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SOUTH AMERICA is a continent located in the western hemisphere , mostly in the southern hemisphere , with a relatively small portion in the northern hemisphere . It may also be considered a subcontinent of the Americas
Americas
, which is the model used in nations that speak Romance languages . The reference to South America
South America
instead of other regions (like Latin America
Latin America
or the Southern Cone) has increased in the last decades due to changing geopolitical dynamics (in particular, the rise of Brazil).

It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
and on the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
; North America
North America
and the Caribbean Sea
Caribbean Sea
lie to the northwest. It includes twelve sovereign states ( Argentina
Argentina
, Bolivia
Bolivia
, Brazil
Brazil
, Chile
Chile
, Colombia
Colombia
, Ecuador
Ecuador
, Guyana
Guyana
, Paraguay
Paraguay
, Peru
Peru
, Suriname , Uruguay
Uruguay
, and Venezuela
Venezuela
), a part of France
France
(French Guiana ), and a non-sovereign area (the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
, a British Overseas Territory though this is disputed by Argentina). In addition to this, the ABC islands of the Kingdom of the Netherlands , Trinidad and Tobago
Tobago
, and Panama
Panama
may also be considered part of South America.

South America
South America
has an area of 17,840,000 square kilometers (6,890,000 sq mi). Its population as of 2005 has been estimated at more than 371,090,000. South America
South America
ranks fourth in area (after Asia
Asia
, Africa
Africa
, and North America) and fifth in population (after Asia, Africa, Europe , and North America). Brazil
Brazil
is by far the most populous South American country, with more than half of the continent's population, followed by Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela
Venezuela
and Peru. In recent decades Brazil
Brazil
has also concentrated half of the region's GDP and has become a first regional power.

Most of the population lives near the continent's western or eastern coasts while the interior and the far south are sparsely populated. The geography of western South America
South America
is dominated by the Andes mountains; in contrast, the eastern part contains both highland regions and large lowlands where rivers such as the Amazon , Orinoco
Orinoco
, and Paraná flow. Most of the continent lies in the tropics .

The continent's cultural and ethnic outlook has its origin with the interaction of indigenous peoples with European conquerors and immigrants and, more locally, with African slaves. Given a long history of colonialism , the overwhelming majority of South Americans speak Portuguese or Spanish , and societies and states commonly reflect Western traditions .

CONTENTS

* 1 Geography

* 1.1 Outlying islands * 1.2 Climate

* 2 History

* 2.1 Prehistory * 2.2 Pre-Columbian civilizations * 2.3 European colonization * 2.4 Slavery
Slavery
in South America
South America
* 2.5 Independence from Spain
Spain
and Portugal
Portugal
* 2.6 Nation-building and fragmentation * 2.7 Wars and conflicts * 2.8 Rise and fall of military dictatorships

* 3 Countries and territories * 4 Politics

* 5 Demographics

* 5.1 Language * 5.2 Religion

* 5.3 Ethnic demographics

* 5.3.1 Indigenous people

* 5.4 Populace

* 6 Economy

* 6.1 Economically largest cities as of 2014 * 6.2 Tourism
Tourism

* 7 Culture

* 7.1 Plastic arts * 7.2 Sport

* 8 Infrastructure

* 8.1 Energy * 8.2 Transport

* 9 See also

* 10 Notes and references

* 10.1 Content notes * 10.2 References * 10.3 Sources

* 11 External links

GEOGRAPHY

Main article: Geography of South America See also: Category:Environment of South America
South America
A composite relief image of South America
South America

South America
South America
occupies the southern portion of the Americas
Americas
. The continent is generally delimited on the northwest by the Darién watershed along the Colombia– Panama
Panama
border , although some may consider the border instead to be the Panama
Panama
Canal . Geopolitically and geographically all of Panama
Panama
– including the segment east of the Panama
Panama
Canal in the isthmus – is typically included in North America alone and among the countries of Central America
Central America
. Almost all of mainland South America
South America
sits on the South American Plate .

South America
South America
is home to the world\'s highest uninterrupted waterfall , Angel Falls in Venezuela; the highest single drop waterfall Kaieteur Falls in Guyana; the largest river (by volume), the Amazon River
Amazon River
; the longest mountain range, the Andes
Andes
(whose highest mountain is Aconcagua at 6,962 m ); the driest non-polar place on earth, the Atacama Desert ; the largest rainforest, the Amazon Rainforest
Amazon Rainforest
; the highest capital city, La Paz, Bolivia
Bolivia
; the highest commercially navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca ; and, excluding research stations in Antarctica
Antarctica
, the world's southernmost permanently inhabited community, Puerto Toro, Chile
Chile
.

South America's major mineral resources are gold , silver , copper , iron ore , tin , and petroleum . These resources found in South America have brought high income to its countries especially in times of war or of rapid economic growth by industrialized countries elsewhere. However, the concentration in producing one major export commodity often has hindered the development of diversified economies. The fluctuation in the price of commodities in the international markets has led historically to major highs and lows in the economies of South American states, often causing extreme political instability. This is leading to efforts to diversify production to drive away from staying as economies dedicated to one major export.

South America
South America
is one of the most biodiverse continents on earth. South America
South America
is home to many interesting and unique species of animals including the llama , anaconda , piranha , jaguar , vicuña , and tapir . The Amazon rainforests possess high biodiversity , containing a major proportion of the Earth's species .

Brazil
Brazil
is the largest country in South America, encompassing around half of the continent's land area and population. The remaining countries and territories are divided among three regions: The Andean States , the Guianas and the Southern Cone
Southern Cone
.

* Geography of South America

*

Torres del Paine
Torres del Paine
in Chile. *

Ausangate
Ausangate
mountain in Peru. *

Porto de Galinhas
Porto de Galinhas
beach in Brazil. *

Amazon rainforest
Amazon rainforest
, the richest and most megadiverse forest in the world. *

Angel Falls in Venezuela, the highest waterfall in the world. *

Quebrada de Cafayette in Argentina
Argentina
. *

Atacama Desert
Atacama Desert
(Chile) the driest desert in the world. *

Pirineus State Park in Brazil. *

Serra da Capivara National Park in Brazil. *

Monte Roraima between Brazil, Venezuela
Venezuela
and Guiana .

OUTLYING ISLANDS

Traditionally, South America
South America
also includes some of the nearby islands. Aruba
Aruba
, Bonaire
Bonaire
, Curaçao
Curaçao
, Trinidad
Trinidad
, Tobago
Tobago
, and the federal dependencies of Venezuela
Venezuela
sit on the northerly South American continental shelf and are often considered part of the continent. Geo-politically, the island states and overseas territories of the Caribbean
Caribbean
are generally grouped as a part or subregion of North America, since they are more distant on the Caribbean Plate , even though San Andres and Providencia are politically part of Colombia
Colombia
and Aves Island is controlled by Venezuela
Venezuela
.

Other islands that are included with South America
South America
are the Galápagos Islands that belong to Ecuador
Ecuador
and Easter Island
Easter Island
(in Oceania
Oceania
but belonging to Chile
Chile
), Robinson Crusoe Island , Chiloé (both Chilean) and Tierra del Fuego (split between Chile
Chile
and Argentina
Argentina
). In the Atlantic, Brazil
Brazil
owns Fernando de Noronha
Fernando de Noronha
, Trindade and Martim Vaz , and the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago , while the Falkland Islands are governed by the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
, whose sovereignty over the islands is disputed by Argentina
Argentina
. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands may be associated with either South America
South America
or Antarctica
Antarctica
.

* Islands of South America

*

Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
, overseas of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
. *

Easter Island
Easter Island
, in the picture Rano Raraku volcano. *

Fernando de Noronha
Fernando de Noronha
, Brazilian archipelago. *

Trindade and Martin Vaz , a volcanic archipelago of Brazil. *

Galápagos Islands
Galápagos Islands
off coast of Ecuador
Ecuador

CLIMATE

Map
Map
of South America
South America
according to Köppen climate classification

The distribution of the average temperatures in the region presents a constant regularity from the 30° of latitude south , when the isotherms tend, more and more, to be confused with the degrees of latitude.

In temperate latitudes, winters are milder and summers warmer than in North America
North America
. Because its most extensive part of the continent is located in the equatorial zone, the region has more areas of equatorial plains than any other region.

The average annual temperatures in the Amazon basin
Amazon basin
oscillate around 27 °C, with low thermal amplitudes and high rainfall indices. Between the Maracaibo Lake and the mouth of the Orinoco, predominates an equatorial climate of the type Congolese, that also includes parts of the Brazilian territory.

The east-central Brazilian plateau has a humid and warm tropical climate. The northern and eastern parts of the Argentine pampas have a humid subtropical climate with dry winters and humid summers of the Chinese type, while the western and eastern ranges have a subtropical climate of the dinaric type. At the highest points of the Andean region, climates are colder than the ones occurring at the highest point of the Norwegian fjords. In the Andean plateaus, the warm climate prevails, although it is tempered by the altitude, while in the coastal strip, there is an equatorial climate of the Guinean type. From this point until the north of the Chilean coast appear, successively, Mediterranean oceanic climate , temperate of the Breton type and, already in Tierra del Fuego , cold climate of the Siberian type.

The distribution of rainfall is related to the regime of winds and air masses. In most of the tropical region east of the Andes, winds blowing from the northeast, east and southeast carry moisture from the Atlantic
Atlantic
, causing abundant rainfall. In the Orinoco
Orinoco
lhanos and in the Guianas plateau , the precipitations go from moderate to high. The Pacific coast of Colombia
Colombia
and northern Ecuador
Ecuador
are rainy regions. The Atacama Desert, along this stretch of coast, is one of the driest regions in the world. The central and southern parts of Chile
Chile
are subject to cyclones, and most of the Argentine Patagonia
Patagonia
is desert . In the pampas of Argentina, Uruguay
Uruguay
and South of Brazil
Brazil
the rainfall is moderate, with rains well distributed during the year. The moderately dry conditions of the Chaco oppose the intense rainfall of the eastern region of Paraguay. In the semiarid coast of the Brazilian Northeast the rains are linked to a monsoon regime.

Important factors in the determination of climates are sea currents, such as the current Humboldt and Falklands
Falklands
. The equatorial current of the South Atlantic
Atlantic
strikes the coast of the Northeast and there is divided into two others: the current of Brazil
Brazil
and a coastal current that flows to the northwest towards the Antilles
Antilles
, where there it moves towards northeast course thus forming the most Important and famous ocean current in the world, the Gulf Stream
Gulf Stream
. Perito Moreno Glacier , Los Glaciares National Park
Los Glaciares National Park
, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina
Argentina
; declared World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
by UNESCO
UNESCO
in 1981.

HISTORY

Main article: History of South America
History of South America

PREHISTORY

Further information: History of South America
History of South America
§ Pre-Columbian era The prehistoric Cueva de las Manos , or Cave of the Hands, in Argentina
Argentina

South America
South America
is believed to have been joined with Africa
Africa
from the late Paleozoic Era to the early Mesozoic Era , until the supercontinent Pangaea
Pangaea
began to rift and break apart about 225 million years ago. Therefore, South America
South America
and Africa
Africa
share similar fossils and rock layers.

South America
South America
is thought to have been first inhabited by humans when people were crossing the Bering Land Bridge (now the Bering Strait
Bering Strait
) at least 15,000 years ago from the territory that is present-day Russia
Russia
. They migrated south through North America
North America
, and eventually reached South America
South America
through the Isthmus of Panama
Panama
.

The first evidence for the existence of the human race in South America dates back to about 9000 BC, when squashes , chili peppers and beans began to be cultivated for food in the highlands of the Amazon Basin . Pottery evidence further suggests that manioc , which remains a staple food today, was being cultivated as early as 2000 BC.

By 2000 BC, many agrarian communities had been settled throughout the Andes
Andes
and the surrounding regions. Fishing became a widespread practice along the coast, helping establish fish as a primary source of food. Irrigation systems were also developed at this time, which aided in the rise of an agrarian society .

South American cultures began domesticating llamas , vicuñas , guanacos , and alpacas in the highlands of the Andes
Andes
circa 3500 BC. Besides their use as sources of meat and wool, these animals were used for transportation of goods.

PRE-COLUMBIAN CIVILIZATIONS

Main article: Pre-Columbian era § South America
South America
The Inca estate of Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
, Peru
Peru
is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World
World
.

The rise of plant growing and the subsequent appearance of permanent human settlements allowed for the multiple and overlapping beginnings of civilizations in South America.

One of the earliest known South American civilizations was at Norte Chico , on the central Peruvian coast. Though a pre-ceramic culture, the monumental architecture of Norte Chico is contemporaneous with the pyramids of Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
. Norte Chico governing class established a trade network and developed agriculture then followed by Chavín by 900 BC, according to some estimates and archaeological finds. Artifacts were found at a site called Chavín de Huantar in modern Peru
Peru
at an elevation of 3,177 meters. Chavín civilization spanned 900 BC to 300 BC.

In the central coast of Peru, around the beginning of the 1st millennium AD, Moche (100 BC – 700 AD, at the northern coast of Peru), Paracas and Nazca (400 BC – 800 AD, Peru) cultures flourished with centralized states with permanent militia improving agriculture through irrigation and new styles of ceramic art. At the Altiplano
Altiplano
, Tiahuanaco or Tiwanaku (100 BC – 1200 AD, Bolivia) managed a large commercial network based on religion.

Around 7th century, both Tiahuanaco and Wari or Huari Empire (600–1200, Central and northern Peru) expanded its influence to all the Andean region, imposing the Huari urbanism and Tiahuanaco religious iconography.

The Muisca were the main indigenous civilization in what is now Colombia. They established the Muisca Confederation
Muisca Confederation
of many clans, or cacicazgos , that had a free trade network among themselves. They were goldsmiths and farmers.

Other important Pre-Columbian cultures include: the Cañaris (in south central Ecuador), Chimú Empire (1300–1470, Peruvian northern coast), Chachapoyas , and the Aymaran kingdoms (1000–1450, Western Bolivia
Bolivia
and southern Peru).

Holding their capital at the great city of Cusco
Cusco
, the Inca civilization dominated the Andes
Andes
region from 1438 to 1533. Known as Tawantin suyu, and "the land of the four regions," in Quechua , the Inca Empire
Inca Empire
was highly distinct and developed. Inca rule extended to nearly a hundred linguistic or ethnic communities, some 9 to 14 million people connected by a 25,000 kilometer road system . Cities were built with precise, unmatched stonework, constructed over many levels of mountain terrain. Terrace farming was a useful form of agriculture.

The Mapuche
Mapuche
in Central and Southern Chile
Chile
resisted the European and Chilean settlers, waging the Arauco War
Arauco War
for more than 300 years.

EUROPEAN COLONIZATION

Main articles: Spanish colonization of the Americas
Americas
and Portuguese colonization of the Americas
Americas
The Portuguese arrival in Brazil
Brazil
on 22 April 1500 was led by Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral
. The Inca–Spanish confrontation in the Battle of Cajamarca left thousands of natives dead. The Dutch colonial houses located in the historic center of Paramaribo
Paramaribo
, Suriname. Illustration of the Demerara rebellion in British Guiana in 1823.

In 1494, Portugal
Portugal
and Spain
Spain
, the two great maritime European powers of that time, on the expectation of new lands being discovered in the west, signed the Treaty of Tordesillas , by which they agreed, with the support of the Pope, that all the land outside Europe
Europe
should be an exclusive duopoly between the two countries.

The treaty established an imaginary line along a north-south meridian 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands , roughly 46° 37' W. In terms of the treaty, all land to the west of the line (known to comprise most of the South American soil) would belong to Spain, and all land to the east, to Portugal. As accurate measurements of longitude were impossible at that time, the line was not strictly enforced, resulting in a Portuguese expansion of Brazil
Brazil
across the meridian.

Beginning in the 1530s, the people and natural resources of South America were repeatedly exploited by foreign conquistadors , first from Spain
Spain
and later from Portugal. These competing colonial nations claimed the land and resources as their own and divided it in colonies.

European infectious diseases (smallpox , influenza , measles , and typhus ) – to which the native populations had no immune resistance – caused large-scale depopulation of the native population under Spanish control. Systems of forced labor, such as the haciendas and mining industry's mit\'a also contributed to the depopulation. After this, African slaves , who had developed immunities to these diseases, were quickly brought in to replace them.

The Spaniards
Spaniards
were committed to convert their native subjects to Christianity
Christianity
and were quick to purge any native cultural practices that hindered this end; however, many initial attempts at this were only partially successful, as native groups simply blended Catholicism with their established beliefs and practices. Furthermore, the Spaniards
Spaniards
brought their language to the degree they did with their religion, although the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
's evangelization in Quechua , Aymara , and Guaraní actually contributed to the continuous use of these native languages albeit only in the oral form.

Eventually, the natives and the Spaniards
Spaniards
interbred, forming a mestizo class. At the beginning, many mestizos of the Andean region were offspring of Amerindian
Amerindian
mothers and Spanish fathers. After independence, most mestizos had native fathers and European or mestizo mothers.

Many native artworks were considered pagan idols and destroyed by Spanish explorers; this included many gold and silver sculptures and other artifacts found in South America, which were melted down before their transport to Spain
Spain
or Portugal. Spaniards
Spaniards
and Portuguese brought the western European architectural style to the continent, and helped to improve infrastructures like bridges, roads, and the sewer system of the cities they discovered or conquered. They also significantly increased economic and trade relations, not just between the old and new world but between the different South American regions and peoples. Finally, with the expansion of the Portuguese and Spanish languages, many cultures that were previously separated became united through that of Latin American .

Guyana
Guyana
was first a Dutch, and then a British colony , though there was a brief period during the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
when it was colonized by the French. The country was once partitioned into three parts, each being controlled by one of the colonial powers until the country was finally taken over fully by the British. Plaza of San Francisco in the Historic Center of Quito
Historic Center of Quito
, Ecuador
Ecuador
, is one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centers in the Americas
Americas
.

SLAVERY IN SOUTH AMERICA

SLAVERY

Contemporary

* Child labour * Conscription
Conscription
* Debt

* Forced marriage

* Bride buying * Wife selling

* Forced prostitution * Human trafficking * Peonage * Penal labour * Sexual slavery

Historical Antiquity

* Ancient Rome * Babylonia * Ancient Greece

Topics and practices

* Atlantic
Atlantic
slave trade

* Middle Passage

* Arab slave trade

* Ghilman
Ghilman
* Mamluk
Mamluk
* Saqaliba

* Aztec * Blackbirding * Byzantine Empire * Coolie * Corvée
Corvée
labor * Field slaves in the United States * House slaves * Kholop * Medieval Europe
Europe
* Panyarring * Thrall

* Serfs

* History * Russia
Russia

* Slave market
Slave market
* Slave raiding

Naval

* Galley slave * Impressment
Impressment
* Pirates * Shanghaiing * Slave ship

By country or region Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa

* Contemporary Africa
Africa
* Slavery
Slavery
on the Barbary Coast
Barbary Coast
* Barbary slave trade * Slave Coast * Angola * Chad * Ethiopia * Mali * Mauritania * Niger * Somalia * South Africa
Africa
* Sudan * Seychelles

North and South America
South America

* Americas
Americas
indigenous

* U.S. Natives

* Brazil
Brazil

* Lei Áurea
Lei Áurea

* Canada
Canada

* Caribbean
Caribbean

* Barbados * Code Noir
Code Noir

* Cuba

* Haiti

* revolt * Restavek

* Latin America
Latin America
* Puerto Rico * Trinidad
Trinidad

* United States
United States

* colonial * maps * female * partus * penal labor * Slave codes * interregional * Human Trafficking

* Virgin Islands

Central, East, and South Asia
Asia

* Bhutan

* China
China

* Booi Aha * Laogai

* India

* Debt bondage * Chukri System

* Japan
Japan

* comfort women

* South Korea
Korea

* Yankee princess

* North Korea
Korea
* Vietnam

Australia
Australia
and Oceania
Oceania

* Blackbirding in Australia
Australia
* Human trafficking in Australia
Australia
* Slave raiding in Easter Island
Easter Island
* Human trafficking in Papua New Guinea
New Guinea
* Blackbirding in Polynesia
Polynesia

Europe
Europe
and North Asia
Asia

* Sex trafficking in Europe
Europe
* British Isles
British Isles
* Denmark * Dutch Republic * Germany in World War II
World War II
* Norway * Poland * Portugal
Portugal
* Romania * Russia
Russia

* Spain
Spain

* colonies

* Sweden

North Africa
Africa
and West Asia
Asia

* Iran * Libya * Human trafficking in the Middle East
Middle East
* Ottoman Empire * Yemen

Religion

* Bible

* Christianity
Christianity

* Catholicism
Catholicism
* Mormonism

* Islam

* 21st century

* Judaism * Bahá\'í Faith

Opposition and resistance

* Timeline

* Abolitionism

* U.K. * U.S.

* Anti- Slavery
Slavery
International

* Blockade of Africa
Africa

* U.K. * U.S.

* Compensated emancipation

* Freedman

* manumission

* Freedom suit * Abolitionists * Slave Power

* Underground Railroad

* songs

* Slave rebellion * Slave Trade Acts * International law * 13th Amendment to the United States
United States
Constitution

Related

* Common law * Indentured servant * Unfree labour

* Fugitive slaves

* laws * Great Dismal Swamp maroons

* List of slaves

* owners

* Slave narrative

* films * songs

* Slave name * Slave catcher
Slave catcher
* Slave patrol * Slave Route Project

* Treatment in U.S.

* breeding * court cases * Washington * Jefferson * Adams * Lincoln * 40 acres * Freedmen\'s Bureau * bit

* Wage slavery
Wage slavery
* Emancipation Day

* v * t * e

See also: Slavery
Slavery
among the indigenous peoples of the Americas
Americas
and Atlantic
Atlantic
slave trade A slave owner punishes a slave in 19th-century Brazil.

Indigenous peoples of the Americas
Americas
in various European colonies were forced to work in European plantations and mines; along with African slaves who were also introduced in the proceeding centuries. The colonists were heavily dependent on indigenous labor during the initial phases of European settlement to maintain the subsistence economy, and natives were often captured by expeditions. The importation of African slaves began midway through the 16th century, but the enslavement of indigenous peoples continued well into the 17th and 18th centuries. The Atlantic
Atlantic
slave trade brought African slaves primarily to South American colonies, beginning with the Portuguese since 1502. The main destinations of this phase were the Caribbean colonies and Brazil
Brazil
, as European nations built up economically slave-dependent colonies in the New World
New World
. Nearly 40% of all African slaves trafficked to the Americas
Americas
went to Brazil. An estimated 4.9 million slaves from Africa
Africa
came to Brazil
Brazil
during the period from 1501 to 1866.

While the Portuguese, English and French settlers enslaved mainly African blacks, the Spaniards
Spaniards
became very disposed of the natives. In 1750 Portugal
Portugal
abolished native slavery in the colonies because they considered them unfit for labour and began to import even more African slaves. Slaves were brought to the mainland on so-called slave ships , under subhuman conditions and ill-treatment, and those who survived were sold into the slave markets.

After independence, all South American countries maintained slavery for some time. The first South American country to abolish slavery was Chile
Chile
in 1823, Uruguay
Uruguay
in 1830, Bolivia
Bolivia
in 1831, Colombia
Colombia
and Ecuador in 1851, Argentina
Argentina
in 1853, Peru
Peru
and Venezuela
Venezuela
in 1854, Paraguay
Paraguay
in 1869, and in 1888 Brazil
Brazil
was the last South American nation and the last country in western world to abolish slavery.

INDEPENDENCE FROM SPAIN AND PORTUGAL

Main articles: Spanish American wars of independence and Independence of Brazil
Brazil
The Guayaquil conference
Guayaquil conference
between José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar
Simón Bolívar
The proclamation of the Independence of Brazil
Brazil
by Prince Pedro in 7 September 1822. Coronation of Pedro I as 1st Emperor of Brazil
Brazil
. Bernardo O\'Higgins swears officially the independence of Chile
Chile
.

The European Peninsular War (1807–1814), a theater of the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
, changed the political situation of both the Spanish and Portuguese colonies. First, Napoleon invaded Portugal, but the House of Braganza avoided capture by escaping to Brazil
Brazil
. Napoleon also captured King Ferdinand VII of Spain
Spain
, and appointed his own brother instead. This appointment provoked severe popular resistance, which created Juntas to rule in the name of the captured king.

Many cities in the Spanish colonies, however, considered themselves equally authorized to appoint local Juntas like those of Spain. This began the Spanish American wars of independence between the patriots , who promoted such autonomy, and the royalists , who supported Spanish authority over the Americas. The Juntas, in both Spain
Spain
and the Americas, promoted the ideas of the Enlightenment . Five years after the beginning of the war, Ferdinand VII returned to the throne and began the Absolutist Restoration as the royalists got the upper hand in the conflict.

The independence of South America
South America
was secured by Simón Bolívar (Venezuela) and José de San Martín
José de San Martín
(Argentina), the two most important Libertadores
Libertadores
. Bolívar led a great uprising in the north, then led his army southward towards Lima
Lima
, the capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru
Peru
. Meanwhile, San Martín led an army across the Andes
Andes
Mountains, along with Chilean expatriates, and liberated Chile. He organized a fleet to reach Peru
Peru
by sea, and sought the military support of various rebels from the Viceroyalty of Peru. The two armies finally met in Guayaquil, Ecuador
Ecuador
, where they cornered the Royal Army of the Spanish Crown and forced its surrender.

In the Portuguese Kingdom of Brazil
Brazil
, Dom Pedro I (also Pedro IV of Portugal), son of the Portuguese King Dom João VI , proclaimed the independent Kingdom of Brazil
Brazil
in 1822, which later became the Empire of Brazil
Brazil
. Despite the Portuguese loyalties of garrisons in Bahia
Bahia
, Cisplatina and Pará
Pará
, independence was diplomatically accepted by the crown in Portugal
Portugal
in 1825, on condition of a high compensation paid by Brazil
Brazil
mediatized by the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
.

NATION-BUILDING AND FRAGMENTATION

The Thirty-Three Orientals proclaimed the independence of Cisplatine Province . Battle of Fanfa, battle scene in Southern Brazil
Brazil
during the Ragamuffin War

The newly independent nations began a process of fragmentation, with several civil and international wars. However, it was not as strong as in Central America. Some countries created from provinces of larger countries stayed as such up to modern day (such as Paraguay
Paraguay
or Uruguay), while others were reconquered and reincorporated into their former countries (such as the Republic of Entre Ríos and the Riograndense Republic ).

The first separatist attempt was in 1820 by the Argentine province of Entre Ríos by a caudillo . In spite of the "Republic" in its title, General Ramírez , its caudillo, never really intended to declare an independent Entre Rios. Rather, he was making a political statement in opposition to the monarchist and centralist ideas that back then permeated Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
politics. The "country" was reincorporated at the United Provinces in 1821.

In 1825 the Cisplatine Province declared its independence from the Empire of Brazil
Brazil
, which led the Cisplatine War between the imperials and the Argentine from the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata to control the region. Three years later, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
intervened in question by proclaiming a tie and creating in the former Cisplatina a new independent country: The Oriental Republic of Uruguay
Uruguay
which was the only separatist province that maintained its independence.

Later in 1836, while Brazil
Brazil
was experiencing the chaos of the regency, Rio Grande do Sul proclaimed its independence motivated by a tax crisis. This was the longest and most bloody separatist conflict in South America. With the anticipation of the coronation of Pedro II to the throne of Brazil, the country could stabilize and fight the separatists, which the province of Santa Catarina had joined in 1839. The Conflict came to an end with the total defeat of both Riograndense Republic and Juliana Republic and their reincorporation as provinces in 1845.

The Peru–Bolivian Confederation , a short-lived union of Peru
Peru
and Bolivia, was blocked by Chile
Chile
in the War of the Confederation (1836–1839) and again during the War of the Pacific (1879–1883). Paraguay
Paraguay
was virtually destroyed by Argentina
Argentina
and Brazil
Brazil
in the Paraguayan War .

WARS AND CONFLICTS

Imperial Brazilian Navy and army troops during the Siege of Paysandú , 1865 The Uruguayan Army at the Battle of Sauce , 1866 The Imperial Brazilian Army
Imperial Brazilian Army
during a procession in Paraguay
Paraguay
, 1868 The Chilean Army in the battlefield of the Battle of Chorrillos , 1883 A German submarine under attack by Brazilian Air Force PBY Catalina, 31 July 1943

South-American history in early 19th century
19th century
was built almost exclusively on wars. Despite the Spanish American wars of independence and the Brazilian War of Independence , the new nations quickly began to suffer with internal conflicts and wars among themselves.

In 1825 the proclamation of independence of Cisplatina led to the Cisplatine War between historical rivals the Empire of Brazil
Brazil
and the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata , Argentina's predecessor. The result was a stalemate with the British ending in the independence of Uruguay
Uruguay
. Soon after, another Brazilian province proclaimed its independence leading to the Ragamuffin War which Brazil
Brazil
won.

Between 1836 and 1839 the War of the Confederation broke out between the short-lived Peru-Bolivian Confederation and Chile
Chile
, with the support of the Argentine Confederation . The war was fought mostly in the actual territory of Peru
Peru
and ended with a Confederate defeat and the dissolution of the Confederacy and annexation of many territories by Argentina.

Meanwhile, the Argentine Civil Wars
Argentine Civil Wars
plagued Argentina
Argentina
since its independence. The conflict was mainly between those who defended the centralization of power in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
and those who defended a confederation. During this period it can be said that "there were two Argentines": the Argentine Confederation and the Argentine Republic . At the same time the political instability in Uruguay
Uruguay
led to the Uruguayan Civil War among the main political factions of the country. All this instability in the platine region interfered with the goals of other countries such as Brazil, which was soon forced to take sides. In 1851 the Brazilian Empire , supporting the centralizing unitarians, and the uruguayn government invaded Argentina
Argentina
and deposed the caudillo, Juan Manuel Rosas , who ruled the confederation with an iron hand. Although the Platine War did not put an end to the political chaos and civil war in Argentina, it brought temporary peace to Uruguay
Uruguay
where the Colorados faction won, supported by the Brazilian Empire , British Empire
British Empire
, French Empire and the Unitarian Party of Argentina
Argentina
.

Peace lasted only a short time: in 1864 the Uruguayan factions faced each other again in the Uruguayan War . The Blancos supported by Paraguay
Paraguay
started to attack Brazilian and Argentine farmers near the borders. The Empire made an initial attempt to settle the dispute between Blancos and Colorados without success. In 1864, after a Brazilian ultimatum was refused, the imperial government declared that Brazil's military would begin reprisals. Brazil
Brazil
declined to acknowledge a formal state of war, and, for most of its duration, the Uruguayan–Brazilian armed conflict was an undeclared war which led to the deposition of the Blancos and the rise of the pro-Brazilian Colorados to power again. This angered the Paraguayan government, which even before the end of the war invaded Brazil, beginning the biggest and deadliest war in both South American and Latin American histories: the Paraguayan War .

The Paraguayan War began when the Paraguayan dictator Francisco Solano López ordered the invasion of the Brazilian provinces of Mato Grosso and Rio Grande do Sul . His attempt to cross Argentinian territory without Argentinian approval led the pro-Brazilian Argentine government into the war. The pro-Brazilian Uruguayan government showed its support by sending troops. In 1865 the three countries signed the Treaty of the Triple Alliance
Treaty of the Triple Alliance
against Paraguay. At the beginning of the war, the Paraguayans took the lead with several victories, until the Triple Alliance organized to repel the invaders and fight effectively. This was the second total war experience in the world after the American Civil War
American Civil War
. It was deemed the greatest war effort in the history of all participating countries, taking almost 6 years and ending with the complete devastation of Paraguay. The country lost 40% of its territory to Brazil
Brazil
and Argentina
Argentina
and lost 60% of its population, including 90% of the men. The dictator Lopez was killed in battle and a new government was instituted in alliance with Brazil, which maintained occupation forces in the country until 1876.

The last South American war in the 19th century
19th century
was the War of the Pacific with Bolivia
Bolivia
and Peru
Peru
on one side and Chile
Chile
on the other. In 1879 the war began with Chilean troops occupying Bolivian ports, followed by Bolivia
Bolivia
declaring war on Chile
Chile
which activated an alliance treaty with Peru. The Bolivians were completely defeated in 1880 and Lima
Lima
was occupied in 1881. The peace was signed with Peru
Peru
in 1883 while a truce was signed with Bolivia
Bolivia
in 1884. Chile
Chile
annexed territories of both countries leaving Bolivia
Bolivia
with no path to the sea.

In the new century, as wars became less violent and less frequent, Brazil
Brazil
entered into a small conflict with Bolivia
Bolivia
for the possession of the Acre, which was acquired by Brazil
Brazil
in 1902. In 1917 Brazil declared war on the Central Powers and join the allied side in the World War I
World War I
, sending a small fleet to the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
and some troops to be integrated with the British and French troops. Brazil
Brazil
was the only South American country that fought in WWI. Later in 1932 Colombia
Colombia
and Peru
Peru
entered a short armed conflict for territory in the Amazon. In the same year Paraguay
Paraguay
declared war on Bolivia
Bolivia
for possession of the Chaco, in a conflict that ended three years later with Paraguay's victory. Between 1941 and 1942 Peru
Peru
and Ecuador
Ecuador
fought decisively for territories claimed by both that were annexed by Peru, usurping Ecuador's frontier with Brazil.

Also in this period the first naval battle of World War II
World War II
was fought on the continent, in the River Plate , between British forces and German submarines. The Germans still made numerous attacks on Brazilian ships on the coast, causing Brazil
Brazil
to declare war on the Axis powers in 1942, being the only South American country to fight in this war (and in both World
World
Wars). Brazil
Brazil
sent naval and air forces to combat German and Italian submarines off the continent and throughout the South Atlantic, in addition to sending an expeditionary force to fight in the Italian Campaign .

The last war to be fought on South American soil was the Falkland War between Argentina
Argentina
and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
for possession of the islands of the same name. Argentina
Argentina
was defeated in 1982.

RISE AND FALL OF MILITARY DICTATORSHIPS

Argentine soldiers during the Falklands
Falklands
War The Brazilian Minas Geraes class kindled an Argentine–Brazilian–Chilean naval arms race .

Wars became less frequent in the 20th century, with Bolivia-Paraguay and Peru- Ecuador
Ecuador
fighting the last inter-state wars. Early in the 20th century, the three wealthiest South American countries engaged in a vastly expensive naval arms race which was catalyzed by the introduction of a new warship type, the "dreadnought ". At one point, the Argentine government was spending a fifth of its entire yearly budget for just two dreadnoughts, a price that did not include later in-service costs, which for the Brazilian dreadnoughts was sixty percent of the initial purchase.

The continent became a battlefield of the Cold War
Cold War
in the late 20th century. Some democratically elected governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay
Uruguay
and Paraguay
Paraguay
were overthrown or displaced by military dictatorships in the 1960s and 1970s. To curtail opposition, their governments detained tens of thousands of political prisoners , many of whom were tortured and/or killed on inter-state collaboration . Economically, they began a transition to neoliberal economic policies. They placed their own actions within the US Cold War
Cold War
doctrine of "National Security" against internal subversion. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Peru
Peru
suffered from an internal conflict .

Argentina
Argentina
and Britain fought the Falklands
Falklands
War in 1982.

Colombia
Colombia
has had an ongoing, though diminished internal conflict, which started in 1964 with the creation of Marxist guerrillas (FARC-EP) and then involved several illegal armed groups of leftist-leaning ideology as well as the private armies of powerful drug lords. Many of these are now defunct, and only a small portion of the ELN remains, along with the stronger, though also greatly reduced, FARC. These leftist groups smuggle narcotics out of Colombia
Colombia
to fund their operations, while also using kidnapping, bombings, land mines and assassinations as weapons against both elected and non-elected citizens. Presidents of UNASUR
UNASUR
member states at the Second Brasília
Brasília
Summit on 23 May 2008.

Revolutionary movements and right-wing military dictatorships became common after World War II
World War II
, but since the 1980s, a wave of democratization passed through the continent, and democratic rule is widespread now. Nonetheless, allegations of corruption are still very common, and several countries have developed crises which have forced the resignation of their governments, although, on most occasions, regular civilian succession has continued.

International indebtedness turned into a severe problem in the late 1980s, and some countries, despite having strong democracies, have not yet developed political institutions capable of handling such crises without resorting to unorthodox economic policies, as most recently illustrated by Argentina
Argentina
's default in the early 21st century. The last twenty years have seen an increased push towards regional integration , with the creation of uniquely South American institutions such as the Andean Community , Mercosur
Mercosur
and Unasur
Unasur
. Notably, starting with the election of Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chávez
in Venezuela
Venezuela
in 1998, the region experienced what has been termed a pink tide – the election of several leftist and center-left administrations to most countries of the area, except for the Guianas and Colombia.

COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES

See also: List of South American countries by population and List of sovereign states and dependent territories in South America
South America
by median age of population

ARMS FLAG Country
Country
or territory with flag Area
Area
(km²) (sq mi) Population
Population
(July 2015 est.) Population
Population
density per km2 (per sq mi) CAPITAL

Argentina
Argentina
2766890 !2,766,890 km2 (1,068,300 sq mi) 43,417,000 1430 !14.3/km² (37/sq mi) Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires

Bolivia
Bolivia
1098580 !1,098,580 km2 (424,160 sq mi) 11,410,651 0810 !8.4/km² (21.8/sq mi) La Paz
La Paz
and Sucre
Sucre

Brazil
Brazil
8514877 !8,514,877 km2 (3,287,612 sq mi) 206,440,850 2200 !22.0/km² (57/sq mi) Brasília
Brasília

Chile
Chile
0756950 ! 756,950 km2 (292,260 sq mi) 18,006,407 2110 !22/km² (57/sq mi) Santiago
Santiago

Colombia
Colombia
1138910 !1,141,748 km2 (440,831 sq mi) 49,312,887 3770 !40/km² (103.6/sq mi) Bogotá
Bogotá

Ecuador
Ecuador
0283560 ! 283,560 km2 (109,480 sq mi) 16,144,000 4710 !53.8/km² (139.3/sq mi) Quito
Quito

Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
( United Kingdom
United Kingdom
) 0012173 ! 12,173 km2 (4,700 sq mi) 3,140 0026 !0.26/km² (0.7/sq mi) Stanley

French Guiana
French Guiana
( France
France
) 0091000 ! 91,000 km2 (35,000 sq mi) 250,109 0210 !2.7/km² (5.4/sq mi) Cayenne
Cayenne
( Préfecture )

Guyana
Guyana
0214999 ! 214,999 km2 (83,012 sq mi) 735,909 0360 !3.5/km² (9.1/sq mi) Georgetown

Paraguay
Paraguay
0406750 ! 406,750 km2 (157,050 sq mi) 6,783,272 1560 !15.6/km² (40.4/sq mi) Asunción
Asunción

Peru
Peru
1285220 !1,285,220 km2 (496,230 sq mi) 31,151,640 2170 !22/km² (57/sq mi) Lima
Lima

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (United Kingdom) 0003093 ! 3,093 km2 (1,194 sq mi) 20 0000 !0/km² (0/sq mi) King Edward Point

Suriname 0163270 ! 163,270 km2 (63,040 sq mi) 573,311 0270 !3/km² (7.8/sq mi) Paramaribo
Paramaribo

Uruguay
Uruguay
0176220 ! 176,220 km2 (68,040 sq mi) 3,427,000 1940 !19.4/km² (50.2/sq mi) Montevideo
Montevideo

Venezuela
Venezuela
09116445 ! 916,445 km2 (353,841 sq mi) 31,416,930 2780 !30.2/km² (72/sq mi) Caracas
Caracas

TOTAL 7007178245130000000♠17,824,513 7008410013492000000♠410,013,492 21.5/km²

POLITICS

Headquarters of the UNASUR
UNASUR
in Quito
Quito
, Ecuador
Ecuador
South American flags

Historically, the Hispanic countries were founded as Republican dictatorships led by caudillos . Brazil
Brazil
was the only exception, being a constitutional monarchy for its first 67 years of independence, until a coup d'ètat proclaimed a republic. In late 19th century, the most democratic countries were Brazil
Brazil
, Chile
Chile
, Argentina
Argentina
and Uruguay .

In the interwar period, nationalism grew stronger on the continent, influenced by countries like Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
and Fascist Italy . A series of authoritarian rules broke out in South American countries with views bringing them closer to the Axis Powers , like Vargas\'s Brazil or Perón\'s Argentina
Argentina
. In the late 20th century, during the Cold War , many countries became military dictatorships under American tutelage in attempts to avoid the influence of the Soviet Union. After the fall of the authoritarian regimes, these countries became democratic republics.

During the first decade of the 21st century, South American governments have drifted to the political left, with leftist leaders being elected in Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru
Peru
and Venezuela. Most South American countries are making increasing use of protectionist policies, helping local development.

All South American countries are presidential republics with the exception of Guyana
Guyana
, which is a semi-presidential republic . French Guiana is a French overseas department , while the Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are British colonies. It is currently the only inhabited continent in the world without monarchies ; the Empire of Brazil
Brazil
existed during the 19th century
19th century
and there was an unsuccessful attempt to establish a Kingdom of Araucanía and Patagonia
Patagonia
in southern Argentina
Argentina
and Chile. Also in the twentieth century, Suriname was established as a constituent kingdom of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Guyana
Guyana
remained as a Commonwealth Realm for 4 years after its independence.

Recently, an intergovernmental entity has been formed which aims to merge the two existing customs unions: Mercosur
Mercosur
and the Andean Community , thus forming the third-largest trade bloc in the world. This new political organization, known as Union of South American Nations , seeks to establish free movement of people, economic development, a common defense policy and the elimination of tariffs .

DEMOGRAPHICS

Satellite view of South America
South America
at night from NASA
NASA
.

South America
South America
has 410 million inhabitants and a rate of population growth of about 0.6% per year. There are several areas of sparse demographics such as tropical forests , the Atacama Desert
Atacama Desert
and the icy portions of Patagonia
Patagonia
. On the other hand, the continent presents regions of high population density, such as the great urban centers. The population is formed by descendants of Europeans (mainly Spaniards , Portuguese and Italians
Italians
), Africans and indigenous peoples . There is a high percentage of mestizos that vary greatly in composition by place. There is also a minor population of Asians , specially in Brazil. The two main languages are by far Spanish and Portuguese, followed by French, English and Dutch in smaller numbers. Economically, Brazil
Brazil
, Argentina
Argentina
and Chile
Chile
are the wealthiest and most developed nations in the continent.

LANGUAGE

Languages in South America
South America

Spanish and Portuguese are the most spoken languages in South America, with approximately 200 million speakers each. Spanish is the official language of most countries, along with other native languages in some countries. Portuguese is the official language of Brazil
Brazil
. Dutch is the official language of Suriname ; English is the official language of Guyana
Guyana
, although there are at least twelve other languages spoken in the country, including Portuguese , Chinese , Hindustani and several native languages. English is also spoken in the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
. French is the official language of French Guiana and the second language in Amapá , Brazil.

Indigenous languages of South America
South America
include Quechua in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile
Chile
and Colombia; Wayuunaiki in northern Colombia
Colombia
( La Guajira ) and northwestern Venezuela
Venezuela
( Zulia ); Guaraní in Paraguay
Paraguay
and, to a much lesser extent, in Bolivia; Aymara in Bolivia, Peru, and less often in Chile; and Mapudungun is spoken in certain pockets of southern Chile
Chile
and, more rarely, Argentina. At least three South American indigenous languages (Quechua, Aymara, and Guarani) are recognized along with Spanish as national languages.

Other languages found in South America
South America
include Hindustani and Javanese in Suriname; Italian in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Venezuela and Chile; and German in certain pockets of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. German is also spoken in many regions of the southern states of Brazil, Riograndenser Hunsrückisch being the most widely spoken German dialect in the country; among other Germanic dialects, a Brazilian form of East Pomeranian is also well represented and is experiencing a revival. Welsh remains spoken and written in the historic towns of Trelew
Trelew
and Rawson in the Argentine Patagonia
Patagonia
. There are also small clusters of Japanese -speakers in Brazil, Colombia
Colombia
and Peru. Arabic speakers, often of Lebanese , Syrian , or Palestinian descent, can be found in Arab communities in Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela
Venezuela
and in Paraguay.

RELIGION

Las Lajas Sanctuary , Ipiales , Colombia
Colombia
Main article: Religion in Latin America
Latin America
See also: History of the Jews in Latin America and the Caribbean
Caribbean
, Buddhism in Brazil
Brazil
, and Islam in Argentina
Argentina

An estimated 90% of South Americans are Christians
Christians
(82% Roman Catholic , 8% other Christian denominations mainly traditional Protestants
Protestants
and Evangelicals
Evangelicals
but also Orthodox ), accounting for ca. 19% of Christians
Christians
worldwide.

Crypto-Jews or Marranos , conversos , and Anusim were an important part of colonial life in Latin America.

Both Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentina
and São Paulo, Brazil
Brazil
figure among the largest Jewish populations by urban area .

Japanese Buddhism and Shinto-derived Japanese New Religions are common in Brazil
Brazil
and Peru. Korean Confucianism is especially found in Brazil
Brazil
while Chinese Buddhism and Chinese Confucianism have spread throughout the continent.

Kardecist Spiritism can be found in several countries.

PART OF RELIGIONS IN SOUTH AMERICA (2013):

Religion in South America
South America
COUNTRIES CHRISTIANS ROMAN CATHOLICS OTHER CHRISTIANS NO RELIGION (ATHEISTS AND AGNOSTICS)

ARGENTINA 88 % 77 % 11 % 11 %

BOLIVIA 96 % 74 % 22 % 4 %

BRAZIL 86 % 64 % 22 % 9 %

CHILE 70 % 57 % 13 % 25 %

COLOMBIA 92 % 80 % 12 % 7 %

PARAGUAY 95 % 85 % 10 % 2 %

PERU 94 % 81 % 13 % 3 %

SURINAM 51 % 29 % 22 % 5 %

URUGUAY 58 % 47 % 11 % 41 %

VENEZUELA 88 % 71 % 17 % 8 %

ETHNIC DEMOGRAPHICS

Main article: Ethnic groups in South America Afro-Brazilian girls Former president of Brazil
Brazil
Lula
Lula
and members of the Italo-Brazilian community during the Grape Festival at Caxias do Sul
Caxias do Sul
A Japanese-Brazilian Miko during a festival in Curitiba
Curitiba
Peruvian woman and her son of indigenous descent Indigenous village in Paraguay
Paraguay
Oca of the Kamayurá people , Xingu Indigenous Park , Brazil
Brazil

Genetic admixture occurs at very high levels in South America. In Argentina, the European influence accounts for 65%–79% of the genetic background, Amerindian
Amerindian
for 17%–31% and sub-Saharan African for 2%–4%. In Colombia, the sub-Saharan African genetic background varied from 1% to 89%, while the European genetic background varied from 20% to 79%, depending on the region. In Peru, European ancestries ranged from 1% to 31%, while the African contribution was only 1% to 3%. The Genographic Project determined the average Peruvian from Lima had about 28% European ancestry, 68% Native American, 2% Asian ancestry and 2% sub-Saharan African.

Descendants of indigenous peoples , such as the Quechua and Aymara , or the Urarina of Amazonia make up the majority of the population in Bolivia
Bolivia
(56%) and, per some sources, in Peru
Peru
(44%). In Ecuador
Ecuador
, Amerindians are a large minority that comprises two-fifths of the population. The native European population is also a significant element in most other former Portuguese colonies.

People who identify as of primarily or totally European descent , or identify their phenotype as corresponding to such group, are more of a majority in Argentina
Argentina
, and Uruguay
Uruguay
and are about half of the population of Chile
Chile
(52.7%) and Brazil
Brazil
(48.43%). In Venezuela, according to the national census 42% of the population is primarily native Spanish, Italian and Portuguese descendants. In Colombia, people who identify as European descendant are about 37%. In Peru, European descendants are the third group in number (15%).

Mestizos (mixed European and Amerindian) are the largest ethnic group in Paraguay
Paraguay
, Venezuela
Venezuela
, Colombia
Colombia
and Ecuador
Ecuador
and the second group in Peru
Peru
.

South America
South America
is also home to one of the largest populations of Africans . This group is significantly present in Brazil
Brazil
, Colombia
Colombia
, Guyana
Guyana
, Suriname , French Guiana, Venezuela
Venezuela
and Ecuador
Ecuador
.

Brazil
Brazil
followed by Peru
Peru
have the largest Japanese , Korean and Chinese communities in South America. East Indians form the largest ethnic group in Guyana
Guyana
and Suriname.

ETHNIC DISTRIBUTION IN SOUTH AMERICA COUNTRY AMERINDIANS WHITE PEOPLE MESTIZOS MULATOS BLACK PEOPLE ZAMBOS ASIAN PEOPLE

Argentina
Argentina
1.0% 85.0% 14.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

Bolivia
Bolivia
55.0% 12.0% 30.0% 2.4% 0.1% 0.5% 0.0%

Brazil
Brazil
0.4% 47.7% 22.9% 20.1% 7.6% 0.0% 1.1%

Chile
Chile
3.2% 52.7% 44.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

Colombia
Colombia
1.8% 37.0% 49.0% 8.2% 2.3% 0.1% 0.0%

Ecuador
Ecuador
39.0% 9.9% 41.0% 5.0% 5.0% 0.0% 0.1%

Paraguay
Paraguay
3.0% 20.0% 75.0% 3.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

Peru
Peru
45.0% 15.0% 35.0% 2.0% 0.0% 0.0% 3.0%

Uruguay
Uruguay
0.0% 88.0% 8.0% 4.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

Venezuela
Venezuela
2.7% 42.7% 49.7% 7.7% 2.0% 0.0% 0.8%

Indigenous People

Main articles: List of Indigenous peoples of South America
South America
and Indigenous peoples in South America
South America

In many places indigenous people still practice a traditional lifestyle based on subsistence agriculture or as hunter-gatherers. There are still some uncontacted tribes residing in the Amazon Rainforest.

* Aguarunas
Aguarunas
* Alacalufe * Arawaks
Arawaks
* Ashanincas * Atacameños * Awá * Aymara – lives in the Altiplano
Altiplano
of Bolivia
Bolivia
, Argentina
Argentina
, Chile and Peru
Peru
. Their language is co-official in Peru
Peru
and Bolivia
Bolivia
. Traditional lifestyle includes llama herding. * Banawa * Cañaris * Caiapos * Chibcha * Cocama * Chayahuita * Kuna live on the Colombia
Colombia
- Panama
Panama
border. * Enxet * Gê , * Guaraní – lives in Paraguay
Paraguay
where the Guarani language is co-official with Spanish. * Juris * Mapuche
Mapuche
– lives mainly in southern Chile
Chile
and Argentina. * Matsés * Pehuenche – a branch of Mapuches that lived in the Andean valleys of southern (see Araucanian ). * Quechuas – makes up a large part of the population of Peru, Ecuador
Ecuador
and Bolivia. Are diverse as an ethnic group. The Incas spoke Southern Quechua . * Selknam
Selknam
* Shipibo * Shuar (see Jívaro
Jívaro
). * Tupi * Urarina * Wai-Wai * Wayuu
Wayuu
* Xucuru * Yaghan * Yagua * Yąnomamö * Zaparos

POPULACE

South American cities São Paulo
São Paulo
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Rio de Janeiro Lima
Lima
Bogotá
Bogotá

The most populous country in South America
South America
is Brazil
Brazil
with 207.3 million persons. The second largest country is Colombia
Colombia
with a population of 49,034,411. Argentina
Argentina
is the third most populous country with 43,417,000.

While Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia
Colombia
maintain the largest populations, large city populations are not restricted to those nations. The largest cities in South America, by far, are São Paulo, Bogotá, and Lima. These cities are the only cities on the continent to exceed eight million, and two of four in the Americas
Americas
. Next in size are Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Caracas, Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
and Salvador.

Five of the top ten metropolitan areas are located in the Brazil. These metropolitan areas all have a population of above 4 million and include the São Paulo
São Paulo
metropolitan area , Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
metropolitan area , and Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte
metropolitan area . Whilst the majority of the largest metropolitan areas are within Brazil, Argentina
Argentina
is host to the second largest metropolitan area by population in South America: the Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
metropolitan region is above 13 million inhabitants.

South America
South America
has also been witness to the growth of megapolitan areas . In Brazil
Brazil
four megaregions exist including the Expanded Metropolitan Complex of São Paulo
São Paulo
with more than 32 million inhabitants. The others are the Greater Rio, Greater Belo Horizonte and Greater Porto Alegre . Colombia
Colombia
also has four megaregions which comprise 72% of its population, followed by Venezuela, Argentina
Argentina
and Peru
Peru
which are also homes of megaregions.

The top ten largest South American metropolitan areas by population as of 2015, based on national census numbers from each country:

METRO AREA POPULATION AREA COUNTRY

São Paulo
São Paulo
21,090,792 7,947 km2 (3,068 sq mi) Brazil
Brazil

Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
13,693,657 3,830 km2 (1,480 sq mi) Argentina
Argentina

Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
13,131,431 6,744 km2 (2,604 sq mi) Brazil
Brazil

Lima
Lima
9,904,727 2,819 km2 (1,088 sq mi) Peru
Peru

Bogotá
Bogotá
9,800,225 4,200 km2 (1,600 sq mi) Colombia
Colombia

Santiago
Santiago
6,683,852 15,403 km2 (5,947 sq mi) Chile
Chile

Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte
5,829,923 9,467 km2 (3,655 sq mi) Brazil
Brazil

Caracas
Caracas
5,322,310 4,715 km2 (1,820 sq mi) Venezuela
Venezuela

Porto Alegre 4,258,926 10,232 km2 (3,951 sq mi) Brazil
Brazil

Brasilia 4,201,737 56,433 km2 (21,789 sq mi) Brazil
Brazil

‌2015 Census figures.

ECONOMY

Main article: Economy of South America

This section needs to be UPDATED. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (March 2017)

Rafael Correa , Evo Morales
Evo Morales
, Néstor Kirchner , Cristina Fernández , Luiz Inácio Lula
Lula
da Silva , Nicanor Duarte , and Hugo Chávez signed the founding charter of the Bank of the South . Trading panel of the São Paulo
São Paulo
Stock Exchange is the 2nd biggest in the Americas
Americas
and 13th in the world. Financial center of Santiago
Santiago
, Chile
Chile
Launch at the Kourou Space Center in French Guiana Refinery of Brazilian state-owned Petrobras
Petrobras
in Cochabamba , Bolivia
Bolivia
Chuquicamata
Chuquicamata
is the largest open pit mine in the world, near the city of Calama in Chile. KC-390 is the largest military transport aircraft produced in South America
South America
by the Brazilian company Embraer
Embraer
. Vineyard
Vineyard
in Luján de Cuyo , province of Mendoza, Argentina
Argentina

South America
South America
relies less on the export of both manufactured goods and natural resources than the world average; merchandise exports from the continent were 16% of GDP on an exchange rate basis, compared to 25% for the world as a whole. Brazil
Brazil
(the seventh largest economy in the world and the largest in South America) leads in terms of merchandise exports at $251 billion, followed by Venezuela
Venezuela
at $93 billion, Chile
Chile
at $86 billion, and Argentina
Argentina
at $84 billion.

Since 1930, the continent has experienced remarkable growth and diversification in most economic sectors. Most agricultural and livestock products are destined for the domestic market and local consumption. However, the export of agricultural products is essential for the balance of trade in most countries.

The main agrarian crops are export crops, such as soy and wheat . The production of staple foods such as vegetables, corn or beans is large, but focused on domestic consumption. Livestock raising for meat exports is important in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay
Uruguay
and Colombia. In tropical regions the most important crops are coffee , cocoa and bananas , mainly in Brazil, Colombia
Colombia
and Ecuador. Traditionally, the countries producing sugar for export are Peru, Guyana
Guyana
and Suriname, and in Brazil, sugar cane is also used to make ethanol . On the coast of Peru, northeast and south of Brazil, cotton is grown. Fifty percent of the South American surface is covered by forests, but timber industries are small and directed to domestic markets. In recent years, however, transnational companies have been settling in the Amazon to exploit noble timber destined for export. The Pacific coastal waters of South America
South America
are the most important for commercial fishing. The anchovy catch reaches thousands of tons, and tuna is also abundant ( Peru
Peru
is a major exporter). The capture of crustaceans is remarkable, particularly in northeastern Brazil
Brazil
and Chile.

Only Brazil
Brazil
and Argentina
Argentina
are part of the G20
G20
(industrial countries), while only Brazil
Brazil
is part of the G8+5 (the most powerful and influential nations in the world). In the tourism sector, a series of negotiations began in 2005 to promote tourism and increase air connections within the region. Punta del Este , Florianópolis
Florianópolis
and Mar del Plata are among the most important resorts in South America.

The most industrialized countries in South America
South America
are Brazil
Brazil
, Argentina
Argentina
, Chile
Chile
, Colombia
Colombia
, Venezuela
Venezuela
and Uruguay
Uruguay
respectively. These countries alone account for more than 75 percent of the region's economy and add up to a GDP of more than US$3.0 trillion. Industries in South America
South America
began to take on the economies of the region from the 1930s when the Great Depression
Great Depression
in the United States
United States
and other countries of the world boosted industrial production in the continent. From that period the region left the agricultural side behind and began to achieve high rates of economic growth that remained until the early 1990s when they slowed due to political instabilities, economic crises and neoliberal policies.

Since the end of the economic crisis in Brazil
Brazil
and Argentina
Argentina
that occurred in the period from 1998 to 2002, which has led to economic recession , rising unemployment and falling population income, the industrial and service sectors have been recovering rapidly. Chile, Argentina
Argentina
and Brazil
Brazil
have recovered fastest, growing at an average of 5% per year. All of South America
South America
after this period has been recovering and showing good signs of economic stability, with controlled inflation and exchange rates, continuous growth, a decrease in social inequality and unemployment–factors that favor industry.

The main industries are: electronics, textiles, food, automotive, metallurgy, aviation, naval, clothing, beverage, steel, tobacco, timber, chemical, among others. Exports reach almost US$400 billion annually, with Brazil
Brazil
accounting for half of this.

The economic gap between the rich and poor in most South American nations is larger than on most other continents. The richest 10% receive over 40% of the nation's income in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Paraguay, while the poorest 20% receive 3% or less in Bolivia, Brazil, and Colombia. This wide gap can be seen in many large South American cities where makeshift shacks and slums lie in the vicinity of skyscrapers and upper-class luxury apartments; nearly one in nine South Americans live on less than $2 per day (on a purchasing power parity basis).

COUNTRY GDP (nominal) in 2017 GDP (PPP) in 2017 GDP (PPP) per capita in 2017 Merchandise exports ($bn), 2011 HDI in 2014 (rank) Percent with less than $2 (PPP) per person per day

Argentina
Argentina
7005628935000000000♠628,935 7005912816000000000♠912,816 7004207070000000000♠20,707 7001837000000000000♠83.7 6999836000000000000♠0.836 7000260000000000000♠2.6

Bolivia
Bolivia
7004392670000000000♠39,267 7004836080000000000♠83,608 7003755200000000000♠7,552 7000910000000000000♠9.1 6999662000000000000♠0.662 7001249000000000000♠24.9

Brazil
Brazil
7006214094000000000♠2,140,940 7006321603100000000♠3,216,031 7004154850000000000♠15,485 7002250800000000000♠250.8 6999755000000000000♠0.755 7001108000000000000♠10.8

Chile
Chile
7005251220000000000♠251,220 7005455941000000000♠455,941 7004247960000000000♠24,796 7001861000000000000♠86.1 6999832000000000000♠0.832 7000270000000000000♠2.7

Colombia
Colombia
7005306439000000000♠306,439 7005720151000000000♠720,151 7004146090000000000♠14,609 7001565000000000000♠56.5 6999720000000000000♠0.720 7001158000000000000♠15.8

Ecuador
Ecuador
7004973620000000000♠97,362 7005184629000000000♠184,629 7004110040000000000♠11,004 7001223000000000000♠22.3 6999732000000000000♠0.732 7001106000000000000♠10.6

Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
(UK ) 7002165000000000000♠165 7002165000000000000♠165 7004554000000000000♠55,400 6999100000000000000♠0.1

French Guiana
French Guiana
( France
France
) 7003445600000000000♠4,456 7003445600000000000♠4,456 7004197280000000000♠19,728 7000130000000000000♠1.3

Guyana
Guyana
7003359100000000000♠3,591 7003639800000000000♠6,398 7003830600000000000♠8,306 6999900000000000000♠0.9 6999636000000000000♠0.636 7001180000000000000♠18.0

Paraguay
Paraguay
7004287430000000000♠28,743 7004680050000000000♠68,005 7003977900000000000♠9,779 7000980000000000000♠9.8 6999679000000000000♠0.679 7001132000000000000♠13.2

Peru
Peru
7005207072000000000♠207,072 7005429711000000000♠429,711 7004135010000000000♠13,501 7001463000000000000♠46.3 6999734000000000000♠0.734 7001127000000000000♠12.7

Suriname 7003364100000000000♠3,641 7003796100000000000♠7,961 7004139340000000000♠13,934 7000160000000000000♠1.6 6999714000000000000♠0.714 7001272000000000000♠27.2

Uruguay
Uruguay
7004581230000000000♠58,123 7004778000000000000♠77,800 7004222710000000000♠22,271 7000800000000000000♠8.0 6999793000000000000♠0.793 7000220000000000000♠2.2

Venezuela
Venezuela
7005251589000000000♠251,589 7005404109000000000♠404,109 7004128560000000000♠12,856 7001926000000000000♠92.6 6999762000000000000♠0.762 7001129000000000000♠12.9

TOTAL 7006383656900000000♠3,836,569 7006664262300000000♠6,642,623 7004178520000000000♠17,852 7002669100000000000♠669.1 6999729000000000000♠0.729 7001113000000000000♠11.3

ECONOMICALLY LARGEST CITIES AS OF 2014

RANK CITY COUNTRY GDP IN INT$ BN POPULATION (MIL) GDP PER CAPITA

1 São Paulo
São Paulo
Brazil
Brazil
$430 20,847,500 $20,650

2 Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Argentina
Argentina
$315 13,381,800 $23,606

3 Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Brazil
Brazil
$176 12,460,200 $14,176

4 Lima
Lima
Peru
Peru
$176 10,674,100 $16,530

5 Santiago
Santiago
Chile
Chile
$171 7,164,400 $23,929

6 Bogotá
Bogotá
Colombia
Colombia
$160 9,800,000 $17,497

7 Brasília
Brasília
Brazil
Brazil
$141 3,976,500 $35,689

8 Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte
Brazil
Brazil
$84 5,595,800 $15,134

9 Porto Alegre Brazil
Brazil
$62 4,120,900 $15,078

10 Campinas
Campinas
Brazil
Brazil
$59 2,854,200 $20,759

TOURISM

Tourism
Tourism
has increasingly become a significant source of income for many South American countries. Historical relics, architectural and natural wonders, a diverse range of foods and culture, vibrant and colorful cities, and stunning landscapes attract millions of tourists every year to South America. Some of the most visited places in the region are Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls
, Recife
Recife
, Olinda
Olinda
, Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
, the Amazon rainforest , Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
, São Luís , Salvador , Fortaleza
Fortaleza
, Maceió
Maceió
, Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
, Florianópolis
Florianópolis
, San Ignacio Miní
San Ignacio Miní
, Isla Margarita , Natal , Lima
Lima
, São Paulo
São Paulo
, Angel Falls , Brasília
Brasília
, Nazca Lines , Cuzco
Cuzco
, Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte
, Lake Titicaca , Salar de Uyuni , Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos
Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos
, Los Roques archipelago , Gran Sabana , Patagonia
Patagonia
, Tayrona National Natural Park , Santa Marta , Bogotá
Bogotá
, Medellín , Cartagena , Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier
and the Galápagos Islands .

In 2016 Brazil
Brazil
hosted the 2016 Summer
Summer
Olympics . Iguazu Falls on the border between Argentina
Argentina
and Brazil
Brazil
, is one of the New Seven World
World
Natural Wonders .

CULTURE

Tango
Tango
show in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
, typical argentine dance. Carmen Miranda , Luso-Brazilian Actress helped popularize samba internationally. Teatro Solis, Uruguay. National Library , Brazil.

South Americans are culturally influenced by their indigenous peoples, the historic connection with the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
and Africa, and waves of immigrants from around the globe.

South American nations have a rich variety of music . Some of the most famous genres include vallenato and cumbia from Colombia, pasillo from Colombia
Colombia
and Ecuador, samba , bossa nova and música sertaneja from Brazil, and tango from Argentina
Argentina
and Uruguay. Also well known is the non-commercial folk genre Nueva Canción
Nueva Canción
movement which was founded in Argentina
Argentina
and Chile
Chile
and quickly spread to the rest of the Latin America. People on the Peruvian coast created the fine guitar and cajon duos or trios in the most mestizo (mixed) of South American rhythms such as the Marinera (from Lima), the Tondero (from Piura), the 19th century
19th century
popular Creole Valse or Peruvian Valse, the soulful Arequipan Yaravi, and the early 20th century Paraguayan Guarania . In the late 20th century, Spanish rock emerged by young hipsters influenced by British pop and American rock. Brazil
Brazil
has a Portuguese-language pop rock industry as well a great variety of other music genres.

The literature of South America
South America
has attracted considerable critical and popular acclaim, especially with the Latin American Boom of the 1960s and 1970s, and the rise of authors such as Mario Vargas Llosa , Gabriel García Márquez
Gabriel García Márquez
in novels and Jorge Luis Borges and Pablo Neruda in other genres. The Brazilians Machado de Assis
Machado de Assis
and João Guimarães Rosa are widely regarded as the greatest Brazilian writers.

Because of South America's broad ethnic mix, South American cuisine has African, South American Indian, Asian, and European influences. Bahia
Bahia
, Brazil, is especially well known for its West African–influenced cuisine. Argentines, Chileans, Uruguayans, Brazilians, Bolivians, and Venezuelans regularly consume wine. People in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, southern Chile, Bolivia
Bolivia
and Brazil drink mate , an herb which is brewed. The Paraguayan version, terere , differs from other forms of mate in that it is served cold. Pisco is a liquor distilled from grapes in Peru
Peru
and Chile. Peruvian cuisine mixes elements from Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, African, Arab, Andean, and Amazonic food.

PLASTIC ARTS

Bird (Singapore), sculpture of Fernando Botero

The artist Oswaldo Guayasamín (1919 - 1999) from Ecuador
Ecuador
, represented with his painting style the feeling of the peoples of Latin America
Latin America
highlighting social injustices in various parts of the world. The Colombian Fernando Botero (1932) is one of the greatest exponents of painting and sculpture that continues still active and has been able to develop a recognizable style of his own. For his part, the Venezuelan Carlos Cruz-Diez has contributed significantly to contemporary art, with the presence of works around the world.

Currently several emerging South American artists are recognized by international art critics: Guillermo Lorca —Chilean painter, Teddy Cobeña —Ecuadorian sculptor and recipient of international sculpture award in France
France
) and Argentine artist Adrián Villar Rojas —winner of the Zurich Museum Art Award among many others.

SPORT

Main article: Sport in South America Maracanã Stadium
Maracanã Stadium
in Rio de Janeiro , Brazil
Brazil
Panorama of the interior of the Maracanã stadium during the closing ceremony of the 2014 FIFA World Cup
2014 FIFA World Cup
Atucha I Nuclear Power Plant , the first South-American nuclear power plant, in Argentina
Argentina

A wide range of sports are played in the continent of South America, with football (a/k/a soccer) being the most popular overall, while baseball is the most popular in Venezuela.

Other sports include basketball , cycling , polo , volleyball , futsal , motorsports , rugby (mostly in Argentina
Argentina
and Uruguay), handball , tennis , golf , field hockey and boxing .

South America
South America
hosted its first Olympic Games
Olympic Games
in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
, Brazil
Brazil
in 2016 and will host the Youth Olympic Games
Olympic Games
in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
, Argentina
Argentina
in 2018.

South America
South America
shares with Europe
Europe
supremacy over the sport of football as all winners in FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
history and all winning teams in the FIFA Club World Cup
FIFA Club World Cup
have come from these two continents. Brazil
Brazil
holds the record at the FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
with five titles in total. Argentina and Uruguay
Uruguay
have two titles each. So far four South American nations have hosted the tournament including the first edition in Uruguay (1930). The other three were Brazil
Brazil
(1950, 2014), Chile
Chile
(1962), and Argentina
Argentina
(1978).

South America
South America
is home to the longest running international football tournament; the Copa América , which has been regularly contested since 1916. Uruguay
Uruguay
won the Copa América a record 15 times, surpassing hosts Argentina
Argentina
in 2011 to reach 15 titles (they were previously equal at 14 titles each during the 2011 Copa América).

Also, in South America, a multi-sport event, the South American Games , are held every four years. The first edition was held in La Paz
La Paz
in 1978 and the most recent took place in Santiago
Santiago
in 2014.

INFRASTRUCTURE

ENERGY

Due to the diversity of topography and pluviometric precipitation conditions, the region's water resources vary enormously in different areas. In the Andes
Andes
, navigation possibilities are limited, except for the Magdalena River, Lake Titicaca and the lakes of the southern regions of Chile
Chile
and Argentina. Irrigation is an important factor for agriculture from northwestern Peru
Peru
to Patagonia. Less than 10% of the known electrical potential of the Andes
Andes
had been used until the mid-1960s.

The Brazilian Highlands has a much higher hydroelectric potential than the Andean region and its possibilities of exploitation are greater due to the existence of several large rivers with high margins and the occurrence of great differences forming huge cataracts, such as those of Paulo Afonso, Iguaçu and others. The Amazon River
Amazon River
system has about 13,000 km of waterways, but its possibilities for hydroelectric use are still unknown.

Most of the continent's energy is generated through hydroelectric power plants , but there is also an important share of thermoelectric and wind energy . Brazil
Brazil
and Argentina
Argentina
are the only South American countries that generate nuclear power , each with two nuclear power plants . In 1991 these countries signed a peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement. Panoramic view of the Itaipu Dam
Itaipu Dam
, the largest of the world in energy production.

TRANSPORT

Stretch of the Pan-American Highway
Pan-American Highway
in Argentina
Argentina
The Port of Callao in Peru
Peru
The La Paz
La Paz
cable car system in Bolivia is home to both the longest and highest urban cable car network in the world.

South American transportation systems are still deficient, with low kilometric densities. The region has about 1,700,000 km of highways and 100,000 km of railways , which are concentrated in the coastal strip, and the interior is still devoid of communication.

Only two railroads are continental: the Transandina, which connects Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
, in Argentina
Argentina
to Valparaíso
Valparaíso
, in Chile, and the Brazil- Bolivia
Bolivia
Railroad, which makes it the connection between the port of Santos in Brazil
Brazil
and the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra , in Bolivia. In addition, there is the Pan-American Highway
Pan-American Highway
, which crosses the Andean countries from north to south, although some stretches are unfinished.

Two areas of greater density occur in the railway sector: the platinum network, which develops around the Platine region , largely belonging to Argentina, with more than 45,000 km in length; And the Southeast Brazil
Brazil
network, which mainly serves the state of São Paulo , state of Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
and Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais
. Brazil
Brazil
and Argentina
Argentina
also stand out in the road sector. In addition to the modern roads that extend through northern Argentina
Argentina
and south-east and south of Brazil, a vast road complex aims to link Brasilia
Brasilia
, the federal capital, to the South, Southeast, Northeast and Northern regions of Brazil.

The Port of Callao is the main port of Peru
Peru
. South America
South America
has one of the largest bays of navigable inland waterways in the world, represented mainly by the Amazon basin
Amazon basin
, the Platine basin , the São Francisco and the Orinoco
Orinoco
basins, Brazil
Brazil
having about 54,000 km navigable, while Argentina
Argentina
has 6,500 km and Venezuela, 1,200 km.

The two main merchant fleets also belong to Brazil
Brazil
and Argentina. The following are those of Chile, Venezuela, Peru
Peru
and Colombia. The largest ports in commercial movement are those of Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
, Santos , Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
, Bahía Blanca
Bahía Blanca
, Rosario , Valparaiso
Valparaiso
, Recife
Recife
, Salvador , Montevideo
Montevideo
, Paranaguá , Rio Grande
Rio Grande
, Fortaleza
Fortaleza
, Belém
Belém
and Maracaibo .

In South America, commercial aviation has a magnificent expansion field, which has one of the largest traffic density lines in the world, Rio de Janeiro-São Paulo, and large airports, such as Congonhas , São Paulo-Guarulhos International and Viracopos (São Paulo), Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
International and Santos Dumont (Rio de Janeiro), Ezeiza (Buenos Aires), Confins International Airport (Belo Horizonte), Curitiba
Curitiba
International Airport (Curitiba), Brasilia, Caracas, Montevideo, Lima, Bogotá, Recife, Salvador, Salgado Filho International Airport (Porto Alegre), Fortaleza, Manaus and Belém.

The main public transport in major cities is the bus. Many cities also have a diverse system of metro and subway trains. The Santiago subway is the largest network in South America, with 103 km, while the São Paulo
São Paulo
subway is the largest in transportation, with more than 4.6 million passengers per day and was voted the best in the Americas . In Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
was installed the first railroad of the continent, in 1854. Today the city has a vast and diversified system of metropolitan trains, integrated with buses and subway. Recently it was also inaugurated in the city a Light Rail System called VLT , a small electrical trams at low speed, while São Paulo
São Paulo
inaugurated its monorail , the first of South America. In Brazil, an express bus system called Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), which operates in several cities, has also been developed.

SEE ALSO

Main article: Outline of South America

* Americas
Americas
(terminology) * Bibliography of South America * Flags of South America

* Latin America
Latin America
portal * Geography portal

NOTES AND REFERENCES

CONTENT NOTES

^ CONTINENT MODEL: In some parts of the world South America
South America
is viewed as a subcontinent of the Americas
Americas
(a single continent in these areas), for example Latin America, Latin Europe, and Iran. In most of the countries with English as an official language, however, it is considered a continent; see Americas
Americas
(terminology) .

REFERENCES

* ^ "South America". Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
. * ^ " Map
Map
And Details Of All 7 Continents". worldatlas.com. Retrieved September 2, 2016. In some parts of the world students are taught that there are only six continents, as they combine North America and South America
South America
into one continent called the Americas. * ^ A B ""Unveiling the South American Balance" in Estudos Internacionais, 2(2): 215-232. Luis L Schenoni". Academia.edu. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2016-12-08. * ^ Cohen, Saul Bernard. 2003. "North and Middle America" (Ch. 5). Geopolitics
Geopolitics
of the World
World
System, ISBN 0847699072 * ^ "Americas" Standard Country
Country
and Area
Area
Codes Classifications (M49), United Nations Statistics Division * ^ "North America". Atlas of Canada. 2003-11-14. Archived from the original on March 3, 2008. Retrieved 2012-05-21. * ^ A B North America
North America
Atlas National Geographic * ^ "Panama". Britannica.com. 1999-12-31. Retrieved 2012-05-21. * ^ "Panama". CIA – The World
World
Factbook. Cia.gov. Retrieved 2012-05-21. * ^ "Parts of Chile\'s Atacama Desert
Atacama Desert
haven\'t seen a drop of rain since recordkeeping began. Somehow, more than a million people squeeze life from this parched land". National Geographic Magazine. Retrieved 2009-04-18. * ^ "Driest Place Driest Desert
Desert
Atacama Desert". Extremescience.com. 2007-01-25. Archived from the original on April 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-18. * ^ McKay, C. P. (May–June 2002). "Two dry for life: The Atacama Desert
Desert
and Mars" (PDF). Ad Astra. 14 (3): 30. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-08-26. * ^ South America
South America
Atlas National Geographic * ^ "United Nations Statistics Division- Standard Country
Country
and Area Codes Classifications (M49)". Unstats.un.org. 2011-09-20. Retrieved 2012-05-21. * ^ A B C D E F O CLIMA. In: Atlas Mundial. São Paulo: Cia. Melhoramentos de São Paulo, 1999, p. 20-21 ISBN 85-06-02889-2 * ^ * ^ A B C O'Brien, Patrick. (General Editor). Oxford Atlas of World History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. pp. 25 * ^ "City of Quito
Quito
UNESCO
UNESCO
World
World
Heritage". Whc.unesco.org. Retrieved 2010-04-30. * ^ Anstey, Roger: The Atlantic
Atlantic
Slave Trade and British abolition, 1760–1810. London: Macmillan, 1975, p. 5. * ^ "VERGONHA AINDA MAIOR: Novas informações disponíveis em um enorme banco de dados mostram que a escravidão no Brasil foi muito pior do que se sabia antes (". Veja (in Portuguese). Retrieved 16 March 2015. * ^ Stephen D. Behrendt, David Richardson, and David Eltis, W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research , Harvard University
Harvard University
. Based on "records for 27,233 voyages that set out to obtain slaves for the Americas". Stephen Behrendt (1999). "Transatlantic Slave Trade". Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience. New York: Basic Civitas Books. ISBN 0-465-00071-1 . * ^ "Caudillo". * ^ Day, Peter (17 December 1997). "Ragamuffin War". Brasil Escola. Retrieved 27 March 2007. * ^ Souza, Rainer (20 January 2002). "Ragamuffin Revolution". RioGrande. Retrieved 2007-03-27. * ^ Scheina, Robert L. (31 January 2003). "Latin America’s Wars". Potomac Books, Inc. – via Google Books. * ^ "Paraguayan War". * ^ "War of the Pacific". * ^ Cite needed * ^ Woodard, James P. "A Place in Politics: São Paulo, Brazil; From Seigneurial Republicanism to Regionalist Revolt" Duke University Press 2009 Chapter 3 "War and the Health of the State" especially from the end of Page 77 to p.81 visualization on Google Books * ^ Conniff, Michael L. and McCann, Frank D. "Modern Brazil, Elites and Masses in Historical Perspective" University of Nebraska Press 1991 ISBN 0803263481 page 168 visualization on Google Books * ^ Uppsala Conflict Data Program Conflict Encyclopedia, General Conflict Information, Conflict name: Ecuador
Ecuador
– Peru, In depth, viewed on 2013-07-15, http://www.ucdp.uu.se/gpdatabase/gpcountry.php?id=126®ionSelect=5-Southern_Americas# * ^ Churchill 1948, pp. 525–526. * ^ A B Ibidem Maximiano, Bonalume, Ricardo N. & Bujeiro, 2011. * ^ Frank D. MacCann – 'Estudios Interdisciplinarios de America Latina y el Caribe', vol. 6, No. 2, 1995. * ^ Richard Hough, The Big Battleship (London: Michael Joseph, 1966), 19. OCLC
OCLC
8898108 . * ^ Robert Scheina, Latin America: A Naval History, 1810–1987 (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1987), 86. ISBN 0-87021-295-8 . OCLC
OCLC
15696006 . * ^ "The Cambridge History of Latin America", edited by Leslie Bethell, Cambridge University Press (1995) ISBN 0-521-39525-9 * ^ Leslie Bethell (1995). Bibliographical Essays. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-39525-0 . * ^ A B Land areas and population estimates are taken from The 2008 World
World
Factbook which currently uses July 2007 data, unless otherwise noted.

* ^ La Paz
La Paz
is the administrative capital of Bolivia
Bolivia
; Sucre
Sucre
is the judicial seat.

* ^ Includes Easter Island
Easter Island
in the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
, a Chilean territory frequently reckoned in Oceania
Oceania
. Santiago
Santiago
is the administrative capital of Chile; Valparaíso
Valparaíso
is the site of legislative meetings.

* ^ Claimed by Argentina
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* ^ Claimed by Argentina; the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
are commonly associated with Antarctica
Antarctica
(due to proximity) and have no permanent population, only hosting a periodic contingent of about 100 researchers and visitors. * ^ * ^ Lira 1977, Vol 2 , p. 9. * ^ Dennison de Oliveira, "Os soldados alemães de Vargas" Portuguese 1st Chapter, Jurua print. 2008 ISBN 85-362-2076-7 * ^ "Globalpolicy.org". Globalpolicy.org. 2008-10-29. Retrieved 2010-10-24. * ^ "The Languages spoken in Guyana". Studylands. Retrieved 2016-04-12. * ^ Karam, John Tofik (2013). "On the Trail and Trial of a Palestinian Diaspora: Mapping South America
South America
in the Arab–Israeli Conflict, 1967–1972". Journal of Latin American Studies. 45 (4): 751–777. doi :10.1017/S0022216X13001156 . * ^ Christians
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– Pew Research Center * ^ "Las religiones en tiempos del Papa Francisco" (in Spanish). Latinobarómetro. April 2014. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 May 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2015. * ^ Salzano, FM; Sans, M (2014). "Interethnic admixture and the evolution of Latin American populations" . Genet. Mol. Biol. 37: 151–70. PMC 3983580  . PMID 24764751 . doi :10.1590/s1415-47572014000200003 . * ^ "Your Regional Ancestry: Reference Populations". Retrieved 31 December 2016. * ^ Dean, Bartholomew 2009 Urarina Society, Cosmology, and History in Peruvian Amazonia, Gainesville: University Press of Florida ISBN 978-0-8130-3378-5 * ^ "Peru". CIA World
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, Centro de Investigación en Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades. 38: 185–232; table on p. 218. ISSN 1405-1435 . Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 September 2008. * ^ Indigenous peoples of South America. Astromonos.org. Retrieved on 2015-10-20. * ^ A B C " Country
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SOURCES

* "South America". The Columbia Gazetteer of the World
World
Online. 2005. New York: Columbia University Press. * Latin American Network Information Database

EXTERNAL LINKS

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
has media related to: SOUTH AMERICA (category)

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for SOUTH AMERICA .

The Wikibook ] has a page on the topic of: WIKIJUNIOR SOUTH AMERICA

* v * t * e

Countries and dependencies of South America
South America

Sovereign states

ENTIRE

* Argentina
Argentina
* Bolivia
Bolivia
* Brazil
Brazil
* Chile
Chile
* Colombia
Colombia
* Ecuador
Ecuador
* Guyana
Guyana
* Paraguay
Paraguay
* Peru