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    Central and south america

    central and south america

    AN EMERGING PARTNERSHIP FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH. President Obama is committed to enhancing U.S. leadership in Central and South America. Colombia - Bogotá and Cartagena. Looking for more Latin America mission trips? Check out our volunteer programs in Central America and the Caribbean. Is it safe. Russia is working to expand its presence in Latin America, Yet Moscow may view its gains in Central and South America as payback for.
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    Central America Geography

    Central and south america -

    Chile Tours

    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Central & South America

    Providing global solutions for industry-wide problems is what Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University does best.

    By partnering with Embry-Riddle, you have access to a network of faculty experts, accomplished alumni and industry connections.

    Embry-Riddle’s Central & South America staff in Brazil support local and regional aviation growth with a variety of education, applied research and training options to choose from.

    The university’s roots in Brazil date back to 1943 when Escola Técnica de Aviacão was established in São Paulo. Within months, the nation’s first aviation training school had basic, aircraft, engines and instrument departments and welcomed officials including former Brazil President Getulio Vargas and U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

    Today, Embry-Riddle Central & South America offers professional courses, applied research solutions and support for students interested in the aviation industry.

    For more information about Embry-Riddle in Central & South America, contact us at [email protected] and +55-11-4410-3728

    Panama Tours

    The only thing predictable about South and Central America's weather is its unpredictability. In fact, in some countries (especially those near the Equator), it's not uncommon to experience all four seasons in a single day. In other regions, seasons are dramatically different with hurricanes during part of the year and drought during another. You can check the Weather links for each country for detailed weather information.

    In general, Central America has a distinct wet and dry season. Temperatures are relatively similar year round, but rainfall varies considerably from nearly none at all to 12 inches or more in a single month. The wet season runs from June to October and the dry season from mid November to May. Despite these predictable patterns, it's not unheard of to have a sudden flood in the dry season or to have two weeks of gorgeous weather in the middle of the wet season. Most activities and tours are available year round, though some of our Belize vacations are unavailable from July to October because of the increased hurricane risk.

    South American Weather

    Amazon Tours

    Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean

    The situation

    Many of these countries are transit countries for cocaine bound for the main consumer markets in North America and Europe. For the North American market, cocaine is typically transported from Colombia to Mexico or Central America by sea and then onwards by land to the United States and Canada. The US authorities estimate that close to 90% of the cocaine entering the country crosses the US/Mexico land border, most of it entering the state of Texas. According to US estimates, some 70% of the cocaine leaves Colombia via the Pacific.

    Colombia remains the main source of the cocaine found in Europe, but direct shipments from Peru and the Plurinational State of Bolivia are far more common than in the US market. The relative importance of Colombia seems to be in decline. For example, in 2002, the UK authorities reported that 90% of the cocaine seized originated in Colombia, but by 2008, the figure fell to 65%. In a number of other European countries, Peru and the Plurinational State of Bolivia seem to be the primary source countries of cocaine.

    Seizures of cocaine, 2008

    Global seizures of cocaine

    Source: UNODC World Drug Report, 2010

    Regional focus

    UNODC response to illicit drug trafficking within the framework of the Regional Programme for Central America

    The Regional Programme for Central America is the result of an in-depth consultation process fully supported by Member States of the region. UNODC organized a Regional Experts Meeting in Costa Rica in 2009 on priorities for action in Central America for the period 2009-2011.

    The ''Programa de UNODC para el reforzamiento del plan de acción de la estrategia de seguridad en Centroamérica y México'' was adopted at the Ministerial Conference in Managua , Nicaragua on 23-24 Junes 2009 by the seven Member States of the Central American Integration System (SICA), with Costa Rica as observer, the Dominican Republic as an Associated State to SICA and Mexico. It is intended to complement the Central America and Mexico Security Strategy Action Plan.

    Representatives of the States at the Ministerial Conference also presented their national priorities and requested UNODC to provide state-of-the-art advisory services and technical assistance in order to design and implement an appropriate answer to the problems of drug trafficking and related transnational organized crime.

    In the final declaration of the Managua Ministerial Meeting, Member States also endorsed the creation of Centres of Excellence in the region, which will gather the existing expertise in Central America and leverage it to deliver highly successful programmes and projects.

    The Regional Programe for Central America is the operational translation of the "Programa de UNODC para el reforzamiento del plan de acción de la estrategia de seguridad en Centroamérica y México".

    UNODC response to illicit drug trafficking, regional initiatives in Central America

    Santo Domingo Pact/ SICA-UNODC Mechanism

    The Santo Domingo Pact/ SICA-UNODC Mechanism is an interregional programme (Central America and the Caribbean) which aims to enhance policy coordination in the field of drug trafficking and organized crime. The objectives are to (i) facilitate the coordination of regional and national policies in the field of organized crime and drug trafficking,(ii) develop an analysis capacity of organized crime and drug trafficking trends in the two regions, (iii) ensure an exchange of information amongst the partners of the mechanism and avoid duplication between technical assistance projects, (iv) assist countries in implementing the UN conventions on organized crime (UNTOC), corruption (UNCAC) and the three drugs conventions, and implement effective anti-organized crime policies.

    Establishment of a treatment, rehabilitation and social reintegration network in Central America

    The regional project aims to create a treatment, rehabilitation and social reinsertion network in Central America, in order to progressively promote an integrated approach to the needs of  drug dependent persons and facilitate the consolidation of a regional treatment capacity.

    Regional network of organized crime prosecutors

    Most of the countries in Central America have recently established special anti-narcotic and/or organized crime units (OC units) within the police and the prosecuting authorities. This initiative proposes the creation of a sustainable Network of Central American Anti-Organized Crime and Drug Prosecution Units (OCN) in order to strengthen the prosecuting and investigating capacities of Central American countries in handling complex and transnational cases involving drug trafficking as well as other forms of organized crime, and to enhance regional and inter-regional operational and judicial cooperation. The OCN is  composed of all prosecuting officials who work in specialized organized crime and narcotic units of the participating countries.

    Regional Centre of Excellence on Maritime Security in Panama

    The objective of centres of excellence is to assist governments in the region to build up national and regional capacity in dealing with threats and risks stemming from illicit trafficking, drug abuse, organized crime and related violence as well as to strengthen the rule of law. Centres of excellence will also support governments in developing effective programmes by identifying areas of opportunity and areas needing immediate attention by sharing information, providing research and analysis.

    The Centre of Excellence in Panama City will help diagnose threats in maritime security and serve as a resource of expertise, training, data collection and analysis. It will provide strategic direction and training in search techniques, security, maritime interdiction, human trafficking and the handling of hazardous and toxic cargo.

    Regional Centre of Excellence on Crime Statistics

    UNODC and the National Institute of Statistics of Mexico (INEGI) have established a regional Centre of Excellence on Government, Public Security, Victimization and Justice statistics in Mexico. The objective is to facilitate the strengthening of statistics and analytical capacities in the above mentioned areas. The Centre of Excellence will develop and provide planning and information gathering tools, develop studies and publications, offer training and, develop databases and methodologies. The centre will also promote the exchange of standardized information between countries and the identification of good practices in the field of crime statistics.

    Go to UNODC Mexico website


    These ecoregions of Central and South America were developed in 1998 as part of an effort by the US Geological Survey EROS Data Center and U.S. EPA NHEERL-WED to develop a first approximation of ecological regions for the Western Hemisphere (North, Central, and South America), and that would be relatively consistent with the already completed North American ecoregion framework (CEC 1997). The 1998 project report "Ecological Classification of the Western Hemisphere" (Griffith et al., 1998) discusses some of the philosophical and methodological differences used in the development of ecosystem frameworks and how these differences can affect regional identification and boundary delineations. The aim of the report was to review ecological classifications of North and South America; highlight the differences in their objectives, approaches, and results; discuss some problems encountered in multi-national mapping efforts; and to present a preliminary alternative classification for Central and South America.

    The initial delineation of ecoregions was based on analysis of multiple types and scales of thematic maps including geology, physiography, soils, potential and existing vegetation, climate, landcover and agricultural uses, other ecological frameworks, and from other regional descriptive documents. For Central and South America and the Caribbean, we delineated 12 Level I regions, 35 Level II regions, and 121 Level III regions. Boundaries for the Central and South American ecoregions were delineated and digitized on 1:5,000,000-scale base maps and should be considered as approximations. Working at this more general scale is in contrast to the ecoregion mapping completed in the U.S. at the more detailed 1:250,000 scale (Omernik and Griffith 2014). Although a more formal and detailed effort to map Central and South American ecoregions was not pursued by the USGS and US EPA, we provide this draft work for those interested in the concept and uses of a general Western Hemisphere regional framework (e.g., Lawler et al., 2009).

    Literature Cited:

    Commission for Environmental Cooperation. 1997. Ecological regions of North America: toward a common perspective. Commission for Environmental Cooperation, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. 71p. (map updated 2006).

    Griffith, G.E., J.M. Omernik, and S.H. Azevedo. 1998. Ecological classification of the Western Hemisphere. Unpublished report. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Western Ecology Division, Corvallis, OR. 49p.

    Lawler, J.J, S.L. Shafer, D. White, P. Kareiva, E.P. Maurer, A. Blaustein, and P.J. Bartlein. 2009. Projected climate-induced faunal change in the Western Hemisphere. Ecology 90(3):588-597.

    Omernik, J.M. and G.E. Griffith. 2014. Ecoregions of the conterminous United States: Evolution of a hierarchical spatial framework. Environmental Management 54(6):1249-1266.

    PRINCIPAL AUTHORS: Glenn E. Griffith, James M. Omernik, and Sandra H. Azevedo.

    central and south america
    central and south america

    Migration in Latin America

    Migration in Latin America

    Latin America is a region of immigrants. South American, Central American, and Caribbean nations, as well as Mexico have been receivers of European and other migrants throughout their histories.

    And Latin America continues to welcome refugees and migrants from all over the world. Mexico accepted refugees from Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover in 2021 and Brazil has taken in considerable numbers of Syrians escaping the crisis there.

    Generally, the region has been supportive of international protocols on migration and, in many ways, its countries are considerably more advanced in their integration of migrants than Europe or the United States.

    This article explains the region’s history of migration, the current crisis caused by failing states such as Venezuela, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, and the long history of travel to the US.

    Latin America is considered to be all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean, as well as Mexico.

    History of migration in Latin America

    Latin America is as defined by immigration as the US. Many South American nations were colonized by Europeans and these immigrants decimated the indigenous populations, bringing slaves and creating a white middle and upper class. All these factors have left enduring scars similar to those in the US.

    However, Latin America is different to the US in its perception of its neighbours, and of migrants and migration.

    Throughout Latin America’s history various nations have experienced political turmoil, leading to regular displacements of economic and political migrants and refugees to bordering countries. Additionally, most countries in South America share land borders with multiple neighbours. As a result, the region became accustomed to welcoming and integrating immigrants.  

    Latin America is different to the US in its perception of its neighbours, and of migrants and migration.

    Immigrants have also been far more integrated into Latin America’s political system than in the US.

    Argentina’s former president Carlos Menem was from a Syrian family, Brazil had a president of Polish heritage in Juscelino Kubitschek, and Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori was of Japanese descent.

    Even independence leaders were often immigrants – Bernardo O’Higgins, one of Peru’s founding fathers, was of Irish/ Spanish descent.

    Unfortunately, much of the positive welcome that people of European descent historically received in South America was often not extended to those of indigenous or African backgrounds.

    Since the Spanish and Portuguese conquests, which imported slaves from Africa to harvest rubber and sugar, a racial class structure has persisted. This is largely based on degrees of European descent with the more predominant descendants of slaves and indigenous people often overrepresented in the lower rungs of the economic and social classes.  

    However, in recent years working class and indigenous figures have arisen in Latin American

    politics. Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro identifies as being of mixed indigenous race, and former Bolivian president Evo Morales was of indigenous descent and, before becoming president, was leader of the coca growers’ union. New Peruvian president Pedro Castillo comes from an impoverished background.

    What is the Latin American migration crisis?

    The current crisis consists of several dramatic migrations currently underway from nations in South and Central America in particular.

    There are two primary trajectories – from the central American ‘northern triangle’ countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala across Mexico to the US, and from Venezuela to neighbouring South American nations and locations such as Spain and the Caribbean.

    These migrations are mainly the results of failing states, limited – or in the case of Venezuela, loss of – economic opportunity, crime, and violence.  

    Migration from Latin America to USA

    The largest number of migrants from Latin America to the US come from Mexico and from Central America. The majority of immigrants in the US from Central America are arriving from ‘northern triangle’ countries – Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

    Also, many migrants are traversing Mexico to get to the US and so increasingly large numbers are staying in Mexico due to the difficulty of crossing the 2000-mile border with the US.

    Push and pull

    It’s important to understand the ‘push and pull’ factor at work in migration to the US: The ‘push’ works when people leave their countries, fleeing violence, political repression, and economic hardship and travel to the US.

    Once in the US these people naturally form communities, which then creates a ‘pull’ factor on networks back home, drawing in relatives seeking a new life of peace and prosperity. Entire towns from Central America have effectively been recreated in the US in this way – just as towns from Ireland, Italy and other countries had previously.

    Much of the recent wave of anti-migrant feeling stems from changes in the locations where migrants are settling.

    US anti-immigrant sentiment has waxed and waned over the past century but much of the recent wave of anti-migrant feeling stems from changes in the locations where migrants are settling.

    Whereas previously cities such as New York and Boston integrated vast numbers of Italian, German, and Jewish migrants, the receiving areas for migrants have now changed.

    The vast majority are now attracted by jobs in more rural areas with almost no historic experience of accommodating large migrant arrivals, such as the meat-packing industry in the mid-west, and chicken processing plants and furniture factories in the south. These areas have seen immigration increase by as much as 200 per cent, with migrants filling jobs most Americans do not want.

    US presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama tried to expand legal immigration to serve this labour need but failed due to domestic politics, leaving the US with a legal migration system which does not provide the required labour.

    Part of the promise of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was to create more jobs in Mexico and reduce migration to the US. For various reasons that did not happen and the outright hostility to migrants displayed by former president Donald Trump gained popularity.

    Trump’s legacy is harsher immigration practices. Migration checks are now held on the Mexican side of the border so those seeking asylum in the US are often having their cases processed in Mexico, while a harder line policy of returning undocumented immigrants has seen more rounded up and deposited in their home countries.

    The Trump presidency also distorted the immigration debate, framing the narrative around criminal elements making illegal border crossings from Mexico and Latin America as the exclusive nature and source of illegal migration.

    It is true there is a large undocumented immigrant population in the US, of around 11 million, and it is also true the majority are Mexicans. But the next largest groups are Filipinos and Chinese. And most undocumented migrants have outstayed their visas, not crossed the border illegally.

    There is no evidence Latin American migrants are more dangerous than US citizens or are unfairly ‘playing’ the system. Many pay taxes under a false social security number for benefits they will never receive – so many are net contributors.

    Migration within Latin America

    There is a long tradition within Latin and South America of intra-regional migration with Peruvians in Chile, Bolivian immigrants in Argentina, and Haitians in Brazil and Chile. The region also has a long tradition of welcoming those fleeing political repression.

    After the coup of 1973, Chileans fled to countries such as Cuba and Venezuela, while Cubans sought exile in countries such as Mexico and Venezuela after the 1959 revolution.

    Many Colombians fled to Venezuela during the civil wars of the 1980s and 1990s, and Costa Rica took in many migrants during the Colombian and central American civil wars, as well as those currently fleeing repression in Nicaragua.

    Migration from Venezuela

    Close to six million people have fled Venezuela due to the economic and humanitarian crisis in the country, the likes of which has not been seen by a country not at war. Since 2013, the economy has contracted by 75 per cent and inflation in 2021 is expected to reach 1,800 per cent. Close to 80 per cent of the population is in poverty and around two-thirds are malnourished.

    Around 2-3 million Venezuelan refugees are now in Colombia. Many are educated and many have brought their families, and the kind of people fleeing cuts right across class and racial boundaries. Despite putting tremendous strain on Colombia’s social safety net, labour markets, education system and politics, Colombia has done a good job of accommodating this enormous influx and planning their integration.

    Venezuelans have also travelled in large numbers to other parts of South America such as Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile as well as to Spain and the Caribbean.

    Migration from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador

    Guatemala and El Salvador have some of the most unequal distribution of land in the world. Opportunities are limited in a stratified class system, and both nations were wracked by civil wars during the 1980s with 200,000 people killed in Guatemala’s wars alone.

    Most of those fleeing are running from a lack of economic opportunities, endemic crime, and violence. Many who settle and prosper in the US or elsewhere then send remittances home, making up as much as 20 per cent of El Salvador’s GDP.

    A negative aspect to this migration is that some young people joined gangs in the US so many were imprisoned and then deported back to central America, effectively opening branches of the US gangs in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

    Honduras is now the murder capital of the world.

    Gangs such as MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha) in Central America infiltrated the states and unleashed waves of violent crime.

    Honduras is now the murder capital of the world with a worse murder rate than Iraq at the height of its war.

    Politics is also affected, with the current president of Honduras accused of taking bribes from famed drug trafficker El Chapo, while his brother had his own ‘brand’ of cocaine.

    Much of the crime and violence is driven by US drug consumption. Drug traffic to the US passes from Colombia and Peru through central America, enriching and empowering these gangs and deepening corruption in the states.

    Migration to South America

    There is a long and complex history of migration to South America from all over the world, from those seeking economic opportunity to those fleeing violence.Italian immigration to South America

     The height of Italian immigration to South America happened at the end of the 19th and early 20th century, peaking around the time of Mussolini.

    Due to differing growing seasons in South America, large number of Italian immigrants would travel to Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay. and Brazil to work on the harvest and then return home. Argentinians called the Italians ‘Swallows’ as they came and went with the seasons, but many also settled there.

    One member of an Italian immigrant family was Carlos Pellegrini, president of Argentina in the 19th century – something unthinkable in the US at that time.

    Spanish and British immigration to South America

    In the 1960s and 70s, many countries were more developed than Spain which was still under Franco’s bay state savings bank careers. Many Spanish travelled to Venezuela during the country’s oil boom and settled after finding work there.

    There are two complete English-speaking towns in Argentina dating from the late 1800s. Argentina became one of the major exporters of beef, mutton, and wool to Britain in this period and many English financiers travelled to the country to do business and then settled is drinking dill pickle juice good for you to Brazil

    Brazil has a large Lebanese immigrant population, creating a huge halal meat industry. There are also many Germans in the country where some towns still celebrate Oktoberfest. Further back, many Confederate families fled to the country after defeat in the US civil war as Brazil still had slavery at the time.

    The future of migration to Latin America

    Since the turn or the millennium, there is a general trend among western nations to limit immigration so, as a result, there can you open a paypal account with a savings account every chance more migrants will find their way to South America.

    This may well bring opportunity and dynamism to South American economies and societies but there is also the threat that new waves of migrants further entrench the disenfranchisement of indigenous and black populations and aggravate existing tensions.

    There have been increased – albeit isolated – incidents of hostility to intra-regional migration. Almost 200,000 Haitians migrated to Chile following the 2010 earthquake but many are now attempting to reach the US for other reasons such as racism or a lack of economic opportunity.


    Central America, South America & the Caribbean

    Catholic Relief Services works in 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

    CRS' humanitarian work in the region provides people with access to health care and education, helps tens of thousands of farmers improve their productivity and environmental resilience in the face of climate change, and assists communities in preparing for and responding to natural disaster.

    CRS also works with the Catholic Church and civil society partners to defend indigenous people and labor rights, and to uphold the rights of migrants across the region through humanitarian assistance, education and advocacy.

    CRS humanitarian aid programs in Latin America and the Caribbean focus on satisfying critical, immediate needs through disaster relief, health services and viable agriculture options. Meeting and responding thoughtfully and responsibly to human needs begins to address the long-term and structural factors that make poverty a chronic problem in the region.

    Because this area is prone to hurricanes, earthquakes and droughts, CRS' humanitarian work in Central America, South America and the Caribbean empowers communities to carefully plan and respond effectively to disasters. Coordinating with local government and community groups, we develop and raise awareness about emergency plans. In the Caribbean, youth emergency action committees put young people to work mapping out evacuation routes and setting up emergency shelters. In rural areas, CRS helps farmers improve soil quality, protect vital water sources and replant areas prone to landslides and flooding.

    We have also used our emergency and disaster preparedness experience to develop other programming. Building upon the large-scale water central and south america we implemented in response to Hurricane Mitch, CRS has developed an expertise in watershed management, an innovative and holistic approach that empowers communities to protect and better manage their water resources.

    Our projects also create the conditions that allow small-scale farmers to enter into and thrive in stable and more profitable markets. Sixty percent of people in rural areas live below the poverty line. For more than half of them, agriculture is the main source of income. We customize interventions to address specific, critical needs.

    CRS builds value chains that support poor farmers on a large scale. The El Salvador Cacao Alliance, a CRS-led collaboration of private companies, government and research institutions, is transforming El Salvador into a source of cacao for the gourmet international market. The 3-year project will boost the incomes of 10,000 farm families and create 26,000 jobs.

    We fight hunger and nutrition through targeted programs that provide food. To encourage the consumption of nutritious foods, we teach families how to establish family gardens and educate them about the care and consumption of domestic livestock. We work with health centers to immunize children and treat malnutrition-related illnesses.

    Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean face some very high-profile challenges including poverty, gang and youth violence, social conflicts, human trafficking and unaccompanied children leaving their homeland.

    To target the root causes of migration, our humanitarian work in Central America, South America and the Caribbean invests in youth, who play a crucial role in transforming their communities. YouthBuilders, CRS’ flagship program, has helped more than 4,000 young people in Central America build vocational and life skills so they can find jobs or start small businesses.

    CRS has more than 200 partners in Latin America and the Caribbean. All CRS projects are designed to strengthen the ability of local communities to meet their own needs and to work more effectively with their local governments.

    As you explore the countries in which CRS works, we hope you see the tremendous potential behind the programs, stories and especially the people we’re privileged to serve.


    Latin America

    Region of the Americas where Romance languages are primarily spoken

    "Latinoamérica" redirects here. For the demonym, see Latin American. For the song, see Latinoamérica (song).

    Latin America (orthographic projection).svg
    Area20,111,457 km2 (7,765,077 sq mi)[1]
    Population642,216,682 (2018 est.)[2][3][b]
    Population density31/km2 (80/sq mi)
    Ethnic groups
    DemonymLatin American
    LanguagesRomance languages
    Quechua, Mayan languages, Guaraní, Aymara, Nahuatl, Haitian Creole, German, English, Dutch, Welsh, Ukrainian, Polish, Russian, Yiddish, Greek, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Others
    Time zonesUTC−2 to UTC−8
    Largest cities(Metro areas)[5][6]
    1. São Paulo
    2. Mexico City
    3. Buenos Aires
    4. Rio de Janeiro
    5. Bogotá
    6. Lima
    7. Santiago
    8. Guadalajara
    9. Monterrey
    10. Belo Horizonte
    UN M49 code – Latin America
    – Americas
    – World

    Latin America[a] is the portion of the Americas comprising countries central and south america regions where Romance languages—languages that derived from Latin—such as Spanish, Portuguese, and French are predominantly spoken.[7] The term is used for those places once ruled under the Spanish, Portuguese, and French empires. Parts of the United States and Canada where Romance languages are primarily spoken are not usually included due to being collectively grouped as Anglo-America (an exception to this is Puerto Rico, which is almost always included within the definition of Latin America despite being a territory of the United States). The term is broader than categories such as Hispanic America, which specifically refers to Spanish-speaking countries; and Ibero-America, which specifically refers to both Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries. The term is also more recent in origin.

    The term Latin America was first used in an 1856 conference called "Initiative of America: Idea for a Federal Congress of the Republics" (Iniciativa de la América. Idea de un Congreso Federal de las Repúblicas),[8] by the Chilean politician Francisco Bilbao. The term was further popularized by French Emperor Napoleon III's government in the 1860s as Amérique latine to justify France's military involvement in the Second Mexican Empire and to include French-speaking territories in the Americas such as French Canada, French Louisiana, or French Guiana, in the larger group of countries where Spanish and Portuguese languages prevailed.[9]

    Latin America consists of 20 countries and 14 dependent territories that cover an area that stretches from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego and includes much of the Caribbean. It has an area of approximately 19,197,000 km2 (7,412,000 sq mi),[1] almost 13% of the Earth's land surface area. As of March 2, 2020, the population of Latin America and the Caribbean was estimated at more than 652 million,[10] and in 2019, Latin America had a combined nominal GDP of US$5,188,250 million[11] and a GDP PPP of US$10,284,588 million.[11][12]

    Etymology and definitions[edit]


    There is no universal agreement on the origin of the term Latin America. The concept and term came into being in the nineteenth century, following political independence of countries from Spain and Portugal. It was popularized in 1860s France during the reign of Napoleon III. The term Latin America was a part of its attempt to create a French empire in the Americas.[13] Research has shown that the idea that a part of the Americas has a linguistic and cultural affinity with the Romance cultures as a whole can be traced back to the 1830s, in the writing of the French Saint-SimonianMichel Chevalier, who postulated that this part of the Americas was inhabited by people of a "Latin race", and that it could, therefore, ally itself with "Latin Europe", ultimately overlapping the Latin Church, in a struggle with "Teutonic Europe", "Anglo-Saxon America," and "Slavic Europe."[14]

    Historian John Leddy Phelan located the origins of the term Latin America in the French occupation of Mexico. His argument is that French imperialists used the concept of "Latin" America as a way to counter British imperialism, as well as to challenge the German threat to France.[15] The idea of a "Latin race" was then taken up by Latin American intellectuals and political leaders of the mid- and late-nineteenth century, who no longer looked to Spain or Portugal as cultural models, but rather to France.[16] French ruler Napoleon III had a strong interest in extending French commercial and political power in the region. He and his business promoter Felix Belly called it "Latin America" to emphasize the shared Latin background of France with the former Viceroyalties of Spain and colonies of Portugal. This led to Napoleon's failed attempt to take military control of Mexico in the 1860s.[9]

    However, though Phelan's thesis is still frequently cited in the US Academy, further scholarship has shown earlier usage of the term. Two Latin American historians, Uruguayan Arturo Ardao and Chilean Miguel Rojas Mix found evidence that the term "Latin America" was used earlier than Phelan claimed, and the first use of the term was in fact in opposition to imperialist projects in the Americas. Ardao wrote about this subject in his book Génesis de la idea y el nombre de América latina (Genesis of the Idea and the Name of Latin America, 1980),[17] and Miguel Rojas Mix in his article "Bilbao y el hallazgo de América latina: Unión continental, socialista y libertaria" (Bilbao and the Finding of Latin America: a Continental, Socialist and Libertarian Union, 1986).[18] As Michel Gobat points out in his article "The Invention of Latin America: A Transnational History of Anti-Imperialism, Democracy, and Race", "Arturo Ardao, Miguel Rojas Mix, and Aims McGuinness have revealed [that] the term 'Latin America' had already been used in 1856 by Central Americans and South Americans protesting US expansion into the Southern Hemisphere".[19] Edward Shawcross summarizes Ardao's and Rojas Mix's findings in the following way: "Ardao identified the term in a poem by a Colombian diplomat and intellectual resident in France, José María Torres Caicedo, published on 15 February 1857 in a French based Spanish-language newspaper, while Rojas Mix located it in a speech delivered in France by the radical liberal Chilean politician Francisco Bilbao in June 1856".[20]

    By the late 1850s, the term was being used in California (which was now a part of the United States), in local newspapers such as El Clamor Público by Californios writing about América latina and latinoamérica, and identifying as latinos as the abbreviated term for their "hemispheric membership in la raza latina".[21]

    The words "Latin" and "America" were first combined in a printed work to produce the term "Latin America" in 1856 in a conference by the Chilean politician Francisco Bilbao in Paris.[22] The conference had the title "Initiative of the America. Idea for a Federal Congress of Republics."[8] The following year the Colombian writer José María Torres Caicedo also used the term in his poem "The Two Americas".[23] Two events related with the United States played a central role in both works. The first event happened less than a decade before the publication of Bilbao's and Torres Caicedo works: the Invasion of Mexico or, in USA the Mexican–American War, after which Mexico lost a third of its territory. The second event, the Walker affair, happened the same year both works were written: the decision by US president Franklin Pierce to recognize the regime recently established in Nicaragua by American William Walker and his band of filibusters who ruled Nicaragua for nearly a year (1856–57) and attempted to reinstate slavery there, where it had been already abolished for three decades

    In both Bilbao's and Torres Caicedo's works, the Mexican–American War (1846–48 and William Walker's expedition to Nicaragua are explicitly mentioned as examples of dangers for the region. For Bilbao, "Latin America" was not a geographical concept, since he excluded Brazil, Paraguay, and Mexico. Both authors also ask for the union of all Latin American countries as the only way to defend their territories against further foreign US interventions. Both rejected also European imperialism, claiming that the return of European countries to non-democratic forms of government was another danger for Latin American countries, and used the same word to describe the state of European politics at the time: "despotism." Several years later, during the French invasion of Mexico, Bilbao wrote another work, "Emancipation of the Spirit in America," where he asked all Latin American countries to support the Mexican cause against France, and rejected French imperialism in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. He asked Latin American intellectuals to search for their "intellectual emancipation" by abandoning all French ideas, claiming that France was: "Hypocrite, because she [France] calls herself protector of the Latin race just to subject it to her exploitation regime; treacherous, because she speaks of freedom and nationality, when, unable to conquer freedom for herself, she enslaves others instead!"[24] Therefore, as Michel Gobat puts it, the term Latin America itself had an "anti-imperial genesis," and their creators were far from supporting any form of imperialism in the region, or in any other place of the globe.

    In France the term Latin America was used with the opposite intention. It was employed by the French Empire of Napoleon III during the French invasion of Mexico as a way to include France among countries with influence in the Americas and to exclude Anglophone countries. It played a role in his campaign to imply cultural kinship of the region with France, transform France into a cultural and political leader of the area, and install Maximilian of Habsburg as emperor of the Second Mexican Empire.[25] This term was also used in 1861 by French scholars in La revue des races Latines, a magazine dedicated to the Pan-Latinism movement.[26]

    Contemporary definitions[edit]

    The four common subregions in Latin America
    • Latin America is often used synonymously with Ibero-America ("Iberian America"), excluding the predominantly Dutch- French- and English-speaking territories. Thus the countries of Haiti, Belize, Guyana and Suriname, as well as several French overseas departments, are excluded.[27] On the other hand, Puerto Rico is then usually included.
    • In another definition, which is close to the semantic origin, Latin America designates the set of countries in the Americas where a Romance language (a language derived from Latin) predominates: Spanish, Portuguese, French, or a creole language based upon these. Thus it includes Mexico, most of Central and South America, and in the Caribbean, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. Latin America then comprises all those countries of the Americas that were once part of the Spanish, Portuguese, and French Empires.[28][29] Puerto Rico, although not a country, may also be included.
    • The term is sometimes used more broadly to refer to all of the Americas south of the United States,[29] thus including the Guianas (French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname); the Anglophone Caribbean (and Belize); the Francophone Caribbean; and the Dutch Caribbean. This definition emphasizes a similar socioeconomic history of the region, which was characterized by formal or informal colonialism, rather than cultural aspects (see, for example, dependency theory).[30] Some sources avoid this simplification where is baby registry on amazon using the alternative phrase "Latin America and the Caribbean", as in the United Nations geoscheme for the Americas.[31][32][33]

    The distinction between Latin America and Anglo-America is a convention based on the predominant languages in the Americas by which Romance-language and English-speaking cultures are distinguished. Neither area is culturally or linguistically homogeneous; in substantial portions of Latin America (e.g., highland Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, Guatemala), Native American cultures and, to a lesser extent, Amerindian languages, are predominant, and in other areas, the influence of African cultures is strong (e.g., the Caribbean basin – including parts of Colombia and Venezuela).

    The term is not without controversy. Historian Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo explores at length the "allure and power" of the idea of Latin America. He remarks at the outset, "The idea of 'Latin America' ought to have vanished with the obsolescence of racial theory. But it is not easy to declare something dead when it can hardly be said to have existed," going on to say, "The term is here to stay, and it is important."[34] Following in the tradition of Chilean writer Francisco Bilbao, who excluded Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay from his early conceptualization of Latin America,[35] Chilean historian Jaime Eyzaguirre has criticized the term Latin America for "disguising" and "diluting" the Spanish character of a region (i.e. Hispanic America) with the inclusion of nations that according to him do not share the same pattern of conquest and colonization.[36]

    Subregions and countries[edit]

    Latin America can be subdivided into several subregions based on geography, politics, demographics and culture. It is defined as all of the Americas south of the United States, the basic geographical subregions are North America, Central America, the Caribbean and South America;[37] the latter contains further politico-geographical subdivisions such as the Southern Cone, the Guianas and the Andean states. It may be subdivided on linguistic grounds into Spanish America, Portuguese America and French America.

    FlagArmsCountry/Territory Capital(s)Name(s) in official language(s)Population
    Time(s) zone(s)Subregion
    Coat of arms of Argentina.svg
    ArgentinaBuenos AiresArgentina44,361,1502,780,40016UTC/GMT -3 hoursSouth America
    Coat of arms of Bolivia.svg
    BoliviaSucre and La PazBolivia; Buliwya; Wuliwya; Volívia11,353,1421,098,58110UTC/GMT -4 hoursSouth America
    Coat of arms of Brazil.svg
    BrazilBrasíliaBrasil209,469,3238,514,87725UTC/GMT -2 hours (Fernando de Noronha)
    UTC/GMT -3 hours (Brasília)
    UTC/GMT -4 hours (Amazonas)
    UTC/GMT -5 hours (Acre)
    South America
    Coat of arms of Chile.svg
    ChileSantiagoChile18,729,160756,10225UTC/GMT -3 hours (Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica)
    UTC/GMT -4 hours (Continental Chile)
    UTC/GMT -5 hours (Easter Island)
    South America
    Coat of arms of Colombia.svg
    ColombiaBogotáColombia49,661,0481,141,74843UTC/GMT -5 hoursSouth America
    Coat of arms of Costa Rica.svg
    Costa RicaSan JoséCosta Rica4,999,44151,10098UTC/GMT -6 hoursCentral America
    Coat of arms of Cuba.svg
    CubaHavanaCuba11,338,134109,884103UTC/GMT -4 hoursCaribbean
    Coat of arms of the Dominican Republic.svg
    Dominican RepublicSanto DomingoRepública Dominicana10,627,14148,192221UTC/GMT -4 hoursCaribbean
    Coat of arms of Ecuador.svg
    EcuadorQuitoEcuador17,084,358256,36967UTC/GMT -5 hoursSouth America
    Coat of arms of El Salvador.svg
    El SalvadorSan SalvadorEl Salvador6,420,74621,041305UTC/GMT -6 hoursCentral America
    Coat of arms of French Guyana.svg
    French Guiana*CayenneGuyane282,93883,5343UTC/GMT -3 hoursSouth America
    Coat of arms of Guadeloupe.svg
    Guadeloupe*Basse-TerreGuadeloupe399,8481,705235UTC/GMT -4 hoursCaribbean
    Coat of arms of Guatemala.svg
    GuatemalaGuatemala CityGuatemala17,247,849108,889158UTC/GMT -6 hoursCentral America
    Coat of arms of Haiti.svg
    HaitiPort-au-PrinceHaïti; Ayiti11,123,17827,750401UTC/GMT -4 hoursCaribbean
    Coat of arms of Honduras.svg
    HondurasTegucigalpaHonduras9,587,522112,49285UTC/GMT -6 hoursCentral America
    Martinique*Fort-de-FranceMartinique375,6731,128333UTC/GMT -4 hoursCaribbean
    Coat of arms of Mexico.svg
    MexicoMexico CityMéxico126,190,7881,964,37564UTC/GMT -5 hours (Zona Sureste)
    UTC/GMT -6 hours (Zona Centro)
    UTC/GMT -7 hours (Zona Pacífico)
    UTC/GMT -8 hours (Zona Noroeste)
    North America
    Coat of arms of Nicaragua.svgcentral and south america width="20" height="20">
    NicaraguaManaguaNicaragua6,465,501130,37350UTC/GMT -6 hoursCentral America
    Coat of arms of Panama.svg
    PanamaPanama CityPanamá4,176,86975,41755UTC/GMT -5 hoursCentral America
    Coat of arms of Paraguay.svg
    ParaguayAsunciónParaguay; Tetã Paraguái6,956,066406,75217UTC/GMT -4 hoursSouth America
    Escudo nacional del Perú.svg
    PeruLimaPerú; Piruw31,989,2601,285,21625UTC/GMT -5 hoursSouth America
    central and south america src="" width="23" height="15">
    Coat of arms of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.svg
    Puerto Rico*San JuanPuerto Rico3,039,5968,870343UTC/GMT -4 hoursCaribbean
    Blason St Barthélémy TOM entire.svg
    Saint Barthélemy*GustaviaSaint-Barthélemy9,81625393UTC/GMT -4 hoursCaribbean
    St Martin Coat.png
    Saint Martin*MarigotSaint-Martin35,33454654UTC/GMT -4 hoursCaribbean
    Coat of arms of Uruguay.svg
    UruguayMontevideoUruguay3,449,285176,21520UTC/GMT -3 hoursSouth America
    Original Coat of arms of Venezuela.png
    Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)CaracasVenezuela28,887,118912,05032UTC/GMT -4 hoursSouth America

    *: Not a sovereign state


    Main article: History of Latin America

    See also: History of North America, History of South America, History of Central America, and History of the Caribbean

    Pre-Columbian history[edit]

    Main articles: Settlement of the Americas, Population history of Indigenous peoples of the Americas, and Pre-Columbian era

    Surviving section of the Inca road systemin Northwestern Argentina, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The road system linked the Andean empire

    There is no evidence of human evolution in the Americas; human settlement in the Americas is the result of central and south america from Asia.[citation needed] The earliest known human settlement was identified at Monte Verde, near Puerto Montt in southern Chile. Its occupation dates to some 14,000 years ago and there is some disputed evidence of even earlier occupation. Over the course of millennia, people spread to all parts of the North and South America and the Caribbean islands. Although the region now known as Latin America stretches from northern Mexico to Tierra del Fuego, the diversity of its geography, topography, climate, and cultivable land means that populations were not evenly distributed. Sedentary populations of fixed settlements supported by agriculture gave rise to complex civilizations in Mesoamerica (central and southern Mexico and Central America) and the highland Andes populations of Quechua and Aymara, as well as Chibcha.

    Agricultural surpluses from intensive cultivation of maize in Mesoamerica and potatos and hardy grains in the Andes were able to support distant populations beyond farmers' households and communities. Surpluses allowed the creation of social, political, religious, and military hierarchies, urbanization with stable village settlements and major cities, specialization of craft work, and the transfer of products via tribute and trade. In the Andes, llamas were domesticated and used to transport goods; Mesoamerica had no large domesticated animals to aid human labor or provide meat. Mesoamerican civilizations developed systems of writing; in the Andes, knotted quipus emerged as a system of accounting.

    The Caribbean region had sedentary populations settled by Arawak or Tainos and in what is now Brazil, many Tupian peoples lived in fixed settlements. Semi-sedentary populations had agriculture and settled villages, but soil exhaustion required relocation of settlements. Populations were less dense and social and political hierarchies less institutionalized. Non-sedentary peoples lived in small bands, with low population density and without agriculture. They lived in harsh environments. By the first millennium CE, the Western Hemisphere was the home of tens of millions of people; the exact numbers are a source of ongoing research and controversy.[40]

    The last two great civilizations, the Aztecs and Incas, emerged into prominence in the early fourteenth century and mid-fifteenth centuries. Although the Indigenous empires were conquered by Europeans, the sub-imperial organization of the densely populated regions remained in place. The presence or absence of Indigenous populations had an impact on how European imperialism played out in the Americas. The pre-Columbian civilizations of Mesoamerica and the highland Andes became sources of pride for American-born Spaniards in the late colonial era and for nationalists in the post-independence era.[41] For some modern Latin American nation-states, the Indigenous roots of national identity are expressed in the ideology of indigenismo. These modern constructions of national identity usually critique their colonial past.[42]

    Spanish and Portuguese colonization[edit]

    Main articles: European colonization of the Americas, Spanish colonization of the Americas, and Portuguese colonization of the Americas

    See also: Society in the Spanish Colonial Americas

    Map of Brazil showing Indigenous men cutting brazilwood and Portuguese ships

    Spanish and Portuguese colonization of the Western Hemisphere laid the basis for societies now seen as characteristic of Latin America. In the fifteenth century, both Portugal and Spain embarked on voyages of overseas exploration, following the Christian Reconquista of Iberia from Muslims. Portugal sailed down the west coast of Africa and the Crown of Castile in central Spain authorized the voyage of Genoese mariner Christopher Columbus. Portugal's expansion into the Indian Ocean occupied much of its interest, although beginning with the voyage of Pedro Álvares Cabral in 1500 it laid claim to Brazil. The 1494 line of demarcation between Spain and Portugal gave Spain all areas to the west, and Portugal all areas to the east. However, compared to the riches of Africa, India, and the Spice Islands, Brazil did not immediately attract much Portuguese exploration or settlement. Spanish colonists began founding permanent settlements in Hispaniola central and south america, Puerto Rico (1508), Mobile homes for sale in montana (1509) and the Spanish Main (tierra national weather service dodge city ks (1509–13). In these regions of early contact, Spaniards established patterns of interaction with Indigenous peoples that they transferred to the mainland. At the time of European contact, the area was densely populated by Indigenous peoples who had not organized as empires, nor created large physical complexes. With the expedition of Hernán Cortés from Cuba to Mexico in 1519, Spaniards encountered the Indigenous imperial civilization of the Aztecs. Using techniques of warfare honed in their early Caribbean settlements, Cortés sought Indigenous allies to topple the superstructure of the Aztec Empire after a two-year war of conquest. The Spanish recognized many Indigenous elites as nobles under Spanish rule with continued power and influence over commoners, and used them as intermediaries in the emerging Spanish imperial system.

    With the example of the conquest of central Mexico, Spaniards sought similar great empires to conquer, and expanded into other regions of Mexico and Central America, and then the Inca empire, by Francisco Pizarro. By the end of the sixteenth century Spain and Portugal claimed territory extending from Alaska to the southern tip of Patagonia. They founded cities that remain important centers. In Spanish America, these include Panama City (1519), Mexico City (1521) Guadalajara (1531–42), Cartagena (1532), Lima (1535), and Quito (1534). In Brazil, coastal cities were founded: Olinda (1537), Salvador de Bahia (1549), São Paulo (1554), and Rio de Janeiro (1565).

    Areas claimed by the Spanish and Portuguese empires in 1790.

    Spaniards explored extensively in the mainland territories they claimed, but they settled in great numbers in areas with dense and hierarchically organized Indigenous populations and exploitable resources, especially silver. Early Spanish conquerors saw the Indigenous themselves as an exploitable resource for tribute and labor, and individual Spaniards were awarded grants of encomienda forced labor as reward for participation in the conquest. Throughout most of Spanish America, Indigenous populations were the largest component, with some black slaves serving in auxiliary positions. The three racial groups during the colonial era were European whites, black Africans, and Indigenous. Over time, these populations intermixed, resulting in castas. In most of Spanish America, the Indigenous were the majority population.

    Both dense Indigenous populations and silver were found in New Spain (colonial Mexico) and Peru, and these became centers of Spanish empire. The viceroyalty of New Spain, centered in Mexico City, was established in 1535 and the Viceroyalty of Peru, centered in Lima, in 1542. The viceroyalty of New Spain also had jurisdiction over the Philippines, once the Spanish established themselves there in the late sixteenth century. The viceroy was the direct representative of the king.[43]

    Roman Catholic Church as an institution launched a "spiritual conquest" to convert Indigenous populations to Christianity, incorporating them into Christiandom, with no other religion permitted. Pope Alexander VI in 1493 had bestowed on the Catholic Monarchsgreat power over ecclesiastical appointments and the functioning of the church in overseas possessions. The monarch was the patron of the institutional church. The state and the Catholic church were the institutional pillars of Spanish colonial rule. In the late eighteenth century, the crown also established a royal military to defend its possessions against foreign incursions, especially by the British. It also increased the number of viceroyalties in Spanish South America.

    Portugal did not establish firm institutional rule in Brazil until the 1530s, but it paralleled many patterns of colonization in Spanish America. The Brazilian Indigenous peoples were initially dense, but were semi-sedentary and lacked the organization that allowed Spaniards more easily incorporate the Indigenous into the colonial order. The Portuguese used Indigenous laborers to extract the valuable commodity known as brazilwood, which gave its name to the colony. Portugal took greater control of the region to prevent other European powers, particularly France, from threatening its claims.

    Potosí, the "cerro rico" that produced massive amounts of silver from a single site. The first image published in Europe. Pedro Cieza de León, 1553.

    Europeans sought wealth in the form of high-value, low-bulk products exported to Europe. The Spanish Empire established institutions to secure wealth for itself and protect its empire in the Americas from rivals. In trade it followed principles of mercantilism, where its overseas possessions were to enrich the center of power in Iberia. Trade was regulated through the royal House of Trade in Seville, Spain, with the main export from Spanish America to Spain being silver, later followed by the red dye cochineal. Silver was found in the Andes, in particular the silver mountain of Potosí, (now in Bolivia) in the region where Indigenous men were forced to labor in the mines. In New Spain, rich deposits of silver were found in northern Mexico, in Zacatecas and Guanajuato, outside areas of dense Indigenous settlement. Labor was attracted from elsewhere[clarification needed] for mining and landed estates were established to raise wheat, range cattle and sheep. Mules were bred for transportation and cash app cash card activation replace of human labor in refining silver. Plantations for sugar cultivation developed on a large scale for the export market in Brazil and the Caribbean islands.

    Manufactured and luxury goods were sent from Spain and entered Spanish America legally only through the Caribbean ports of Veracruz, Havana, and Cartagena, as well as the Pacific port of Callao, in Peru. Trans-Pacific trade was established in the late sixteenth century central and south america Acapulco to Manila, transporting silver from Mexico and Peru to Asia; Chinese silks and porcelains were sent first to Mexico and then re-exported to Spain. This system of commerce was in theory was tightly controlled, but was increasingly undermined by other European powers. The English, French, and Dutch seized Caribbean islands claimed by the Spanish and established their own sugar plantations. These islands also became hubs for contraband trade with Spanish America. Many regions of Spanish America that were not well supplied by Spanish merchants, such as Central America, participated in contraband trade with foreign merchants.

    Eighteenth-century Bourbon reforms sought to modernize the mercantile system to stimulate greater trade exchanges between Spain and Spanish America in a system known as comercio libre. This was not free trade in the modern sense, but rather free commerce within the Spanish empire. Liberalization of trade and limited deregulation sought to break the monopoly of merchants based in the Spanish port of Cádiz. Administrative reforms created the system of districts known as intendancies, modeled on those in France. Their creation was aimed at strengthening crown control over its possessions and sparking economic development.[44]

    Sugar processing by skilled black slave laborers. Sugar cane must be processed immediately once cut in order to capture the most sugar juice, so engenhosneeded to be constructed near fields.

    Brazil's economic importance emerged in the seventeenth century with the establishment of large-scale cane sugar plantations. It was the high value, low bulk export product that the Portuguese sought and it was entirely dependent on black slave labor. Unlike core areas of Spanish America, Indigenous populations in Brazil were not a source of labor, except during the earliest years of the colony. Blacks became the majority of Brazil's population.[45] For Portugal, Brazil was one pole of a triangular Atlantic system of trade between Iberia, Africa, and its American colony. Huge numbers of African slaves were shipped to Brazil. They worked first on sugar plantations in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, then in diamond mines in the eighteenth century, and coffee plantations in the nineteenth century. Like Spain, Portugal restricted foreign powers from trading in its American colony or entering coastal waters it had claimed. As the economic center of the colony shifted from the sugar-producing northeast to the southern region of gold and diamond mines, the capital was transferred from Salvador de Bahia to Rio de Janeiro in 1763.[46] During the colonial era, Brazil was also the manufacturing center for Portugal's ships. As a global maritime empire, Portugal created a vital industry in Brazil. Once Brazil achieved its independence, this industry languished.[47]

    Colonial legacies[edit]

    The more than three centuries of direct Spanish and Portuguese colonial rule left lasting imprints on Latin America. The most salient are linguistic, with Spanish and Portuguese the dominant languages of the region, and religious, with Roman Catholicism continuing to claim the largest number of adherents. Diseases to which Indigenous peoples had no immunity devastated their populations, although they still exist in many places. The forced transportation of African slaves transformed major regions where they labored to produce the export products, especially sugar. In regions with dense Indigenous populations, they remained the largest percentage of the population; sugar-producing regions had the largest percentage of blacks. European whites in both Spanish America and Brazil were a small percentage of the population, but they were the also wealthiest and most socially elite, and the racial hierarchies they established in the colonial era have persisted. Cities founded by Europeans in the colonial era remain major centers of power. In the modern era, Latin American governments have worked to designate many colonial cities as UNESCOWorld Heritage Sites.[48] Exports of metals and agricultural products to Europe dominated Latin American economies, with the manufacturing sector deliberately suppressed; the development of modern, industrial economies of Europe depended on the underdevelopment of Latin America.[49][50][51]

    Despite the many commonalities of colonial Spanish America and Brazil, they did not conceive of themselves as being part of a single region; that was a development of the post-independence period beginning in the nineteenth century. The imprint of Christopher Columbus and Iberian colonialism in Latin America began shifting in the twentieth century. There was a re-evaluation of the colonial legacy as the 500th anniversary of Columbus's voyage approached. "Discovery" by Europeans was reframed as "encounter" of the Old World and the New. An example of the new consciousness was the dismantling of the Christopher Columbus monument in Buenos Aires, one of many in the hemisphere, mandated by leftist President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Its replacement was a statue to a mestiza fighter for independence, Juana Azurduy de Padilla, provoking a major controversy in Argentina over historical and national identity.[52]

    Independence era (1776–1825)[edit]

    Main articles: Latin American wars of independence, Spanish American wars of independence, and Independence of Brazil

    Development of Spanish American Independence

      Government under traditional Spanish law

      Loyal to Supreme Central Junta or Cortes

      American junta or insurrection movement

      Independent state declared or established

      Height of French control of the Peninsula

    Ferdinand VII of Spain in whose name Spanish American juntas ruled during his exile 1808–1814; when restored to power in 1814, he reinstated autocratic rule, renewing independence movements

    Independence in the Americas was not inevitable or uniform in the Americas. Events in Europe had a profound impact on the colonial empires of Spain, Portugal, and France in the Americas. France and Spain had supported the American Revolution that saw the independence of the Thirteen Colonies from Britain, which had defeated them in the Seven Years' War (1757–63). The outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, a political and social uprising toppling the Bourbon monarchy and overturning the established order, precipitated events in France's rich Caribbean sugar colony of Saint-Domingue, whose black population rose up, led by Toussaint L'ouverture. The Haitian Revolution had far-reaching consequences. Britain declared war on France and attacked ports in Saint-Domingue. Haiti gained independence in 1804, led by ex-slave Jean-Jacques Dessalines following many years of violent struggle, with huge atrocities on both sides. Haitian independence affected colonial empires in the Americas, as well as the United States. Many white, slave-owning sugar planters of Saint-Domingue fled to the Spanish island of Cuba, where they established sugar plantations that became the basis of Cuba's economy.[53] Uniquely in the hemisphere, the black victors in Haiti abolished slavery at independence. Many thousands of remaining whites were executed on the orders of Dessalines. For other regions with large enslaved populations, the Haitian Revolution was a cautionary tale for the white slave-owning planters. Despite Spain and Britain's satisfaction with France's defeat, they "were obsessed by the possible impact of the slave uprising on Cuba, Santo Domingo, and Jamaica", by then a British sugar colony.[54] US President Thomas Jefferson, a wealthy slave owner, refused to recognize Haiti's independence. Recognition only came in 1862 from President Abraham Lincoln. Given France's failure to defeat the slave insurgency and since needing money for the war with Britain, Napoleon Bonaparte sold France's remaining mainland holdings in North America to the United States in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase.

    Napoleon's invasion of the Iberian peninsula in 1807-1808 was a major change in the world order, with the stability of both the metropoles[clarification needed] and their overseas possessions upended. Britannica great books of the western world ebay resulted in the flight, with British help, of the Portuguese royal court to Brazil, its richest colony. In Spain, France forced abdication of the Spanish Bourbon monarchs and their replacement with Napoleon's brother Joseph Bonaparte as king. The period from 1808 to the restoration in discover high yield savings referral bonus of the Bourbon monarchy saw new political experiments. In Spanish Central and south america, the question of the legitimacy of the new foreign monarch's right to rule set off fierce debate and in many regions to wars of independence. The conflicts were regional and usually quite complex. Chronologically these Spanish American independence wars were the conquest in reverse, with the areas most recently incorporated into the Spanish empire, such as Argentina and Chile, becoming the first to achieve independence, while the colonial strongholds of Mexico and Peru were the last to achieve independence in the early nineteenth century. Cuba and Puerto Rico, both old Caribbean sugar-producing areas, did not achieve independence from Spain until the 1898 Spanish-American War, with US intervention.

    In Spain, a bloody war against the French invaders broke out and regional juntas were established to rule in the name of the deposed Bourbon king, Ferdinand VII. In Spanish America, local juntas also rejected Napoleon's brother as their monarch. Spanish Liberals re-imagined the Open new bank of america account online Empire as equally being Iberia and the overseas territories. Liberals sought a new model of government, a constitutional monarchy, with limits on the power of the king as well as on the Catholic Church. Ruling in the name of the deposed Bourbon monarch Ferdinand VII, representatives of the Spanish empire, both from the peninsula and Spanish America, convened a convention in the port of Cadiz. For Spanish American elites who had been shut out of official positions in the late eighteenth century in favor of peninsular-born appointees, this was a major recognition of their role in the empire.[55] These empire-wide representatives drafted and ratified the Spanish Constitution of 1812, establishing a constitutional monarchy and set down other rules of governance, including citizenship and limitations on the Catholic Church. Constitutional rule was a break from absolutist monarchy and gave Spanish America a starting point for constitutional governance.[56] So long as Napoleon controlled Spain, the liberal constitution was the governing document.

    When Napoleon was defeated and the Bourbon monarchy was restored in 1814, Ferdinand VII and his conservative supporters immediately reasserted absolutist monarchy, ending the liberal interregnum. In Spanish America, this counter-revolution set off a new wave of struggles for independence in Spanish America.[57][58]

    In South America Simón Bolívar of Venezuela and José de San Martín of Argentina, and Bernardo O'Higgins in Chile led armies who fought for independence. In Mexico, which had seen the initial insurgency led by Hidalgo and José María Morelos, royalist forces kept control. In 1820, when military officers in Spain restored the liberal Constitution of 1812, conservatives in Mexico saw independence as a better option. Royalist military officer Agustín de Iturbide changed sides and forged an alliance with insurgent leader Vicente Guerrero, and together they brought about Mexico's independence in 1821.

    For Portugal and Brazil, Napoleon's defeat did not immediately result in the return of the Portuguese monarch to Portugal, since Brazil was the richest part of the Portuguese empire. As with Spain in 1820, Portuguese liberals threatened the power of the monarchy and compelled John VI to return in April 1821, leaving his son Pedro to rule Brazil as regent. In Brazil, Pedro contended with revolutionaries and insubordination by Portuguese troops, all of whom he subdued. The Portuguese government threatened to revoke the political autonomy that Brazil had enjoyed since 1808, provoking widespread opposition in Brazil. Pedro declared Brazil's independence from Portugal on 7 September 1822 and became emperor. By March 1824 he had defeated all armies loyal to Portugal. Brazil's independence was achieved relatively peaceably, territorial integrity was maintained, and its ruler was from the Royal House of Braganza, whose successors ruled Brazil until their overthrow in 1889.[59][60]

    • Vicente Guerrero, insurgent hero of Mexican independence, who joined with Iturbide

    • Agustín de Iturbide, former royal military officer who brought about Mexican independence and was crowned emperor

    Post-Independence in Latin America, ca. 1825–1879[edit]

    Spanish America and Brazil

    Although much of Latin America gained its independence whole foods west la the early nineteenth century, formal recognition by their former metropolitan powers in Spain and Portugal did not come immediately. Portugal officially recognized Brazil on August 29, 1825.[61] The Spanish crown did not recognize new Spanish American nations' independence and sent expeditions to Mexico in failed attempts to regain control over its valuable former territory. Spain finally recognized Mexico's independence in 1836, 15 years after it was achieved. Its recognition of Ecuador's independence came in 1840 and Paraguay's as late as 1880. The new independent territories exerted their rights to establish a government, control their national territory, establish trade relations with other nations, and levy taxes. Brazil and Mexico both established monarchies in 1822. Mexico's was short-lived (1822–23) under leader of the independence movement General Iturbide, elected constitutional emperor 19 May 1822 and forced to abdicate 19 March 1823. Iturbide had no royal pedigree, so as a commoner he had no prestige or permanent legitimacy as ruler. Brazil's monarchy, a branch of the House of Braganza, lasted until 1889. Spanish America fragmented into various regions.

    As a consequence of the violent struggles for independence in most of Spanish America, the military grew in importance. In the post-independence period, it often played a key role in politics. Military leaders often became the first heads of state, but regional strongmen or caudillos also emerged. The first half of the nineteenth century is sometimes characterized as the “age of caudillos.” In Argentina, Juan Manuel Rosas and in Mexico Antonio López de Santa Anna are exemplars of caudillos. Although most countries created written constitutions and created separate branches of government, the state and the rule of law were weak, and the military emerged as the dominant institution in the civil sphere. Constitutions were written laying out division of powers, but the rule of personalist strongmen dominated. Dictatorial powers were granted to some strongmen, nominally ruling as presidents under a constitution, as "constitutional dictators."[62]

    In the religious sphere, the Roman Catholic Church, one of the pillars of colonial rule, remained a powerful institution and generally continued as the only permissible religion. With the Spanish monarch no longer the patron of the church, many national governments asserted their right to appoint clerics as a logical transfer of power to a sovereign state. The Catholic Church denied that this right had transferred to the new governments, and for a time the Vatican refused to appoint new bishops.[63] In Brazil, because the ruler after independence was a member of the House of Braganza, and Portugal recognized political independence quite speedily, the Vatican appointed a papal nuncio to Brazil in 1830. This official had jurisdiction over not just Brazil, but also the new states in Spanish America. However, in Brazil, there were also conflicts between church and state. During the reign of Pedro II, Protestant missionaries were tolerated, and when the monarchy was overthrown in 1889, the Catholic Church was disestablished.[64]

    In the new nation-states, conservatives favored the old order of a powerful, centralized state and continuation of the Catholic Church edmonds kingston ferry cost for car a key institution. In Mexico, following the abdication of Emperor Iturbide in 1823, Mexican political leaders wrote a constitution for its newly declared federated republic, the Constitution of 1824. Central America opted out of joining the new federated republic of Mexico, with no real conflict. Hero of the insurgency Guadalupe Victoria became the first president of Mexico in 1824. Conservatives pushed to take control of the government, favoring central rule of the nation, as opposed to liberals, who generally favored the power of states expressed in federalism. General Santa Anna was elected president in 1833 and was in and out of office until 1854. In South America, Gran Colombia came into being, spanning what are now the separate countries of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, and Peru, with independence leader Simón Bolívar as head of state (1819–30). Gran Colombia dissolved in 1831 due to conflicts similar to those elsewhere in Spanish America between centralist conservatives and pro-federalist liberals. In Argentina, the conflict resulted in a prolonged civil war between unitarianas (i.e. centralists) and federalists, which were in some aspects respectively analogous to liberals and conservatives in other countries. Adding to this dispute was the almost inherited colonial-era conflict over its borders with Brazil. The Cisplatine War erupted in 1814 and ended in 1828, resulting in occupation and further secession of Provincia Oriental which in 1830 became the modern Republic of Uruguay with a central government in Montevideo. Between 1832 and 1852, Argentina existed as a confederation, without a head of state, although the federalist governor of Buenos Aires province, Juan Manuel de Rosas, was given the power to pay debt and manage international relations, and exerted a growing hegemony over the country. A national constitution was not enacted until 1853, and reformed in 1860, and the country reorganized as a federal republic led by a liberal-conservative elite.[65] Ironically, centralist Uruguay enacted its constitution on its first day of life in 1830, but wasn't immune to a similar polarization of the new state that involved blancos and colorados, where the agrarian conservative interests of blancos were pitted against the liberal commercial interests of colorados based in Montevideo, and which eventually resulted in the Guerra Grande civil war (1839–1851).[66] Both the blancos and colorados evolved into political parties of the same names that still exist in Uruguay today and are considered among the first and most longstanding political parties in the world.

    In Brazil, Emperor Dom Pedro I, worn down by years of administrative turmoil and political dissension with both the liberal and conservative sides of politics, including an attempt of republican secession,[67] went to Portugal in 1831 to reclaim his daughter's crown, abdicating the Brazilian throne in favor of his five-year-old son and heir (who thus became the Empire's second monarch, with the title of Dom Pedro II).[68] As a minor, the new Emperor could not exert his constitutional powers until he came of age, so a regency was set up by the National Assembly.[69] In the absence of a charismatic figure who could represent a moderate face of power, during this period a series of localized rebellions took place, as the Cabanagem, the Malê Revolt, the Balaiada, the Sabinada, and the Ragamuffin War, which emerged from dissatisfaction of the provinces with the central power, coupled with old and latent social tensions peculiar to a vast, slave-holding and newly independent nation state.[70] This period of internal political and social upheaval, which included the Praieira revolt, was overcome only at the end of the 1840s, years after the end of the regency, which occurred with the premature coronation of Pedro II in 1841.[71] During the last phase of the monarchy, an internal political debate was centered on the issue of slavery. The Atlantic slave trade was abandoned in 1850,[72] as a result of the BritishAberdeen Act, but only in May 1888 after a long process of internal mobilization and debate for an ethical and legal dismantling of slavery in the country, was the institution formally abolished.[73] On 15 November 1889, worn out by years of economic stagnation, attrition of the majority of Army officers, as well as with rural and financial elites (for different reasons), the monarchy was overthrown by a military coup.[74]

    Foreign powers' influence and interventions, ca. 1825-1870[edit]

    Foreign powers, particularly the British and the U.S., were keenly interested in the possibilities opening for their countries with the struggles for independence. They quickly recognized newly independent countries in Latin America and established commercial relationships with them, since the colonial limits on trade with foreign powers had ended. With the 1803 Louisiana Purchase from France, the U.S. now bordered Spanish Mexico, and both the U.S. and Spain sought clarity about their borders, signing the 1819 Adams-Onís Treaty ceding Florida to the U.S. and setting the northern border of Spain's claim in North America.[75] When Mexico achieved independence, the U.S. recognized the government under Agustín de Iturbide, sending diplomat Joel Poinsett as its representative 1822–23. Poinsett concluded an agreement with Mexico confirming the terms of the Adams-Onís Treaty. Previously Poinsett had traveled widely in Latin America and had concluded a trade agreement with independent Argentina. European and U.S. interests in the region fueled the demand for Latin American travelogues, an important source of information that described economic, political, and social conditions.[76]

    The first major articulation of U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America as a region was the 1820 Monroe Doctrine. It warned foreign powers not to intervene in the Americas. The U.S. was relatively weak compared to the powerful British Empire, but it was a key policy that informed U.S. actions toward Latin America. The U.S. was concerned that foreign powers could support Spain in its attempts to reclaim its empire.[77] Those actions often included its own direct interventions in the region, justified by President Theodore Roosevelt in his 1904 Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine.

    British commercial interests were eager to seize the opportunity to trade in Latin America. Britain and Portugal had long been allies against the Spanish and French, so British recognition of Brazil's independence followed quickly after Portugal's. As with many other Latin American countries, Brazil exported raw materials and imported manufactured goods. For Britain, asserting economic dominance in Latin America in what is now called neocolonialism meant that nation-states were sovereign countries, but were dependent on other powers economically. British dominance hindered the development of Latin American industries and strengthened their dependence on the world trade network.[78] Britain now replaced Spain as the region's largest trading partner.[79] Great Britain invested significant capital in Latin America to develop the area as a market for processed goods.[80] From the early 1820s to 1850, the post-independence economies of Latin American countries were lagging and stagnant.[81] Over the nineteenth century, enhanced trade between Britain and Latin America led to development such as infrastructure improvements, including roads and railroads, which grew the trade between thes countries and outside nations such as Great Britain.[82] By 1870, exports dramatically increased, attracting capital from abroad (including Europe and USA).[83] Until 1914 and the outbreak of World War I, Britain was a major economic power in Latin America.

    For the U.S., its initial sphere of influence was in Mexico, but the drive for territorial expansion, particularly for southern slave-owners seeking new territory for their enterprises, saw immigration of white slave-owners with their slaves to Texas, which ultimately precipitated conflict between the Mexican government and the Anglo-American settlers. The Texas Revolution of 1836-37 defeated Mexican forces, and in 1845, U.S. annexation of the Texas territory that Mexico still claimed set the stage for the Mexican-American War (1846–48). That war resulted in the resounding defeat of Mexico. U.S. troops occupied Mexico City. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo added a huge swath of what had been north and northwest Mexico to the U.S., territory that Spain and then Mexico had claimed, but had not succeeded in occupying effectively. Southern slave owners, such as Thomas Jefferson and John C. Calhoun, were also interested in the possibility of the U.S. acquiring Cuba from Spain, with the aim of expanding both slavery and U.S. territory. The 1854 leak of the Ostend Manifesto, offering $130 million to Spain, caused a scandal among abolitionists in the U.S., who sought to end the expansion of slavery. It was repudiated by U.S. President Franklin Pierce. The American Civil War (1861–65) decided the question of slavery.[84] Another episode in US-Latin American relations involved the filibusterWilliam Walker. In 1855, he traveled to Nicaragua hoping to overthrow the government and take territory for the United States. With Only 56 followers, he was able to take over the city of Granada, declaring himself commander of the army and installing Patricio Rivas as a puppet president. However, Rivas' presidency ended when he fled Nicaragua; Walker rigged the ensuing election to ensure that he became the next president. His presidency did not last long, however, as he was met with much opposition in Nicaragua and from neighboring countries. On 1 May 1857, Walker was forced by a coalition of Central American armies to surrender himself to a United States Navy officer who repatriated him and his followers. When Walker subsequently returned to Central America in 1860, he was apprehended by the Honduran authorities and executed.[85]

    Britain's nineteenth-century policy was to end slavery and the slave trade, including in Latin America. In Brazil, Britain made the end of the slave trade a condition for diplomatic recognition. The Brazilian economy was entirely dependent on slaves. Abolitionists in Brazil pressed for the end of slavery, which finally ended in 1888, followed the next year by the fall of the Brazilian monarchy.

    Maximilianreceiving a delegation of Mexican conservatives offering him the crown of Mexico

    The French also sought commercial ties to Latin America, to export luxury goods and establish financial ties, including extending foreign loans to governments, often in dire need of revenue. France intervened in Mexico in a spectacular fashion. As Mexican conservatives and liberals fought the War of the Reform over La Reforma, Mexican conservatives, to bolster their side, sought a European monarch to put on the throne of Mexico. Napoleon III of France invaded Mexico in 1862 and facilitated the appointment of Maximilian von Hapsburg. Since the U.S. was embroiled in its own civil war, it could not hinder the French occupation, which it saw as a violation of the Monroe Doctrine, but the government of Abraham Lincoln continued to full auto pcp bb gun the Mexican government of Benito Juárez. The French withdrew their support of Maximilian in 1867, and Maximilian and two conservative Mexican generals were executed, when Mexican liberals returned to power.

    European and United States interests in nineteenth-century Latin America is also reflected in the popularity of travelogues describing the landscapes, peoples, customs, and economics of the region.[86]

    Wars between nations[edit]

    Many phone number to citibank customer service conflicts broke out between Latin American nations in the late nineteenth century, as well as protracted civil wars in Mexico and Colombia. One notable international conflict was the War of the Pacific from 1879 to 1884, in which Chile seized territory and resources from Peru and Bolivia, gaining valuable nitrate deposits and leaving Bolivia landlocked with no access to the sea.[87] Also notable was the War of the Triple Alliance (1864–1870) in which Paraguay under Francisco Solano López provoked war against Brazil, which allied with Argentina and Uruguay. The war was a disaster for Paraguay, with huge loss of life and destruction of the modernized sector.[88]

    US involvement 1870–1933[edit]

    In the late 19th century and early 20th century, U.S. banana importers United Fruit Company and Cuyamel Fruit Company, both ancestors of Chiquita, and the Better homes and gardens real estate concord nh Fruit Company (now Dole), acquired large amounts of land in Central American countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica. The companies gained leverage over governments and ruling elites in these countries by dominating their economies and paying kickbacks, and exploited local workers. These countries came to be called banana republics.

    Cubans, with the aid of Dominicans,[89] launched a war for independence in 1868 and, over the next 30 years, suffered 279,000 casualties[90] in a brutal war against Spain that culminated in U.S. intervention. The 1898 Spanish–American War resulted in the end of the Spanish colonial presence in the Americas. A period of frequent U.S. intervention in Latin America followed, with the acquisition of the Panama Canal Zone in 1903, the so-called Banana Wars in Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Honduras; the Caco Wars in Haiti; and the so-called Border War with Mexico. Some 3,000 Latin Americans were killed between 1914 and 1933.[91] The U.S. press described the occupation of the Dominican Republic as an 'Anglo-Saxon crusade', carried out to keep the Latin Americans 'harmless against the ultimate consequences of their own misbehavior'.[92]

    In the 1930s the Ford Motor Company invested in land and industry in northern Brazil to produce rubber for its tires. The installation was known as Fordlandia and although the project was abandoned because of cultural breakdown and the emergence of vulcanization that made it economically unviable, the coldwell banker residential brokerage atlanta is still inhabited and retains its name.

    After World War I, U.S. interventionism diminished, culminating in President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Good Neighbor policy in 1933.

    World War I (1914–1918)[edit]

    See also: Pan-Americanism and Brazil during World War I

    In general, Latin America stayed out of direct conflict in World War I, but the Great Powers were aware of the region's importance for the short and long term. Germany attempted to draw Mexico into supporting its side against the British, the French, and especially the U.S., by trying to leverage anti-Americanism to its advantage. The Great Powers had been actively working to affect the course of the Mexican Revolution (1910–1920). Great Britain and the U.S. had huge investments in Mexico, with Germany close behind, so the outcome of the conflict would have consequences there. The U.S. directly intervened militarily, but not on a huge scale.[93] A German diplomatic proposal, now known as the January 1917 Zimmermann Telegram, sought to entice Mexico to join an alliance with Germany in the event of the United States entering World War I against Germany by promising the return of territory Mexico had lost to the U.S. The proposal was intercepted and decoded by British intelligence. The revelation of the contents outraged the American public and swayed public opinion. The news helped to generate support for the United States declaration of war on Germany in April 1917 as well as to calm U.S.-Mexico relations.[94] Mexico, far weaker militarily, economically and politically than the U.S., ignored the German proposal; after the U.S. entered the war, it officially rejected it.

    When the U.S. entered the conflict in 1917, it abandoned its hunt in Mexico for the revolutionary Pancho Villa who had attacked the U.S. in Columbus, New Mexico. The Mexican government was not pro-Villa, but was angered by U.S. violation of Mexico's sovereign territory with troops. The expeditionary force led by General John J. Pershing that had hopelessly chased him around northern Mexico was deployed to Europe. The U.S. then asked Latin American nations to join Britain, France, and the U.S. against Germany. They were not quick to join, since Germany was now a major financial lender to Latin America, and a number of nations were antipathetic to the traditional lenders in Britain and France. While Latin America did join the allies, it was not without cost. The U.S. sought hemispheric solidarity against Germany, and Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Haiti declared war. Others took the lesser step of breaking diplomatic relations. Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay remained neutral.[95]

    More important was the impact of the war on transatlantic shipping, the economic lifeline for their export economies. Exports economies from the mining sector and especially nitrates for gunpowder did boom, but agricultural exports of sugar and coffee languished when European economies turned to war production. Britain was on the winning side of the war, but in its aftermath its economic power was much reduced. After 1914, the U.S. replaced Britain as the major foreign power in Latin America. Latin American nations gained standing internationally in the aftermath of the war, participating in the Versailles Conference, signing the Treaty of Versailles and joining the League of Nations. Latin America also played an important role in the International Court of Justice.[95]

    Interwar and WWII, 1920s–1945[edit]

    U.S. President Roosevelt and Mexican President Manuel Avila Camacho, Monterrey, Mexico 1943. Roosevelt sought strong ties between the U.S. and Latin America in the World War II era

    The Great Depression was a worldwide phenomenon and had an impact on Latin America. Exports largely fell and economies stagnated. For a number of Latin American countries, the Depression made them favor an internal economic development policy of import substitution industrialization.[96]

    World War I and the League of Nations did not settle conflicts between European nations, but in the wake of World War I, Latin American nations gained success in pressing discussions of hemispheric importance. The Inter-American System was institutionally established with the First International Conference of American States of 1889–90, where 17 Latin American nations sent delegates to Washington D.C. and formed the Pan American Union. Subsequent Pan-American Conferences saw the initial dominance of the U.S. in the hemisphere give way as Latin American nations asserted their priorities. The Havana Conference of 1928 was the high water mark of U.S. dominance and assertion of dubuque bank and trust right to intervene in Latin America,[97] but with the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the U.S. presidency in 1932, U.S. policy changed toward Latin America. He abandoned the routine U.S. interventions in Latin America that it had claimed as its right and initiated the American state bank online Neighbor Policy in March 1933. He sought hemispheric cooperation rather than U.S. coercion in the region.[98] At the Montevideo Convention in December 1933, the U.S. Secretary of State voted in favor of the Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, declaring “no state has the right to intervene in the internal or external affairs of another.”[99] President Roosevelt himself attended the inaugural session of the hemispheric conference in Buenos Aires in 1936, where the U.S. reaffirmed the policy of non-intervention in Latin America and discussed the issue of neutrality for the hemisphere should war break out.[100] With the Nazi invasion of Poland in September 1939 and the spread of war in Europe, foreign ministers of hemispheric nations met in Panama, at which the Declaration of Neutrality was signed, and the territorial waters bordering the hemisphere were expanded. The aim of these moves was to strengthen hemispheric solidarity and security.[101] With the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, hemispheric ministers met in January 1942 in Rio de Janeiro. Some nations had already declared war on the Axis


    Fact Sheet: The U.S. Relationship with Central and South America


    President Obama is committed to enhancing U.S. leadership in Central and South America, and at the same time, recognizing the region’s emerging markets as key players in the global economy.  Central and South America’s rapid pace of growth – around 6 percent in 2010 – is creating new opportunities for mutually beneficial trade that creates prosperity abroad and new jobs at home.  We are connected to Central and South America not just by a common geography, but by common interests and values.

    The President set a goal of doubling our exports by the end of 2014, and with nearly 20 percent growth since 2009, we are on pace to meet this challenge. But as the United States competes globally, strengthening our partnerships for progress with our American neighbors is crucial to winning the future.  U.S. trade agreements with Central and South America already cover 7 countries and $471 billion in total goods trade with more set to be added when the outstanding issues with Panama and Colombia are resolved and those FTA’s are put forward for Congressional approval.    These agreements, along with extensive trading and investment relationships and government-to-government mechanisms to promote United States economic engagement in the region are positioning the U.S. to successfully compete in Central and South America and around the world.

    United States trade facilitation and technical assistance partnerships with Central and South American countries has helped to strengthen economic institutions across the region and further integrate countries into the global trading system and improved economic linkages to the United States.

    Central and South America: An Economic Engine Close to Home

    • Central and South America are home to 440 million people.  In 2010, it had a GDP of $3.6 trillion, projected to rise to $4.8 trillion by 2015. The region’s economy grew by around 6 percent in 2010, and is expected to grow 4 percent in 2011. 

    • U.S. exports to Central and South America grew 86% percent between 2004 and 2009 and are on track to more than double during the next 5 years.  During the first three quarters of 2010, exports of goods and services rose by 26.3 percent over the comparable period in 2009; just faster than the 25.8 percent increase in U.S. goods and services exports to Asia over the same period.

    • Exports to Central and South America are estimated to be $161 billion in 2010, supporting almost 900,000 U.S. jobs. 

    • Total trade this year is projected to be $300 billion. 

    • The U.S. has $142 billion in foreign direct investment in South and Central America. 

    • The U.S. runs a surplus in goods and services trade with Central and South America.   U.S. goods exports to the region are primarily manufactured goods. The 2010 surplus is estimated to reach $20 billion.


    • With a 2010 GDP of more than $2 trillion, Brazil is the 7th largest economy in the world and accounts for nearly 60 percent of South America’s total GDP.  Brazil’s economy grew by 7.5 percent in 2010 is anticipated to grow by between 4 and 5 percent in 2011.

    • With 193 million of the world’s consumers, and per-capita income expected to grow at 6 percent a year, Brazil’s demand for goods imports has more than tripled from $47.2 billion in 2002 to $181.6 billion in 2010 with U.S. goods exports to Brazil also tripling, from $12.4 billion in 2002 to $35.4 billion in 2010.  In the past five years, goods and services exports more than doubled, from $18.7 billion in 2004 to $38.8 billion in 2009.

    • U.S. exports of goods and services to Brazil are projected to reach $50 billion in 2010, supporting an estimated 250,000 jobs.  U.S. exports of goods and services to Brazil rose by 35.3 percent in the first three quarters of 2010, faster than the 32 percent rise in U.S. exports of goods and services to China.

    • There was $57 billion in U.S. foreign direct investment in Brazil at the end of 2009.


    • With a population of 17 million and a GDP of $199 billion, Chile’s economy grew at 5.2 percent in 2010 and is projected to grow by around 6 percent in 2011. 

    • Chile is our 24th largest goods export trading partner.  U.S. exports to Chile – primarily manufacturing – were projected at $13 billion in 2009 and are estimated to support 70,000 U.S. jobs. 

    • We currently have a trade surplus of goods of $3.9 billion with Chile.  In 2009, the U.S. services surplus with Chile was $1.0 billion. Since our FTA with Chile went into effect in January, 2004, goods exports have increased by 300 percent, rising from $3.6 billion to $10.9b.  Service exports have increased by 92%, rising from $1.12 billion to $2.15 billion.

    • There was $23 billion in U.S. foreign direct investment in Chile at the end of 2009.

    El Salvador

    • With a population of 6 million and a GDP of $21.8 billion, El Salvador’s economy grew at 3.3 percent in 2010 and is projected to grow at 5.3 percent in 2011.

    • U.S. goods exports to El Salvador in 2010 reached $2.4 billion, and are estimated to support 13,000  jobs.  El Salvador is our 59th largest goods trading partner with $3.8 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2009. 

    • We currently have a trade surplus of goods of $225 million with El Salvador.  Our FTA with El Salvador went into effect in March, 2006.  Since the end of 2005, goods exports have increased by 32 percent.

    • There was $3.48 billion in U.S. foreign direct investment britannica great books of the western world ebay El Salvador at the end of 2009.  In addition, Salvadorian Americans are one of the nation’s largest Hispanic populations, numbering more than 2.5 million.

    Argentina Tours

    These ecoregions of Central and South America were developed in 1998 as part of an effort by the US Geological Survey EROS Data Center and U.S. EPA NHEERL-WED to develop a first approximation of ecological regions for the Western Hemisphere (North, Central, and South America), and that would be relatively consistent with the already completed North American ecoregion framework (CEC 1997). The 1998 project report "Ecological Classification of the Western Hemisphere" (Griffith et al., 1998) discusses some of the philosophical and methodological differences used in the development of ecosystem frameworks and how these differences can affect regional identification and boundary delineations. The aim of the report was to review ecological classifications of North and South America; highlight the differences in their objectives, approaches, and results; discuss some problems encountered in multi-national mapping efforts; and to present a preliminary alternative classification for Central and South America.

    The initial delineation of ecoregions was based on analysis of multiple types and scales of thematic maps including geology, physiography, soils, potential and existing vegetation, climate, landcover and agricultural uses, other ecological frameworks, and from other regional descriptive documents. For Central and South America and the Caribbean, we delineated 12 Level I regions, 35 Level II regions, and 121 Level III regions. Boundaries for the Central and South American ecoregions were delineated and digitized on 1:5,000,000-scale base maps and should be considered as approximations. Working at this more general scale is in contrast to the ecoregion mapping completed in the U.S. at the more detailed 1:250,000 scale (Omernik and Griffith 2014). Although a more formal and detailed effort to map Central and South American ecoregions was not pursued by the USGS and US EPA, we provide this draft work for those interested in the concept and uses of a general Western Hemisphere regional framework (e.g., Lawler et al., 2009).

    Literature Cited:

    Commission for Environmental Cooperation. 1997. Ecological regions of North America: toward a common perspective. Commission for Environmental Cooperation, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. 71p. (map updated 2006).

    Griffith, G.E., J.M. Omernik, and S.H. Azevedo. 1998. Ecological classification of the Western Hemisphere. Unpublished report. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Western Ecology Division, Corvallis, OR. 49p.

    Lawler, J.J, S.L. Shafer, D. White, P. Kareiva, E.P. Maurer, A. Blaustein, and P.J. Bartlein. 2009. Projected climate-induced faunal change in the Western Hemisphere. Ecology 90(3):588-597.

    Omernik, J.M. and G.E. Griffith. 2014. Ecoregions of the conterminous United States: Evolution of a hierarchical spatial framework. Environmental Management 54(6):1249-1266.

    PRINCIPAL AUTHORS: Glenn E. Griffith, James M. Omernik, and Sandra H. Azevedo.


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