The British in Argentina
Cyril Hamshere describes how the British community in Argentina came to be, at one point, the largest outside the Empire.
During the nineteenth century, at the same time as the settlement and economic development of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa, British interests were active in the rising independent states of South America, particularly in Argentina.
So great was the financial investment, so numerous the British subjects resident in South America’s second largest country, that Argentina was fondly described by them as ‘the Sixth Dominion’. Argentinian opinion about this title is not recorded in books by British authors; but it is a fact that the British community in the republic was the largest outside the British Empire.
Under Spanish rule, the settlements along the Plate were small and isolated, lining the tenuous communications route through Bolivia that formed the backdoor to Peru. It was from Lima that Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Asuncion, Cordoba and Tucuman were governed.