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Falklands War

Falkland Islands Map Outline Appearance
The Falkland Islands
When you're the head of an investing firm called Argentina, and your firm is rapidly losing money, with the members of the firm thinking of replacing you, what would you do? What the head of Argentina Incorporated decided to do was to "file an expensive law suit" against the neighboring subsidiaries of the firm called Britain. Unfortunately for them, they didn't have enough lawyers as Britain, and their lawyers were overworked. Argentina continued to lose money until the members of the firm overthrew the head.

The Falklands War was a war between the United Kingdom and Argentina, from April 2, 1982 to June 14, 1982. It started because Argentina and the United Kingdom disagreed over who owned the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the South Sandwich Islands, all in the South Atlantic Ocean, miles east of Argentina.

The idea that the three island chains truly belonged to Argentina began a long time ago, even before Argentina had its independence from Spain. The Falkland Islands were previously uninhabited - until British colonists landed on the island. There were no Argentines, no Spaniards, no British, no French - there were literally no people on the island until the British colonists came. There were scuffles between Britain and Spanish Argentina over the island, but the island were turned back to Britain in 1833, under who they remained until the Falklands War started.

Argentina had been ruled by a military junta from 1976 to 1983, and they were in the middle of a terrible economic crisis. Inflation jumped up by over 600% (that's huge!), with GDP dropping 11.4%, manufacturing output falling 22.9%, and real wages tripping over by 19.2%. Military President Galtieri believed that a quick conquest of the Falklands would help support for his dictatorship.

The Argentines knew that the British were planning to remove all ships and troops from the Falkland Islands. There was only one British ship in the South Atlantic.

The war started when the military of Argentina took control of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. This victory was short lived, as the United Kingdom sent out its navy to battle Argentina's navy and Air force and retake the islands.

Most European nations, most of the British Commonwealth, and the United States supported Britain. The European Economic Community and the United States levied sanctions on Argentina.

On the other hand, considering how old the Argentine claim was, this meant that nations could invade each other because the land had been part of their nation centuries ago. For a better analogy, the Netherlands would have the right to invade Brazil because they once held northern parts of modern Brazil. Or Spain could take over all of Portugal, France could annex most of Europe, England could theoretically lay claim to most of the world's population - all of these examples show what the Argentine reasoning meant for the world. In the UN Security Council, only one member (Panama) rejected a resolution condemning Argentina.

649 Argentines, 255 British, and 3 Civilians died. Argentina says that the Falkland Islands were theirs since the 19th Century and continue their belief to this day. 

Argentina claimed that their invasion was simply retaking their own territory. The United Kingdom said it was an invasion of a British Territory. However, nobody officially declared war. 


Falkland War British troop movementsThe war affected Argentina greatly. Patriotic feeling was everywhere in Argentina, but the loss created large protests, and quickened the overthrow of the military regime.

In the United Kingdom, the Conservatives benefited from the successful outcome. Relations between the 2 nations became normalized after a meeting in Madrid in 1989, where they both released a statement that didn't affect the sovereignty of the islands.

Fortunately for Margaret Thatcher, the war bolstered support for her government.

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