South America • The continent of South America is linked to North America by the Isthmus of Panama.
The Physical Features of South America • The physical features of South America include: -Andes Mountains -The Pampas -Amazon Rainforest -Amazon River
The Andes & the Pampas The Andes Mountain Range stretches over 5,000 miles along South America’s west coast. It is the longest continuous mountain range on Earth. East of the Andes, in the southern part of South America, lie vast plains called the Pampas.
The Amazon River The Amazon River begins in the Peruvian Andes, flows 4,000 miles to the Atlantic Ocean. The Amazon River carries the largest volume of water in the world. There are 1,000 tributaries that flow into the Amazon. The longest rivers in South America begin in the Andes, drain the central plains, & flow into the Atlantic Ocean.
The Amazon Rainforest The Amazon rain forest is a home for Native American tribes and for many species of animals. In recent years, deforestation, or the process of cutting down and clearing away trees, has threatened the Amazon rain forest.
Important Explorers Francisco Pizarro from Spain landed in the coast of what is now Peru in 1531. Pizarro captured and executed the Inca ruler Atahualpa. He claimed the land for Spain.
Spain & Portugal ruled South America for nearly 300 years. • In 1810 two generals led the South Americans through a series of wars for independence. • TOP: Simon Bolivar freed the northern parts • Bottom: Jose de San Martin defeated Spanish forces in the south.
South America’s Government • After winning their independence control of the government was turned over to the military. • By the 1990’s, however, most governments in South America were democratic.
Transportation Barriers & Corridors • Transportation corridors are parts of the landscape that are easy to move through. • Transportation barriers are parts of the landscape that interfere with transportation. Andes Mts. are barriers. Amazon River is a corridor.
Products & Industries of South America • South America has many natural resources. Mineral resources include: gold, iron, lead, petroleum, tin, & copper. • Large farms produce: beef, grain, sugar, wool, bananas, & coffee. • Chile, Argentina, & Brazil are the most industrial countries. • They manufacture: cars, trucks, computers, televisions, & airplanes. • The free-trade zone was created in 1994. (Cross borders w/o being taxed)
The People of South America • There are many ethnic groups in South America. • South Americans are descendants of Europeans, or enslaved Africans, & people of mixed ancestry. The majority of South Americans are either “mestizos or mulattos”.