel de Tucumán, declared full independence with provisions for a national constitution.
The Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata was the last to be organized and also the shortest-lived of the Viceroyalties of the Spanish Empire in the Americas.
The May Revolution was a week-long series of events that took place from May 18 to 25, 1810, in Buenos Aires, capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. This Spanish colony included roughly the territories of present-day Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and parts of Brazil. The result was the removal of Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros and the establishment of a local government, the Primera Junta, on May 25. The junta would eventually become the country of Argentina. It was the first successful revolution in the South American Independence process.
Mariano Moreno was an Argentine lawyer, journalist, and politician. He played a decisive role in the Primera Junta, the first national government of Argentina, created after the May Revolution.
Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros y de la Torre (1756–1829) was a Spanish naval officer born in Cartagena. He took part in the Battle of Cape St Vincent and the Battle of Trafalgar, and in the Spanish resistance against Napoleon's invasion in 1808. He was later appointed Viceroy of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, replacing Santiago de Liniers. He disestablished the government Junta of Javier de Elío and quelled the Chuquisaca Revolution and the La Paz revolution. An open cabildo deposed him as viceroy during the May Revolution, but he attempted to be the president of the new government junta, thus retaining power. The popular unrest in Buenos Aires did not allow that, so he resigned. He was banished back to Spain shortly after that, and died in 1829.
Juan José Castelli was an Argentine lawyer. He was one of the leaders of the May Revolution, which started the Argentine War of Independence. He led an ill-fated military campaign in Upper Peru.
Pedro Juan Caballero was a leading figure of Paraguayan independence. He was born in Tobatí, a town located Cordillera Department of Paraguay which was then part of the Spanish Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. He was one of the major leaders of the Revolution of May 14, 1811, despite being six years younger than the leading figure of Independence period Fulgencio Yegros and 20 years younger than the future dictator of Paraguay José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia. In 1820 he was accused of being involved in the conspiracy against Francia, and committed suicide in his cell on July 13, 1821. The Paraguayan city of Pedro Juan Caballero is named after him.
The Paraguay campaign (1810–11) was the attempt by a Buenos Aires-sponsored militia, commanded by Manuel Belgrano, to win the royalist Intendency of Paraguay for the cause of May Revolution. In Paraguay it is considered as their War of Independence. The first battles fought were the Battle of Campichuelo and Battle of Campo Maracana, in which Argentinians claimed victory. However, they were completely vanquished in the subsequent Battle of Paraguarí and Battle of Tacuarí. The campaign ended in a military failure and Paraguay broke its links with the Spanish crown just two months after Belgrano's withdrawal, starting its course towards full independence.
Juan Larrea was a Spanish businessman and politician in Buenos Aires during the early nineteenth century. He headed a military unit during the second British invasion of the Río de la Plata, and worked at the Buenos Aires Cabildo. He took part in the ill-fated Mutiny of Álzaga. Larrea and Domingo Matheu were the only two Spanish-born members of the Primera Junta, the first national government of Argentina.
The Battle of Tacuarí was a battle in Southern Paraguay between revolutionary forces under the command of General Manuel Belgrano, member of the Primera Junta government of Argentina, and Paraguayan troops under colonel Manuel Atanasio Cabañas, at the time at the service of the royalists.
The "Telégrafo Mercantil, Rural, Político, Económico e Historiográfico del Río de la Plata" was the first newspaper edited in Buenos Aires. It was founded on 1 April 1801 by Francisco Cabello y Mesa and Manuel Belgrano, and approved by viceroy Avilés.
The May Revolution was a series of revolutionary political and social events that took place during the early nineteenth century in the city of Buenos Aires, capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a colony of the Spanish Crown which at the time contained the present-day nations of Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay. The consequence of the revolution was that the head of the Viceroyalty, Viceroy Cisneros, was ousted from office, and role of government was assumed by the Primera Junta. There are many reasons, both local and international, that promoted such developments.
The Representation of the Landowners is an 1809 economic report written by Mariano Moreno that described the economy of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. It was written by Moreno on behalf of the hacendados, to request then viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros to reconsider the annulment of free trade he had decided on a short time earlier. It is considered the most complete economic overview from the times of the colony.
Alejo Castex was a distinguished lawmaker of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata and of the United Provinces, where he was president of the Supreme Court and also a congressman.
Francisco Antonio de Cabello y Mesa (1764–1814) was a Spanish soldier and writer. He edited the first newspapers of the current nations of Peru, Argentina and Uruguay and founded El telégrafo Mercantil in Buenos Aires in 1801. He wrote under the pseudonym Jaime Bausate y Meza.
The rise of the Argentine Republic was a process that took place in the first half of the 19th century in South America. The Republic has its origins in the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a colony of the Spanish Empire. The King of Spain appointed a viceroy to oversee the governance of the colony. The 1810 May Revolution deposed the viceregal representative and, along with the Argentine war of independence, started a process to replace the foreign monarchy with an indigenous republican state. All proposals to organize a local monarchy failed, and no local monarch was ever crowned.
The dissolution of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata was the independence and breaking up of the Spanish colony in South America. Most of the viceroyalty is now part of Argentina, and other regions belong to Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Domingo Belgrano Pérez (1730–1795) was an Italian merchant and politician. He served during the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata as Regidor and Contador del Tribunal de Cuentas de Buenos Aires.
José María Morel was a Spanish merchant, who attended as a cabildante of Buenos Aires on May 22, 1810. He was the founder of the Morel family in the Río de la Plata, among whose distinguished members was the painter Carlos Morel.