- LAST REVIEWED: 05 May 2017
- LAST MODIFIED: 25 November 2014
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199766581-0177
- LAST REVIEWED: 05 May 2017
- LAST MODIFIED: 25 November 2014
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199766581-0177
One of the most important city ports of the Western Hemisphere, Buenos Aires has a history inextricably connected to the fluctuations of the Atlantic economy as well as to its strategic position as a gateway to vast and fertile flatlands that extend far beyond the city limits. Founded and re-founded in the 16th century as a secondary colonial outpost, Buenos Aires was dramatically transformed by the demands of the European markets at the turn of both the 18th and 19th centuries. In this context, two crucial developments are decisive for understanding the physical, social, and cultural fabric of the city: the emergence of the gauchos and the arrival of millions of European immigrants. The gauchos, although primarily inhabiting the pampas, would nonetheless project their influence on the city’s margins and later be elevated to cultural icon; whereas the immigrants would give Buenos Aires the particular imprint for which it is internationally recognized. Crucial periods of the city’s history, repeatedly visited by scholars, can only be explained as the result of the interplay between local and international political, economic, and demographic factors. These include the autocratic and populist rule of Juan Manuel de Rosas in the 1830s and 1840s, the influx of Italian, Spanish, and Jewish populations between 1880 and 1930, and the rise of Juan D. Perón as a popular leader in the 1940s (along with the formation of his still influential movement). The experience of living in an urban environment subject to quick transformations, particularly since the end of the 19th century, has had a decisive impact on Argentine literature, music, and visual arts. The creations of poets, novelists, musicians, artists, and filmmakers have proven crucial for constructing a lasting image of Buenos Aires for local and international consumption. Tango, perhaps the city’s most singular cultural expression, has played an unparalleled role in this regard. But if a turn-of-the-century burgeoning city has occupied an undisputed place in the artistic and scholarly imagination, there is also the Buenos Aires of economic decline and cultural conflict that gradually emerged in the last century. Despite having being affected by several dictatorial regimes and financial crises on which recent scholarship and cultural production have increasingly focused, contemporary Buenos Aires continues to be a sociocultural and economic center for tourists, students, and new waves of immigrants (mainly from Latin American and East Asian countries).
A limited number of works examine the historical evolution of Buenos Aires in a general fashion. Romero and Romero 2000 and Rapoport and Seoane 2007 provide comprehensive approaches to the city in multivolume collections. Fontanella de Weinberg 1987 and Schávelzon 1999 survey the city’s linguistic and archeological evolution since the 16th century. Gutman and Hardoy 2007 focuses on architectural change, while Sigal 2006 discusses the historical uses of Plaza de Mayo, the city’s most symbolic political stage. Molina y Vedia 1999 analyzes urban planning over the course of more than four centuries.
Fontanella de Weinberg, María Beatriz. El español bonaerense: Cuatro siglos de evolución lingüística, 1580–1980. Buenos Aires: Hachette, 1987.
A general history of Buenos Aires Spanish. Considers four periods (1580–1700, 1700–1800, 1800–1880, and 1880–1980). Discusses phonological, morphophonological, morphosyntactical, and lexical change and includes sections on linguistic contact and slang. Contains important findings regarding seseo, yeísmo, and voseo.
Gutman, Margarita, and Jorge Enrique Hardoy. Buenos Aires, 1536–2006: Historia urbana del Área Metropolitana. Buenos Aires: Ediciones Infinito, 2007.
Introduction to the urban ecology of Buenos Aires, with special emphasis on architectural change. Of particular interest is the book’s approach to the city since the return to democracy in 1983: the emergence of gated communities, projects of urban recycling, and configuration of shanty towns. Accompanied by statistical charts and an extensive bibliography. Illustrated.
Molina y Vedia, Juan. Mi Buenos Aires herido: Planes de desarrollo territorial y urbano (1535–2000). Buenos Aires: Colihue, 1999.
Discusses patterns of urban planning and growth since early colonial times, to concentrate on documented major 20th-century projects of urban renewal. It contains ample visual material, from maps and architectural designs to artistic sketches and photographs.
Rapoport, Mario, and María Seoane. Buenos Aires, historia de una ciudad: De la modernidad al siglo XXI: Sociedad, política, economía, y cultura. 2 vols. Buenos Aires: Planeta-Fundación Banco Ciudad, 2007.
A very accessible, comprehensive history of the modern city ranging from 1880 to 2005. It provides a general but systematic overview of major periods divided by years, with each period analyzed along four equally important variables: politics, economics, society, and culture.
Romero, José Luis, and Luis Alberto Romero. Buenos Aires: Historia de cuatro siglos. 2 vols. Buenos Aires: Altamira, 2000.
Collection of articles by historians and social scientists. Discusses the city’s two foundations, the Colonial City, the Jacobin City, the Creole City, the Patrician City, the Bourgeois City, the City of the Masses, and the City of the Future. Covers a variety of political and cultural topics (from architecture to tango, from trade unions to social life, from traffic to slums).
Schávelzon, Daniel. Arqueología de Buenos Aires: Una ciudad en el fin del mundo. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 1999.
Discusses the excavations of local institutions (a museum, a hospital, a church, a printing company, a government building), as well as in several residences and a park to highlight the socioeconomic and ethnic profile of Buenos Aires. Pays attention to the material culture of European immigrants, indigenous peoples, and African inhabitants. Focuses on gendered and family objects.
Sigal, Silvia. La Plaza de Mayo: Una crónica. Buenos Aires: Siglo XXI, 2006.
Focusing on the main government square in downtown Buenos Aires as the central stage of Argentinian political life, the study traces the uses of the plaza since the 1810 declaration of independence to the last dictatorship (1976–1983), for both government and anti-government demonstrations.
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- Agricultural Technologies
- Andean Contributions to Rethinking the State and the Natio...
- Antislavery Narratives
- Arab Diaspora in Latin America, The
- Argentina in the Era of Mass Immigration
- Argentina, Slavery in
- Argentine Literature
- Army of Chile in the 19th Century
- Asian Art and Its Impact in the Americas, 1565–1840
- Asian-Peruvian Literature
- Baroque and Neo-baroque Literary Tradition
- Bello, Andrés
- Black Experience in Colonial Latin America, The
- Black Experience in Modern Latin America, The
- Borderlands in Latin America, Conquest of
- Bourbon Reforms, The
- Brazilian Northeast, History of the
- Buenos Aires
- Caribbean Philosophical Association, The
- Caribbean, The Archaeology of the
- Cartagena de Indias
- Caste War of Yucatán, The
- Caudillos, 19th Century
- Cádiz Constitution and Liberalism, The
- Chaco War
- Children, History of
- Chile's Struggle for Independence
- Chronicle, The
- Church in Colonial Latin America, The
- Chávez, Hugo, and the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela
- Cinema, Contemporary Brazilian
- Cinema, Latin American
- Colonial Central America
- Colonial Portuguese Amazon Region, from the 17th to 18th C...
- Contemporary Maya, The
- Costa Rica
- Cárdenas and Cardenismo
- Cuban Revolution, The
- Development of Architecture in New Spain, 1500-1810, The
- Development of Painting in Peru, 1520–1820, The
- Drug Trades in Latin America
- Early Colonial Forms of Native Expression in Mexico and Pe...
- Ecuador, La Generación del 30 in
- El Salvador
- Enlightenment and its Visual Manifestations in Spanish Ame...
- Environmental History
- Era of Porfirio Díaz, 1876–1911, The
- Family History
- Film, Science Fiction
- Football (Soccer) in Latin America
- Gender in Colonial Brazil
- Gender in Postcolonial Latin America
- Guatemala and Yucatan, Conquest of
- Guatemala City
- Haitian Revolution, The
- Health and Disease in Modern Latin America, History of
- History, Cultural
- History, Food
- Honor in Latin America to 1900
- Horror in Literature and Film in Latin America
- Human Rights in Latin America
- Immigration in Latin America
- Indigenous Elites in the Colonial Andes
- Indigenous Population and Justice System in Central Mexico...
- Japanese Presence in Latin America
- Jewish Presence in Latin America, The
- Las Casas, Bartolomé de
- Latin American Independence
- Latin American Urbanism, 1850-1950
- Law and Society in Latin America since 1800
- Legal History of New Spain, 16th-17th Centuries
- Legal History of the State and Church in 18th Century New ...
- Literature, Argentinian
- Machado de Assis
- Maroon Societies in Latin America
- Martí, José, and Cuba
- Mestizaje and the Legacy of José María Arguedas
- Mexican Revolution, 1910–1940, The
- Mexican-US Relations
- Mexico, Conquest of
- Mexico, Education in
- Migration to the United States
- Military and Modern Latin America, The
- Military Government in Latin America, 1959–1990
- Military Institution in Colonial Latin America, The
- Modern Decorative Arts and Design, 1900–2000
- Modern Populism in Latin America
- Modernity and Decoloniality
- Musical Tradition in Latin America, The
- Native Presence in Postconquest Central Peru
- New Conquest History and the New Philology in Colonial Mes...
- New Left in Latin America, The
- Novel, Chronology of the Venezuelan
- Novel of the Mexican Revolution, The
- Novel, 19th Century Haitian
- Novel, The Colombian
- Oaxaca, Conquest and Colonial
- Painting in New Spain, 1521–1820
- Paraguayan War (War of the Triple Alliance)
- Perón and Peronism
- Peru, Colonial
- Peru, Conquest of
- Peru, Slavery in
- Philippines Under Spanish Rule, 1571-1898
- Photography in the History of Race and Nation
- Political Exile in Latin America
- Popular Culture and Globalization
- Popular Movements in Nineteenth-Century Latin America
- Post Conquest Aztecs
- Post-Conquest Demographic Collapse
- Poverty in Latin America
- Preconquest Incas
- Pre-Revolutionary Mexico, State and Nation Formation in
- Printing and the Book
- Prints and the Circulation of Colonial Images
- Protestantism in Latin America
- Revolution and Reaction in Central America
- Rosas, Juan Manuel de
- Sandinista Revolution and the FSLN, The
- Science and Empire in the Iberian Atlantic
- Sexualities in Latin America and the Caribbean
- São Paulo
- Spanish and Portuguese Trade, 1500–1750
- Spanish Caribbean In The Colonial Period, The
- Spanish Colonial Decorative Arts, 1500-1825
- Spanish Florida
- Textile Traditions of the Andes
- 16th-Century New Spain
- Transculturation and Literature
- Trujillo, Rafael
- Tupac Amaru Rebellion, The
- United States and Castro's Cuba in the Cold War, The
- United States and the Guatemalan Revolution, The
- United States Invasion of the Dominican Republic, 1961–196...
- Urban History
- Urbanization in the 20th Century, Latin America’s
- U.S.-Latin American Relations During the Cold War
- Vargas, Getúlio
- Women and Labor in 20th-Century Latin America
- Women in Colonial Latin American History
- Women in Modern Latin American History
- Zapatista Rebellion in Chiapas