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1809

Dear Diary,

I continue to have doubts about my position here in the New World. Not long ago I was appointed a Viceroy here by His Majesty, King Ferdinand VII. What a joyous day that was, how youthful and eager I must have seemed! Naturally, as Viceroy to the Rio de la Plata and its capital Buenos Aires it was my job to rule and maintain order in the name of King Ferdinand VII. The Spanish Crown had been growing further dependant on the area as each day passed, due to the large revenues from the ranching and leather industries in the pampas. I still remember walking down the streets of Buenos Aires that first day; the people were so interesting; the food looked so splendid and colorful; it was very much a thriving and a vivid depiction of a prosperous and bountiful land. I am taking the position of ex-Viceroy Rafael de Sobremonte. He was a coward I have heard; during the 1806-1807 British invasions he fled instead of defending his land and people. I cannot imagine the citizens having to fight off the British on their own, and I fear that many have lost their loyalties to Spain because the crown failed to send troops to Buenos Aires. But despite the aftermath of the invasions, I see that the locals have developed a sort of unity among themselves. The citizens are slowly rebuilding themselves, healing the city’s scars. It is my hope over time that I will fit in, that I can keep order and maybe restore some faith in the Spanish Crown, though I may have doubts on my ability to do so.


- Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros de la Torre



May 25, 1810

Dear Diary,

What disaster has occurred! I recently received news that last February, Portugal was invaded by Napoleon and his forces. They are calling the situation in Spain the Peninsular War, and Napoleon has been successful. Ferdinand has been taken prisoner, and Napoleon’s brother Joseph is now on the Spanish throne. I received word from Spanish Councils immediately, warning me not to say anything about the attack, trying to keep the colonies in the dark. They told me that revealing this information to the citizens of the Rio de la Plata would give the people reason to break away from Spain, to attempt at independence from the crown. Looking back now, I should not have listened to them. I did my best to quell the rumors spreading rapidly throughout the cities and towns. But I could not hide the truth for long. On the 13th of May in Montevideo; a British frigate arrived, confirming all the rumors. Somehow I anticipated this would happen, it was inevitable. Needless to say there was uproar in Buenos Aires, and my efforts to restore order were ignored. The citizens have lost all faith in me as their Viceroy, in a single turn of events I became the enemy. Not even a week after the truth was out I was approached by citizens demanding a town council, and I knew better than to deny them this. My loyalties have been put in question, I hold no power of these people anymore, even the Spanish military refused, if not sympathetically, to support me. I had no idea what to expect at the town council. It was held in a small, white-washed building. The heat was almost unbearable with so many people crammed in the tiny room. We spent three long, tedious days in that building deciding upon a new form of government in Buenos Aires and the rest of the Rio de la Plata. A provision ruling Junta was finally created, one that I campaigned to put myself into. Yet they saw my actions as unforgivable, and the final Junta was decided on today, with committee members’ Dr. Juan Jose Castelli, Juan Larrea, Domingo Matheu, Miguel de Azcuenaga, Dr. Manuel Belgrano, and Dr. Manuel Alberti. Looking back on this day, I realize that I was merely a pawn stationed for the Spanish Government. I had always prided myself on being honest and loyal. It is a cruel irony that my commitment to the Crown has been my downfall.


- Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros de la Torre



1810

Dear Diary,

Today was a horrible day just like many of the others. The revolution has begun. Viceroy Cisneros has been trying to hide the fact that Spain has been taken over by France. But the Viceroy’s words proved to have no affect on the rumors spreading around like wild fire. Now that our mother country has been taken over, the citizens are in an uproar. We had been steadily growing in importance to the Spanish crown, due to the revenues from our lucrative ranching and leather industries. Thus the wealth of our great colony Buenos Aires made it target to British expansion. Yet it seems our time of prosperity is coming to an end with the country in chaos. The Viceroy’s feeble attempts to keep our people calm have resulted in his downfall. Cisneros stalled as a group of citizens came to him earlier this week demanding a town council. The Viceroy’s power proved to be meaningless, the city leaders wouldn’t be denied. I waited nervously outside while Viceroy Cisneros met with Creole leader Juan Jose Castelli and military commander Cornelio Saavedra. The results of the council left Cisneros with no job in our countrie's new government, and the old junta has disbanded. Another junta has been born, with Saavedra at the head as president, his new secretaries include my good friends Dr. Mariano Moreno and Dr. Juan Jose Paso as his secretaries. But the committee also held new faces with Dr. Manuel Alberti, Miguel de Azcuenaga, Dr. Manuel Belgrano, Dr. Juan Jose Castelli, Domingo Matheu and Juan Larrea, most of these men were previously creroles and patriots. This new junta is looking very strong. I predict it will last for some time, maybe even until Spain is restored.

- Rico Villinueva Montoya Ramierez III



1810

Dear Diary,

Since the May Revolution Day in Buenos Aires, I have returned to Spain to live out my life peacefully. But I have heard news of the events that have taken place in the Rio de la Plata; a War of Independence has begun after a series of campaigns order by the very same Junta which I was banned from. The forces are supposedly led by Manuel Belgrano and a man I have never met, Jose de San Martin. He may have voted against me, but I have fond memories of Belgrano, and hope he remains unharmed throughout this war against the Spanish royalist forces. I wish I could say I am not bitter over the events that took place during my time in Buenos Aires, but I am still recovering, and licking my wounds. However, despite my feelings, I do hope that in the end, the citizens of Buenos Aires gain the Independence they wish for.


- Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros de la Torre



~~Rdargentina4


Sources:


1. Shumway, Nicolas. The Invention of Argentina. Berkeley: The University of California Press, 1991.


2. "Argentine War of Independence" AbsoluteAstronomy.com. 28 Nov. 2009 <http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Argentine_War_of_Independence



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