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Provincias Unidas
del Río de la Plata
Provincias Unidas del Sur
United Provinces of South America



Flag of the United Provinces, 1812 Coat of arms
In dark blue, the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata in 1821.
Capital Buenos Aires
Language(s) Spanish
Government Provisional Juntas
Supreme Directorship
 - May Revolution 25 May, 1810
 - Independence
of Argentina
9 July, 1816
 - Battle of Cepeda
End of centralized authority
1 February, 1820
 - First Presidency 8 February, 1826
 - Treaty of Montevideo 28 August, 1828
 - Pacto Federal 4 January, 1831
Currency Real (since 1813)
Sol (since 1815)
Peso Fuerte (since 1826)

The United Provinces of South America (Spanish: Provincias Unidas del Sur) was the original name of the State that emerged from the May Revolution and the early developements of the Argentine War of Independence. It comprised most of the former Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata dependencies and, for most of the period, had Buenos Aires as its capital. It is best known, in Spanish literature, as Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata (English: United Provinces of the Río de la Plata), this being the most common (occasionally the official) name in use for the country, until the enactment of the 1826 Constitution. Moreover, this is currently one of the official designations for Argentina, as stated in the Argentine Constitution, Article 35. [1]



The United Provinces of South America was neighboured to the South by sparsely populated indigenous territories of Pampa and Patagonia which were the home of settled Amerindian nations such as the Mapuche, Ranquel and Puelche. To the North it was in contact with the indigenous territories of Gran Chaco populated by the Guaycuru nations. In the west was the Spanish controlled province of Chile and to the East was the Empire of Portugal.


Ever since the foundation of the United Provinces, porteños (residents of Buenos Aires) attempted to assert control over the Union, trying to establish a unitary, centralist state, something which was opposed by the Federales, who created their own state, the Liga Federal, governed by federalist laws.


Liga Federal

The Liga Federal (1815-1820) or Liga de los Pueblos Libres (League of the Free Peoples) was a small nation in what is now Argentina and Uruguay that was created after the break up of the Spanish Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. The idea of a federalist country originated from its leader, José Gervasio Artigas, a former officer in the Spanish army.

The United Provinces of South America were threatened by the Liga Federal and joined forces with the Portuguese forces, led by Carlos Frederico Lecor. Thanks to their numerical and material superiority the combined forces, defeated Artigas and his army and occupied Montevideo on January 20, 1817, but the struggle continued for three long years in the countryside. In 1820 the Liga Federal was dissolved and its provinces of absorbed into the United Provinces of South America with the exception of the Provincia Oriental (modern day Uruguay) which was annexed by Portugal to its Brazilian dependences in 1821.

Break up of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata

The result of the wars was the independence of the provinces


Four provinces would go on to become Bolivia


The independence of the Eastern Province or Provincia Oriental to become Uruguay


The award of an extensive section of Misiones to Brazil.


After much infighting, the following joined together to become what is now Argentina:

Falkland Islands

The United Provinces had intermittent control over the Falkland Islands, establishing a colony under Luis Vernet in 1829. The British took control of the islands in the 1833.

See also


  1. ^ "Art. 35.- Las denominaciones adoptadas sucesivamente desde 1810 hasta el presente, a saber: Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata; República Argentina, Confederación Argentina, serán en adelante nombres oficiales indistintamente para la designación del Gobierno y territorio de las provincias, empleándose las palabras "Nación Argentina" en la formación y sanción de las leyes."
    "Article 35 .- The denominations successively adopted from 1810 to the present, namely: United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, Argentine Republic, Argentine Confederation, shall henceforth be interchangeably official names to describe the Government and territory of the provinces, using the words "Argentine Nation" for the making and the enactment of laws."


  • "Símbolos Nacionales de la República Argentina" ISBN 9506910367


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