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A horseman of South America, often Indian or mestizo. Early in the 19th century the gauchos took part in the Spanish–South American Wars of Independence, and later were prominent on the Argentine pampas in the development of the cattle industry. By the late 19th century the pastoral economy had given way to more intensive land cultivation in fenced-off estancias (estates), forcing many gauchos to become farmhands or peons.

Subjects: World History.

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