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Introduction: Speculation over the existence of a "southern land" was not confirmed until the early 1820s when British and American commercial operators and British and Russian national expeditions began exploring the Antarctic Peninsula region and other areas south of the Antarctic Circle. Not until 1840 was it established that Antarctica was indeed a continent and not just a group of islands or an area of ocean. Several exploration "firsts" were achieved in the early 20th century, but generally the area saw little human activity. Following World War II, however, there was an upsurge in scientific research on the continent. A number of countries have set...

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International Relations: In addition to the three research stations maintained by Britain, several other nations (Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria,Czech Republic, Chile, Ecuador, Germany, Republic of Korea, Peru, Poland, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, United States, Uruguay) maintain stations and bases in the BAT, many on the South Shetland Islands.

The BAT and the Antarctic Treaty System

By the 1950s, five-sixths of the Antarctic continent was claimed by seven States (Britain, Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand and Norway). Most of the British Antarctic Territory itself is counter-claimed by either Chile or Argentina. None ...

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