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SOUTH AMERICA. Political map. Peoples (compendium)

first Europeans to end XV-XVI centuries early protoruvaly way to South America were Spanish, and Portuguese. In fact, the mainland opened in 1492 Christopher Columbus, but this part of its name in honor of peace received Florentine Amerigo Vespucci, who in 1499-1504 he participated in several expeditions to new lands. And Columbus himself, which made a total of four expeditions to the New World, life was confident that opened the way to western India. That is why American natives called Indians . After Columbus voyages began conquering new lands of Spanish and Portuguese conquerors (conquerors). Zvableni gold, silver, precious stones Europeans destroyed the entire states of their original culture.

indigenous population - Indians - belongs to the American branch of Mongoloid race. For several centuries, European colonialists imported to the mainland to work on plantations blacks. And since the XIX century. here significantly increased flow of immigrants from Europe (mostly from romanomovnyh Spain, Portugal, Italy) and to a lesser extent, from Asia. Thus the population of South America consists of the indigenous ( Indians ), mixed ( mulatto, sambo, Metis ) and come.

Spanish and Portuguese colonizers determined the structure of religion. Almost everywhere, the state religion is Catholicism, only the population of Guyana and Suriname are Protestants. Among the tribes living in remote areas of Amazon lowland common traditional religions and cults. Language is quite homogeneous composition of the population of the continent. In most countries the state is Spanish (which has many borrowings from Italian, French, German, English). Second place is the Portuguese language, which became a state in Brazil - the largest country of the continent. In English-speaking countries include Guyana, Jamaica and island and Barbados.

population on the continent placed unevenly. The most populated east coast, and north-western part. However, the vast expanses of the Amazon, some regions of the Andes and the desert populated very little. Some parts of these areas is generally deserted.

recently actively mastered interior of the continent. As the industry increases the displaced population to the cities. For countries in the region are genuine urbanization , in which the proportion of urban population far exceeds that of the economically active urban population, involved in the manufacturing and non-production areas. The cause of this - coming to the cities of poor rural population, which the city is unable to provide jobs and housing. Currently in South America over 200 major cities, most of them: Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago .

largest in area and population in South America is Brazil.