Civilisation and Barbarism: The impact of Europe on Argentina

The European images of Argentina are complex, and mirror profound debates about nationalism and universalism, popular and elite culture.

In August 1925, the Prince of Wales visited Buenos Aires to help promote trade between Britain and Argentina. A local newspaper described a typical day during his brief stay:

10a.m. St Andrew's College. 11a.m. British Hospital. 12.30p.m. Lunch with the British Chamber of Commerce. 2.30p.m. Polo at the Hurlingham Club. (La Razon, August 28th).

The Prince was not only entertained by the sizeable British community; he could also be found relaxing with the Argentine elite, playing his Hawaiian guitar at the home of the society hostess, Victoria Ocampo. At this time, the economic and cultural ties between the two countries were very strong. The British Ambassador, Sir Malcolm Robertson, could remark in 1929:

Without saying so in so many words, which would be tactless, what I really mean is that Argentina must be regarded as an essential part of the British Empire.

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