Argentina Essay, Research Paper
Argentina is second largest in area and fourth largest in population in Latin
America. Argentina covers more than 1 million square miles. The official language of
Argentina is Spanish. More than 90% of the population is Roman Catholic.
The Argentine landscape slopes downward from the Andes Mountains in the west
to the Atlantic coast in the East. The border with Chile follows the crest of the Andes.
In the Andes, heights of peaks range anywhere from more than 20,000 feet in the north to
less than 5,000 feet in Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of the continent. South
America?s highest mountain is in the Andes, Mt. Aconcagua, which is 22,831 feet in
Eastward from the northern Andes lies an arid plateau called Gran Chaco. It is a
region of scrub woodland mixed with grassy savannas. Further east is the region called
Mesopotamia. Gran Chaco and Mesopotamia together form the Northeast region of the
Argentine Republic. In the next region to the south is the Pampa, a low, flat plain
interrupted only by low hills or sierras. The pampas, or plains, are the homeland of the
famous Argentine gauchos.
South of the Colorado River is Patagonia, the largest region of Argentina. It
extends from the Pampa to the Tierra del Fuego and was named in 1520 by the
Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan while he was sailing on his trip around the
world. The climate in this area is dry and windy.
Argentina has always been one of the most prosperous Latin American countries.
Unlike most of its neighbors, the country has developed a strong manufacturing industry.
they have become less dependent on agriculture. Today, Argentina is largely
self-sufficient in consumer goods. However, in the late 20th century, the Argentine
economy suffered from severe inflation like that of many other countries. This condition
has been complicated upon because of an unstable government and continuing domestic
and international political problems.
Transportation and Communication
Argentina?s airlines, railways, and bus and ship lines constitute the most
extensive transportation system in Latin America. The rail network is the most complete
on the continent, spreading out from Buenos Aires in all directions. All the rail lines are
government owned. The roads are extensive, also, and link all parts of the nation with
the capital.. The telephone and telegraph networks are mostly government owned.
Argentina possess one of the highest literacy rates in South America. The public
schools were built by government subsidies, especially under the leadership of President
Domingo F. Sarmiento from 1864 to 1874. Primary education is compulsory and free,
but further schooling is very expensive. Argentina?s vocational schools offer
commercial, agricultural, and industrial instruction.
The first university in Argentina was established at Cordoba in 1613. Other
national universities were founded in Buenos Aires, La Plata, San Miguel de Tucuman,
Santa Fe, Mendoza, Bahia Blanca, Corrientes, and Santa Rosa.
The constitution of Argentina was formed in 1853 and has amended a few times.
It established Argentina as a federal republic with separate executive, legislative, and
judicial branches. The constitution calls for an executive branch to be headed by a
president who is elected directly by the people for a term of four years. He may not
succeed himself. The president and the vice-president must both be Roman Catholics
and at least 30 years of age. The president also serves as commander in chief of the
According to the constitution the legislature is two consist of two houses, the
Senate is to be composed of a minimum of two members from each of Argentina?s
provinces and from the Federal District. Provincial senators must be 30 years of age and
are elected by their local legislatures for nine-year terms. Members of the Chamber of
Deputies must be at least 25 years of age and are elected directly by the people for
four-year terms. The number of deputies is based upon population. Voting is required
for all citizens between the ages of 70years of age, with exceptions based on such
conditions as health and distance from a polling pace. Some people have also been
deprived of the rights to vote for legal reasons.
The judiciary consists of a Supreme Court and a series of lower courts.
The nine justices of the Supreme Court are appointed for life by the president with the
consent of the Senate.
In international affairs, Argentina is a member of the United Nations, the World
Bank, and the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade. To participate in regional matters
it belongs to the Organization of American States.