Page images
PDF

snow-crowned peaks. Between the 30th and 31st parallels, a region essentially sub-tropical in character, the temperature ranges from 66° on the eastern plains to 62.5° in Córdoba and 64°F. on the higher, arid, sun-parched tablelands of San Juan. Th: rainfall, which varies between 39 and 47 in. in Entre Rios, decreases to 27 in. in Córdoba and 2 in. in 3: # The republic has a width of about 745 m. at this point, three-fourths of which is a comparatively level alluvial plain, and the remainder an arid plateau broken by mountain ranges. In the vicinity of Buenos Aires the climatic conditions vary very little from those of the pampa region; the mean annual temperature is about 6.3° (maximum 104°; minimum 32°), and the annual rainfall is 34 in.; snow is rarely seen. South of the pampa region, on the 40th parallel, the mean temperature varies only slightly in the 370 m. from the mouth of the Colorado to the Andes, ranging from 57° to 55°; but the rainfall increases from 8 in. on the coast to 16 in. on the east slope of the Cordillera. This section is near the northern border of the arid Patagonian steppes. In Tierra del Fuego (lat. 53° to 55°), the climatic conditions are in strong contrast to those of the north. Here the mean temperature is between 46° and 48° in summer and 36° and 38° in winter, rains are frequent, and snow falls every month in the year. The central and southern parts of the island and the neighbouring Staten Island are exceptionally rainy, the latter having 2513 rainy days in the year. The precipitation of rain, snow and hail is about 55 in. The prevailing winds through this southern region are westerly, being moist below the 52nd parallel, and dry between it and the 40th parallel. In the north and on the pampas the north wind is hot and depressing, while the south wind is cool and refreshing. The north wind usually terminates with a thunderstorm or with a pampero, a cold south-west wind from the Andes which blows with reat violence, causes a fall in temperature of 15° to 20°, and is most requent from June to November-the southern winter and spring. In the Andean region, a dry, hot wind from the north or north-west, called the Zonda, blows £ great intensity, especially in SeptemberOctober, and causes much discomfort and suffering. It is followed by a cold south wind which often lowers the temperature 25°. The climate of the pampas is temperate and healthy, and is admirably suited to agricultural and pastoral pursuits. Its greatest defect is the cold southerly and westerly storms, which cause great losses in cattle and sheep. The Patagonian coast-line and mountainous region are also healthy, having a dry and bracing climate. In the north, however, the hot lowlands are malarial and unsuited to north European settlement, while the dry, elevated plateaus are celebrated for their healthiness, those of Catamarca having an excellent reputation as a sanatorium for sufferers from pulmonary and bronchial diseases. Flora.-The flora of Argentina should be studied according to natural zones corresponding to the physical divisions of the country —the rich tropical and sub-tropical regions of the north, the treeless pampas of the centre, the desert steppes of the south, and the acid plateaus of the north-west. The vegetation of each region has its distinctive character, modified here and there by elevation, irrigation from mountain streams, and by the saline character of the soil. In the extreme south, where an Arctic vegetation is found, the pastures are rich, and the forests, largely of the Antarctic. beech (Fagus antarctica), are vigorous wherever the rainfall is heavy. The greater part of Patagonia is comparatively barren and has no arboreal growth, except in the well-watered valleys of the Andean foothills. The water-courses and depressions of the shingly steppes afford pasturage sufficient for the guanaco, and in places support a thorny vegetation of low growth and starved appearance. The Antarctic beech and Winter's bark (Drimys Winteri) are found at intervals along the Andes to the northern limits of this zone. The pampas, # cover so large a part of the republic, have no native trees whatever, and no woods except the scrubby growth of the delta islands of the Paraná, and a fringe of low thorn-bushes along the Atlantic coast south to Mar Chiquita and south of the Tandil sierra, which, strictly speaking, does not belong to this region. The great plains are covered with edible grasses, divided into two classes, pasto duro (hard grass) and pasto blando, or tierno (soft grass)-the former tall, coarse, nutritious and suitable for horses and cattle, and the latter tender grasses and herbs, including clovers, suitable for sheep and cattle. The so-called “pampas-grass” (Gynerium argenteum) is not found at all on the dry lands, but in the wet grounds of the south and south-west. The pasto duro is largely composed of the genera Stipa and Melica. In the dry, saline regions of the west and north-west, where the rainfall is slight, there are large thickets of low-growing, thorny bushes, poor in foliage. The predominating species is #. chańar (Gurliaca '. which produces an edible berry, and occurs from the Rio Negro to the northern limits of the republic. Huge cacti are also characteristic of this region. On the lower slopes of the Andes are found oak, beech, cedar, Winter's bark, pine (Araucaria imbricata), laurel and calden (Prosopis algarobilla). The provinces of Santa Fé, Córdoba and Santiago del Estero are only partially wooded; large areas of plains are intermingled with scrubby forests of algarrobo (Prosopis), £ (Aspido-sperma £ tala (Celtis tala, ellowiana, acuminata), acacias and other genera. In Tucumán and eastern Salta the same division into forests and open plains exists, but the former are of denser growth and contain walnut,

cedar, laurel, tipa (Machaerium fertile) and quebracho-colorado'

(Loxopterygium Lorentzii). The territories of the Gran Chaco, however, are covered with a characteristic tropical vegetation, in which the palm predominates, but intermingled south of the Bermejo with heavy growths of algarrobo, quebracho-colorado, urunday (Astronium fraxinifolium), lapacho (Tecoma curialis) and palosanto (Guayacum officinalis), all esteemed for hardness and fineness, of grain. Other palms abound, such as the pindó (Cocos australis), mbocaya (Cocos sclerocarpa) and the yatai (Cocos yatai), but the £ species north, of the Bermejo, is the caranday or razilian wax-palin (Copernicia cerifera), which has varied uses. The forest habit in this region is close association of species, and there are “palmares,” “algarrobales,” “chańarales,” &c., and among these open pasture lands, giving to a distant landscape a park-like appearance. In the "mesopotamia", region the flora is similar to that of the southern Chaco, but in the Misiones it approximates more to that of the neighbouring Brazilian highlands. Amon the marvellous changes wrought in Argentina by the advent o European civilization, is the creation of a new flora by the introduction of useful trees and plants from every part of the world. Indian corn, quinoa, mandioca, possibly the potato, cotton and various fruits, including the strawberry, were already known to the aborigines, but £ the conqueror came wheat, barley, oats, flax, many kinds of vegetables, apples, peaches, apricots, pears, grapes, figs, oranges and lemons, together with alfalfa and new grasses for the plains. The Australian eucalyptus is now grown in many places, and there are groves of the paradise or paraiso tree (Melia azedarach) on the formerly treeless pampa. The cereals of Europe are a source of increasing wealth to the nation, and alfalfa promises new prosperity for pastoral industries. Fauna.-The Argentine fauna, like its flora, has been greatly influenced by the character and position of the pampas. Whatever it may have been in remote geological periods, it is now extremely limited both in size and numbers. the indigenous fauna, the tapir of the north and the guanaco of the west and south are the largest of the animals. The pampas were almost destitute of animal life before the horses and cattle of the Spanish invaders were there turned out to graze, and the puma and jaguar never came there until the herds of European cattle attracted them. The timid viscacha (Lagostomus trichodactylus), living in colonies, often with the burrowing owl, and digging deep under ground like the American prairie dog, was almost the only quadruped to be seen upon these immense open plains. The fox, of which several species exist, probably never ventured far into the plain, for it afforded him no shelter. Immense flocks of gulls were probably attracted to it then as now by its insect life, and its lagoons and streams teemed with aquatic birds. The occupation of this region by Europeans, and the introduction of horses, asses, cattle, sheep, goats and swine, have completely changed its aspect and character. On the Patagonian steppes there are comparatively few species of animals. Among them are the puma (Felis concolor), a smaller variety of the jaguar (Felis onça), the wolf, the fox, the Patagonian hare (Dolichotis patagonica) and two species of wild cat. The huge glyptodon once inhabited this region, which now possesses the smallest armadillo known, the “quirquincho” or Dasypus minutus. The guanaco (Auchenia), which ranges from Tierra del Fuego to the Bolivian highlands, finds com# safety in these uninhabitable solitudes, and is still numerous. he “fianda" or American ostrich (Rhea americana), inhabiting the pampas and open plains of the Chaco, has in Patagonia a smaller counterpart (Rhea Darwinii), which is never seen north of the Rio Negro. On the arid plateaus of the north-west, the guanaco and vicuña are still to be found, though less frequently, together with a smaller species of viscacha (Lagidium cuvieri). The greatest develop. ment of the Argentine fauna, however, is in the warm, wooded regions of the north and north-east, where many animals are of the same species as those in the neighbouring territories of Brazil. Several species of monkeys inhabit the forests from the Paraná to the Bolivian frontier. Pumas, jaguars and one or two species of wild cat are numerous, as also the Argentine wolf and two or three species of fox. The coati, marten, skunk and otter (Lutra paramensis) are widely distributed. Three species of deer are common. In the Chaco the tapir or anta (Tapir americanus) still finds a safe retreat, and the peccary (Dycotyle: torquatus) ranges from Córdoba north to the Bolivian frontier. The capybara (Hydrochoerus capy. bara) is also numerous in this region. ö' the number of species greatly exceeds that of the mammals, including the rhea of the mpas and condor of the Andes, and the tiny, brilliant-hued £ of the tropical North. Vultures and hawks are well represented, but perhaps the most numerous of all are the parrots, of which there are six or seven species. The reptilians are represented in the Paraná by the jacaré (Alligator sclerops), and on land by the “ iguana” (Teius teguexim, Podinema teguixin), and some species of lizard. Serpents are numerous, but only two are described as poisonous, the cascavel (rattlesnake) and the "vibora de la cruz" (Trigonocephalus alternatus)."

* Interesting details of the Argentine fauna may be found in Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle: W. H. Hudson's Idle Day; in Pata: gonia, and Naturalist in the La Plata; G. Pelleschi's Eight. Months on the Gran Chaco; R. Napp's Argentine Republic; and de Moussy's Confédération argentine.

Population.—In population Argentina ranks second among the republics of South America, having outstripped, during the last quarter of the 19th century, the once more populous states of Colombia and Peru. During the first half of the 19th century civil war and despotic government seriously restricted the natural growth of the country, but since the definite organization of the republic in 1860 and the settlement of disturbing political controversies, the population had increased rapidly. Climate and a fertile soil have been important elements in this growth. According to the first national census of 1869 the population was 1,830,214. The census of 1895 increased this total to 3,954,911, exclusive of wild Indians and a percentage for omissions customarily used in South American census returns. In 1904 official estimates, based on immigration and emigration returns and upon registered births and deaths, both of which are admittedly defective, showed a population increased to 5,410,028, and a small diminution in the rate of annual increase from 1895 to 1904 as compared with 1869-1895. The birth-rate is exceptionally high, largely because of the immigrant population, the greater part of which is concentrated in or near the large cities. In the rural districts of the northern provinces, the increase in population is much less than in the central provinces, the conditions of life being less favourable. According to the official returns, the over-sea immigration for the forty-seven years 1857-1903 aggregated 2,872,588, while the departure of emigrants during the same period was 1,066,480, showing a net addition to the population of 1,806,108. A considerable percentage of these arrivals and departures represents seasonal labourers, who come out from Europe solely for the Argentine wheat harvest and should not be classed as immigrants. Unfavourable political and economic conditions of a temporary character influence the emigration movement. During the years 1880-1889, when the country enjoyed exceptional prosperity, the arrivals numbered 1,020,907 and the departures only 175,038, but in 1890-1899, a period of financial depression following the extravagant Celman administration, the arrivals were 928,865 and the departures 552,175. Another disturbing influence has been the high protective tariffs, adopted during the closing years of the century, which increased the costs of living more rapidly than the wages for labour, and compelled thousands of immigrants to seek employment elsewhere. The influence of such legislation on unsettled immigrant labourers may be seen in the number of Italians who periodically migrate from Argentina to Brazil, and vice versa, seeking to better their condition. Of the immigrant arrivals for the forty-seven years given, 1,331,536 were Italians, 414,973 Spaniards, 170,293 French, 37,953 Austrians, 35,435 British, 30,699 Germans, 25,775 Swiss, 19,521 Belgians, and the others of diverse nationalities, so that Argentina is in no danger of losing her Latin character through immigration. This large influx of Europeans, however, is modifying the population by reducing the Indian and mestizo elements to a minority, although they are still numerous in the mesopotamian, northern and north-western provinces. The language is Spanish.

Science and Literature.-Though the university of Córdoba is the oldest but one in South America, it has made no conspicuous contribution to Argentine literature beyond the historical works of its famous rector, Gregorio Funes (1749–1830). This university was founded in 1621 and the university of Buenos Aires in 1821, but although Bonpland and some other European scientists were members of the faculty of Buenos Aires in its early years, neither there nor at Córdoba was any marked attention given to the natural sciences until President Sarmiento (official term, 1868–1874) initiated scientific instruction at the university of Córdoba under the eminent German naturalist, Dr Hermann Burmeister (1807–1892), and founded the National Observatory at Córdoba and placed it under the direction of

* There are two distinct statistical offices compiling immigration returns and their totals do not agree, owing in part to the traffic between Buenos Aires and Montevideo. Another report gives the arrivals in 1904 as 125,567 and the departures 38,923. Of the arrivals 67,598 were Italians and 39,851 niards. The total for the years 1859-1904, was 3,166,073 and £ departures 1,239,064, showing a net gain of 1,927,009.

the noted American astronomer, Benjamin Apthorp Gould (1824-1896). Both of these men made important contributions to science, and rendered an inestimable service to the country, not only through their publications but also through the interest they aroused in scientific research. A bureau of meteorology was afterwards created at Córdoba which has rendered valuable service. Dr Burmeister was afterwards placed in charge of the provincial museum of Buenos Aires, and devoted himself to the acquisition of a collection of fossil remains, now in the La Plata museum, which ranks among the best of the world. Not only has scientific study advanced at the university of Buenos Aires, but scientific research is promoting the development of the country; examples are the geographical explorations of the Andean frontier, and especially of the Patagonian Andes, by Francisco P. Moreno. In literature Argentina is still under the spell of Bohemianism and dilettanteism. Exceptions are the admirable biographies of Manuel Belgrano (d. 1820) and San Martin, important contributions to the history of the country and of the war of independence, by ex-President Bartolomé Mitre (1821-1906). Buenos Aires has some excellent daily journals, but the tone of the press in general is sensational. The number of newspapers published is large, especially in Buenos Aires, where in 1902 the total, including sundry periodicals, was 183.

Political Divisions and Towns.—The chief political divisions of the republic consist of one federal district, 14 provinces and 1o territories, the last in great part dating from the settlement of the territorial controversies with Chile. For purposes of local administration the provinces are divided into departments. The names, area and population of the provinces and territories are as follows:

Administrative Divisions. £ # #i: Provinces— Federal Capital 72 663,854 979,235 Buenos Aires i 17,778 921,168 1,312,953 Santa Fé . 50,916 || 397,188 640,755 Entre Rios 28,784 292,019 367,006 Corrientes. - - - 32,580 239,618 299,479 Córdoba . . . . 62,160 351,223 465,4 San Luis . . . . . . 28,535 81,450 97,45 Santiago del Estero 39,764 161,502 186,206 Mendoza . - - 56,502 116,136 159,780 San Juan . 33,715 84,251 99,955 Rioja 34,546 69,502 82,099 Catamarca - - - 47,531 90, 161 103,082 Tucumán . - - - - 8,926 215,742 263,079 Salta . 62, 184 118,015 136,059 Juj'. ... . . . 18,977 49,713 55,450 erritoriesMisiones . . . . 11,282 33,163 38,755 Formosa . 41,402 4,829 6,094 Chaco 52,741 10,422 13,937 Pampa - - 56,320 25,914 52,150 Neu tien . . . 42,345 14,517 18,022 Rio Negro 75,924 9,241 18,648 Chubut 93,427 3,748 9, Santa Cruz . 109,142 I,058 1,793 Tierra del Fueg 8,299 477 1,411 Los Andes - - - 21,989 2,095 Total . . . i. 135,840 3,954,911 5,410,028 Gotha, computations of 1902 with corrections for boundary changes . | 1,083,596

The principal towns, with estimated population for 1905, are as follows: Buenos Aires (1,025,653), Rosario (129,121), La Plata (85,000), Tucumán (55,000), Córdoba (43,000), Sante Fé (33,200), Mendoza (32,000), Paraná (27,000), Salta (18,000), Corrientes (18,ooo), Chivilcoy (15,000), Gualeguaychú (13,3oo), San Nicolas (13,000), Concordia (11,700), San Juan (11,500), Río Cuarto (10,800), San Luis (10,500), Barracas al Sud (10,200). Communications.-The development of railways in Argentina, which dates from 1857 when the construction of the Buenos Aires Western was begun, was at first slow and hesitating, but after 188o it went forward rapidly. Official corruption and speculation have led to some unsound ventures, but in the great majority of cases the lines constructed have been beneficial and productive. The principal centres of the system are Buenos Aires, Rosario and Bahia Blanca, with La Plata as a secondary centre to the former, and from these the lines radiate westward and northward. The creation of a commercial port at Bahia Blanca and the development of the territories of La Pampa, Rio Negro and Neuquen, have given an impetus to railway construction in that region, and new lines are being extended toward the promising districts among the Andean foothills. Beginning with 6 m. in 1857, the railway mileage of the republic increased to 1563 m. in 1880, 5865 m. in 1890, 7752 m. in 1891, 10,304 m. in 1901, and 12,274 m. in 1906, with 1794 m. under construction: The greater development of railway construction between 1885 and 1891 was due, principally, to the dubious concessions of interest guarantees by the Celman administration, and also to the fever of speculation. Some of these lines resulted disastrously. The Transandine line, designed to open railway communication between Buenos Aires and '. was so far completed early in 1909 that on the Argentine side only the summit tunnel, 2 m. 127 yds. long, remained to be finished. The piercing was completed in Nov. 1909, but in the meantime passengers were conveyed by road over the pass. The gauge is broken at Mendoza, the Buenos Aires and Pacific having a gauge of 5 ft. 6 in. and the Transandine of one metre. Tramway # which date, from 1870, are to be found in all important towns. Those of Buenos Aires, Rosario and La Plata are owned by public companies. According to the census returns of 1895, the total mileage was 496 m., representing a capital expenditure of £ paper. Electric traction was first used in Buenos Aires in 1897, since when nearly all the lines of that city have been reconstructed to meet its requirements, and subways are contemplated to relieve the congested street traffic of the central districts; the companies contribute 6 % of their gross receipts to the municipality, besides paying $50 per annum per £ on each single track in paved streets, 5 per thousand on the value of their property, and 33% of the cost of street repaving and renewals. The telegraph lines of Argentina are subject to the national telegraph law of 1875, the international telegraph conventions, and special conventions with Brazil and Uruguay. In 1902 the total length of wires strung was 28,125 m.; in 1906 it had been increased to 34,080 m. The national lines extend from Buenos Aires north to La Quiaca on the Bolivian frontier (1180 m.), and south to Cape Virgenes (1926 m.), at the entrance to the Straits of Magellan. Telegraphic communication with Europe is effected by cables laid along the Uruguayan and Brazilian coasts, and by the Brazilian land lines to connect with transatlantic cables from Pernambuco. Communication with the United States is effected by land lines to Valparaíso, and thence by a cable along the west coast. The service is governed by the international telegraph regulations, but is subject to local inspection and interruption in times of political disorder. The postal and telegraph services are administered by the national government, and are under the immediate supervision of the minister of the interior. Argentina has been a member of the Postal Union since 1878. Owing to the great distances which must be covered, and also to the defective means of communication in sparsely settled districts, the costs of the postal service in Argentina are unavoidably high in relation to the receipts. Shipping.—Although Argentina has an extensive coast-line, and one of the great fluvial systems of the world, the tonnage of steamers and sailing vessels flying her flag is comparatively small. In 1898 the list comprised only 1416 sailing vessels of all classes, from 10 tons up, with a total tonnage of 118,894 tons, and 222 steamships, of 6,323 tons. There has been but slight improvement since that date. £ are excellent fishing grounds on the coast, but they have had no appreciable influence in developing a commerical marine. The steamships under the national flag are almost wholly engaged in the traffic between Buenos Aires and Montevideo, the river traffic, and port services. Agriculture.–In 1878 the production of wheat was insufficient for home consumption, the amount of Indian corn grown £ Live stock, covered local necessities, and the only market for live stoc drc. was in the slaughtering establishments, where the meat was cut into strips and cured, making the so-called “jerked beef" for the Brazilian and Cuban markets. But three ears later a new economic development began. In 1881 President oca offered for public purchase by auction the lands in the southwest of the province of Bucnos Aires, the Pampa Central, and the Neuquen district, these lands having been rendered habitable after the campaign of 1878 against the Indians. The upset (reserve) price was £80 sterling per square league of 6669 acres, and, as the lands were quickly '#' an expansion of the pastoral industry immediately ensued. The demand for animals for stock-breeding purposes sent up prices, and this acted as a stimulus to other branches of trade, so that, as peace under the Roca régime seemed assured, a steady flow of immigration from Italy set in. The development of the pastoral industry of Argentina from that time to the end of the century was remarkable. In 1878 the number of cattle was 12,000,000; of sheep, 65,000,ooo; and of horses, 4,000,ooo; in 1899, the numbers were—cattle, 25.ooo,ooo; sheep, 89,oooooo; and horses, about 4,500,000. Originally the cattle were nearly all of the long-horned Spanish breed and of little value for their meat, except to the saladero establishments. Gradually Durham. Short

horn, Hereford and other stock were introduced to improve the native breeds, with results so satisfactory that now herds of threequarters-bred cattle are to be found in all parts of the country. Holstein, Jersey and other well-known dairy breeds were imported for the new industries of butter- and cheese-making. Not only has the breed of cattle been improved, but the system of grazing has completely altered. Vast areas of land have been £f and sown with lucerne (alfalfa); magnificent permanent pasturage has been created where there were coarse and hard grasses in former days, and Argentina has been able to add baled # to her list of exports. In 1889 the first shipment of Argentine cattle, consisting altogether of 193o steers, was sent to England. The results of these first experiments were not encouraging, owing mainly to the poor class of animals, but the exporters persevered, and the business steadily grew in value and importance, until in 1898 the number of live cattle shipped was 359,296, which then decreased to 119,189 in 1901, because of the foot-and-mouth disease. In 1906 the export of live stock was prohibited for that reason. Large quantities of frozen and preserved meat are exported, profitable prices being realized. Dairy-farming is making rapid strides, and the develop. ment of sheep-farming has been remarkable. In 1878, 65,000,000 sheep yielded 230,000,000 lb weight of wool, or an average per sheep of about 33 lb. In the season of 1899–190o the wool exports weighed 420,000,000 lb, and averaged more than 5 lb per sheep. The extra weight of fleece was owing to the large importation of better breeds. The export, moreover, £ sheep and of frozen mutton to Europe has become an important factor in the trade of Argentina. In 1892 the number of live sheep shipped for foreign ports was 40,000; in 1898 the export reached a total of 577,813, which in 1961 fell off to 25,746. In 1892 the frozen mutton exported was 25,500 tons, and this had increased in 1901 to 63,013 tons.

The advance made in agricultural industry also is of very great importance. In 1872 the cultivated area was about 1,430,000 acres; in # 12,083,000 acres; in 1901, 17,465,973 acres. In Crops. 1899 the wheat exports exceeded 50,000,ooo bushels, and p the Indian corn 4o,ooo,ooo bushels. The area under wheat in 1901 was # acres; Indian corn, 3,102,140 acres; linseed, 1,512,340 acres; alfalfa, 3,088,929 acres. The farming industry is not, however, on a satisfactory basis. No national land: in accessible districts are available for the application of a homestead law, and the farmer too often has no interest in the land beyond the growing crops, a percentage of the harvest being the rent charged by the owner of the property. This system is mischievous, since, if a few consecutive bad seasons occur, the farmer moves to some more favoured spot; while, on the other hand, a succession of good years tends to increase rents. The principal wheat and Indian corn producing districts lie in the provinces of Santa Fé, Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Entre Rios, '' the average yield of wheat throughout the country is about 12 bushels to the acre. Little attention is paid to methods of cultivation, and the farmer has no resources to help him if the cereal crops fail. In the Andean provinces of Mendoza, San Juan, Catamarca and Rioja viticulture attracts much attention, and the area in vineyards in 1901 was 109,546 acres, only 18% of which was outside the four provinces named. '' is manufactured in large quantities, but the output is not sufficient to meet the home demand. In the provinces of Tucumán, Salta and Jujuy the main industry is sugar growing and manufacture. In 1901 the production of sugar was 151,639 tons, of which 58,000 tons were exported. The sugar manufacture, however, is a protected and bounty-fed industry, and the 51 sugar mills in operation in 1901 are a heavy tax upon consumers and taxpayers. Other products are tobacco, olives, castor-oil, peanuts, canary-seed, barley, rye, fruit and vegetables.

The pastoral and £ industries have been hampered by fluctuations in the value of the currency, farm products being sold at a gold value for the equivalent in paper, while labourers are paid in currency. The existing system of taxation also presses heavil upon the provinces, as may be seen from the fact that the national, provincial and municipal exactions together amount to £7 per head of population, while the total value of the exports in 1898 was only £6 in round numbers. The guia tax on the transport £ from one province to another, which has been declared unconstitutional in the courts, is still enforced, and is a vexatious tax upon the stock-raiser, while the consumption, or octroi, tax in Buenos Aires and other cities is a heavy burden upon small producers.

Manufactures.—Manufacturing enterprise in Argentina, favoured by the £ of a high tariff, made noticeable progress in the national capital during the closing years of the last century, especially in those small industries which commanded a secure market. The principal classes of products affected are foods, wearing apparel, building materials, furniture, &c., chemical products, printing and allied trades, and sundry others, such as cigars, matches, tanning, paints, &c. In some manufactures the raw material is imported

artly manufactured, such as thread for weaving. The lack of coal in Argentina greatly increases the difficulty and cost of maintaining these industries, and high prices of the products result. Electric power generated by steam is now commonly used in Buenos Aires and other large cities for driving light machinery.

Commerce.-The rapid development of the foreign trade of the republic since 1881 is due to settled internal conditions and to the prime necessity to the commercial world of man Argentine products, such as beef, mutton, hides, wool, wheat and Indian corn. - Efforts to hasten this development have created some serious financial and industrial crises, and have burdened the country with heavy debts and taxes. During the decade 1881-1890 great sums of Furopean capital were invested in railways and other undertakings, encouraged by the grant of interest guarantees and by state mortgage bank loans in the form of cedulas, nominally secured on landed property. In 1890 the crisis came, the mortgage banks failed, credits were contracted, the value of £ declined, defaults were common, imports decreased, and the losses to the country were enormous. The constant fluctuations in the value of the currency, then much depreciated, intensified the distress and complicated the situation. Recovery required years, although made easier #. the sound and steady development of the pastoral and, agricultural industries, which were slightly affected by the crisis; and the steadily increasing volume of exports, mainly foodstuffs and other staples; saved the situation. There have been some changes in commercial methods since 1890, the retailer, and sometimes the consumer, importing direct to save intermediate commission charges., Such transactions are made easy by the foreign banks established in all the large cities of the republic. The conversion law of 1899, which gave a fixed gold value to the currency # centavos gold for each 100 centavos paper), has had beneficial influence on commercial trans, actions, through the elimination of daily fluctuations in the value of the currency, and the commercial and financial situation has been steadily improved, notwithstanding heavy taxation and tariff restrictions. The import trade shows the largest totals in foodstuffs, wines and liquors, textiles and raw materials for their manufacture; wood and its manufactures, iron and its manufactures, paper and cardboard, glass and ceramic wares. The official valuation, of imports, which is arbitrary and incorrect, was $164,569,884 gold in 1889, fell off to $67,207,780 in 1891, but, gradually increased to $205,154.420 in 1965. The exports, which are almost wholly of agricultural and pastoral products, increased from $103,219,000 in 1891 to $322,843,841 in 1905. - - - Government.—The present constitution of Argentina dates from the 25th of September 1860. The legislative power is vested in a congress of two chambers-the senate, composed of 30 members (two from each province and two from the capital), elected by the provincial legislatures and by a special body of electors in the capital for a term of nine years; and the chamber of deputies, of 120 members (1906), elected for four years by direct vote of the people, one deputy for every 33,000 inhabitants. To the chamber of deputies exclusively belongs the initiation of all laws relating to the raising of money and the conscription of troops. It has also the exclusive right to impeach the president, vice-president, cabinet ministers, and federal judges before the senate. The executive power is exercised by the president, elected by presidential electors from each province chosen by direct vote of the people. The president and vicepresident are voted for by separate tickets. The system closely resembles that followed in the United States. The president must be a native citizen of Argentina, a Roman Catholic, not under thirty years of age, and must have an annual income of at least $2000. His term of office is six years, and neither he nor the vice-president is eligible for the next presidential term. All laws are sanctioned and promulgated by the president, who is invested with the veto power, which can be overruled only by a two-thirds vote. The president, with the advice and consent of the senate, appoints judges, diplomatic agents, governors of territories, and officers of the army and navy above the rank of colonel. All other officers and officials he appoints and promotes without the consent of the senate. The cabinet is composed of eight ministers—the heads of the government departments of the interior, foreign affairs, finance, war, marine, justice, agriculture, and public works. They are appointed by and may be removed by the president. Justice is administered by a supreme federal court of five judges and an attorney-general, which is also a court of appeal, four courts of appeal, with three judges cach, located in Buenos Aires, La Plata, Paraná and Córdoba, and by a number of inferior and local courts. Each province has also its own judicial system. Trial by jury is established by the constitution, but never practised. Civil and criminal courts are both corrupt and dilatory. In May 1899 the minister of justice stated in the chamber of deputies that the machinery of the courts in the country was antiquated, unwieldy and incapable of performing its duties; that 50,000 cases were then waiting decision in the

minor courts, and 10,000 in the federal division; and that a reconstruction of the judiciary and the judicial system had become necessary. In June 1899 he sent his project for the reorganization of the legal procedure to congress, but no action was then taken beyond referring the bill to a committee for examination and report. The proceedings are, with but few exceptions, written, and the procedure is a survival of the antiquated Spanish system. Under the constitution, the provinces retain all the powers not delegated to the federal government. Each province has its own constitution, which must be republican in form and in harmony with that of the nation. Each elects its governor, legislators and provincial functionaries of all classes, without the intervention of the federal government. Each has its own judicial system, and enacts laws relating to the administration of justice, the distribution and imposition of taxes, and all matters affecting the province. All the public acts and judicial decisions of one province have full legal effect and authority in all the others. In cases of armed resistance to a provincial government, the national government exercises the right to intervene by the appointment of an interventor, who becomes the executive head of the province until order is restored. The territories are under the direct control of the national government. Army.—The military service of the republic was reorganized in 1901, and is compulsory for all citizens between the ages of 20 and 45. The army consists of: (1) The Line, comprising the Active and Reserve, in which all citizens 20 to 28 years of age are obliged to serve; (2) the National Guard, comprising citizens of 28 to 40 years; (3) the Territorial Guard, comprising those 40 to 45 years. Conscripts of 20 years of age have to serve two years, three months each year. The active or standing army comprises 18 battalions of infantry, 12 regiments of cavalry, 8 regiments of artillery, and 4 battalions of engineers. A military school, with 125 cadets, is maintained at San Martin, near the national capital, and a training school for non-commissioned officers in the capital itself. Compulsory attendance of young men at national guard drills is enforced for at least two months of the year, under penalty of enforced service in the Line. In 1906 the president announced that permission had been given by the German emperor for 30 Argentine officers to enter the German army each year and to serve eighteen months, and also for five officers to attend the Berlin Military Academy. The equipment of the standing army is thoroughly modern, the infantry being provided with Mauser rifles and the artillery with Krupp batteries. Navy.—The disputes with Chile during the closing years of the 19th century led to a large increase in the navy, but in 1902 a treaty between the two countries provided for the restriction of further armaments for the next four years. The naval vessels then under construction were accordingly sold, but in 1906 both countries, influenced apparently by the action of Brazil, gave large orders in Europe for new vessels. At the time when further armaments were suspended, the effective strength of the Argentine navy consisted of 3 ironclads, 6 first-class armoured cruisers, 2 monitors (old), 4 second-class cruisers, 2 torpedo cruisers, 3 destroyers, 3 high-sea torpedo boats, 14 river torpedo boats, 1 training ship, 5 transports, and various auxiliary vessels. Two of these first-class cruisers were sold to Japan. The armament included 394 guns of all calibres, 6 of which were of 250 millimetres, 4 of *40, and 12 of 200. There are about 320 officers in active service, and the total personnel ranges from 5ooo to 6000 men. The service is not popular, and it is recruited by means of conscription from the national guard, the term of service being two years. These conscripts number about 2000 a year. In addition, there is a corps of coast artillery numbering 450 men, from which garrisons are drawn for the military port, Zárate arsenal and naval prison. The government maintains a naval school at Flores, a school of mechanics in Buenos Aires, an artillery school on the cruiser “Patagonia,” and a school for torpedo practice at La Plata. The naval arsenal is situated on the “north basin" of the Buenos Aires port, and the military port at Bahia Blanca is provided

-

with a dry dock of the largest size, and extensive repair shops. There is also a dockyard and torpedo arsenal at La Plata, an artillery depot at Zárate, above Buenos Aires, and naval depots on the island of Martin Garcia and at Tigre, on the Luján river. Education.—Primary education is free and secular, and is compulsory for children of 6 to 14 years. In the national capital and territories it is supervised by a national council of education with the assistance of local school boards; in the 14 provinces it is under provincial control. Secondary instruction is also free, but is not compulsory. It is under the control of the national government, which in 1902 maintained 19 colleges. Of these colleges four are in Buenos Aires, one in each province, and one in Concepción del Uruguay. For the instruction of teachers the republic has 28 normal schools, as follows: three in the national capital; one in Paraná, three (regional) in Corrientes, San Luis and Catamarca; 14 for female teachers in the provincial capitals; and seven for either sex in the larger towns of the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fé, Córdoba and San Luis. The normal schools, maintained by the state on a secular basis, were founded by President Sarmiento, who engaged experienced teachers in the United States to direct them; their work is excellent; notably, their model primary schools. For higher and professional education there are two national universities at Buenos Aires and Córdoba, and three provincial universities, at La Plata, Santa Fé and Paraná, which comprise faculties of law, medicine and engineering, in addition to the usual courses in arts and science. To meet the needs of technical and industrial education there are a school of mines at San Juan, a school of viticulture at Mendoza, an agronomic and veterinary school at La Plata, several agricultural and pastoral schools, and commercial schools in Buenos Aires, Rosario, Bahia Blanca and Concordia. Schools of art and conservatories of music are also maintained in the large cities, where there are, besides, many private schools. Secular education has bcen vigorously opposed by strict churchmen, and efforts have been made to maintain separate schools under church control. The national government has founded several scholarships (some in art) for study abroad. The total school population of Argentina in 1900 (6 to 14 years) was 994,089, of which 45% attended school, and 13% of those not attending were able to read and write. The illiterate school population was about 41%, and of those of 15 years and over 54% were illiterate. Of the whole population over 6 years, 50.5% were illiterate. Religion.—The Argentine constitution recognizes the Roman Catholic religion as that of the state, but tolerates all others. The state controls all ecclesiastical appointments, decides on the passing or rejection of all decrees of the Holy See, and provides an annual subsidy for maintenance of the churches and clergy. Churches and chapels are founded and maintained by religious orders and private gift as well. At the head of the Argentine hierarchy are one archbishop and five suffragan bishops, who have five seminaries for the education of the priesthood. From statistics of 1895 it appears that in each 1ooo of population 991 are Roman Catholics, 7 Protestants, and 2 Jews, the Jews being entirely of Russian origin, sent into the republic since 1891 by the Jewish Colonization Association under the provisions of the Hirsch legacy; from 1895 to 1908 the number of Jews in Argentina increased from 6085 to about 30,000. Finance.—The revenue of the republic is derived mainly from customs and excise, and the largest item of expenditure is the service of the public debt. Since 1891 the national budgets have been calculated in both gold and currency, and both receipts and expenditures have been carried out in this dual system. The collection of a part of the import duties in gold has served to give the government the gold it requires for certain expenditures, but it has complicated returns and accounts and increased the burden of taxation. According to a compilation of statistical returns published by Dr Francisco Latzina in 1901, the national revenues and expenditures for the 37 years from 1864 to 1900, inclusive, reduced to a common standard, show a total deficit for that period of $408,260,795 gold, which has been met by external and internal loans, and by a

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

The bane of Argentine finance has been the extravagant and unscrupulous use of national credit for the promotion of schemes calculated to benefit individuals rather than the public. The large increase in military expenditures during the disputes with Chile also proved a heavy burden, and in the continued strife with Brazil for naval superiority this burden could not fail to be increased greatly. A very considerable percentage of Argentina's population of five to six millions is hopelessly r and unprogressive, and cannot be expected to bear its share of the burden. To meet these expenditures there area high tariff on imported merchandise, and excise and stamp taxes of a far-reaching and often vexatious character. Nothing is permitted to escape taxation, and £ taxes on the same thing

are frequent. In A entina these burdens bear heavily upon the labouring classes, and in years of depression they send away by thousands immigrants unable to meet the high costs of living.

For the year 190o the total expenditures of the national government, 14 provincial governments, and 16 principal cities, were estimated to have been $208,811,925 paper, which is equivalent to $91,877,247 gold, or (at $5.04 per pound stg.) to £18,229,6ro, Ios. The population. that year was estimated to be 4,794,149, from which it is seen that the annual costs of £ were no less than £3,16s. for each man, woman, and child in the republic. About 71 % of this charge was on account of national expenditures, and 29 % provincial and municipal expenditures. Had the expenses of all the small towns and rural communities been included, the total would be in excess of $20 #. or £4, per capita.

In 1889 the public debt of the republic amounted to about £24,000,ooo, but the financial difficulties which immediately followed that year, and the continuance of excessive expenditures, forced the debt up to approximately £128,000,ooo during the next ten years... In the year 1905 the outstanding and authorized debt of the republic was as follows:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

The paper currency forms an important part of the internal debt, and has £ d £ source of £ the country. Few countrics have suffered more from a depreciated currency than Argentina. During the era of so-called “prosperity" between 1881 and 1890 an enormous amount of bank notes were issued under various authorizations, especially that of the “free banking law " of 1887. During this period the bank-note circulation was increased to $161,7oo,ooo, and two mortgage banks—the National Hypothecary Bank and the Provincial Mortgage Bank (of Buenos Aires)flooded the country with $509,000,ooo of cedulas (hypothecary bonds). When the crash came and the national treasury was found to be without resources to meet current expenses, further issues of $11oooo,ooo in currency were made. The free-banking law which permitted the issue of notes by rovincial banks was primarily responsible for this situation. Under the provisions of this law the provinces were authorized to borrow specie abroad and deposit the same with the national government as security for their issues. These loans aggregated £. The Celman administration, in violation # the trust, then sold the specie and squandered the proceeds, leaving the provincial bank notes without guarantee and value. The national government has since assumed responsibility for all these provincial loans abroad. As on previous occasions, the great depreciation in the value of the currency has led to a repudiation of part of its nominal value. This depreciation reached its maximum in October 1891 ($469.82 paper for $1oo gold), and remained between that figure and $264 during the next six years. To check these prejudicial fluctuations and to prevent too great a fall in the price of gold,(to repeat a popular misconception), a

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »