Geography of Latin America, European Influence

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Like many of the other realms we learned about, the Latin American realm, made up of Middle America and South America, is not a realm that was safe from European invasion. Europeans played a big role in the history of the economic, political, and cultural geography of Latin America and left long-lasting evidence of their influence in the realm. Although colonization left the realm fragmented politically and economically the regions are showing signs of breaking the cycle of poverty and moving towards equality and urbanization. A map of the realm before Europeans would look much different than it does now. On arrival the Spanish conquered the Inca of South America and continued down the western coast taking over land and exploiting the natives and their mineral deposits. Evidence of the wealth that the Spanish gained from their exploitation can be seen in the city of Lima, which soon became one of the richest cities in the world at the time. The arrival of Spanish to the north in Middle America went much like it did in the south. The Aztecs were defeated and Amerindians were enslaved to deforest the realm for the benefit of the European colonizers. The deforestation started by the invaders began a devastating trend and today there is only about 10 percent of the indigenous vegetation left. Around the same time the Spanish were colonizing western South America and Middle America the Portuguese had arrived in what is now Brazil and began their move westward. As the arrival of Spanish colonizers left the Portuguese with a limited work force to exploit, immoral improvisation lead to a cultural impact that would change South America forever. Millions of African slaves were brought to the realm to work for the Europeans. Almost half of all of the slaves brought to the Americas arrived on the Brazilian coast and today Brazil has South Americas largest African population. Slavery and natural destruction aren’t the only things that Europeans brought to the realm. Possibly...
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