A background of Argentina

A background of


In the beginning of Argentina, we recall
two major tribes; the Diaguita and the Gaurani who constituted the agricultural
origins. During the 1500’s, Spain discovered Argentina, and quickly claimed
it for its own. Spain reigned until the 1800’s when it was at war with

Britain. In 1816 Argentina declared independence from Spain. After WWII
there was a struggle for leadership of Argentina, eventually Juan Peron,
a former dictator, was elected President.

Peron represented himself as a leader
for the common people, however his administration embezzled funds stole
from the workers. With the help of his wife, Eva Peron, who became a spiritual
symbol for the nation, he reigned over Argentina until his after her death
and his government was overthrown by a military coup in 1955. He
spent 18 years in exile, however, Perón retained his labor support
and influence in Argentine politics. He was finally allowed to return to

Argentina in 1973 and was again elected president, with his third wife
as vice president. He died in office on July 1, 1974.

Democratic elections finally arrived in

1983, but the political environment is still shaky. Currently Argentina
has a republican government that is very influenced by western nations.

It is broken into 23 separate provinces and consists of three branches;
judicial, legislative, and executive. President Carlos Saul Menem has been
in office since 8 July 1989 and Vice President Carlos Ruckauf has been
in office since 8 July 1995 although they also have 4 year terms. In Argentina
the president is both the chief of state and head of government. Similar
to many countries, Argentina is still trying to find a stable government.

Argentina has a steady economy now, although
when the republic began, Argentina was in heavy debt. Through the mass
exports of oil, feed, and steel with major industries like food processing
and agribusiness, they have a healthy, thriving system. Argentina‘s major
trading partners consist of countries such as Brazil, the US, Italy, the

Netherlands, Germany, and France. Argentina is a relatively rich country;
it has a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of roughly US$283 billion, with about
$6800 GDP per head. Argentina is 18th in world GDP ranking. Argentina is
a wealthy country.

There are many different types of people
living in Argentina; 85% of European descent, 15% mestizo, with Indian
and other minorities. Their religion is not as varied, 93% are Roman

Catholic, 2.5% Protestant, 2% Jewish, 1.5% Ukrainian Catholic and a small
no of Armenian Orthodox. With an equal literacy rate between men and women
of 96.2%, most Argentineans are bilingual. The most common language is

American/Spanish, with English and 17 indigenous languages trailing behind.

There is a population of 34 million with a growth rate of 1.2%.

Although Argentina is lovely and wealthy,
there is a shocking amount of poor. 25.5% of the population is below the
poverty line, while the social classes are: homeless, farmers, domestics,
and wealthy. Major arts include storytelling, artistic murals, and
theater. Most housing is in major cities. For example, 1/3 of Argentina’s
population lives in Buenos Aires. Thus, most people live in city apartments,
while the wealthy may afford small homes in neighboring rural areas. Many
people have modest country homes that are behind modern standards.

Major news in Argentina is how the country
itself is becoming modern and joining the 21st century. Headlines talk
of the Internet expansion in Argentina, and about the 70% raise in Argentinean
auto exports. There is a huge drought going on which caused there to be
a 20% decrease in agricultural products; a huge loss. Then again, Argentina
is cutting its largest field, electricity, but 10%. It’s amazing how quickly
a world changes, and how slow we are to catch up with it. Argentina has
become a powerful nation with a very interesting past.