The Generation of 1837

The Generation of 1837

In 1880, the Argentine Government completed the Conquest of the Desert, a systematic expulsion of the Pampas Indians from beyond the boundaries of Argentina.  The Conquest, though only lasting a few years, was a process that began half a century earlier and was propagated by the words and works of a small, elite ruling class known as the Generation of 1837.  Below I draw my conclusion about this elite ruling class:

“The young intellectuals known as the Generation of 1837 rose out of the political conflict of a new and growing nation.  They truly sought what was best for the future of their country and its white populations.  They promoted noble values such as liberty, justice, and equality.  However, the works of Esteban Echeverría, Juan Bautista Alberdi, Domingo Sarmiento, and Bartolomé Mitre, also show an ardent ambition for progress that disregards the value of the native Argentine.  Their works disseminated racist attitudes portraying the Pampas Indians to be an inferior race.  They promoted the dispersal and destruction of the indigenous races and supported their replacement by a superior European culture.  The Generation of 1837 directly influenced the immigration policies of the 1853 Constitution and the laws passed ordering the advancement of the frontier to the Río Negro.  Through their literary works, the Generation of 1837 ultimately justified the actions taken to exterminate the Pampas Indians.”



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