Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia (Quechua: Bulivya Mamallaqta, Spanish: Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia, IPA: [esˈtaðo pluɾinasjoˈnal de βoˈliβja] Aymara: "Wuliwya Suyu"), is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America. It is bordered by Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay and Argentina to the south, Chile by the southwest, and Peru by the west. Prior to European colonization, the Andean region of Bolivia was a part of the Inca Empire – the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century. During most of the Spanish colonial period, this territory was called Upper Peru and was under the administration of the Viceroyalty of Peru, which included most of Spain'sSouth American colonies. After declaring independence in 1809, 16 years of war followed before the establishment of the Republic, named for Simón Bolívar, on 6 August 1825. Bolivia has struggled through periods of political instability, dictatorships and economic woes.
Bolivia is a Democratic Republic that is divided into nine departments. Its geography is varied from the peaks of the Andes in theWest, to the Eastern Lowlands, situated within the Amazon Basin. It is a developing country, with a Medium Human Development Index score, and a poverty level around 60%. Its main economic activities include agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, and manufacturing goods such as textiles, clothing, refined metals, and refined petroleum. Bolivia is very wealthy in minerals, especially tin.
TheBolivian population, estimated at 10 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Mestizos, Europeans, and Africans. The main language spoken is Spanish, although the Aymara and Quechua languages are also common and all three, as well as 34 other indigenous languages, are official. The large number of different cultures within Bolivia has contributed greatly to a wide diversity in fields such asart, cuisine, literature, and music.
Bolivia was named for Simón Bolívar, a leader in the Spanish American wars of independence. Antonio José de Sucre had been given the option by Bolívar to either keep Upper Peru (present-day Bolivia) under the newly formed Republic of Peru, to unite with the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, or to formally declare its independence from the Viceroyalty ofPeru that had dominated most of the region. Sucre opted to create a new nation and, with local support, named it in honor of Simón Bolívar.
However, the original name given to the newly formed country was Republic of Bolívar. The name would not change to Bolivia until some days later when congressman Manuel Martín Cruz proposed: "If from Romulus comes Rome, then from Bolívar comes Bolivia"(Spanish: Si de Rómulo Roma, de Bolívar Bolivia). The name stuck and was approved by the Republic on 3 October 1825.
In 2009, a new constitution changed the country's name from the "Republic of Bolivia" to the "Plurinational State of Bolivia" in recognition of the multi-ethnic nature of the country and the enhanced position of Bolivia's indigenous peoples under the new constitution.
The region thatis now known as Bolivia has been continuously occupied for over 2,000 years, when the Aymara arrived in the region. Present-day Aymara associate themselves with an advanced civilization situated at Tiwanaku, in Western Bolivia. The capital city of Tiwanaku dates as early as 1500 BC as a small agriculturally based village.
The community grew to urban proportions between AD 600 and AD 800,becoming an important regional power in the southern Andes. According to early estimates, at its maximum extent, the city covered approximately 6.5 square kilometres, and had between 15,000 – 30,000 inhabitants. However, satellite imaging was used recently to map the extent of fossilized suka kollus across the three primary valleys of Tiwanaku, arriving at population-carrying capacity estimates...
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