After about 20 years of economic expansion and stability, the La Plata region attracted the attention of Britain, which was at war with France and Spain. In 1806 a British fleet attacked Buenos Aires. The British took control of the city, but a citizen militia quickly ousted them. The following year the British tried to regain control of the city but failed. The defeat of the British filled the citizens of Buenos Aires with confidence in their fighting ability.
Revolutionary sentiment in La Plata escalated after the French emperor Napoleon overthrew and imprisoned King Ferdinand VII of Spain in 1808. The people of Buenos Aires refused to recognize Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon’s brother, as Ferdinand’s legitimate successor. On May 25, 1810, they rejected Bonaparte’s rule by overthrowing the government and installed a provisional governing council in the name of Ferdinand VII.
The new government launched a military campaign to win the support of the cities in the interior. The campaigns of 1810 marked the beginning of the wars of independence that continued for more than a decade. Argentina declared independence in 1816, although the revolutionaries did not finally defeat the Spanish in South America until 1824. "Argentina" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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