The history of Argentina is divided by historians [who?] into four main parts: the pre-Columbian time or early history (up to the sixteenth century), the colonial period (1530–1810), the period of nation-building (1810-1880), and the history of modern Argentina (from around 1880). Prehistory in the present territory of Argentina began with the first human settlements on the southern tip of Patagonia around 13,000 years ago. Written history began with the arrival of Spanish chroniclers in the expedition of Juan Díaz de Solís in 1516 to the Río de la Plata, which marks the beginning of Spanish domination in this region. In 1776 the Spanish Crown established the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, an umbrella of territories from which, with the Revolution of May 1810, began a process of gradual formation of several independent states, including one called the United Provinces of Río de la Plata. With the declaration of independence on July 9, 1816 and the military defeat of the Spanish Empire in 1824, a federal state was formed in 1853-1861, known today as the Republic of Argentina.
The climate of Argentina is a complex subject: the vast size of the country and considerable variation in altitude make for a wide range of climate types. Argentina has four seasons: winter (June–August), spring (September–November), summer (December–February) and autumn (March–May), all featuring different weather conditions. Summers are the warmest and wettest season in most of the country except in most of Patagonia where it is the driest season. Winters are normally mild in the north, cool in the center and cold in the southern parts with the latter experiencing frequent frost and snow. Because southern parts of the country are moderated by the surrounding oceans, the cold is less intense and prolonged than areas at comparable latitudes in the northern hemisphere. Spring and autumn are transition seasons that generally feature mild weather. The economic history of Argentina is one of the most studied, owing to the “Argentine paradox“, its unique condition as a country that had achieved advanced development in the early 20th century but experienced a reversal, which inspired an enormous wealth of literature and diverse analysis on the causes of this decline.  Argentina possesses definite comparative advantages in agriculture, as the country is endowed with a vast amount of highly fertile land.  Between 1860 and 1930, exploitation of the rich land of the pampas strongly pushed economic growth.  During the first three decades of the 20th century, Argentina outgrew Canada and Australia in population, total income, and per capita income.  By 1913, Argentina was the world’s 10th wealthiest nation per capita. 
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