Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 489 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CHIEF EXPORTS OF THREE AMERICAN COUNTRIES (In millions sterling.) S Animals and products 48 ? Agricultural products 23 Coffee 33 Rubber Nitrates 17 Copper 2 Settlement.—The continent as a whole is but sparsely settled. The total population in 1905 was reckoned to be 38,482,000. About half of it, including all the most inaccessible portions, had a population probably not much exceeding what it had at the period of the discovery. It averaged five persons to the square mile, while in North America it was 13 and in Europe 104 to the square mile. The most thickly populated parts are on and near the sea-coast. On the east seaboard a more densely populated narrow belt follows the coast from near Natal just south of Cape St Roque to and south of Buenos Aires. About the cities of Perrambuco, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul, Montevideo and Buenos Aires the areas of greater density widen, and, in some instances (notably near Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires) extend inland for several hundred miles. The considerably populated belt begins on the west coast about latitude 42° and follows northward and eastward to the island of Trinidad on the Venezuelan coast, though there are stretches of coast almost entirely uninhabited. Several of the largest cities of South America compare favourably with the finest cities of Europe. The best streets of Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, Buenos Aires and Valparaiso are among the most attractive in any part of the world. The large cities are all well supplied with water, lighted with electricity, possess facilities for transport and are supplied with public libraries, museums of science and arts and educational institutions. Communications.—The commercial relations of South America with the outside world are maintained by a large number of regular and well-equipped lines of steamers running between its ports and European ports. There is also a large freight business done by steamers sailing at irregular periods, and by sailing vessels. Connexions with the interior of the continent were for a long time con-fined to navigation along the principal streams and to tedious overland travel on horseback along almost impassable trails. Since 1858, however, when the first 3o-m. section of the Dom Pedro II railway from Rio de Janeiro to Queimados was opened, railways have extended far inland and even across the Andes. The boring of the tunnel completing railway connexion between Buenos Aires and Valparaiso was completed in November 1909. Railway building has been especially active in Brazil and in the Argentine Republic. From Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo lines now penetrate the highlands of Minas Geraes, while frot.I Buenos Aires they cover the most productive portions of the Argentine Republic, and bring some portions of the interiors of these countries into close communication with all parts of the world. In the meanwhile river and coastwise navigation has greatly developed. The railway mileage of the various countries was approximately as follows in 1906: Miles of Railway. Argentine Republic .. .. 11,460 Bolivia 700 Brazil 10,408 Chile 2,800489 Miles of Railway. 411 Ecuador 125 Paraguay 156 Peru 1,146 Uruguay 1,210 Venezuela 529

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