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Latin America “Why study Latin America?” ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

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Page 1: Latin America “Why study Latin America?” ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Latin America

“Why study Latin America?”

? ? ? ?? ? ? ?

? ? ?

Page 2: Latin America “Why study Latin America?” ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

18% of U.S. citizens are of Latin American heritage. Hispanics represent the largest minority in the U.S.

U.S. history is closely linked to Latin America.

Latin America is one of the most important region for U.S. trade and investment.

It helps eliminate stereotypes!

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U.S. culture is heavily influenced by Latin American song, dance, art, food, fashion and sport.

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Includes:

Mexico 7 countries in Central America Islands of the Caribbean 12 Countries of South America And 1 dependency- French Guiana.

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Latin America

Physical Overview Notes

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Middle America (Mexico & Central America)

Very Mountainous Climate most affected by elevation Mexico is called “country of mountains” Over 100 active volcanoes on Pacific

coast Caribbean coast = lowlands

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Caribbean 3 groups of islands = Bahamas, Greater

Antilles, Lesser Antilles Group of islands are made differently:

– Bahamas = cays(keys) coral– Greater Antilles = underwater mnts.– Lesser Antilles = volcanic activity

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Caribbean (cont.) Chain of Islands 2,000 miles long

(Archipelago) Largest Islands:

– Cuba– Hispaniola (Haiti & Dominican Republic)– Puerto Rico– Jamiaca

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South America Very similar to North America West = high rugged mnts.(Andes mnts.) Central = plains (Amazon basin &

Pampas) East = low, rounded mnts. (Brazilian

Highlands)

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Atacama Desert

Driest place on Earth. Evidence suggests

some areas have not had rain for 120,000 years.

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Pampas

Fertile grasslands Similar to Great

Plains in North America

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Amazon River Basin

Largest river basin on Earth

11 million cubic feet per second released into the Atlantic Ocean

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Andes Mountains

Longest mountain range on Earth

Highest peak is Chimborazo 20,564 feet (Ecuador)

Mining

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Latin American Population

Most people live near the coast.

In Mexico they live near the center.

Twice as many people as in the U.S.

½ live in cities.

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Economic Activity

Most Economies are based on agriculture– Cash crops include coffee, bananas, and sugar

cane.

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Agriculture

Latifundia: Large estates owned by families or corporations

Minifundia: smaller farms that produce for the family and sell in the market.

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THE MOST INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES ARE MEXICO (MOTOR VEHICLES, ELECTRIC GOODS) & BRAZIL (IRON, STEEL,

AUTOMOBILES, TEXTILES, MACHINERY)

Page 21: Latin America “Why study Latin America?” ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Economies (cont.)

INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT IS SLOW BECAUSE OF LACK OF CAPITAL, SKILLED WORKERS & RAW MATERIALS

LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES RELY ON EACH OTHER ECONOMICALLY. THIS HAS CREATED A LARGE AMOUNT OF FOREIGN DEBT.

Page 22: Latin America “Why study Latin America?” ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Latin American Oil Venezuelan & Mexican oil

reserves are among the top 10 in the world

Oil generates about 80% of Venezuela’s export revenues

The Hugo Chavez government is in complete control of the oil industry in Venezuela

Venezuela’s state owned oil company acquired Citgo in 1980.

Page 23: Latin America “Why study Latin America?” ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Panama Canal

The “crossroads” of world trade.

Built by the United States under President Teddy Roosevelt from 1904-1914.

The United States controlled the Canal until December 31, 1999

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History

Land conquered by the Spanish Conquistadors.

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History (cont.) Many unstable governments, military

leaders and revolutions. Most striving toward Democracy except

Cuba (Fidel Castro) & Venezuela (Hugo Chavez)

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Ancient Civilizations

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Lived in Mexico’s Central Plateau (feared and hated by others in Mexico).

Warlike people, defeated more settled people and forced them into paying taxes.

Became skilled builders-Built the capital city of Tenochtitlan in the middle of a lake.

Worshiped many Gods – Sun God– Thought it would weaken and die if it was not fed

blood and humans hearts.• Engaged in warfare to provide human sacrifices.

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Tenochtitlan Founded as the Aztec capital in 1325 It was built in the center of Lake Texcoco At one time, over 200,000 people lived in

this city The city flourished until 1519, when

Cortes and the Spanish arrived

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Lived more towards Central America – Yucatan Peninsula

Agriculture type of people (slash and burn) Scientific and artistic achievements:

– 1. Calendar– 2. Use of zero in math (Europeans did not use)– 3. Developed a written language

Reasons are unknown why they began to abandon their cities at about 800 – 900 AD

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Empire lasted about 100 yrs. Included parts of 5 present day countries. Advanced methods of agriculture.

– Irrigation– Fertilizers– Terraced Farming

Very religious

Transporting goods = Stone highways, suspension bridge

Strong and complex government

- forced population to save food for famine. Took census without a writing system. Kept records by tying knots in a rope device called a “quipu”.

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Mexico

Culture

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Spanish culture of Mexico 4 social classes

– 1. Peninsulares (Spanish Born)– 2. Criollos (Spanish/New world born– 3. Mestizos (Spanish/Native Indian)– 4. Native Indian

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Haciendas – Mexican Plantation

Class structure lasted 300 years.

*Until 1821 – Mexico was a colony of Spain

*1920 – Became a Democracy after 10 yrs. Of struggle.

*Family is a very important factor in Mexican life.

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Mexico City

2nd largest city in the world with a population of over 22 million

Located where the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan was located

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Most Mexicans are Roman Catholic

66% of the population is urban.ECONOMICS – Most Important Industries in Mexico are:

• PETROLEUM – 4TH LARGEST PRODUCER IN THE WORLD

• TOURISM – CALLED THE “SMOKELESS INDUSTRY

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Puerto Rico

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Common wealth to the U.S.– Elect own governor and legislative body.

– People have full U.S. citizenship

– Do not pay income taxes

– They cannot vote in presidential elections

– Enter or leave any part of the U.S. at will