With the acceptance of the Federal Constitution of 1853 by the province of Buenos Aires in 1862 and the assumption of the presidency of the Nation by Bartolomé Mitre, the main constitutional problem besetting the region since independence was, in theory at least, solved. The permanent location of the capital had not been settled, but a national government was a reality. Leaders who had brought about the downfall of Rosas, negotiated an end to full-scale civil war, and organized the outline of the patria grande now faced new challenges. The spirit of anarchy, the rule of force, provincial allegiances, and a widely scattered, largely illiterate population were awesome impediments to the creation of a modern nation state. The response to these problems by the politicians, economists, scholars, technocrats, artists, and soldiers of Argentina during the last forty years of the nineteenth century, working towards the goal of a unified, peaceful and cultivated nation, is an enthralling topic.