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Latin America

Latin America

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Latin America

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  1. Latin America • Background • name reflects culture traits inherited from Spain and Portugal • Spanish and Portuguese in Brazil are the major languages, • dialects of French are spoken in Haiti and the French dependencies Guiana, Guadeloupe, and Martinique. • modification of Latin influence by local culture

  2. Physical Dimensions • With a land area of slightly more than 7.9 million square miles (over 20.5 million sq km), • Latin America not as large in size as Africa, the Post-Soviet Region, Anglo-America or the Orient • maximum latitudinal extent of 5900 miles; maximum east-west measurement of 82 degrees of longitude also impressive. • Population • Latin American population is 525 million. • population is unevenly distributed with wide variations in density.

  3. two major population areas are on the East coast from the Amazon to Buenos Aires and on the West coast from Caracas to Santiago • southern Andes and the dry lands of Argentina's Patagonia are scarcely populated • Europeans developed ports as bases for penetration into the interior. • Many port became major metropolitan centers like Lima, Caracas, and Santiago • lure of gold and silver stimulated the penetration of the Andes and the Brazilian Highlands. Urban centers inland served the mines

  4. a few highland cities like Bogota, Colombia have grown into sizable metropolises. • main seaports and highland cities became important centers of colonial government • population of central Mexico was already the center of population when the Spanish conquerors came. • central Mexico was principal domain of the large and technologically advanced Aztec Empire • roughly half of Mexico's 102 million people (2002) now live in, around, or between the region's two principal cities of Mexico City and Guadalajara.

  5. Latin America:Population Distribution

  6. Ethnic Diversity • Although most Latin Americans speak Spanish or Portuguese and embrace some form of Roman Catholicism, the region's inhabitants have highly varied ancestries—white European, black African, native Indian, Asian, or mixtures. • Europeans, Africans, and Asians came from various parts of their respective continents, while the native Indians represented a multiplicity of tribes.

  7. only three nations—Argentina, Uruguay, and Costa Rica—have preserved white European racial strains on a large scale with little admixture by Indians or blacks. • Black Latin Americans found in greatest numbers in West Indian islands and along the Atlantic coast in Middle and South America where they were a source of plantation labor • most of Latin American of mixed racial heritage, i.e. mestizo (Spanish and indian); zambos ( indian and black ancestry; or mulattoes (European and black ancestry.

  8. Rapid Population Growth and Urbanization • most of Latin American in Stage II with high birth rates and falling death rates • major migrations from rural areas to cities • reasons for rural flight include drought, exhausted land, depressed farm prices, inflation, chronic unemployment, guerrilla warfare, greater amenities • population explosion clearly seen in metropolitan Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Buenos Aires.

  9. strain on social services • shantytowns on urban periphery (favalas in Brazil) • Physical features and climate • differences in elevation and topography striking in Latin America • low-lying plains drained by Orinoco, Amazon and Parana-Paraguay river systems • high interior plateaus broken by basins in Mexico • north/south continuous mountain from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego at tip of South America

  10. Climates • humid lowland climates • tropical rain forest with heavy year-round precipitation, high heat and humidity, and abundant vegetation.(Af/Am) • tropical savanna climate in vicinity of Tropic of Capricorn with less rain, cooler temperatures, savanna grasslands and deciduous trees (Aw) • humid subtropical climate on eastern side of South America with prairie grasses and cooler winters(Cf) • small strip of Mediterranean climate in central Chile with dry summers(Csb) • marine west coast climate in uninhabited mountain at southern end of the Andes(Cfb)

  11. Latin American Climates

  12. Altitudinal Zonation

  13. Altitudinal Zonation • much of Latin America has highland climates influenced by zones of altitude • Tierra Caliente • tropical rain forest and savanna climate found at foot of highlands where rice, sugar cane, bananas, and cacao are grown • heavy concentrations of blacks, zambos and mulattos • Tierra Templada • sugar cane, cacao, bananas and oranges grow here • predominately the zone of the coffee tree • upper limits of zone at 6,000 feet

  14. Tierra Fria • frost zone from 6,000 to 10,000 feet • high plateaus, basins, and valleys of the Andes and other high mountain ranges • native indian economy with subsistence component • Tierra Helada (frozen land above 10,000 feet) • Systems of Agriculture • latifundia (large estates) with a strong commercial orientation. • owned by families or corporations • employment of landless, illiterate workers • profits benefit owners and workers underpaid and seasonally employed

  15. owners often absentee landlords • single crop plantation producing a single commodity like bananas with significant foreign investment from US • minifundia (smaller estates) with a subsistence component • people who farm them often lack capital to purchase equipment • marginal plots farmed on sharecropping basis • individuals who own small plots of land often indebted • produce food for family and local market- beans, maize, and squash • productivity low

  16. Minerals and Mining • Latin America produces small amount of key minerals that are important to external powers • Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil with large value of mineral output though most profits go to showy buildings, corruption, enrichment of upper classes and foreign investors • masses derive few benefits from mineral and mining activities • mineral wealth does provide some infrastructure improvements like roads, power stations, water systems, schools and hospitals

  17. mineral production includes • petroleum from Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and northern Venezuela • high grade iron ore in eastern highlands of Brazil and Venezuela • unexploited bauxite deposits in Venezuela, Chile and Peru • copper in Atacama Desert in northern Chile • silver in Mexico, Peru and Bolivia • large tin reserves in Bolivia • most mining ventures controlled by outside firms • boom and bust cycles with high revenues followed by high spending, then depression

  18. Manufacturing • many governments attempting to attract outside foreign investment in manufacturing with tax exemptions, cheap labor and other inducements • largest output of factory goods in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentine

  19. Drug Trafficing • The Andean countries account for 90% of the world’s cocaine trade • Coca leave chewed by indians in the highlands to endure long hours of work in the mines and relieve pangs of hunger • Coca plant only takes 1 year to produce product vs. fruit trees which take 4-5 years • Coca profits for cultivators 4-5 times greater than other cash crops • Environmental impact of US drug enforcement

  20. Latin America: Countries and Economies • Mexico • most influential country in Middle America • unrecognized giant in the region • eight times larger in size than UK; elongated territory would stretch from Wash state to Florida • huge population of 102 million in 2002; expected to reach 120 million by 2010is with the US

  21. economic relations with US crucial because 2/3’s of its trade is with the US • Impact of 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA • Designed to promote Mexican economic growth • Hope of expanded export markets for US, Canada • Promise of stemming tide of illegal immigration • Trade between US Mexico has tripled since ’94 • 85% of Mexican imports to US • US concern about loss of jobs in textiles, shoes, assembly plants

  22. sensitivity of US Mexico relations because of disparity in wealth and power, loss of considerable territory to US in 19th C, national pride derived from ancient civilizations Aztec and Mayan • Geographic Influences of the past • advanced civilizations influenced present settlement pattern around Mexico City and Yucatan • Spanish conquerors sought out indians as laborers and potential Christian converts

  23. Aztec empire destroyed by Hernando Cortez in 1521 • establishment of an Hispanic pattern of life- Spanish language, culture, architectural styles • rectangular grid with plaza and church in town center • Spanish aristocracy monopolized power, wealth, prestige, education • best lands to wealthy Spanish owners who established large haciendas • turbulence of 19th C with bloody revolution from 1810-21; Mexican empire, loss of Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona

  24. despotic rule under Porfirio Diaz as population sank deeper into poverty, foreign investment poured into railroads, oil, mining, manufacturing • Mexican Revolution in 1910 ushered in era of reform, many huge haciendas broken up, land redistribution • dominance of the PRI (Independent Revolutionary Party) until election of Vincente Fox • More market oriented economic policies

  25. Immigration Problems • US Mexican border over 2,000 miles long • Over 1 million immigrants/year make way into US territory • Illegal immigrants send back $6-8 billion per year to Mexico • Fox plans for reintroduction of Bracero Program • Immigration concerns in US- terrorism, competition for jobs, inundation of US culture

  26. Mexico: Physical Map

  27. Regions of Mexico • Central Mexico • core region of Mexico • half of Mexican population lives in high basic between Guadalajara in northwest to Puebla in southeast • elevations from 5,000 to 9,000 feet • center of basins are flat in swampy land with people living up slopes of hills • Mexico City build on an island in a shallow salt lake, subsequently drained (subsidence of land and buildings, geological faults underneath) • pollution from automobiles and industry

  28. temperature inversions in Mexico City • relentless flow of migrants, unemployment, low wages • modern subway system • manufacturing center and business and industrial center • Northern Mexico • rugged and arid terrain • ranching economy with sparse population • source of timber • larger landholdings in north • metals, coal, zinc, copper, silver, gold • irrigated agriculture near Rio Grande • cotton, fruits and winter vegetables for US market

  29. maquiladora program to attract foreign investment in border areas like Tijuana, Cuidad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros • import components without customs duties, utilization of cheap labor to assemble component parts, then export back to US • illegal alien problems (1.5 million Mexicans cross US border every year) • valuable oil and gas reserves • government monopoly PEMX • US largest foreign customer • natural gas pipelines to US • major foreign borrowings for Mexican development and declining oil revenues led to major economic problems in 80’s and 90’s

  30. Southern Mexico • resembles Central America more than rest of Mexico • remote area, lightly populated • subsistence farmers who grow maize on hillsides • overgrazing sheep produces environment problems • tourism around Acapulco, hastily built hotels, pollution of bays from lack of sanitary facilities in the shantytowns near Acapulco • New industrial development (iron steel complexes) near La Union

  31. Chiapas and Yucatan • center of native American cultures • tourism around Cancun • Destruction of Mexico’s natural beauty due to coastal development in Yucatan • Cacao, sugar cane and rubber • refugees from Guatemala and El Salvador • civil disturbance, guerrilla warfare, human rights problems, disillusion with central government

  32. Brazil • “Brazil is a country of the future and it always will be.” • future promise of Brazil never seems to live up to its potential. • tremendous potential as a country if it can put its political and economic house in order • Diverse Population • largest population in Latin America with 1/3 of total Latin American population • Brazil’s populations is 170 million with 53% white; 22% mulatto; 11% black; 12% mestizo

  33. small resident Japanese population • Spanish, German, Russian, Polish residents • unique because people speak Portuguese not Spanish • Geographic Regions • Brazilian highlands • south of Amazon to Uruguay border • hills and river valleys • Great Escarpment-difficult to get to interior • tropical savanna climate with grass, scattered trees an shrubs • coffee production dominant earlier but now a more diversified economy with sugarcane and soybeans

  34. Atlantic coastal lowlands • between Atlantic and Brazilian highlands • tropical savanna • first settled by Europeans • port cities of Salvador, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre • Amazon lowland • inland along both sides of Amazon • tropical rain forest with annual flooding • very underdeveloped region • migration of people to region as a result of new roads with augment air and river transport • ecological concerns with destruction of rain forest, destruction of species, slash and burn agriculture, mining and lumbering

  35. Amazon lowlands Brazilian Highlands Atlantic coastlands

  36. Boom Bust Economy • Sugarcane era in 16th C • large exports to Europe utilizing slave labor from Africa • great profits initially, following by decline due to stiff competition from other parts of Latin America and Caribbean • Gold and Diamonds 18th C • gold and diamonds discovered in highlands north and northwest of Sao Paulo • Brazil produced 1/3 of world’s gold in 18th C

  37. moved by pack animals over poor roads • decline in production by 19th C • Rubber boom in 19th C • centered around port city of Manaus • vulcanization process by Charles Goodyear in 1839 stimulated demand • rubber prices skyrocketed, fortunes made in Brazil • boom ended when British smuggled rubber seeds out of Brazil to Southeast Asia and West Africa where better conditions existed for plantations • fragile soil could not sustain plantation agriculture

  38. Coffee boom 19th C • growing world market for coffee in West • ideal climatic conditions, good soil in Brazilian highlands • railroads linking producing areas to Atlantic around Sao Paulo and Santos • bust in coffee prices by 1910, competition from Columbia which undercut prices • Economic Development since WWII • rapid development since 1945 • military government in 1964 opened country to foreign investment by multinational corporations

  39. huge investments in infrastructure programs, road construction, Trans-Amazon Highway • development of new capital city of Brazilia in 1957 to pull population inland • expansion of sugar, citrus, soybeans for export • new industrial age in 80’s producing textiles, steel, machinery, automobiles, trucks, ships, chemicals, plastics and a thriving weapons industry • General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen, Fiat, Renault and Hyundai all operate automobile factories in Brazil

  40. commercial aircraft, military aircraft, missiles and tanks sold to Latin American customers • largest industrial core region around Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro • secondary industrial region developing around Manaus in Amazon basin • free trade zone around Manaus to attract foreign investment, import materials without tariffs, exports to world markets • 6,000 new factories established by companies like Honda, Kodak, Olivetti, Toshiba, Sony and 3M Co. • utilization of gasohol made from sugar cane supplying 25% of Brazil fuel needs

  41. world’s largest hydroelectricity project at Itaipu on Parana River on border with Paraguay will supply 20% of all electric power for Brazil, 100% for Paraguay • debt problems in the 80’s (Brazil’s foreign debt amounted to $120 billion US) slowed growth, necessitated rescheduling debt payments, high debt payments, high domestic tariffs to keep out imports. • political stability remains a key potential problem • election of Lula da Silva promised "a new style of government" and a crusade against hunger, injustice and corruption

  42. Favela housing in Rio de Janeiro

  43. Chile • string bean shape conceals country’s considerable size (double the size of Germany) • 2600 miles in length along Pacific Ocean • only 100-130 miles wide • high Andes border on east • struggle with rugged terrain, extreme aridity in north and wetness in south • Andes not impassable to east but little traveled

  44. Regions of Chile • Middle Core region • most populous region of country • Mediterranean dry summer climate between 31-37 degrees south latitude • lower slopes of Andes, hilly central valley and coastal mountains • site of southern outpost of Inca Empire occupied by Spanish in mid 1500’s • establishment of haciendas by large landowners with wide differences in income and status • ranching economy manned by landless cowboys and subsistence farmers • intermarriage between Europeans and indians very common producing a large mestizo society