Unit #3    Latin America
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Unit #3 Latin America

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Global Studies Unit #3

Global Studies Unit #3

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    Unit #3    Latin America Unit #3 Latin America Presentation Transcript

    • Global Studies Unit #3 Latin America
    • Latin America
      • “ Latin” refers to the influence of Spanish and Portuguese culture on regions of central and South America, as well as the Caribbean, not to a specific region or continent itself
      • Stretches from the American Southwest through central America to the tip of South America
    •  
    • Major Landforms and Regions
      • Mexico and Central America – stretches from the US border to the Isthmus of Panama – dominated by mountains that run the length of the region and by the Central Mexican plateau
      • The Caribbean – islands to the east of Mexico and Central America – two types (volcanic sea mounts and coral formations) – Volcanic islands are very fertile (sugar / tobacco)
      • South America – continent south of the Isthmus of Panama – dominated by Andes Mountains in the west – east of the mountains are rolling highlands and the Amazon river valley – there is also a large plain that stretches from Argentina to Uruguay
    • Rivers and Climate
      • Amazon river
        • Second longest in the world
        • Runs from the Andes mountains in the west to the Atlantic Ocean
        • Very fertile delta, but strongly influenced by the fact that it’s in a tropical climate
        • Much of the delta is in a tropical rainforest and sparsely inhabited
        • Sugar, coffee and bananas grown on large plantations (led to a colonial economy heavily dependent on slavery)
    • Climate of Latin America
      • 1)      seasons are reversed from North America 2)      wind patterns in the Andes create deserts on the back side of the mountains
      • 3)      Equatorial regions -- very wet – rainforest
      • 4)      Caribbean – sea breezes (tropical trade winds) keep the climate moderate and wet, but also bring destructive hurricanes across the Atlantic
      • 5)      Affected by elevation – warm, moist air is forced up – as the air rises, it gets colder and the moisture is compressed out of it
    • Natural Resources of Latin America
      • Mexico and Central America – Mexico contains vast wealth in minerals, coal, natural gas, oil and wood – Central America contains good farmland for coffee and cacao trees (used for cocoa and chocolate)
      • The Caribbean – volcanic soil leads to very rich and fertile farmland – long growing season perfect for cash crops of tobacco, citrus fruit and sugarcane
      • South America – A wealth of natural resources – rich agricultural land in Brazil and Columbia (bananas, coffee and unfortunately cocaine as well) – heavy dependence on single or double crop agriculture (think of Sugar or tobacco and the situation in Cuba) – large oil deposits in Venezuela and Mexico give a lot of potential, but volatile, economic power (Venezuelan state run oil is Citgo)
      • Many of the countries of Latin America have a legacy of too much reliance on one or two crops / resources, and are trying to diversify, but it’s difficult due to limited resources and a large percentage of the population in poverty.
    • LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY
    • Three Great Indian Empires before 1492
      • Mayan Empire
        • Found in the Yucatan Peninsula
        • Built great polytheistic religious centers with step pyramids
        • Grew corn (maize), beans, squash and peppers
        • Reached their height around 900 AD, but then their cities were suddenly abandoned
        • Famous for their circular calendar
          • 52 week cycles
          • 52 cycles until the world is remade (scheduled to happen in August 2012)
    • Aztec and Incan Empires
      • Both conquered by the Spanish
      • Aztecs
        • Central Mexican Highlands (Mexico City)
        • Huge gold mines
        • Polytheistic with human sacrifices
        • Ruled their empire by fear and force
        • Cortez (1519)
    • Incas
      • Centered in the Andes mountains of modern Peru – their empire stretched down the South American Coast
      • Huge silver mines
      • Pizzaro – 1531
    • Nueva Espa ňa
      • New Spain
        • From the American Southwest to the tip of South America
        • Centered in Mexico City (old Aztec Capital)
        • Used Indians and later slaves to mine gold and silver (Spain gets filthy rich)
        • Spanish culture brought to the new world
        • Missions set up to convert the American Indian populations to Catholicism
    • Portuguese Holdings in Brazil
      • Treaty of Tordesillas (1493)
        • Treaty brokered by the Pope
        • Gave everything in Africa to Portugal
        • Gave everything to the West to Spain
        • Ends up giving modern Brazil to Portugal
        • Brazil
          • Amazon river dominates Portuguese holdings
          • Huge Sugar, Coffee and Banana plantations
          • Very large slave system
          • Little real colonization, but Portuguese culture does come
    • Columbian Exchange
      • Movement of goods, people, ideas and diseases from the Old World to the New World and from the New World to the Old World
      • Old to New: colonists, slaves, Religion (Catholic), Language (Spanish / Portuguese), Writing system (alphabet), draft animals, horses, smallpox
      • New to Old: agricultural foods (corn, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, squash), gold (Aztecs), silver (Incas), syphilis
    • Independence Movements in Latin America
      • Looked to the US and French Revolutions for inspiration
      • Haiti – slave revolt in 1804 – French kicked out
      • Between 1821 and 1825 – Most of Latin America goes independent
      • 1823 – Monroe Doctrine issued by the US – US will “protect” their newly independent Latin American neighbors
      • 1898 – Spanish American War – After a quick war, US gains Puerto Rico outright and gains control of Cuba
      • 1904 – Panama Canal started – US finances the Panamanian revolution from Columbia and will hold the Canal Zone until 1999
      • After independence, much of Latin America remained in a state of poverty. Governments were largely controlled by international corporations or the Mafia (as in Cuba). This has led to a resentment of the US and foreigners in general throughout much of Latin America.
    • Caribbean Culture Today
      • Heavily influenced by a legacy of Slavery
      • 1)      most Caribbean people are descended from African slaves brought to work the sugar and tobacco plantations
      • 2)      American Indian populations largely died out due to diseases brought by Europeans
      • 3)      Culture is a blend of African and European cultures – mix is commonly known as “Creole” culture. Examples of this mix can be found in the food (such as Jerk chicken flavored with Rum), music (reggae) and celebrations (such as Carnival or “Mardi Gras”)
    • South American Culture
      • 1 )      four distinct regional cultures
        • a.      northern South America – culture is similar to that in the Caribbean
        • b.      Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia -- Andean cultures – still heavily influenced by American Indian cultures
        • c.      Chile, Argentina and Uruguay – very diverse cultures
        • d.      Brazil – legacy of Portuguese colonization and culture mixed with a heavy concentration of African culture as well (Brazil received about ¼ of the slaves taken from Africa from 1450 to 1880 – over 3 million total)
      • 2)      Huge cities with millions of people dot the continent, but there are vast areas with very little in the way of population
      • 3)      Many people in rural areas live as subsistence farmers – they only grow enough food for their families to eat and thus are always subject to both hunger and poverty
    • Mexico and Central America Today
      • Industrialization and large population growth have led to “growing pains” as the infrastructure has struggled to keep up with the increase in workers
      • Immense poverty has led to massive waves of emigration – mostly illegally to the united states
      • As immigration and industrialization have increased, the role of the catholic church has decreased, but it still plays a large role in most communities. Major issues today are birth control (considered a sin by the catholic church) and divorce (still unacceptable)
    • South America Today
      • Venezuela
        • Large oil deposit (mostly sold through Citgo)
        • President Chavez is a socialist and anti-American who has nationalized the economy (he looks to Cuba’s leader, Fidel Castro, for inspiration)
        • Trying to lead small South American nations into working together
      • Brazil
        • Rapidly industrializing, although agriculture (coffee, bananas, sugar) still dominates the economy
        • leading South America into the 21 st century
        • Capitalist society has led to a very wealthy upper class, but also a large, poor lower class