Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic, is a federal republic located mostly in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is also bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km², Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the second largest in Latin America, and the largest Spanish-speaking nation. It is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, which is the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital have their own constitutions, but exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
The earliest recorded human presence in the area of modern-day Argentina dates back to the Paleolithic period. The country has its roots in Spanish colonization of the region during the 16th century.