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Bartolome Mitre (June 26, 1821 - May 17, 1867) was an Argentine politician and president of Argentina. While his title was president, he ruled as dictator. He was in the military for some time and took control of Argentina after the Argentina Civil War.
Bartolome Mitre was born on June 26, 1821 in Buenos Aires during the Spanish-American Wars of Independence to a Greek Argentine family originally named Mitropoulos.
When he got old enough, Mitre joined the Argentine Army, and quickly rose through the ranks. In 1845 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and was tasked with fighting a rebel group. This is how Mitre gained his military experience. In 1846 he, along with his most trusted soldiers, defected to the rebel side. Mitre soon became their leader.
In 1847 he began a revolution in Buenos Aires, and the rebel faction took control of the city. After defeating Loyalist soldiers in several battles, Mitre established rebel dominance throughout much of the country. In 1848, the rebels took control of the entire country. Mitre established himself as president, and quickly set to work to modernize the country.
Mitre spent most of the money on the military. He expanded the military to around 2,000,000 soldiers, and some more in reserve. Mitre built factories across the country, and set up large farms. The factories produced modern weaponry and other equipment, some of it Argentina exported to neighboring countries. Infrastructure was improved, and new roads were built. This helped unify the provinces, because some of the people in them felt separate from the government in Buenos Aires.
In 1852, Mitre began the first of his military endeavors by invading Chile. The Chileans were no match for the Argentinians. Chile's forces were overstretched, weren't as disciplined, its technology wasn't as modern, and it wasn't expecting an attack. By the end of the month, Argentine troopers were parading through the streets of Santiago de Chile. The next thing Mitre did was invaded the Falkland Islands, which was unguarded. Stanley, the capital city, was quickly taken. The Falklands became a major base of operations for the Argentine Navy.
The next thing Mitre was the most bold. He put a claim on Brazil's western territories, which were once former Argentine territories until Brazil captured them during the Argentine Civil War. Brazil's Emperor Pedro I refused and placed the military into the disputed territories. Brazil also placed military units in Uruguay, which Mitre also claimed.
In 1857, the American Civil War broke out, a war that Brazil immediately entered. Mitre decided to use this opportunity to take back the territories. Argentina's armies rolled over the border and established control. However, local guerrillas and eventually a Brazilian counterattacked forced Argentina's armies to retreat. The Brazilian forces invaded Argentina, and eventually reached Buenos Aires. Mitre refused to go, stating that he would rather stay and die with his men than escape. Mitre didn't die, he was captured. Brazil forced Mitre into exile at the island of South Georgia.
At South Georgia, Mitre wrote an autobiography, and the book was found 20 years later by returning British settlers. Mitre would die in South Georgia on May 17, 1867.