Take the 2-minute tour ×
History Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for historians and history buffs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Were Argentina's and the UK's Antarctic territorial claims significant in the Falklands War?

enter image description here

share|improve this question
4  
I do not believe so but lack any clear sources. Although finding such sources could be hard if it is not a factor ^_~ Do you have a reference that claims that it was a factor? –  Sardathrion Dec 7 '11 at 11:48
    
One has to consider that the countries involved, and still involved, want to get their hands n the Richness of Antarctica. Chile, Argentina and GB claims the territoies south of their countries. The situation in the Arctis is the same, but there is no treaty signed 1959. However, if that treaty should loose it´s significance, Chile, Argentina and GB would "invade" Antartica economically. But the US would not let that happend without having ensured that they got a major part of the profits, in one or another way. This since the us needs oil and minerals. and that the US has paid a high price fo –  user1464 Oct 29 '12 at 18:31

3 Answers 3

Although various countries have laid "claims" to various portions of Antarctica, those claims are basically unenforceable, because it is basically uninhabited, except for the occasional visitor, scientist, etc. It's hard to imagine this being worth fighting for.

The Falklands (Malvinas) on the other hand, are a different story. They have some 3,000 people (and something like five times as many sheep). They are also a major port of call for fishermen and cruise tourists from the outside. As a result, the islands have an economy that does about $100 million a year of both import and export trade, an amount way out of proportion to the population. Hence they were reasonably a causus belli.

share|improve this answer
4  
It didn't hurt Margaret Thatchers political career either. –  Slomojo Dec 7 '11 at 22:29
4  
This is an invalid point. Antarctica's permanent population is about 1000 and non-permanent is about 4000-5000. But this does not matter because Antarctica has much greater scientific importance, area and potential resources. The lack of significant economy in Antarctica is because most economic activities there are prohibited, including mining any resources, building nuclear facilities, hunting and fishing, building radars and military installations and so on. –  Anixx Apr 11 '12 at 16:02
    
The Falklands sit on what is expected to be major oil and gas fields, possession of which was a major reason for the Argentine government to invade (diverting attention from internal trouble to a nice foreign war for nationalist reasons made for a great propaganda reason and helped determine the timeline).\ –  jwenting Jul 22 '13 at 5:42

Argentina, Chile, and the U.K. have overlapping claims on the Antarctic Peninsula, but the Falkands War was limited to the Falklands, South Georgia, and the South Sandwich Islands.

share|improve this answer

It was not a factor - both the UK and Argentina had signed the Antarctic Treaty, placing all territorial claims south of 60 degrees in abeyance indefinitely.

The full text of the original treaty

I am not aware of either nation having expressed a wish to go back on that treaty, and it was signed over 20 years before the Falklands War.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.