February 1, 2015
Forum I: How has Latin America’s history been shaped by its geography? Take one time period in history (Pre-Columbian Era to the present) and explain how geography impacted the events of that era. Think about wars, border disputes, foreign intervention, and other important events from the period.
Latin America as a whole is a very beautiful region, and it has been existed for well over the century now. The term Latin America refers to Spanish-Portuguese speaking countries that are located in North, middle, and South American regions. In his book Hillman states some stats on Spanish and Portuguese speakers, “Roughly two-thirds of the nearly 600 million people who live in the region speak Spanish; most of the rest speak Portuguese”. (Hillman, 13) Before the arrival of Europeans in the late 15th and early 16th century, who wanted to conquer Latin American regions by making trade routes and convert the native people to Christianity, the region was home to many indigenous people with advanced civilizations. Some of the examples of indigenous people most notably were: Aztec, Inca and Maya.
Like all world regions, Latin America is diverse. The geographic perspective clearly illustrates unity in diversity. With the arrival of Europeans, the number of indigenous people declined by as much as 90 percent during the course of the conquest, but their presence remains strong in many parts of Latin America. Also, during that time a large number of African slaves were brought and added into the cultural mix of Europeans and indigenous people through the slave trade. Today, the African presence is quite notable throughout the Caribbean, Brazil, and coastal Venezuela, and Colombia. The other part of immigrants arrived from Italy, Germany, Japan, and India. (Hillman 15)
In terms of physical geography, much of the area is tropical, with the mixture of grasslands and forest as well as mountains and shields. Since the time of Christopher Columbus’s