latin america geography, history, government, and culture

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Latin America Geography, History, Government, and Culture

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  • Latin AmericaGeography, History, Government, and Culture

  • Geography of Central America The Central Highlands are a narrow chain of volcanic mountains. The volcanic material provides good soil for farming.Central America is an isthmus, a narrow piece of land that links two larger areas of land, that connects North and South America. Most of the countries have 2 coastlines on the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:42-16719625.jpgThe Panama Canal is a transportation corridor used to move people and products from one place to another.

  • Geography of the CaribbeanMany Caribbean islands are part of an underwater chain of mountains formed by volcanoes. The volcanic soil is rich.Other islands are limestone mountains which have a sandy soil not good for farming.

  • Geography of South America South America has many different land forms. The Andes Mountains are located on the west coast in Peru which has rich soil for farming. The Amazon Basin located in Brazil is home to the worlds largest rainforest which takes up 1/3 of the continent.In the south through Argentina and Paraguay is the Pampas Plains which are similar to the Great Plains in the U.S.

  • Some of the longest and largest rivers in the world are found in South America. The rivers provide fish, transportation when roads arent available, and hydroelectric power. The Amazon River is 7,000 miles long and has 1,000 tributaries. Its the worlds 2nd largest river carrying 20% of the worlds river water and drains an area of more than 2 million sq miles. The Rio de la Plata separates Argentina and Paraguay.Mouth of the Amazon RiverRio de la Plata

  • ClimateTropical Wet Hot humid, rainy weather all year round (parts of Brazil rainforest area)These climates and many beautiful beaches make tourism a major economic industry in Latin America.Humid SubtropicalSimilar to Southern U.S. - crops grow well hereTropical Wet and Dry Hot, rainy, but not all year (parts of Brazil and most of the Caribbean)

  • Natural ResourcesCaribbeanRich soil and good climate for farmingSugarcane, bananas, coffee, cacao, and citrus fruitsSouth America Oil found, especially VenezuelaPlants and fishForests cover about of the continent (Brazil) good for Logging Industry.Rich soil coffee and other crops flourishCentral AmericaGood climate and soil for farmingCoffee, cotton, sugarcane, bananas, and cacao treesFish and shellfishHydroelectric power

  • Natural Resources & the EconomyNot all countries have a natural resource

    Some countries dont have the money to develop their resources

    Weather can cause problems as it can affect the supply but climate is good for tourism.Prices of resources can go down

    Plant diseases can lower the amount of crop raised

    Oil Dependence can be risky as prices change, natural disasters can affect supply

  • Economic Issues In the 1900s, foreign countries started investing in Latin America to improve their economic situation. However, the Latin Americans did not benefit, the foreign companies made money which gave them a lot of economic power.To improve their economic situation, they began building their own factories. Things started to improve in the 1970s, but during the 1980s the price of oil which was needed to run factories rose while product prices dropped. Countries then borrowed money and were now in debt.

  • The logging industry is a primary business in Brazil. The businesses are profiting from the cutting down of trees in the rainforests, but its not good for the environment.Today, Latin American countries limit how much foreign countries can invest in their countries to avoid losing control of their economy. They also trade with one another to get items they need cheaper.Signing of the founding charter of the Bank of the South.

  • European ExplorationDuring the 1400s, Spain and Portugal began searching for new trade routes to Asia. In 1492, Christopher Columbus thought he found India, but instead he found the Americas. Spain and Portugal soon became rivals over the land in the Americas. In 1494, the Treaty of Tordesillas was signed, it gave Spain land in the west, and Portugal land in the east. This is why Brazil is Portugals only South America colony.

  • Spain in the New WorldSpain gave the Conquistadors (Spanish explores) the right to hunt for treasure in the new lands. They could use ANY means necessary to get their treasure. Spain was given 1/5 of any treasure the Conquistadors found. It only took Spain 15 years to conquer the land and people of Latin America. They had guns, cannons, and horses where the Natives did not. European diseases also killed the people wiping out entire villages.Boy with smallpox

  • Spanish ColonizationIn the 1540s, Spain had land from Kansas in the United States down through Brazil in South America. Then there became 3 classes of people, the Spanish, Mestizos, and Native Americas.Spain gave its settlers the right to demand taxes or labor from the lowest class, the Native Americas. Many Natives died from overwork, malnutrition, and diseases. In 50 years, their population went from 25 million in 1519 down to 3 million. Cross of Burgundy (Flag of New Spain) "Vzquez de Coronado Sets Out to the North" (1540)

  • GovernmentsMost Latin American countries have a limited government. However, both Cuba and Venezuela have unlimited governments in which there is a loss of human rights.Cuba has had economic sanctions (trade restrictions) placed on the country due to a loss of human rights of the Cuban people.

  • CultureColonization and conquest by European countries has greatly influenced the early development of South America.Migration has also influenced the ethnic groups of Latin America. Latin Americans are a mixture the Europeans, Africans (who were brought through the slave trade), and Native Americans.

  • Latin America is considered a culture region because of its language, most countries speak Spanish with the exception of Brazil where Portuguese is spoken due to Portugals colonization. Spain and Portugal have influenced the languages, religions, and architecture (buildings) of South America.