Argentina: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government
About the location, history, size, population, and government in the country of Argentina.
Location--Occupies southeastern South America, between the Andes Mountains and the Atlantic. Neighbors are Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Chile to the west, Uruguay to the east, and Brazil to the northeast.
How Created--The 1st Spanish settlement at the site of Buenos Aires was made in 1516. Soon wiped out by Indians, it was refounded in 1580, and grew rapidly in trade relations with Europe. The Spanish Government in Lima, disturbed at the independence and power of Buenos Aires, established a separate viceroyalty there in 1776 to control the area, which also included Bolivia, Uruguay, and Paraguay. In 1810 independence was achieved through the efforts of Jose de San Martin, but was not solidified until 1816, due to the reluctance of some provinces to be ruled by Buenos Aires.
Size--1,072,763 sq. mi. (2,778,456 sq. km.), 2nd largest country in Latin America (after Brazil) and 8th largest in the world.
Population--27,800,000: European, 97% (Italian: 50%, Spanish, English, French, German accounting for most of the remainder); 3% is Arab, Indian, and mestizo. 95% Roman Catholic.
Who Rules-Argentina is a federal republic with a constitution somewhat similar to that of the U.S., which served as its model. Presidents are elected to 6-year terms by the Electoral College, and there is a National Congress composed of a Senate and Chamber of Deputies.
Who REALLY Rules--Three major groups: 1. the military, who have ruled the country at various times, most recently from 1955 to 1973; 2. the principal industrialists and beef producers, who control much of Argentina's wealth; 3. the supporters of the late President Juan Domingo Peron, who are split into many factions ranging from his conservative 3rd wife Isabel Martinez de Peron, to the Montoneros, a Peronist youth movement which has declared war on the Government.
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