Argentina

  • Category: Religion
  • Words: 1575
  • Grade: 100
Argentina is a federal republic in southern South America on the border of Bolivia and Paraguay; on the east by Brazil, Uruguay, and the Atlantic Ocean; on the south by the Atlantic Ocean and Chile; and on the west by Chile. The country is the biggest country on the south side and is triangular in shape, with the base in the north and the corner at Punta Dungeness, the southeastern tip of the continent. The length of Argentina in a northern to southern direction is about 2,070 mi.. Its biggest width is about 860 mi.. The area of Argentina is 1,073,518 sq mi.. It is the second largest South American country, Brazil ranking first. The capital and largest city is Buenos Aires.        

        Argentina has a lot of of mountains, upland areas, and plains. The western boundaries of the country fall entirely within the Andes. "The only other highlands of consequence in Argentina is the Sierra de Córdoba, in the central portion of the country."(New Standard) "In the north, the Argentine plains consist of the southern portion of the South American region known as the Gran Chaco. The Pampas plains that include the most productive agricultural sections of the country, extend about 1,000 mi. south from the Gran Chaco. In Patagonia, south of the Pampas, the terrain consists largely of arid, desolate steppes."(Encarta Online). A famed scenic attraction, the Iguaçu Falls, is on the çIguau River a tributary of the Paraná. "The chief rivers of Argentina are the áParan, which splits the north part of the country. In the area between the Río Salado and the Río Colorado and in the Chaco region, some large rivers empty into swamps and marshes or disappear into sinks. "(New Standard)

        Temperate climatic conditions prevail throughout most of Argentina, except for a small tropical area in the northeast and the subtropical Chaco in the north. The climate is generally cold in the Andes, Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego. In the western section of Patagonia winter temperatures average about 0° C (32° F). In most coastal areas, however, the ocean exerts a moderating influence on temperatures.

        The traditional wealth of Argentina is in the vast Pampas, which are used for extensive grazing and grain production. "However, Argentine mineral resources, especially offshore deposits of petroleum and natural gas, have assumed increasing importance in recent decades."(Encarta Online)

        About 85 percent of the population is of European origin. Unlike most Latin American countries, "Argentina has relatively few mestizos (persons of mixed European and Native American ancestry)"(Encarta Online). Spanish and Italian immigrants have predominated. "According to the 1991 census, Argentina had a population of 32,663,983."(Encarta Online)

        Argentina has 23 provinces; the self-governing Distrito Federal which consists of the city of Buenos Aires and several suburbs; the Argentine-claimed sector of Antarctica; and several South Atlantic islands. "The provinces are grouped into five major areas: the Atlantic Coastal, or Littoral, provinces, comprising Buenos Aires (excluding the city of Buenos Aires), Chaco, Corrientes, Entre Ríos, Formosa, Misiones, and Santa Fe; the Northern provinces, comprising Jujuy, Salta, Santiago del Estero, and Tucumán; the Central provinces, comprising Córdoba, La Pampa, and San Luis; the provinces of the Andes, or Andina, comprising San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca, La Rioja, Mendoza, Neuquén, and San Juan; and the Patagonian provinces, comprising Chubut, Río Negro, Santa Cruz, and Tierra del Fuego."(Encarta Online)

        Buenos Aires is Argentina's capital and largest city. Other important cities include óCrdoba, the river port of Rosario, La Plata, the capital of Buenos Aires Province Mar del Plata, a resort city at the mouth of the Río de la Plata áSan Miguel de Tucumn, a diversified manufacturing center Salta, famous for its colonial architecture and Mendoza, hub of an important agricultural and wine-growing region.(Norden, Deborah L. pg. 154) Spanish is the official language and is spoken by most of the Argentines. Italian and a bunch of Native American languages are also spoken.

        "Roman Catholics make up 90 percent of the population. Judaism, Protestantism, and a number of other Christian and non-Christian religions are practiced. By law, the president and vice president of Argentina must be Roman Catholic."(Encarta Online) Argentina is a nation with a rich Spanish heritage.

        Primary education is free and compulsory from ages 6 to 14. Argentina's literacy rate of 96 percent is one of the highest in Latin America. Argentina has 25 national universities and many private universities. The leading library of Argentina is the National Library (1810) in Buenos Aires, which has about 1.9 million volumes.(Rock, DavidRock, David)

        The Argentine economy is based primarily on the production of agricultural products and the raising of livestock, but manufacturing and mining industries have shown marked growth in recent decades. Argentina is one of the world's leading cattle and grain regions. Argentina raises enough crops for domestic needs and export stuff to foreign markets. "Livestock raising and slaughtering are major enterprises in Argentina, as are the refrigeration and processing of meat and animal products; total annual meat production is nearly 3.5 million metric tons, three-quarters of it from cattle."(Encarta Online)

Wheat is the most important crop. Argentina is one of the biggest producers of wheat in the world. "In 1998, the wheat crop totaled 11.7 million metric tons. Other major cash crops were maize (19.6 million metric tons), soybeans, and sorghum. Other major field crops include oats, barley, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, sugarcane, cotton, potatoes, rice, maté, peanuts, and tobacco, as well as a considerable crop of grapes, oranges, lemons, and grapefruit."(Encarta Online)

        Before, Argentina's money system was based on the peso oro (Spanish "gold peso"), except no gold coins actually were used. "The nuevo peso argentino (equal to 10,000 australs) was introduced in January 1992, at an exchange rate of 1 peso equaling U.S.$1. In 1997 1 Argentinian peso was still trading for U.S.$1."(Encarta Online) The Central Bank works as the national bank and is the only one that has the right to issue money.

        "The entire Argentine railroad system was owned and operated by the government from 1948 until 1992, when portions of the rail system were privatized. By 1994, most of the state-owned rail network had been privatized."(Norden, Deborah L.)Aerolíneas Argentinas was the national airline until it was privatized in 1990. A railroad tunnel through the Andes has provided facilities for motor vehicles since it was built in 1940. In 1996 there were 127 cars for every 1,000 people in Argentina. (Encarta Online)

        According to the constitution of 1853, Argentina is a federal republic with a president, who is helped by a council of ministers. Legislative powers are vested in a national congress consisting of a Senate and a Chamber of Deputies. "A new constitution was passed in 1949, only to be rescinded in 1956. All constitutional provisions were suspended in 1966 following a military takeover. After another military coup in 1976, the constitution of 1853 was again suspended, but it was reinstated when Argentina returned to civilian rule in 1983. The constitution of 1853, in the preamble and in much of the text, reflects the ideas and aims of the Constitution of the United States. Several parts of Argentina's constitution were revised in 1994."(Norden, Deborah L.) The government like the U.S.. All citizens 18 years old are allowed to vote.

        "In February 1516, the Spanish navigator Juan Díaz de Solís, then engaged in search of a southwest passage to the East Indies."(Encarta Online) Sebastian Cabot,an Italian navigator in the service of Spain, visited the estuary in 1526. In search of food and supplies, Cabot and his men ascended the river later called the Paraná to a point near the site of modern Rosario. They constructed a fort and then pushed up the river as far as the region now occupied by Paraguay. "Colonization of the region was begun in 1535 by the Spanish soldier Pedro de Mendoza"(Encarta Online) In June 1806, Buenos Aires was attacked by a British fleet under the command of Admiral Home Riggs Popham. The viceroy offered no defense against the attack, which was made without permission by the British government. The bRitish invaders occupied the city but were kicked out by a citizen army the next August.

        Revolutionary sentiment in La Plata reached its peak in the period following the deposing of King Ferdinand VII in 1808. The people of Buenos Aires refused to recognize Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother, who was then installed on the Spanish throne. On May 25, 1810, they overthrew the viceregal government and installed a provisional governing council in the name of Ferdinand VII. Representatives of the various provinces convened at Tucumán in March 1816. On the following July 9 the delegates proclaimed independence from Spanish rule and declared the formation of the United Provinces of South America (later United Provinces of the Río de la Plata). In March 1949, Perón promulgated a new constitution permitting the president of the republic to succeed himself in office.



Article Topics        

I.        INTRODUCTION         

II.        LAND AND RESOURCES

III.        POPULATION

IV.        EDUCATION AND CULTURE

V.        ECONOMY

VI.        GOVERNMENT

VII.        HISTORY

works cited:

"Argentina," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2000

        http://encarta.msn.com © 1997-2000 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.



Rock, DavidRock, David. Authoritarian Argentina: The Nationalist Movement, Its History, and Its Impact.

        University of California Press, 1993.



Norden, Deborah L. Military Rebellion in Argentina: Between Coups and Consolidations.

        University of Nebraska Press, 1996



New Standard Encyclopedia Vol. 2, ane/az Argentina

        Standard Educational Corporation, Chicago
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