Córdoba de la Nueva Andalucía (nowadays Córdoba) was founded as a middle point on that route on July 6, 1573 by Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera. The Colegio Convictorio de Nuestra Señora de Monserrat, founded by the Jesuits in 1599, became the National University of Córdoba in 1622, being the first one in Argentina. The city continued growing as an important cultural center supported by the traffic of precious metals from Perú. In 1761 a printing press was installed in the University.
In 1783, seven years after the consolidation of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, the Intendency of Córdoba became the capital of what now includes the La Rioja, Mendoza, San Juan and San Luis Province, dividing the former Tucumán Intendency in two. Rafael de Sobremonte was its first governor, when Córdoba City had 38,800 inhabitants.
After the May Revolution in 1810, governor Gutiérrez de la Concha joined a meeting that decided to ignore the authority of the Buenos Aires Junta. Ortiz de Ocampo attacked the city and executed the leaders of the opposition, among whom was Santiago de Liniers, leader of the resistance during the British invasions of the Río de la Plata.
Under the hand of Juan Bautista Bustos, and especially after 1820, Córdoba and Buenos Aires started a struggle for the organization of the Nation that had, by that time, neither legislative nor executive branches. Córdoba pleaded for a federal organization of the provinces while Rivadavia pretended a centralised government in Buenos Aires. For 15 years the province was submerged in internal revolts that started to stabilize in 1868 under the provisional government of Félix de la Peña.
Córdoba had a second population growth due to the immigration attracted by the arrival of the railways. From 1887 on, several agricultural colonies (San Francisco, Marcos Juárez, etc) emerged, while former rest-point Fraile Muerto (Bell Ville), Ferreira (Villa María) and Los Luceros (Río Segundo), on the route to Buenos Aires, became agricultural, commercial and industrial centers respectively.
The University Reform movement, which originated in Córdoba in 1918, not only influenced the rest of the country but the rest of South America. Modernization of the curricular contents and the improvement of the students' rights were the main achievements of the movement.
After World War II, many foreign workers and workers from other provinces in Argentina were seduced by Córdoba's industrial development, which grew thanks to the expansion of the car industry and its deviates. During Arturo Frondizi's presidency (1958–1962), most new auto industries settled in the city of Córdoba and its surroundings.
As in the rest of the country, Peronist groups emerged in 1955 after the coup that took Juan Perón out of office. These Peronist groups, together with other socialist and anarchist groups, started opposing Argentina's third military dictatorship not long after its 1966 takeover resulted in massive arrests of academics, psychologists and other non-violentintellectuals. Worker and student participation of politics grew due to the popular discontent with the appointed governor's heavy-handedness, culminating in the violent May, 1969, popular revolt known as the Cordobazo. This revolt, mirrored by the Rosariazo and others in several parts of the country, undermined the power of dictator Onganía and ultimately caused him to be driven out of office by more moderate military factions.
Cordoba has continued to prosper, despite left-wing violence in 1973, right-wing political interference in 1974, government atrocities in 1976-77, 1978-81 "free trade" policies that battered Cordoba's sizable industrial sector, the 1980s debt crisis and, of course, the recent acute financial crisis.
Cordoba's economy is the third largest in Argentina, behind only the Province of Buenos Aires and the city of Buenos Aires, itself. Cordoba's economy was estimated at US$27.7 billion in 2006 and has long contributed about 8% of the nation's GDP. Its per capita income (US$9,040) is slighly above the national average.
Agriculture and livestock provide 10% of the province's output, well above the national average. The agriculture is centered in soybeans, wheat and maize, and other cereals. Cattle and sheep enjoy the grass of Cordoba's green hills. The province provides the nation with 15% of its beef production and 28% of its dairy output. The food industry around oil, milk and cereal derivatives is also very important, candy maker Arcor being one of the most important. The installation of the Fábrica Militar de Aviones in 1927, and subsequent state-owned industries began making Córdoba among the most important industrial centers in Argentina. Beginning around 1955, foreign investment in Cordoba's motor vehicle, agricultural machinery and food processing industries further added to its industrial profile. Today, 250 manufacturers of either motor vehicles or auto parts operate in Cordoba, making it Argentina's "motor province." Industry represents another 17% of the province's income, and the energy production that supports it is based mainly on 15 hydroelectric dams (2.35 billion kW/hours a year), and the Embalse nuclear power plant (600 MWe of capacity, about 2 billion kWh, yearly).
Tourism, as in the rest of Argentina, is a growing industry favored by the mild weather, a number of small rivers, and low height green hills. Around 3 million tourists from the rest of Argentina and other countries visit Córdoba every year. The province has 500,000 hotel beds, including hostels, tourist farms and other types of accommodation. Important festivities include the Cosquín National Folk Music, and Jesús María Folk and Taming Festivals.
Córdoba is connected by rail with Buenos Aires, Rosario, Mendoza and Tucumán. The Ingeniero Ambrosio L.V. Taravella International Airport, known as Pajas Blancas, handles international and domestic air traffic, while the Las Higueras Río Cuarto Airport handles only domestic flights.
Córdoba has a unicameral legislature elected by universal suffrage. Until December 2001, the legislature was bicameral (a Chamber of Deputies and a Senate), but following the 2001 constitutional reform, this division was abolished. The unified legislature is made up of 70 members: 26 elected to represent each of the provincial departments, and 44 elected by the people of the province as a whole and assigned by a proportional system.
The head of government is the governor, accompanied by a vice-governor who presides the legislature and may fill the governor's place in certain cases. Like the legislators, the governor and vice-governor are elected for a four-year term, and can be re-elected for one consecutive term.
Córdoba has long been a bastion of the christian democratic Radical Civic Union, but in 1999 the Justicialist José Manuel de la Sota was elected governor, succeeded by fellow Peronist Juan Schiaretti in 2007.
The province is divided in 26 departments (departamentos) here listed with their head towns.
|Cruz del Eje||Cruz del Eje|
|General Roca||Villa Huidobro|
|General San Martín||Villa María|
|Juárez Celman||La Carlota|
|Marcos Juárez||Marcos Juárez|
|Minas||San Carlos Minas|
|Presidente Roque Sáenz Peña||Laboulaye|
|Río Cuarto||Río Cuarto|
|Río Primero||Santa Rosa de Río Primero|
|Río Seco||Villa de María del Río Seco|
|Río Segundo||Villa del Rosario|
|San Alberto||Villa Cura Brochero|
|San Javier||Villa Dolores|
|San Justo||San Francisco|
|Santa María||Alta Gracia|
|Sobremonte||San Francisco del Chañar|
|Totoral||Villa del Totoral|