Talk:Conquest of the Desert

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Wasn't Roca the best president in our history[edit]

you can't denied it after such a great campaign, it could be better anyway.

Anyway, my question: Anyone know how many indians or what percentage of the indiand were murder iduring the campaign? I know that almost all of them, but there a few survived. It would be great if this is cited


Guys, the spanish title should go and "Conquest of the Desert" just doesn't sound right... maybe "Desert Campaign" or "Desert Conquest"? The name sounds very lame. --Sebastian Kessel Talk 23:42, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

In my (admittedly limited) experience, "Conquest of the Desert" is pretty much what it's called in English, if it's a matter of Giving It A Name rather than just describing it by means of a circumlocution. That's what E.Britannica does. Obviously, it's a calque from the Spanish, but that's the best way to handle names like that. Compare "destino manifiesto" and the like, which sound pretty lame in Spanish too, but they're established (I'm trying to say consagrado, but that's the best I can do) usages. I'd put the article at Conquest of the Desert (we've all heard those nagging "This is the English wikipedia" voices) and stop worrying about it. Hajor 00:49, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

John Evans[edit]

I removed the unreferenced mention to John Evans because I considered it and undocumented fact somehow superfluous. Mariano(t/c) 09:07, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Revertion of anon edits[edit]

I'm sorry I have to revert (talk · contribs)'s edits, but they were unsourced, and contained some POV phrases. It would be nice though to include a Critics or Civilización o Barvarie section, with official and unofficial numbers, and some interesting quotes. Mariano(t/c) 09:57, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Check this source[edit]

I sugest you read Carlos Martínez Sarasola's Nuestros Paisanos Los Indios and a number of other books which strongly support the use of the word genocide regarding the Conquest of the Desert. May be that will give you some hint before censoring my contributions here.

Marcelo - Salta

weasel words[edit]

Currently the article claims "The campaign is perceived by some as a campaign of genocide" this is a classic weasel worded phrase. Who are the people who say it? This sentence needs qualifying with the best reliable academic sources that claim it was a genocide. --Philip Baird Shearer 19:25, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

1867 Land Act[edit]

Copied from Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2007 August 6 for processing. --Ghirla-трёп- 19:20, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

I suppose there are some valid parallels between the 'frontier experience' of the United States and that of Argentina. For both countries the issue became of growing concern during and after a major war; in the case of the United States the Civil War, and in the case of Argentina the War of the Triple Alliance. Also in both cases the growing conflict with the indigenous peoples began with measures concerning the distribution of the 'virgin' lands; America introduced the Homestead Act in 1862 and Argentina the Land Act of 1867, the effects of which were to be similar in both cases. Moreover, relations between central government and the the natives was marked by bad-faith and broken promises, and the usual weary pattern of reprisals and counter reprisals. And in Julio Roca Argentia was blessed with its own version of Philip Sheridan. Roca, who led the successful campaign against the Indians in the Conquest of the Desert, declared in 1879 that "In the struggle for existence...the weaker race must perish in the face of the one favoured by nature."

However, for Argentina the 'problem of the frontiers' was, if anything even more acute. In the 1870s the Indians controlled a far greater proportion of the country. From the core of settlement around Buenos Aires, there were effectively two frontiers, one to the north and the other to the south. Argentina's European population was considerably smaller than that of the United States. During the 1850s, a time of internal political strife, the provinces of Buenos Aires, Sant Fe and Cordoba were particularly badly hit by Indian raids. What was worse, the Ranqueles and the Araucanians, and other tribes, were ignoring the lines of territorial demarcation, previously agreed in a treaty with Juan Manuel Rosas in 1833. The outbreak of the war with Paraguay in 1865 forced the government to temporise by a process of appeasement. Encouraged by concessions on the frontier the tribes became that much bolder. In one particularly serious raid in Cordoba province in 1868 the Indians made off with 200 captives and 20,000 head of cattle.

At the end of the Paraguay war in 1870 Argentina was able to turn its large army towards a resolution of the internal problem. The 1867 Land Act, passed by the government of Bartolome Mitre, in allowing public land to pass into private hands, was more than enough motivation for 'rolling back the frontier.' The huge cattle industry, demanding every greater amounts of pasture, also required an immediate solution to the Indian problem. Added to this, growing immigration from Europe was creating new pressures. The final spur to action, if any such were needed, came in 1876, when Chief Mariano Rosas of the Ranqueles penetrated the frontier defences at three points, before raiding and devastating a huge area of the settled countryside. The hardliners now had all the excuse they needed for the final conquest of the vast lands of Patagonia. Clio the Muse 23:45, 6 August 2007 (UTC)


Hi. The last independent cacique was Sayhueque. He surrendered on Jan 1st, 1885. Bye. Lin linao 00:28, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Remington rifles supplied by the United States[edit]

These rifles were purchased by the Argentine government from the privately-owned Remington Arms Company. The United States government had nothing to do with the transaction. as implied by the "supplied by the United States" wording. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:07, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

British involvement?[edit]

The latest wording from Argentina's Foreign Secretary is that Britain would be involved in a war against Argentina 130 years ago. I have not read the article word by word, but I do not know where it would confirm or disconfirm an act of military involvvement by the UK. This is basicaly the only thing that happened in South America 130 years ago. Anything else to be added? -- (talk) 11:03, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

The Conquest of the Desert was a conflict between Argentina and the natives living in the Patagonia. There was no British role in here at all. The closest military conflict with Britain by that time was the 1840s Anglo-French blockade of the Río de la Plata, which was a completely different thing Cambalachero (talk) 12:17, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Although I knew someone would mention the Anglo-French blocade of 170 years ago, Hector Timerman still has said this: “To say thirty years ago there was a war is true. But 130 years ago, Britain invaded Argentina – Britain is famous for being a coloniser." What does he mean by something that happened 130 years ago, even if there is a give or take two years? -- (talk) 12:13, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Simple: he had no idea of what the hell he was talking about. Surely, he knows about a war of 30 years ago, another war in the XIX century, and so he reasoned "30 years + a century = 130 years". Unless they are historians or academics as well, you shouldn't take politician's references to history as more reliable than a touristic brochure. After all, during the flag day a pair of days ago Amado Boudou (none less than the vicepresident!) said that he was going to Rosario to celebrate the bicentennial of the creation of the flag... when even elementary school students know that June 20 is the commemoration of the death of Manuel Belgrano, the creator of the flag, not the commemoration of the creation of the flag, which was in february. Cambalachero (talk) 12:27, 22 June 2012 (UTC)


Removed the genocide series. It was a regular 19th century conflict, the term genocide is not justified. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:38, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

The lead states: "[the Conquest of the Desert was] intended by the Argentine government to exterminate the indigenous tribes, an example of genocide.[4] First-hand accounts stated that Argentine troops killed prisoners and committed "mass executions."[4] The 15,000 Indians taken captive "became servants or prisoners and were prevented from having children."[1][2]". These are clear examples of active genocide, not just a regular 19th century war of conquest. Sietecolores (talk) 22:59, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Agree with Sietecolores. Even if you don't think it was a genocide, it has been called that by serious scholars. If there was a "spreading civilization" series, you could add that too, since some scholars think that. As far as I'm concerned, the scholarly sources alone justify the genocide series, even though the issue is contested. --Wikibojopayne (talk) 00:15, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Agree with Sietecolores there is an actual revisionism of history and there is an actual recall of the Campaign of desert by same scholars investigating and describing this as premeditated genocide, even I think the actual introduction dividing two postures revisionist and apologist is not good both postures have to be put in the same paragraph contrasting them. And as I said below a "early idea" or ideologist section should be create.--Bsea (talk) 12:13, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Faustino Sarmiento[edit]

President Sarmiento was an ideologist of the desert campaign, giving the idea of indian territories as "deserts" habitated by "barbarians" giving the idea that the only solution was "civilization" by the extermination of the barbarians. I will recall a quote in Spanish from scholar investigator.

"¿Lograremos exterminar los indios? Por los salvajes de América siento una invencible repugnancia sin poderlo remediar. (…) Incapaces de

progreso. Su exterminio es providencial y útil, sublime y grande. Se los debe exterminar sin ni siquiera perdonar al pequeño, que tiene ya el odio instintivo al hombre civilizado” (Sarmiento D. F, 1844).[...] “Quisiéramos apartar de toda cuestión social americana a los salvajes…” “En

las provincias viven animales bípedos de tan perversa condición que no sé qué se obtenga con tratarlos mejor”(Sarmiento D. F, 1863).
— Marcelino Fontán Lic. en Ciencias Antropológicas, Universidad de Buenos Aires. [1]

I didn't find any mention of this early ideas promoting later the Conquest of the desert. I think an extra section in the article is needed to develop this ideas, promoted by Sarmiento, president Mitre, and some wings of Catholic church.--Bsea (talk) 11:58, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Guardian article[edit]

What has the paragraph about the Guardian article got to do with the subject of this Wikipedia article? I intend to remove this paragraph if its relevance isn't justified by rational argument. Ttocserp 13:55, 8 May 2016 (UTC)