Group Blog #1

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

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Group: Mary Beth Strawn, Shannon Joiner, Vickie Cherry, Dillon Parker. To examine the issue between the United States and Argentina’s contemporary differences and similarities, we went back into the histories of the two countries at the start of colonization. There are four main arguments for the differences between the two countries: motives of the colonists, class struggles, ability to become separate from Motherland, and founding religions. In the United States, the motives of the colonists were much different from Argentina’s. The United States colonists left Europe for good. They knew they would be staying in the United States and starting a new life there. They started their own businesses and industries with the intent on using their earnings to better the country. They didn’t have foreign owned industries; everything was started from the colonists. Argentina, on the other hand, began completely different. Their first immigrants came to Argentina for the sole purpose of making money and taking it and the raw materials back to their home country. They didn’t plan on starting a government and using their money to better the country. Also, as we’ve talked about in class, the colonists in Argentina suffered from the Paradox of the Plenty. They didn’t have to work hard for their money because everything was already there when they arrived. All they had to do was sell it. In the United States, the colonists had no choice but to work hard just for survival. With this initial strong work ethic, the United States continued to work hard to continue the prosperity of the country. The second argument for the differences of the two countries is the beginning class struggles that the country was founded upon. In the United States, the Indians were pushed aside and not allowed to integrate with the colonists. In Argentina, the Indigenous were encouraged to help with the industries. They were fully integrated in the culture. These class differences between the two countries caused a huge barrier later in the history of the countries. The Indigenous were not educated and had a very indigenous way of living. Integrating them into Argentina’s culture slowed the country’s initial start-up since many people were behind. This is the first view of Argentina’s continuous cycle of catching up with the rest of the world’s leaders. Argentina had a very hard time moving away from Spain and disconnecting themselves. Even when they declared their independence, they still highly relied on Spain and other European countries for their value added products for many more years. They never fully separated until their own industrialization over 100 years after their independence. The United States came to America and separated from their Motherland. Though they still had contact with England, they began making a living for themselves and developing their own government and economy on their own. This had a large impact on the development of Argentina. The last important argument for Argentina’s slow economic progress is the founding religions. Argentina was founded with Catholicism. Catholicism promotes giving money to the church rather than using it for personal reasons, which is seen as selfish. The United States was founded with Protestantism. Protestants have a high work ethic, which is considered living a good life. As illustrated in the theory of the protestant work ethic, or Weber thesis, this ideology help promotes capitalistic development. They promote developing companies and expanding industries. In conclusion, Argentina and the United States have completely different backgrounds and this directly influences the current standings of the two countries. Argentina made many wrong decisions in the beginning by accepting the indigenous Indians into their culture and failing to separate from Spain. This has a direct affect on the current governments and the attitudes of the people. The main contemporary differences between Argentina and the United States are the government and economic policies. In Argentina, if the people do not like the government, they riot and overthrow it. There is a lot of tension in Argentina, which is not felt in the United States, against the government. The only semi-important similarities we found was that both countries started out as European colonies and both had civil wars (though Argentina has had many more).
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For my last individual blog of the week, the topic is food. The food in Buenos Aires is not much different from the food in the US. At all of the cafes/restaurants, they all have huge menus with items ranging from pastas to salads to steak to pizza. I haven´t had to adjust my appetite or taste for anything in particular. Their food may be a little more bland, but I like it that way. At first, I thought the proportions were much smaller, but thinking back on all of my meals, they were really quite normal. For most of them, I couldn´t even finish it all. One big difference with their food is how fresh everything is. The vegetables are large and healthy, the cheese is freshly grated, all of the orange juice is freshly squeezed, and the meat is so juicy and thick. It seems like none of their food is processed or has any added pesticides. They also use fresh herbs to flavor their meals. Though all of this is wonderful and healthy, they are missing one huge dairy component- MILK! There is no milk in this country, I swear. It´s never on the menu and even when I do ask for it sometimes, they don´t even have any that they can give me. This has been the biggest change for me, considering I drink milk at almost every meal. Another huge change is not being able to order water for dinner for free. It´s impossible to get water from the sink. They will only serve you water ¨sin gas¨ from a bottle. Yes, it´s only 3-4 pesos (about a dollar), but it is quite a change from usually never having to pay for a drink. I´m still upset about the milk situation...
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