Argentina Population Migration – Independence Period

Argentina Population Migration – Independence Period

In August 1810, one of the first administrative acts of the provisional government that arose from the revolution, was the census of the city of Buenos Aires, but of the twenty districts into which the city was divided, only 14 registers remain, the others having been lost.

Here are the data concerning Italians, as they were published by Trelles in the Registro estadístico del estado de Buenos Aires year 1859, since in vol. XII of the Documentos para la historia Argentina there are the general summaries without the nationality of the Europeans.

According to, the summary of this census includes: Italians, 61 men; 3 women. Men: 56 whites, 4 blacks, one without ranking. Professions: 1 supplier, 1 pharmacist, 2 carpenters, 5 merchants, 1 confectioner, 1 colonel, 2 shop assistants, 1 clerk, 7 farm owners (estancias), 3 blacksmiths, 1 boatman, 1 sailor, 2 shopkeepers (pulperos) , 1 sergeant, 1 drum major, 2 tailors, 1 soldier, 31 without ranking: total, 64.

The population of Buenos Aires in 1810 amounted to approximately 45,000 residents, in which Europeans were in the following proportions: Spaniards 1669, French 151, English 124, Italians 64, Portuguese 296, unspecified 207.

Certainly the number of Italians must have been higher than that recorded, and because the data for six neighborhoods are missing and because agriculture was in their hands around the city.

In this regard it should be remembered that the retired colonel Estanislao Maldones wrote in 1911 a booklet dedicated to Los Italianos en Catamarca – short noticia sobre su acción en la provincia, where we read: “The first Italian of whom we find news in the official chronicle is a Mr. Antonio Tabagni, from Rome, a miner, who asked for permission to taste in the hill of Ambato and the municipality granted it to him in the weekly session of 25 August 1810. It has not been possible to find other clues about this person, which leads us to believe that his passage through the province was fleeting. Shortly afterwards, Mr. Carlo Bracchieri, also from Rome, arrived and founded an elementary school in the district of Santa Cruz, now Valle Viejo Department. He also practiced the art of healing with the hydropathic system. A man of good condition, a fervent Catholic, he became part of an Argentine family by marriage, marrying a daughter in 1818, and his eighth son, born in August 1827, still lives:is Mrs. Adeodata Bracchieri, widow of Ulibarri, also of Italian origin, but born in the country “.

All these Italians established in the Rio della Plata entered into various relationships there, and some formed their own family there, exercising profession, employment, trade or humble trades there. Several also became owners of urban and rural assets; however, between them they did not manage to create a bond that could give prominence, even ideally, to their respective nationality, which in Europe did not have a basis and political power. Therefore, if in this social milieu they had any influence, it was only individual.

To find some concrete and certain data, we need to go back to the times in which the truly civil influence of Bernardino Rivadavia predominated, who, sent to Europe to obtain from those states the recognition of the independence of the United Provinces of the Rio della Plata, for which what he signed the trade treaty with England, he met several Italian political emigrants, men of science and letters in Paris and London, some of whom were invited to go to Buenos Aires to carry out their activities there. The first Italian immigrants were the journalist Pietro De Angelis and the scientists Pietro Carta Molina and Carlo Ferraris.

De Angelis came first and founded the Crónica, which saw the light on March 3, 1827, to defend the government’s liberal policy; but when Rivadavia fell, the journalist also became Manuel Rosas’ secretary. It is easy to understand how, for this reason, the name of Pietro De Angelis is not remembered either with pleasure or honor; however, he was able to earn the title of Bricklayers of the Argentine Republic with the Colección de obras y documentos para la historia antigua y Moderna de las provincias del Rio de la Plata.

Carta Molina came to occupy the chair of experimental physics, to which he was appointed by decree of 10 April 1826. He organized the relative laboratory with the cooperation of Carlo Ferraris, who was his assistant, and began lessons on 17 June 1827. Rivadavia fell and with it the liberal party, the Charter, finding itself uneasy, resigned in March 1829, devoting himself to the practice of medicine. Fabrizio Mossotti was appointed to replace him, who had been called in 1828 to direct the astronomical observatory. He taught until 1834, when, when Caturegli died, he was called to replace him at the University of Bologna.

In this way, in the times when Italy was still a geographical expression, Italian scientific thought penetrated the University of Buenos Aires, and the memory that one of the best disciples, Juan Maria Gutiérrez, to understand how much intellectual and moral effectiveness their teaching and example had on that generation.

From December 6, 1829 to February 3, 1852 Buenos Aires and all the Argentine provinces remained under the dictatorship of Juan Manuel Rosas, who prohibited immigration and the free navigation of the river. Nevertheless, several Italians settled in Buenos Aires, such as Bartolomeo Denegri di Zoagli, Francesco Martini from Genoa, Giuseppe Muratori, who later became admiral of the Argentine army, and many others who, with very serious risk, helped the cause of the salvojes unitarios., cooperating to make them flee to Montevideo, which had become the bulwark of freedom and where many Italian political emigrants, duce Garibaldi and organizer Anzani, formed the Italian legion, distinguished in many facts of arms and covered with glory in Sant’Antonio del Salto, also supplying the crews that under Garibaldi’s orders faced the army of Rosas commanded by Brown, from 1843 to 1848.

But it is also certain that in 1829, with a decree signed by Brown and JM Paz, the Battalion of the Friends of the Order was established in Buenos Aires, to which all foreigners, except the British and North Americans, were obliged to enlist. Many Italians enrolled there: as second lieutenant of the 8th company there was Carlo Ferraris, director of the physics laboratory and founder of the Natural History Museum of Buenos Aires.

Argentina Population Migration - Independence Period

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