Celebrated each year on 25 May, Revolution Day is the anniversary of a revolution that took place in 1810 which led to Argentina’s independence.
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Prior to 18 May 1810, Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay were part of the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata, which was a Spanish colony. On 18 May, British ships arrived in Uruguay with news that there were multiple conflicts in Spain as the French retaliated against uprisings of those who opposed the appointment of Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon’s brother, as King of Spain. This led the middle and upper-middle class to rebel against the Spanish-controlled government in their own country.
Officials met in Buenos Aires on 22 May to determine the future of the viceroyalty upon learning of the upheaval in Spain. Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros was forced to step down and the Primera Junta, or First Assembly, took control of the government. Initially, the viceroy was appointed president, but stepped down due to discontent with his appointment. Cornelio Saavedra became president and, on 25 May 1810, Argentina declared itself independent. Therefore, the revolution was not a battle, but a change in political power.
The May Revolution is considered the starting point of the War of Independence for Argentina. However independence was not officially gained until 9 July 1816.