Gerchunoff and Llach have estimated that at the beginning of the 20th Century, half of Argentina's GDP was made up of imports and exports. In 1888, Argentina was the sixth-largest exporter of grains and by 1907 had become third, behind only the United States and Russia. In 1887, just after finishing his first presidency, Julio A. Roca visited London and synthesized the relationship between Argentina and 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. Julio A. RocaGerchunoff and Llach have estimated that at the beginning of the 20th Century, half of Argentina's GDP was made up of imports and exports. In 1888, Argentina was the sixth-largest exporter of grains and by 1907 had become third, behind only the United States and 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 Province of Buenos Aires (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 Chivilcoys!" 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, such as education, justice, and public works, and the expansion of State intervention throughout the country.
The Generation of '80 also carried out an unprecedented process of European immigration in Argentina. Various treaties with neighboring countries 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 and anarchism.
The enormous population expansion gave rise to workers' movements that began to demand better living conditions, especially working conditions, employing the strike 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.