Latin America, the Spanish and Portuguese, and few French-speaking parts of South and Central America, including Mexico and parts of the Caribbean. The name is because these three languages are developed by Latin (so-called Romanian languages) as opposed to the Germanic language English spoken in North America (see Anglo-America). The concept of Latin America is more related to the area’s history and cultural history than to its geography, and this article addresses in particular cultural history topics. Other topics are covered in South America, Central America and the Caribbean as well as in individual countries as listed by Countryaah.
|Country||Main parties with mandate in recent elections||Main parties with seats in the penultimate election|
|Argentina||Juntos por el Cambio / Cambiemos 119/28, Frente de Todos (PJ) 109/38, Consenso Federal 7, Frente Cívico por Santiago 7, Córdoba Federal 4, andre 11/6 (2017/2019) (Preliminary result)||Cambiemos 107/24, Civic Unity (UC) and Allies 67/10, Partido Justicialista 40/23, Peronist Renewal Front 21 and others (2015/2017)|
|Bolivia||The Movement for Socialism (MAS) 73/21, Citizens’ Community (CC) 41/11, We Believe (Creemos) 16/4 (2020)||The Movement for Socialism (MAS) 67/21, Citizens’ Community (CC) 50/14, The Christian Democratic Party (PDC) 9/0, The Social Democratic Movement (MDS) 4/1 (2019)|
|Brazil||Labor Party (PT) 56, Social Liberal Party (PSL) 52, Progressive Party (PP) 37, Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB) 34, Social Democratic Party (PSD) 34, Republican Party (PR) 33, Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) 32, Brazilian Republican Party (PRB) 30, Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB) 29, Democrats (DEM) 29, Democratic Labor Party (PDT) 28, others 119 (2018) 2||Labor Party (PT) 70, Brazilian Democratic Party (PMDB) 66, Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB) 54, Social Democratic Party (PSD) 37, Progressive Party (PP) 36, Republican Party (PR) 34, Socialist Party (PSB) 34, others 182 (2014)|
|Chile||National Renewal (RN) 36/6, Independent Democratic Union (UDI) 31/4, Socialist Party (PS) 19/3, Christian Democratic Party (PDC) 13/3, Party for Democracy (PPD) 8/4, Democratic Revolution (RD ) 10/1, Radical Social Democratic Party (PRSD) 8/0, Chile Communist Party (PC) 8/0, others 22/2 (2017)||Independent Democratic Union (UDI) 29/8, Christian Democratic Party (PDC) 21/6, National Renewal (RN) 19/8, Party for Democracy (PPD) 15/6, Socialist Party (PS) 15/6, Radical Social Democratic Party ( PRSD) 6/0, Chilean Communist Party (PCCH) 6/0, Broad Social Movement (Mas) 0/1, Independence 9/3 (2013) 10|
|Colombia||Democratic Center 32/19, Liberal Party 35/14, Radical Change 30/16, U-Party 25/14, Conservative Party 21/14, Green Alliance 9/9, Polo 2/5, others 12/11 (2018)||U-party 38/21, Liberal party 39/17, Conservative party 28/19, Democratic center 19/19, Radical change 16/9, Green party 6/5, Citizens’ alternative 6/5, Polo 3/5, others 11 / 2 (2014) 11|
|Ecuador||Union of Hope (Unes) 49, Pachakutik 27, Democratic Left (ID) 18, Christian Social Party (PSC) 18, Create Opportunities (Creo) 12, others 13 (2021)||Alliance País (AP) 74, Alliance Creo-Suma 34, Christian Social Party (PSC) 15, Democratic Left (ID) 4, Pachakutik 4, others 6 (2017)|
|Guyana||People’s Progress Party-Civic (PPP-C) 33, A Partnership for National Unity-Alliance for Change (Apnu-AFC) 31, other 1 (2020)||A Partnership for National Unity-Alliance for Change (Apnu-AFC) 33, People’s Progress Party-Civic (PPP-C) 32 (2015)|
|Paraguay||Colorado Party 42/17, The True Liberal Radical Party (PLRA) 29/13, Guasú Front (FG) 0/6, Beloved Homeland (PPQ) 3/3, Others 6/6 (2018)||Colorado Party 44/19, True Liberal Radical Party (PLRA) 27/12, Guasú Front (FG) 2/5) National Union of Ethical Citizens (Unace) 2/2, others 5/7 (2013) 12|
|Peru||Popular Action (FA) 25, Progress Alliance (APP) 22, Frepap 15, Popular Strength (FP) 15, Union for Peru (UPP) 13, We Can Peru (PP) 11, We Are Peru (PDSP) 11, Purple Party ( PM) 9, Broad Front (FA) 9 (2020)||Popular Strength (FP) 73, Broad Front (FA) 20, Peruvians for Change (PPK) 18, Progress Alliance (APP) 9, Popular Action (AP) 5, PAP / Apra 5 (2016)|
|Suriname||Progressive Reform Party (VHP) 20, National Democratic Party (NDP) 16, Suriname National Party (NPS) 3, General Liberation and Development Party (Abop) 8, others 4 (2020)||National Democratic Party (NDP) 26, election alliance V7 18, A-combination 5, other 2 (2015)|
|Uruguay||Broad Front (FA) 42/13, Blanco Party 30/10, Colorado Party 13/4, Cabildo Abierto 11/3, others 3/0 (2019)||Broad Front (FA) 50/15, Blanco Party 32/9, Colorado Party 13/4, Independent Party 3/1, Public Agreement (UP) 1/0 (2014) 13|
|Venezuela||Great Patriotic Poland (dominated by the Socialist Party SUV) 253, Democratic Alliance 18, others 6 (2020)||Assembly for Democratic Unity (MUD) 112 (of which 3 Allied representatives of indigenous peoples), Greater Patriotic Poland (dominated by the Socialist Party PSUV) 55 (2015)|
Latin America’s native Native American population is nearly extinct in many places, but especially in northern Central America and in several of the Andean states, Native Americans still make up a large proportion of the population.
The Indians had lived in South America for many thousands of years. In the 21st century BC, several groups had societies with highly developed cultures. In the 15th century AD, they already constituted large indigenous groups, such as the Incas, from the Andes; the Chibcha of Colombia; and the Guarani, from Paraguay. When Europeans arrived in South America, the Inca Empire extended over much of the subcontinent.
European exploration began when Christopher Columbus arrived in the north, in 1498. In the early sixteenth century, Portuguese and Spanish navigators began to explore large areas of South America and take possession of them. Gradually, the Portuguese took over what today is Brazil. The Spaniards claimed ownership over the rest of the subcontinent and dominated the Indians, forcing them to extract gold and silver and work on the land. In the north, Great Britain, the Netherlands and France divided the Guyana region between them.
Huge numbers of indigenous people did not resist the diseases transmitted by Europeans or the adverse living conditions. Then the Europeans brought African slaves to replace the workers who had died.
In the 19th century, an increasing number of people in South America began to claim their independence from Spain. The main revolutionary campaigns were led by two prominent military leaders: José de San Martín, from Argentina, and Simón Bolívar, from Venezuela. Both ended up having their efforts rewarded: in the middle of the 19th century, all Spanish colonies were already independent nations. In the case of Brazil, independence was achieved in 1822, and the country adopted the status of monarchy, in the form of an empire. In 1889, the country became a republic. Guyana and Suriname did not achieve independence until much later, in the middle of the 20th century. French Guiana continues to belong to France.
Many of the new South American countries have created governments based on the standard of democracy in the United States and France. Throughout the twentieth century, however, military chiefs seized power in several countries and established dictatorships. The great inequality between rich and poor that exists in almost the entire subcontinent is cause for internal conflicts in many South American nations.
Ca. 90% of Latin America’s population belongs to the Roman Catholic Church. In practice, there are many places where there are mixtures of the original forms of belief, such as shamanism, and Christianity.
After the Latin American countries that were Spanish colonies during the first decades of the 1800s. had become independent, instead of the obsolete legal system of the Spaniards, they chose to introduce the French statutes.
Visual arts and architecture
European colonization in the 1500-t. was expressed in an extensive church and monastic building, performed by convened architects and artists with a background in Spanish and Portuguese traditions.
With the colonization of South and Central America by the Spaniards and the Portuguese, a rich chronicle literature emerged describing the nature and people of the new world. In the beginning, they were European chronicles, many soldiers and clergy, later also about Native Americans who had learned the colonial language.
During the colonial period, real theater life began to develop in Latin America, but not until the 1900s. The theater took itself seriously as a cultural institution in the explosively growing big cities.
Music and dance
Latin American music is very much a mixture of different forms of music. The indigenous music is hardly found in its original form, but has in many places influenced the folk music.
The relatively large concentration of European immigrants in Latin America in the 1800s characterized the continent’s early films; for example, the first Argentine film, La bandera argentina (1897, The Argentine Flag), was recorded by a Frenchman, and the first feature film, El fusilamento de Dorrego (1908, The Execution of Dorrego), by the Italian Mario Gallo (1878-1945)… Read more about movies in Latin America.
The cuisines of Latin America are mixed kitchens with many common features, which derive from the continent’s past under Spanish and Portuguese rule. The mix with Native American, African and other European cuisines has created a rich gastronomic mix culture.