Bolivia

Map of Bolivia, Bolivia Land Information

The Republic of Bolivia is a landlocked country in central South America. It is bordered by Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile and Peru.

The Spanish conquest began in 1524 and was for all practical purposes completed by 1533. The struggle for independence started in 1809, and after 16 years of war the republic was proclaimed on August 6, 1825. A period of political and economic instability in the early to mid-19 century weakened Bolivia. Then in the War of the Pacific (187983) against Chile, it lost its access to the sea, and the adjoining rich Salitre ("Chile Saltpeter") fields, together with the port of Antofagasta. Since its independence, Bolivia lost over half of its territory to neighboring countries in wars. It also lost the state of Acre (known for its production of rubber) when Brazil persuaded the state of Acre to secede from Bolivia in 1903.

After the independence, much of Bolivias subsequent history has consisted of a series of nearly 200 coups and countercoups. Democratic civilian rule was established in 1982, but leaders have faced difficult problems of deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and illegal drug production.