Chapter 9 – Atlantic South America
Section Notes
Video
Physical Geography
Brazil
Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay
Impact of Deforestation in the
Amazon Basin
Close-up
The Amazon Rain Forest
World Almanac
Argentina’s Largest Cities
Quick Facts
Chapter 9 Visual Summary
Maps
Atlantic South America: Political
Atlantic South America: Physical
Argentina: Population
Paraguay and Uruguay
Atlantic South America
Images
Geography
Focus on Culture: Soccer in
Brazil
Buenos Aires
Brazil’s Urban and Rural
Population
Physical Geography
The Big Idea
The physical geography of Atlantic South America includes
large river systems, plains and plateaus, and the Amazon
rain forest.
Main Ideas
• Physical features of Atlantic South America include large
rivers, plateaus, and plains.
• Climate and vegetation in the region ranges from cool, dry
plains to warm, humid forests.
• The rain forest is a major source of natural resources.
Main Idea 1:
Physical features of Atlantic South America
include large rivers, plateaus, and plains.
• Atlantic South America includes Brazil,
Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.
• This region covers two-thirds of South America.
• Brazil occupies almost half of the continent.
Major River Systems
Amazon River
• World’s largest river
system
• Flows eastward across
northern Brazil through
Peru to Atlantic Ocean
• 4,000 miles long
• Carries more water than
any other river: 20
percent of Earth’s
surface water
• Lowers the salt level of
the Atlantic Ocean for
more than 100 miles
Río de la Plata
• Paraná River flows into
Río de la Plata and the
Atlantic Ocean.
• Paraná River drains
central part of South
America.
• Río de la Plata is an
estuary, or a partially
enclosed body of water
where freshwater mixes
with salty sea water.
Plains and Plateaus
• The land of South America is mostly plains and plateaus.
• The Amazon Basin in northern Brazil is a giant floodplain.
• The Brazilian Highlands are rugged, old, eroded mountains
and a high plain area called the Mato Grosso Plateau.
• Farther south are the low plains known as Gran Chaco.
• Argentina is home to the wide, grassy plains of the Pampas
and the dry plains and plateaus of Patagonia.
• All these plains rise in the west to form the high Andes
Mountains.
Main Idea 2:
Climate and vegetation in the region ranges
from cool, dry plains to warm, humid forests.
General
Climate
Argentina
Brazil
•
Cool climates in southern and highland areas
•
Tropical climates in the northern and coastal areas
•
Patagonia has a cool, desert climate.
•
Rich soils in humid subtropical Pampas are good for
farming.
•
In Gran Chaco, summer rains can turn these
humid, tropical plains into marshlands.
•
Central region is tropical savanna climate with
grasslands.
•
Amazon Basin’s tropical climate in northern Brazil
supports the world’s largest rain forest.
Main Idea 3:
The rain forest is a major source of natural
resources.
• Amazon rain forest provides food, wood, rubber, plants for
medicines, and other products.
• Deforestation, or the clearing of trees, has become a problem.
• Near coastal areas, the land supports commercial farming.
• Planting the same crop every year has caused soil exhaustion,
which means the soil is infertile because it has lost nutrients
needed by plants.
• Other resources: gold, silver, copper, iron, and oil
• Dams provide hydroelectric power.
Brazil
The Big Idea
The influence of Brazil’s history can be seen all over the
country in its people and culture.
Main Ideas
• Brazil’s history has been affected by Brazilian Indians,
Portuguese settlers, and enslaved Africans.
• Brazil’s society reflects a mix of people and cultures.
• Brazil today is experiencing population growth in its cities
and new development in rain forest areas.
Main Idea 1:
Brazil’s history has been affected by Brazilian
Indians, Portuguese settlers, and
enslaved Africans.
Colonial Brazil
Since Independence
• First people: American Indians
arrived many thousands of years ago
and hunted, fished, and farmed.
• 1822: Brazil won independence from
Portugal without war.
• 1500: Portuguese explorers arrived.
• Economy did not change and slavery
continued.
• Colonists brought in Africans to work
as slaves on sugar plantations.
• Brazil has been ruled by dictators
and elected officials.
• Colonists established cattle ranches
inland.
• Today, Brazil has an elected
president and legislature.
• In late 1600s and early 1700s:
People discovered gold and gems.
• Brazil is the largest country in South
America.
• Late 1800s: Brazil began producing
coffee.
• It has 186 million people—more than
all the other countries combined.
Main Idea 2:
Brazil’s society reflects a mix of people and
cultures.
• More than half of people are descended from Portugal,
Spain, Germany, Italy, or Poland.
• Nearly 40 percent are of mixed African and European
descent.
• Brazil has the largest Japanese population outside Japan.
• Official language: Portuguese.
• Others speak Spanish, English, French, Japanese, or
native languages.
Brazil
• About 70 percent are Roman Catholic.
Religion
• Protestantism is growing in popularity among
urban poor.
• Some practice macumba, a religion that
combines African, Brazilian, Indian, and
Christian beliefs and practices.
• Brazilians celebrate Carnival before Lent.
Festivals
and
Food
• Carnival mixes African, native, and European
traditions.
• E.g., the samba adapted from Africa
• Cultural mix can be found in foods: vatapá, an
African seafood dish, and feijoada, a black
bean and meat stew.
Main Idea 3:
Brazil today is experiencing population
growth in its cities and new development in
rain forest areas.
The Southeast
• Most people live in the southeast.
• São Paulo,
– Largest urban center in South America; 5th largest in the world
– A megacity, a giant urban area that includes surrounding cities and
suburbs
• Rio de Janeiro
– Second largest city in Brazil
– Capital from 1822-1960
• Richest region: industries and good farmland
• Poor people come to the cities for work.
• They live in huge slums called favelas.
The Northeast
• Brazil’s poorest region
• Illiteracy and health care are a problem.
• Droughts make farming and raising livestock difficult.
• Region’s beautiful beaches attract tourists.
• Old colonial cities also attract tourists.
• These were built during the days of the sugar industry.
• They feature brightly painted buildings, cobblestone
streets, and churches.
The Interior and the Amazon
The Interior
• The interior is a frontier.
• Mild climate and land may
make it good for farming in
the future.
• Brasilia, Brazil’s capital
– More than 2 million people
– Built to help develop
interior
– Modern buildings and busy
highways
The Amazon
• Manaus
– Major port and industrial
city
– More than 1 million people
• Indian villages are scattered
throughout the rain forest.
• Indians had little contact
with outsiders until recently.
• Logging, mining, and new
roads are bringing more
people.
• This development brings
income, but destroys the
rain forest.
Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay
The Big Idea
Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay have been influenced by
European immigration, a tradition of ranching, and large
urban populations.
Main Ideas
• European immigrants have dominated the history and
culture of Argentina.
• Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, plays a large role in the
country’s government and economy today.
• Uruguay has been influenced by its neighbors.
• Paraguay is the most rural country in the region.
Main Idea 1:
European immigrants have dominated the
history and culture of Argentina.
• Indians hunted in the Pampas and further north built
irrigation systems for farming.
• Few native people remain.
• 1500s: Spanish came to Argentina to find silver and gold.
• Spanish monarch granted land to colonists, who forced
Indians to work in their settlements.
• Gauchos, Argentine cowboys, herded cattle and horses on
the open grasslands of the Pampas.
• 1800s: Argentina gained independence, but violence and
instability killed or drove away the Indians.
Modern Argentina
• New immigrants arrived from Italy, Germany, and Spain.
• British helped build railroads that made it easier to
transport agricultural products such as beef for export.
• 1900s: Argentina was rich, but struggled under dictators
and military governments.
• Leaders like Eva Perón were popular, but many abused
human rights.
• 1970s: During the “Dirty War,” the government tortured and
killed people believed to disagree with the government.
• 1980s: Argentina’s last military government
People and Culture
• Most of Argentina’s 39 million people are descended from
European settlers.
• Argentine Indians and mestizos make up 3 percent of the
population.
• Most people are Roman Catholic.
• Beef, a major agricultural export, is also part of the
culture.
Main Idea 2:
Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, plays a
large role in the country’s government and
economy today.
Buenos Aires
• Capital
• Second largest urban
area in South America
• Home to most of
Argentina’s industry
• Its location near coast
and Pampas has
contributed to its
economic development.
Pampas
• Most developed
agricultural region
• About 11 percent of
labor force works in
agriculture.
• Exports: beef, wheat,
and corn
Economy and Government Policies
• 1990s: Government made reforms to help businesses grow.
• Argentina joined Mercosur, an organization that promotes trade
and economic cooperation among the southern and eastern
countries of South America.
• Late 1900s/early 2000s: Heavy debt and government spending
brought on economic crisis.
• 2001: Political crisis results. Government changed hands four
times.
• 2003: Economy stabilized, but professionals had lost jobs and
joined the informal economy, a part of the economy based on
odd jobs that people perform without government regulation
through taxes.
Main Idea 3:
Uruguay has been influenced by its
neighbors.
History
• Its capital,
Montevideo, close
to Buenos Aires
• Portugal conquered
Uruguay, but Spain
took over in 1770s.
People
• Most are descended
from Europeans.
• About 12 percent
mestizo, Indians, or
African
• Few Uruguayan
Indians remained.
• Mostly RomanCatholic, Spanishspeaking
• 1825:
Independence
• More than 90
percent live in
urban areas.
• Military
governments have
ruled off and on.
• Today it is a
democracy.
• High literacy rate
and many good
jobs
Economy
• More than half of
Uruguay’s trade is
with Brazil and
Argentina.
• Exports beef grown
on inland plains
• Some limited
industry
• Few mineral
resources
• Hydroelectric power
is a main source of
energy.
Main Idea 4:
Paraguay is the most rural country in the
region.
History
• Paraguay is
landlocked, or
surrounded by land
with no direct
access to the
ocean.
• Paraguay River
divides country into
eastern farmland
and western
ranches.
• Mid-1530s: Spanish
claimed country.
• 1811:
Independence
• Today it is a
democracy.
People
• About 95 percent
are mestizos.
• Rest are Indians or
people of European
descent.
• Two official
languages: Spanish
and Guarani, an
Indian language
• Most people are
Roman Catholic.
• Asunción is capital
and largest city.
Economy
• Wealth and
government
controlled by a few
rich families.
• Nearly half of the
country’s workers
are farmers.
• Many farmers grow
just enough to feed
themselves.
• Small businesses,
but not much
industry
• Promising
resources like
hydroelectricity
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