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Chapter 9


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Chapter 9

  1. 1. World Geography Chapter 9 Regional Atlas: Introduction to Latin America Copyright © 2003 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. World Geography Copyright © 2003 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ. All rights reserved. Chapter 9: Regional Atlas: Introduction to Latin America Section 1: Historic Overview Section 2: Physical Characteristics Section 3: Climates Section 4: Ecosystems Section 5: People and Cultures Section 6: Economics, Technology, and Environment Section 7: Database
  3. 3. Historical Overview 1
  4. 4. Historical Overview <ul><li>Aztecs, Mayas, and Incas established civilizations in Mexico and South America. </li></ul><ul><li>Spain and Portugal carved out empires in which cultural convergence combined Native American, European, and African traditions. </li></ul><ul><li>After independence in the early 1800s, democracy did not follow. </li></ul><ul><li>In the 1900s, many countries moved toward democratic reforms. </li></ul><ul><li>Latin Americans worked to achieve substantial economic gains in the 1900s. </li></ul>1
  5. 5. Physical Characteristics 2
  6. 6. Physical Characteristics <ul><li>Mountain ranges that form part of the Ring of Fire run the length of Latin America, and earthquakes and volcanoes are common. </li></ul><ul><li>The Amazon Basin and the pampas in southeastern South America are the largest lowland areas of Latin America. </li></ul><ul><li>Caribbean islands are either the tops of underwater mountains or cays formed by the accumulation of coral. </li></ul>2
  7. 7. Climates 3
  8. 8. Climates <ul><li>Tropical wet and tropical wet and dry climates cover most of Central America, the Caribbean, and northern South America. </li></ul><ul><li>Humid subtropical climate covers much of Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. </li></ul><ul><li>The west coast of Peru and northern Chile is drier, with mostly arid and semiarid climate zones. </li></ul><ul><li>Mediterranean and marine west coast climates run along southern Chile. </li></ul>Atmospheric and oceanic currents affect climate in Latin America. 3
  9. 9. Ecosystems 4
  10. 10. Ecosystems <ul><li>Tropical rain forests and tropical grasslands cover much of South America, Central America, and the Caribbean islands. </li></ul><ul><li>The arid areas to the west of the Andes and in northern Mexico are mostly desert. </li></ul><ul><li>In higher elevations, vegetation varies with altitude. </li></ul>The largest ecosystems in Latin America are the tropical forests and tropical grasslands. 4
  11. 11. People and Cultures <ul><li>Most people in South America live on the coasts or along rivers. </li></ul><ul><li>Brazilian cities have grown dramatically as people have migrated in search of jobs. </li></ul><ul><li>Migration patterns have created great ethnic and cultural diversity. </li></ul>Most people in Latin America have ancestry of European, Native American, or African descent. 5
  12. 12. Economies, Technology, and Environment 6
  13. 13. Economies, Technology, and Environment <ul><li>Traditionally, Latin American economies have been based on cash crops. </li></ul><ul><li>Most mining is done in the Andes and in the highlands of Mexico and of Central America. </li></ul><ul><li>Increased farming in the Amazon is reducing the rainforest. </li></ul><ul><li>Most oil is extracted in Mexico and in northern South America. </li></ul>Latin American economies are based on agriculture, but they are diversifying to include industry. 6
  14. 14. Database <ul><li>As the number of state-owned businesses in Mexico’s market economy has dwindled, the GDP per capita has steadily grown. </li></ul><ul><li>Cuba’s command economy declined significantly after the loss of aid from the former Soviet Union. </li></ul><ul><li>Brazil’s economy was boosted by the launch of MERCOSUR, but excessive spending resulted in rising debt and budget deficits. </li></ul><ul><li>Honduras’s traditional economy was growing at a moderate pace until the country was devastated by Hurricane Mitch in 1999. </li></ul>7