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Military Struggle and Identity Formation in Latin
AmericaRace, Nation, and Community During the Liberal Period$
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Nicola Foote and Rene D. Harder Horst

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034874

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034874.001.0001

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The Conquest of the Desert and the Free Indigenous Communities of the Argentine Plains

The Conquest of the Desert and the Free Indigenous Communities of the Argentine Plains

Chapter:
(p.204) 9 The Conquest of the Desert and the Free Indigenous Communities of the Argentine Plains
Source:
Military Struggle and Identity Formation in Latin America
Author(s):

Carlos Martínez Sarasola

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813034874.003.0010

Toward of the end of the nineteenth century, the Argentine state intensified a policy of military expansion that would ultimately destroy the autonomous socioeconomic systems of the indigenous peoples of the Pampas—the central plains and its surrounding areas. As in the United States during roughly the same time, the national occupation of the plains was a contested venture, fought not only by pioneers and indigenous inhabitants but also by politicians and the soldiers sent to eliminate the native peoples. This chapter argues that politicians in Argentina did not share a common plan to exterminate native populations on their frontier. Rather, the genocidal war that emerged late in the century resulted from a difficult and contested negotiation at the heart of the nation's political leadership.

Keywords:   Argentine plains, Pampas, political leadership, military expansion, native people, genocidal war

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