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Civil wars marred the first several decades of independence in the Río de la Plata. Regional caudillos often led montoneras, uprisings attacking the government or another military chieftain. Irregular gaucho cavalrymen, called montoneros, did most of the fighting in these bloody wars. Wielding lance, Boleadoras, and Facón, gauchos fought well and viciously. Such mounted raids often degenerated into the generalized looting of towns and estancias, as well as rape and murder of the inhabitants. The montonera became a way of life and source of income for some gauchos. The centralizing efforts of Justo José de Urquiza in the 1850s suppressed most regional caudillos and the destructive raids.

See alsoMontoneros .


Madaline Wallis Nichols, The Gaucho (1968), pp. 53-57.

Ricardo Rodríguez Molas, Historia social del gaucho (1968).

Additional Bibliography

Deniri, Jorge Enrique. Orígenes de las ideas federales en la provincia de Corrientes, 1810–1824. Corrientes, Argentina: Moglia Ediciones, 2002.

Titto, Richard de. Los hechos que cambiaron la historia argentina en el siglo XIX. Buenos Aires: Editorial El Ateneo, 2006.

                                                    Richard W. Slatta

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