Saturday, May 3, 2008

Argentina

I've decided to try a new type of post: a short dossier on various nations of the world. Obviously it's impossible to summarize the culture of millions of people over thousands of years in one short blog post. These are just the most essential basics.
Let me know if you enjoy these posts. We begin with the beautiful country of Argentina...

Total area: 2,766,890 sq km (slightly less than 30% the size of the United States
Population: 39,537,943
Language: Spanish
Capital: Buenos Aires (pop. 12,960,976)
President: Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

The capital city was founded by Spanish explorers in 1536. The United Provinces of the Rio Plata declared their independence from Spain in 1816. After Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay went their separate ways, the area that remained became Argentina.
More than 90% of the population is European in origin. Unlike most Latin American countries, Argentina has few mestizos (persons of mixed European and Indian ancestry). The country's population was heavily shaped by immigrants from throughout Europe, most notably from Italy and Spain.

Up until the mid 20th century, Argentina's history was dominated by periods of internal political conflict between rival parties representing civilian and military factions. In 1946 Juan Peron won the presidential election. He rewrote the nation's constitution, extended rights to women, and redistributed wealth to workers and the urban poor. 
In October 1945, Peron married the actress Eva Duarte, who, as first lady of Argentina, managed labor relations and social services for her husband's government. Adored by the masses, whom she manipulated with consummate skill, she was, as much as anyone, responsible for the popular following of the Peron regime. After his death, the nation entered a period of chaos, and the army launched what was later called the "dirty war", during which up to 20,000 people disappeared and were never heard from again.

Democracy returned in 1983, and has persisted in spite of several major challenges. The most severe of these was the nation's economic collapse in 2001 that led to violent public protests, threw millions into poverty, and left nearly a quarter of the nation unemployed. Several interim presidents resigned during this period of instability. The economy has recovered strongly since bottoming out in 2002.

The west coast is dominated by the Andes, the largest mountain range in South America. Many parts of this range are volcanically active, and thousands are evacuated whenever one of these volcanoes erupts. 
The Falkland Islands were seized from Great Britain during a brief but bloody war in 1982. Argentina also claims sovereignty over large parts of Antarctica, although many countries (including the US) dispute these claims.
Jorge Luis Borges, internationally renowned for his fantasy fiction, and the poet Leopoldo Lugones both hail from Argentina.
In 2007, the Argentines elected the first female president in the nation's history.

4 comments:

Jason said...

Wouldn't it be more precise to say that seizing the islands from Great Britain resulted in a brief but bloody war, the loss of which led to the military government's downfall the following year?

I comment occasionally but I *always* read.

Hansisgreat said...

Thanks for taking the time, Jason!

Philip said...

Can we talk about their Gauchos, Beef eating and Herbe Mate Tea? Or Perhaps Tierra del Fuego and the Straits of Magellan or the Pampas, the Patagonia... well the lists I know can grow a lot.

For me Governments come and go, but the Culture, The Music, the Arts, the Geography, and what the locals have done for centuries is what makes a country.

The economic woes of a few years ago was contrived because of the policies of the World Bank and its loan policies. The Perons had their day, what of Simon Bolivar, the Revolutionary that started it all for the Separationist Movements of much of the Spanish Empire? He puts Che Guerve of Cuba, well, to shame in what was accomplished, as a Revolutionary Figure.

What I am getting at is that your Blog is filled with much artistic symbolisms in descriptive forms. Like your own Image of Hans is metamorphic. Could we not do the same for a country, in being more pictographic??

I really like your blog it gives me many insights to learn from.

Hansisgreat said...

It sounds like you know a lot more about Argentina than I do. I admit I'm not an expert on this or any of the subjects I write about here. This blog is just something I do for fun.

Additionally, it's hard for me to capture a country's culture when I've never been there. Sadly, this is the case with Argentina. All I'm able do is describe what I've read in books.

I'm glad to hear that you enjoy Hansisgreat. Whenever one does something creative, like publishing a blog, hearing an occasional compliment can make it so much more rewarding.

Thanks for visiting, and thanks for the feedback.