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Title: The Argentine Republic
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
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    _The Commission of the Argentine
    Republic takes pleasure in offering
    this volume, descriptive of the growth
    and position of the Argentine Republic,
    as a souvenir of the Panama-Pacific-Exposition
    of 1915._


    _San Francisco, May, 1915._

Argentine Republic

[Illustration: colophon]


Copyrighted, 1915, by


_All Rights Reserved_

Press of
J. J. Little & Ives Co.
New York










_Special Delegate of Fine Arts_

_Vice-Commissioner General and Commissioner of Agriculture_

_Commissioner of Education and Social Economy_
Delegate from the Ministry of Justice and Public Instruction

_Secretary General and Live-Stock Commissioner_

_Executive Secretary_

_Commissioner of Liberal Arts and Transportation_

_Commissioner of Varied Industries and Food Products_

_Commissioner in Charge of the Information Bureau_

_Sub-Commissioner of Fine Arts_

_Sub-Commissioner of Agriculture_

_Honorary Assistant_



In order to add clearness to the brief description of the Argentine
Republic presented in this little work, it has been thought desirable to
depart from the traditional method of submitting a mass of statistical
and historic matter and, instead, to furnish a rapid, though
comprehensive, survey of the main features of interest, such as will at
once convey to the reader the actual situation and potentialities of the
"Land of the Silver River."

For the fulfilment of this purpose, it has been necessary to closely
condense the facts and figures relating to the growth of the Argentine
Republic, to its Constitution, laws, commerce, the high standard of its
culture and the protection afforded, without distinction, to all
residents within its territories, by the national charter of its freedom
and by the advanced nature of its legislation.

The character and scope of the Argentine exhibits at the Panama-Pacific
Exposition eloquently testify to the importance of the Republic as a
field for an interchange of commerce with the United States, and, it is
hoped, that the statements and suggestions contained in this volume will
add impetus to the obviously growing desire to strengthen the commercial
and friendly objects which animates the people of both countries.


San Francisco, 1915.



The evolution of the Argentine Republic of to-day from the position of
an obscure Spanish dependency laboring under the disabilities of
colonial government, into one of the great countries of the world whose
watchwords are "progress" and "freedom," may be said to date from May
25, 1810, when the people of Buenos Aires declared their independence
and established the United Provinces of the River Plate. From that date
forward, until May 25, 1853, when the Federal Constitution of the
Argentine Republic was proclaimed at Santa Fé and even to a later
period, the history of that country bears many points of resemblance to
the early history of the United States. Just as the United States had to
subdue savage Indians, to enter into war and to offer great sacrifices
to develop the resources of vast uninhabited territories in order to
establish the principles of liberty and justice, the Argentine Republic
has successfully conquered the same difficulties and, to-day, is
inviting the rest of the world to add to its developments and to share
its wealth. In the disposition of its territories, in its form of
government and in its constitution and laws, the Argentine Republic has
modelled its policy upon that of the United States.

Situated in the southern portion of South America, the Republic, which
is divided into fourteen Provinces (States) and ten National
Territories, is bounded on the north by Bolivia, Paraguay and Brazil; on
the east by Paraguay, Brazil and Uruguay; and on the south and west by
Chile. It embraces the most important sections of the vast estuary of
the River Plate, with its entire line of coast on the Atlantic Ocean.
Within its extensive areas, covering about 1,150,000 square miles, the
possibilities of production are practically unlimited owing to the
wealth of the soil and the variety of its climate, which includes the
sub-tropical, the temperate and the cold regions. Yet, in none of these
is to be found the extreme, as may be judged by health statistics and by
the figures of the rates of mortality and longevity, which are
respectively lower and higher than in any country of Europe.

Geographically, the Argentine Republic may be divided into three
sections: the western, or Andine, the Pampean, and the Mesopotamian. The
western is mountainous and comprises the long strip sheltered by the
Cordillera of the Andes and its ramifications. It contains numerous
valleys of varied character and abounds in mineral wealth. The northern
and Andine provinces and the western part of the southern territories
are included in this division. The Pampean section embraces the southern
and central part of the Republic from the eastern portions of the
Province of Salta, with the Territories of Formosa and the Chaco, down
to the territories in the south; they include the plains stretching
south and extending through the rich Provinces of Santa Fé and Buenos
Aires. This section, as its name indicates, is one vast plain rolling
towards the south-east. It is crossed by innumerable rivers and streams
which descend from the Andes, and either lose themselves in the Pampa,
or become tributaries of the great river system of the Paraná, or flow
on till they join the Atlantic Ocean. In this section there are some few
isolated ranges of hills, besides numerous lakes and lagoons with swamps
and salt marshes, while a rich and varied vegetation gives sustenance to
millions of cattle. The Mesopotamian section lies between the Rivers
Paraná and Uruguay and comprises the Provinces of Entre Rios and
Corrientes, and the territory of Misiones. At its southern extremity is
the beautiful delta of the Paraná studded with islands of rich soil and
fertile vegetation. Advancing northwards, the land becomes undulating
with tree-clad hill slopes, intersected by a network of rivulets and
streams which water rich meadows and woodland and stretch to the north
over a great part of the Province of Corrientes. Here the land dips in a
remarkable manner, forming great lagoons and marshes and once more
changes its character in the Territory of Misiones, where hills abound,
covered with forests which extend far inland. There are also various
systems and ranges of mountains, the principal chain being that of the
Andes, which extends from north to south as far as Tierra del Fuego, and
constitutes a giant boundary wall between Argentina and Chile; but even
the barrier created by this great chain of mountains--at some points of
a height approaching 15,000 feet--to rapid communication between the two
countries has been removed by the opening of railway communication which
now permits of the journey from one side of the mountains to the other,
to be performed, during the greater part of the year, in a comparatively
few hours.

Other physical features of the Argentine Republic have been so much more
fully referred to elsewhere in these pages that it is merely necessary
for the purposes of this brief sketch to make some reference to the
Constitution in its relation to national progress.

As stated above, the Federal Constitution of the Argentine Republic is
almost a counterpart of the American Constitution and is based upon the
broadest principles of liberty and justice, with even fewer limitations
in regard to foreign residents than are imposed by the Constitution of
the United States. Nor is there any doubt that in an almost equal degree
to its great natural resources, the remarkable development and advance
of the Republic is due to its liberal Constitution and to the
legislation enacted in terms of its provisions. The principles it
embodies have been carried into practice in all its laws. In that
Republic there is perfect religious and civil freedom; there are no
restrictions upon healthy immigration, or upon the nationality of land
owners. The right is accorded to every inhabitant, native or foreign, to
engage in any lawful commerce or occupation, to petition the
authorities, to enter, remain upon, travel over, or leave Argentine
territory at will; and to use and dispose of property and to form part
of any society or association having lawful purposes.



Under its provisions the right of property is inviolate and prerogatives
of blood, of birth, or titles of nobility are not recognized, all men
being equal under the law. The composition of the judiciary, the
executive and the legislative branches of government, differs only from
that of the United States in that all judges are appointed and not

Each of the fourteen Provinces of the Republic has its own Constitution,
which cannot be in conflict with the Federal Constitution which provides
a necessarily limited degree of autonomy in the government of the
Provinces. The Federal Constitution prohibits the State Government from
usurping such functions of the Federal Government as entering into
treaties with foreign Powers, enacting laws affecting interstate or
foreign commerce, navigation, citizenship, naturalization, the coining
of money, or the establishment of custom houses. The organization of its
tribunals and the creation of its own laws and forms of procedure is an
absolute State right; but the Federal, Civil, Commercial, Penal and
Mining Laws are in force throughout the Republic, the Custom Houses and
Tariffs being also under the supreme control of the Federal Government.
These restricted autonomous powers were wisely provided to prevent the
conflict of laws which is of frequent occurrence under other Federal
systems. The protection of the moral and material interests of foreign
residents of the Republic, or of foreigners having interests therein, is
scrupulously enforced by the Courts according to the Constitution where
such questions are involved; and frequent decisions have been given by
the Federal Tribunals in that direction in order to maintain the
inviolability of the Constitution which was framed in the interest of
the Argentine nation and of "all the people of the world who may reside
in Argentine territory."


In the succeeding review of the progress achieved by the Argentine
Republic during the past twenty years, by a comparison of the facts and
figures relating largely to commercial movement, uniformity of date has
been overlooked and particular years have been selected, in some cases,
for the reason that official figures have not been available to equalize
the comparisons, although most of the figures given are embraced within
the period named.

The factors which, in a material sense, contribute chiefly to the
progress of a nation, are its sources of production, its means of
communication both within and beyond its territories, its domestic and
fiscal legislation and the labor and enterprise of its people. It is
therefore to these matters that it is principally intended to draw
attention, in so far as they pertain to the national industries, to home
and foreign trade, to railways, to ports and shipping, to finance and to
the general advance in all matters of a kindred nature; and as this
purpose will be better served by a straight-forward and concise
formulation of official figures shorn of all comment which might tend to
obscure their real significance, the form in which they are presented
will convey, at a glance, the extraordinary growth of the Argentine


     The area under cultivation in 1892 for Wheat, Linseed, Corn,
     Alfalfa, and similar products totalled 3,700,000 hectares (250
     hectares being equal to nearly one square mile) and in 1912 to
     22,987,726 hectares, showing an increase of the cultivated areas of
     more than six times the extent of twenty years previously.


     In 1895 the total exports of the Argentine Republic amounted to
     $120,067,790, and the total imports for the same year to
     $95,096,438, whilst in 1913 the value of the exports reached
     $483,504,547, and the imports $421,352,542.[A]

     [A] All figures relating to money signify gold dollars, except
         where otherwise stated.


     In 1895 the total length of railways in operation was 8,820 miles
     and in 1913 21,000 miles, with many thousands more projected and
     since placed under construction.


     The aggregate tonnage of vessels entered at and cleared from
     Argentine ports in the year 1900 was 25,241,618, whilst in 1913 the
     total tonnage was 56,604,833.79.


     The national census of 1869 gave the population of the country as
     1,830,214, whereof the city of Buenos Aires had 187,346
     inhabitants. According to the census of 1895, the total population
     amounted to 3,954,911, with that of the capital at 663,854. A new
     census, taken May, 1913, is now being compiled, but from figures
     supplied we know the population of the city was at that time
     1,560,000 inhabitants. According to the Division of Statistical and
     Rural Economy, the entire population of the Republic in 1911 was
     estimated to be 7,467,878. The latter figures are necessarily based
     upon incomplete returns and have probably been estimated upon a
     ratio of increase established by earlier calculations; but all
     indications point to the probability that on the completion of the
     new census, during the present year, the total population of the
     Republic will approach 10,000,000.


     The investment of foreign capital in the Argentine Republic has
     assumed far greater proportions during the past twenty years than
     in any other corresponding period since its formation. As one
     example of importance, it may be stated that the total capital
     invested in private and government-owned railways in the year 1895
     amounted to $485,360,121, whilst in 1913 the capital employed in
     railways operating in the Argentine Republic reached
     $1,210,475,331, of which over ninety per cent is British. In 1895
     the foreign capital invested in the Republic, including, at that
     time, about $400,000,000 of External National Debt, barely exceeded
     $1,000,000,000. An official estimate of foreign capital invested in
     the country at the end of 1910 gave the following figures:


    1. Loans and various Argentine Bonds      691,831,000
    2. Railways                               804,413,000
    3. Banks                                   37,541,000
    4. Ports                                   22,164,000
    5. Street car lines                        91,576,000
    6. Freezing plants                          8,392,000
    7. Gas and electric companies,
         water works and sanitary works        58,035,000
    8. Land and loan companies                160,800,000
    9. Other companies                         41,650,000
    10. Mortgages and properties              150,000,000
    11. Commerce and credit                   200,000,000
            Grand total                    $2,266,402,000


     The vast increase in exports during latter years has naturally
     attracted considerable imports of gold; and, as showing the wealth
     and stability of the Republic, it may be mentioned that the
     Conversion Fund created by law in 1901 to secure the national
     issues of paper and nickel currency (which was then to consist of
     appropriations from certain sources of revenue until a total of
     $30,000,000 had been obtained) showed at December 31st, 1913, gold
     reserves in the Caja de Conversion to be $233,197,727, or
     considerably more than 60 per cent. of the entire issues of paper
     and nickel currency.


     The Custom House Revenue on import duties for 1903 amounted to
     $37,191,857, and in 1913 to $98,978,745.

When it is remembered that the Argentine Republic covers an area of
about one-third of the United States and that up to the present time
not nearly one-fifth of its productive soil has been placed under
cultivation, the figures relating to its production will leave little
doubt that the world, in the not distant future, will find in that
favored land one of the main sources of its food supply. But it is not
alone in the development of the agricultural and pastoral industries
that the great advance of the Republic is to be noted. In every form of
national activity the forward march of the Argentine Republic has made
itself felt far beyond its own borders; while from a purely commercial
point of view it has become a centre of universal interest and has added
materially to the enrichment of the commerce of many of the countries of



In legislation there have been many notable advances during the past
twenty years and, in some cases, examples worthy of being followed by
older communities. Amongst the most important legislative measures,
those dealing with immigration, colonization, electoral reform, land
settlement, education, labor, animal and sanitary laws, may be
singled out for special mention. The immigration laws have been framed,
since their inception, with a view to inviting foreigners to share in
the development and enjoyment of the national wealth. No restrictions
are imposed upon the entry of immigrants other than those which have for
their object the exclusion of the criminal classes or persons who are
physically or mentally unsound. Not only can the immigrant acquire rich
government land on conditions unequalled in other new countries, but
provision is also made for the supply of the necessary funds to furnish
the colonist with implements and other equipment to enable him to reap
an ample reward for his labors. The naturalization laws impose no
difficulties in the acquisition of citizenship, although there is
absolute freedom on the part of the alien resident to hold land and
property and to enjoy all the privileges conferred upon inborn citizens,
except that of voting at Congressional or Presidential elections. Even
certain public positions may be held by foreigners without
naturalization. In electoral matters, the law recently passed to
enforce compulsory voting at elections has already produced excellent
results and has succeeded in removing attempts at coercion and the
exercise of undue influence in the return of candidates for elective
offices; and most of these legislative reforms have been effected during
the past twenty years.

Although not precisely within the period under review, the enactment of
the Conversion Law of 1891 has had such far-reaching effects upon the
financial situation and general stability of the Republic that it should
not be omitted from a record of national legislation dating from even
four years later. Prior to the passage of that law, violent fluctuations
in the premium of gold, induced by speculation, led to so much
disturbance of commerce as to render it necessary to place the national
currency on a more substantial basis. With that object in view an
average was taken and the value of paper currency was fixed by the law
at 44 per cent of the value of gold, in other words, making $227.27,
currency, equal to $100 gold. The law further provided for the
establishment of a Conversion Fund, which was to be formed by the
appropriation of certain sources of revenue and to be added to by annual
increments until it reached a total of $30,000,000 gold, which with the
gold reserves then existing and to be accumulated were to be employed
exclusively for the public exchange of gold and paper at the rate fixed.
As shown in the figures relating to gold reserves, the accumulation of
gold held in the Caja de Conversion for the purposes of the law, at
December 31, 1913, amounted to $233,197,727, representing upwards to 60
per cent of the entire national currency in circulation, a proportion
not exceeded by any other country of the world; and with the resumption
of exports upon a normal scale, which will constantly bring more gold to
the Republic, the relation of gold reserves to currency issues will, in
a comparatively short time, be such as to justify the creation of a
definite and exclusive gold standard as the monetary system of the



The Argentine Republic has achieved many triumphs in diplomacy and many
legitimately claim to have made new international law for all the
countries of the American continent. One of the most important steps yet
taken in this direction was the formulation, in 1902, of the now
universally accepted doctrine establishing the principle that
contractual debts by Sovereign States to foreign private subjects, or
citizens, should not be collected by the employment of armed forces.
This doctrine was propounded by the then Argentine Minister of Foreign
Affairs in a Note addressed to the United States Government as the
result of the occupation, at that time, of the territorial waters of an
independent state by the warships of some of the European Powers, for
the avowed purpose of compelling payment to their subject of claims for
damages and for the fulfilment of the service of a national debt due to
foreign creditors and then in default. This Note aroused world-wide
attention and the subject was dealt with diplomatically by many of
the countries of Europe which had commercial relations with the
Latin-American Republics. It formed the subject of frequent discussion
at various Pan-American Congresses, and was particularly favored in the
United States, where, subject to certain slight modifications, it was
regarded as a logical pendant to the Monroe Doctrine. At the Second
International Peace Conference at the Hague, in 1907, the Doctrine was
submitted for the approval of the Conference by the American Delegation
with slight modifications and was accepted, without dissent, by the
Delegates of all the countries represented. It is not necessary here to
enter into a discussion of the merits or importance of this Argentine
doctrine. Suffice it to add, however, that the negation of its main
purpose would be to endanger the existence of the Monroe Doctrine by
shattering the principal object with which that policy was conceived and

Another great international movement in which the Argentine Republic
assumed a leading part and which is likely to have far-reaching effects
in advancing the friendly relations of the United States with the sister
American Republics, was the recent mediation of the "A. B. C." Powers
(Argentine, Brazil and Chile). The events of that particular time are
too fresh in the memory of the American public to need description of
detail. It is sufficient to say that the mediation referred to averted a
war which would probably have involved the sacrifice of countless lives
and of countless millions. But the initiation of the policy of mediation
entered into on that occasion has even more importance than that which
attaches to it as having prevented a great and unnecessary war. It has
served, firstly, to show that the great advance made by the leading
South American Republics is not merely an advance made for selfish
purposes, but for the benefit of the whole of the Latin nations of the
American continent. The great statesmen of those countries, whilst
recognizing the occasionally intemperate political acts which take place
in some of the lesser Republics, have placed a cloak of protection
around the weaker sisters of their countries to prevent attacks upon
their national independence and sovereignty. By their offer of mediation
in the critical situation which had then arisen on this continent, they
also gave birth to a policy which, independently of its humane aspect,
is calculated to secure the real objects of legitimate Pan-Americanism.
The United States has invariably exhibited a spirit of justice and of
generosity in all its relations with the other American Republics, and
the "A. B. C." mediation has not only strengthened this wise policy on
the part of the United States, but has demonstrated the capacity and the
influence, without actual intervention, of the most important Latin
Republics to save the less advanced countries from a sacrifice of their
national independence.

Still another step of diplomatic importance has recently been taken by
the Argentine Ambassador at Washington by a submission of a lengthy
resolution to the governing body of the Pan-American Union (consisting
of the Secretary of State of the United States and the Ambassadors and
Ministers of the other twenty American Republics) with a view to
providing means for the restriction of hostilities by belligerents in
neutral waters. This course was adopted in consequence of the hardships
and difficulties imposed on the South American Republics and on other
neutral countries through the present war in Europe and through the
prevailing indefinite character of the international rules and of
international law in the definition of the respective rights of neutrals
and belligerents. Whilst it would be difficult to assume that any
reforms will be effected during the continuance of the present war in
Europe or immediately thereafter, it is reasonable to suppose that the
substantive portions of the Argentine Ambassador's resolution will
influence succeeding international Conferences to so regulate these
vital matters as to confine naval operations within limits which, in
future wars, will not place so heavy a burden upon the coastal and
oversea trade of neutral countries.

In its relations with the different countries of the world the Republic
enjoys the most friendly intercourse and shares the privileges accorded
to the great Powers in international commercial treaties. It has never
failed to fulfil its national obligations either at home or abroad; it
has no ambitions for territorial expansion and desires only to maintain
internal and external peace in order to extend the country's material
prosperity and the welfare of its inhabitants.


Primary Education owes its present state of development to that master
Patriot, Pedagogue and President of the Republic, DOMINGO F. SARMIENTO,
who as a personal friend and student of the noted American Educator had
every opportunity to introduce the best that he considered practicable
into the educational system of Argentina.

The education of youth of Argentina is the concern of state authorities
who work in harmony with the educational bodies of its cities, towns
and villages. The exception to it consists in the control of the Primary
schools of the Federal city of Buenos Aires by the National Board of
Education, together with some other exceptions to be mentioned later on.

One of the more recent and far-reaching developments of this Federal
control is the fact, that in some of the provinces (States) Primary
schools are established and subsidized by the Federal Government, where
local conditions are equal to the needs of popular education.

Argentina maintains therefore in some of the provinces the regular State
controlled as well as Federal Government controlled Primary schools;
likewise are many of the Special type schools controlled by the National

In 1894 there were 3000 Primary schools, Public and Private, which
increased during the next twenty years to 7877 schools; likewise did the
teaching force of these schools grow from 7800 to over 26,000 teachers.
The pupils attending these Primary schools in 1894 numbered 280,000,
whereas in 1914 the attendance increased to 890,000 pupils. The
expenditures incurred for the maintenance of these schools show an even
more remarkable increase of service and efficiency. The total expenses
for Primary Education in 1894 were 9,370,000 pesos; in 1914 the
expenditures rose to a figure, six times that of 1894, 56,635,000 pesos.

In 1894 the Normal schools, 35 in number, had an enrollment of 1376
pupils, preparing themselves for the teaching career in Primary schools;
in the year of 1914 the number of Normal schools increased to over 70 in
number and the enrollment to 8970 students, more than six times of its
enrollment twenty years ago. During this same period the expenditures in
this particular department of public education rose from 2,000,000 pesos
to that of 10,000,000 pesos.


The Secondary schools are responding also to the modern demands of a
democratic conception of education. From mere preparatory institutions
for the Universities they are fast becoming schools of advanced
education to an increasing number of men and women.

In 1894 the students of Secondary schools numbered 3000, which number
rose to 10,000 in 1914, the expenditures having increased from 1,000,000
pesos to nearly 6,000,000 pesos in the year of 1914.




Technical education is also a matter of recent development, there having
been organized and are maintained in flourishing condition two distinct
types of technical schools. One kind provides technical training in the
various trades for young men from 12 to 15 years, while the second type
serve to train the young men for positions as foremen and
superintendents. For this purpose these schools give a more extensive
and intensive instruction along theoretical and practical science as far
as it applies to these various trades. There are 4 large schools of each
one of these two types, supported and controlled by the National
Government at a yearly expense of 1-1/2 millions of pesos. In
addition to these, there are 15 Trade schools for girls, also under the
control of the National Government, giving instructions in the trades
wherein girls predominate, such as millinery, dressmaking,
flower-making, telegraph operators, stenographers and typewriters,
glove-making, and so forth.


Of recent development and also under control of the National Government
are the Commercial schools for men and women, which provide adequate
modern instruction in salesmanship and bookkeeping and all other
affiliated activities of commerce. These schools graduate pupils with
the rank of Bachelors of Commercial Science and also train the certified
Public Accountants. A more recent addition to the scope of these schools
is the Degree of Doctor, given for advanced work in Economic Sciences.
The National Government spends about 1-1/2 millions of pesos for this
branch of education.


Agricultural education in Argentina is of a twofold type, general and
special. The Special or so-called REGIONAL schools, look towards the
education of future workers in special fields, such as, for example, the
sugar industries of Tucuman. These schools specialize on the intelligent
development of special industries all over Argentina. The curriculum of
all these schools is intensely practical, but cover and maintain a
sufficient scientific background as these practical studies require in
the various industrial fields. These schools are also under the control
of the National Government, through the Department of Agriculture.

The schools which provide for the thorough scientific instruction
underlying all agricultural occupations are under the control of the
NATIONAL UNIVERSITIES of Buenos Aires and La Plata. The annual cost of
all agricultural schools is about 3-1/2 millions of pesos, including the
expenses incurred in the maintenance of experimental stations, class
excursions and University extension teaching.


Military education comprises 7 Army and 9 Navy schools for machinists,
mechanics, electricians, the officers of the Army and the Navy, Pilots,
Seamen and so forth, to which 2 million pesos were devoted in 1914.
Practical instruction is offered in warships and particularly in the
Training-ship _Presidente Sarmiento_, which visited the Panama-Pacific
International Exposition at San Francisco during the month of May of
1915, during her 15th cruise of instruction.


The Universities of Argentina maintain the traditional faculties of
Jurisprudence, Belles Lettres and Philosophy, Pure and Applied Science,
to which recently have been added such departments as Pedagogics,
Agriculture, and other newer departments. The enlargement of the
activities of these Universities, especially the creation of the
University of La Plata, is proof of Argentina's advancement in this
field. The La Plata University has been instrumental in the exchange of
Professors and has encouraged in many ways the visits of public men of
note of Europe and North America, thus recognizing the desirability of
maintaining and fostering the most pleasant relations between Europe and
the United States of America.

Recent statistics show that the University at Buenos Aires had on its
register 1,051 students in the Law Faculty; 210 in that of Philosophy
and Letters; 2,501 of Medicine; and 602 of Exact Sciences. The La Plata
University, according to the same figures, had 2,184 students, and the
University of Córdova 584.

In point of fact, in all the liberal arts and professions, the Argentine
Republic takes one of the first places. Literature, Music and Art are
also at a very high standard and it is perhaps appropriate to mention
here in regard to music that not only is its study general throughout
the country but, that in Buenos Aires alone, there are upwards of sixty
Conservatories of Music where instruction is received in the higher

In regard to the national defences, Article 21 of the Constitution
provides for compulsory service by all Argentine citizens in defence of
the country. The regular army, though comparatively small, has attained
a high state of efficiency, which may also be said of the reserve
forces. During latter years considerable and important additions have
been made to the Argentine Navy, notably by the recent construction in
the United States of the _Rivadavia_ and the _Moreno_, which, to-day,
without doubt, are among the finest battleships afloat. In other naval
matters, such as gunnery, dry docks, naval bases, armaments, repairing
shops and technical instruction, there has been a remarkable advance in
the last twenty years.

While the figures given here in connection with Argentine exports
indicate increased production for home consumption, it is also desirable
to demonstrate the progress made by the Republic in latter years in the
establishment and development of national industries, as well as in
exported articles. The new era of industrial expansion which set in
about the year 1903, shows equally remarkable advance in regard to
industries already then established and the creation of others which in
time will assume considerable importance. Metallurgical industries have
made rapid strides not only in numbers but also in the value and extent
of their production; and, there is little doubt, that as the
exploitation of the many iron and copper mines to be found in the
Republic is proceeded with, this branch of national industry will attain
still greater proportions. Other new industries for which the Republic
offers a most suitable field are those of Cotton, Tobacco, Textile
Fabrics, Oils, Rice, Silk and Forestal productions. Some of these have
been largely extended during the last ten or twelve years, notably those
pertaining to the production of hard-woods and their extracts, furniture
and other wood manufactures. The latter industries especially are likely
to receive a great impetus through the action of the Government in
devising efficient means for new methods of exploitation and
conservation of the forests, as foreshadowed in the Message of the
President to Congress in 1913.

To demonstrate the extraordinary development of the stock breeding
industry, it is only necessary to state that according to the last
Agricultural and Livestock Census taken in 1908, the Republic was shown
to possess 29,116,625 head of cattle, 67,211,754 sheep, 3,945,036 goats,
and 7,531,376 horses, being an increase over the census of 1895 of
approximately 30 per cent in the number of head of cattle and of nearly
50 per cent in the number of horses. This numerical increase, however,
does not fully express the high degree of development reached in this
national industry and particularly in regard to cattle and horses. In
the years intervening between those two censuses, hundreds of millions
of dollars were expended on the purchase and importation of pedigree
stock, which have placed Argentine bred animals on a standard of
equality with many of those raised in the old countries. This may be
seen by the values stated in the respective years named. In 1895 the
stock of cattle was valued at $221,000,000 and in 1908 at $410,000,000,
whilst the horses were valued in the first census at $26,000,000, the
value given in 1908 was over $90,000,000.



The founding in 1858 of the Argentine Rural Society by a group of social
spirited breeders and land owners, was the starting point of the
expansion of this industry and owing to the ideas and methods introduced
by that Association, it was found necessary in more recent years to
create the Ministry of Agriculture, which includes within its sphere of
operations not only the governmental control of the agricultural and
pastoral industries, but also the entire range of the Republic's foreign
commerce. The annual shows of the Rural Society in Buenos Aires attract
visitors from all parts of Europe and it has been conceded that for the
variety and all-round quality of the animals exhibited, they excel the
regularly established shows of Europe. At the 1913 exhibition of the
Argentine Rural Society, the locally-bred champion Short-horn Bull,
"Americus," created a world's record by realizing the unprecedented
price of about $35,000 ($80,000 currency), whilst even larger sums have
been obtained for yearlings produced in the country. Nor is this
surprising when it is stated that Argentine breeders have paid the
highest known prices for pure pedigree stock, in which general statement
may be included the payment of more than $150,000 each for three famous
Derby winners. The breeds of cattle most encouraged in Argentina are
Shorthorns and Herefords, Lincolns predominating in Sheep and
Clydesdales and Percherons in Horses. Still, there are hundreds of
millions of acres of rich pasture lands not yet stocked, so that when
the time comes to place these vast areas under cultivation, the number
of animals that could be maintained is almost illimitable. It should be
further added that the climatic conditions of the country permit of all
its animals being reared in the open; and as showing the possibilities
awaiting those who enter this field of national industry, it may be
pointed out that in hundreds of cases where land has been rented and
cultivated for the purpose of fattening cattle, the lessees have been
enabled within a very few years to become absolute owners of the land as
a result of their profitable operations.

The Dairy and Flour industries have likewise shown great improvement,
whilst considerable promise is held out by the establishment and
development of other industries, such as the cultivation and export of
fruits, the breeding and fattening of hogs, poultry farming, bee-culture
and the manufacture of vegetable and animal oil products.

The vigilant economic policy undertaken by the present government of the
Republic is likely to exercise a very beneficial effect upon the future
of these and other industries when normal conditions are restored. The
questions of roads, canals, ports, transport charges and other matters
which affect the development of commerce were all being considered with
a view to improvement prior to the outbreak of war; and even at the
present time work is proceeding for the deepening of existing channels
and the extension of ports and docks. Immigration has necessarily been
checked through the war, but when this disturbing element no longer
exists, renewed vigor will be applied to a general extension of
industrial establishments in every direction where the natural resources
of the Republic can be made available.


Of all the great Expositions held in the United States to celebrate some
distinct occurrence or achievement in the history of the country, none
has assumed the importance or splendour of the World's Fair at San
Francisco, created to commemorate America's immeasurable service to the
cause of humanity by the construction of the Panama Canal to link up the
Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Conceived and decided upon in times of
general peace, most of the nations of the earth were invited to
participate; and though laboring at the time under certain difficulties
induced by universally disturbed economic conditions, many of the
countries subordinated these considerations to the higher purpose of
cementing the bonds of international friendship by accepting the
invitation of the United States to take part in the great Exposition of
San Francisco, formed to crown the colossal work initiated by Ferdinand
de Lesseps and carried into execution by American skill, labor and
courage. Not least amongst the countries willing to make sacrifices to
share in this noble work was the Argentine Republic which, in the face
of many obstacles to adequate representation, at once entered into the
spirit of the undertaking and after assembling its leading authorities
in all the branches of national arts and industries, decided to assume
its appropriate part in the glorification of the American Continent by
the effort to show that the nations of the south were advancing step by
step with the great Republic of the north. Preliminary action was at
once taken to organize influential committees representing all the
States and Territories of the Republic, an immense sum of money was
voted by Congress and full preparations were set on foot to secure a
practical and eloquent manifestation of the phenomenal progress and of
the social and political economy of the Argentine Republic. No sooner
had these measures been adopted than a series of perturbations,
culminating in the outbreak of the war in Europe, occurred to create an
unfavorable ambient and to sow doubts and mistrust forshadowing failure
for the great enterprise. In spite, however, of the fears and even of
the opposition thus created, the Argentine Government through its
organized Committees proceeded uninterruptedly with the completion of
its plans and has been able to organize the most important
representation it has yet had in any foreign Exposition.

The Argentine section of the International Exposition of San Francisco
admittedly holds high rank in every aspect of its participation, not
excluding the magnificence of its Pavilion and the area of space
allotted to Argentine exhibits, which reflect the indisputable
importance and advance of the Republic. The spaces occupied in the
various Palaces of the Exposition embrace an area of 3,000 square meters
which, added to the 4,000 meters occupied by the Pavilion and Garden,
gives a total area of 7,000 square meters and constitutes a space record
over all previous exhibitions in which the Argentine Republic has so far
assisted. The areas excluding the Pavilion and Garden are divided as

    (1) Agriculture                      1,140 square meters
    (2) Various Products                   550    "      "
    (3) Food Products                      385    "      "
    (4) Education and Social Economy       320    "      "
    (5) Liberal Arts                       230    "      "
    (6) Mining and Metallurgy              215    "      "
    (7) Fine Arts                          160    "      "
        Total                            3,000    "      "

The Argentine Pavilion, which has been accorded a prominent position
amongst other palatial constructions of the Exposition, conveys an
expressive idea of the higher standard of national art, both from the
architectural and decorative standpoints. In the centre portion of the
Pavilion there is a beautiful Conference Hall and a spacious gallery in
which there will be kinetoscopic and dioramic exhibitions of
characteristic views of national life and activity and of some of the
natural beauty spots of the country, such as the Iguazú Falls, the
Nahuel Huapi and others. There is a Buffet for the testing and tasting
of exclusively Argentine products, whilst other surrounding
installations include a Library of national authors, a Reading Room, an
Information Bureau, a Reception Hall and the various offices of the
Commission. The principal frontage of the Pavilion is composed of two
high laterals which coil on a central figure crowned by a handsome dome
reaching to a height of 50 meters. Approach is obtained by a wide
"stoop" which gives access to a porch adorned with caryatides forming a
vestibule, the porch being decorated with a symbolic "vitrail" and
enclosed in an imposing arch 21 meters high. On the right and left of
this entrance there are two sculptured plaques, respectively,
representing the profiles of San Martin and Washington, and throughout
the graceful halls and buildings, all designed by Argentine architects
and constructed by Argentine workmen, there are beautiful and graphic
pictorial representations of the Port and City of Buenos Aires, of the
Campo de Mayo, of the Puerto Militar, of the Immigrant Hotel and the
natural fields and forests of Quebracho.



The main divisions of Argentine exhibits have been sub-divided into so
many departments and classifications as to render it difficult within
the necessarily brief limits of this work to describe in detail the
character of each of the sub-divisions and of the respective exhibits
they contain. It will, therefore, suffice for the object in view to
furnish merely an outline of the plans adopted by the Argentine
Commission to demonstrate the high grade of excellence and perfection of
the national products and industries. The most important of the
buildings comprising the Argentine section is the Palace of Agriculture,
which covers an area of about 1,400 square meters and embraces a
collection of about 2,000 samples of classified products covering the
entire field of agriculture, including those of the crops of 1913-1914
and 1914-1915. In each sample of the collection there is specified the
name of the product, the weight and measure in kilos and hectolitres,
the weight in pounds per bushel, the output in pounds per acre, the zone
of production, the name of the exhibitor and, in many cases, indications
of the nature of the soil and other physical conditions. The arrangement
of the exhibition of the various products has been moreover much
simplified by the adoption of the plan of enclosing them in boxes with
glass covers, giving to each product a unit of measure in a square of 15
centimeters, thus permitting the sample, once placed in its original
packing, to remain unchanged and to be easily removed and classified,
whilst by this arrangement space has been economized and facilities
given for the addition of photographs and explanatory notes which serve
the double purpose of giving useful information and decorative effect.

Other features of interest in this section comprise a collection of
tobaccos cultivated in Argentina and on a wall of about 3 square meters
in dimension there is exhibited a large illustration of a national
tobacco manufactory in full operation. Considerable attention has been
devoted to this particular department, one cabinet alone having cost
$6,000 to construct. In the section set apart for textile products,
there is an artistically arranged exhibition of samples of wool
consisting of about 300 separate collections contributed in more, or
less, equal proportion by public bodies and individual producers. The
beautiful cabinet containing these samples also has a number of
photographic views relating to the products shown as well as pictorial
reproductions of sheep-shearing and other mechanical operations as
carried out on the larger farms of the Republic. There are likewise
shown here many classified samples of cotton and a variety of vegetable

The collection of woods and other forestal products is another centre of
attraction for visitors and gives a clear idea of the riches enclosed
in Argentine forests. The collection consists of upwards of a thousand
samples representing, in their varied forms, a hundred classes of
different woods. In addition to the great variety of this exhibit, its
interest has been added to by the contribution of a number of maps and
photographic views by the Forest Department of the Ministry of
Agriculture. To make the Agricultural Section of the Argentine Republic
more attractive and of added practical value, a number of the official
Departments of the Republic have contributed statistics, plans and
graphic illustrations pertaining to the methods and progress of this
branch of industry. The drawings, paintings and statistics shown by the
Board of Rural Economy demonstrate the enormous growth and progress made
in this direction, whilst the exhibits of the Argentine Meteorological
Office and the National Board of Agriculture furnish every necessary
detail in regard to climatic and meteorological conditions and the
provision made against agricultural plagues. Added to all this, there
is a collection of photographic views relating to pastoral and
agricultural production which may be considered to excel both in detail
and variety.

The development of other Argentine national industries is to be seen in
the Palace of Industry, which occupies a rectangular space of 30 meters
frontage by 18 deep, on the Central Avenue. In this section are shown
samples of a great variety of articles produced in the numerous
factories devoted to the production of cloth, shoes, hats, decorative
ornaments, electric light fittings, crockery, construction material,
tools, implements, mechanical products, glassware, matches, tannery,
saddlery and many others. As in all the other Argentine sections, the
exhibition is made more complete by the display of splendid photographs
which assist in demonstrating the rapid advance in the number and
character of Argentine manufactures.

The justification of the description of the Argentine Republic as the
"universal provider" of foodstuffs is to be found in the section
assigned to such products, notwithstanding the absence of an exhibition
of chilled and frozen meats, together with some of their by-products, as
a result of circumstances which have temporarily impeded the operations
of the great packing houses. The vast proportions of this branch of
industry may be gathered from the admirable collection of photographs
displayed. The regrettable fact that the Argentine Republic is unable to
offer any practical demonstration of its meat-producing capacity through
circumstances over which neither the country nor the producers had any
control is, to some extent, however, compensated for by the large and
interesting exhibition of many of its other leading food products. The
milling industry is amply represented by samples of excellent quality
from the raw material down to such by-products as biscuits, nutritious
pastes, sweets, candies and all the other articles made from it. Here
important space is also given to such articles of general consumption,
as preserved fruits, condensed milk, sterilized and antiseptic, lard,
cheese, conserved vegetables, etc. Beverages, wines, beer and liqueurs
are abundantly represented, whilst there are numerous exhibits of other
alcoholic products, oils and vinegars. A prominent feature of this
section is the diorama illustrating field sports and fishing and an
interesting collection of embalmed animals, particularly birds and
fishes, of many different species and dimensions.

In the Mineral and Metallurgy Department of the Exposition, the
Argentine Republic has an effective display of a general collection of
minerals and three special exhibits of petroleum and combustibles,
borates, salts and materials for construction. In regard to these, more
attention has been given to the object of securing typical samples which
demonstrate the character of the various ore deposits, than to the
consideration of the actual number of samples. In the collection of
petroleum and combustibles, there are samples from the following
deposits: Commodore Rivadavia, Laguna de la Brea, Cerro Buitres, San
Rafael, Cacheta, Covunco (Neuquen), Cerro Sotena, Challaco, Mina
Carmelo (Salta), Yacuiba, Garrapatal (Jujuy). This collection contains
39 different samples, with specific details and statistics especially
tabulated in every case. The exhibition of marbles and stones for
purposes of construction is most complete. Here are to be seen the
famous marble onyx of San Luis and of San Rafael, the marbles from the
Sierras of Cordoba (represented by 15 varieties), and specimens of the
large granites of Sierras Bajas, Olavarría, etc. There is also a
collection of mineral waters in which are included those mostly used in
the thermal establishments of Rosario de la Frontera; whilst, as a
decorative contribution to the exhibition there is a plastic
representation of the Sierras of Famatina, showing a part of its
wonderful aerial railway, together with an admirable series of
photographs, maps, and diagrams embracing practically every branch of
the mineral and metallurgical industries.

The designation of "Palace of Liberal Arts" is a somewhat inadequate
description of the Argentine exhibits of Liberal Arts in the generic
sense of the words, as, in addition to the branches of study usually
embodied in that classification, there are included under that head many
exhibits of a scientific and technical character which, for the
demonstration they afford of national progress in the direction referred
to, might well have formed a separate collection. Here are to be seen a
complete series of drawings, maps, statistics and plans of works
graphically depicting, with full details, the principal river systems
and general workings of the rivers and ports of the Republic, all
prepared by the Department of Public Works. Nearly every technical
division of the Government Departments is represented in this section,
many of the exhibits having been sent by the General Board of Railways,
the Board of Bridges and Roads, the Board of Architecture, the Board of
Health, the Board of the Capital and various Divisions of the War
Cabinet, each unit containing photographs, plans and diagrams indicating
the advance that has been made in all these important public works.
Amongst other features of interest contained in this section, special
mention should be made of the representation of the National and Foreign
Press, which furnishes unquestionable evidence of the high state of
efficiency and general excellence as well as the enterprise of Argentine
journalism. Here also are the exhibits of the literary, scientific and
educational works produced in the Republic and the contributions of the
National Centre of Engineers, of the Argentine Graphic Institute, of the
Central Society of Architecture, of the Society of Architects and
Construction of Works, etc., etc., all combining to illustrate the high
degree of Argentine progress in the field of Liberal Arts.

In an earlier chapter reference is made to the great advance made by the
Argentine Republic, in recent years, in the development of education, to
which cause successive Governments have given ever-increasing thought
and attention, whilst Congress has, year by year, sympathetically
supported the Government policy by augmented money votes for the
addition to the number and the improvement of educational institutions.
In the Palace of Education and Social Economy which was voluntarily
accorded a place of honor by the Exposition Commission amongst the
principal Palaces of the Fair, there has been formed a collection of
detailed exhibits pertaining to Argentine national education which
points to the very great importance given to this subject by the
authorities of the Republic. The efforts of every official element in
educational matters have been brought into play with a result that
leaves no doubt, either as to the desire for, or the standard of culture
in the Argentine Republic. This exhibition, moreover, is not only an
effective exponent of national progress but will also serve to remove an
easily understood, though generally prevailing ignorance in many foreign
countries of true conditions in Argentina. In order to add perfect
completeness to the educational exhibits, a new departure has been made
to show full details of every branch of teaching, official and private,
primary, secondary, university, commercial, industrial, agricultural,
professional, etc., etc., for all classes and ages, by means of plans,
statistics and some 6,000 photographs representing 150 leading
institutions and upwards of 100,000 students and pupils whose physical
characteristics at once reveal the predomination of the higher European
types. As may be imagined, these illustrations represent the scholarly
activities of the country in their widest aspect and are not merely
photographs of special groups of children such as are frequently shown
in educational exhibitions. The statistics, which form an instructive
addition to the pictorial matter, have been so compiled and tabulated as
to make their full value and significance easy of comprehension and
there is every reason to believe that those which accompany the
illustrations of the agricultural sections and experimental stations
will be of special interest to the majority of American visitors to the

In regard to the group of exhibits corresponding to the section of
Social Economy contained in the same artistically arranged building,
much detail is furnished concerning many of the social and charitable
institutions of the Republic, in reference to which there is an absence
of information abroad. The co-operation of the Argentine Social Museum
and other important public bodies has enabled the Commission to present
a comprehensive exhibition of views and of the methods of operation of
the various national Associations established, as asylums, refuges,
hospitals, poor-houses and other organizations for the protection of
women and children and for the prevention of crime, as well as
demonstrations of the work performed by these bodies, some of which also
have for their purpose the extension of social improvement, of public
order, economy, hygiene, labor, the construction of dwellings and other
objects of public advantage. In this section there is also an exhibition
of works of arts produced by Argentine artists embracing a careful
selection of paintings and examples of sculpture representative and
characteristic, in every sense, of national art; and with a view to
demonstrating the artistic progress of the country, this collection is
made up of only recent works, not one of which has previously been
shown in any foreign Exposition.



This shadowy outline of the nature and quality of the Argentine exhibits
at the San Francisco Exposition, though utterly incomplete as a
description of their importance and value, will convey a general idea of
the position attained by the Argentine Republic in all those moral and
material factors which go to make up a great nation; and if to these
elements are added the initiative and beneficial labors of Argentina in
the international sphere, a sense of pride should be awakened in the
hearts of all Americans that in the arts of peace, the widely separated,
though great, countries of the American Continent, stand out as shining
examples, worthy of emulation even by many countries of the old world.


In 1895 the exports from the United States to the Argentine Republic
amounted in value to $6,686,999 and the imports from that country to
$8,947,165. In 1912 the exports from the United States amounted to
$53,158,179 and the imports to $29,847,016. These figures sufficiently
indicate the results likely to follow the active campaign of the
manufacturers and commercial bodies in this country, recently initiated
as a consequence of the war. The conditions arising out of the great
upheaval caused by that world disaster have furnished the occasion for
the exercise of an effort without parallel in the United States in any
previous attempt to secure a larger share of South American trade. In
this movement the Argentine Republic must necessarily be the main
objective, owing to the vastness of its resources and commercial
activities. Yet, although there is no doubt that the United States
should and will constitute a still greater source of supply to that
country of manufactured products, machinery and other articles, not only
during the war, but for a long period after its close, it is necessary
to consider that in order to secure a permanent extension of
international trade upon a scale of magnitude apparently justified by
superficial conditions, serious attention should be given to matters of
reciprocal interests and the past relations of the Argentine Republic
with the European countries to which it has freely opened its markets.

In this connection the words "reciprocal interests" must be taken rather
in a literal sense than in the sense of reciprocity, as that expression
is usually understood when applied to international treaties. Even
though the question of tariffs does not now form so insuperable an
obstacle to a large interchange of commerce between the two countries as
was formerly the case, the fact that the balance of Argentine's trade
with the leading countries of Europe has always been in her favor,
renders it a condition precedent to a permanent expansion of
international commerce that there must be a greater quality of interest
than exists at present. In other words, the United States must offer
corresponding advantages to the Argentine Republic to attract a transfer
of a considerable share of her commerce from European competitors.

In the instances of Great Britain, Germany and France, with which
countries the Argentine Republic has always transacted the greater part
of her foreign trade, there has not only been a steady and
ever-increasing growth in the consumption of Argentine national
products, but those countries have likewise furnished huge amounts of
capital for the establishment on Argentine soil of industrial and
commercial undertakings, which, by their own necessities, create a
natural extension of commercial interchange. It must also be remembered
that the main products of the Argentine Republic are also the main
products of the United States, where they are protected by High Tariffs,
whereas, in Great Britain, which is Argentina's principal customer,
there are no duties upon the imports of foodstuffs. In these
circumstances it is obvious that some means must be found whereby the
interests of Argentina in her commercial relations with the United
States must be made more reciprocal, either by the introduction of
American capital for the development of local industries, or by the
remission, at least, of a substantial portion of the duties now imposed
upon Argentine exports to the United States.

The enormous growth of population which has changed the position of the
United States from an exporting to a consuming country, so far as
foodstuffs are concerned, will, doubtless, in course of time,
considerably ameliorate the restrictive conditions which have heretofore
operated as a barrier to large exports of Argentine products to this
country. On the other hand, the production of the Argentine Republic, by
reason of the largely increased area placed under cultivation year after
year, maintains her exporting capacity at a constantly higher level.
Thus, given equal conditions in other respects, the United States might
ultimately become as free a market for Argentina's meat and grain as any
of the countries of Europe. Under similar circumstances as those
indicated, there could also be infinitely larger imports of raw material
which could subsequently be re-sold to the Argentine Republic in
manufactured form.

The countries which have hitherto occupied the first place in Argentine
foreign trade are those which not only gave initial impulse to the
development of national industries by the founding of banks and the
construction of railways, but likewise by the creation of adequate
steamship services. There are to-day upwards of 33,000 kilometers of
railway in operation in the Republic, with an aggregate capital of
considerably over $2,000,000,000, more than 90 per cent, of which is
entirely British, whilst the oversea communications are conducted by
regular and rapid services of steamships flying the flags of the
maritime countries of Europe. The great traction companies in the
capital and the provinces are British; the street electric railways
established on an important scale throughout the Republic are British;
the foremost Light and Power concerns are German; with the exception of
the National Bank of the Republic and the branch of the National City
Bank of New York recently opened, the banking interests are largely
European, whilst the great majority of the principal industrial and
commercial enterprises are also European. Of the $400,000,000 of the
Argentine External Debt, practically the whole of the issues making up
this vast sum are in the hands of European investors and, in normal
times, as further capital is called for to meet the requirements of any
of the established enterprises, or of others formed on similar lines, it
is invariably forthcoming from Europe; and to these advantages which the
Argentine Republic enjoys in her commercial relations with the older
countries, there is the additional fact that she derives all her
immigration from northern and southern Europe.

Let us now examine the American interests, the most encouraging features
of which are the establishment of a branch bank of the National City
Bank of New York and the unqualified success in the United States of the
loans recently made by that enterprising institution and other American
bankers to the Argentine Republic. These two factors point to the
realization, by those who are best able to judge, of the necessity for a
new basis of intercourse in the future; and that this fact is
understood in the Argentine Republic may be seen by the appreciative
opinions of the press and the public authorities of that country. In
other forms of industrial or commercial enterprises, American interests
are comparatively insignificant. The acquisition and establishment of
local freezing plants by the American packing houses, though important
in extent, involve considerations of too controversial a character to be
dealt with in this survey of the commercial relations of the two
countries. It is considered desirable, therefore, to treat only of such
branches of industry, commerce and finance as embrace the general field
of foreign enterprise. The only American interest in railways is in the
Argentine Railway Company, which consists of a combination of three or
four minor lines in the north and north-eastern provinces, with a small
proportion of American capital. In the great cattle raising and
agricultural industries there is little or no American capital employed
and it is also conspicuous by its absence from the lengthy list of
land, mortgage and finance companies established in the Republic. It is
true that there are many manufacturing concerns of the United States
represented by agencies, but apart from the Customs revenue this
representation brings to the country it is in no sense a contributor to
its development.



An impartial examination of these circumstances raises the question as
to how, without some changes in the directions pointed to, the United
States may hope to share with Europe, on anything like equal terms, the
profitable and ever-growing trade of the Argentine Republic? To sum up
the situation, it may be asked, in what way can the United States
equalize the advantages which Europe offers to the Argentine Republic by
way of the purchase of her products, the large and constant supply of
capital and the labor of its emigrants? There are many articles of
merchandise and items of machinery in regard to which Europe cannot
successfully compete with the United States, notwithstanding the greater
facilities for transportation; but there are also numberless articles
of American production which could find a ready market in Argentine if
the surrounding conditions approached a greater measure of equality.

An analysis of the figures of the foreign trade of the Argentine
Republic for the past twenty years establishes the fact that the United
States is in a position to successfully compete with Europe in many
lines far beyond the limits already reached; and there is certainly no
lack of effort or inclination on the part of American manufacturers to
enter into such competition. It is therefore reasonable to assume that
there are other causes operating to check a growth in the volume of
American trade with the Argentine Republic.

There are no laws in the Argentine Republic, either of a fiscal or
domestic nature, which are calculated to affect ruling market prices, or
which admit of inequality of treatment. Tariffs are based upon a
reciprocal policy, the tariff laws of the Argentine Republic being so
framed as to permit the Executive to relax and reduce in favor of those
countries which accord similar treatment to her national products.
Credits are intrinsically sound and in ordinary periods are usually
regulated with foreign countries by purchase at ninety, or one
hundred-and-twenty days' sight drafts. In the discussion of this point
it may also be urged that the statements so generally made in regard to
the alleged long credit demanded by Argentine buyers owe their origin to
the conditions prevailing in regard to shipping matters in days gone by,
when the steamship services between North and South America were more
irregular and far less rapid than is the case to-day. It was no fault of
the Argentine importer that merchandise was frequently tied up for weeks
together in an American port and that the trip took much longer than it
now does. Yet, those delays caused the exporter to wait weeks and
frequently months longer than was necessary to receive his money. Hence,
the currency of the statement that long credit is an indispensable
condition to trading with Argentine. At the present moment the
Argentine Republic is gradually recovering from the effects of a
financial and commercial crisis brought about through conditions which
it had no power to change; and, in order to secure immediate results, it
may be necessary at the present time to extend the customary terms of
credit, but this may be done with perfect safety and with commensurate
profit if the exporter avails himself of the services created by the
National City Bank of New York and others for the investigation of
prospective buyers.

Irrespective, however, of all other conditions, satisfactory banking and
shipping facilities are essential requirements of an extended commerce
between the United States and the Argentine Republic. The establishment
of an American bank has paved the way for the removal of many of the
difficulties hitherto imposed on the American exporter, but there still
remains the important question of ocean transport. The service of
steamships now in regular operation between North and South American
ports is wholly inadequate to support a rapidly developing trade unless
the ships now running are substituted by vessels of adequate speed and
capacity. To secure this object some provision would have to be made to
cover the increased cost of construction and of operation of the larger
vessels and also to overcome the difficulty of return cargoes.
Practically all of the European steamships trading with South America
carry full return cargoes, but owing to the reasons already given and
principally because of the fact that the shipments from Argentina to the
United States are at present limited to a small number of products, the
services established between North and South America cannot compete in
the matter of freight until they are placed on a similar footing as the
European lines in regard to return cargoes, which, under existing
conditions, are unavailable and must remain so until either the laws or
the needs of the United States will permit of larger and more general
imports from the Argentine Republic.

The figures already given in the relation to the trade of the United
States with the Argentine Republic show a considerable balance, almost
amounting to forty per cent in favor of the former. Now let us see what
are the proportions of Argentine trade with some of the countries of
Europe. Argentine imports from the United Kingdom in 1912 amounted to
$118,669,226, and her exports to $121,373,858. In the same year her
exports to Germany amounted to $53,995,175, and her imports to
$63,941,503. To France the exports were valued at $36,052,009, and her
imports $37,618,578. To Belgium her exports totalled $37,258,225, and
her imports $20,370,530. These figures speak for themselves and taken in
conjunction with the other solid inducements offered by the countries of
Europe in return for the benefits of a larger trade with the Argentine
Republic, should form a subject for serious consideration in the effort
to secure for the United States a proportionate share of Argentine


Favored by nature and by the conditions under which it was founded, the
City of Buenos Aires from its earliest days has been endowed with
elements which have considerably influenced the vast growth and
development that have made it the leading Latin city of the new world.
Situated on the banks of the River Plate and at the gateway of the
Atlantic, nature has largely contributed towards making it a great
commercial centre. At the time of its foundation, it attracted but few
of the adventurers, who, in their quest of gold, migrated to other parts
of South America, the wealth of the soil and the abundance of the flocks
and herds having brought to its shores a less turbulent and more
laborious class of immigrants who sought a new home and a new outlet for
their activities in the "City of Good Airs." The pure European origin
and the commercial spirit of the new inhabitants soon produced changes
in pre-existing conditions and in marking out the path for the present
Argentine metropolis to become the hub of South America. Founded in
1535 by Pedro de Mendoza, and subsequently destroyed and twice
depopulated, the modern rise of the capital of what is now the Argentine
Republic may be said to date from 1824, after the formulation of the
Monroe Doctrine and the recognition of the independence of the people of
Buenos Aires by the United States and Great Britain. At about that time
efforts were initiated to provide the means of facilitating the
transport of its products to foreign markets and in order to establish
the necessary facilities for that purpose, Buenos Aires raised (in
England) its first loan of $5,000,000. To that comparatively small
financial transaction may be traced the reasons for the enormous
investment of foreign capital--chiefly British--which has since enabled
the country to serve humanity by the increasing development of its
numerous sources of wealth. Following this preliminary introduction of
foreign capital, there was established a regular line of sailing packets
between Buenos Aires and Montevideo and, later, a line of steamers
between Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, which progressive measures were
added to an official bank and, within the next thirty years, a line of
railway extending in a westerly direction from the capital.

These were the beginnings of the evolution of modern Buenos Aires, which
now properly ranks as the second Latin city of the world. Nor is it by
any means alone to material progress that the City of Buenos Aires owes
its present proud position. The spirit and qualities of its early
founders are manifested to-day in the outward expression of all the
attributes of a highly civilized and enlightened community. The
architecture and adornments of the city, the culture, education and
manners of the inhabitants, their inborn courtesy and generous instincts
combine to explain the admiration which all who visit the city never
fail to entertain and express. The cosmopolitan character of the
population, the palatial residences--the broad and spacious avenues,
museums, libraries, art galleries and other unmistakable signs of the
high degree of culture of the citizens, fully justify the description
of Buenos Aires as the Paris of the western hemisphere.

Originally built up on Spanish lines of single-story houses and narrow
streets, the mason has been superseded by the architect and many of the
old narrow thoroughfares by wide and beautiful avenues intersecting the
central portions of the city. The domestic architecture of the time of
Rozas was gradually succeeded by the introduction of the architectural
beauty of the period of the Renaissance and subsequently by the various
Grecian orders, culminating in the advent of European architects and
artists who evolved many unique and distinct styles which are to-day
illustrated in a number of the imposing and artistic edifices that adorn
the city and, with the surrounding parks, trees, gardens, flowerbeds and
running waters, both in the centre and in the suburbs, reveal a panorama
of unsurpassing beauty. Many of the ancient houses with flat roofs and
severely simple facades have been substituted by highly ornamented
dwellings of two, three, or more stories; and, with a desire to add to
the embellishment of the city, the Municipality offers a gold medal and
a diploma to the architect, and an immunity from payment of the building
tax to the owner, of the building for the most artistic façade, the jury
being composed of representatives of different bodies exercising
authority in relation to such matters as architecture, surveys, public
works, engineering and fine arts. By the employment of these methods,
Buenos Aires, in recent years, has made notable advance in architecture,
not only in regard to private dwellings, but also in its public
buildings and the unquestionable increase in number and quality of the
monuments, statues, and sculptural groups dotted over every part of the
city. During the last twenty years there have been constructed new
avenues and thoroughfares of great width and length lined by handsome
buildings, paved with asphalt and lighted with huge electric globes,
whilst the Municipality has spared no expense in widening many existing
streets to meet the growing demands of the population and to give more
light and air to quarters of the city which are densely inhabited.

The æsthetic side of the city of Buenos Aires is to be found in its
splendid museums, art galleries and public and private libraries, of
which there are many of unquestionable merit. Amongst these, special
mention should be made of the Natural History Museum, which is of great
interest from the point of view of educational value and intellectual
progress. The Zoological, Botanical, Mineral, Archeological and
Ethnographical specimens, numbering many thousands, have been classified
on a scientific basis by eminent authorities over a period of many years
and form a collection of objects and curiosities of nature unexcelled
for their variety and interest. The National Historical Museum possesses
a collection of historic trophies and works, manuscripts, ancient coins
and other objects, over 4,000 in number. Here are also halls and
galleries, containing portraits of the Viceroys, pictures of naval and
military battles, trophies of the war with Great Britain, the room in
which San Martin lived and died, furniture, uniforms, arms, decorations
and a variety of other articles of great historic interest. On the same
order and limited to its expressed purpose, there is a Museum of Arms
which contains a collection of weapons with records of their
authenticity attached. In this collection there are many specimens of
rare weapons and accoutrements of different periods ranging from the
fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries. There are, besides, many flags
and other articles associated with the wars of different periods. Of
much more recent date and, perhaps, also of greater practical interest,
is the Natural Agricultural Museum, the objects of which are to promote
the knowledge of agriculture by instructive exhibits and to demonstrate
the measures best adapted to the scientific methods of cultivation and
to overcome the natural drawbacks besetting that branch of national
industry. The collection comprises upwards of twenty thousand specimens
of agricultural products of every description as well as statistics and
information pertaining to rural economy.

The libraries of the city are both extensive and numerous and contain in
addition to modern works of importance in different languages
bibliographical treasures of different periods representing the world's
various cycles of literature.

The public and private art galleries of the city with their varied
collections embrace a great number of old masters and of modern
productions in painting, sculpture, pottery, engraving and every form of
art representing all known periods and all nations. First amongst these
exhibitions is the Museum of Fine Arts, which contains a number of
important works collected and arranged with great skill and taste,
whilst many of the private galleries have been especially erected in the
palaces of wealthy residents for the purpose of housing some of the
priceless objects which are to be found in the capital of the Argentine

A feature of striking interest in the life of Buenos Aires is the
number and excellence of the many hospitals, asylums and other
charitable organizations established to provide for the afflicted and
poorer classes of the community. Apart from those endowed by the various
foreign colonies residing in the city, the majority of these
institutions are largely supported by State aid in form of appropriation
or specific revenues. On the other hand, vast sums are privately
subscribed to those not entirely of an official character.

As a great commercial centre, the aspect and movement of the city are
equally striking. The port, docks, railroad depots, wharves, warehouses,
street railways, lighting and other signs of industrial activity abound
in every direction and make Buenos Aires to the Argentine Republic what
New York is to the United States. It is, moreover, the principal mart
for the agricultural and pastoral products of many of the leading
ranches of the Republic and draws to its periodical sales of wool,
hides, cattle and sheep, buyers from many foreign countries.

Buenos Aires, like many other great capitals, is confronted with the
difficulty of a congestion of traffic owing to the large increase of
population and the narrowness of the streets in the older sections of
the city, but this problem is being gradually solved by the construction
of new broad diagonal avenues and by the building of subways which are
now being rapidly extended. With all these evidences of progress on
every side, it will not be a surprising revelation to add that Buenos
Aires possesses some of the greatest newspapers, one of the finest Opera
Houses and the finest Club Houses in the world. There are other large
and flourishing cities in the Republic, such as Rosario, Santa Fé,
Córdova, La Plata (capital of the province of Buenos Aires) and Bahia
Blanca, but the City of Buenos Aires is the brain and heart of the
Republic and must always maintain its supremacy as the leading
metropolis of Latin America.


*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Argentine Republic" ***

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