I have been looking at maps of South America in 1833, when Britain took over the Falklands. In 1833 Argentina was only shown as occupying what could only be described as an “enclave” around Buenos Aires.
Later in the 19th century it began expanding its domain, taking in Patagonia, with the Andes forming the border with Chile. Before that the Falklands were possibly regarded as being too far away and as an insignificant island group not worth bothering about.
All this posturing by Argentina is down to the wealth of the resources, in and around the Falklands: fishing, oil, and manganese nodules on the sea bed.
I note that Argentina’s leaders have chosen to ignore the result of the referendum, and claim that the Islas Molvinas are part of their territory taken from it by Britain more than 180 years ago.
Curiously, their own declaration of independence dates from 1816. Are they saying that the Molvinas were administered by them for some 14 years before they were snatched by us?
A key factor in Argentina gaining independence from Spain was the dominance of the Royal Navy. The first settlers from Britain occupied the Falklands, previously part of the Spanish Empire which at the time was crumbling fast. Argentina’s claim is extremely weak.
It would appear the recent discovery of oil and gas in these waters has whetted their appetite. The Falkland Islanders have a right to self-determination which ought to be respected.