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SAGITTARIA MONTEVIDENSIS.

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of the Italian tongue, save that in Italy it would be difficult to find a spot where the horizon is unbroken by a near hill, or by the distant outline of Alp or Apennine.

Having paid a short visit to Mr. Schnyder, the newly appointed Professor of Botany, I strolled through the adjoining fields with the hope of finding some remains of the autumnal vegetation. The low flat country is intersected by broad ditches, and much reminded me of Battersea fields as they existed half a century ago, when I first began to collect British plants. Seeing in a ditch the remains of a fine Sagittaria, I filled a bit of paper with the minute seeds, and from these has sprung a plant which has for several seasons been admired by the visitors to Kew Gardens. It is the Sagittaria Montevidensis, which is not uncommon in Argentaria and Uruguay, but, so far as I know, does not extend to Brazil—a singular fact, considering that the seeds must be readily transported by water-birds. In its native home it grows to a somewhat larger size than the European species, but is not very conspicuous. Cultivated at Kew, in a house kept at the mean temperature of about 78° Fahr., it has attained gigantic proportions, rising to a height of over six feet, and the petioles of the leaves attaining the thickness of a man's arm.

I had arranged to take my passage to Brazil in the steamer Neva, of the Royal Mail Company, and at this season I felt no regret at quitting this region of South America, which offers comparatively slight attractions to the tourist. I was led, however, from

all the information that I collected, to form a high estimate of the advantages that it offers to European settlers. At the present time the chief source of profit is from the rearing of cattle; but, though long neglected, agriculture promises to become the most important element of national prosperity. Until the middle of this century there were none but wooden ploughs of the type used by the aborigines, and corn was imported from abroad to feed the townspeople. There are now numerous agricultural colonies formed by foreign settlers, especially in the state of Santa Fé, and the results have been eminently successful. Large crops of grain, especially wheat, of excellent quality, are easily raised. The vine prospers, even as far south as Bahia Blanca, and in the northern states cotton, olives, tobacco, and other subtropical products appear to thrive. These agricultural colonies have been chiefly formed by Italian, Swiss, and German immigrants, and one of the most recent, composed of Welshmen, has been established so far south as the river Chubat in Patagonia. It may be feared that, owing to the deficient rainfall of that region, the prospects of the settlement are somewhat uncertain.

The Argentine Government has shown its wisdom in promoting immigration by the extraordinary liberality of the terms offered to agricultural settlers from Europe. With a territory as large as the whole of continental Europe, exclusive of Russia, and a population of scarcely two millions, immigration is the indispensable requisite for the development of resources that must render this one of the most important nations of the earth. The law, which, as I

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believe, is still in force, offers to settlers wishing to cultivate the national lands which are under the control of the Central Government the following terms :-An advance of the cost of the passage from a European port to Buenos Ayres, with conveyance from that city to the location selected; a free gift of a hundred hectares (about 247 acres) to each of the first hundred families proceeding to a new settlement; an advance, not exceeding a thousand dollars per family, to meet expenses for food, stock, and outfit, repayable without interest in five years; the sale of additional Government land at two dollars per hectare, payable in ten annual instalments; and, finally, exemption from taxes for ten years.

To the class of settlers who hold themselves above farming work other careers are open. Many young Englishmen who enjoy life in the saddle have done well as managers of estancias, for the raising of horses and cattle. The chief advice to be given to those who have some capital at their disposal is not to purchase property until they have gained practical experience. The Argentines show a laudable anxiety for the spread of education, and there is a considerable demand for teachers and professors, which has been mainly supplied from Germany, many of the professors from that country being men who have established a merited reputation.

One of the attractions of this region for European settlers is the excellence of the climate. Though not quite so uniform as that of Chili, it is free from the extremes of temperature that prevail in the United States. In the low country the difference between the mean temperature of the hottest and coldest months is from 22° to 25° Fahr., while in the middle states of the northern continent the difference is nearly twice as great-from 40° to 45°. The mean summer temperature is here about the same as in places six or eight degrees farther from the equator in eastern North America. The rainfall, which is of such vital importance to agriculture, appears not to be subject to such great annual irregularities as it is in the United States and Canada. The average at Buenos Ayres is about thirty-five inches annually, and in ascending the Paranà this increases to fifty-three inches in Corrientes, and eighty inches in Paraguay. It is only in some parts of the interior-e.g. about Mendoza—and in Patagonia, that the cultivator is, in ordinary seasons, exposed to suffer from drought.

Apart from the economic results of the great influx of immigration, the large recent admixture of European blood is effecting important salutary consequences. I have seen no recent returns, but it appears

* that in the six years ending 1875, the number of immigrants from Europe exceeded 284,000, or about 47,500 annually ; and I believe that this average has been exceeded since that date. Of the whole number fully one-half are Italians, and I found unanimous testimony to the fact that they form a valuable element in the population. With the exception of a small

* Much information respecting this country is to be found in a volume entitled, “ The Argentine Republic,” published in 1876 for the Centenary Exhibition at Philadelphia. It contains a series of papers prepared by Mr. Richard Napp, assisted by several German men of science.

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proportion from the Neapolitan provinces, it is admitted that, whether as agricultural settlers or as artisans in the cities, the Italians are an orderly, industrious, and temperate class. The Germans and Swiss are not nearly so numerous, but form a useful addition to the orderly element in their adopted country. It may be hoped that experience and education have not been thrown away on the native Argentine, and that the memory of the forty years of intestine disorder which followed the final establishment of independence may serve as a warning against renewed attempts at revolution ; but assuredly the foreign element, which rapidly tends to become predominant, will be found an additional security against the renewal of disorder.

Although a majority of the large commercial houses at Buenos Ayres are English, and the trade with this country takes the first place in the statistical returns, the predominance is not so marked as it is on the western side of South America. Next to England, and not far behind, France has a large share in the trade, and although Germany has only lately entered the field, it appears that the business operations with that country are rapidly extending. Here, and at several other places in South America, I heard complaints that German traders palm off cheap inferior goods, having forged labels and trade-marks to imitate those of well-known English manufacturers. It is true that charges of a similar nature have been recently brought against some English houses. One asks if the progress of civilization is to lead us back to caveat emptor as the only rule of commercial ethics. If so,

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