Argentina

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Argentine Republic[A]
República Argentina  (Spanish)
FlagCoat of arms
Motto: "En unión y libertad"  (Spanish)
"In Unity and Freedom"
Anthem: Himno Nacional Argentino  (Spanish)
Argentine National Anthem
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Mainland Argentina shown in dark green, with territorial claims shown in light green
Mainland Argentina shown in dark green, with territorial claims shown in light green
Capital
and largest city
Buenos Aires
34°36′S 58°23′W / 34.600°S 58.383°W / -34.600; -58.383
Official languagesSpanish
Ethnic groups (2013[2])
Demonym
GovernmentFederal presidential constitutional republic
 - PresidentCristina Fernández de Kirchner
 - Vice PresidentAmado Boudou
 - Supreme Court PresidentRicardo Lorenzetti
LegislatureCongress
 - Upper houseSenate
 - Lower houseChamber of Deputies
Independence from Spain
 - May Revolution25 May 1810 
 - Declared9 July 1816 
 - Current constitution1 May 1853 
Area
 - Total2,780,400 km2[B] (8th)
1,073,518 sq mi
 - Water (%)1.57
Population
 - 2013 estimate41,660,417[4]
 - 2010 census40,117,096[3] (32nd)
 - Density14.4/km2[3] (212th)
37.3/sq mi
GDP (PPP)2013 estimate
 - Total$771.008 billion[5] (22nd)
 - Per capita$18,582[5] (55th)
GDP (nominal)2013 estimate
 - Total$484.596 billion[5] (26th)
 - Per capita$11,679[5] (61st)
Gini (2010)positive decrease 44.49[6]
medium
HDI (2013)Increase 0.811[7]
very high · 45th
CurrencyPeso ($) (ARS)
Time zoneART (UTC−3)
Date formatdd.mm.yyyy (CE)
Drives on theright[a]
Calling code+54
ISO 3166 codeAR
Internet TLD.ar
a.^ Trains ride on left.
 
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Argentine Republic[A]
República Argentina  (Spanish)
FlagCoat of arms
Motto: "En unión y libertad"  (Spanish)
"In Unity and Freedom"
Anthem: Himno Nacional Argentino  (Spanish)
Argentine National Anthem
Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player.
You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser.
Mainland Argentina shown in dark green, with territorial claims shown in light green
Mainland Argentina shown in dark green, with territorial claims shown in light green
Capital
and largest city
Buenos Aires
34°36′S 58°23′W / 34.600°S 58.383°W / -34.600; -58.383
Official languagesSpanish
Ethnic groups (2013[2])
Demonym
GovernmentFederal presidential constitutional republic
 - PresidentCristina Fernández de Kirchner
 - Vice PresidentAmado Boudou
 - Supreme Court PresidentRicardo Lorenzetti
LegislatureCongress
 - Upper houseSenate
 - Lower houseChamber of Deputies
Independence from Spain
 - May Revolution25 May 1810 
 - Declared9 July 1816 
 - Current constitution1 May 1853 
Area
 - Total2,780,400 km2[B] (8th)
1,073,518 sq mi
 - Water (%)1.57
Population
 - 2013 estimate41,660,417[4]
 - 2010 census40,117,096[3] (32nd)
 - Density14.4/km2[3] (212th)
37.3/sq mi
GDP (PPP)2013 estimate
 - Total$771.008 billion[5] (22nd)
 - Per capita$18,582[5] (55th)
GDP (nominal)2013 estimate
 - Total$484.596 billion[5] (26th)
 - Per capita$11,679[5] (61st)
Gini (2010)positive decrease 44.49[6]
medium
HDI (2013)Increase 0.811[7]
very high · 45th
CurrencyPeso ($) (ARS)
Time zoneART (UTC−3)
Date formatdd.mm.yyyy (CE)
Drives on theright[a]
Calling code+54
ISO 3166 codeAR
Internet TLD.ar
a.^ Trains ride on left.

Argentina Listeni/ˌɑrənˈtnə/, officially the Argentine Republic[A] (Spanish: República Argentina [reˈpuβlika aɾxenˈtina]), is a federal republic located in southeastern South America. Covering most of the Southern Cone, it is bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Chile to the west and the Drake Passage to the south.

With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2 (1,073,500 sq mi), Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the second largest in Latin America and the largest Spanish-speaking nation. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands (Spanish: Islas Malvinas), South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

A historical and current middle power,[8] prominent Latin American[C][D][E][F][G] and Southern Cone[H][I][J] regional power, Argentina is one of the G-15 and G-20 major economies and Latin America's third-largest.[18] It is also a founding member of the United Nations, WBG, WTO, OAS, Mercosur, UNASUR, CELAC and OEI. Because of its stability, market size and increasing share of the high-tech sector,[K] Argentina is classified by investors as a middle emerging economy with a "very high" rating on Human Development Index.[7]

The earliest recorded human presence in the area now known as Argentina is dated from the Paleolithic period.[20] The Spanish colonization began in 1512.[21] Argentina rose as the successor state of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata,[L][M][N] a Spanish overseas colony founded in 1776. The declaration and fight for independence (1810–1818) was followed by an extended civil war that lasted until 1861, which ended with the country's reorganization as a federation of provinces with Buenos Aires as its capital city. During the last two thirds of the 20th century Argentina faced several military coups and political instability, along with periodic economic crisis that restrained its full development.

Name and etymology

Argentina is derived from the Latin argentum ("silver"). La Plata Basin does not have any sources of silver, but the first Spanish conquerors arrived in the area following rumors of the existence of silver mountains, hence the name.

The first use of the name Argentina can be traced to La Argentina, a 1602 poem by Martín del Barco Centenera. Although this name for the La Plata Basin was already in common usage by the 18th century, the area was formally called Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, and United Provinces of the Río de la Plata after independence.[25]

The first formal use of the name was in the 1826 constitution.[26] During the 19th century the names "Argentine Republic", "Argentine Nation", and "Argentine Confederation" were widely used. In 1860 a presidential decree settled the name as "Argentine Republic".[25] According to the constitution, all names of the country since 1810 are legally valid.[1]

In the English language, the country was traditionally called "the Argentine", mimicking the typical Spanish usage la Argentina.[27] This fell out of usage in English during the mid to late 20th century, and now the country is simply referred to as "Argentina".

History

Pre-Columbian era

The area now known as Argentina was relatively sparsely populated until the period of European colonization. The earliest traces of human life are dated from the Paleolithic period, and there are further traces in the Mesolithic and Neolithic.[20] However, large areas of the interior and piedmont were apparently depopulated during an extensive dry period between 4000 and 2000 BC.[28]

The Uruguayan archaeologist Raúl Campá Soler divided the indigenous peoples in Argentina into three main groups: basic hunters and food gatherers, without development of pottery, advanced hunters and food gatherers, and farmers with pottery.[29] The second group could be found in the Pampa and south of Patagonia, and the third one included the Charrúas and Minuane people and the Guaraníes.

Some of the different groups included the Onas at Tierra del Fuego, the Yámana at the archipelago between the Beagle Channel and Cape Horn, Tehuelches in the Patagonia, many peoples at the litoral, Guaycurúes and Wichis at Chaco. The Guaraníes had expanded across large areas of South America, but settled at the northeastern provinces of Argentina. The Toba (Komlek) nation and the Diaguita which included the Calchaqui and the Quilmes lived in the North and the Comechingones in what is today the province of Cordoba. The Charrua (which included the Minuane people), Yaros, Bohanes and Chanás (and Chaná-Timbú) were located in the actual territory of Entre Ríos and the Querandí in Buenos Aires.

Spanish colonial era

Argentina as a part of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata.

Europeans first arrived in the region with the 1502 voyage of Amerigo Vespucci. The Spanish navigator Juan Díaz de Solís visited the territory which is now Argentina in 1516. In 1536 Pedro de Mendoza established a small settlement at the modern location of Buenos Aires, which was abandoned in 1541.[30]

A second one was established 1580 by Juan de Garay, and Córdoba in 1573 by Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera. Those regions were part of the Viceroyalty of Peru, whose capital was Lima, and settlers arrived from that city. Unlike the other regions of South America, the colonization of the Río de la Plata estuary was not influenced by any gold rush, since it lacked any precious metals to mine.[30]

The first European explorer, Juan Díaz de Solís, arrived on the Río de la Plata in 1516. Spain established the Viceroyalty of Peru, encompassing all its holdings in South America. Buenos Aires was established in 1536 but was destroyed by natives. The city was established again in 1580. The colonization of modern Argentina came from 3 different directions: from Paraguay, establishing the Governorate of the Río de la Plata, from Peru and from Chile.[31]

Buenos Aires became the capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in 1776, with territories from the Viceroyalty of Peru. Buenos Aires and Montevideo resisted two ill-fated British invasions in 1806 and 1807. The resistance was headed both times by the French Santiago de Liniers, who would become viceroy through popular support. The ideas of the Age of Enlightenment and the example of the Atlantic Revolutions generated criticism to the Absolute monarchy. The overthrow of the Spanish King Ferdinand VII during the Peninsular War created great concern in the Americas, so many cities deposed the monarchic authorities and appointed new ones, working under the new political ideas. This started the Spanish American wars of independence across the continent. Buenos Aires deposed the viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros in 1810, during the May Revolution.[32]

Independence and civil wars

The Libertador, José de San Martin.
View showing the confrontation occurred on 20 November 1845 of the Argentine forces-in-disadvantage against the Anglo-French.

The May Revolution of 1810 established the First Junta, a new government in Buenos Aires composed by locals. The Junta fought against Linier's Counter Revolution in Córdoba, and other royalists in Upper Peru and Paraguay. It also supported the rebellions at the Banda Oriental. The military campaigns were defeated, so Buenos Aires signed an armistice with the loyalist authorities in Montevideo.[33] Paraguay stayed neutral during the remainder of the conflict, Upper Peru stood loyal to the King, and the Banda Oriental would be captured by William Brown during renewed hostilities.

The Argentine Declaration of Independence was issued by the Congress of Tucumán in 1816, and was immediately followed by the war of independence. General Martín Miguel de Güemes kept royalists at bay on the North, while José de San Martín took an army across the Andes, thus securing the independence of Chile. With the Chilean navy at his disposal he then took the fight to the royalist stronghold of Lima. San Martín's military campaigns, together with those of Simón Bolívar in Gran Colombia are collectively known as the Spanish American wars of independence.[34]

The 1820 Battle of Cepeda, fought between the Centralists and the Federal Parties, resulted in the end of the centralized national authority and in the reign of anarchy. Between 1825 and 1830 there was a War with Brazil, that ended with the independence of Uruguay and Bernardino Rivadavia was appointed the first President of Argentina. He then resigned, so Centralists and Federalists resumed the civil war. The provinces at last settled a loose Argentine Confederation that lacked a common head of state. They would instead delegate some important powers to Juan Manuel de Rosas, the governor of Buenos Aires Province, such as foreign debt payment and international relations.[35]

Juan Manuel de Rosas ruled from 1829 to 1832, and from 1835 to 1852. After 1835 he received the "Sum of public power", which was later denounced as despotic and condemned in the Constitution. He faced a French blockade from 1838 to 1840, the War of the Confederation in the north, and a combined Anglo-French blockade from 1845 to 1850. Rosas remained undefeated during this series of conflicts and prevented further loss of national territory. His refusal to enact a national constitution, pursuant to the Federal pact, led to Entre Ríos governor Justo José de Urquiza to turn against Rosas and defeat him at Caseros. He then sanctioned the Constitution of Argentina of 1853. Rejecting it, the Province of Buenos Aires seceded from the Confederation and became the State of Buenos Aires. The subsequent war lasted nearly a decade, and ended with the victory of Buenos Aires at the battle of Pavón.[36]

Buenos Aires rejoined the Confederation, and Bartolomé Mitre was elected the first president of the unified country in 1862. During his term, the Paraguayan President Francisco Solano López invaded two Argentine Provinces and headed for Uruguay. Mitre, with Uruguay and Brazil, waged the War of the Triple Alliance, that left over 300,000 dead and devastated Paraguay. After Mitre the Presidents were Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and Nicolás Avellaneda. The latter federalized the City of Buenos Aires, and separated it from the rest of the Province.[37] He also led the Conquest of the Desert, waged by Julio Argentino Roca in the 1870s. With this military operation, Argentina seized control of Patagonia.[38]

Rise of a modern nation

Juan Domingo Perón (left) and his wife Eva Perón (right). They founded a political movement known as Peronism, still strong in the country.

The basis of modern Argentina was established by the Generation of '80, a conservative and elitist movement that opposed Mitre, sought to industrialize the country, and promoted a massive wave of European immigration that led to the strengthening of the state, the development of modern agriculture and to a near-reinvention of Argentine society and economy. The country emerged as one of the ten richest countries in the world, benefiting from an agricultural export-led economy as well as British and French investment. Driven by immigration and decreasing mortality the Argentine population grew fivefold and the economy 15-fold.[39] However, they were slow to meet its original goals of industrialization, and the country stayed as a pre-industrial society.[40] President Juárez Celman faced a financial crisis led by market speculation and excessive money printing, that generated popular discontent and the Revolution of the Park in 1890, led by the Civic Union. Although the revolution failed, Celman resigned from the presidency.[41]

In 1912 President Roque Sáenz Peña enacted universal male suffrage and the secret ballot. This allowed Hipólito Yrigoyen, of the Civic Union, to win the elections in 1916. He enacted social and economic reforms and extended assistance to family farmers and small businesses. Argentina stayed neutral during World War I.[42] The second administration of Yrigoyen faced a huge economic crisis, influenced by the international Great Depression. The military made a coup d'état and ousted him from power. The following period is known as the Infamous Decade. General José Félix Uriburu led the military rule for two years. Agustín Pedro Justo was elected with fraud, and signed a controversial treaty with the United Kingdom. Presidents Roberto María Ortiz and Ramón Castillo stayed neutral during World War II. Britain supported the Argentine neutrality, but after the attack on Pearl Harbor the United States requested all of South America to join the Allied Nations. Castillo was finally deposed by the Revolution of '43, a new military coup that wanted to end the electoral fraud of the last decade. Argentina declared war on the Axis Powers a month before the end of World War II in Europe. The minister of welfare of the military dictatorship, Juan Perón, became highly popular among workers. He was fired and jailed, but a massive demonstration forced his liberation. Perón ran for the presidency in 1946, and won by 53.1%.[43]

Perón created a political movement known as Peronism. He nationalized strategic industries and services, improved wages and working conditions, paid the full external debt and achieved nearly full employment. The economy, however, began to decline in 1950 because of over-expenditure. His wife Eva Perón was highly popular and played a central political role, mostly through the Eva Perón Foundation, where she developed an unprecedented social assistance to the most vulnerable sectors of society in Argentina. Women's suffrage was granted in 1947.[44] However, her declining health did not allow her to run for the vice-presidency in 1951, and she died of cancer the following year. The navy began to plot against Perón in 1955, and bombed the Plaza de Mayo in an ill-fated attempt to kill him. A few months later, Perón resigned during an army coup, which established the Liberating Revolution. Perón left the country, and finally settled in Spain.[45]

60s and 70s

Arturo Frondizi, President of Argentina from 1958 to 1962 for the UCRI.

The Revolution was led by catholic-nationalistic Eduardo Lonardi. He refused to outlaw Peronism, so his faction was overthrown twenty days later by Pedro Eugenio Aramburu, who proscribed Peronism and banned all manifestations of it. Peronism, however, did not disappear, as Peronists kept being organized in informal associations. Arturo Frondizi from the UCR became popular by opposing the military rule, and won the following elections.[46] The military, however, was reluctant to allow Peronism to influence the new government: they frequently interfered on behalf of conservative interests, with some success.[39] His policies encouraged investment to make the country self-sufficient in energy and industry, helping reverse a chronic trade deficit for Argentina. His efforts to stay on good terms with both Peronists and the military, without fully supporting either one, earned him the distrust and rejection of both. Frondizi lifted the Peronist proscription, leading to a Peronist victory in several provinces. A new coup ousted him from power, but a swift reaction by José María Guido (president of the Senate) applied the laws related to power vacuums and became president instead of the military. The elections were then repealed and Peronism proscribed again. Arturo Illia was elected in 1963 but, despite prosperity, his attempts to include Peronists in the political process resulted in the armed forces retaking power in a coup in 1966. The Argentine Revolution, the new military government, sought to rule in Argentina indefinitely.[47]

The new military Junta appointed Juan Carlos Onganía as president. He closed the Congress, banned all political parties and dismantled all student unions and many worker unions. Popular discontent led to two massive protests in 1969, the Cordobazo in Córdoba and the Rosariazo in Rosario. In May 1970, the terrorist organization Montoneros kidnapped and executed the former de facto president, Aramburu. There was a public outcry against this crime. Onganía was replaced by Roberto M. Levingston in June 1970.

In March 1971, Levingston was then replaced by Alejandro Agustín Lanusse, who began negotiations to return to democracy and end the proscription of Peronism. Initially, he sought to allow Peronism but not the return of Juan Perón himself (who was living in Spain) with an agreement stipulating presidential candidates reside in Argentina as of 25 August. Thus, the Peronist candidate was not Perón but Héctor José Cámpora, who won the elections by the 49.59%.[48]

The return of Peronism to power saw violent disputes between its internal factions: right-wing union leaders and left-wing youth from Montoneros. The return of Perón to the country in June 1973 generated an violent conflict among peronists: the Ezeiza massacre. Overwhelmed by political violence, Cámpora and his vice-president resigned. In the following elections Perón was elected, with his wife Isabel as vice-president. Before Peron took office the Montoneros murdered the union leader José Ignacio Rucci, with close ties to Perón. Perón expelled them from the party, and they became once again a clandestine organization. José López Rega organized the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance (AAA) to fight against them and the ERP. In July 1974 Perón died and was succeeded by his wife. The Operation Independence stopped a guerrilla attempt to capture and secede the territories of Tucumán from Argentina. A presidential decree ordered the military to "annihilate the subversion". Chaos reigned through the country and the military made a last coup d'état, on 24 March 1976.[49]

The National Reorganization Process closed the Congress, removed the members of the Supreme Court, and banned political parties, unions, student unions, etc. It also intensified measures against the ERP and Montoneros, who had kidnapped and murdered people almost weekly since 1970.[50] The military resorted to the forced disappearance of suspected members of the guerrillas, and began to prevail in the war. The losses of Montoneros by the end of 1976 were near 2000. The Junta tried to increase its popularity with the Beagle conflict and the 1978 FIFA World Cup. As of 1977, the ERP was completely defeated. Montoneros was severely weakened, but launched a massive counterattack in 1979. It was defeated, ending the guerrilla threat, but the military Junta stayed in government. Leopoldo Galtieri launched the Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de Malvinas), attempting to annex the islands, but within two months Argentina was defeated by the United Kingdom. Galtieri left the government because of the military defeat, and Reynaldo Bignone began to organize the transition to democratic rule, with the free elections in 1983.[51]

Contemporary era

Nestor Kirchner, President of Argentina from 2003 to 2007.

In the 1983 electoral campaign Alfonsín called to national unity, restoration of democratic rule and prosecution of those responsible for the dirty war. He established the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons (CONADEP) to investigate the forced disappearances. The CONADEP generated a report detailing 340 centers of illegal detentions and 8961 forced disappearances. The 1985 Trial of the Juntas sentenced all the heads of government of those years. An economic crisis that led to an hyperinflation reduced his popular support. The Peronist Carlos Menem won the 1989 elections, but riots caused by the economic crisis forced Alfonsín to resign early, handing government to Menem.[52]

Carlos Menem led a change in Peronism, which declined its usual politics and embraced neoliberalism instead. A fixed exchange rate established in 1991, the dismantling of protectionist barriers, business regulations and several privatizations normalized the economy for a time. His victories at the 1991 and 1993 elections led to the 1994 amendment of the Argentine Constitution, which allowed him to run for a second term. He was reelected, but the economy began to decline in 1996, with higher unemployment and recession. He lost the 1997 elections, and the UCR returned to the presidency in the 1999 elections.[53]

President Fernando de la Rúa sought to change the political style of Menem, but kept his economic plan regardless of the growing recession. He appointed Domingo Cavallo, who had already been minister of economy during the presidency of Menem. The social discontent led to the appearance of piqueteros and huge blank votes in the 2001 legislative elections. A huge capital flight was responded to with a freezing of bank accounts, generating further discontent. Several riots in the country led the president to establish a state of emergency, received with more popular protests. The huge riots in December finally forced De la Rúa to resign.[54] Eduardo Duhalde was appointed president by the Legislative Assembly, and derogated the fixed exchange rate established by Menem. The economic crisis began to diminish by the late 2002. The death of two piqueteros caused a political scandal that forced Duhalde to call to elections earlier. Carlos Menem got the majority of the votes, followed by Néstor Kirchner, who was largely unknown by the people, but would maintain Lavagna as minister. However, Menem declined to run for the required ballotage, which made Kirchner the new president.[55] Following the economic policies laid by Duhalde and Lavagna, Kirchner ended the economic crisis, getting fiscal and trade surpluses. During his administration, Argentina restructured its defaulted debt with a steep discount (about 66%) on most bonds, paid off debts with the International Monetary Fund and nationalized some previously privatized enterprises. He did not run for a reelection, promoting instead the candidacy of his wife Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.[56][57]

The presidency of Cristina Kirchner began with a conflict with the agricultural sector, caused by an attempt to increase the taxes over exports. The conflict was taken to the Congress, and vice-president Julio Cobos gave an unexpected tie-breaking vote against the bill. The government waged several controversies with the press, limiting the freedom of speech.[58][59][60] Néstor Kirchner died in 2010, and Cristina Fernández was reelected in 2011.[61][62]

Geography and climate

Argentina as seen from space in a satellite photo taken by NASA

Argentina is located in southern South America, with the Andes Mountains on the west[63] and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east and south.[64] Argentina has a total surface area (excluding territorial claims) of 2,780,400 km2 (1,073,500 sq mi);[B]. Argentina has six main regions. The Pampas are fertile lowlands located in the center and east. The Mesopotamia is a lowland enclosed by the Paraná and Uruguay rivers, and the Gran Chaco is between the mesopotamia and the Andes. Cuyo is at the east side of the Andes, and the Argentine Northwest is at the North of it. The Patagonia is a large plateau to the south.[65]

The highest point above sea level is in the Mendoza province at Cerro Aconcagua (6,959 m (22,831 ft)),[66] also the highest point in the Southern and Western Hemisphere.[67] The lowest point is Laguna del Carbón in Santa Cruz province, −105 m (−344 ft) below sea level.[66] This is also the lowest point in South America.[68] The easternmost continental point is northeast of Bernardo de Irigoyen, Misiones,[25] the westernmost in the Perito Moreno National Park in Santa Cruz province.[25] The northernmost point is at the confluence of the Grande de San Juan and Mojinete rivers in Jujuy province,[25] and the southernmost is Cape San Pío in Tierra del Fuego.[25]

The major rivers are the Paraná (the largest), the Pilcomayo, Paraguay, Bermejo, Colorado, Negro, Salado and the Uruguay. The Paraná and the Uruguay join to form the Río de la Plata estuary, before reaching the Atlantic. Regionally important rivers are the Atuel and Mendoza in the homonymous province, the Chubut in Patagonia, the Río Grande in Jujuy and the San Francisco River in Salta.

The 4,725 km (2,936 mi) long Atlantic coast[25] varies between areas of sand dunes and cliffs. The continental platform, the Patagonian Shelf, is unusually wide; this shallow area of the Atlantic is called the Argentine Sea. The two major ocean currents affecting the coast are the warm Brazil Current and the cold Falkland Current. Because of the unevenness of the coastal landmass, the two currents alternate in their influence on climate and do not allow temperatures to fall evenly with higher latitude. The southern coast of Tierra del Fuego forms the north shore of the Beagle Channel.[69] The National Parks of Argentina make up a network of 30 national parks in Argentina.

Climate

Subpolar climate in Argentine Patagonia and subtropical climate in Iguazú Falls (Argentina Mesopotamia).

The generally temperate climate ranges from subtropical in the north to subpolar in the far south. The north is characterized by very hot, humid summers with mild drier winters, and is subject to periodic droughts.[70] Central Argentina has a temperate climate, with hot summers with thunderstorms, and cool winters; and higher moisture at the east.[71] The southern regions have warm summers and cold winters with heavy snowfall, especially in mountainous zones.[72]

Major wind currents include the cool Pampero Winds blowing on the flat plains of Patagonia and the Pampas; following the cold front, warm currents blow from the north in middle and late winter, creating mild conditions.[71] The Zonda, a hot dry wind, affects west-central Argentina. Squeezed of all moisture during the 6,000 m (19,685 ft) descent from the Andes, Zonda winds can blow for hours with gusts up to 120 km/h (75 mph), fueling wildfires and causing damage; when the Zonda blows (June–November), snowstorms and blizzard (viento blanco) conditions usually affect higher elevations.[73] The Sudestada usually moderates cold temperatures but brings very heavy rains, rough seas and coastal flooding. It is most common in late autumn and winter along the central coast and in the Río de la Plata estuary.[71]

Biodiversity

South American Sea Lion pups in a colony in Patagonia

In the North, subtropical plants dominate the Gran Chaco. Savannah-like areas exist in the drier regions nearer the Andes, as well as many species of cactus. In central Argentina the humid pampas are a true tallgrass prairie ecosystem. The original pampa had virtually no trees; only a tree-like bush called Ombú. The pampa is one of the most agriculturally productive zones on Earth, this caused the destruction of much of the original ecosystem, to make way for commercial agriculture.[74]

Most of Patagonia lies within the rain shadow of the Andes, so the flora, shrubby bushes and plants, is suited to dry conditions. Coniferous forests in far western Patagonia and on the island of Tierra del Fuego, include alerce and pehuén. Among Patagonian broadleaf trees are several species of Nothofagus such as coihue. In Cuyo semiarid thorny bushes and other xerophile plants abound. The area presents optimal conditions for the large scale growth of grape vines.

Prominent animals from the subtropical north include big cats like jaguars, pumas, howler monkeys, crocodiles, and the Tegu. There are a wide variety of birds, notably hummingbirds, flamingos, toucans, and swallows. The central grasslands are populated by the giant anteater, armadillo, pampas cat, and the rhea (ñandú), a large flightless bird. Hawks, falcons, and tinamous (perdiz, Argentine "false partridges") inhabit the region. There are also pampas deer and pampas foxes. The western mountains are home to different animals like the llama. Also in that region live viscachas, Andean Mountain Cats, and the largest flying bird in the Americas, the Andean Condor. Southern Argentina is home to the puma, huemul, and pudú – the world's smallest deer. The coast of Patagonia is rich in animal life: elephant seals, fur seals, sea lions and species of penguin.

Government

Argentina is a federal constitutional republic and representative democracy.[75] The government is regulated by a system of checks and balances defined by the Constitution of Argentina, the country's supreme legal document. The seat of government is the city of Buenos Aires, as designated by Congress.[76] Suffrage is universal, equal, secret and mandatory.[77][O]

The federal government is composed of three branches:

Political divisions

Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and South Atlantic Islands ProvinceSanta CruzChubutRío NegroNeuquénLa PampaBuenos Aires ProvinceBuenos Aires CitySanta FeCórdobaSan LuisMendozaSan JuanLa RiojaCatamarcaSaltaJujuyTucumánSantiago del EsteroChacoFormosaCorrientesMisionesEntre RíosMalvinas IslandsArgentine AntarcticaProvinces of Argentina.
About this image

Argentina is a federation of twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires. The administrative divisions of the provinces are the departments, and the municipalities, except for Buenos Aires Province, which is divided into partidos. The City of Buenos Aires is divided into communes. The provinces hold all the power that is not specifically delegated to the national government.[86]

Provinces must be representative republics and must not contradict the Constitution and federal laws. Beyond this they are fully autonomous: they enact their own constitutions,[87] freely organize their local governments and own and manage their resources.[88] Some provinces have bicameral provincial legislatures, while others have unicameral ones.[P]

During the Argentine War of Independence the main cities and their surrounding countrysides became provinces, though the intervention of their cabildos. The anarchy of the year XX[when?] completed this process, shaping the original thirteen provinces. Jujuy seceded from Salta in 1834, to become the fourteenth province. In 1860, after seceding for a decade, Buenos Aires accepted the Constitution of 1853. The city of Buenos Aires became a federal territory in 1880.[87]

An 1862 law determined that the territories under control of Argentina but outside the frontiers of the provinces would be called national territories. In 1884 this resulted in the establishment of the national territories of Misiones, Formosa, Chaco, La Pampa, Neuquén, Río Negro, Chubut, Santa Cruz and Tierra del Fuego. The agreement about a frontier dispute with Chile in 1900 created the national territory of Los Andes, whose territories were incorporated into Jujuy, Salta and Catamarca in 1943.[87] La Pampa and Chaco became provinces in 1951. Misiones did so in 1953, and Formosa, Neuquén, Río Negro, Chubut and Santa Cruz in 1955. The last national territory, Tierra del Fuego, became a province in 1990.[87]

a Not a province, but an autonomous city and seat of National Government.

bTierra del Fuego Province includes territorial claims over Argentine Antarctica, Falkland Islands, and South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands.

Foreign relations

Argentina is a member of the G-20 major economies.

Argentina is one of the G-20 major economies of the world. Argentina is a full member of the Mercosur block together with Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Since 2002 Argentina has emphasized the role of Latin American integration and the bloc, which has some supranational legislative functions, as its first international priority.[90] Argentina is a founding signatory and permanent consulting member of the Antarctic Treaty System and the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat is based in Buenos Aires.[91] Argentina is also a full member of the Union of South American Nations. The former president of Argentina Néstor Kirchner was the first Secretary General of this organization. In 2005, Argentina assumed again the two-year non-permanent position on the UN Security Council.

Argentina claims sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Spanish: Islas Malvinas), and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, which are British Overseas Territories of the United Kingdom, as well as almost 1,000,000 square kilometres (390,000 sq mi) in Antarctica, between 25°W and 74°W and south of 60°S. The Antarctic claim overlaps claims by Chile and the United Kingdom, though all claims to Antarctica fall under the provisions of the Antarctic Treaty of 1961. Since 1904, a scientific post has been maintained in Antarctica by mutual agreement.[92]

Argentina is currently participating in major peacekeeping operations in Haiti, Cyprus, Western Sahara and the Middle East.[93]

Military

Argentine Marines line up in formation during an amphibious assault exercise.

The Armed Forces are controlled by the President and a civilian Minister of Defense. In addition to the army, navy and air force, there are also two forces controlled by the Interior Ministry: the National Gendarmerie, which guards borders and places of strategic importance; and the Naval Prefecture, a coast guard which protects major rivers and maritime territory.

The armed forces of Argentina number about 70,000 active duty personnel, one third fewer than before the return to democracy in 1983.[94] The age for enlistment in the volunteer military is from 16 to 23 years old.[95]

Historically, Argentina's military has been one of the best equipped in the region (for example, developing its own jet fighters as early as the 1950s);[96] but recently it has faced sharper expenditure cutbacks than most other Latin American armed forces. Real military expenditures declined steadily after 1981 and though there have been recent increases, the defense budget is now around US$3 billion.[97]

Traditionally, Argentina maintains close defense cooperation and military-supply relationships with the United States, and to a lesser extent, with Israel, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy.

Economy

The economy of Argentina is Latin America's third-largest,[98] with a Very High Human Development Index and a relatively high GDP per capita.[99] It is classified as an upper middle-income economy by the World Bank.[100]

The country benefits from rich natural resources, a highly literate population, an export-oriented agricultural sector and a diversified industrial base. Historically, however, Argentina's economic performance has been very uneven, in which high economic growth alternated with severe recessions, particularly during the late 20th century, and income maldistribution and poverty increased. Early in the 20th century it was one of the richest countries in the world and the richest in the Southern hemisphere,[101] though it is now an upper-middle income country.

Argentina is considered an emerging market by the FTSE Global Equity Index, and is one of the G-20 major economies.

High inflation has been a weakness of the Argentine economy for decades.[102] Officially hovering around 9% since 2006, inflation has been privately estimated at over 30%,[103] becoming a contentious issue again. The government has manipulated inflation statistics.[104] The urban income poverty rate has dropped below the numbers of the 2001 economic crisis[105] Income distribution, having improved since 2002, is still considerably unequal.[106][107] Argentina began a period of fiscal austerity in 2012.[108][109]

Argentina ranks 100th out of 178 countries in the Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index for 2011.[110] Reported problems include government corruption, lack of judicial independence, huge taxes and tariffs, and regulatory interference that undermines efficiency and productivity growth.[111] The Kirchner administration responded to the Global financial crisis of 2008–2009 with a record public-works program, new tax cuts and subsidies,[112] and the transfer of private pensions to the social security system. Private pension plans, which required growing subsidies to cover, were nationalized to shed a budgetary drain as well as to finance high government spending and debt obligations.[citation needed]

Industry

President Fernández inaugurating a factory in Ushuaia. Firms like BlackBerry, HP and Motorola have set up plants in Tierra del Fuego, drawn by tax breaks.[113]

Manufacturing is the largest single sector in the nation's economy (19% of GDP), and is well-integrated into Argentine agriculture, with half the nation's industrial exports being agricultural in nature.[114] Based on food processing and textiles during its early development in the first half of the 20th century, industrial production has become highly diversified in Argentina.[115] Leading sectors by production value are: Food processing and beverages; motor vehicles and auto parts; refinery products, and biodiesel; chemicals and pharmaceuticals; steel and aluminum; and industrial and farm machinery; electronics and home appliances. These latter include over three million big ticket items, as well as an array of electronics, kitchen appliances and cellular phones, among others.[116] The country's auto industry produced 829,000 motor vehicles in 2011, and exported 507,000 (mainly to Brazil, which in turn exported a somewhat larger number to Argentina).[117] Beverages are another significant sector, and Argentina has long been among the top five wine producing countries in the world; beer overtook wine production in 2000, and today leads by nearly two billion liters a year to one.[116]

Other manufactured goods include: glass and cement; plastics and tires; lumber products; textiles; tobacco products; recording and print media; furniture; apparel and leather.[116] Most manufacturing is organized around 280 industrial parks, with another 190 slated to open during 2012.[118] Nearly half the industries are based in the Greater Buenos Aires area, although Córdoba, Rosario, and Ushuaia are also significant industrial centers; the latter city became the nation's leading center of electronics production during the 1980s.[119] The production of computers, laptops, and servers grew by 160% in 2011, to nearly 3.4 million units, and covered two-thirds of local demand.[120] Another important rubric historically dominated by imports – farm machinery – will likewise mainly be manufactured domestically by 2014.[121]

Construction permits nationwide covered nearly 19 million m² (205 million ft²) in 2008. The construction sector accounts for over 5% of GDP, and two-thirds of the construction was for residential buildings.[114]

Argentine electric output totaled over 122 billion Kwh in 2009.[122] This was generated in large part through well developed natural gas and hydroelectric resources. Nuclear energy is also of high importance,[123] and the country is one of the largest producers and exporters, alongside Canada and Russia of cobalt-60, a radioactive isotope widely used in cancer therapy.

Transport

Vintage line A station entrance of Buenos Aires Metro

Transport in Argentina is mainly based on a complex network of routes, crossed by relatively inexpensive long-distance buses and by cargo trucks. The country also has a number of national and international airports. The importance of the long-distance train is minor today, though in the past it was widely used. Fluvial transport is mostly used for cargo. Within the urban areas, the main transportation system is uy the bus or colectivo; bus lines transport millions of people every day in the larger cities and their metropolitan areas. Buenos Aires additionally has an underground, the only one in the country, and Greater Buenos Aires is serviced by a system of suburban trains.

A majority of people employ public transport rather than personal cars to move around in the cities, especially in common business hours, since parking can be both difficult and expensive. Cycling is not very common in big cities, as there are few bicycle-paths, making it difficult to move with them other than in recreational areas.

Since Argentina is almost 4,000 kilometres long and more than 1,000 km wide, long distance transportation is of great importance. Several toll expressways spread out from Buenos Aires, serving nearly half the nation's population. The majority of Argentine roads, however, are two-lane national and provincial routes and, though they are spread throughout the country, less than a third of Argentina's 230,000 km (145,000 mi)[124] of roads are currently paved.

Argentina is home to around 9.2 million registered cars, trucks and buses;[125] on a per capita basis, it has long had Latin America's widest accessibility to motor vehicles.[126] Left-lane drivers until 1945, Argentine motorists have since been driving on the right-hand side. The Vehicle registration plates of Argentina are based on a three letters-three numbers per car (with the exception of some trucks) system.

Expressways have been recently doubled in length[127] and now link most important cities. The most important of these is the Panamerican National Route 9 Buenos Aires–RosarioCórdoba freeway. Argentine long distance buses are fast, affordable and comfortable; they have become the primary means of long-distance travel since railway privatizations in the early 1990s greatly downsized Argentina's formerly ubiquitous passenger rail service. Competing providers differ little on their time-honoured formula, offering three different services regarding the number of stops and type of seats: the Regular, Semi-cama (semi-bed), and Cama (bed), with Cama being similar to an airline's business class. Some services have also on-board dining, while others stop at restaurants by the road. Long and middle-distance buses cover almost all paved-accessible cities, towns and villages.

Science and technology

Argentine satellite SAC-D

Argentines have three Nobel Prize laureates in the Sciences. Bernardo Houssay, the first Latin American among them, discovered the role of pituitary hormones in regulating glucose in animals. César Milstein did extensive research in antibodies. Luis Leloir discovered how organisms store energy converting glucose into glycogen and the compounds which are fundamental in metabolizing carbohydrates. Argentine research has led to the treatment of heart diseases and several forms of cancer. Domingo Liotta designed and developed the first artificial heart successfully implanted in a human being in 1969. René Favaloro developed the techniques and performed the world's first ever coronary bypass surgery.

Argentina's nuclear programme has been highly successful. In 1957 Argentina was the first country in Latin America to design and build a research reactor with homegrown technology, the RA-1 Enrico Fermi. This reliance in the development of own nuclear related technologies, instead of simply buying them abroad, was a constant of Argentina's nuclear programme conducted by the civilian National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA). Nuclear facilities with Argentine technology have been built in Peru, Algeria, Australia and Egypt. In 1983, the country admitted having the capability of producing weapon-grade uranium, a major step needed to assemble nuclear weapons; since then, however, Argentina has pledged to use nuclear power only for peaceful purposes.[128] As a member of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Argentina has been a strong voice in support of nuclear non-proliferation efforts[129] and is highly committed to global nuclear security.[130] In 1974 it was the first country in Latin America to put in-line a commercial nuclear power plant, Atucha I. Although the Argentine built parts for that station amounted to 10% of the total, the nuclear fuel it uses are since entirely built in the country. Later nuclear power stations employed a higher percentage of Argentine built components; Embalse, finished in 1983, a 30% and the 2011 Atucha II reactor a 40%.[131]

Despite its modest budget and numerous setbacks, academics and the sciences in Argentina have enjoyed an international respect since the turn of the 1900s, when Dr. Luis Agote devised the first safe and effective means of blood transfusion as well as René Favaloro, who was a pioneer in the improvement of the coronary artery bypass surgery. Argentine scientists are still on the cutting edge in fields such as nanotechnology, physics, computer sciences, molecular biology, oncology, ecology, and cardiology. Juan Maldacena, an Argentine-American scientist, is a leading figure in string theory. Argentine built satellites include LUSAT-1 (1990), Víctor-1 (1996), PEHUENSAT-1 (2007),[132] and those developed by CONAE, the Argentine space agency, of the SAC series.[133] The Pierre Auger Observatory near Malargüe, Mendoza, is the world's foremost cosmic ray observatory.[134]

Space research has also become increasingly active in Argentina. Argentina has its own satellite programme, nuclear power station designs (4th generation) and public nuclear energy company INVAP, which provides several countries with nuclear reactors.[135] Established in 1991, the CONAE has since launched two satellites successfully and,[136] in June 2009, secured an agreement with the European Space Agency on for the installation of a 35-m diameter antenna and other mission support facilities at the Pierre Auger Observatory. The facility will contribute to numerous ESA space probes, as well as CONAE's own, domestic research projects. Chosen from 20 potential sites and one of only three such ESA installations in the world, the new antenna will create a triangulation which will allow the ESA to ensure mission coverage around the clock.[137]

Tourism

The largest ski center in Latin America, Bariloche (Argentine Patagonia)

Tourism in Argentina is characterized by its cultural offerings and its ample and varied natural assets. The country had 5.28 million visitors in 2010, ranking in terms of the international tourist arrivals as the top destination in South America, and second in Latin America after Mexico. Revenues from international tourists reached US$4.93 billion in 2010, up from US$3.96 billion in 2009.[138] The country's capital city, Buenos Aires, is the most visited city in South America.[139]

Tourist destinations:

Demographics

Balvanera, filled with picturesque Dutch style tenements.

In the 2001 census [INDEC], Argentina had a population of 36,260,130, and preliminary results from the 2010 census were of 40,091,359 inhabitants.[140][141] Argentina ranks third in South America in total population and 33rd globally. Population density is of 15 persons per square kilometer of land area, well below the world average of 50 persons. The population growth rate in 2010 was an estimated 1.03% annually, with a birth rate of 17.7 live births per 1,000 inhabitants and a mortality rate of 7.4 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants. The net migration rate has ranged from zero to four immigrants per 1,000 inhabitants.[2]

The proportion of people under 15 is 25.6%, somewhat below the world average of 28%, and the proportion of people 65 and older is relatively high at 10.8%. In Latin America this is second only to Uruguay and well above the world average, which is currently 7%. Argentina has one of Latin America's lowest population growth rates, recently about 1% a year, as well as a comparatively low infant mortality rate. Its birth rate of 2.3 children per woman is still nearly twice as high as that in Spain or Italy, compared here as they have similar religious practices and proportions.[142][143] The median age is approximately 30 years and life expectancy at birth is 77.14 years.[2]

Argentina became in 2010 the first country in Latin America and the second in the Americas to allow same-sex marriage nationwide.[144] It was the tenth country to allow same-sex marriage.[145]

Ethnography

A crowd in Rosario reflects the importance of European immigration to Argentine ethnography and culture.

As with other areas of new settlement such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Uruguay, it is considered that Argentina is a country of immigrants.[146][147][148] Argentines usually refer to the country as a crisol de razas (crucible of races, or melting pot).

During the 18th and 19th centuries especially, Argentina was the country with the second biggest immigration wave in the world, with 6.6 million, second only to the USA in the numbers of immigrants received (27 millions) and ahead of such other areas of new settlement like Canada, Brazil and Australia.[149][150]

Strikingly, at those times, the national population doubled every two decades. This belief is endured in the popular saying "los argentinos descienden de los barcos" (Argentines descend from the ships). Therefore, most Argentines are descended from the 19th- and 20th-century immigrants of the great immigration wave to Argentina (1850–1955),[151][152] with a great majority of these immigrants coming from diverse European countries. The majority of these European immigrants came from Italy and Spain.[153] Argentina is home to a significant population of Arab and partial Arab background, mostly of Syrian and Lebanese origin (in Argentina they are considered among the White people, just like in the USA Census). The Asian population in the country numbers at around 180,000 individuals, most of whom are of Chinese[154] and Korean descent, although an older Japanese community that traces back to the early 20th century also exists.

Recent Illegal immigration has mostly been coming from Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru, with smaller numbers from Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Romania.[155] The Argentine government estimates that 750,000 inhabitants lack official documents and has launched a program[156] to encourage illegal immigrants to declare their status in return for two-year residence visas——so far over 670,000 applications have been processed under the program.[157]

Language

"Voseo" in a Buenos Aires billboard

The de facto official language of Argentina is Spanish, also called castellano (Castilian) in the Hispanophone countries. Argentina is the largest Spanish-speaking society that universally employs voseo (the use of the pronoun vos instead of (you), which occasions the use of alternate verb forms as well). The most prevalent dialect is Rioplatense, whose speakers are primarily located in the Río de la Plata basin. Italian and other European immigrants influenced Lunfardo, the slang spoken in the region, permeating the vernacular vocabulary of other regions as well. A phonetic study conducted by the Laboratory for Sensory Investigations of CONICET and the University of Toronto showed that the accent of the inhabitants of Buenos Aires (known as porteños) is closer to the Neapolitan language, spoken in Southern Italy, than any other spoken language.[158]

After Spanish, the most spoken language is English, which is taught since the elementary school, 42.3% of Argentines claim to speak some English (though only 15.4% of those claimed to have a high level of English comprehension). Portuguese is also highly popular (the Brazilian dialect is taught).

According to Ethnologue there are around 1.5 million Italian speakers (many elder people of an Italian background also speak a macaronic language of Italian and Spanish called cocoliche, which was originated by the Italian immigrants in the late 19th century). Also, there are 1 million speakers of the North Levantine dialect of Arabic (spoken in Syria, Lebanon and Cyprus).[159] Standard German is spoken by 400,000—500,000 Argentines of German ancestry,[159] making it the fourth most spoken language, and also giving origin to a mixture of Spanish and German called Belgranodeutsch. Welsh-speaking communities with around 25,000 using it as their second-language are found in areas of Welsh settlement, and in the Patagonia the Patagonian Welsh dialect is found as well.[159] Yiddish is spoken among the Jewish Argentines, the biggest Jewish population in Latin America and 7th in the world. French (including the rare Occitan language) is also spoken in certain areas, like the former colonias rurales where the French immigrants settled. Recent Asian immigrants have brought Chinese and Korean.

Some indigenous communities have retained their original languages. Guaraní is spoken by some in the north east, especially in Corrientes (where it enjoys official status), Formosa, Chaco and Misiones. Quechua is spoken by some in the north west, like in Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán and Santiago del Estero where it has a local variant. Aymara is spoken in Salta, Jujuy, and by members of the Bolivian immigrant community. Wichí is spoken in all northern provinces, both western and eastern. In Patagonia there are Mapudungun speakers, reflecting the long enduring influence of the Mapuche culture, or Araucanization, among the Argentine Natives from the southern areas.

Religion

The 17th-century Cathedral of Córdoba

The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion but also requires the government to support Roman Catholicism financially.[160] Catholic policy remains influential in government though, and still helps shape a variety of legislation.[161] In a study assessing world-wide levels of religious regulation and persecution, with scores ranging from 0–10 where 0 represented low levels of regulation or persecution, Argentina received a score of 1.4 on Government Regulation of Religion, 6.0 on Social Regulation of Religion, 6.9 on Government Favoritism of Religion and 6 on Religious Persecution.[162]

According to the World Christian Database Argentines are: 67% Christian, 15% non-religious, 1% Muslim, 7% other religions and 9% have not stated. Argentine Christians are mostly Roman Catholic with estimates for the number of Catholics varying from 70%[163] to 90% of the population[164] (though perhaps only 20% attend services regularly).[2] On 13 March 2013, Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as Pope of the Catholic Church, becoming the first pope from the New World. He took the name Pope Francis.

Argentina has the largest Jewish population of any country in Latin America.[165] A recent study found that approximately 11% of Argentines are non-religious (which includes those who believe in God but do not follow a religion), 4% are agnostics and 5% are atheist. Overall 24% attended religious services regularly. Protestants were the only group with a majority of followers who regularly attended services.[166]

Urbanization

Argentina is highly urbanized.[167] The ten largest metropolitan areas account for half of the population, and fewer than one in ten live in rural areas. About 3 million people live in Buenos Aires City and the Greater Buenos Aires metropolitan area totals around 13 million, making it one of the largest urban areas in the world.[168]

The metropolitan areas of Córdoba and Rosario have around 1.3 million inhabitants each[168] and Mendoza, Tucumán, La Plata, Mar del Plata, Salta and Santa Fe[168][169] have at least half a million people each.

The population is unequally distributed amongst the provinces: about 60% live in the Pampa region (21% of the total area), including 15 million people in Buenos Aires Province; Córdoba Province Santa Fe Province and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires have 3 million each. Seven other provinces have over one million people each: Mendoza, Tucumán, Entre Ríos, Salta, Chaco, Corrientes and Misiones. Tucumán is the most densely populated with 60 inhabitants/km², the only Argentine province more densely populated than the world average, while the southern province of Santa Cruz has around 1 inhabitant/km².


Culture

Argentine culture has significant European influences. Buenos Aires, its cultural capital, is largely characterized by both the prevalence of people of European descent, and of conscious imitation of European styles in architecture.[170] The other big influence is the gauchos and their traditional country lifestyle of self-reliance. Finally, indigenous American traditions (like yerba mate infusions) have been absorbed into the general cultural milieu.

Literature

Argentina has a rich literary history, as well as one of the region's most active publishing industries. Its literature began around 1550 with the work of Matías Rojas de Oquendo and Pedro González de Prado (from Santiago del Estero, the first important urban settlement in Argentina), who wrote prose and poetry. A symbiosis emerged between the aboriginal and Spanish traditions. During colonial times the University of Córdoba was the most important cultural hub. Two names stand out from this period: Gaspar Juárez Baviano, and Antonia de la Paz y Figueroa, also known as "Beata Antula".

The literature of the 19th century was influenced by the ideological divide between the popular, federalist epic of Martín Fierro (by José Hernández) and the etilist and cultured discourse of Sarmiento's masterpiece, Facundo. Argentine literature of that period was fiercely nationalist. It was followed by the modernist movement, which emerged in France in the late 19th century, and this period in turn was followed by vanguardism, with Ricardo Güiraldes as an important reference. Jorge Luis Borges, its most acclaimed writer, found new ways of looking at the modern world in metaphor and philosophical debate and his influence has extended to writers all over the globe. Borges is most famous for his works in short stories such as Ficciones and The Aleph.

The Argentine literature is the body of literary work produced in Argentina. Some of the nation's notable writers, poets and intellectuals include: Juan Bautista Alberdi, Roberto Arlt, Enrique Banchs, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Jorge Luis Borges, Silvina Bullrich, Eugenio Cambaceres, Julio Cortázar, Esteban Echeverría, Leopoldo Lugones, Hugo Wast, Eduardo Mallea, Ezequiel Martínez Estrada, Tomás Eloy Martínez, Victoria Ocampo, Manuel Puig, Ernesto Sabato, Osvaldo Soriano, Alfonsina Storni and María Elena Walsh.

Visual arts

The Nereids Fountain by Lola Mora.

One of the most influential Argentine figures in fine arts was Xul Solar, whose surrealist work used watercolors as readily as unorthodox painting media; he also "invented" two imaginary languages. The works of Cándido López and Florencio Molina Campos (in Naïve art style), Ernesto de la Cárcova and Eduardo Sívori (realism), Fernando Fader (impressionism), Pío Collivadino and Cesáreo Bernaldo de Quirós (post-impressionist), Emilio Pettoruti (cubist), Antonio Berni (neo-figurative), Gyula Košice (constructivism), Eduardo Mac Entyre (Generative art), Guillermo Kuitca (abstract), and Roberto Aizenberg (Surrealism) are a few of the best-known Argentine painters.

Others include Benito Quinquela Martín, a quintessential 'port' painter for whom the working class and immigrant-bound La Boca neighborhood, in particular, was excellently suited. A similar environment inspired Adolfo Bellocq, whose lithographs have been influential since the 1920s. Evocative monuments ny Realist sculptors Erminio Blotta, Lola Mora and Rogelio Yrurtia became the part of the national landscape and today, Lucio Fontana and León Ferrari are acclaimed sculptors and conceptual artists. Ciruelo is a world-famous fantasy artist and sculptor, and Marta Minujín is an innovative Conceptual artist. Argentina's "modern painters" are a difficult group to define. They have developed a constructivist rather than figurative style, though it is not quite abstract. Artists of this group include Julio Barragán, Luis Seoane, Carlos Torrallardona, Luis Aquino, Atilio Malinverno, and Alfredo Gramajo Gutiérrez.

Juan Del Prete (later the creator of Futucubismo, a mixture of Cubism and Futurism) came from the abstract art movement in Argentina, which developed in the 1940s from, of course, concrete art. Tomás Maldonado is one of the most well known abstract artists.

The Madí Movement, began in Argentina in 1946. One source claims Madí was founded in protest to the government control of the arts under Juan Perón.[171] while a different source says that Madí is not necessarily a response to that oppression.[172] The movement spread to Europe and later the United States. It is considered the only artistic movement founded in Buenos Aires to have a significant impact internationally.[citation needed] It was founded by Gyula Kosice and Carmelo Arden Quin, and included artists such as Rhod Rothfuss, Martín Blaszko, Waldo Longo, and Diyi Laañ.

Architecture

Argentine Bon Marché, inside of Galerías Pacífico.

Numerous Argentine architects have enriched their own country's cityscapes and, in recent decades, those around the world. Juan Antonio Buschiazzo helped popularize Beaux-Arts architecture and Francisco Gianotti combined Art Nouveau with Italianate styles, each adding flair to Argentine cities during the early 20th century. Francisco Salamone and Viktor Sulĉiĉ left an Art Deco legacy, and Alejandro Bustillo created a prolific body of Rationalist architecture. Clorindo Testa introduced Brutalist architecture locally and César Pelli's and Patricio Pouchulu's Futurist creations have graced cities, worldwide. Pelli's 1980s throwbacks to the Art Deco glory of the 1920s, in particular, made him one of the world's most prestigious architects.

The simplicity of the Rioplatense baroque style can be clearly appreciated in Buenos Aires, in the works of Italian architects such as André Blanqui and Antonio Masella, in the churches of San Ignacio, Nuestra Señora del Pilar, the Cathedral and the Cabildo.

Italian and French influences increased after the wars for independence at the beginning of the 19th century, though the academic style persisted until the first decades of the 20th century. Attempts at renovation took place during the second half of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th, when the European tendencies penetrated into the country, reflected in numerous important buildings of Buenos Aires, such as the Santa Felicitam Church by Ernesto Bunge; the Central Post Office and Palace of Justice, by Norbert Maillart; and the National Congress and the Colón Opera House, by Vittorio Meano.

The architecture of the second half of the 20th century continued adapting French neoclassical architecture, such as the headquarters of the National Bank of Argentina and the NH Gran Hotel Provincial, built by Alejandro Bustillo, and the Museo de Arte Hispano Fernández Blanco, by Martín Noel.

However, after the early 1930s, the influence of Rationalist architecture and of Le Corbusier became dominant among local architects, among whom Alberto Prebisch and Amancio Williams stand out in this new vein. The construction of skyscrapers proliferated in Buenos Aires after 1950, though a new generation started rejecting their "brutality," and tried to find an architectonic identity.

This search for identity is reflected in the Banco de Londres building finished in 1967 by Clorindo Testa with Diego Peralta Ramos, Alfredo Agostini, and Santiago Sánchez Elía. In the following decades, the new generations of architects incorporate, as always, European vanguardist styles, and new techniques.

Since the latter part of the 20th century, Argentine architects have become more prominent in the design of prime real estate projects in the country, such as the Le Parc tower and Torre Aqualina, by Mario Roberto Álvarez, and the Torre Fortabat by Sánchez Elía, as well as around the world, most notably the Norwest Center and the Petronas Towers, both by César Pelli.

Cinema and theatre

Teatro Colón considered to be amongst the five best concert venues in the world

The Argentine film industry created around 170 full-length titles in 2012.[173] The per capita number of screens is one of the highest in Latin America, and viewing per capita is the highest in the region.[174] The world's first animated feature films were made and released in Argentina, by cartoonist Quirino Cristiani, in 1917 and 1918.[175] Since the 1980s, Argentine films have achieved worldwide recognition, such as The Official Story (Best foreign film oscar in 1986), Man Facing Southeast, A Place in the World, Nine Queens, Son of the Bride, The Motorcycle Diaries, Blessed by Fire, and The Secret in Their Eyes, winner of the 2009 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. A new generation of Argentine directors has caught the attention of critics worldwide.[176] Argentine composers Luis Enrique Bacalov and Gustavo Santaolalla have been honored with Academy Award for Best Original Score nods. Lalo Schifrin has received numerous Grammys and is best known for the Theme from Mission: Impossible.

Buenos Aires is one of the great capitals of theater.[174] The Teatro Colón is a national landmark for opera and classical performances; its acoustics are considered the best in the world.[170] With its theatre scene of national and international caliber, Corrientes Avenue is synonymous with the art. It is thought of as 'the street that never sleeps' and sometimes referred to as the Broadway of Buenos Aires.[177] The Teatro General San Martín is one of the most prestigious along Corrientes Avenue and the Teatro Nacional Cervantes functions as the national stage theater of Argentina. The Teatro Argentino de La Plata, El Círculo in Rosario, Independencia in Mendoza and Libertador in Córdoba are also prominent. Griselda Gambaro, Copi, Roberto Cossa, Marco Denevi, Carlos Gorostiza, and Alberto Vaccarezza are a few of the more prominent Argentine playwrights. Julio Bocca, Jorge Donn, José Neglia and Norma Fontenla are some of the great ballet dancers of the modern era.

Music

Carlos Gardel, Argentine singer, is perhaps the most prominent figure in the history of tango.

Tango, the music and lyrics (often sung in a slang called lunfardo), is Buenos Aires's musical symbol. It has influences from the European and African culture.[178] The golden age of tango (1930 to mid-1950s) mirrored that of jazz and swing in the United States, featuring large orchestral groups too, like the bands of Osvaldo Pugliese, Aníbal Troilo, Francisco Canaro, Julio de Caro and Juan d'Arienzo. Incorporating acoustic music and later, synthesizers into the genre after 1955, bandoneón virtuoso Ástor Piazzolla popularized "new tango" creating a more subtle, intellectual and listener-oriented trend. Today tango enjoys worldwide popularity; ever-evolving, neo-tango is a global phenomenon with renown groups like Tanghetto, Bajofondo and the Gotan Project.

Argentine rock developed as a distinct musical style in the mid-1960s, when Buenos Aires and Rosario became cradles of several garage groups and aspiring musicians. Today it is widely considered the most prolific and successful form of Rock en Español, and third in the world because of its international success, only after the American and British forms of rock.[citation needed] Bands such as Soda Stereo or Sumo, and composers like Charly García, Luis Alberto Spinetta, and Fito Páez are referents of national culture. Serú Girán bridged the gap into the 1980s, when Argentine bands became popular across Latin America and elsewhere.

Beyond dozens of regional dances, a national Argentine folk style emerged in the 1930s. Perón's Argentina would give rise to nueva canción, as artists began expressing in their music objections to political themes. The style went on to influence the entirety of Latin American music.[179] Today, Chango Spasiuk and Soledad Pastorutti have brought folk back to younger generations. León Gieco's folk-rock bridged the gap between Argentine folklore and Argentine rock, introducing both styles to millions overseas in successive tours.

The best-known Argentine jazz musician internationally is probably Leandro Gato Barbieri. The tenor saxophonist worked with renowned big band orchestra conductor Lalo Schifrin in the early 1960s, shortly before Schifrin became internationally known for his composition of the theme to Mission: Impossible. Hired by jazz trumpeter Don Cherry, the two recorded Complete Communion in 1965, an album that secured their reputation in the jazz world. Barbieri went on to record his influential Caliente! (1976), an album combining Latin jazz and experimental work such as his own and jazz fusion great Carlos Santana's, as well as Qué pasa (1997), which draws more deeply from Argentine folklore roots.

Cuisine

Besides many of the pasta, sausage and dessert dishes common to continental Europe, Argentines enjoy a wide variety of Indigenous and Criollo creations, which include empanadas (a stuffed pastry), locro (a mixture of corn, beans, meat, bacon, onion, and gourd), humitas and yerba mate, all originally indigenous Amerindian staples, the latter considered Argentina's national beverage. Other popular items include chorizo (a spicy sausage), facturas (Viennese-style pastry) and Dulce de leche, a sort of milk caramel jam. The Argentine barbecue, asado as well as a parrillada, includes various types of meats, among them chorizo, sweetbread, chitterlings, and morcilla (blood sausage). Thin sandwiches, sandwiches de miga, are also popular. Argentines have the highest consumption of red meat in the world.[180]

The Argentine wine industry, long among the largest outside Europe, has benefited from growing investment since 1992; in 2007, 60% of foreign investment worldwide in viticulture was destined to Argentina.[181] The country is the fifth most important wine producer in the world,[182] with the annual per capita consumption of wine among the highest. Malbec grape, a discardable varietal in France (country of origin), has found in the Province of Mendoza an ideal environment to successfully develop and turn itself into the world's best Malbec.[181] Mendoza accounts for 70% of the country's total wine production. "Wine tourism" is important in Mendoza province, with the impressive landscape of the Cordillera de Los Andes and the highest peak in the Americas, Mount Aconcagua, 6,952 m (22,808 ft) high, providing a very desirable destination for international tourism.

Media

The print media industry is highly developed, with more than two hundred newspapers. The major national newspapers are from Buenos Aires, including the centrist Clarín, the best-selling daily in Latin America and the second most widely circulated in the Spanish-speaking world.[183] Other nationally circulated papers are La Nación (center-right, published since 1870), Página/12 (left-wing), Ámbito Financiero (business conservative), Olé (sports) and Crónica (populist). The most circulated newsmagazine is Noticias.[184]

Radio broadcasting in Argentina is predated only by radio in the United States, and began on 27 August 1920, when Richard Wagner's Parsifal was broadcast by a team of medical students led Enrique Susini in Buenos Aires' Teatro Coliseo.[185] There are currently 260 AM broadcasting and 1150 FM broadcasting radio stations in Argentina.[186]

The Argentine television industry is large and diverse, widely viewed in Latin America, and its productions seen around the world. Argentines enjoy the highest availability of cable and satellite television in Latin America, similar to percentages in North America.[187]

Argentine comic artists have contributed prominently to national culture, including Héctor Germán Oesterheld, Alberto Breccia, Dante Quinterno, Francisco Solano López, Horacio Altuna, Roberto Fontanarrosa, whose grotesque characters captured life's absurdities with quick-witted commentary, and Quino, known for the soup-hating Mafalda and her comic strip gang of childhood friends.

Sports

Lionel Messi, four time FIFA Ballon d'Or winner, playing for Argentina

The official national sport of Argentina is pato,[188] played with a six-handle ball on horseback, but the most popular sport is association football.[189] The national football team has won 25 major international titles[190] including two FIFA World Cups, two Olympic gold medals and fourteen Copa Américas.[191] Over one thousand Argentine players play abroad, the majority of them in European football leagues.[192] There are 331,811 registered football players,[193] and Argentina has produced some of the greatest players in the world, including joint FIFA Player of the Century Diego Maradona, four time FIFA Ballon d'Or recipient Lionel Messi, Argentina and Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stéfano, 1978 World Cup winning captain Daniel Passarella and Golden Boot winner Mario Kempes, and the all-time leading goalscorer for the national team Gabriel Batistuta.

The Argentine Football Association (AFA) was formed in 1893 and is the eighth oldest national football association in the world. The AFA today counts 3,377 football clubs,[193] including 20 in the Premier Division. Since the AFA went professional in 1931, fifteen teams have won national tournament titles, including River Plate with 33 and Boca Juniors with 24.[194] Over the last twenty years, futsal and beach soccer have become increasingly popular. The Argentine beach football team was one of four competitors in the first international championship for the sport in 1993.[195] An increasing number of girls and women play the sport, who have organized their own national championships since 1991 and were South American champions in 2006.

Basketball is the second most popular sport; a number of basketball players play in the U.S. National Basketball Association and European leagues including Manu Ginóbili, Andrés Nocioni, Carlos Delfino, Luis Scola and Fabricio Oberto. The men's national basketball team won Olympic gold in the 2004 Olympics and the bronze medal in 2008. Argentina has been ranked number one in the FIBA World Rankings between 2007 and 2010.

Argentina has an important rugby union football team, "Los Pumas", with many of its players playing in Europe. Argentina beat host nation France twice in the 2007 Rugby World Cup, placing them third in the competition. The Pumas are currently (as per October, 2013) tenth in the official world rankings.[196]

On 4 July 2013, Buenos Aires was selected as host city for the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics.[197]

National symbols

Some of Argentina's national symbols are defined by law, while others are traditions lacking formal designation.[198] The Flag of Argentina consists of three horizontal stripes equal in width and colored light blue, white and light blue, with the Sun of May in the center of the middle white stripe.[199] The flag was designed by Manuel Belgrano in 1812; it was adopted as a national symbol on 20 July 1816.[200] The Coat of Arms, which represents the union of the provinces, came into use in 1813 as the seal for official documents.[201] The Argentine National Anthem was written by Vicente López y Planes with music by Blas Parera, and was adopted in 1813.[201] The National Cockade was first used during the May Revolution of 1810 and was made official two years later.[202] The Virgin of Lujan is Argentina's patron saint.[203]

The ceibo is the national floral emblem and national tree,[198][204] while the quebracho Colorado is the national forest tree.[205] The national sport is pato, a horseback game.[206] Argentine wine is the national liquor and mate the "national infusion".[207][208] Rhodochrosite is the country's "national gemstone".[209][210]

The hornero, living across most of the national territory, was chosen as the national bird in 1928 after a lower school survey.[211] Though not defined by law, asado and locro are considered the national dishes.[212][213]

Education

The ubiquitous white uniform of Argentine school children is a national symbol of learning

Argentina built a national public education system in comparison to other nations, placing the country high in the global rankings of literacy. Today Argentina has a literacy rate of 97.4%,[214] and 16.2% over age 15 have completed secondary school studies or higher.[215] School attendance is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 17. The Argentine school system consists of an elementary or lower school level lasting six or seven years, and a secondary or high school level lasting between five to six years, depending on the jurisdiction.[216]

There are forty-seven national public universities across the country, as well as forty-six private ones.[217] The universities of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, La Plata, Rosario, and the National Technological University are among the most important. Public universities faced cutbacks in spending during the 1980s and 1990s, which led to a decline in overall quality.

Four out of five Argentine adults have completed grade school, over a third have completed their secondary education and one in nine Argentine adults have college degrees. Likewise, Argentina has the highest rate of university students in Latin America: official sources recently reported roughly 1,500,000 college students within the Argentine University System.[218]

Health care

The University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine, alma mater to many of the country's 3,000 medical graduates, annually.[219]

Health care is provided through a combination of employer and labor union-sponsored plans (Obras Sociales), government insurance plans, public hospitals and clinics and through private health insurance plans. Health care cooperatives number over 300 (of which 200 are related to labor unions) and provide health care for half the population; the national INSSJP (popularly known as PAMI) covers nearly all of the five million senior citizens.[220]

There are more than 153,000 hospital beds, 121,000 physicians and 37,000 dentists (ratios comparable to developed nations).[221][222] The relatively high access to medical care has historically resulted in mortality patterns and trends similar to developed nations': from 1953 to 2005, deaths from cardiovascular disease increased from 20% to 23% of the total, those from tumors from 14% to 20%, respiratory problems from 7% to 14%, digestive maladies (non-infectious) from 7% to 11%, strokes a steady 7%, injuries, 6%, and infectious diseases, 4%. Causes related to senility led to many of the rest. Infant deaths have fallen from 19% of all deaths in 1953 to 3% in 2005.[221][223]

The availability of health care has also reduced infant mortality from 70 per 1000 live births in 1948[224] to 12.1 in 2009[221] and raised life expectancy at birth from 60 years to 76.[224] Though these figures compare favorably with global averages, they fall short of levels in developed nations and in 2006, Argentina ranked fourth in Latin America.[222]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Article 35 of the Argentine Constitution gives equal recognition to the names "United Provinces of the River Plate", "Argentine Republic" and "Argentine Confederation" and authorizes the use of "Argentine Nation" in the making and enactment of laws.[1]
  2. ^ a b Area does not include territorial claims in Antarctica (965,597 km2, including the South Orkney Islands), the Falkland Islands (11,410 km2), the South Georgia (3,560 km2) and the South Sandwich Islands (307 km2).[3]
  3. ^ "At the same time, U.S. President Clinton initiated a redirection of that effort to include countries well beyond the Pacific rim. When the U.S. Treasury organized the next round of finance meetings, it included several non-APEC members, including all the European members of the G7, the Latin American powers Argentina and Brazil, and such other emerging markets as India, Poland, and South Africa."[9]
  4. ^ "The driving force behind the adoption of the MERCOSUR agreement was similar to that of the establishment of the EU: the hope of limiting the possibilities of traditional military hostility between the major regional powers, Brazil and Argentina."[10]
  5. ^ "Secondary regional powers in Huntington's view[11] include Great Britain, Ukraine, Japan, South Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Argentina."[12]
  6. ^ "The US has created a foundation upon which the regional powers, especially Argentina and Brazil, can develop their own rules for further managing regional relations."[13]
  7. ^ "Though not a surprise, the position of Argentina, Brazil's main regional partner, as the staunchest opponent of its main international ambition [to win a permanent seat on the UN Security Council] dealt a heavy blow to Brazil's image as a regional leader."[14]
  8. ^ "Argentina has been the leading military and economic power in the Southern Cone in the Twentieth Century."[15]
  9. ^ "The southern cone of South America, including Argentina and Brazil, the two regional powers, has recently become a pluralistic security community."[16]
  10. ^ "... notably by linking the Southern Cone's rival regional powers, Brazil and Argentina."[17]
  11. ^ The country has a "foundation for future growth due to its market size, levels of foreign direct investment, and percentage of high-tech exports as share of total manufactured goods ... Argentina's economy appears stable, but confidence in financial institutions remains low."[19]
  12. ^ "[After the Viceroyalty became] a new period that commenced with the revolution of 1810, whose plan consisted in declaring the independence of a nation, thus turning the legal bond of vassalage into one of citizenship as a component of sovereignty and, in addition, organising the democratic republic."[22]
  13. ^ "The Argentine nation was a unity in colonial times, during the Viceroyalty, and remained so after the revolution of May 1810. ... The provinces never acted as independent sovereign states, but as entities created within the nation and as integral parts of it, incidentally affected by internal conflicts."[23]
  14. ^ The Argentine nationality is a unique national entity, successor to the Viceroyalty, which, after undergoing a long period of anarchy and disorganisation, adopted a decentralised form in 1853–1860 under the constitution.[24]
  15. ^ Since 2012 suffrage is optative for ages 16 and 17.[78]
  16. ^ The City of Buenos Aires is a federal district, but its local organization has similarities with the provinces: it has a local constitution, an elected mayor and representatives to the Senate and Deputy chambers.[89]

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