This essay is drawn from six lectures that I presented on expeditions in South America during the past two decades. In each talk, I deal with political and economic aspects of South American history.
I begin with Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama (written in 2001). I discuss Amerindian settlement, Spanish conquest and colonization, struggles for independence, and politico-economic evolutions in the 19th and 20th centuries. Then I shift to Peru (written in 2002) and explain how early Andean states set the stage for Inca rule (1400-1532), the Incas exerted power and created wealth, the Spanish conquistadors defeated the Incas and colonized Peru, and independent Peru’s economy fluctuated. I next examine Chile and Argentina (written in 2002) – why they were unimportant Spanish colonies in the 18th century, how their economies evolved in the 19th century, and how Chile achieved rapid economic growth while Argentina retrogressed in the 20th century. I wind up with a discussion of the Cape Horn trade route linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (2004) – when that route was first used, why the California trade was key in the 19th century, and why the route declined. I append a time line, a bibliography, and a description of sites that I visited in South America.
Ship-based, Aboard the Silver Wind, Buenos Aires, Argentina, cruise, Montevideo, Uruguay, Airplane-based
Cuzco, Peru, TCS Expeditions, The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, Darwin, Galapagos Explorer II, Iguazu Falls, Brazil and Argentina, Bariloche, Argentina, Patagonia, Ship-based, Aboard the MS Noordam, Manta, Ecuador, Lima and Pisco, Peru, Incas, Arica, Coquimbo, Valparaiso, and Punta Arenas, Chile, Straits of Magellan, penguins, Cape Horn, Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, Panama Canal, Drake, Cook,