Bolivia Research Paper Outline Bolivia Introduction: I. The History of Bolivia A. Independence 1. Revolution B. Political Instability 1. The Regime of Paz Estenssoro 2. Rule by the Army II.
The Economy A. Resources 1. Mining, Manufacture, and Trade 2. Agriculture, Fishing, and Forestry B. Strengths and Weaknesses 1. Currency and Banking 2.
Labor III. The Culture A. Location 1. Terrain 2. Climate B.
Cocaine 1. Effects 2. War on Drugs Bolivia In this report I will give a brief overview of the history, economy and culture of Bolivia. Bolivia was one of the first countries in the Spanish Empire to attempt a break from Spain, but it was one of the last to succeed. The Spanish suppressed the first critical rebellion in May 1809. Bolivia declared its independence from Spain on August 6, 1825, and took the name Bolivia in honor of South American independence leader Simn Bolvar.
In 1826 a congress adopted a constitution drafted by Bolvar. It vested supreme authority in a president, who was chosen for a life term. In May 1951 Paz Estenssoro won nearly half the presidential election vote while in exile. In order to prevent the election of Paz Estenssoro, the incumbent president, placed the government under the control of the military and resigned. General Hugo Ballivin was appointed president. General Ren Barrientos Ortuno, a member of the government by the army, was elected president in July 1966.
In July 1980 General Lus Garca Meza seized power, suspended the constitution, and instituted a repressive regime. Many politicians, labor leaders, and military men who opposed Garca Meza were arrested and killed, and many more fled abroad. Jaime Paz Zamora became president in May 1989 of Bolivia. Mining entrepreneur Gonzalo Snchez de Lozada won the next presidential elections, held in June 1993. In June 1997 former dictator and retired general Hugo Banzer Surez finished first in Bolivia’s presidential election but did not capture enough votes to win the presidency outright.
In August members of Bolivia’s congress elected Banzer president. Since early colonial times, mining for precious minerals and metal ores has played an important role in Bolivia’s economy. Mining is a major industry in Bolivia; it was hampered in the late 1980’s by weak prices on world markets. Bolivia has long been one of the world’s leading producers of tin. Petroleum and natural gas production increased in importance in the 1960’s and early 1970’s; by the early 1990’s Bolivia was self-sufficient in petroleum and was exporting significant amounts of natural gas to Argentina. Although Bolivia has long been dependent on mineral exports, declining tin prices and increased petroleum and natural gas production changed the nature of the country’s economy in the 1980’s.
By the early 1990’s, natural gas accounted for 27 percent of export earnings while tin provided just 12 percent. Bolivia’s imports consist mainly of machinery, motor vehicles, electric equipment, and manufactured goods. Agriculture is extremely important to the Bolivian economy, employing two percent of the labor force. Bolivia’s agriculture suffers from antiquated farming methods, uneven population distribution, and inadequate transportation. Although now self-sufficient in the production of sugar, rice, and meat, Bolivia must still import certain foodstuffs. The main Bolivian crops are soybeans, sugar, chestnuts, potatoes, cassava, bananas, maize, rice, plantains, and citrus fruits.
Fishing is a relatively unimportant industry in landlocked Bolivia. The basic unit of currency is the boliviano, equivalent to 1 million old Bolivian pesos. Banking is very limited because the majority of the country is impoverished. Bolivia’s labor force was 3.2 million in 1998. Nearly the entire non-farming labor force is organized, most of it in unions belonging to the Central Obrera Boliviana, the central labor federation. Structurally and climatically, Bolivia consists of two main regions: the highlands and the eastern lowlands, divided between the Amazon and Parana basins.
The highlands of Bolivia consist of three distinct parts: the Cordillera Occidental; the Altiplano, and the Cordillera Oriental. The Cordillera Occidental is part of the Andean range that extends along the western fringe of South America. It features many active volcanoes. There is a distinct climatic difference between the northern and southern parts of the Cordillera Occidental. With peaks of more than 20,000 feet, steep slopes, and much volcanic activity, in the north the Cordillera Occidental is the least inhabited part of Bolivian Highlands.
In the eastern lowlands, there are distinct differences between the natural features of the northeast and those of the southeast. In the northeast the Llanos de Mamore, which slopes gently to the Amazon Basin, is well watered by rain and rivers and has rich natural vegetation, while the southeast the Gran Chaco, which slopes toward the Pilcomayo and Paraguay rivers, is semiarid, with dry scrub and savanna and occasional gallery forests along the rivers. The effect of coca in the Bolivian culture goes back to the native Indians. The native people have used the coca leafs as a medicinal drug up until the present day. Until the early 1950’s the coca leaf was readily used in soft drinks and was considered socially excitable in the United States.
In the early 1960’s the United States made cocaine illegal and created a large underworld in most Latin America countries. By the mid 1960’s over sixty five percent of Bolivia’s workers made their livelihood off the coca plant. The Bolivian government had no reason to try to stop the drug trade in their country; cartel leaders were paying huge payments to government officials. During the 1980’s Ronald Regan attempted to curve the in flux of cocaine in to the United States with no real results. During 1990’s the United States started to send large amounts of funding and training for Latin America’s military to combat the cartels. Political Issues.