sábado, 10 de novembro de 2007

ARGENTINA

Argentina is a South American country, second in size on the continent to Brazil and eighth in the world. Argentina occupies a continental surface area of 2,766,890 km² (1,078,000 sq mi) between the Andes mountain range in the west and the southern Atlantic Ocean in the east and south.

It is bordered by Paraguay and Bolivia in the north, Brazil and Uruguay in the northeast, and Chile in the west and south. The country claims the British controlled territories of the Falkland Islands (Spanish: Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. Argentina also claims but does not possess 969,464 km² (374,312 sq mi) of Antarctica, known as Argentine Antarctica, overlapping other claims made by Chile and the United Kingdom.

When the first Spanish conquistadors discovered the Río de la Plata, they named the estuary fresh water sea). Indigenous people gave gifts of silver to the survivors of the shipwrecked expedition, who were led by Juan Díaz de Solís. The legend of Sierra del Plata – a mountain rich in silver – reached Spain around 1524, and the name was first seen in print on a Venice map from 1536. The source of the silver was the area where the city of Potosí was to be founded in 1546. An expedition that followed the trail of the silver up the Paraná and Pilcomayo rivers finally reached the source only to find it already claimed by explorers who reached it from Lima, the capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru.

The name Argentina (from Latin argentum: silver) was first used extensively in the 1612 book Historia del descubrimiento, población, y conquista del Río de la Plata (History of the discovery, population, and conquest of the Río de la Plata) by Ruy Díaz de Guzmán, naming the territory Tierra Argentina (Land of Silver).Traditionally, the British English name for the country is "The Argentine", but this is no longer in common.

The first signs of human presence in Argentina are located in the Patagonia (Piedra Museo, Santa Cruz), and date from 11,000 BC. Around 1 AD, several maize-based civilizations developed in the Andean region (Santa María, Huarpes, Diaguitas, Sanavirones, among others). In 1480, the Inca Empire under the rule of emperor Pachacutec launched an offensive and conquered present-day northwestern Argentina, integrating it into a region called Collasuyu. In the northeastern area, the Guaraní developed a culture based on yuca and sweet potato. The central and southern areas (Pampas and Patagonia) were dominated by nomadic cultures, unified in the seventeenth century by the Mapuches.

European explorers arrived in 1516. Spain established a permanent colony on the site of Buenos Aires in 1580; the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata was created in 1776. During the early part of this period it was largely a country of Spanish immigrants and their descendants, known as criollos, some of them gathered in the Buenos Aires and other cities, others living on the pampas as gauchos. Descendants of African slaves (See:Afro-Argentines) were present in significant numbers. Indigenous peoples inhabited much of the rest of Argentina. In 1806 and 1807 the British Empire launched two invasions to Buenos Aires, but the creole population repelled both attempts. On May 25, 1810, after confirmation of the rumors about the overthrow of King Ferdinand VII by Napoleon, citizens of Buenos Aires . First Government Junta (May Revolution). Formal independence from Spain was declared on July 9, 1816 in Tucumán.

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