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1892, was at the rate of 21 per thousand. This rate is larger than in Buenos Aires, England, Norway, Scotland, the German Empire, Prussia, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Bavaria, Ireland, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, China, Hungary, and France.
The rate in Buenos Aires is 14 per thousand, in England 13.7, in Norway 13.6, in the German Empire 12.4, and in Prussia 12.3. In the blending of races that accompanied the conquest of the country the pure native element has almost disappeared, and even the "Gaucho," who represented the cross of the European and the aboriginal, has begun to adopt the civilized customs and garb and to lose himself in the growth of the modern and distinctive national type, formed by the infusion of European blood, through immigration, into the population of mixed Spanish and native origin.
The people of Uruguay are not devoid of energy and enterprise, and, but for the unfortunate political dissensions and civil wars, would have already reached a higher stage of progress. They are hospitable to excess, welcoming strangers with unaffected kindness; liberal and tolerant towards religious and political opinions different from their own; gay in disposition and fond of festivities; eager for instruction and appreciative of excellence in the arts and literature.
Like all other people of the race, they are very sensible to the charms of poetry, fond of imaginative literature, and easily moved by forensic or pulpit eloquence or the productions of dramatic and operatic art. Nowhere have the great actors and singers of the world been received by more appreciative audiences than in the theaters of Montevideo. Rossi, Salvini, Bernhardt, Tamberlik, Mario, Tamagno, and Patti have left in the capital of the Republic many enthusiastic admirers of their talent and have carried away many souvenirs of that appreciation.
The people possess the special characteristics of the races of
their origin, and are, in the main, honest and courageous, hospitable and enterprising. That the race possesses the elements capable of building up national greatness is indisputable. The proof lies in the constant progress it has made against obstacles of uncommon difficulty in the earlier times, and in spite of the civil and international wars that have so often swept over the young nation.
IMMIGRATION, COST OF LIVING, WAGES, ETC.
One of the most pressing needs of the Republic of Uruguay is labor to till the soil and supply the various branches of industry on which its prosperity, present and future, must depend; and the General Government has given some attention to attracting to the country a current of European immigration. The results of the measures thus far adopted have not been as successful as was desired, but considerable numbers, chiefly of agricultural colonists, have been induced to settle in various parts of the country, and the success of the different experiments in colonizing has been such as to encourage strong hopes for the future.
Up to 1888, the tide of immigration had not in any considerable degree been diverted from Brazil and the Argentine, owing to the superior inducements held out or supposed to be possessed by those countries, but in the year mentioned and in the succeeding one, a notable change was perceived, the arrivals being 16,581 in 1888 against 12,867 in 1887, and in 1889, the number of immigrants rose to 27,349.
The financial crisis of 1890 turned the tide backward, and in 1891, against 10,256 arrivals, there were 18,982 departures for Europe, constituting a loss of 8,726 persons. This loss was, however, partly compensated by an excess of 5,000 in the arrivals from the Argentine over the departures for that country.
It is probable, as remarked by Consul Hill in a recent report, that the greater part of the departures for Europe was composed of the floating foreign population, whom the financial stringency left without means of "floating” any longer in Montevideo.
The following table shows the arrivals and departures of European immigrants and emigrants during the years comprised in the
The above statistics are for Montevideo alone; the arrivals and departures at the other ports, being comparatively insignificant, do not figure in the official reports. The movement of population between Uruguay and its neighbors, Brazil and the Argentine, is thought to be in favor of the first. The total number of arrivals of passengers in Montevideo from 1885 to 1889, inclusive, was 317,766, but only such as reported to the Commission of Immigration were considered as immigrants.
Immigration into Uruguay is principally from southern Europe, the Italians preponderating, and the Spaniards coming next in number. From 1866 to 1871, nearly half the immigrants were Italians, many being without means of supporting or establishing themselves; but after that period, though the numbers fell off considerably, those who arrived generally possessed means of selfsubsistence.
The Government has encouraged the founding of colonies as centers of agricultural development, and considerable success has followed its efforts in this direction. These settlements are made up in general of immigrants of the same nationality, and several have been made in various parts of the country. Among them may be named the Vaudois Colony, settled in 1857 by Protestant
immigrants from Piedmont, who established themselves at first in Florida and afterwards in Colonia.
The Swiss Colony, in the same Department, was founded in 1861. In 1884, it contained 420 families in a prosperous condition, and had under cultivation about 27,000 acres of land, with 15,000 devoted to grazing.
The Quevedo, Cosmopolita, Sauce, Riachuelo, and Española, are flourishing settlements. The Paullier Hermanos, in San José, the General Artigas in Soriano, the Porvenir, in Paysandú, and others in various Departments are of less importance.
For the near future the success of colonization will largely depend on the acquisition by purchase or appropriation of lands now in the hands of speculators and large proprietors and opening them on easy conditions to settlers, and on the efforts of the Sociedad de Colonisacion y Formento del Uruguay, a company formed with a capital of $5,000,000 for the colonization of lands under its control. The scheme of this company is the cession of lands in stated amounts to actual settlers, advancing means and implements, to be paid for in small annual installments.
The price of land has about doubled in the last twenty-five years, and varies from $7 to $100 per quadra (1.77 acres), according to locality, but the cost of the necessaries of life is still reasonably low. The following estimate is given by an English authority of the cost of settlement and opening to cultivation of 100 hectares (247.1 acres) of land:
Purchase money of land....
Twenty-four milch cows, at $15 each.
Six hogs, at $2 each.....
A brick or stone house, roofed with corrugated galvanized iron, and containing three rooms, outhouses, furniture, well, a cart (no barns or stables necessary)...
Two plows, at $20; 1 harrow, at $20, and other tools.
Seeds for first year...
The moving and current expenses up to harvest will swell the amount to say $4,000.
It is only in the second year that the harvest gives good results on the newly opened prairie lands, and the following is the estimate for the said 100 hectares for the first
Two thousand one hundred and fifty pounds cheese....
Indian corn (minimum product)...
In the second year, the Indian corn will yield more than $1,000, and the products of the farm should give a total of $1,400 as an average. Of course the value of the farm products would depend largely on the vicinity of means of transportation to market, and localities would naturally be selected in view of such facilities.
In estimating the cost of subsistence, the following table of values of various eatables, etc., will be of aid. The prices are given per kilogram (2.2 pounds).
The General Government has placed at the disposition of the Commissioner of Immigration a large and well-constructed building, measuring 131 feet square, for the reception, lodging, and feeding of such immigrants as desire such aid. The Commission furnishes them free transportation to the colony where they intend
All contracts made with immigrants for employment are supervised by the Commission, in order to prevent abuses. The fol