Location • Area • Frontiers
Argentina- located in the Southeast most corner of South America, it has an area of almost 3.8 million square kilometers, of which 2.8 are on the continent and the remainder in the Antarctic. Its length of 3,800 km. goes from latitude 22° to 55°. Its frontier with Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Chile has a perimeter of 29,038 km. and the coast, on the Atlantic Ocean, is 5,117 km. long.
The fundamental characteristic of Argentina is the enormus contrast between the inmense eastern plains and the imposing mountain range of the Andes to the west. This is the frontier with Chile and has the highest peak in the whole western hemisphere, the Aconcagua, 6,959 m. high.
In its passage from Jujuy to Tierra del Fuego the range presents marvellous contrasts, the plateaus of the Northwest, the lake region, the forests and the glaciers of the Patagonian Andes. To the north, Chaco is a forested area which follows the rivers Bermejo, Salado and Pilcomayo.
Between the Paraná and Uruguay, the Mesopotamia of Argentina (the provinces of Entre Ríos, Corrientes and Misiones) is formed by low hills where pools and marshlands show the ancient courses of these great rivers. Occasionally there are fissures which provide such spectacular phenomena as the Falls of Iguazú.
La Pampa, in the centre of Argentina, is the largest and best known area of plains. It has a large amount of agriculture and livestock and includes the provinces of Buenos Aires, pampean region, the south of Santa Fe and southwest of Córdoba. Its landscape is broken to the south by the small mountains of Tandil and La Ventana and to the west by the Córdoba
Towards the south, from the Andes to the sea, are the sterile and stony plateaus of Patagonia, swept by the wind during most of the year. The Atlantic coast, lined with high cliffs, forms massive indentations like the Valdés Peninsula, with its spectacular colonies of marine animals.
There is complete religious freedom in Argentina although the official religion is Roman Catholic. There are also other religions such as Protestant, Jewish, Moslem, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, etc.
The official Argentine currency is the Peso which is on a par with the US dollar and fluctuates with it. There are notes of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos and coins of 1, 2 and 5 pesos, and 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos.
Government & Constitution
The country is a representative federal and democratic republic with Buenos Aires as the Federal Capital and 23 provinces. There are three authorities: the executive, the legislative and the judicial. The first is exercised by the President of the Nation, elected for a term of four years. He has ample powers, including the power of approving or vetoing decisions by Congress. The National Congress has two chambers. The Chamber of Deputies has 254 directly elected members.
The Senate has 72 members elected by provincial jurisdictions, three per province and three for the Federal Capital. The provinces are autonomous and elect their own officials, the Governor being the ultimate authority.
The current Constitution dates from 1853. Nevertheless, it has undergone changes on various occasions, the last time was in August 1994, which allowed the reelection of the President of the Nation for one more term.
25th • May 1810: The First "Patrio" or Home Government Assembly was constituted.
9th • July 1816: Proclamation of Independence by the United Provinces of the River Plate. Birth of the Republic of Argentina .
The flag has three horizontal stripes: the middle one white with the goldensun on it and the two outside ones of sky blue. The national flower is the Ceiba and the national stone the manganese spar or "the rose of the Inca".