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The Republic Of Colombia Essay Research Paper

The Republic Of Colombia Essay, Research Paper The Republic of Colombia is the fourth largest country in South America. It is located at the north-western tip of the continent. Its neighbors are Brazil and

The Republic Of Colombia Essay, Research Paper

The Republic of Colombia is the fourth largest country in South

America. It is located

at the north-western tip of the continent. Its neighbors are Brazil and

Venezuela to the east,

Panama to the north-west, and Ecuador and Peru to the south. Colombia

is the only South

American country that’s coast is on the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean

Sea. There are eight

islands under Colombian rule, and they are San Andres, Providencia, San

Bernado, Islas del

Rosario, Isla Fuerte, Gorgona, Gorgonilla, and Malpelo.

Colombia’s terrain is about 45% mountainous. The major mountain chain

is the

Andes, which is the longest and second highest mountain chain in the

world. The are three

mountain ranges in Colombia that form the Andes. These are known as

Cordilleras, which

means range. The Cordillera Occidental is 680 miles long and is about

6,500 ft. high. This

range is on the western area that stretches from the equator to the

Caribbean Sea. The

Cordillera Oriental is the longest range, at 750 miles long, and 8,530

ft. high and it cuts from

northern Colombia to southern Colombia. The Cordillera Central is

located in the center of

the country and is 689 miles long and 10,827 ft. high making it the

highest cordillera. The

highest mountain point in Colombia is the Sierra Nevada at 19,055 ft.

high. There are lots of

volcanoes in Colombia. The Cumbal is 17,500 ft. high, the Chiles is

16,900 ft. high, the

Purace is 17,060 ft. high, and the Pan de Azucar is 16,840 ft. high.

The eastern region of Colombia is a grassy lowland. 1/6 of Colombia is

uninhabited glacier

land, and 1/5 is high plateau.

Colombia has many rivers. The most important river is the Magdalena

which is 965

miles long and flows north to the Caribbean Sea. Others are the Meta,

the Amazon, the

Guaviare, and the Putamayo. There aren’t many lakes in Colombia. The

largest lake in

Colombia is Lake Cocha and is not very important.

If it wasn’t for the Andes mountain location, Colombia would have an

extremely high

climate since it is near the equator. However, Colombia’s climate is

strictly related to the

altitude of the land and varies greatly from section to section. The

hot region of Colombia has

an average temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and are from sea level

to three thousand

feet. This area is along the Pacific coast and in the eastern jungle

region. Regions from three

to six thousand feet above sea level have an average temperature of 65.5

degrees Fahrenheit.

This area is in the northern section of the Andes and are mostly

agricultural. Regions from six

to nine thousand feet above sea level have an average temperature of

53.6 degrees

Fahrenheit, and are considered cold. Most Colombians live in this

region. Areas that are

above nine thousand feet above sea level are the severely cold regions

and are and have an

average temperature of below 53 degrees Fahrenheit.

The winter months in Colombia are May, June, July, August, September,

October,

and November. This is the rainy part of the year. Summer months are

December, January,

February, March, and April. This is the dry part of the year. Spring

and Fall do not exist.

The rainiest part of Colombia is the Choco area on the Pacific coast.

It rains on afternoons

and evenings every day of the rainy season. It averages 400 inches of

rainfall per year. The

driest spot is the Guijara Peninsula. It is located in the northern tip

of Colombia, on the

Caribbean Sea. It averages 10 inches of rain yearly.

Because of Colombia’s assorted climate it can grow a wide range of

crops. Only five

percent of Colombia’s land is used for farming, although there is much

more room to be used

for farming. Coffee is the chief agricultural product, and Colombia is

the world’s second

largest producer, after Brazil, because coffee beans grow best at an

elevation between 4,300

and 6,600 feet. Sugarcane is grown in the hot temperate areas of the

country. bananas are

also grown in the warm areas. Maize is grown under most climatic

conditions, except at the

highest elevation. This crop is important to the poor people of the

country. Rice is grown in

the hot and humid regions. A major problem that Colombia faces is the

cultivation of illegal

drugs. The marijuana plants are grown in the Guajira Peninsula, because

of the hot climate,

and the soil is perfect from growing it.

Also, the fact that the peninsula is on the Caribbean coast, makes it

easy to export it on ship.

Colombia supplies half of the marijuana purchased in the Unites States.

Most people think

that cocaine is grown in Colombia, because most of the cartels that

distribute it are from

Colombia, but it is not. It is grown in Peru and Bolivia.1

Other major crops are cotton, potatoes, manioc, wheat, barley, tobacco,

cacao, and beans.

Colombia is one of the predominate livestock producing country in South

America.

The amount of cattle in Colombia is almost as many as people there.

Other livestock include

horses, mules, donkey’s, pigs, sheep, and goats.

Colombia’s aquatic wildlife is found mainly in the Amazon and Orinoco

Rivers, and in

the Oceans. The Orinoco River holds many freshwater species such as

guppies, neon tetras,

and arapaima, which is the largest freshwater fish in the world. The

Amazon hold dangerous

piranhas, which travel in schools of 100 to 1,000, that tear flesh off

animals.

The Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea hold dolphins and stingray. Among

the reptiles there

are the anaconda, a water snake, and numerous lizards, and crocodiles.

Among the mammal

wildlife there are the gray-brown puma, the spotted ocelot which hunt on

the plains, and the

jaguar which lives near the streams to feed on the water animals. A

strange animal is the stout

tapir, with it’s skinny legs, dainty hooves, and long snout. The

blood-sucking vampire bat are

found in Colombia, more than anywhere in the world. Colombia has over

1,500 species of

birds such as the hummingbird, eagle, the shiny green jacamar,

Colombia’s most beautiful

tropical bird, the parakeet, and the toucan.

Colombia’s history began at about 5,000 B.C. when Indian groups roamed

the

territory. About one third of them were of the Chibca tribe, who lived

where Bogota is now

located. The town Bogota, which is currently the country’s capital, was

named after Bacata, a

Chibchan chief2. The Chibchans lived in villages and were organized by

class, and the

people’s rank was inherited from their mother. They mined gold, and

farmed maize, beans,

and potatoes. Another tribe was the Quimbaya, who lived on the western

slopes of the

Cordillera Central. Like the Chibcha, these people were very skilled

in making gold objects

such as nose rings, ornaments, and necklaces.

The rumors and stories of these Indian tribes making gold objects, lead

Spaniard

explorers to come to Colombia looking for El Dorado. There was a legend

that there was a

kingdom of gold known as El Dorado who’s where abouts were unknown.

Colombia is named after Christopher Columbus, although he never been on

the

Colombian mainland. On 1502 he sailed the Colombian shores. Colombia

was actually

discovered by Alonso de Ojeda, who was one of Christopher Columbus’s

men, in 1500. He

was looking for El Dorado, but didn’t find it. Him and his men stole

many gold objects from

the Indian tribes, who were very skilled goldsmiths, and took them back

to Spain.

From the period of 1499 to 1550, Colombian conquest and colonization

began.

Rodrigo de Bastidas founded the first permanent settlement in 1525

called Santa Marta. In

1533 another explorer named Pedro de Heredia founded a settlement called

Cartagena. In

1536 the first expedition into Colombia’s interior was made by Gonzalo

Jimenez de Quesada.

He lead his expedition up the Magdalena River. He eventually founded

the settlement of

Bogota. All these conquerors conquered the land for the possession of

Spain.

In 1549, King Charles V of Spain created something called an audencia

of Colombia.

An audencia is an administrative body headed by a representative of the

king. It provided

courts, a legislature, and a civil government for Colombia. The

conquest by Spain gave

Colombia the Spanish language, the Roman Catholic Church and the Spanish

love of

literature. In 1717 Colombia was made part of a kingdom which included

Venezuela,

Ecuador, and Panama. This kingdom was called "The Kingdom of New

Granada", and was

owned by Spain, but in more distant way when Colombia was separate.

By 1795 the New Granada people were unsatisfied with the way the

Spaniards ruled.

Taxes were way to high, and it all went to Madrid. Also, they weren’t

getting treated

humanely by Spain. Word had spread out around the area of French

colonies rebelling for

independence. When Napoleon’s forces invaded Spain, the leaders

decided to take

advantage of Spain’s weakness and proposed independence on July 20,

1810. Spain refused

and reestablished it’s self control over New Granada. On August 7,

1819, Simon Bolivar of

Venezuela organized and lead an attack, and defeated the Spanish forces

at the Battle of

Boyaca. A few months later, Venezuela and Colombia were united to form

the Greater

Colombian Confederation. Simon Bolivar was President. In 1830, the

Confederation ended

because Venezuela wanted independence.

Today, Colombia is a parliamentary republic with presidential elections

held every

four years. The congress holds sessions every year between July and

December and consists

of two houses the Chamber of Deputies, which has 131 elected members,

and the Senate

with 63 members. The President appoints cabinet members and cheifs of

administrations.

Colombia is divided into 23 departments, and the president appoints a

governer to head each

department. The current president is Cesar Gaviria Trujillo.

Colombia’s population today is approximately 34,296,000. 95% of these

people are

Roman Catholic. The capital, Bogota has an estimated 4,921,00 people,

and the second

largest city, Cali, has 1,624,00 people. After Mexico and Brazil,

Colombia is the third most

populolus country in Latin America.3 About one half of the population

today is mestizo, a

mixture of Indian and European descent.4 Europeans are about one fifth

of the population,

and and there are some blacks, and about 400 Indian tribes.

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