Argentina is a vast country located in the southern part of South America. The eighth largest country in the world, it is the second largest country in South America after Brazil, and it's about one-third the size of the United States. Argentina is bordered by the Andes Mountains and Chile to the west.
To the east of the Andes, the interior of the country is flat, fertile grassland called the Pampas. The eastern border of the country is the Atlantic Ocean. Bolivia is to the northwest and Paraguay is to the north. The high mountain spine of the Andes, called the Andes Cordillera, creates a natural 3,195-mile (5,141.9-kilometer) border with Chile.
The country is divided into four regions: The Andes, the North, the Pampas, and Patagonia. The Pampas is the agricultural heartland.
The Spanish arrived in 1516 and ruled the country for 300 years. In 1806, a British force overpowered Spanish military in Buenos Aires and attacked the Malvinas Islands, also called the Falkland Islands. Local residents recaptured the capital, but never regained control of the islands. These events led to the loosening of Spain's grip on Argentina.
In 1810, Napoleon's forces conquered all major Spanish cities in Spain and the Argentine people were empowered to take control of their country. They gained independence in 1816.
In 1946, Juan Perón became president due to his popularity with the working class. His wife, Eva, known as Evita, formed a foundation and gave out cash and benefits to the poor. When she died of cancer in 1952, the people were very sad. She was a symbol of hope to all the poor in Argentina. Juan Perón was forced out of office after he tried to increase his powers. Even after he left office, his followers continued to fight for political power.