Argentina is a country of South America
with a surface area of 2,766,890 km² (density of 14.7 inhab./km²).
The population of Argentina is 40,677,348 inhabitants in the last census.
The capital of Argentina is the city of Buenos Aires which has 3,050,728 inhabitants.
The Nation President of the Federal Republic is Cristina Kirchner.
"In union and freedom"
Argentina or Republic of Argentine is a South American country bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and bordering Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil and Uruguay.
Third economic power in Latin America, Argentina has retained many traces of its European past from the colonial era. Thus, Spanish is still the official language of the country and Catholicism is the national religion.
In the extreme south of the continent
Argentina is located in the southern tip of South America and is, with its 2,780,400 km² the fourth largest country in America and the 8th in the world.
The country is divided into four major geographical areas:
The Andes Cordillera, a 7,000-kilometer-long chain of mountains that runs parallel to the western coast of the continent, from Venezuela to Chile. The highest point of the Andes is the Aconcagua, this Argentine summit has an altitude of 6.962 meters. The Cordillera ends with the Andes of Patagonia forming, with Tierra del Fuego, the southern tip of the continent. At the foot of the mountains stretches the Cuyo, a region with arid lands crossed by rivers fed by the snow melting of the Andean peaks. It is in this region that most Argentine wines are produced. Argentina is currently the 5th largest producer of wine in the world, but most of the production is consumed locally. The olives, the potatoes and the tomatoes are also grown in the Cuyo region.
The wet pampa, a vast plain of fertile land covering much of the interior of the country. One distinguishes the Pampa of the plains and the Pampa of the valleys. The precipitations are regular especially near the coast, the summer is hot and humid and the winter mild but does not exclude nocturnal frosts, the climate is temperate. The pampas are inhabited by herbivorous fauna like lamas and rhea. One can also meet wolves with manes and the biggest rodents in the world, the cabiais or capybaras which can measure more than one meter and weigh more than 50 kilos. The farmers produce large quantities of soybeans in this region, which is also known for cattle breeding thanks to the quality of its grasslands.
Argentina's Patagonia is divided into two regions, the plateau covered with arid and shrub steppes to the east and the mountains sheltering lakes and forests to the west. Patagonia is home to diverse aboriginal fauna including gray foxes, condors, sea wolves, elephant seals and right whales. To protect them, the government has created a large number of national parks. The extreme south of the continent is divided into numerous islands (the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego). The largest of these is the Big Island of Tierra del Fuego, separated from the mainland by the Strait of Magellan, 611 meters long, a natural passage connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans whose waters meet at Cape Froward, Chile. The eastern part of the Big Island of Fire Land belongs to Argentina while its western facade is Chilean. The two big cities of the island, Ushuaia and Rio Grande, were founded on the Argentine side. The climate is subpolar oceanic, the average temperature is around 6 ° and the snowfall is regular whatever the season.
• The Gran Chaco plain, which is largely covered by forests, extends over large areas of Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina and is home to a particularly diverse range of fauna and flora. The Argentinean Chaco enjoys a dry season and a wet season and a relatively warm climate all year round. There are, however, considerable differences in temperature between regions and the prevailing winds. A part of the region is marshy which allows the cultivation of vegetables and forage plants. The cotton production and cattle breeding are the main resources of the region.
The settlement of Argentina probably dates back to the 21st millennium BC and probably began in southern Patagonia. The parietal paintings and tools have been found at several archaeological sites in the province of Santa Cruz. They bear witness to the existence of a nomadic hunter-gatherer population around 13,000 BC.
The northern territories of the country were occupied later. According to current theories, the region of the pampas was inhabited in the 9th millennium BC and the northwest towards the 7th millennium BC by a sedentary people living out of agriculture.
There are many different cultures in pre-Columbian Argentina. The different civilizations succeeded or cohabited from the 2nd millennium BC to the beginning of the 16th century, the time of the arrival of the first Europeans.
The north-west and west of the country are inhabited by farmers and llama breeders. The main productions are corn, beans, quinoa and potatoes grown in terraces skillfully irrigated by an improved hydraulic system. The productions exceeding their own consumption have enabled those people to develop commerce and establish an organized society. At the same time, they excel in metalworking. They experienced a first invasion at the very beginning of the 15th century, long before the arrival of the Spaniards and were annexed by Quechuas from Peru.
The Northeastern Argentina, Mesopotamia (not to be confused with the region in the Middle East), is populated by different independent warrior tribes combining hunting, fishing, picking and culture activities.
The regions of the pampas, Gran Chaco and Patagonia have experienced different cultures of nomadic hunters and warriors such as the Selknams or Yagans, skilled navigators, who inhabited the Great Island of Tierra del Fuego.
It is the Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci mandated by the rulers of Portugal who is the first European to sail off Argentina during an expedition dated 1502 but it still takes 14 years for Juan Diaz de Solis, a Spanish navigator, disembarks near the Rio de La Plata, a river separating Argentina and Uruguay. The Europeans hoped at that time that this river connected the two oceans. Solis and his crew attacked by the Guarani died soon after the landing.
Pedro de Mendoza, a Spanish military governor, was appointed in 1536 and founded the city of Buenos Aires the same year. The Spaniards who already dominated Peru and Paraguay will settle in the region and introduce herding, thus helping to make the country economically strong. They never, however, totally subdue the Amerindian people and suffered violent attacks, notably from the Didihuet tribe, who annihilated the first colony settled in Buenos Aires. This one will be built again in 1580 under the name of Ciudad de Trinidad y Puerto de Santa Maria del Buen Ayre.
The Spaniards built many cities along the north-south axis of the country but also along the rivers used to explore the still untouched lands and exploit the natural riches of Argentina. The colonization was long and did not really end until 1683, a century and a half after the appointment of the first governor.
In addition, the Calchaquis and the Quilmes Indians gathered in the northwest of the country and resisted the colonizers for a long time before being finally exterminated or deported near Buenos Aires where they founded the present town of Quilmes.
The Spaniards applied the "encomienda" to Argentina, a policy established in all Hispanic colonies to bring together the local peoples and to oblige them to work free in their fields or in mining under the command of a settler who committed in evangelizing the "savages". Despite some attempts to soften the life of the natives and many revolts, the encomienda was abolished only in 1791.
Meanwhile, taking advantage of the Spanish conquest, the Jesuits landed in Argentina in order to evangelize the indigenous peoples without using weapons. They will build Catholic missions under the protection of the crown in the countries of South America and especially on the lands of the Guaranis. In the Jesuit villages, the Guaranis were free and benefited from European education, a situation which the Spanish and Portuguese settlers hardly liked because free labor escaped them. The missions disappeared little by little at the beginning of the 19th century.
An advantageous cohabitation
The Spaniards remained confined in part of Argentina and did not invade the Gran Chaco, the Patagonia or the Pampas. In these regions, the aboriginal civilization originating in the Chilean Andes of the Mapuche takes over the other civilizations and protects the Spanish border formed by the River Biobio. The Spaniards did not venture to face these formidable warriors. Some Mapuches, however, are working in the Spanish haciendas and are at the origin of the crossbreeding and the gauchos, a people of herdsmen.
The viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata
But the Spaniards must also face another problem: the promiscuity with the Portuguese settled in Colonia el Sacramento in the north of the Rio de la Plata and the inclinations of French and British to appropriate land along the Patagonia. The King of Spain Charles III then created a viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata in 1777 dependent on the viceroyalty of Peru and charged to defend militarily the interests of the crown. Buenos Aires, the seat of the Viceroyalty, underwent a great expansion at this period.
In 1806 and 1807 the British navy tried twice to seize the Spanish territories but failed in the face of resistance from the population organized by a French sailor, Jacques de Liniers, who was appointed viceroy at the end of the conflict.
Revolution and War of Independence
This victory against a new colonizer will prove to Argentine people that it has the capacity to defend itself. At the same time, the war of independence between Spain and France was raging in Europe and Spain was forced to set up a regency council. Being aware of the situation, the notables of Buenos Aires refuse to recognize the regency. This episode called "Revolution of May" leads to the War of Independence of Argentina or War of the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata which will last 15 years. The Independendists emerged victorious from this conflict, which marked not only the history of Argentina but also those of other South American countries.
The Declaration of Independence was promulgated on July 9, 1816, and a Directoire government was established but had to resign in 1820, leaving room for a long period of civil wars, conflicts with neighboring states and attempts at occupation. Mapuches and Ranquels during the Conquest of the desert of sinister memory because of the genocide of the natives.
In 1880 Buenos Aires was granted the status of Federal Capital of the Republic, and the General Julio Argentino Roca became president of Argentina, which became a modern state with separation of church and state power and free primary education. It was under second mandate, in 1902, that peace was signed between Argentina and Chile
Argentina then enjoyed great economic stability and became an important nation on the world stage thanks to the possession of the fertile land taken from the Indians and the attraction of the country to foreign investors.
A troubled period
After the elections of 1916, the Democratic Party took power and changed the country's economic system by favoring the government's control over the country's wealth and industry. It will also favor small rural landowners and improve the railway network. Paradoxically, tragic episodes took place under this government, notably the workers' strikes calling for the 8-hour day, which ended in a bloodbath during the "tragic week" in 1919, and the strikes of 1920 and 1921 Called "Rebel Patagonia" violently suppressed by the army which executed more than 1500 workers.
Argentina also experienced various putsch including the coup organized in 1943 by the United Officers Group, which allowed Juan Peron to take power.
The Peronism is a clever mixture of a liberal democracy and a repressive regime aimed at destroying all the activities of the opponents of the regime.
A new coup led to the exile of Peron in 1955 and the execution of many faithful to Peronism.
A few putsch later, Peron returns in 1973 to the power of Argentina which will live still of the difficult hours during the "dirty war" opposing government and guerilla. After Peron's death, the army came to power and the country became a military dictatorship that ended at the end of the Falklands War and the victory of the British troops in 1982.
Argentina begins its return as a democracy.
Argentina is a multi-party presidential republic led by Mauricio Macri since 2015. The president is elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term renewable twice. He is in charge of the executive
Legislative power. The Legislative power is vested in the Parliament comprising the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies of Argentina.
The judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court.
Argentina is made up of 23 provinces, federated states governed by governors. The capital Buenos Aires enjoys the status of autonomous city erected in federal district.
A half-tone economy
The economic crises of 1989 and 2001 caused high inflation in the country, which was once one of the richest in the world. The poverty and the unemployment are worrying despite the richness of its subsoils, a solid agriculture and a diversified industry.
The country is heavily indebted but has experienced a slight economic recovery in recent years.
A population of European origin
The population of Argentina estimated at 43 million inhabitants consists of three distinct ethnic groups:
- Europeans representing approximately 90% of the population with a high rate of crossbreeding, descendants of early settlers and immigration waves of the 19th century.
- Native American
- descendants of black African slaves
More than 90% of Argentines live in the main cities of the country, mainly in Buenos Aires.
Their official language is Spanish, but Amerindian languages such as Quechua and Guarani are still spoken in some areas.
Christianity is the main religion of the country and concerns 86% of the population, which is either Catholic (71%) or Protestant (15%). The rest of the population is generally atheist although the Jewish community has 230,000 members.
The Church plays an important role in the lives of the Argentines.
Argentine gastronomy is marked by the mixture of traditional Spanish and indigenous dishes.
Mate (a type of tea made from roasted leaves), asado (grilled meats), locro (stew of vegetables) and dulce de leche (jam of milk) are must-sees of Argentine cuisine.
Argentina honors dance and music and is proud to be the country of origin of the tango listed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The delinquency is present mainly in the big cities of Argentina (Buenos Aires, Mendoza, San Salvador de Jujuy, Salta,). It is therefore recommended to be particularly vigilant and not to carry valuables or large sums of money. The identity papers must be left in the hotel safe and only copies must be kept. We also need to be careful of counterfeit banknotes and counterfeits in the country. It is strongly advised not to venture into the popular districts and villas miserias (slums)
The state of roads and concerns and travel is dangerous. The excursions in the mountains and climbing can only be done with an experienced guide.
Finally, there is a real health risk, particularly infectious diseases and diseases transmitted by insect bites (dengue, malaria, Nile virus) or bites of rats (hantavirus, Junin virus) and snakes.
The vaccinations against diphtheria-tetanus-poliomyelitis, hepatitis A and B, typhoid fever and yellow fever are recommended.
Argentina is a huge country that offers a wide variety of landscapes. It is the delight of hikers and climbers who discover some of the most beautiful and majestic places in the world. The Iguazu Falls and its 200-storey waterfalls, the large meadows of the estancias, these typical ranchs of the country, the western decor of the Talampaya National Park, the geological formations of the Ischigualasto Park, the Andes mountain glaciers, the colonies Magellanic penguins and, of course, Tierra del Fuego, its uninhabited islands and the city of the end of the world Ushuaia ... so many sights to discover in 4x4, on foot or on horseback.
Argentina also has a rich cultural heritage witness to its multicultural past.
The city of Buenos Aires is always lively and invites you to lose yourself in the streets of the trendy area of Palermo and to discover the ultra-modern, elegant skyscrapers of Puerto Madeiro, the multicolored houses lining the streets of La Boca, Plaza de Mayo which brings together every week the Mothers of the Plaza de May claiming justice for their missing children during the dirty war or the Chinatown neighborhood.
Outside the capital, the beautiful colonial town of Salta, the Calchaquies valleys, the ancient Inca route and its pre-Columbian remains or the cave paintings are so many curiosities to understand the history of the country.