REPUBLIC OF ARGENTINE


Argentina is a plain, rising from the Atlantic to the Chilean border and the towering Andes peaks. Aconcagua (23,034 ft.; 7,021 m) is the highest peak in the world outside Asia. Argentina is also bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay on the north, and by Uruguay and Brazil on the east. The northern area is the swampy and partly wooded Gran Chaco, bordering on Bolivia and Paraguay. South of that are the rolling, fertile Pampas, which are rich in agriculture and sheep and cattle grazing and support most of the population. Next southward is Patagonia, a region of cool, arid steppes with some wooded and fertile sections.
Europeans first arrived in the region in the early 16th century (the first to see and colonize the land was Spanish seaman Pedro de Solís, in 1516). Subsequent Spanish colonisation of the area led to the colony of Buenos Aires in 1580. Independence from Spain was achieved in 1816, after which a conflict between centralists and federalists developed until a new constitution was proclaimed in 1853. Argentina was then marked by periods of internal political conflict between conservatives and liberals and between civilian and military factions. In the beginning of 20th century Argentina was one of the leading economies in the world. After World War II, the country saw the rise of the populist Peronist movement, which to a large extent polarised Argentina. Increasingly bloody military juntas alternated with proscribing democratic governments until 1983, following increasing economic problems, corruption, public revulsion and defeat in the Falklands War. Since then, four free elections have underscored Argentina's progress in democratic consolidation, albeit with an unprecedented economic implosion at the end of 2001.
Argentina occupies a continental surface of 2.791.810 square kilometers, with an extension of 3.800 km from the north to the south and 1.425 km from east to west. Its population is 37 million habitants, 11 of which are concentrated in Buenos Aires. The majority of the Argentine population have European origin, principally Italian and Spanish, with an indigenous minority that represents only 0.5% of the population. Politically , Argentina is a federal republic, divided in 23 provinces and a federal district, that corresponds to the Federal Capital or the center of Buenos Aries. This system recognizes three governments; executive (practiced by the president of the republic), Legislative (Congress of the nation) and Judicial (supreme court justice).

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