part of the Viceroyalty of Peru, whose capital was Lima, and settlers arrived from that city. Unlike the other regions of South America, the colonization of the Río de la Plata estuary was not influenced by any gold rush, since it lacked any precious metals to mine.
The first European explorer, Juan Díaz de Solís, arrived to the Río de la Plata in 1516. Spain established the Viceroyalty of Peru, encompassing all its holdings in South America. Buenos Aires was established in 1536 but was destroyed by natives. The city was established again in 1580. The colonization of modern Argentina came from 3 different directions: from Paraguay, establishing the Governorate of the Río de la Plata, from Peru and from Chile.
The natural ports on the Río de la Plata estuary could not be used because all ships were meant to be made through the port of Callao near Lima, a condition that led to contraband becoming the normal means of commerce in cities such as Asunción, Buenos Aires, and Montevideo.
The Spanish raised the status of this region by establishing the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in 1776. This viceroyalty consisted of today's Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay, as well as much of present-day Bolivia. Buenos Aires, now holding the customs of the new political subdivision, became a flourishing port, as the revenues from the Potosí, the increasing maritime activity in terms of goods rather than precious metals, the production of cattle for the export of leather and other products, and other political reasons, made it gradually become one of the most important commercial centers of the region.
The viceroyalty was, however, short-lived due to lack of internal cohesion among the many regions of which it was constituted and lack of Spanish support. Ships from Spain became scarce again after the Spanish defeat at the battle of Trafalgar, that gave the British maritime supremacy. The British tried to invade Buenos Aires and Montevideo in