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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: South America (02/05/09)

TITLE: My share-3.5% of the the earth.


Southern continent of the Americas is called South America surrounded by Pacific Ocean in the west and the Atlantic Ocean on the north and east, North America and the Caribbean Sea to the northwest. The name of South America was given in 1570 by cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann. It has an area of 17,840,000 square kilometers having 3.5% of the Earth's surface and population was estimated as 371,090,000 upto 2005. Its position in the world is fourth in area fifth in population and occupies the major southern portion of the landmass generally referred to as the New World. The South American nations that border the Caribbean Sea, including Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana are also known as Caribbean South America.It is the home to the world's highest waterfall, Angel Falls in Venezuela; the largest river, the Amazon River; the longest mountain range, the Andes, the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert; the largest rainforest, the Amazon Rainforest; the highest capital city, La Paz, Bolivia; the highest commercially navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca; and, excluding research stations in Antarctica, the world's southernmost permanently inhabited community, Puerto Toro, Chile.South America's major mineral resources are gold, silver, copper, iron ore, tin, and petroleum. South America is thought to have been first inhabited by people crossing the Bering Land Bridge, which is now the Bering Strait. The first evidence for the existence of agricultural practices in South America dates back to circa 6500 BC, when potatoes, chillies and beans began to be cultivated for food in the highlands of the Amazon Basin. Fishing became a widespread practice along the coast which helped to establish fish as a primary source of food. South American cultures began domesticating llamas, vicuñas, guanacos, and alpacas in the highlands of the Andes circa 3500 BC. The earliest known settlements, and culture in South America and the Americas altogether, are the Valdivia on the southeast coast of Ecuador. The earliest known South American civilization was at Norte Chico, on the central Peruvian coast. The people and natural resources of South America were repeatedly exploited by foreign conquistadors, first from Spain and later from Portugal. African slaves were brought in large quantities for several centuries for a number of reasons, both political and economical; however, it was mainly because they were much better fitted than the American natives for hard labor in tropical climate such as sugar cane plantations or gold mining.The South American possessions of the Spanish Crown won their independence between 1804 and 1824 in the South American Wars of Independence. Some governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay were overthrown or displaced by United States-aligned military dictatorships in the 1960s and 1970s.During the first decade of the 21st century, South American governments have drifted to the political left, with socialist leaders being elected in Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay and Venezuela. Despite the move to the left, South America for the most part still embraces Free market policies, and it is taking an active path toward greater continental ntegration.Recently, an intergovernmental entity has been formed which aims to merge the two existing customs unions: Mercosur and the Andean Community, thus forming the third-largest trade bloc in the world. This new political organization known as Union of South American Nations seeks to establish free movement of people, economic development, a common defense policy and the elimination of tariffs. In all South American countries, interest rates remain high and investment remains low. This has led to economic stability and interest rates in the low single digits.South America relies heavily on the exporting of goods and natural resources. The economic gap between the rich and poor in most South American nations is considered to be larger than in most other continents.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 02/16/09
This is a very informative piece. It would really help if you spaced between paragraphs - It would make it easier to read. I feel like I just read the Encyclopedia. Maybe I'm a tad bit smarter for it, you think:)
Sharon Kane02/18/09
Wow! What a comprehensive summary of the continent! It was quite an achievement to fit this into the word limit. However, I felt it lacked creativity. There were some impressive statistics which I enjoyed reading (It is the home to the world's highest waterfall, Angel Falls in Venezuela; the largest river, the Amazon River;... the world's southernmost permanently inhabited community, Puerto Toro, Chile) but these were hidden away among many other facts. I would encourage you to restrict your information but find more to say about less. I would also strongly urge you to use paragraphs and put in more white space to make it easier on the eye of the reader. I hope these comments are useful. Bless you.