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South America

Geography

The South America is among the three sub - continents or regions of America (North America, Central America and South America), one in which we Brazilians live. According to Countryaah, it is the only America that had Portuguese colonization. It comprises the following countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. In addition to the territories of French Guiana (France) and the Falklands Islands, or Malvinas (United Kingdom), as well as the islands of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (United Kingdom).

It is a continent without major armed conflicts today, although tension still persists for the recent Malvinas War in which Argentina tried to take British land in South America (Falklands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands). Argentina was defeated without, however, giving up the possession of the islands that it claims to this day with fiery rhetoric.

2011 South AmericaHowever, there remains an armed conflict in Colombia on the continent, between the country's government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People's Army (FARC-EP), with the FARC constantly associated with drug trafficking groups from neighboring countries, such as the Brazil, either for the sale of arms or for the “tax” charged on drugs manufactured in areas dominated by the guerrilla group.

Speaking of drug trafficking, although it is not the case that an actual civil war has taken place, the presence of strong drug traffickers in South American countries like Brazil and Colombia sometimes resembles a war situation due to the number of deaths in the confrontations between governmental authorities and organized crime, as well as entire regions under the absolute control of these criminal groups (by the way they have armaments and a para-military level organization).

It is also the sub-continent with the greatest prominence in world football, especially considering the world cups, having the selection with the highest number of victories (Brazil), the former Olympic celestial (Uruguay) and other countries with tradition in the sport, as in the case from Argentina and Colombia.

Physical aspects

South America can be divided into Andean America, Platinum America, Guyana and Brazil. Since Brazil is considered a region separated by its size and peculiar characteristics, not only historical and cultural (its colonization was Portuguese and it became an Empire and not a republic after its independence ), but also its physical location, considering that its extension and location would not allow it to be classified in any of the other regions.

Andean America is made up of countries that have part of their land in the Andes, the largest mountain range in the world and that extends along the western coast of South America. The countries that are part of this region are: Colombia ( border between Central America and South America), Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile and Venezuela.

Platinum America receives this name because it is the one in which the countries that are bathed by the rivers of the Rio de la Plata Basin, namely Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. While the Guianas are the three countries in northern South America and are located in the Guiana plateau or Guyana shield (Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname ).

Despite an approximate division, based on natural factors, this does not mean that, for example, the Guiana Plateau does not extend to other countries that are not in the Guiana region, as well as the fact that some countries are not in Platinum America. it means that they are not bathed by any of the rivers in the silver basin. Only the predominant and/or most important physical characteristics are considered.

In general, South America has a large mountain range on the west coast, coastal plains on the east coast, with some plateaus in the center and north (in the part of Guyana). It has a huge equatorial forest, the largest and most important in the world, known as the Amazon Rainforest that passes through Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Guyana, Venezuela, Suriname and French Guiana.

Due to its enormous extent (even if almost all in the southern hemisphere), the South American sub-continent has different climates throughout its lands. In the north we have the equatorial climate, the semi-arid climate appears in areas such as in the Northeast region of Brazil, with the continental tropical climate in the most central region of the continent and on its coast (especially on the east coast) the climate is coastal tropical. There is also a desert climate in regions such as the Atacama Desert on the border between Chile and Peru. Further south we have a subtropical climate, the temperate continental and temperate coastal reaching the cold weather and sub-Antarctic.

Economic aspects

South America has a consolidated regional economic bloc, the so-called Mercosur (Southern Common Market), as well as an organization similar to an economic bloc, but without the liberalizing bias in the economy, formerly called “ Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas ” (ALBA) and currently the “Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America - Peoples' Trade Treaty” (ALBA) that emerged as a response against the attempt to implement the “ Free Trade Area of ​​the Americas ” (FTAA) and also covers Central American countries.

Brazil is the great economic highlight of South America, as it is one of the members of the BRICS (group of emerging countries united for greater influence in the global market) together with Russia, India, China and South Africa.

If North America is the most developed and Central America is the most underdeveloped of the three Americas, South America would be the intermediate America economically being America in development.

Besides being basically composed of colonies of exploitation and not of settlement, another important historical factor to understand the economy of South America is to remember that during the Cold War, for fear of communism, many countries were taken over by military dictatorships aligned to the States States of America and the liberal/capitalist bloc.

Cultural aspects

South America has a rich cultural variety, often with cultures that cross country borders. A good example is the gaucho culture, which ranges from southern Brazil, through Argentina and Uruguay. It is possible to see traces of this culture in eating habits (such as chimarrão and barbecues), in fashion and in several other aspects that are part of the way of being and the culture of individuals who are born in this region.

The Tango Argentina, samba, forró and frevo and bossa nova from Brazil, are examples of musical styles (and dance) that won the world and have become cultural influences in various countries across the globe, but had origin in South America.

The two main colonizers were Portuguese (Brazil and for a time in Uruguay) and Spanish (most of the South American countries), even though they were not the only ones, so they left marked traces in the culture of this subcontinent, not only in the language, but also in architecture, arts, habits, religion, music, etc.

In addition to European settlers, South America has a strong indigenous influence, including in the language, with some countries still speaking Guarani and Brazil in the colonial period having the general language (Tupi Moderno) as their main language. This subcontinent has an innumerable number of indigenous nations, not to mention the famous Inca Empire that had a civilization quite advanced for its time, especially in the Amerindian context. Some parts of South America had great immigration of black Africans, who were kidnapped to work as slaves in the new world, especially in the State of Bahia and in the southeast of Brazil, they also left their marks on the culture of these peoples.

The predominant religion in this sub-continent is Roman Catholicism, Brazil being the largest Catholic country in the world, however there is a growing evangelical/ Protestant flow in South America, as well as local syncretic religions (such as Umbanda, Jurema and Catimbó that mix Catholic, Spiritist, Indigenous and African elements), some even making use of entheogenic substances in their services, such as the controversial Santo-Daime (Ayahuasca).

Countries in South America
  1. Argentina
  2. Bolivia
  3. Brazil
  4. Chile
  5. Colombia
  6. Ecuador
  7. Guyana
  8. Paraguay
  9. Peru
  10. Suriname
  11. Uruguay
  12. Venezuela

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