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CHAPTER X

BRAZILIAN IMMIGRATION

ENGLISH-SPEAKING SUPREMACY NOT THE

IDEAL HERE Our survey of the present status of immigration brings us again to the new world of the Americas; but in South America, we find a situation different from that in either the United States or Canada; different, in fact, from that in any part of the countries previously studied, because here we leave behind the ideal of English-speaking supremacy. Portuguese and Spanish are the dominant languages in Brazil and the Argentine Republic respectively. These are the two South American nations selected for this study since they not only desire but receive large numbers of immigrants. The other eight independent countries are also open to immigrants, but the numbers arriving are in most cases negligible, while political affairs in at least some of them are not sufficiently stable to encourage settlers.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF SOUTH AMERICA

It is not the intention here to confuse the reader by reference to works in a foreign tongue. I have therefore confined myself to material available in English, together with such translations as it was necessary to make. In accordance with this plan, and for the purpose of furnishing a background for study in this section of our work, I am presenting a statement regarding the South American continent as a whole, prepared for prospective emigrants from the United States by the PanAmerican Union, Washington, D. C.:

“ The area of the ten countries is about double that of the United States and they present every variety of soil, climate, and rainfall to a degree much greater than the varieties presented in the United States. Even within a

single country there are varieties in soil, climate, and rainfall as great as those existing between Maine and southern California. Moreover, the social customs, farming and stockraising methods, also differ widely in different localities.

“ It is not possible, therefore, to predicate anything generally of South America. It is a continent and not a locality. Prospective settlers must bear this in mind, and, moreover, they must bear in mind that in every part of South America they will encounter conditions radically different from anything they have known in the United States. Even in localities where there is a certain similarity in soil and climate to given parts of the United States, it must be remembered that the people speak a different language, have different social customs, transportation is on a different basis, the markets are different, culture and methods are all different and money is different. When labor is employed it demands different requirements and produces and works differently.

“ The prospective emigrant to any part of South America, unless he be a large capitalist and able to create his own conditions, goes there much as a European immigrant, not speaking English, comes to the United States; his chances of assimilation are certainly no better than those of the European immigrant here, and in nine cases out of ten are not nearly so good. But, after all, the main question is a personal question. As a general axiom it may be laid down that the man who has failed of success in a locality with which he is familiar is almost sure to fail in a locality with which he is not familiar. Of course, there may be exceptions, but generally speaking, neither South America nor any other foreign land is likely to offer the basis of success to a man without capital who cannot succeed here.

“Nevertheless, South America does offer a magnificent field to the man with proper capacities and who is properly equipped, and this offer includes many lines of industries.

“In Venezuela and Colombia there are large areas of almost virgin prairie land which grows a natural coarse grass

suitable for cattle-grazing. The climate is tropical and the cattle are subject to a number of tropical diseases and parasitic enemies. Notwithstanding, however, the cost of producing animals is low and transportation by water can be developed cheaply. In southern Brazil the climate is semitropical. The lands are rolling and hilly. The soil is good and cultivated grasses grow luxuriantly. Stock production is perhaps best carried on as an adjunct to farming, but range operations on a large scale are practical. The largest development of stock-raising is in Uruguay and Argentina, and it is generally proven to be extremely profitable. Cattle are grazed on the native grasses, but the best success is had from cultivated grasses. Railway transportation, particularly in Argentina, is well developed and there are excellent markets and refrigerating plants. Paraguay and western Brazil are new and more or less undeveloped country but suitable in a high degree for cattle production. They are distant from markets, and it is difficult to secure labor, but they offer excellent opportunities for big establishments.

“ The above are the principal localities offering particular advantages to the cattle man, but there are areas in the highlands of Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador which are unquestionably favorable to this industry. In Chile the conditions are somewhat different from elsewhere in South America. Most cattle produced are for home consumption and the home market is a growing one. The cattle industry there is on much the same plan as in our eastern seaboard states—a local industry for local markets and usually as an adjunct to agriculture.

“ Generally speaking, in all the localities mentioned the best and sometimes the only suitable lands are to be acquired by private purchase. In some cases land can be purchased from the governments. In most of the republics free land is offered to intending colonists but is not available, on account of remoteness or other disadvantages, to any except large colonizing enterprises. The individual immigrant will find it cheaper to purchase than to attempt to settle on government

grant lands. Spanish is the native language of all the countries named except Brazil, where Portuguese is spoken.

AGRICULTURAL METHODS DIFFERENT FROM THOSE

IN UNITED STATES “In three-quarters of South America, and this includes all the northern section, the business of agriculture is so entirely different from anything in the United States that familiarity with the industry here would be practically of no value there. The only exception to this statement is that the fruit-growing industry of southern California and Florida and the cane-planting of Louisiana are more or less analogous to the same industries in tropical South America. Outside of these exceptions, the agricultural industry of all South America, except the southern one-fourth, is entirely unlike anything in the United States.

“In extreme southern Brazil, Uruguay, most of Argentina and the southern half of Chile, conditions to a certain extent approximate those of certain localities in the United States. In Argentine, Uruguay, and Southern Brazil, Indian corn, wheat, oats, hay, and flax-seed are produced under conditions somewhat analogous to those in this country. In central Chile, grain and fruits of the same kinds and under similar conditions are produced as in California. In Southern Chile the conditions are more like our northwest and the rainfall is heavy. In none of the countries mentioned are there available government free lands suitable for small operators.

PROSPECTS FOR SETTLERS “No one should undertake to go to South America as a permanent settler until he or some one representing him, and in whom he has confidence, has gone there for the purpose of looking over the ground. Such a trip as this would consume at least five or six months and to visit any number of localities would cost probably $2000 to $5000.”

The foregoing indicates the prospects for new settlers and the general attitute toward them in Brazil as well as in other

parts of the continent, and forms an introduction to a land with which many North Americans have little acquaintance.

Passing on to Brazil, which will now engage our attention, we find that it was discovered by a Portuguese navigator in 1500 and became a viceroyalty in 1640. It was the residence of the King of Portugal from 1808 to 1821, was proclaimed independent with an Emperor in 1822, and has recently ended a celebration 2 of one hundred years of freedom. In 1889, the country became a republic with a form of government closely modeled on that of the United States of America.

FEDERATION OF BRAZIL The Federation of Brazil consists of twenty states, the Federal District and the territory of Acre, with an area of 3,276,358 square miles and a total population of 30,553,509. The area and population of the separate states follows:

Area

States

Square Miles

Population

Alagoas.
Amazonas.
Bahia.
Ceará.
Espirito Santo.
Goyaz
Maranhão.
Matto Grosso.
Minas Geraes..
Para..
Parahyba..
Parana...
Pernambuco.
Piauhy.
Rio de Janeiro..
Rio Grande do Norte
Rio Grande do Sul..
Santa Catharina..
Sao Paulo.
Sergipe..
Federal District.
Acre Territory.

22,577 731,364 164,601 40,241 17,308 288,463 177,516 532,211 211,894 443,789 28,847 85,430 48,561 116,497 26,628 22,190 91,310 28,625 112,279 15,089

432 58,673

990,278

435,448 3,372,901 1,436,309 479, 188 528,879 853,050

274,138 5,788,837 992,290 785,344

674,113 1,975,441

548,250 1,501,969

552,071 2,138,831

633,462 4,823, 100

535,094 1,157,873

104,436

*September 7, 1922, to March 31, 1923.

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