The name “Argentina”
comes from the latin
“argentum” which means silver. The origin of the name goes back to the
made by the first Spanish conquistadors (conquerors) to the Rio de la Plata (Silver River).
survivors of the expedition mounted by Juan Diaz de Solis discovered
the region who presented them with silver objects. The news about the
Sierra del Plata, a mountain rich in silver, reached Spain
around 1524. From this date
the Portuguese named the river Solis, the Silver River.
Two years later the Spanish used the same name. Since 1860 the official
the country has been the Republica Argentina (Republic of Argentina).
LOCATION, AREA AND FRONTIERS
Located in the southern part
of South America and thus in the
southern hemisphere, Argentina
an area of almost 3.8 million square kilometres, of which 2.8 are on
continent and the remain in the Antarctic. It’s length of 3800 kms goes
latitude 22 degrees to 55 degrees. It’s frontier with Uruguay,
perimeter of 9.376 kms and the coast, on the Atlantic
Ocean, is 5.117 kms long.
fundamental characteristic of Argentina is
the enormous contrast between the immense eastern plains and the
mountain range of the Andes to the
is the frontier with Chile
and has the highest peak in the west, the Aconcagua,
6 959 metres long.
it’s passage from Jujuy
to Tierra del Fuego the range
presents marvellous contrasts, the plateaus of the
nortwest, the lake region, the forest and the glaciers of the
the north, Chaco
is a forested area which follows the rivers Bermejo,
Sabado and Pilcomayo. Between the Parana and Uruguay,
Mesopotamia Argentina (the provinces of Entre Rios, Corrientes and Misiones) is formed by
hills where pools and marshlands show the ancient courses of these
there are fissures which
provide such spectacular phenomena as the Falls of Iguazu.
in the centre of Argentina,
the largest and best known area of plains. It has a large amount of
and livestock and includes the provinces of Buenos Aires, La Pampa, the south of Santa Fe and the
east of Cordoba.
is broken to the south by the small mountains of Tandil and La Ventana
the west by the Cordoba
the south, from the Andes to the sea,
are the sterile and stony plateaus of Patagonia,
swept by the wind during most of the year. The
Atlantic coast, lined with high cliffs, forms massive indentations like
with it’s spectacular and unique colonies of marine animals.
curent population of Argentina
estimated to be some 36 million of which almost half live in the
Capital and the province
of Buenos Aires.
These figures give us a
density of 12.9 inhabitants per square kilometre. 95 % of Argentineans
white and principally descendants of Italians and Spaniards. With the
European immigration, the white and indian half castes became slowly
until today these people only amount to 4.5 % of the population. The
indigenous population, the Mapuches, Collas, Tobas, Matacos and
amount to 0.5 % of the population.
is the official language of the
Republic. In Buenos Aires
forms of lunfardo, which is a
city lang, are used. In some areas guarani, quechua, aymara and the
tongues of the indigenous minority are spoken.
is a complete religion freedom in Argentina
although the official one is Roman Catholic. There are also other
such as Protestant, Jewish, Moslem, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox,
official Argentine currency is the
Peso which is on a par with the US dollar and fluctuates with it. There
notes of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 pesos and coins of 1, 2 and 5
1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos.
GOVERNMENT AND CONSTITUTION
country is a representative federal
and democratic republic with Buenos
Aires as the Federal Capital and 23 provinces.
are three authorities: the
executive, the legislative and the judicial. The first is exercised by
President of the Nation elected for a term of four years. He has ample
including the power of approving or vetoing decisions by Congress. The
Congress has two chambers. The Chamber of Deputies has 254 directly
members. The Senate has 72 members elected by provincial jurisdictions,
per province and three for the Federal Capital. The provinces are
and elect their own officials, the Governor being the ultimate
current constitution dates from
1853. Nevertheless, it has undergone changes on various occasions, the
time was in August 1994, which allowed the reelection of the President
Nation for one more term.
TWO HISTORIC DATES
of May 1810. The first
Government independent of the Kingdom of Spain
of July 1816.
Proclamation of Independence
by the United Provinces of the Silver River.
Birth of the Republic