Geographical Impact on Latin America's History

Satisfactory Essays
Abdu Kayumov
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

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    The physical geography and climate has influenced Latin America in so many ways. These ways can be seen not only on landscapes, but also on political events. On the article Introduction to Latin America, Kirby states that “It was also the guiding light for many of the leaders of the Brazilian republican movement that toppled the monarchy in 1889 and it finds expression in the words ‘Ordem e Progresso’ on the Brazilian flag” (Differing Understandings, Pg 5.) Unfortunately enough it just does not happen in Brazil, but also in many Latin American countries, the government can be seem as taking over the country’s wealth instead of helping out society for the better. By having the government depleting the country’s wealth into…

    • 375 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Throughout this paper I will be making reference to Peter Winn 's book Americas. Winn states on page 4 that "Latin America is equally an invention, devised in the nineteenth century by a French geographer to describe the nations that had once been colonized by Latin Europe---Spain, France, and Portugal." In attempting to establish the current state of development in Latin America, historical chronology serves as the foundation necessary for a broad logical position. Latin American development has evolved in distinct phases, which lead to the present day standings of the politics and peoples throughout the region. The conclusion of distinct historical attributes: conquest, colonialism, immigration, capitalism, and industrialism, serve as the developmental path from the past, to allow an understanding of the current state of development.…

    • 899 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The readings of week three described the economic issues and the rise of the different powers in Latin America. The Authors Bakewell and Escosura both wrote about the shifts in power from the Europeans to the independence of Latin America. Everything starting with the Bolivar movement, when Simon Bolivar wanted to free his country of the Spanish control in Venezuela. These movements showed that the Latin American people had enough of the European control in their land. They wanted to have their own freedom and power over their countries, making them cause revolutions in order to remove the European control. The switch from European control to the control of the people had an impact majorly on the economy and government of the people. This even affected the mindset of the people as well. In relation to what we have learned in lecture about the European power and how it changed the mindset of the people continues on today. Many of the countries are still shattered and hurt from the oppression by the European…

    • 854 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Latin America is at a crucial turning point when talking about political influences and movements in some of regions countries. There have been many leaders that have influenced countries like Venezuela, Argentina, and Peru. There are not only important figures that are apart of or have influenced important populist and revolutionary movements but there has been much change that developed through these political advancements. The progress being made not only has begun to show advancement in different countries economic growth but have improved the governmental processes and has allowed…

    • 3839 Words
    • 16 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Europeans were requesting more African slave labor during this time to help run the newly developed sugar plantations. More people began to travel and explore in South America for trading, and to obtain slaves offering a more diverse culture and spread of . Such accounts allowed for the mixing of ethnicities and societies in South America. In the early 1450’s, most of those who presided in South America were Natives, while over times, people such as Creoles and Mestizos came into play. Due to the mixing of cultures becoming more common, allowing for mestizos or the idea of when…

    • 640 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Spaniards brought Africans to the New World at the very beginning of the Spanish conquest. Spanish influence determined Africans' social aptitude, acculturated them, and manipulated their role to serve Spanish needs for production. Despite Spanish dominance, Africans were able to retain some resemblance of their own cultural distinction, and acted independently against Spanish interests. Africans roles evolved as the Spanish faced problems of satisfying high labor demands and maintaining control over a population much larger than their own. Initially, Africans played a military and socio-political part in the Spanish conquest; however, more significantly, Africans provided Spanish colonialism with a capable labor foundation and a safeguard between the Spanish minority and the natives. Although African and Afro-Latino roles did not always support Spanish aims or ideals, they were vital to the Spanish capacity to manage a populace much larger than their own and yield from…

    • 1483 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The beginnings of the early 1800’s, the United States was starting to notice potential in growth and expansion. They saw opportunities in Latin America, as there were only small Spanish colonies. In addition, Latin America was yet to gain any independence which made them very vulnerable and up for grabs for the U.S. expansion. One problem was at this time U.S. was trying their best to stay out of foreign conflicts and not stay out of foreign alliances. Which they would most likely lose both of those goals if they started this expansion. A piece from Kenneth C. Davis article What was the Monroe Doctrine?, “ The Monroe Doctrine basically stated: The western hemisphere was no longer open for European colonization; Our political…

    • 1006 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Latin America typically refers to the geographic areas on the American continent where languages derived from Latin are widely spoken such as: Portuguese in Brazil, and Spanish in most of Central America, South America, and parts of the Caribbean. The French-speaking parts of the Caribbean are sometimes included as well, but all mainland North American regions north of the Rio Grande are excluded in spite of French being widely spoken in Canada.…

    • 2736 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    south and east, and a tropical climate in the north. The terrain is mostly low plateaus with…

    • 2692 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Latin American Culture

    • 1270 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Perhaps the greatest struggle that Westerners experience when studying Latin American culture is adopting the viewpoint that Latin Americans are the protagonists of their own lives, and have often shown innovation that is independent of Western influence. Westerners have the tendency to overemphasize the role that the United States and other “developed” countries have had on the progress of Latin American development. It is rather easy to simply dismiss the notion that Latin Americans have agency over their conditions, especially when considering the distinct inequalities that are apparent in Latin American society. However, the United States and other developed countries are not doubted in regards to having control over their…

    • 1270 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Latin America Influence

    • 510 Words
    • 3 Pages

    I am familiar with two much-related regions: USA and Latin America. I will focus this particular activity in Latin America (LA).…

    • 510 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    South American Culture

    • 1903 Words
    • 8 Pages

    B. The key infrastructural developments such as the Panama Canal give us the ancient history and interests of the region.…

    • 1903 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Over the course of the Transatlantic Slave trade, twelve million Africans were brought to the Americas as slaves and another four million died resisting capture or during the trip to the Americas- now referred to as the Middle Passage. One would assume that this- alongside the Islamic slave trade- would rapidly depopulate Africa, but due to introduction of American crops, the overall population of Africa actually increased in early modern times. However, the regions closest to active slave ports, primarily Seneca and Angola, were severely affected (Gordon, page 562.) Oh those taken, fifty percent of all slaves went to the West Indies. Roughly thirty-three percent went to Brazil. Only five percent went to North America. The remainder went to various places in Central and South America. However, in everywhere but North America, the slaves brought were primarily young men who died before ever reproducing.…

    • 1050 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Argentia Essay

    • 1235 Words
    • 4 Pages

    This Eurocentric view is quite common among Latin American travel accounts5. Many accounts like Bryce’s document the similarities and the differences between the Western World and Latin America. They typically view the countries with high populations of natives as backward and undeveloped.6 The writers search for similarities that can be used to redeem the country they are visiting. For example if the culture more…

    • 1235 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Culture

    • 440 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Many of the Spanish-speaking nations are considered part of the Latin culture, while the geographic region is widespread. Latin America is typically defined as those parts of the Central America, South America and Mexico where Spanish or Portuguese are the dominant languages. While Spain and Portugal are on the European continent, they are considered the key influencers of what is known as Latin culture, which denotes people using languages derived from Latin, also known as Romance languages.…

    • 440 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays