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Argentina and the United States

An Alliance Contained

David M. K. Sheinin

Publication Year: 2006

In the first English-language survey of Argentine-U.S. relations to appear in more than a decade, David M. K. Sheinin challenges the accepted view that confrontation has been the characteristic state of affairs between the two countries. Sheinin draws on both Spanish- and English-language sources in the United States, Argentina, Canada, and Great Britain to provide a broad perspective on the two centuries of shared U.S.-Argentine history with fresh focus in particular on cultural ties, nuclear politics in the cold war era, the politics of human rights, and Argentina's exit in 1991 from the nonaligned movement.

From the perspectives of both countries, Sheinin discusses such topics as Pan-Americanism, petroleum, communism and fascism, and foreign debt. Although the general trajectory of the two countries' relationship has been one of cooperative interaction based on generally strong and improving commercial and financial ties, shared strategic interests, and vital cultural contacts, Sheinin also emphasizes episodes of strained ties. These include the Cuban Revolution, the Dirty War of the late 1970s and early 1980s, and the Falklands/Malvinas War. In his epilogue, Sheinin examines Argentina's monetary crash of December 2001, when the United States-in a major policy shift-refused to come to Argentina's rescue.

Published by: University of Georgia Press

Series: The United States and the Americas

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pp. xi-xii

I first read Banana Wars as an undergraduate student in Ron Pruessen's cold war America class at the University of Toronto. That book opened my mind to both the field of U.S.–Latin American relations and to the historian's craft. My dog-eared copy is still in a handy spot in my office. It remains a model for my work. Since the publication...

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pp. 1-6

In August 1988, Argentine and Bolivian military officers met secretly in Buenos Aires. The occasion was the Fourteenth Bilateral Conference on Military Intelligence. Both countries were under democratic rule. Each had come through violent periods of military dictatorship in the 1970s and early 1980s. Both faced an ongoing threat of...

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1. Trade, Progress, and Nation Building, 1800–1880

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pp. 7-30

Until about 1900, what Argentines and Americans shared was a modest commercial exchange, a relationship limited by distance and differing views of history and nation. At midcentury and beyond, U.S. commercial activity in Argentina, highlighted by the presence of a handful of American railroad entrepreneurs, took ideological, business...

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2. Pan-Americanism, World War, and the Bolshevik Menace, 1880–1923

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pp. 31-55

In the last half of the nineteenth century, Argentine elites consolidated their national political structure by tying the interests of commercial and finance capital to those of the state. This was done to a degree far greater than in the United States. In the constitution of 1853 popular politics and the protection of individual freedoms were...

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3. Sanitary Embargo, Cultural Connections, and Wartime Neutrality, 1924–1946

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pp. 56-89

Traditionally, historians have considered the period from 1924 to 1946 one of escalating misunderstanding and conflict between the United States and Argentina. It began with the political fallout from the Fordney-McCumber Tariff (1922) that imposed heavy duties on many Argentine exports. Argentine leaders accused the United States...

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4. Cold War and the End of Argentine Democracy, 1947–1961

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pp. 90-121

In U.S.–Latin American relations, 1947 to 1961 delimits a period of growing tensions around the related problems of nationalist and revolutionary movements in Latin America, Soviet expansionism in the third world, and U.S. preoccupations with a cold war Communist menace gaining new footholds in Latin America. The Río Pact of 1947 and...

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5. The Sixties: Military Ties, Economic Uncertainties

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pp. 122-149

One day in 1961, at the training grounds of the Colegio Militar, Argentina's equivalent to West Point, two key figures in Argentina's cold war fight against Communism confronted one another over old and new strategies. Both men were already dedicated cold war warriors and followers of the U.S.-led fight against Communism...

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6. Descent to Dictatorship, 1970–1983

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pp. 150-180

During the 1970s, Argentine-U.S. relations experienced their most strained period since the first Perón presidency. During Jimmy Carter's presidency, the United States established human rights as a foreign policy priority. Americans turned their attention to the abuses of the Argentine dictatorship (1976–83) and punished the military by...

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7. The Forging of a New Relationship, 1984–1999

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pp. 181-208

At 1:30 p.m. on 15 October 1988, a concert began at the Malvinas Argentinas Stadium in Mendoza, Argentina, that featured Peter Gabriel, Sting, Youssou N'Dour, and the Americans Tracy Chapman and Bruce Springsteen. There were twenty-seven thousand people in the stadium, and that night, at the El Monumental Stadium in Buenos...

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Epilogue: The Crash of 2001 and Beyond

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pp. 209-218

During the 1990s, President Carlos Menem dominated Argentine politics. His political control of the judicial, executive, and congressional branches of government allowed for an unchecked implementation of domestic economic, social, and monetary policies that dovetailed with U.S. government and IMF goals for Argentina and the...


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pp. 219-266

Bibliographical Essay

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pp. 267-277


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pp. 279-285

E-ISBN-13: 9780820337296
E-ISBN-10: 0820337293
Print-ISBN-13: 9780820328089
Print-ISBN-10: 0820328081

Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2006

Series Title: The United States and the Americas