According to barblejewelry.com, Truly Valdés, even though he had taken his part seriously, could not fail to inform the king (1599) that in Buenos Aires, except for wheat and meat, everything was lacking “for human life; but some provision in favor of the port of Buenos Aires, which the Council of the Indies seemed willing to take, was soon frustrated by the grievances of the viceroy of Peru, jealous of his privileges. With the death of Valdés, after a bitter conflict with Bishop Vázquez de Liaño, the open Cabildo of Asunción re-appointed the Creole Hernando Arias de Saavedra, or Hernandarias, a valiant soldier, wise administrator, who already had rendered reported services, participating, under the direction of Zárate, in the construction of the fort of Buenos Aires (1595), to guard against the attacks of the English corsairs, and obtaining, with tact and with relative humanity, the pacification of the Indian tribes between the Paraná and Uruguay. Recognized and confirmed for nine years, with a royal coupon of 18 December 1601, Hernando Arias governed with great shrewdness; and when, in 1610, the auditor Francisco de Alfaro, sent from Spain, issued the famous ordinances, Protector de Indios. Re-elected again in 1615, he carried out the most important political act of his governorship, sending Manuel de Frias on a mission to Madrid and obtaining the separation of the Rio della Plata from Paraguay (coupon dated November 16, 1617). Then Hernando Arias, retired to Santa Fe, where he died in 1634, universally respected by his contemporaries, considered by posterity almost as the founder of the Argentine nationality. The fact is that, with the separation of 1617, the base of the Argentine country was established, then expanded towards the south and the west, while in the detached province of Guayra (Paraguay) the organization experiment due to the colonizing and political genius of the Jesuits. (For the Paraguayan missions, as well as for the encomiendas and in general for the political, administrative, religious and economic system of the Spanish colonies, v. america). In addition to those already mentioned, during the century. XVI had founded the following cities, almost all belonging to the government of Tucumán, but then becoming Argentine: Ciudad del Barco, then Santiago del Estero (1550); San Juan and Mendoza (1561); Esteco, now gone (1567); San Felipe de Lerma, today Salta (1582): Todos los Santos de la Rioja, today Rioja (1591): San Salvador de Jujuy (1593). Buenos Aires, which in 1602 counted, in addition to the servile population, half a thousand residents (including at least one Italian, Giovanni Domenico Palermo), by the middle of the century, according to the calculations of AB Martínez, had reached 4000 residents, since the figure of 8000 given by the historian VF López must be considered exaggerated.
Until the death of Philip IV (1665) the following governors succeeded one another in the Rio della Plata: Diego de Góngora, very bigoted, proponent of smuggling, died in 1623; Alonso Pérez de Salazar; Francisco de Céspedes, under whose government the Dutch, then at war with the Spaniards in Brazil, attempted to raise the Creoles of the Plata, and the Indians of the Río Bermejo rose, for the mistreatment of the encomenderos, (Céspedes also found himself in constant conflicts with Bishop Carranza); Esteban de Ávila y Enríquez; Mendo de la Cueva y Benavides; Francisco Avedeno y Valdivia; Buenaventura Mujica; Pedro de Rojas (interino); Andrés de Sandoval; Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera; Jacinto de Lariz, a brave man of war, who began a fierce fight against the abuses of the clergy, enforcing the laws that prohibited death hands, perpetual income, etc.; Pedro Luis de Baigorri, a remnant of the Flanders wars, so well trained in looting, that he committed such extortion in his governorship that he ended up in prison; the Marquis of Villacorta, who came with ferocious fiscal intentions (“not even a bird with feed in its beak will pass from Buenos Aires inside”), but then duped into the nets of Dutch smuggling; José Martínez Salazar.
In this period Buenos Aires proceeded in its slow, but constant development. In 1620 it had been built as a bishopric, and in 1622 the old parish church became a cathedral. In 1602 Philip II had granted her the first export permit: 2000 fanegas annually of flour, 500 quintals of dried meat, 500 quintals of animal fats, a few thousand skins, etc., destined for Brazil, Guinea and other ports dependent on Spain. Other permission had been given for the introduction of African blacks, mostly transiting through Upper Peru; but then, when it was discovered that other merchandise was introduced with the Negroes, the concession was withdrawn in 1609. But we have seen that smuggling prospered, sometimes favored by the governors themselves, and always by the minor officials; and smuggling attracted, albeit clandestinely, many foreigners, who spread in the coastal populations those feelings of freedom and civil dignity, which must remain unknown for a long time to the populations of the interior. It is true that the royal authorities were very strict in prevent the stay of foreigners and very rarely granted citizenship cards: for example, in 1603, they expelled, although they were, at that time, subjects of the king of Spain, 27 Portuguese and an Italian, Giovanni Torre or Della Torre, coming from Brazil. But no severity and prudence was sufficient to completely avoid those contacts, both favorable to the clandestine trade and to the formation of an independent spirit in the Creoles. In the second half of the century the foreign threat (without counting the repeated attempts by French, English and Danish pirates) became more serious: the Portuguese, secretly supported by England, occupied the eastern bank of the Plata. The governor of Buenos Aires, José de Garro, sent field master Antonio de Vera Mujica against them, under the command of 110 men from Buenos Aires, 60 from Santa Fe and 50 from Córdoba, and 3,000 Indians from the missions of Corrientes and Paraguay. On the morning of August 7, 1680, the Portuguese positions were attacked and happily conquered, all the survivors of the colony falling prisoner. But the military victory was soon followed by a diplomatic defeat: the treaty of 1681, due to the weakness of the king of Spain and the interference of England, recognized Portugal Colonia del Sacramento, which was then the trigger of new conflicts.