Córdoba (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkoɾðoβa]) is a province of Argentina, located in the center of the country. Its neighboring provinces are (clockwise from the north) Santiago del Estero, Santa Fe, Buenos Aires, La Pampa, San Luis, La Rioja, and Catamarca. Together with Santa Fe and Entre Ríos, the province is part of the economic and political association known as the Center Region.
Córdoba is the second-most populous Argentine province, with 3,308,876 inhabitants, and the fifth by size, at about 165,321 km2 (63,831 sq mi). Almost 41% of its inhabitants reside in the capital city, Córdoba, and its surroundings, making it the second most populous metro area in Argentina.
Córdoba de la Nueva Andalucía (nowadays the city of Córdoba) was founded as a middle point on that route on July 6, 1573 by Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera. The Colegio Convictorio de Nuestra Señora de Monserrat was founded by the Jesuits in 1599, followed by the National University of Córdoba, Argentina's first university, in 1613. The city continued to grow as an important cultural center, supported by the trade of precious metals from Peru. In 1761 a printing press was installed in the University.
In 1783, seven years after the consolidation of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, the Intendency of Córdoba became the capital of what now includes the La Rioja, Mendoza, San Juan, and San Luis Provinces, dividing the former Tucumán Intendency in two. Rafael de Sobremonte was its first governor, when Córdoba City had 38,800 inhabitants.
After the May Revolution in 1810, Governor Juan Gutiérrez de la Concha joined a meeting that decided to ignore the authority of the Buenos Aires Junta. Francisco Ortiz de Ocampo attacked the city and executed the leaders of the opposition, among whom was Santiago de Liniers, leader of the resistance during the British invasions of the Río de la Plata.
Led by Juan Bautista Bustos after 1820, Córdoba struggled for control of the nation with Buenos Aires; the United Provinces of South America had neither legislative nor executive branches at the time. Córdoba sought a federal organization of the provinces while Rivadavia pushed for a centralised government in Buenos Aires. For 15 years, the province was submerged in internal revolts that started to stabilize in 1868 under the provisional government of Félix de la Peña.
The creation of the railways and the consequent immigration brought a second wave of population growth to Córdoba. From 1887 on, several agricultural colonies (San Francisco, Marcos Juárez, etc.) emerged, while former rest-point Fraile Muerto (Bell Ville), Ferreira (Villa María) and Los Luceros (Río Segundo), on the route to Buenos Aires, became agricultural, commercial and industrial centers, respectively.
The University Reform movement, which originated in Córdoba in 1918, was influential not only in Argentina but throughout South America. Modernization of the curricular contents and the improvement of the students' rights were the main achievements of the movement and in Córdoba, and were largely enacted by Governor Amadeo Sabattini, who became Argentina's most progressive governor at the time and enacted civil and land reforms that would later set the national standard.
After World War II, many foreign workers and workers from other provinces in Argentina were attracted to Córdoba's industrial development, led by the expansion of the car industry. It was during Arturo Frondizi's presidency (1958–1962) that most new auto industries settled in the city of Córdoba and its surroundings.
As in the rest of the country, Peronist groups emerged in 1955 following the coup that removed Juan Perón from office. These Peronist groups, together with other socialist and anarchist groups, began opposing Argentina's third military dictatorship that began in 1966. Worker and student participation in politics grew due to the widespread discontent with the appointed governor's hard-line stance, culminating in the violent May, 1969, popular revolt known as the Cordobazo. This revolt, mirrored by the Rosariazo and others in several parts of the country, undermined the power of dictator Juan Carlos Onganía and ultimately led to his ouster by more moderate military factions.
Córdoba has continued to prosper, despite left-wing violence in 1973, right-wing political interference in 1974, government atrocities in 1976–77, 1978–81 free trade policies that battered Córdoba's sizable industrial sector, the 1980s debt crisis and, the recent acute financial crisis that ended in 2002.