Human Geography of Latin America: A Blending of Cultures

Human Geography of Latin America: A Blending of Cultures

Human Geography of Latin America: A Blending of Cultures Latin Americas native civilizations and varied landscapes, resources, and colonial influences have left the region with a diverse cultural mix. Mexico Native and Spanish influences have shaped Mexico.

Native Americans and the Spanish Conquest Native peoples: Toltecs, Maya, Aztecs Spanish conquestHernando Corts landed on the Mexican coast in 1519 Spaniards march to Tenochtitln (site of Mexico City today)

Conquest is complete by 1521 Colony and Country Gold and silver made Mexico an important part of Spanish empire

The Aztecs and the Spanish Aztec empire in Valley of Mexico centered on capital, Tenochtitln Cortes and Spanish destroyed capital, built Mexico City on ruins Spanish brought their own their own language and religion; Indian heritage stayed strong. Creation of a large mestizo

populationmixed Spanish and Native American heritage An Architectural Heritage Spanish built missions and huge cathedrals Native Americans constructed beautiful pyramid temples, palaces

Economics: Cities and Factories Population and the Cities People moved to cities seeking better jobs 1970 population (52 million) doubles by 2000 to 104 million people Oil and Manufacturing Gulf oil reserves help Mexico develop industrial economy, manufacturing with

many new factories along U.S. border Maquiladorasfactories that assemble imported materials. Export products (electronics, clothes) to U.S. Part of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) with U.S. and Canada Prosperity through trade is expected

Emigration 2,000-mile border with U.S.; many workers travel to U.S. Separates families; workers in U.S. send money or return with savings Employment and Education Growing population, government policies create a shortage of jobs many Mexicans migrate to U.S. for work, but cant get good jobs

School attendance is improving; 85% of schoolage kids in class Central America and the Caribbean Native peoples, Europeans, and Africans have shaped the culture of this region. The economies of the region are based primarily on agriculture and tourism.

Native and Colonial Central America Cultural hearthplace from which important ideas spread; often heartland, or place of cultures origin. Mayan civilization spread throughout Central America. It is unknown why the Maya abandoned many cities in 800s. Mayan Influence Built cities, temples in Belize,

Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras City-states were ruled by god-kings Trade and religious activities centered in cities Center of Mayan civilization was Tikal in northern Guatemala Alliances and trade spread influence over region, to Mexico to El Salvador

Native and Colonial Central America The Spanish in Central America Spain ruled until mid-1800s, with Mexico governing Central America Mexico declared independence in 1821. In 1823 Central America declared independence from Mexico. Native and Colonial Caribbean In 1492 Columbus thought hed

reached East Indies, found Indians, or Caribbean island natives who were the Taino. Spanish established sugar plantations, used Taino as forced labor Disease, mistreatment kill many Taino Spanish brought African slaves, who then influenced Caribbean culture

A Colonial Mosaic By 1800s Spanish, French, English, Danish, Dutch all claimed islands. Sought profits from sugar trade, and depended on African slaves.

Caribbean Independence Many Caribbean islands were colonies of European countries First Latin American independence movement is Haitian slave revolt Islands achieved independence between 1804 and 1962. Culture of Central America

Blends Native American and Spanish settlers influences Spanish language, religion (Catholicism) still dominant today Took land from natives, cleared it to plant new crops such as wheat Built farms, ranches; moved natives off land and into new towns Culture of the Caribbean European influences mixed with African, Native American cultures Voodoo practiced on Haiti; Rastafarianism based in Jamaica

Spanish spoken on the most populous islands Cuba (11 million), Dominican Republic (8.5 million) French spoken in Haiti (6 million), English in Jamaica (3 million) Some Dutch and Danish also spoken in the region Economics: Jobs and People Colonialism left laborers poor while planters got rich Economies hurt by falling sugar trade, export of natural resources

This is an example of a Plantation House in Jamaica. Farming and Trade

Sugar cane is Caribbeans largest export crop. Also trade bananas, citrus, coffee, and spices. Panama Canal cuts through land bridge, connects Atlantic, Pacific. Canal traffic makes Panama an important crossroads of world-trade. Slums of Haiti

Popular Culture, Tourism, and Jobs Music of the Caribbean Trinidads steel drum calypso music has elements from Africa, Spain Jamaican reggae music deals with social, and religious issues. Has roots in American, African music

Tourism and the Informal Economy Population growth means high unemployment, especially among young Tourism is important; provides hotel, resort, restaurant, guide jobs

Spanish-Speaking South America Native peoples and settlers from Spain have shaped the culture of South America. Languages Spanish-speaking nations: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela. Suriname is Dutch-speaking; French Guiana is part of France.

The Inca Incagreat civilization built in the harsh terrain of the Andes by 1500, empire stretched 2,500 miles along west coast of the continent

The Spanish Conquest Spainish conquered the Incas; wanted Incan gold, silver Forced natives to work mines, farms; many abused, worked to death Independence

Movements South American countries sought independence in early 1800s Government by the Few Since independence, many countries governed by

oligarchy or military rule Authoritarian rule delayed development of democracy Effects of colonialism: strong armies, weak economies, class divisions Chiles Success Story Engages in global trade; largest export is copper

Exports its produce north; harvest is during North American winter Brazil Native peoples, Portuguese, and Africans have shaped Brazil. Brazil has the largest territory and the largest population of any country

in Latin America. A Divided Continent: Native Peoples and Portuguese Conquest Treaty of Tordesillas1494 agreement between Spain and Portugal gave Portugal control of what would become Brazil. 15 million natives in area before colonists arrived in early 1500s No gold, silver, so colonists cleared forests for sugar

plantations. Settled coast, put natives to work on plantations in interior. Natives die of European diseases, so African slaves were brought in Today, Brazil is mix of European, African, and native ancestry The People of Brazil Today 200,000 native peoples remain in Amazon rain forest Immigrants come from Portugal, Germany, Italy,

Spain, Lebanon, and Syria. Largest Japanese population outside Japan. Language and Religion Portuguese is spoken; largest Catholic population in world. 20% Protestant; others practice mix of African beliefs, Catholicism. Brasilia: 80% live within 200 miles of ocean, but

theres been a move inward In 1957 Oscar Niemeyer begins designing new capital set 600 miles inland in order to draw people to interior.

An Industrial Power Driven by an abundance of natural resources: iron, bauxite, tin, manganese, gold, silver, titanium, chromite, tungsten, quartz. electricity from power plants on numerous rivers, including Amazon large reserves of oil, natural gas Highly industrialized, including steel, automobile plants

Migration to the Cities Vast gap between rich and poor; poor seek jobs in cities urbanization occurs as people are pushed off land, manufacturing grows in 1960, 22% lived in cities; in 1995, 75% lived in cities

Migration to the Interior 80% live within 200 miles of ocean, but theres been a move inward Interior economy is based on farming of cerradofertile grasslands From Carnival to Martial Arts

Carnivalcolorful feast day in Brazil and Caribbean countries. Features music of the sambaBrazilian dance with African influences CapoeiraBrazilian martial art and dance with African origins City Life in Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro is cultural center of Brazil

Lovely setting: Sugarloaf Mountain, Guanabara Bay, Copacabana Beach Poverty creates favelas (slums), crime, drug abuse Bibliography Mcdougal Littell, World Geography. Houghton Mifflin Company. 2012

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