Córdoba’s aboriginal inhabitants were the Comechingones, settled agriculturalists who also herded llamas, collected wild fruit—and failed to stop the Spanish invasion with guerrilla tactics. After Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera founded the city of Córdoba  (1573), Dominican, Franciscan, and Jesuit missionaries streamed into the province, but they and other Spaniards introduced diseases that wiped out the remaining indigenes within a century.
For more than two centuries, linked overland to the viceregal capital of Lima, Perú, Córdoba was the most important city in what is now Argentina. From the late 18th century, though, it suffered a literal reversal of fortune—Buenos Aires ’s enhanced status as capital of the Viceroyalty of the River Plate made Córdoba second fiddle to the up-and-coming port city.
This in turn spurred resentment among traditionalist political and religious elites—royalists opposed independence, and after independence, fanatical Federalists opposed Buenos Aires’s secular Unitarists with the slogan “Religion or Death.”
From the late 19th century, though, European immigration, agricultural colonization, railroad expansion, and industrialization reinforced Buenos Aires’s primacy and eclipsed Córdoba’s conservatism. Ironically enough, the province’s political revival started when student radicals and labor activists helped bring down General Juan Carlos Onganía’s 1960s dictatorship in the so-called cordobazo uprising, which had repercussions throughout the country.