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Geography

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Geography

  1. 1. Section 1 Physical Geography
  2. 2. Physical Features 4 Countries  Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, & Paraguay Region covers 2/3 of South America Most of the physical features found in South America are found in these four countries
  3. 3. Major River Systems World’s largest river system  Amazon: 4,000 miles long; extends from Andes Mts. to Atlantic Ocean; hundreds of tributaries; carries more water than any other river; freshwater flowing into Atlantic Ocean lowers the salt level of Atlantic waters for more than 100 miles out  Parana River system: drains much of the central part of the region; 3,030 miles long; forms Paraguay’s border with Brazil & Argentina; flows into Paraguay River & continues to Rio de la Plata (an estuary)  Estuary: is a partially enclosed body of water where freshwater mixes w/ salty seawater
  4. 4. Plains & Plateaus Plains & Plateaus  Amazon River basin: giant, flat flood plain in northern Brazil  Brazilian Highlands: region of old, eroded mts. in southeast Brazil  Gran Chaco: area of flat, low plains covered with low trees, shrubs, & savannas  Pampas: wide, grassy plains in central Argentina  Patagonia: desert region of dry plains & plateaus in southern Argentina All southern plains rise in the west to form the high Andes Mts.
  5. 5. Climate & Vegetation Many climates  The North: coastal region covered with tropical rain forests & savannas  Highlands: humid subtropical climate like the southeastern U.S.; major agricultural areas  Gran Chaco: humid tropical climate; water drains slowly & turns areas into marshlands; armadillos, pumas, red wolves, & 60 snake species  Pampas: temperate grasslands; stretches for 400 miles; rich soils & humid subtropical climate make area a major farming region  Patagonia desert: cool, desert climate  Andes: block the Pacific Ocean’s rain-bearing storms Tropical, moist climates in northern & coastal areas; cooler climates in southern & highland areas Rain Forest: Amazon River basin supports world’s largest tropical rain forest; rain falls every day; world’s greatest variety of plant and animal life; piranhas, jaguars, anacondas, sloth, anteaters are some of the animals found here
  6. 6. Natural Resources Greatest Resource: Amazon Rain Forest  Food, wood, rubber, natural plants, medical plants, & other products  Forests cleared for mining, ranching, & farming Commercial agricultural  Soil exhaustion is a problem (soil has lost nutrients) Minerals: gold, silver, copper, & iron Oil deposits Hydroelectric power from rivers
  7. 7. Brazil
  8. 8. History Descended from 3 Groups Colonial Brazil  First people were American Indians  Arrived 1,000’s years ago  Life based on hunting, fishing, & small-scale farming 1500  Portuguese settlers came  Climate & soil made Brazil a large sugar growing colony  Slaves were brought in & worked alongside Brazilian Indians on plantations  Plantation replaced forests on the Atlantic coast
  9. 9.  Cattle Ranches  Set up further inland by Portuguese 1600s & early 1700s  Gold & precious gems were discovered in southeast 1800s  Southeastern Brazil became major coffee producer
  10. 10. Brazil Since Independence 1822  Independence gained from Portugal w/o a fight  Economy did not change much w/ Independence  Last country in Americas to end slavery Dictators & elected gov’t have ruled country since  Today has elected president & legislature  Citizens can vote & do other political activities
  11. 11. People & Culture People who came to Brazil over the years brought their own traditions  Traditions blended to create unique culture 40% of people are mixed African and European descent ½ of Brazilians are ethnic European  Descendants of Portuguese, Spaniards, Germans, Italians, & Poles Portuguese is official language  Also speak Spanish, English, French, Japanese, & Indian languages
  12. 12. Religion World’s largest Roman Catholic population  75% Protestantism is growing popular among the urban poor Some practice Macumba  African, Indian, & Catholic religious ideas and practices
  13. 13. Festivals & Food Celebrated before Lent Mixture of traditions from Africa, Brazil, & Europe Samba is danced during this time
  14. 14. Food Immigrant influences Eastern Brazil  Vatapa is popular: mixes seafood, sauces, and red peppers  Feijoada: stew of black beans and meat
  15. 15. Brazil Today Large size creates opportunities & challenges  Region’s largest economy  Many are poor  Does have modern & prosperous areas Divided into 4 areas based on their people, economies, & landscape  The Southeast:  Most people live here; Sao Paulo = city of 17 million (megacity) & Ro De Janeiro = city of 11 million; richest region (natural resources & most of countries industries and productive farmland); also has poverty w/ huge slums called favelas
  16. 16.  The Northeast:  Area of many immigrants; poorest region; many unable to read & health care is poor; region suffers from droughts making farming & ranching difficult; difficult to attract industry; tourism is important The Interior:  Frontier land; could be important agricultural site someday; capital of Brasilia located here The Amazon:  People rely on river for transportation & communication; isolated Indian villages; logging, mining & new roads are bringing more people to region (provides needed income, but destroys large areas of rain forest, & creates tensions among Indians, new settlers, miners, & gov’t)
  17. 17. Argentina, Uruguay, & Paraguay
  18. 18. History Originally home to groups of Indians  Groups living in the Pampas hunted wild game & other Indians further north farmed & built irrigation systems Spanish conquerors  Looking for riches  Spanish monarch gave land to colonists & granted the right to force Indians living there to work the land Pampas became an important agricultural region Gauchos (cowboys) herded cattle & horses on open grasslands 1800s  independence from Spain  Period of instability & violence followed  Many Indians were killed
  19. 19. Modern Argentina New immigrants came  Italians, Germans, & Spaniards  British built railroads across the country  Exports of meat & other farm products help make country richer 1900s  Struggled under dictators & military governments  Abused human rights  Economy & people suffered 1980s  last military government gave up power to an elected government
  20. 20. People & Culture European ties affect culture Descended from Spanish, Italian, or other European settlers Argentine Indians & mestizos make up 3% of population Most are Roman Catholic Beef is important agricultural product & big part of diet
  21. 21. Argentina Today Industry located in & around capital city of Buenos Aires  2nd largest urban area in South America  Home to 1/3 of all Argentines Pampas: most developed agricultural region 11% of labor force works in agriculture Large ranches & farms produce beef, wheat, & corn for export 1990  Joined Mercosur (an organization that promotes trade and economic cooperation among the southern & eastern countries of South America) Late 1990s & 2000s  Debt & heavy gov’t spending caused economic crisis  Also caused a political crisis  Gov’t changed hands 4 times in 2001 2003  Economy stabilized, but people lives changed  Some people w/ professional careers lost jobs & joined informal economy  A part of the economy based on odd jobs that people perform w/o gov’t regulation through taxes
  22. 22. Uruguay Along Rio de la Plata Been influenced by larger neighbors History  Claimed by Portugal during colonial era  1770s was taken over by Spain  Few Indians remained  independent in 1825  Military gov’t have ruled off and on  Has strong tradition of respect for political freedom  Today it is a democracy
  23. 23. The People 88% European descent 12% are mestizo, African, or Indian Roman Catholicism is main religion Spanish is official language, but many speak Portuguese 90% live in urban areas High literacy rate Many have good jobs & can afford a wide range of consumer goods
  24. 24. Economy Tied to economies of Brazil & Argentina  ½ of foreign trade  Many vacation on beach resorts in Uruguay Climate & soil make agriculture important Beef is an important export Few mineral resources Hydroelectric power is important Big Challenge  Developing the poor rural areas of the interior
  25. 25. Paraguay Landlocked country Shares borders with Bolivia, Brazil, & Argentina Paraguay River divides the country into two regions  East of River: most productive agricultural land  West of River: part of the Gran Chaco; low trees & thorny shrubs; livestock grazes here Claimed by Spain in 1500s Independent from Spain in 1811 Ruled by dictators off and on until 1989 Today has elected government
  26. 26. The People 95% are mestizos  European descendants & Paraguayan Indians make up rest Spanish is official language  Most also speak an Indian language Guarani Most are Roman Catholic
  27. 27. Economy Wealth controlled by a few rich families & companies  Influence the government as well Agriculture is important 2 types of economy  Traditional  Many subsistence farmers  ½ of workers in Paraguay are farmers  Grow corn, cotton, soybeans, & sugarcane for profit  Market  Thousands of small businesses but not much industry Future may be bright  Learn how to use its resources effectively  Hydroelectric dams & sell surplus electricity to Brazil & Argentina

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