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The Republic of Argentina, South America, is bordered by Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, and Uruguay. The capital is Buenos Aries. The area of Argentina is 1,073,399 square miles (2,780,092 square km), larger than Mexico and the U.S. state of Texas combined. The estimated population of Argentina for July, 2007 is 40,301,927.
In 1816, the United Provinces of the Rio Plata declared their independence from Spain. Eventually, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay went their own way, but the area that remained became Argentina. The country's population and culture were subsequently heavily shaped by immigrants from throughout Europe, but most particularly Italy and Spain, which provided the largest percentage of newcomers from 1860 to 1930.
Up until about the mid-20th century, much of Argentina's history was dominated by periods of internal political conflict between Federalists and Unitarians and between civilian and military factions. After World War II, an era of Peronist authoritarian rule and interference in subsequent governments was followed by a military junta that took power in 1976.
Democracy returned in 1983, and has persisted despite numerous challenges, the most formidable of which was a severe economic crisis in 2001-02 that led to violent public protests and the resignation of several interim presidents.
The economy has recovered strongly since bottoming out in 2002. The government renegotiated its public debt in 2005 and paid off its remaining obligations to the IMF in early 2006.
The years 2003-15 saw Peronist rule by Nestor and Cristina FERNANDEZ de KIRCHNER, whose policies isolated Argentina and caused economic stagnation. With the election of Mauricio MACRI in November 2015, Argentina began a period of reform and international reintegration.
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see also: The Argentine Capital by Theodore Child,
Harper's Monthly, vol. LXXXII, p. 491, March, 1891
an illustrated in-depth description of Buenos Ayres (Buenos Aires) in 1891
The New York Times, December 19, 1897, p. 24:|
Buenos Ayres, Aug. 22.--The exportation of live cattle is assuming greater importance. The industry is in the experimental stage, but no doubt is entertained that its future is brilliant. This must be the outcome of the patient efforts made by the majority of the breeders.
INDUSTRY OF ARGENTINA.Exportation of Live Cattle Increasing Month by Month.
CONCESSION TO SOUTHERN RAILWAY
Opening to Civilization the Territory of Neuquen,
the Rio Negro, and Other Lands Rich in Cereals.
Since Jan. 1 until this month the exportation of live cattle averaged 7,000 steers and 41,000 head of sheep per month, and each month the number increased over the preceding month.
This comparatively new traffic has found the railway companies unprepared, which has aroused complaint. As soon as their deficiency is remedied, as soon as better facilities are offered for embarkation of cattle, exports will increase considerably. The business is most profitable.
During the first ten days of August 4,500 steers were slipped in nineteen different vessels sailing from the ports of Buenos Ayres and La Plata. The freight paid for the steers shipped to England is $23, and for the sheep $2 per head. The average weight of live steers is 1,750 pounds, and their prices here vary, according to size and quality, from about $30 to $50.
The Secretary of the Interior has addressed a message to Congress, advising a concession to the Great Southern Railway to extend its lines, which now go as far south as Bahia Blanca, to the National Territory of Neuquen.
The new line will open an enormous zone, at present almost abandoned and unprofitable because of deficient means of communication. The new route has not yet been fixed, but it is believed that the company will make the extension from Bahia Blanca to Patagones, and thence along the valley to the Rio Negro to Neuquen.
The Valley of the Rio Negro is one of the most beautiful and fertile territories in the republic, and, once endowed with rapid means of communication, will be a great agricultural centre. The wheat of the valley is said to be the best in the country.
The Territorial Government of Neuquen is bounded on the north by the Province of Mendoza, on the east and south by the Territory of Rio Negro, and on the west by the Andes, which separate it from Chile. Its area is 42,116 square miles and its population about 30,000.
In the extreme southwest of the Territory, at the foot of the Andes, lies the beautiful lake of Nahuel-Huapi. The area of this lake is 309 square miles. A great many streams run into the lake, making it communicate with other smaller lakes that surround it. Thirty different islands, covered with the most luxuriant vegetation, are found in the lake, and many species of fish abound. Not far from the shore the depth of the lake is 1,000 feet.
Since Gen. Villegas, in 1884, reached Nahuel-Huapi, subjugating all the wild Indians of this territory, many people have settled in it, especially Chileans, who cross the Andes for this purpose. The capital of the Territory is the village of Chos-Malal, which will be the terminus of the new railroad. Before reaching Neuquen this railroad will open to civilization the rich valley of the Rio Negro.
The Governor of Neuquen, according to the Minister of the Interior, Dr. Zorrilla, has given free title deeds for 3,000 hectares of land for agriculture to 46 colonists. The country is most fertile, and especially adapted to the cultivation of wheat, maize, and other cereals. It is particularly good for vegetables and alfalfa. There are 96 farmers who have leased from the Government 100,000 hectares of land.
The exports from the territory last year were 11,780 cows, 20,270 sheep, 3,047 mares, 386 goats, and 500,000 pounds of wool, but these figures do not cover the clandestine export of cattle and sheep to Chile through the numerous passes of teh Cordilleras. The Minister estimates the real export to be 100,000 sheep and 40,000 cattle. The Territory is also rich in minerals and coal.
In the Andine portion, especially toward the south, are many fertile valleys, large streams, and lakes, alternating with immense forests, which entitle the region to be called the Switzerland of Argentina, on a bigger scale naturally. It is a zone of immense wealth, says an English newspaper of this city, and especially suited for emigrants from the north and centre of Europe, as well as from the United States. It is a land of wild apples and wild strawberries, of hill and dale, of beautiful scenery, of pastoral and mineral wealth.
This new railroad, when built, will open the country, which comprised a portion of Patagonia known as the land of the big men. The big men in this case are the London Directors of the Great Southern Railway, who are going to lay down the rails where the Indians camped not long ago, and be the first to reap the profit of their enterprise.
The company will not receive guarantee, advance, or emolument of any kind for the construction of the line, which must be finished in two years, more or less, after commencement. But as soon as the line is handed over to public service the Government will pay a subsidy of £15,000 yearly for ten years, which amount, it has been estimated, represents 1 per cent. interest on the capital necessary to build the line as far as Fuerte Roca, near the confluence of the Rivers Limay and Negro, to which point, it is understood, the line will be built first. Furete Roca is at a distance of 330 miles from Patagones, a port on the Atlantic, situated 200 miles south of Bahia Blanca, so that the whole line, if it touches Patagones, will cover 530 miles of rich territory, already populated to a certain extent.
There are thirty different railways in the country, and of these there are five belonging to the State, 1,027 kilometers in length; ten guaranteed by the State, having a length of 3,742 kilometers, seven private lines under national jurisdiction, having a length of 6,156 kilometers, and eight private lines under provincial jurisdiction. This makes a total of over 13,800 kilometers, or 8,600 miles. In this total Argentina can compare favorably with most countries.
The number of engines in use at the beginning of 1893 was 1,117, and of these 77 per cent. were of British make, 12 per cent. of North American, and the remainder of French.
The number of passengers carried in 1893 was 13,000,000, and the goods carried amounted to 7,500,000 tons.
The Federal Reserve Bank's estimated consumer price index shows that $1 in 1897 was equivalent to $24.60 in 2007.