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South America

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After gaining its independence from Spain in 1824, Peru experienced a boom as a result of demand for guano as a fertiliser. As John Peter Olinger details, the boom came to an end when it was...

Roderick Barman examines the circumstances surrounding Brazil’s entry into the Great War and appraises the conflict’s legacy on the developing nation.

Volume: 64 Issue: 3 2014

In 1861 a young clergyman’s son arrived in British Guiana to oversee a sugar plantation. Over the next 30 years Henry Bullock’s letters home caught the texture of life in a remote backwater of Empire – though they don’t tell the whole story, as Gaiutra Bahadur explains.

Volume: 64 Issue: 1 2014

The San Paulo Railway, funded with money from the City of London, was one of the engineering marvels of the Victorian age, says David Gelber.

Volume: 63 Issue: 9 2013

For all its faults C.E Hamshere’s account of Francis Drake’s 16th-century circumnavigation, published in History Today in 1967, applies a historical imagination lacking in more recent studies, argues Hugh Bicheno.

Volume: 63 Issue: 2 2013

Robin Whitlock asks if studies of the decline of societies such as that of Easter Island can shed light on contemporary concerns.

Volume: 62 Issue: 2 2012

Ramona Wadi reports on the continuing struggle to shed light on the death in 1973 of the Chilean singer and political activist Victor Jara.

Volume: 62 Issue: 5 2012

Brazil may be one of the 21st century’s emerging superpowers, but its history is a mystery to many. Gabriel Paquette tells the story of its early years as an independent state.

Volume: 61 Issue: 6 2011

Richard Cavendish explains how Hiram Binham discovered the 'lost city of the Incas'.

Volume: 61 Issue: 7 2011

Anthony Aveni explains how the people planning great monuments and cities, many millennia and thousands of miles apart, so often sought the same inspiration – alignments with the heavens.

Volume: 58 Issue 6 2008

In the event Spain and Portugal divided almost all of South America between, them but in the sixteenth century the French also had commercial and colonial ambitions in Brazil. Robert Knecht tells the stories of two French expeditions that ended in disaster.

Volume: 58 Issue: 12 2008

Peter Furtado visits some remarkable sites rivalling Machu Picchu, the endangered Inca hilltop city which was recently voted one of the seven wonders of the world.

Volume: 57 Issue: 9 2007

Meriel Larken takes the helm of the Yavari, a Victorian ship plying the highest navigable lake in the world.

Volume: 57 Issue: 2 2007

Federico Guillermo Lorenz shows that those who control the present are sometimes able to control interpretations of the past.

Volume: 54 Issue: 1 2004

Leslie Ray argues that politics and football have always been inseparable in the land of the ‘hand of God’.

Volume: 54 Issue: 12 2004

Richard Cavendish marks the birth of the American continent's namesake, on March 9th, 1454.

Volume: 54 Issue: 3 2004

Richard Cavendish explains how a fleet led by Pedro Alvarez Cabral reached the Brazilian coast on April 21st, 1500.

Volume: 50 Issue: 4 2000

Russell Chamberlin looks at the renaissance of Bolivia's Jesuit mission

Volume: 47 Issue: 7 1997

John Geipel on how the enforced diaspora of the slave trade shaped South America’s largest nation.

Volume: 47 Issue: 8 1997

What led middle-class students to join the urban guerrilla movement against the military regime in Brazil in the 1960s and 1970s? Alzira Alves de Abreu reports on the evidence from interviews with those who survived.

Volume: 47 Issue: 12 1997

John Geipel chronicles the tenacity of the tongue in Brazil's Indian heritage

Volume: 43 Issue: 8 1993

Peter Beck looks back on the importance of Argentina's history.

Volume: 39 Issue: 2 1989

'America has not come to terms with its own history ... and regards Latin American nationalism as a conspiracy against its inevitable and popular domination of the western hemisphere.

Volume: 34 Issue: 7 1984

Peter J. Beck explores how Argentina's claim to the Falkland Islands has involved diplomacy carried on by cartographic and philatelic means for nearly two centuries.

Volume: 33 Issue: 2 1983

What role did Simon Bolivar play in the history of Venezuela's declaration of independence from Spain? Here John Lynch argues that the history of Spanish American independence is incomprehensible without him.

Volume: 33 Issue: 7 1983

Lawrence A. Clayton on the Chinese labourers who came to work in Peru, often in appalling conditions.

Volume: 30 Issue: 6 1980

The epic voyage of this Elizabethan adventurer to Peru and his subsequent capture by its Spanish masters inspired Charles Kingsley's Westward Ho! An article by A.L. Rowse. 

Volume: 30 Issue: 6 1980

After gaining its independence from Spain in 1824, Peru experienced a boom as a result of demand for guano as a fertiliser. As John Peter Olinger details, the boom came to an end when it was replaced by nitrate as the preferred fertiliser, and Chile seized Peruvian nitrate deposits in the War of the Pacific from 1879-84.

Volume: 30 Issue: 6 1980

The tango was to Argentina what jazz was to New Orleans. As Simon Collier explains, it swept the world in the pre-First World War era and Carlos Gardel was its star.


Geoffrey Treasure describes how the imperial policies of Charles V and Philip II declined in the seventeenth century and Spain entered an extended period of depression.

Volume: 26 Issue: 5 1976

Jan Read introduces some volunteers on land and at sea in the liberation of the Spanish Colonies.

Volume: 25 Issue: 6 1975

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