Monday, May 17, 2010

#263 Argentina...Thanks Viviana!

This souvenir sheet was issued in 2006 commemorating Bicentenary of first British Invasion of Buenos Aires and Reconquest.

The British invasions of the Río de la Plata were a series of unsuccessful British attempts to seize control of the Spanish colonies located around the La Plata Basin in South America (today part of Argentina and Uruguay). The invasions took place between 1806 and 1807, as part of the Napoleonic Wars, when Spain was an ally of France.

The invasions occurred in two phases. A detachment from the British Army occupied Buenos Aires for 46 days in 1806 before being expelled. In 1807, a second force occupied Montevideo, remaining for several months, and a third force made a second attempt to take Buenos Aires. After several days of street-fighting against the local militia and Spanish colonial army, in which half of the British forces were killed or wounded, the British were forced to withdraw.

The resistance of the local people and their active participation in the defence, with little direct support from Spain, were important steps toward the May Revolution in 1810, and the Argentine Declaration of Independence in 1816.

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