Tucumán Congress

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Tucumán Congress

Tucumán Congress, held from 1816 to 1820, was the first assembly to discuss a new constitution. In late 1815, delegates from the Ráo de la Plata region were called to meet in the interior city of Tucumán. Convening in March 1816, the congress declared independence on July 9 and elected the first supreme director, Juan Martín de Pueyrredón, in an effort to centralize political authority. Buenos Aires used the occasion to try to assert its control over the territory, but its centralizing ambitions faced the provincial federalist opposition led by José Artigas, and the country degenerated into civil war between centralists and federalists. A Portuguese invasion of Montevideo and the Banda Oriental defeated Artigas; the federalist opposition passed to caudillo leaders of Santa Fe and Entre Ríos. Asserting unilateral control over riverine trade and export-import commerce, Pueyrredón made a final effort to establish control that led to the first, highly centralized constitution of the United Provinces of the Río De La Plata in April 1819. The constitution did not embrace republican ideas and would surely have led to a monarchist state. The combined forces of the provinces forced Pueyrredón to resign in June 1819. The congress dissolved in February 1820.

See alsoArtigas, José Gervasio; Pueyrredón, Juan Martín de.


David Bushnell, Reform and Reaction in the Platine Provinces, 1810–1852 (1983), esp. pp. 16-18.

David Rock, Argentina, 1516–1982: From Spanish Colonization to the Falklands War (1985; rev. ed. 1987), esp. pp. 92-93.

Additional Bibliography

Esquicentenario del Congreso de Tucumán y de la Declaración de la Independencia: Homenaje de las academias nacionales. Buenos Aires, Ministerio de Educación y Justicia, 1966.

Gianello, Leoncio. Historia del Congreso de Tucumán. Buenos Aires: Academia Nacional de la Historia, 1966.

Groussac, Paul. El Congreso de Tucumán. Tucumán: Tip. Cárcel penitenciaria, 1916.

                                       Jeremy Adelman