Online Encyclopedia

SANTA CATHARINA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 185 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SANTA CATHARINA, a southern maritime state of Brazil, bounded N. by Parana, E. by the Atlantic, S. by Rio Grande do Sul, and W. by Rio Grande do Sul and the Misiones territory of Argentina. Pop. (1900) 320,289; area 28,633 sq. m. The Serra do Mar rises not far from the coast and leaves only a narrow coast zone, and the plateau above is much broken with irregular ranges of mountains. The coast region, though in the temperate zone, is hot and humid. It is densely forested, is broken by swamps and lagoons, and is crossed by numerous short streams from the wooded slopes of the serras. The plateau is less densely wooded, but has some highly fertile plains, the open campos being partly devoted to stock raising. Except in the malarious coast zone, the climate is temperate, bracing and exceptionally healthy. The drainage is westward to the Parana, the rivers being tributaries of the Iguassil, which forms its northern boundary, and of the Uruguay, which forms its southern boundary. A number of prosperous German colonies—the largest and best known of which are Blumenau, Dona Francisca, Joinville, Itajahy, Brusque, Dom Pedro and Sao Bento—are devoted chiefly to agriculture. There is no cultivation on a large scale, as in Sao Paulo and the northern provinces. Coffee is produced to a limited extent. Indian corn, beans, onions, fruit and mandioca are the principal products. A prominent industry is the gathering and preparation of mate or Paraguayan tea (Ilex paraguayensis), which is an article of export. The mineral resources include coal, iron, silver, gold and petroleum, the first alone is mined. The only railway of the state, the Dona Thereza Christina, runs from Laguna, at the mouth of a lagoon of that name on the southern coast, northward to the port of Imbituba (about 4 m.) and thence westward up the valley of the Rio Tubarao to the coal fields of that name (69 m.). The coal is of inferior quality and the development of the mines, which were discovered in 1841, has not been a success. A later investigation shows that there are beds of better coal at a greater depth extending from Rio Grande do Sul to Sao Paulo. The capital of the state is Florianopolis (q.v.) also called Santa Catharina and Desterro, and its other towns are Blumenau, Lages (9356), Laguna (7282), Joinville (13,996), Itajahy (8875), Brusque (8094), Sao Jose (11,820), opposite Florianopolis, Tubarao (5495) and Sao Francisco (5583), a good port in the northern part of the state in direct communication with a majority of the German colonies.
End of Article: SANTA CATHARINA
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