Latin America “Why study Latin America?” ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
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Latin AmericaWhy study Latin America?????? ? ? ? ? ? ?
18% of U.S. citizens are of Latin American heritage. Hispanics represent the largest minority in the U.S.U.S. history is closely linked to Latin America.Latin America is one of the most important region for U.S. trade and investment.It helps eliminate stereotypes!
U.S. culture is heavily influenced by Latin American song, dance, art, food, fashion and sport.
Includes:Mexico7 countries in Central AmericaIslands of the Caribbean12 Countries of South AmericaAnd 1 dependency- French Guiana.
Latin AmericaPhysical Overview Notes
Middle America (Mexico & Central America)Very MountainousClimate most affected by elevationMexico is called country of mountainsOver 100 active volcanoes on Pacific coastCaribbean coast = lowlands
Caribbean3 groups of islands = Bahamas, Greater Antilles, Lesser AntillesGroup of islands are made differently:Bahamas = cays(keys) coralGreater Antilles = underwater mnts.Lesser Antilles = volcanic activity
Caribbean (cont.)Chain of Islands 2,000 miles long (Archipelago)Largest Islands:CubaHispaniola (Haiti & Dominican Republic)Puerto RicoJamiaca
South AmericaVery similar to North AmericaWest = high rugged mnts.(Andes mnts.)Central = plains (Amazon basin & Pampas)East = low, rounded mnts. (Brazilian Highlands)
Atacama DesertDriest place on Earth.Evidence suggests some areas have not had rain for 120,000 years.
PampasFertile grasslandsSimilar to Great Plains in North America
Amazon River BasinLargest river basin on Earth11 million cubic feet per second released into the Atlantic Ocean
Andes MountainsLongest mountain range on EarthHighest peak is Chimborazo 20,564 feet (Ecuador)Mining
Latin American PopulationMost people live near the coast.
In Mexico they live near the center.
Twice as many people as in the U.S.
live in cities.
Economic ActivityMost Economies are based on agricultureCash crops include coffee, bananas, and sugar cane.
AgricultureLatifundia: Large estates owned by families or corporationsMinifundia: smaller farms that produce for the family and sell in the market.
THE MOST INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES ARE MEXICO (MOTOR VEHICLES, ELECTRIC GOODS) & BRAZIL (IRON, STEEL, AUTOMOBILES, TEXTILES, MACHINERY)
Economies (cont.)INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT IS SLOW BECAUSE OF LACK OF CAPITAL, SKILLED WORKERS & RAW MATERIALS
LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES RELY ON EACH OTHER ECONOMICALLY. THIS HAS CREATED A LARGE AMOUNT OF FOREIGN DEBT.
Latin American OilVenezuelan & Mexican oil reserves are among the top 10 in the worldOil generates about 80% of Venezuelas export revenuesThe Hugo Chavez government is in complete control of the oil industry in VenezuelaVenezuelas state owned oil company acquired Citgo in 1980.
Panama CanalThe crossroads of world trade.
Built by the United States under President Teddy Roosevelt from 1904-1914.
The United States controlled the Canal until December 31, 1999
HistoryLand conquered by the SpanishConquistadors.
History (cont.)Many unstable governments, military leaders and revolutions. Most striving toward Democracy except Cuba (Fidel Castro) & Venezuela (Hugo Chavez)
Lived in Mexicos Central Plateau (feared and hated by others in Mexico).Warlike people, defeated more settled people and forced them into paying taxes.Became skilled builders-Built the capital city of Tenochtitlan in the middle of a lake.Worshiped many Gods Sun GodThought it would weaken and die if it was not fed blood and humans hearts.Engaged in warfare to provide human sacrifices.
TenochtitlanFounded as the Aztec capital in 1325It was built in the center of Lake TexcocoAt one time, over 200,000 people lived in this cityThe city flourished until 1519, when Cortes and the Spanish arrived
Lived more towards Central America Yucatan PeninsulaAgriculture type of people (slash and burn)Scientific and artistic achievements:1. Calendar2. Use of zero in math (Europeans did not use)3. Developed a written languageReasons are unknown why they began to abandon their cities at about 800 900 AD
Empire lasted about 100 yrs.Included parts of 5 present day countries.Advanced methods of agriculture.IrrigationFertilizersTerraced FarmingVery religiousTransporting goods = Stone highways, suspension bridgeStrong and complex government- forced population to save food for famine. Took census without a writing system. Kept records by tying knots in a rope device called a quipu.
Spanish culture of Mexico4 social classes1. Peninsulares (Spanish Born)2. Criollos (Spanish/New world born3. Mestizos (Spanish/Native Indian)4. Native Indian
Haciendas Mexican Plantation
Class structure lasted 300 years.*Until 1821 Mexico was a colony of Spain*1920 Became a Democracy after 10 yrs. Of struggle. *Family is a very important factor in Mexican life.
Mexico City2nd largest city in the world with a population of over 22 millionLocated where the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan was located
Most Mexicans are Roman Catholic 66% of the population is urban.ECONOMICS Most Important Industries in Mexico are:PETROLEUM 4TH LARGEST PRODUCER IN THE WORLDTOURISM CALLED THE SMOKELESS INDUSTRY
Common wealth to the U.S.Elect own governor and legislative body.People have full U.S. citizenshipDo not pay income taxesThey cannot vote in presidential electionsEnter or leave any part of the U.S. at will