Argentine-Brazilian War (1825–1828)
PRINCIPAL COMBATANTS: Brazil vs. Argentina and Banda
PRINCIPAL THEATER(S): Port of Buenos Aires and the
DECLARATION: Argentina declared support for Uruguayan
independence, December 1, 1825.
MAJOR ISSUES AND OBJECTIVES: Argentina and Brazil
fought over control of the Banda Oriental (Uruguay).
OUTCOME: Uruguay was created as an independent state.
APPROXIMATE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF MEN UNDER ARMS:
Each nation fielded about 10,000 men.
CASUALTIES: At the Battle of Itzuangó (February 20,
1827), Argentina lost 140 killed, 316 wounded; Brazil
lost 170 killed, 92 wounded, 171 taken prisoner.
When Argentina elected to support the revolt of Banda Oriental
(Uruguay) against Brazil on December 1, 1825, war-
fare between the rival nations erupted. Brazil had occupied
Banda Oriental since the suppression of the URUGUAYAN
REVOLT (1811–16). Now Argentina and its Uruguayan
allies generally prevailed against Brazil both on land and at
sea. On February 9, 1827, an Argentine naval squadron of
five schooners and eight gunboats defeated a Brazilian
force of 19 warships off Juncal on the Uruguay River. However,
Brazil countered on April 9, 1827, when an 18-ship
Brazilian squadron captured two Argentine brigs at Monte
Santiago bank. This was followed by an Argentine victory
at sea off Pozos on June 11, 1827. South of this position on
March 7, 1828, a pair of Brazilian corvettes and two
schooners attacked Argentine privateers in the Río Negro
of Patagonia. The ill-considered attack cost Brazil a 20-gun
corvette and both schooners.
On land the action began with an April 19, 1825,
attack in the Banda Oriental by a small unit of revolutionaries.
Within 17 days this rebel band of 33 Uruguayans
had exploded into an army of 3,500, and on September
24, 1825, a rebel unit of 260 attacked 400 Brazilian troops
at Rinçao das Galinhas, routing them.
On October 12 at Sarandi, 2,400 Uruguayans and
Argentinians defeated 1,580 Brazilians, killing 200 and
capturing 565. The attackers’ losses were 35 killed and 90
The largest battle was fought at Itzuangó on February
20, 1827. More than 8,000 Argentine troops fought 8,500
Brazilians, winning a victory, although at a cost that nearly
matched the losses of the enemy: 140 Argentines killed in
action and 316 wounded versus 170 killed among the
Brazilians and 92 wounded, plus 171 taken as prisoners. A
combination of consistent Argentine military success and
Brazilian war weariness resulted in Uruguay’s achieving
independence on August 28, 1828.
Further reading: Jay Kinsbruner, Independence in
Spanish America: Civil Wars, Revolutions, and Underdevelopment
(Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press,
2000); George Pendle, Uruguay (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood
Publishing Group, 1985).