Following independence from Spain in 1816, Argentina experienced periods of internal political conflict between conservatives and liberals and between civilian and military factions. After World War II, a long period of Peronist authoritarian rule and interference in subsequent governments was followed by a military junta that took power in 1976. Democracy returned in 1983, and numerous elections since then have underscored Argentina's progress in democratic consolidation.

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Surface Area: 2,766,890 square km
Population: 39,144,753 (July 2004 est.)
Located in: Southern South America
Capital City: Buenos Aires
Head of State: Nestor KIRCHNER
Prime Minister: Nestor KIRCHNER
Independent since: 9 July 1816 (from Spain)
Currency: Argentine peso (ARS)
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