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 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 America.
The Consulate was built 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.
It was required from the Secretary of the Consulate to annually propose, 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. These guidelines were supported by a document that has reached our days. The ideals of the Consulate and what could be achieved for the benefit of the viceroyalty, however, were far from desired.
However, instead of assuming a position of outright opposition, he adopted a tone of education, which included frequent praise and prostrations to the king and the authorities. The criticism was always, therefore, by the contrast between the situation he complained (apparently without accusing any person or body) and what the authorities should have done, which should ensure the general welfare, and who were therefore guilty by neglect or inaction. Afterwards the Belgrano's posting June the 3rd day was known as the Economist day in Argentina
An economist is a practitioner in the social science discipline of economics.
Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic, is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is also bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2 (1,073,500 sq mi), Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, and the largest Spanish-speaking nation. The sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, which is the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital have their own constitutions, but exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
The Viceroyalty of New Spain was an integral territorial entity of the Spanish Empire, established by Habsburg Spain during the Spanish colonization of the Americas. It covered a huge area that included territories in North America, South America, Asia and Oceania. It originated in 1521 after the fall of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, the main event of the Spanish conquest, which did not properly end until much later, as its territory continued to grow to the north. It was officially created on 8 March 1535 as a viceroyalty, the first of four viceroyalties Spain created in the Americas. Its first viceroy was Antonio de Mendoza y Pacheco, and the capital of the viceroyalty was Mexico City, established on the ancient Mexico-Tenochtitlan.
The Viceroyalty of Peru was a Spanish imperial provincial administrative district, created in 1542, that originally contained modern-day Peru and most of Spanish-ruled South America, governed from the capital of Lima. The Viceroyalty of Peru was one of the two Spanish Viceroyalties in the Americas from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries.
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 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. It was the first successful revolution in the South American Independence process.
The Primera Junta or First Assembly is the most common name given to the first independent government of Argentina. It was created on 25 May 1810, as a result of the events of the May Revolution. The Junta initially had representatives from only Buenos Aires. When it was expanded, as expected, with the addition of the representatives from the other cities of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, it became popularly known instead as the Junta Grande. The Junta operated at El Fuerte, which had been used since 1776 as a residence by the Viceroys.
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.
Lex mercatoria, often referred to as "the Law Merchant" in English, is the body of commercial law used by merchants throughout Europe during the medieval period. It evolved similar to English common law as a system of custom and best practice, which was enforced through a system of merchant courts along the main trade routes. It functioned as the international law of commerce. It emphasised contractual freedom and alienability of property, while shunning legal technicalities and deciding cases ex aequo et bono. A distinct feature was the reliance by merchants on a legal system developed and administered by them. States or local authorities seldom interfered, and did not interfere a lot in internal domestic trade. Under lex mercatoria trade flourished and states took in large amounts of taxation.
The Federal League or League of Free Peoples was an alliance of provinces in what is now Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil that aimed to establish a confederal organization for the state that was emerging from the May Revolution in the war of independence against the Spanish Empire.
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 autobiography of Manuel Belgrano was written in 1814. It is part of his Memories and it was first published by Bartolomé Mitre in 1877 as part of the book Historia de Belgrano y de la Independencia Argentina. The second part of the Memories deals with the Paraguay campaign and the third and last with the Battle of Tucumán, being included at the Memorias Póstumas of José María Paz in 1855.
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.
Francisco Antonio de Cabello y Mesa 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.
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.