Santiago del Estero, Live History
The region of Santiago del Estero was the point of origin and the center of the armed and religious conquest of the colony during the XVI and XVII centuries.
Several groups of natives used to dwell these territories before the Spanish conquerors arrived in America. These peoples, which may have had the same ethnical roots, were called different names: sanavirones, juríes-tonocotés, lules, vilelas and abipones-guaycurúes.
The sanavirones were settled in the Mar Chiquita Lagoon depression, today part of the province ofCórdoba. Towards the North, they reached the Salado River, where the territory of the tonocotés would begin.
The coexistence of the comechingones and the sanavirones allowed them to succeed in the restraint of the Incan empire attacks, but not of the European conquest.
These numerous groups of natives that inhabitted the region were reduced and sent to the Potosí mining center as muleteers or miners, a situation that brought their economic activity to a standstill. They lived essentially on crops and weaving.
The Province of Santiago del Estero is typically Mediterranean, with a large plain crossed by the Dulce and Salado Rivers.
Santiago del Estero is the most ancient Argentinian city. It was Juan Núñez del Prado who founded the city of Barco in 1550 near the Lules River, but it was moved and founded again in 1551 and 1552 until Francisco de Aguirre seized it, moved it for the third time and founded the city of Santiago del Estero del Nuevo Maestrazgo, on the banks of the Dulce River in 1553.
The capital, called “Madre de Ciudades” (Mother of Cities), was the starting point for colonizing currents that founded many other cities, some of which have become the capitals of other Argentinian provinces.
It was not until 1721, and with the introduction of African slaves, that the area became an important producer of cereal and vegetables until the colonization of the pampas by European immigrants deprived the zone of that privileged position.
The constant domestic fight in the times of national organization decimated its population and deteriorated its economy. By 1870, the disputes with the Indians were over and, several years later, the arrival of the railway completed the colonization of these territories.
The province, which depended upon Tucumán and whose only explored and inhabited area was its present capital, was one of the first to submit to the revolutionary movement in May, 1810.
It contributed to the cause for independence with men, which led to the desertion of its territories and the subsequent defenselessness before the Indian raids.
In 1814, Posadas divided the intendency of Salta into two provinces and Santiago del Estero began to depend upon Tucumán.
In 1820, Commander Juan Felipe Ibarra started a revolt for the autonomy of Santiago and succeeded. On May 1 of the same year, a Town Council appointed a temporary governor. Aráoz tried to recover Santiago by force, but in 1821, Ibarra was victorious over him and became the defender of the provincial autonomy until he died, in 1851.
In July 15, 1856, Santiago dictated its own Constitution, which established the borders of its territory. However, due to the lack of colonization of these lands, the borders were later modified with the advance of the small strongholds and, by 1870, vast areas suitable for shepherding and agriculture had already been incorporated.
In 1868, one of Ibarra's nephews, General Antonio Taboada, advanced with the strongholds over the Salado and the Dulce Rivers and controlled the territory belonging to the Province of Santiago.