British invasions of the Rio de la Plata succeed

Nov 2010
108
Ahh, okay, those population figures do seem to make such a scenario more feasible.

I think your suggestion of multiple Spanish-speaking republics based around the major settlements does seem quite realistic. (what is now) Bolivia and Paraguay were part of the Viceroyalty as well, so it is possible that the British could annex those, as well.

My understanding is (often different sources give conflicting information) that the inland population of OTL Argentina in the early 1800s was concentrated around Salta, Tucuman, Cordoba and Mendoza (i.e. the area to the North West of BA). Somewhat similar to today. But Patagonia (obviously) and the area along the Parana and Paraguay rivers did not have large Hispanic populations.

Is this correct?

If so, it seems likely that the British would extend their control North of Montevideo and annex Mesopotamia, Chaco and Paraguay itself. These areas would subsequently become majority anglophone.
I really don't think that the British would be able to take a hold of Bolivia, given the large distances that the British would have to traverse from the Plate, over very poor roads and at least potentially enemy territory. Besides which, for the longest time during the Spanish-American Wars or Independence, what is now Bolivia was a stronghold of the Spanish royalists in real life.

As for Paraguay, I don't see so much of a better chance for the British to take a hold of especially if the British don't directly control Buenos Aires, downstream, for very long after 1807. Probably, as in real life, the Paraguayans declare independence from Spain and from Buenos Aires, not interested in obeying orders from Buenos Aires. And Paraguay, so far as I know, had a substantial Hispanic/Guarani population back in those days, just about as many people as Buenos Aires province or any of the interior areas in the north/west. Much more, for sure, than in the nearby Chaco or in Patagonia.

Especially if the Hispanic population of OTL Argentina was divided into several republics, then it seems like the British would have a strong motive to annex them. They wouldn't want 2 small colonies split by a republic / republics. Especially towards the end of the 19th century when major powers were starting to rival Britain.

Assuming the British do gain control of Buenos Aires and Cordoba, and you're left with a Canada-like confederation, with English, Spanish and English/Spanish speaking regions. My big question is this: do you get a massive influx of non-British Isles European settlers?

Huge numbers of Italian (as well as German) migrants arrived in OTL Argentina around the turn of the 20th Century. This is important because I'm assuming most would assimilate to the (dominant) Anglophone culture, rather than the Hispanophone one, even in Hispanophone-majority areas. Many people assume than Romance Catholics would obviously assimilate with a similar culture (i.e. Spanish), rather than the Anglo Protestant one, but the situation in Quebec shows that this is not necessarily the case.

But if Argentina was a British dominion, would this wave of immigration still occur? Canada and Australia did not receive large numbers of Italian immigrants until after WW2, and Germans are a similar story.

Italians migrated to Brazil, Argentina and the USA so I don't think it is a question of cultural/religious preference. Canada/Australia were very wealthy and of a similar population to Argentina in 1900. Canada was easier to get to.

Was there some sort of British policy discouraging non-British/Irish migration to British dominions? Or were Italians/Germans reluctant to live in a colony of Britain?

Or was Argentina more preferable to Italians for some other reason? (maybe climate?) In this case I think we assume than Italian migration occurs as in OTL.
Chances are that the British would have, on the whole, preferred British over non-British immigrants to the River Plate and so forth, just like with Canada, Australia, etc. But non-British immigrants, especially of northern European stock, did arrive in those latter countries through the early 20th centuries. There were plenty of German, and some Dutch and Scandinavian, immigrants to those countries, and also limited numbers of Italian immigrants (nothing like to the US or OTL South America, though). So, for TL British South America in the late 19th-early 20th centuries, I see many German and other continental northern European immigrants arriving, and some Italian and even perhaps Spanish immigrants arriving (though nothing, of course, like in OTL Argentina/Uruguay). Large numbers of Italians arrive in the TL River Plate, only after World War II, as was the case in Canada, Australia, etc. In an analogy to Quebec and Canada, I see the Italian immigrants assimilating, for the most part, into the anglophone sector rather than the hispanophone sector, though in Spanish-speaking areas, some Italians could assimilate into the hispanophone sector.

The reason why Italian immigrants preferred the US at the turn of the 20th century was availability of jobs, along with the desire of immigrants in general to settle in America, while the preference for South America (especially southern Brazil and OTL Argentina/Uruguay) was due to the similarity in language and culture along with job availability.

One last thing I want to consider: You suggested than the British might annex Buenos Aires province, but not Cordoba, so as to create a confederation of Anglo-Patagonia, Hispano-Buenos Aires, and Anglo-Uruguay. This would exclude the Western Regions.

In terms of 19th century economic and strategic value, are the Western regions of any worth? Patagonia is useful strategically and for Sheep, Pampas for Wheat/Corn, and Mesopotamia possibly for Cotton. Chaco, I'm not sure, but sparsely populated so no harm in annexing it. But for Cuyo and the Northwest, they're very arid and have no strategic value without access to the ocean. So is there any point attempting to annex those regions?
In the Cuyo, the Mendoza area is useful for vineyards, while in the Northwest, Tucuman is the sugarcane centre, but these crops became useful in those areas only because of high government tariffs against competition from more lucrative parts of the world. Otherwise, these crops would have easily lost out in Mendoza and in Tucuman. As for Cordoba province, its eastern half is a part of the Pampas, with its capital (also called Cordoba) being at the edge; west of Cordoba city, it's already the start of the Northwest/Cuyo area. So the British, if they're successful at (re)annexing Buenos Aires towards the end of the 19th century, may expand into at least parts of eastern Cordoba province; can't say for 100% sure.
 
Nov 2010
108
gradual buildup of a British Argentina

Quite recently, I've been sort of re-evaluating the recent iteration of my British Southern Cone theory. In other words, I'm still very much thinking about Uruguay and at least pockets of Patagonia and the far south that get colonized by the British before other parts of the Southern Cone, and about Buenos Aires that becomes an independent British client state (i.e. independent but with heavy British political, military, and economic influence) within a pretty short time after a British victory there in 1807.

What is changing as we speak, though, is that I'm allowing for the possibility that the British ultimately do take over most if not all of the eastern and southern Southern Cone. In other words, I'm now entertaining the possibility that in the long term, the British directly take over not just Uruguay (continuously from 1807) and Patagonia and the far south (first in small, isolated pockets from 1807-08 and eventually throughout the entire area some decades later), but also - on a gradual basis over the ensuing decades - other areas of the Pampas and somewhat beyond. This would be made possible especially if the British let the various republics/provinces of Argentina proper (e.g. Buenos Aires,* Entre Rios, Santa Fe, Cordoba, Mendoza/Cuyo, Santiago del Estero, Salta) each be independent (and relatively weak) ca. the 1810s and that their caudillos are co-opted by the British, as the result of British efforts to prevent civil war in Argentina proper the way there was in real life.

*Except the southwestern sector that includes Bahia Blanca and whose eastern limit is probably the Quequen River; that part becomes part of British Patagonia.

Gradually, one by one, at least many of those republics of Argentina proper get taken over by the British - Entre Rios ca. the 1820s; Buenos Aires and Santa Fe by the 1840s-1850s; Corrientes, Cordoba, and the others later on yet. All this (and especially the Buenos Aires piece) is consistent with British ideals to want to take over Buenos Aires given that it's between Uruguay and Patagonia and that it's a major centre. It seems to me that Lord Carnarvon (the colonial secretary), assuming he's successful in 1874 in a way that he wasn't in South Africa with attempted federation of the British colonies and Boer republics there, federates the then-existing British colonies (Uruguay, Patagonia etc., Entre Rios, Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, and maybe 1-2 more) into a Dominion of Argentina. Perhaps it's then that Britain takes over, for the first time, republics like Cordoba and integrates those into the federation. The republics that remain republics (mainly in the northwest, including Salta and Tucuman, and perhaps Mendoza and other Cuyo republics) are sort of like the Princely States in India (which remain distinct in many ways from official British India) in that it might take longer for them, if at all, to join Argentina. I think such an approach lends itself to a Canada-like situation (bilingual and white, with land borders with one or more rather important neighbours, and gradual buildup of the federation/union) which might prevail with the British in the Southern Cone.

Please tell me what all of you think of this new possibility. Moreover, do you think that Lord Carnarvon would have enjoyed success in South America more than in South Africa?
 
Nov 2010
108
An alternative outcome of British efforts to prevent civil war in Argentina proper is for the caudillos to be subdued as leaders; if that's so, then I think it's probably more likely that Argentina proper becomes just one republic ruled from Buenos Aires.

Given that there were really three sides, rather than just two, in the Argentine civil war, I'm trying to think which faction(s) in independent but British-influenced Buenos Aires would be supporting the British and which one(s) would be against the British. I would think that the Unitarists (wealthy, cosmopolitan, pro-free trade, and based mainly in Buenos Aires) would be consistently pro-British, given the importance of trade to the British, and the British would be catering to the Unitarists' interests mainly. On the other hand, in real life, even the Federalists (the Unitarists' enemies) were dealing with the British in a constructive way. Plus, though for different reasons, both the Unitarists and the provincial Federalists agreed on wanting to nationalize Buenos Aires (the only outlet in Argentina proper to the outside world) and releasing the income collected at the customs house there - something which the Buenos Aires-based Federalists sharply disagreed with.

I'm wondering, then, as follows: In a situation where there is an independent British client state based in Buenos Aires, would it have been possible for the British to co-opt the provincial caudillos in the 1820s-1830s even as, on the whole, the Unitarists (the caudillos' enemies) would have been the most pro-British?

Another, related thing I'm wondering is: In that general sort of situation, would the Argentines (in association with the British) have strangled trade with the newly independent Paraguay from shortly after Paraguay's independence in 1811 to Jose Gaspar Francia's definite ascent to power in Paraguay in 1814, and beyond? If not, would that have removed incentive from Francia to completely isolate Paraguay and to effectively ban the entry of foreigners into Paraguay and the exit of people from Paraguay? Or would an undercurrent of Guarani nationalism have made Francia isolate Paraguay no matter what?
 
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Nov 2010
108
Based on post #22 as above, I'm thinking of the following:

There could be at least two countries in the Argentina area in the scenario I've just outlined - Argentina and Patagonia. Argentina would basically consist of Argentina proper and Uruguay, and it would be overwhelmingly Hispanic. In Uruguay and a few other areas like Entre Rios (or however it would be called), the population would be split roughly 50-50 between Hispanics and anglophones. In the provinces right to the west (e.g. Buenos Aires excluding Bahia Blanca etc., Santa Fe, Cordoba), probably 75-80% would be Hispanic and the rest anglophone. And in the far western provinces (e.g. Mendoza, Tucuman), which could be a whole separate country perhaps, 90-95% or more would be Hispanic. (Note that when I say anglophones, I mean not just descendants of Anglo-Celtic settlers but also descendants of non-British immigrants who assimilate to the Anglo sector. When I say Hispanic, I mean Spanish-speaking, no matter what the original ethnicity.) As for Patagonia, which includes not just Patagonia itself but also Tierra del Fuego, the Falklands, and Bahia Blanca etc. in southern and southwestern Buenos Aires prov., that would be 90-95% or more anglophone.
 
Nov 2010
108
Based on post #22 as above, I'm thinking of the following:

There could be at least two countries in the Argentina area in the scenario I've just outlined - Argentina and Patagonia. Argentina would basically consist of Argentina proper and Uruguay, and it would be overwhelmingly Hispanic. In Uruguay and a few other areas like Entre Rios (or however it would be called), the population would be split roughly 50-50 between Hispanics and anglophones. In the provinces right to the west (e.g. Buenos Aires excluding Bahia Blanca etc., Santa Fe, Cordoba), probably 75-80% would be Hispanic and the rest anglophone. And in the far western provinces (e.g. Mendoza, Tucuman), which could be a whole separate country perhaps, 90-95% or more would be Hispanic. (Note that when I say anglophones, I mean not just descendants of Anglo-Celtic settlers but also descendants of non-British immigrants who assimilate to the Anglo sector. When I say Hispanic, I mean Spanish-speaking, no matter what the original ethnicity.) As for Patagonia, which includes not just Patagonia itself but also Tierra del Fuego, the Falklands, and Bahia Blanca etc. in southern and southwestern Buenos Aires prov., that would be 90-95% or more anglophone.
I've further reflected on this scenario, and I've decided that Patagonia (inc. the southern Pampas) - despite its sociolinguistic differences from Argentina proper - would not have become a separate country from Argentina proper, just as francophone Quebec became part of the same country as the anglophone rest of Canada and just like anglophone Natal became part of the same country as the largely-Afrikaner rest of South Africa. Just that there would be regionally- and sociolinguistically-based Patagonian separatist sentiments, more along the lines of Western Canadian or Newfoundland than Quebec nationalism, for example.
 
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Nov 2010
108
Chances are that the British would have, on the whole, preferred British over non-British immigrants to the River Plate and so forth, just like with Canada, Australia, etc. But non-British immigrants, especially of northern European stock, did arrive in those latter countries through the early 20th centuries. There were plenty of German, and some Dutch and Scandinavian, immigrants to those countries, and also limited numbers of Italian immigrants (nothing like to the US or OTL South America, though). So, for TL British South America in the late 19th-early 20th centuries, I see many German and other continental northern European immigrants arriving, and some Italian and even perhaps Spanish immigrants arriving (though nothing, of course, like in OTL Argentina/Uruguay). Large numbers of Italians arrive in the TL River Plate, only after World War II, as was the case in Canada, Australia, etc. In an analogy to Quebec and Canada, I see the Italian immigrants assimilating, for the most part, into the anglophone sector rather than the hispanophone sector, though in Spanish-speaking areas, some Italians could assimilate into the hispanophone sector.

The reason why Italian immigrants preferred the US at the turn of the 20th century was availability of jobs, along with the desire of immigrants in general to settle in America, while the preference for South America (especially southern Brazil and OTL Argentina/Uruguay) was due to the similarity in language and culture along with job availability.
I actually want to give an update of what I've thought of the Italian and Spanish immigrants to the alt Argentina discussed in this thread. I've come to figure out that immigrants from both Italy and Spain do arrive in British Argentina in the late 19th-early 20th centuries in almost as big numbers as in OTL, both because Italy/Spain had much more powerful push factors at the time than France (Quebec's original mother country) and the Netherlands (South Africa's original mother country) and because Argentina was perceived to be more fertile than anywhere in the British Empire with the possible exception of the Canadian Prairies (plus with a lot of job opportunities).

Most of those Italian and Spanish immigrants assimilate into Spanish (though some Italians assimilate into English). While it is true that most Italian immigrants to Quebec (especially those who came after World War II) assimilated to English, that was because a) Quebec didn't get French immigration after its British takeover in 1763 while TL Argentina gets loads of Spanish immigration even well after British conquest in 1807, b) French in Canada is largely restricted to Quebec (making the French Canadians more acutely aware of being surrounded by English) while Spanish in British Argentina is much more geographically widespread, and c) Quebec didn't have so much of a French-speaking bourgeoisie after 1763 while at least many of the Spanish sectors in British Argentina do maintain their own bourgeoisies to one degree or another, having been republics (cf. the Boer republics).
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,557
SoCal
I actually want to give an update of what I've thought of the Italian and Spanish immigrants to the alt Argentina discussed in this thread. I've come to figure out that immigrants from both Italy and Spain do arrive in British Argentina in the late 19th-early 20th centuries in almost as big numbers as in OTL, both because Italy/Spain had much more powerful push factors at the time than France (Quebec's original mother country) and the Netherlands (South Africa's original mother country) and because Argentina was perceived to be more fertile than anywhere in the British Empire with the possible exception of the Canadian Prairies (plus with a lot of job opportunities).

Most of those Italian and Spanish immigrants assimilate into Spanish (though some Italians assimilate into English). While it is true that most Italian immigrants to Quebec (especially those who came after World War II) assimilated to English, that was because a) Quebec didn't get French immigration after its British takeover in 1763 while TL Argentina gets loads of Spanish immigration even well after British conquest in 1807, b) French in Canada is largely restricted to Quebec (making the French Canadians more acutely aware of being surrounded by English) while Spanish in British Argentina is much more geographically widespread, and c) Quebec didn't have so much of a French-speaking bourgeoisie after 1763 while at least many of the Spanish sectors in British Argentina do maintain their own bourgeoisies to one degree or another, having been republics (cf. the Boer republics).
Why wasn't there a large French bourgeoisie in Quebec?
 
Nov 2010
108
Why wasn't there a large French bourgeoisie in Quebec?
Because Quebec was never actually a republic (and the 1837 Patriotes rebellion was quashed), and in the 1760s in the wake of the British takeover of Quebec, most members of the French bourgeoisie left for France.
 
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Oct 2019
82
Near the dogbowl
When the revolutions occur in Latin America in the decades right after, Britain will be driven out, just like Spain was.
 
Nov 2010
108
When the revolutions occur in Latin America in the decades right after, Britain will be driven out, just like Spain was.
It seems to me that once the news of Napoleon’s capture of Spain reaches South America later in 1808, and Spain and Britain become allies, the British initially support the Spanish Royalists and try to suppress the independence movements in those areas around the River Plate region that aren't yet taken over by the British (i.e. Paraguay, the northwest, Upper Peru, and Chile). However, once it becomes clear that the independence movements are gaining steam at the expense of the Royalists, the British switch sides and support the independence movements (which would further British goals of free trade and securing independence in South America). (Even so, perhaps it might be too risky for Jose de San Martin to first use Mendoza as a base and then cross with his army into Chile as it was done in real life.) The British do this because since the independence movements are hell-bent on getting rid of the Spanish, the British figure that if they remain on the Spanish side, they too might be targeted for eradication from the continent. (In northern South America and in Central America and Mexico, as in all of real-life Spanish America, the British are neutral in the wars of independence as there are no British boots on the ground aside from volunteers helping the independence forces.)
 
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