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Argentina Country Profile

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Argentina at a Glance

Location:Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Chile and Uruguay
Climate:mostly temperate; arid in southeast; subantarctic in southwest
Terrain:rich plains of the Pampas in northern half, flat to rolling plateau of Patagonia in south, rugged Andes along western border
Resources:fertile plains of the pampas, lead, zinc, tin, copper, iron ore, manganese, petroleum, uranium
Hazards:San Miguel de Tucuman and Mendoza areas in the Andes subject to earthquakes; pamperos are violent windstorms that can strike the pampas and northeast; heavy flooding
Population:40,913,584 (July 2009 est.)




A Brief Profile of Argentina

In 1816, the United Provinces of the Rio Plata declared their independence from Spain. After Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay went their separate ways, the area that remained became Argentina. The country's population and culture were heavily shaped by immigrants from throughout Europe, but most particularly Italy and Spain, which provided the largest percentage of newcomers from 1860 to 1930. Up until about the mid-20th century, much of Argentina's history was dominated by periods of internal political conflict between Federalists and Unitarians and between civilian and military factions. After World War II, an era of Peronist populism and direct and indirect military interference in subsequent governments was followed by a military junta that took power in 1976. Democracy returned in 1983 after a failed bid to seize the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands by force, and has persisted despite numerous challenges, the most formidable of which was a severe economic crisis in 2001-02 that led to violent public protests and the resignation of several interim presidents.






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