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The Generation of '80 ( es, Generación del '80) was the governing elite in
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is also bordered ...

Argentina
from 1880 to 1916. Members of the
oligarchy Oligarchy (; ) is a form of power structure A power structure is an overall system of influence between any individual and every other individual within any selected group of people. A description of a power structure would capture the way in w ...
of the
provinces A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are gene ...
and the
country's capital
country's capital
, they first joined the League of Governors (''Liga de Gobernadores''), and then the
National Autonomist Party The National Autonomist Party ( es, Partido Autonomista Nacional; PAN) was an Argentine conservative Conservatism is a Political philosophy, political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions. The central tenets of co ...

National Autonomist Party
, a fusion formed from the two dominating parties of the prior period, the Autonomist Party of
Adolfo Alsina Adolfo Alsina Maza (January 4, 1829 – December 29, 1877) was an Argentine Argentines (also known as Argentinians or Argentineans; es, masculine argentinos; feminine Femininity (also called womanliness or girlishness) is a set o ...
and the National Party of Nicolás Avellaneda. These two parties, along with
Bartolomé Mitre Bartolomé Mitre Martínez (26 June 1821 – 19 January 1906) was an Argentina, Argentine statesman, soldier and author. He was President of Argentina from 1862 to 1868. Early life Mitre was born in Buenos Aires to a Greeks, Greek family origi ...

Bartolomé Mitre
's Nationalist Party, were the three branches into which the
Unitarian Party Unitarianists or Unitarians (in Spanish language, Spanish, ''Unitarios'') were the proponents of the concept of a unitary state (centralized government) in Buenos Aires during the civil wars which shortly followed the Declaration of Independence ...
had divided. In 1880, General
Julio Argentino Roca Alejo Julio Argentino Roca Paz (July 17, 1843 – October 19, 1914) was an army general and statesman who served as President of Argentina from 1880 to 1886 and from 1898 to 1904. Roca is the most important representative of the Generation ...
, leader of the
Conquest of the Desert Conquest is the act of military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, wi ...
and framer of the Generation and its model of government, launched his candidacy for president. They filled the highest public political, economical, military and religious positions, staying in power through electoral fraud. In spite of the growing political opposition, led by the
Radical Civic Union The Radical Civic Union ( es, Unión Cívica Radical, UCR) is a centrist Social liberalism, social-liberal political party in Argentina. The party has been ideologically heterogeneous, ranging from social liberalism to social democracy. The UCR i ...
(UCR) and anarchist and socialist groups workers formed mainly by
immigrant Immigration is the international movement of people to a destination country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship ...
workers, the Generation of '80 managed to stay in power until the passing of the Sáenz Peña Law of secret, universal, and obligatory male suffrage, thus marking the transition into modern Argentine history.


Ideology

The Generation of '80 continued the work of the "Historical Presidencies" of
Mitre The Mitre Corporation (stylized as The MITRE Corporation and MITRE) is an American not-for-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity org ...

Mitre
,
Sarmiento
Sarmiento
, and
Avellaneda Avellaneda (, ) is a port The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Barcola The thumb is the first digit of the hand, next to the index finger. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position (where the palm is facing to the front), the ...
, and took advantage of the end of the political crises and economic turbulence that had dominated the presidency of Avellaneda. The end of this turmoil laid the foundation for a society characterized by optimism and the certainty of a generous future in the years to come. The politicians of the Generation of '80 held
economically liberal Economic liberalism (also known as Fiscal conservatism, fiscal conservatism in United States politics) is a List of political ideologies, political and economic ideology based on strong support for an Individualism, individualist market economy ...
and
socially conservative Social conservatism is a political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and the relationships between them. ...
positions, as well as believing in
positivism Positivism is a philosophical theory A philosophical theory or philosophical position''Dictionary of Theories'', Jennifer Bothamley is a view that attempts to explain or account for a particular problem in philosophy Philosophy (from ...
, symbolizing their ideology with
Auguste Comte Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier Comte (; 19 January 1798 – 5 September 1857) was a French philosophy, French philosopher and writer who formulated the doctrine of positivism. He is often regarded as the first Philosophy of science, phil ...

Auguste Comte
's motto, "Order and Progress." The leaders of this generation believed blindly in "progress," identifying it as economic growth and modernization; "order" was considered a necessary condition for such progress, since it must be under conditions of peace that the people achieve progress. Similarly, the actions of Julio A. Roca's presidencies were founded in the motto "Peace and Administration," synthesizing both liberal and conservative thinking. Throughout almost its entire existence, the men of the Generation of '80 believed in a destiny of indefinite progress for its country and for humanity. They hoped to see their country grow in all aspects: economically, socially, culturally, and materially. In a certain sense, they did not believe it necessary to do much more than create the conditions for this growth, since they took for granted that progress was the natural response to order. The only time this was questioned was during the Economic Crisis of 1890, but the general optimism returned soon after. Ideologically, this generation was considered to be the successor of the Generation of '37, to which their parents or grandparents had belonged – though many leaders were descended from notable characters in the rule of
Juan Manuel de Rosas Juan Manuel de Rosas (30 March 1793 – 14 March 1877), nicknamed "Restorer of the Laws", was an Argentine politician and army officer who ruled Buenos Aires Province and briefly the Argentine Confederation. Although born into a wealthy fam ...

Juan Manuel de Rosas
, who was an enemy of the Generation of '37 – and they held as dogma the principles laid out by the members of that generation. In particular, they inherited the cultural and racial prejudices from
Juan Bautista Alberdi Juan Bautista Alberdi (August 29, 1810 – June 19, 1884) was an Argentine political theorist and diplomat. Although he lived most of his life in exile Image:Dante exile.jpg, ''Dante in Exile'' by To be in exile means to be forced away from ...

Juan Bautista Alberdi
's ''Gobernar es poblar,'' the rejection of traditions from
Esteban Echeverría José Esteban Antonio Echeverría (September 2, 1805 – January 19, 1851) was an Argentine Argentines (also known as Argentinians or Argentineans; es, masculine argentinos; feminine Femininity (also called womanliness or girlishne ...
's ''Tradiciones retrógada que nos subordinan al antiguo régimen,'' and the confrontation between civilization and barbarianism from
Domingo Faustino Sarmiento Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (February 15, 1811 – September 11, 1888) was an Argentine activist, intellectual, writer, statesman and the seventh President of Argentina The President of Argentina ( es, Presidente de Argentina), officially kn ...

Domingo Faustino Sarmiento
's ''Civilización y barbarie''. The positivist ideas of the Generation of '80 were notably influenced by the thinking of
Herbert Spencer Herbert Spencer (27 April 1820 – 8 December 1903) was an English philosopher, biologist Francesco Redi, the founder of biology, is recognized to be one of the greatest biologists of all time A biologist is a professional who has speciali ...

Herbert Spencer
, who adapted
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English natural history#Before 1900, naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. His proposition that all sp ...

Charles Darwin
's principles of evolution to the functioning of modern societies. This line of thinking became known as
Social Darwinism Social Darwinism refers to various societal practices around the world and defined by scholars in Western Europe and North America in the 1870s that applied biological concepts of natural selection Natural selection is the differential ...
, a theory synonymous with the phrase "
survival of the fittest "Survival of the fittest" is a phrase that originated from Darwinian Darwinism is a theory A theory is a reason, rational type of abstraction, abstract thinking about a phenomenon, or the results of such thinking. The process of contemp ...
." Therefore, following Sarmiento's model,
Gaucho A gaucho () or gaúcho () is a skilled horseman, reputed to be brave and unruly. The figure of the gaucho is a folk symbol of Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located m ...

Gaucho
s and
indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or autochthonous peoples, are culturally distinct e ...
were "barbarians," uncultured people incapable of appreciating the advantages of a civilized life founded in liberal principles that guaranteed the road to "progress." They believed therefore in the need to eliminate this "barbarianism" through "order" in order to strengthen the idea of "civilization," bringing in a European population to pave the way towards "progress." They did not find a moral contradiction between this and the cultural and even physical elimination of the native population, because it was the destiny of the European cultures and races – considered more "fit" for living in the modern world – to prevail over them and eventually replace the "less fit."Sebreli, Juan José (2002). ''Crítica de las ideas políticas argentinas''. Sudamericana. . They Generation of '80 also clashed with the traditional positions of the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . As the wo ...

Catholic Church
and tried to define a
separation of Church and State The separation of church and state is a philosophic and jurisprudential concept for defining political distance in the relationship between religious organizations Religious activities generally need some infrastructure to be conducted. F ...
with laws of Civil Matrimony, Civil Registry, and Common Education, the latter of which established mandatory, free, and secular primary education. These reforms demonstrated that there was never a serious attempt to completely separate Church and State, but rather to simply reduce the institutional influence that the Church had on public life. Either way, these measures brought a constant clash with the Church, defended by a small ideological group with in the Generation of '80: the Catholic leaders, such as , Emilio Lamarca, and Pedro Goyena, who questioned the anticlerical positions of their generation's leaders, though they shared their liberal ideas.


Expansion of the economy

The Generation of '80 brought in an age of economic expansion in the country. They put forth a liberal economic policy of agricultural exportation, which was compatible with the new international division of labor introduced by
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity and common culture * British English, ...
merchants,Gerchunoff, Pablo; Llach, Lucas (1998). «La generación del progreso (1880–1914)». ''El ciclo de la ilusión y el desencanto. Un siglo de políticas económicas argentinas''. Buenos Airs: Ariel. pp. 13–59. . The country concentrated its economic activity in the region of the
Pampas The Pampas (from the qu, pampa, meaning "plain") are fertile South America South America is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any str ...

Pampas
with its center in the port city of
Buenos Aires Buenos Aires ( or ; ), officially Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or cap ...

Buenos Aires
, with the goal of producing meat (from sheep and cattle), leather, wool, and grains (wheat, corn, and flax), primarily to the British market, in exchange for importing industrial goods. While 95% of its exports were agricultural products, Argentina imported 77% of its textile consumption and 67% of its metallurgic consumption. At the same time, English capital provided the funding for the majority of Argentina's logistical activities, such as banks, railways, refrigeration, etc. In 1887, just after finishing his first presidency, Julio A. Roca visited
London London is the Capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a estuary down to the North Sea, and has b ...

London
, meeting with several members of the
British government The Government of the United Kingdom, domestically referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
. During his visit, Roca synthesized the relationship between Argentina and
Great Britain Great Britain is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), ...

Great Britain
with the following words:
I am perhaps the first former president from South America to have been the object in London of such a reception of gentlemen. I have always held a great sympathy towards England. The Argentine Republic, which will one day be a great nation, will never forget that the state of progress and prosperity that is found at this time is due in great part to English funding.
Gerchunoff and Llach have estimated that at the beginning of the 20th Century, half of Argentina's
GDP Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George III are contrasted with the beggar whose legs and arms were amputated, in the left corner">174x174px Money is any ...
was made up of imports and exports.Gerchunoff, Pablo; Llach, Lucas (1998). «La generación del progreso (1880–1914)». ''El ciclo de la ilusión y el desencanto. Un siglo de políticas económicas argentinas''. Buenos Airs: Ariel. p. 43. . In 1888, Argentina was the sixth-largest exporter of grains and by 1907 had become third, behind only the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
and
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
. The liberal model of agricultural exportation has been criticized from various perspectives for not investing more heavily in the supply chain, especially in the textile and metallurgic sectors. The model of agricultural exportation was implemented and maintained primarily by the ranchers in the (called estancieros), who organized in the Rural Society of Argentina, the first worker's union in the country's history, founded in 1868. Using the chant "One Hundred
Chivilcoy Chivilcoy is a city in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, the head town of the Chivilcoy Partido. It has 64,185 inhabitants according to the . Twin Towns Menfi, Italy, since 1999 Tourism February Carnivals In the month of February, a three- ...
s!" the estancieros were able to block President Sarmiento's plan to hand over lands to immigrants with the goal of establishing a system of farmers' colonies worked by their owners. President Avellaneda cancelled this plan and established the predomination of the estancia. Nevertheless, the utilization of these liberal free-trade economic policies enacted by the government were complemented by the governing group with a clear support for State intervention in the areas that were considered essential for the
social contract In moral A moral (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power ...
, such as education, justice, and public works, and the expansion of State intervention throughout the country.


Expansion of the population

The Generation of '80 also carried out an unprecedented process of European immigration in Argentina. Various treaties with neighboring countries, such the Paraguyan War put an end to the primary conflicts regarding the country's borders, thus strengthening the control of the national territory and bringing peace to the population, as opposed to the permanent state of war that Europe was experiencing at the time. Argentina's generous and broad policy based on liberal ideas allowed for a suitable promotion of immigration, complying with the provisions contained in the Argentine Constitution. However, this regime that promoted the entry of millions of new inhabitants into the country was partially limited by repressive laws such as the 1902 Law of Residency and the 1910 Law of Social Defense with the goal of containing the expansion of
socialism Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, ...
and
anarchism Anarchism is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge ...

anarchism
. The enormous population expansion gave rise to workers' movements that began to demand better living conditions, especially working conditions, employing the
strike Strike may refer to: People *Strike (surname)Strike is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: *Alice Strike (1896–2004), last surviving female Canadian military World War I veteran *Anne Wafula Strike (born 1969), British wheelcha ...
as a tool for social pressure. A quarter-century later, thanks to the public policies implemented by the Generation of '80, the wave of immigration would lead to a phenomenal social movement and that would bring radicalism to power.


Fall of the Generation of '80

During the second presidency of Julio A. Roca, the Law of Residency was passed, which allowed for the immediate expulsion from the country any foreign activists who were against the regime. Roca's brother-in-law, Miguel Juárez Celman, had been overthrown in the
Revolution of the Park The Revolution of the Park (''Revolución del Parque''), also known as the Revolution of '90, was an uprising against the national government of Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is ...
in 1890, and in 1905, radicalism would return to arms in a coordinated uprising in several provinces. In 1910, on the centennial celebration of the
May Revolution The May Revolution ( es, link=no, Revolución de Mayo) was a week-long series of events that took place from May 18 to 25, 1810, in Buenos Aires Buenos Aires ( or ; ), officially Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, is the capital ...
, the Law of Social Defense was passed, establishing the preventative arrest of supposed anarchists. There were also tepid advances in the government to attempt to calm the workers' demands, such as the creation of the National Department of Labor in 1907. Thus, it was conservatism that issued the first labor laws of the era, though they would turn out to be insufficient given the significant development in the labor sector, a product of massive immigration and economic growth. Facing growing demands of the middle class, constant strikes, and criticism from the press and Congress, the Generation of '80, at the time led by the modernist line of the National Autonomist Party, found it necessary to respond to the new reality and extended political participation with the passing of the Sáenz Peña Law in 1912, establishing secret, universal, and mandatory suffrage for males over 18. In 1916, in the first elections in which the new law applied, the conservative regime lost presidential elections for the first time, ceding power to the radical Hipólito Yrigoyen, who assumed his first presidency with the backing of the majority of the Argentine middle class.


Concept of the Generation of '80

The term "Generation of '80" appeared for the first time throughout the 1920s, and it referred to a literary generation. In his ''Historia de la Literatura Argentina'', Ricardo Rojas gave this group its name in a secondary manner, since the group that would be called the Generation of '80 was called "''Los Modernos.''" The first author to group the authors of this era together with the name "Generation of '80" was Arturo Giménez Pastor, in a work titled ''Los del 80''. While the name was used especially for authors, it also mentioned intellectuals and scientists.Bruno, Paula. "Un balance sobre los usos de la expresión generación del 80, 1920–2000." ''Universidad de San Andrés''. Archived 21 August 2007. Around the same time, historian Rómulo Carbia, in his ''Historia crítica de la historiografía argentina'', grouped together the historians of the period as "''Los ensayistas,''"or "The essayists." Finally, in two articles appearing in the newspaper ''
La Nación ''La Nación'' (''The Nation'') is an Argentina, Argentine daily newspaper. As the country's leading conservative paper, ''La Nacións main competitor is the centrism, centrist ''Clarín (Argentine newspaper), Clarín''. It is regarded as a newspa ...
'' at the end of the 1930s, Manuel Mujica Lainez mentions the "Generation of '80" with its current meaning, though limited to the literary world. The distinctive feature that the majority of the writers from this time were also highly imaginative politicians allowed this term to extend to politics, but this process wasn't provided much clarity until the mid-1950s, when
Carlos Ibarguren Carlos Ibarguren Uriburu (April 18, 1877 – April 3, 1956) was an Argentine academic, historian and politician. As a writer he was noted as one of the foremost academics of the history of Argentina as well as a leading expert on constitutional ...

Carlos Ibarguren
referred to the combination of intellectuals and politicians of the era with this name.Ibarguren, Carlos (1954). ''La historia que he vivido''. Buenos Aires: Eudeba. p. 56. The term was also used by
leftist Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that builds from the concept of social equality, prioritizing it for all people. ...
historians such as Jorge Abelardo Ramos in ''Revolución y contrarrevolución en la Argentina'' (1957) and Enrique Barba in a 1959 article, which declared this generation as a direct descendant of the Generation of '37 for its ideas and philosophy. The precise reaches of the term "Generation of '80" as a collection of oligarchical intellectual leaders tied to cattle production, consciously inheriting the ideas of the Generation of '37, came at the hand of David Viñas in ''Literatura argentina y realidad política: Apogeo de la oligarquía'' (1964). In ''El desarrollo de las ideas en la Argentina del siglo XX'', José Luis Romero spoke of the Generation of '80 as though it was already a well-known concept by the reader. From 1970 on, the term would be used in the sense that Viñas gave it, with nuances more or less favorable or unfavorable according to the author's point of view. However, beginning in this period, certain ambiguities arose in regards to the limits of who belonged to this generation and who did not. Identifying the Generation of '80 as the broad period occurring between 1880 and 1916 would include the younger leaders and intellectuals from the early 20th Century, who demonstrated a clearly different orientation to that of their predecessors. Therefore, it would not fit to include them in the Generation of '80. For example, the intellectuals and scientists did not have political ambitions, with very few exceptions.


References


Bibliography

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Generation Of '80 History of Argentina (1852–1880)