- For a topic outline on this subject, see List of basic Argentina topics.
Argentina (Spanish: [aɾxenˈtina]), officially the Argentine Republic (Spanish: República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is also bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2 (1,073,500 sq mi), Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, and the largest Spanish-speaking nation. The sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces (Spanish: provincias, singular provincia) and one autonomous city (ciudad autónoma), Buenos Aires, which is the federal capital of the nation (Spanish: Capital Federal) as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital have their own constitutions, but exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands (Spanish: Islas Malvinas), and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
The earliest recorded human presence in modern-day Argentina dates back to the Paleolithic period. The Inca Empire expanded to the northwest of the country in Pre-Columbian times. The country has its roots in Spanish colonization of the region during the 16th century. Argentina rose as the successor state of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish overseas viceroyalty founded in 1776. The declaration and fight for independence (1810–1818) was followed by an extended civil war that lasted until 1861, culminating in the country's reorganization as a federation of provinces with Buenos Aires as its capital city. The country thereafter enjoyed relative peace and stability, with several waves of European immigration (mainly Italians and Spaniards) radically reshaping its cultural and demographic outlook. The almost-unparalleled increase in prosperity led to Argentina becoming the seventh wealthiest nation in the world by the early 20th century.
Following the Great Depression in the 1930s, Argentina descended into political instability and economic decline that pushed it back into underdevelopment, though it remained among the fifteen richest countries for several decades. Following the death of President Juan Perón in 1974, his widow, Isabel Martínez de Perón, ascended to the presidency. She was overthrown in 1976 by a U.S.-backed coup which installed a right-wing military dictatorship. The military government persecuted and murdered numerous political critics, activists, and leftists in the Dirty War, a period of state terrorism that lasted until the election of Raúl Alfonsín as President in 1983. Several of the junta's leaders were later convicted of their crimes and sentenced to imprisonment.
Argentina is a prominent regional power in the Southern Cone and Latin America, and retains its historic status as a middle power in international affairs. Argentina has the second largest economy in South America, the third-largest in Latin America, and membership in the G-15 and G-20 major economies. It is also a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, World Trade Organization, Mercosur, Union of South American Nations, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Organization of Ibero-American States. Despite its history of economic instability, it ranks second highest in the Human Development Index in Latin America.
Juan Martín del Potro
(Spanish pronunciation: [ˈxwan marˈtin del ˈpotɾo]
) (born 23 September 1988) is an Argentine
professional tennis player. Del Potro achieved a top 10 ranking by the Association of Tennis Professionals
for the first time on October 6, 2008. In January 2010, he reached a career-high ranking of World No. 4. Soon after attaining this ranking, however, del Potro had to withdraw from most of the tournaments in 2010 due to wrist injury, and his ranking plummeted.
He completed the second longest winning streak in 2008, and the second longest by a teenager in the Open Era, behind Rafael Nadal—with his winning sequence spanning 23 matches over five tournaments. Del Potro captured his first Grand Slam title at the 2009 US Open defeating Nadal in the semifinal, and Roger Federer in the final, becoming the first to beat both Federer and Nadal in the same Grand Slam tournament (later achieved by Novak Djokovic at the 2011 US Open). He became the second Argentine and the fifth youngest man to win the US Open title in the Open Era.
Things you can do
Did you know ...
- ...that U2 wrote the song "Mothers of the Disappeared" about the Madres de Plaza de Mayo, whose children disappeared during the Dirty War?
- ...that Nahuel Huapi National Park (pictured) is named after Nahuel Huapi Lake, with Nahuel and Huapi meaning "tiger" and "island" in the Mapuche language?
- ...that the 1957 non-fiction novel Operación Masacre by Rodolfo Walsh was published seven years before Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, which is frequently cited as creating the genre?
- ...that Papel Prensa produced 170,000 tons of newsprint for 170 dailies in 2009, accounting for 75% of the newsprint market in Argentina?
- ...that Juan Esteban Pedernera was interim President of Argentina in 1861, following the death of Santiago Derqui?
- ...that the Argentine investigative journalism TV program Periodismo para todos is censored in several Argentine provinces?
- ...that Marcelo Piñeyro's second film, Wild Horses, was the second-highest-attended film in Argentina during 1995, and was screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City?
- ...that authorities believe convicted fraudster Edward Porta escaped from the U.S. Penitentiary in Lee County, Virginia, apparently by walking out of its minimum security area?
Anniversaries for May 24
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