Guide to South America

South America | | July 29, 2009 at 6:30 pm


South America Introduction & History

christopher columbusAround 70,000 years ago, the foremost traits of human occupancy in South America occurred when they moved from Asia passing the Bering Land Bridge and eventual spanned all areas of the continent as they made their way southwards. Widespread farming activities have been recorded in the Amazon Basin from 2000 BC, with animal husbandry becoming prevalent in 3500 BC in Andes and close by regions. There were many upcoming civilizations that sprung up like the Canaris, the Norte Chico, Amazon, Cara Supe, Chavin, Moche of which Inca also called the land of the four regions was the significantly urbane.

Christopher Columbus’s momentous, incomprehensible discovery of the Caribbean islands en route to seeking new-fangled ways to reach Asia- the esteemed spice paradise, finally did led him to his coveted destination. These series of revelations added more vengeance to the already simmering tensions between Portugal and Spain.

To get matters adequately sorted out, the Treaty Of  Tordesil has was signed in 1494 which assigned all areas with reference to an invented line that was nearly 48 degrees west of Greenwich. All areas to the west of this would come under Spain and those on the east would belong to Portugal, with Brazil going to the Portugal.

quetchua musician with inca ruins of pisac in background andes_mts_peru_copyWhat ensued were a series of attacks on South America by series of conquerors from Spain and Portugal, with selfish motives to own land and reserves by separating it into colonies. Lima founded in 1535 as the capital of Peru was the epicentre for all the findings and conquests. The natives were incapable in combating several deadly diseases that were unleashed by these Spaniard invaders around 1572. With ulterior motive to harness gold and silver, the Spaniards slave drove the natives in the Brazil plantations and the Bolivian mines. All these caused significant decline in the native population.

The Spanish colonies managed to gain independence close to 18th century, when Spain was engrossed in fighting war against France. As the war concluded around 1814, Venezuela, Argentina and eventually Brazil declared independence by 1822.

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South America

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