With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2 (1,073,500 sq mi), Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the second largest in Latin America and the largest among Spanish-speaking nations. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands , South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
A historical and current middle power and a prominent Latin American and Southern Cone regional power, Argentina is one of the G-15 and G-20 major economies and Latin America's third-largest. It is also a founding member of the United Nations, WBG, WTO, OAS, Mercosur, UNASUR, CELAC and OEI. Because of its stability, market size and increasing share of the high-tech sector, Argentina is classified by investors as a middle emerging economy with a "very high" rating on Human
The Spanish colonization began in 1512. Argentina rose as the successor state of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish overseas colony founded in 1776. The declaration and fight for independence (1810–1818) was followed by an extended civil war that lasted until 1861, which ended with the country's reorganization as a federation of provinces with Buenos Aires as its capital city. During the last two thirds of the 20th century Argentina faced several military coups and political instability, along with periodic economic crisis that restrained its full development.
Argentina is derived from the Latin argentum ("silver"). La Plata Basin does not have any sources of silver, but the first Spanish conquerors arrived in the area following rumors of the existence of silver mountains, hence the name.