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The Congress of Tucumán was the representative assembly of the United Provinces of the River Plate formed in 1816, initially meeting in Tucumán. The Congress declared the independence of Argentina on July 9, 1816.

Following the May Revolution of 1810, the Viceroyalty of the River Plate had been replaced by the Primera Junta. The provinces had been moving towards full independence but royalist forces had had success in battle in what was the Viceroyalty of Peru and were threatening José de San Martín and Buenos Aires.

Historic depiction
Site of the Congress of Tucumán, not long after the event. Restored in 1941, it was made a National Monument.

On April 15, 1815, a revolution ended the mandate of Carlos María de Alvear and called a General Congress. Delegate deputies, each representing 15,000 inhabitants, were sent from all the provinces to the sessions that started on March 24, 1816. Nevertheless, several territories that until then belonged to the Viceroyalty of the River Plate did not send any delegates: the Banda Oriental ('Eastern Bank', today Uruguay) that was faithful to Artigas; Paraguay, which had already proclaimed its independence; and the provinces of the Gran Chaco and Mesopotamia, still fighting the aboriginal resistance. Representatives of what is now Bolivia were however present.

The congress was inaugurated in the Tucumán home of Francisca Bazán de Laguna, with 33 deputies, and as had been decided, the presidency of the congress was rotated monthly. Because the congress had freedom to choose the topics to discuss, there were endless discussions. Voting finally ended on July 9, with the declaration of independence of the country. At the time the president of the Congress was Francisco Narciso de Laprida, delegate from San Juan Province. Subsequent discussions centred on the form of government that the young state should have.

The congress continued its work in Buenos Aires in 1817, but it dissolved in 1820 after the Battle of Cepeda that deepened the differences between Unitarians and Federals.

The house where the declaration was made was rebuilt and is now a museum and monument, the House of Tucumán.

Signatories of the declaration




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