Albert Barlow Hale.

The South Americans; the story of the South American republics, their characteristics, progress and tendencies; with special reference to their commercial relations with the United States online

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THE SOUTH AMERICANS



1




Arch of Liberty— Caracas



THE

SOUTH AMERICANS



THE STORY OF THE SOUTH AMERICAN REPUBLICS
THEIR CHARACTERISTICS, PROGRESS AND
TENDENCIES; WITH SPECIAL REFER-
ENCE TO THEIR COMMERCIAL
RELATIONS WITH THE
UNITED STATES



ALBERT HALE, A. B., M. D.

Member of the Geographical Society of Rio de Janeiro



INDIANAPOLIS

THE BOBBS-MERRILL COMPANY

PUBLISHERS



Copyright 1907
The Bobbs-Merrill Company



October



aOBERT DRUMMOND COMPANY, PRINTERS, NEW YORK



TO
SECRETARY ELIHU ROOT

One great American statesman of recent years who
has understood the Latin temperament, and whose
visit to South America has given him sympathy
for its people, and aroused in them sympathy for
us, this book is respectfully dedicated.



PREFACE

The book has been written with a North American pen,
but I have looked through South American eyes while writing
it, and I think that twenty-five years of intimate association
with Latin America, and extended residence there, as well
as travel over much of those countries and other parts of the
civilized world, give me authority to speak. If I can arouse
sympathy for our neighbors, and appreciation for the senti-
ment and idealism which is as much alive in them as it is in
us, I shall be content.

Whatever repetitions may be noticed are intentional and
serve to call attention to facts or conditions needing emphasis.

I have purposely used the term ' ' Yankee " ; it is a dignified
word in both Spanish and Portuguese, and is the only single
word exactly carrying the idea of a citizen of the English-
speaking republic of North America. It should not be offen-
sive to any one who happens to have been born in the New
England States, or to any one who happens to have been
born elsewhere.

Particular attention has been given to the East Andean
republics, because within their larger areas must take place the
great industrial advances of the century, but the argument
of the book applies to South America as a whole.

To The Reader Magazine I am indebted for the oppor-
tunity of making some of the studies of later years, and to
the International Bureau of American Republics in Wash-
ington I wish to express my thanks for their uniform courtesy,
as well as my admiration for the completeness of the infor-
mation obtainable through them.



CONTENTS



CHAPTER

I Introduction ....

II A Traveler's Notes .

III Geography of Argentina . .

IV History of Argentina
V The Government of Argentina .

VI The People and Present Conditions or
VII Geography of Uruguay
VIII History of Uruguay
IX The Government of Uruguay
X The People and Present Conditions of
XI Geography of Brazil
XII History of Brazil

XIII The Government of Brazil

XIV The People and Present Conditions of
XV Geography of Venezuela

XVI History of Venezuela

XVII The Government of Venezuela .

XVIII The People and Present Conditions of

XIX The South American Situation .

XX The Monroe Doctrine



Argentina



Uruguay



Brazil



Venezuela



PAGB

I
13

87

96

1 12

129

149

161

168
181
189
204
222

243
250
263
276
288

324



LIST OF MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS



Arch of Liberty — Caracas ....

Mountain Scene and Tunnel on Cordova Railway

Traveling in South America .

** Oriental" Beauties . ,

Fifteenth-of-November Square

Avenida Mayo — Buenos Aires

Avenida Central — Rio de Janeiro

Children at Play — Montevideo

Street in Montevideo

Emblem of Peace — Andean Pass

A South American Belle

In the Suburbs — Caracas ,

Vargas Hospital — Caracas

Military College — Chile

House of Congress — Santiago

Map of Argentina and Uruguay

Wheat Stack in Argentina

Traveling in South America .

Falls of Iguazu — Misiones in Argentina



FACE PAGE

Frontispiece
i6
»7
17
26

27
27
48
48

49
64

65
65
78

79
86

90

90

91



LIST OF MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS— Co»//>f»<r^



Federal Building — Buenos Aires

Avenida Alvear — Buenos Aires

A Crap Game — Argentine Cowboys

Race- Course at Buenos Aires .

Street Scene in Mendoza — Argentina

Public Advertising — Argentina

Public Advertising — Rio

A Country Village — Uruguay

A Country Village — Brazil

Park Scene — Montevideo

Branding Cattle in Uruguay .

Distant View of Cerro — Montevideo

Plaza Independencia — Montevideo

Theater Solis — Montevideo .

A Country Railway Station — Uruguay

Traveling in South America .

Map of South America — Brazil

Italian Coffee Gatherers — Brazil

North American Engineering in Brazil

The Country — Brazil .

Statue of Emperor Dom Pedro II — Rio

A Relic of Slave Days — Brazil

Wealthy Fazendero — Brazil .

Y. M. C. A. Building— Rio



FACE PAGE
14
15
26

27

140

[41

[41

56

56

57
[70
170
[71
76
77
77
;8o

84

'4

'5

[94

'95
'95
206



LIST OF MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS— C<?;»//«a^^



The Army — Brazil

"Garden of Light" — Sab Paulo

Bronze Gateway to Old Palace — Rio

Portuguese Library — Rio

Office of Jornal do Commercio — Rio

Protestant Episcopal Church — Rio Grande

A Street in Porto Alegre

Botafogo Crescent — Rio de Janeiro .

Sugar Loaf and Harbor — Rio

Map of Venezuela

The Old in Venezuela .

The New in Venezuela . .

Harbor at Puerto Cabello

Military College Above Railway Station

Traveling in South America .

Bolivar Square — Caracas

House of Congress — Caracas

Harbor at La Guayra .

American Eagle at Puerto Cabello .

Market Place — Caracas

A Tavern in Venezuela

Waiting .....

Statue of Bolivar — Valencia . .



Caracas



FACE P4GE
207
216

217

217
226
227
227
238

242
244
244

252
252

264

264
265
272
273
273
284



THE SOUTH AMERICANS



THE SOUTH AMERICANS
CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

The settlement of North America was begun
with the love of liberty, that of South America
with the search for gold. This is the characteristic
difference between North America and Latin
America.

Certain critical investigators claim that the ear-
liest settlements on our soil were actuated by noth-
ing more than the hope of commercial success and
that the London Company in Virginia was planted
by Smith with that end in view. They claim also
that the Plymouth accident in 1620 did not imply
a liberty for others to differ radically from Puritan
ideas, and that the Pilgrims escaped from Euro-
pean oppression to establish a conscience of their
own rather than to extend freedom to those who
might hold contrary opinions. They emphasize,
too, the fact that neither in New England nor in
Virginia did a religious zeal blind the colonists to
the material advantages to be derived from thrust-
ing the Indians before their expanding ambitions;

I



2 THE SOUTH AMERICANS

that our ancestral politicians — North and South —
were not always statesmen ; that the colonists knew
the trick of driving a sharp bargain; that there
grew up in the colonies an aristocracy whose foun-
dations were built upon wealth quite as much as
upon manners, morals or character.

Be this as it may, no cynic can dispel the deep-
rooted conviction within us that the gospel of
human liberty was always the surviving guide to
action. However much the North American col-
onists erred in wisdom or sinned in conduct toward
their neighbor, this gospel of human freedom was
never quite forgotten. It is part of our inalienable
inheritance from a Teutonic ancestry that was
nourished on it before Columbus drew his first
breath; it is the torch that has never been wholly
extinguished since the days of Magna Charta; and
it is the beacon which we must pass on to posterity
if we hope to do them justice.

No softening paraphrase of the historian can
modify the fact that South America was discovered
and conquered by an unbridled lust for gold.
Whether it was the aggressions of the English on
the Spanish Main, or of the Dutch and French
near the Amazon, or of the Portuguese in Brazil,
or of the Spanish on the Rio de la Plata, in Chile,
Peru or Panama, practically the only motive actu-
ating the colonists there was the desire to exploit or
to despoil the territories they discovered, and with
their booty to hurry back to Europe, there to enroll



RACIAL CONTRASTS 3

themselves among the rich and to become part of
an idle aristocracy. The tender-heartedness of the
saintly Las Casas only throws into greater contrast
the cruelty of his companions; the educational
crudities of the Jesuits in South Brazil, Paraguay
and Argentina merely accentuate the harsh meth-
ods they employed to obtain a material conquest
over the aborigines; and the documents of the In-
quisition show to what length the Church, when it
was well paid for it, supported the ferocities in
Peru and Mexico. Only a few isolated examples
of Franciscans in Guatemala and California hint
at what results a true spiritual religion could ac-
complish, when unfettered by a passion which
would sacrifice anything to reach its material end.
To the Latin mind, home and liberty were words
of an unknown tongue.

And yet we should not allow ourselves to think
that we are altogether virtuous, nor that the Latin
races are altogether vicious. If we are practical
and progressive, if we recognize the gain to the
human race by modern industry and commerce, if
we have the skill and energy and knowledge to
make two blades of grass to grow where one grew
before, they have a poetry, a sprightliness of
imagination which we lack; if we are solid and
rationally hospitable, they are cordial and sponta-
neously hospitable, and they have preserved a
kindliness in their social intercourse which we
might well emulate. If the Anglo-Saxon idea of



4 THE SOUTH AMERICANS

the home is one that seems to come closest to the
ideal, we should not forget that certain phases of
the home life in southern Europe and South Amer-
ica are very sweet, commendable and worthy of
admiration and emulation. If our restlessness of
spirit leads us to the assumption of new duties and
to an expansion of interests which exhaust our
energies and foster discontent with present condi-
tions, their lack of it, which we are apt to call lazi-
ness or indolence, helps to preserve the poetry of
life, and often tends to a peace and happiness for
which we sigh.

If on the one hand the essence of our life is that
of intellectual and personal liberty, and if the prin-
ciple of our government is "the greatest good to
the greatest number," it must be confessed that
within recent years we have allowed our ideals to
become dimmed by a material greed which has
aroused the suspicion of all the world and made us
the target for attacks by those who accuse us of
falsity of word and disingenuousness of purpose.
We are not free from the taint of Machiavellian-
ism.

If, on the other hand, the history of South Amer-
ica shows an almost constant stain of bloodshed for
material gain alone, we must not forget that some
of the most heroic efforts ever made for liberty are
written large across that history. Bolivar, Sucre,
Sarmiento and Constant are names not to be ig-
nored. Their revolutions are not always ridicu-



MORAL CONTRASTS 5

lous; they are sometimes no worse than our election
riots; sometimes they are due to the selfish ambi-
tions of spoils politicians who would oust from
offices those equally selfish politicians who happen
to have secured them; and sometimes they are re-
volts with a sincere purpose, directed against a
dictator who denied the people a pure government
or violated his constitutional oath. Good is often
the outcome.

We have not much to boast of in the way of
superiority, either morally or commercially. Al-
though the average North American business man
is faithful to his obligations, so also is the average
South American, as the credit system of English
and German exporters bears steady witness. In the
main our moral standards are higher, even if we
do not live up to them, but their business dealings
are honorable and fair. In the domestic virtues
they are equal to us, and their sacredness of family
ties is unsurpassed. The women of the upper
classes are as good wives and mothers, according to
their light, as women in other parts of the world;
they have a horror of divorce, partly because it is
anti-Catholic, and partly because it is contrary to
their conception of the marriage sacrament.
Among the lower classes illegitimacy is common;
but if we give credence to the disclosures of the
working-people in our large industrial centers, the
lack of illegitimate children does not by any means
imply purity. There is a vital distinction between



6 .THE SOUTH AMERICANS

morality and virtue, and the problem with us is the
same as it is with them, except that the Latin
American man has no conception of chastity.

On one point our inheritance of revolt from the
Roman Catholic church has made us superior to
them. We, as a people, have what we style a New
England conscience, or what with more dignity
should be called a moral sense; this is eminently
self-sustaining in all our struggles for improvement
and reform. A moral sense has never been more
than feebly developed in South America, and
where it makes itself felt it has become a force ar-
tistic or ethical rather than religious or moral.

They are superior to us in one respect. Un-
doubtedly the sense of beauty, the appreciation of
what is artistic, is far more highly developed with
South Americans than with us. It is hard to find
in their countries ugliness in extended form. Utili-
tarianism, such as characterizes our activities, is
but a flickering factor in their life; admiration for
northern ways and customs is spreading, but as a
race or nation they can not sacrifice their artistic
tastes to such an extent as to tolerate ugliness, even
if thereby a material gain is efifected. Growing
out of this is another condition in which we must
acknowledge our inferiority. I mean the admir-
able condition of their municipal affairs. Their
cities, as instances of urban life, are much better
than ours. The Spaniards and Portuguese, follow-
ing their innate love of beauty, always selected for



ARTISTIC CONTRASTS 7

settlements sites that can not be surpassed for their
natural attractions. The City of Mexico, Panama,
Caracas, Rio de Janeiro, even Montevideo, bear
witness to this; but when their cities became more
than mere temporary stations for shipment or com-
merce, when, within the last generation, a growing
population demanded a municipal expansion, this
popular love for harmony and beauty was never
violated. To-day the cities of South America are
pleasing and inviting to the eye. The contrast be-
tween them and our own cities, both as to location,
use of natural advantages and financial organiza-
tion, shows against us very unfavorably.

Of course this does not signify that the purely
house-building and housekeeping conditions have
kept pace with what we call modern conveniences;
the comforts that are the standard for our modern
daily life, though they may be found, on the Eng-
lish patterns, in Rio or Buenos Aires, are not usu-
ally to be found in South America; the habits
which we consider necessary do not inhere in their
people and can no more be forced upon them than
upon the East Indian. Their ideas of comfort are
their own, but as a rule they pay great attention to
water supply and street sanitation, even in remote
towns.

Their two great points of inferiority are material
development and public education. Where they
have vast unexplored tracts of land, fertile and fat,
waiting only for human activity to produce food



8 THE SOUTH AMERICANS

for millions, they have neglected their duty to man-
kind and left the soil untouched ; whereas we, with
restless energy and even extravagance, have eagerly
utilized our open spaces, and have so yielded to
this impulse that we have pushed ourselves into the
position of one of the foremost nations of the earth,
and occupied, within little more than a century, an
area equal to that of Brazil. The development of
our educational system is the result of our intel-
lectual and moral ambitions, and while it may not
be perfect, it arouses the admiration of the world
and is undoubtedly the foundation stone of our
democracy. Education in South America means
almost entirely culture for the upper, the aristo-
cratic class, and superficially imparted elements
for the lower laboring class.

And lastly, where we often come together is on
the plane of political corruption comprised in the
shameful but expressive term of graft. That we are
better than our ancestors is possibly true, but that
we are better than our neighbors will be a difficult
task to prove. Corruption has been the birth-mark
of Latin politics since the Christian era; it is nearly
as prevalent to-day as it was when Ferdinand drove
out the Moor, but it is not worse to-day than it is
with us. The saving factor in our government is
our natural morality — the simple honesty among
the people, and our genuine, deep-rooted, but some-
times forgotten respect for law. Crimes we commit
with startling frequency, but we are glad when the



PROGRESS 9

law is enforced and we hope to see it obeyed. In
South America there is the redeeming fact that
political graft satisfies itself by a charge of two or
twenty times the cost of the work done, but they
usually insist that the work be done honestly and
according to the best obtainable specifications. The
codified laws are, however, far above the heads of
the common people ; they may be afraid of the law,
but they do not understand it; it is artificial and
often transgresses their instincts. And moreover,
they have not what I have called a moral sense.
Yet any accusations of corruption which may be
laid at their doors can, with equal justice, in the
light of our recent investigations, be laid at ours.
A few offices in our own national government —
president, cabinet members and supreme court
judges — are surely impeccable, but the same can
not be said of every country in South America.

Are there, then, any factors which are tending
to modify these evident differences? I am sure that
there are. The adoption of steam and electricity
is generalizing ideas and habits, so that an im-
provement in one part of the world is soon appre-
ciated, understood and adopted in another part;
we accept European advances in physical and men-
tal comforts and luxuries, and the South American,
with increasing momentum, is accepting those
which come both from Europe and from us. Even
the lower classes are no longer isolated. But be-
yond that is the newer fact that they are absorbing



10 THE SOUTH AMERICANS

some of the same blood that we have, and that on to
their Latin stock is engrafting a vigorous branch of
Northernism. They are no longer purely Iberian
or Lusitanian. The invasion of outsiders is not go-
ing on so rapidly as it did with us, but it is un-
deniably evident, and not many generations will
be needed before a vigorous mixed race will push
into the background the pure-blooded Latin who
can not stand the pace. This migration and inter-
mingling has two great causes : the desire to escape
into a republican form of government, and the
age-old impulse to make use of virgin land.

There are three principles of government polity:
The completely republican, such as we represent
and such as is, constitutionally at least, represented
by the independent nations of the western hemi-
sphere; the limited monarchy, of which Great
Britain is the constitutional type and Germany the
military and bureaucratic type; and the autocratic
monarchy, of which Russia is the chief example.
These will be examined later, but it must be re-
marked at the outset that the genius of each is at
work in constructing South America.

Of equal importance is that phase of modern
expansion in which the land question plays an all-
powerful part. With the areas of China, Japan
and India overcrowded; with the mutterings of
what we call the Eastern peril, it is easy to observe
that, besides Africa, uncertain areas of Australia,
and the newer fields of western Canada, there is no



LOCAL DIFFERENCES ii'

other continent capable of offering virgin soils to
the exuberant and rapidly growing discontented
dwellers in the Old World, except South America.

On the western slope of the Andes are Chile,
Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia, which may
be called the mountain republics. Their chief in-
dustries will be those, such as mining, in which is
demanded a minimum of human and a maximum
of machine labor. They have untilled fertile land,
but not enough to draw great immigration, and it
is to a noticeable extent already occupied by native
races who were impressed by the stamp of the
Spanish conqueror, although there is so much ab-
original blood that they can by no means be com-
pared to an Old World peasantry. These countries
on the Pacific Ocean offer no attraction for the
European statesman who dreams of an American
sphere of influence; they are isolated by the lofty
Andes, by thousands of miles of water; but they
will soon be made easily approachable to us by the
completion of the Panama Canal, so that they will
develop along American lines with eagerness, if
we treat them fairly.

These facts we must recognize. We must shake
off the sentimentalism which has colored our deal-
ings with the rest of the world, and learn, by an
impartial study of the question, in which direction
our best interests lie. If we barken to one voice,
we must be content to restrict our energies to our
own country and admit no outside interests except



12 THE SOUTH AMERICANS

those which are necessary to protect our commerce
and our countrymen in foreign lands. But if we
listen to another voice, we can not longer be deaf
to what is said to be our duty, and to what the
whisperings of coming events interpret to be our
manifest destiny — to become the suzerain of the
western continent. But there is still a middle course
which, in the judgment of many, South Americans
among others, is proper and wisest to adopt.
We wish to lead a victorious army of republics,
but we have not always selected the heartiest way
of leading. At times we have offered true aid and
support, but quite as often we have offered patron-
age instead of sympathy; we have scolded when we
might have advised, and of late years we have
shown an ignorance of our neighbors which is
worse than indifiference.

For three quarters of a century we have stood be-
tween the South American republics and the un-
scrupulous or even justifiable aggression of Eu-
rope, but we can not much longer occupy that
position. We must make our influence felt in a
clearer way than that which has until now been
satisfactory to them and to us ; we must give a dis-
tinct form to the motive which inspires us. To do;
this we must learn more about our neighbors, their
ambitions and their prospects, and above all we
must give clear and vital significance to the Mon-
roe Doctrine.



CHAPTER TWO

A traveler's notes

Passports are almost never required in Brazil,
Uruguay or Argentina, but it is advisable to carry
one in the pocket for identification, or in case of
confusion.

It must be remembered, in crossing the Line,
that our winter is summer in Brazil and Argen-
tina, and our summer their winter. Except in the
extreme south of Argentina, however, there is no
fear of snow or frost, nor, excepting a few coast
towns in Brazil, of excessive heat, so that over the
ordinary routes of travel the summer will com-
pare with our northern June, and the winter with
our clear October. Within the tropics — that is, in
Brazil as far south as Sao Paulo and even farther
south along the coast — the lightest clothing may
be worn, and should be provided. If light woolen
or flannel is endurable, such underwear may be
worn, but my own experience confirms that of sea-
soned residents in the tropics, that woolen is not
always healthful. The best rule to follow is that
of personal comfort; wear what seems to promote
physical well-being, regardless of theories. On the

13



14 A TRAVELER'S NOTES

steamer, as it nears the equator, white outer gar-
ments are the fashion, and may be worn so long as
the sun shines; after sunset and for dinner, black
clothes are put on by cabin passengers. A hint may


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Online LibraryAlbert Barlow HaleThe South Americans; the story of the South American republics, their characteristics, progress and tendencies; with special reference to their commercial relations with the United States → online text (page 1 of 22)