Chapter 13, Section 3

Chapter 13, Section 3
The Southern Grassland Countries
7.2.8.A Explain the characteristics of places
and regions.
Anchor: CC8.5.6-8.D: Determine the meaning
of words as they are used in text.
OBJECTIVE: Students will categorize the
physical characteristics of the southern
grassland countries.
AGENDA: 4.8.15
1. Finish Section 2
2. Assessment
3. Start Section 3
4. TDD
• Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina make up
southern South America.
• Face economic hardships, but are among the
most prosperous South American nations.
• Large percentage of people of European heritage
as well as a mestizo population.
Physical Characteristics
• Southern South America consists of several
physical regions with varying characteristics.
– Great Rivers
– Andean Region
– Tropical Lowlands
– Grasslands
– Patagonia
Great Rivers
Great Rivers Continued…
• Rio de la Plata (River of Silver) is an estuary.
– A broad river mouth formed where a flooded river
valley meets the sea.
• Four rivers in the Plata estuary system form
national boundaries:
– The Uruguay
– The Pilcomayo
– The Paraguay
– The Parana
Great Rivers Continued…
• The capitals of Argentina and Uruguay are both
located on the Rio de la Plata.
• Argentina – Buenos Aires
• Uruguay – Montevideo
• River system provides cheap and efficient way for
people in this functional region to ship goods.
Andean Region
• The highest peaks of the Andes are in western
• They include the four highest mountains in the
Western Hemisphere (High as 22,834 ft. above
sea level).
• Andes gradually give way to a gently rolling
piedmont region.
– Foothills
Tropical Lowlands
• Gran Chaco (“hunting land”) is an interior lowland
region of savanna and dense shrub in parts of
Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia.
– Temps. are mild rarely change.
– Rainfall is seasonal.
– Summer rains turn the area into mud.
– Winter = soil is dry and windblown.
• Pampas of Argentina and Uruguay are one of
South America’s best-known features.
• Temperate grasslands, stretch for hundreds of
miles, were formerly home to hundreds of
– Cowboys who herded cattle there.
Grassland Continued…
• Today, the pampas are Argentina’s
breadbasket, producing about 80% of the
nation’s grain and about 70% of its meat.
• Pampas have warm summers, cold winters.
• Occasional violent winter thunderstorm
known as “pamperos.”
• South of the pampas lies the windswept plateau
of Patagonia.
• Desolate, dry, cold and sometimes foggy plain is
well suited for raising sheep.
• Natural resources include rich deposits of oil and
• Landlocked but the Plata River system provides an
outlet to the sea.
• Almost all Paraguayans live in the highlands of
eastern Paraguay rather than the swampy Chaco.
• ½ of the people live in urban areas, especially the
capital city of Asuncion, on the Paraguay River.
Paraguay Continued…
• Most Paraguayans are mestizos, who speak
Guarani, the local Indian language, also Spanish.
• Economy based on agriculture, mostly cotton,
grains and livestock.
• For 35 years, General Alfredo Stroessner ruled by
military force (1954-1989).
– Political freedoms were restricted
– Critics of govt. were prosecuted
Paraguay Today
• 1989, discontented military leaders replaced him.
• New leader, General Andres Rodriguez, made the
government more responsive to people’s needs.
• Since 1993, Paraguay has held free democratic
• Uruguay takes its name from an Indian word
meaning “river of the painted bird.”
• Mostly grasslands.
• Main economic activities are raising livestock,
processing meat, and making products such as wool
and leather.
• 75% of land is devoted to livestock grazing and
another 10% to raising feed grains.
• Must import fuel and consumer goods (expensive).
Uruguay Continued…
• Most Uruguayans are of European descent,
mainly Italian and Spanish.
• Large middle class, with few slums.
• Politically, Uruguay has an unstable history.
• In 1973, the military took power, ruling for 12 yrs.
– Repression
– Imprisonment
**** Free Elections today, if you don’t vote you’re fined
• Students will explain the recent changes in
political conditions in Paraguay and Uruguay.
• Like Uruguay, most of Argentina’s nearly 37
million people have European ancestors (Italian
and Spanish).
• 88% live in cities.
• 13 million in Buenos Aires alone.
• Wealthiest country in Latin America.
• Buenos Aires is a vibrant capital city that looks to
Europe for its fashions, art, food and style.
• Factories produce goods for export, harbor filled
with freighters from all over the world.
– Causes heavy air pollution.
• Buenos Aires is a magnet.
Political History
• From the mid 1940s until 1983 Argentina was
ruled by a series of military dictators.
– Best known was Juan Domingo Peron
– 1946 to 1955
– Wanted to develop Argentina’s industry and to
distribute wealth more evenly.
– His wife, Eva, became a hero to
Argentina’s poor.
Political History Continued…
• Other dictators used government power to help
the wealthy, ignoring problems of the poor.
• However, all of them censored newspapers,
closed down universities, and imprisoned political
• They tried to give the appearance of progress by
borrowing money from foreign banks to build
dams, roads, and factories.
Political History
• Conditions under military rule in the 1970s were
particularly bad.
• People were kidnapped by the military and never
seen again, period known as “dirty wars.”
• 1982, Argentina lost a war against GB over control
of the Falkland Islands. Shamed, military held
open elections.
• Deals with period of soaring
inflation and enormous debt.