Argentina is a large nation in South America. It shares a long border with Chile to the west, and shorter borders with Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay to the north. Its capital, Buenos Aires, is one of the largest cities in South America. Spanish is the dominant language, and Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion.
Argentina was colonized by the Spanish beginning in the 17th century. After the weakening of Spain by the Napoleonic Wars, Argentina won independence under the leadership of Jose de San Martin. Argentina conquered the southern Pampas in the late 19th century in the War of the Desert.
Argentina was the destination of many European immigrants during the 19th and 20th centuries. Buenos Aires became a modern and cosmopolitan city. Argentina fought the Falklands War against the United Kingdom in an attempt to take over the Falkand Islands, which they claimed. A Royal Navy expeditionary force retook the islands and expelled the Argentinians.
Argentina is separated from Chile in the west by the towering Andes, which include the tallest mountain in the Americas, Aconcagua, at more than 22,000 feet. The southern grasslands of Argentina are known as the Pampas, and are home to vast cattle herds. In the very far south lies Patagonia, a mountainous, bitterly cold region with few permanent inhabitants. The Rio de la Plata delta hosts much of Argentina's population, including the capital, Buenos Aires.