Uruguay - Harper's New Monthly Magazine (1891)
Enviado por: "canugi Yorugua" canugi canugi en foro RODELU
Do, 26 de Sep, 2010 12:16 am
Este artículo, publicado dos años después que Uruguay se presentara exitosamente en la Exposición Universal de Paris de 1889, está en inglés pero a quien le interese, Google Translate hace un trabajo muy decente y perfectamente leíble. Contiene muchas cosas notables sobre nuestro país, algunas podrían ser de hoy, otras no las reconozco. No tiene ese tono almibarado de quien se enamora de un país, sino que es bastante crítico sobre todo en algunas partes. El original tiene unos grabados de época realmente interesantes. No se los pierdan, sigan el link abajo. En la entrada del foro puse un grabado del Hotel Victoria, aquel edificio hoy en ruinas que ocupa toda una manzana atras del Club Neptuno en la Aduana. Me llamó la atencion que el gobierno pagaba el pasaje de tercera a inmigrantes (a devolver en 2.5 años) pero estaban excluídos por ley asiáticos, africanos, gitanos y húngaros. (sic)
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de Harper's New Monthly Magazine Volume 0082 Issue 492 (May, 1891)
The Republic of Uruguay – by Theodore Child
The Republic of Uruguay, after having been convulsed by intestine dissentions for so many years, has now entered what is called the path of progress and prosperity.
Like the other South-American republics, it made a great display of its wealth and civilization at the Paris Exhibition of 1889, and its painstaking statisticians drew up prodigious tables of figures, from which we were able to gather much interesting information about this rich and favored land. In many cases the data given by the official publication referred to require to be completed and controlled, which can only be the work of time and of laborious investigations; but their chief defect is the absence of qualifying clauses. This defect, it is to be feared, is inseparable from official reports. In such documents everything is presented in roseate tones; all that is positive is stated; all that is negative is omitted; and, of course, Whatever is concerned with the details of life and national character is considered too trivial to be dwelt upon. Let us endeavor to state with the utmost brevity the physical and economical condition of the country, and to resume in general terms the impressions of a short visit to the Banda Oriental, as this republic is generally called in South America. First of all, let it be stated that the republic of Uruguay is situated in the temperate zone of South America, on the left bank of the Rio de la Plata, between 30. 5 and 35.0 south latitude, and 50.15 and 60.45 west longitude from the meridian of Paris. On the north and east the territory is bounded by Brazil; southeast and south by the Atlantic; southwest and west by the rivers La Plata and Uruguay, which separate it from the Argentine Republic. The shape of the territory is a polygon, almost entirely surrounded by water, except in the centre of the Brazilian frontier. Its perimeter is 1075 miles, of which 625 are sea and river coast. The superficies is calculated to be 63,330 geographical miles, or 186,920 square kilometres; in other words, it is about one-sixth larger than England. The territory is divided into nineteen departments. The physical aspect presents a strong contrast with the fiat, treeless, and often arid pampas of the Argentine; the Banda Oriental abounds in wood, water, and hills; from end to end the undulation is continuous, and in some departments, for instance Minas, one might almost imagine ones self in Switzerland, so fine does the hill and mountain scenery become. The climate is moist, mild, and healthy, and there are really only two seasons summer and winter, with a maximum of 36° centigrade in January, and a minimum of 30 above zero in July. The hill chains are numerous, and spread over the whole country, forming countless streams, rivers, and lakes. There are also many isolated hills, like the Cerro of Montevideo. The greatest height of the mountains, if they may be so called, is 500 metres, attained by the Cuchilla Grande, 490 by the Cuchilla de Santa Ana, and 455 by the Cuchilla de Minas. The important rivers number seventeen, of which the chief are the Plata, the Uruguay, and the Rio Negro, the last of which runs through the centre of the territory. The Uruguay River is navigable as far as Paysandú for ocean-going ships, and as far as Salto for coasters and for the passenger steamers of light draught of the Platense Company. The distance from Buenos Ayres to Salto is 306 miles, which the Platense steamers accomplish in 36 hours. The outflow of the Uruguay River is about one-fourth only of the Paraná, averaging eleven million cubic feet per minute, or almost as much as the Ganges. The scenery of the Uruguay resembles that of the Paraná, being in some places perhaps a little bolder and more picturesque, but in general the aspect of the banks, of the bluffs, and of the towns offers nothing strikingly different from what may be seen on the Paraná between Martin Garcia and Corrientes. The Rio Negro crosses the republic, from its source in the Cuchilla de Santa Tella in Brazil to its confluence with the Uruguay, running from southwest to west over a distance of 463 kilometres. Small schooners can navigate this river up to 55 miles from its mouth. The water-shed of the Rio Negro covers nearly three-fourths of the republic, and the soft scenery of its banks is characteristic of large sections of the country. The other thirteen rivers of the republic have courses varying from 245 kilometres to 150 kilometres, and receive more than 1500 affluents; most of them, too, are navigable up to 15, 20, and 30 miles from their mouths. Abundantly irrigated and fertile in the majority of the departments of the republic, the soil produces every kind of grain or fruit known in temperate or subtropical climes. For cattle-raising it is the finest country in South America, the animals finding water, good pasture, and the shelter of trees, hills, and valleys throughout the year; whereas on the plains of the Argentine horned cattle and sheep perish by thousands from want of water and dearth in the summer, and from exposure and inundations in the winter. As regards minerals, the territory of Uruguay is rich in all the industrial and precious metals and stones, from gold and diamonds down to lead, agates, and carnelian, but owing to the want of roads and means of transport, the mining industry has not yet been developed or even carefully studied. The chief industry of Uruguay is cattle-raising. The number of animals declared in 1887 amounted in all to more than 22 million head, comprising horned cattle, 6,119,482; sheep, 15,905,441; horses, 408,452. The proportion per square kilometre is 120.13 head, and per inhabitant, 34.64. The above figures are those of the Anuario Estadistico, published at Montevideo in 1889. In the tables posted up in time Pavilion of Uruguay at the Paris Exhibition, the total number of cattle existing in the republic was stated to be 32 millions, having a value of 407 millions of francs, an ox being estimated at 60 francs, a horse at 30 francs, a sheep at four francs, and a pig at 30 francs. The difference of 10 million head is more than the normal increase of two years. The discrepancy, however, need not astonish us. The Spanish-Americans have become of late years indefatigable compilers of statistical tables, but few of these tables resist careful scrutiny and control. We must be content to accept the figures given as being more or less exact. These enormous totals mean clearly that Uruguay is essentially a pastoral country. Agriculture, we find, is developed only in the departments of Montevideo, Canelones, and Colonia; in the departments of the interior it has not made any notable progress. Nevertheless the country produces more cereals than are needed for home consumption, and in 1887 upward of four millions of francs worth of grain was exported. Efforts have been made to cultivate vines in Uruguay, and the experiments promise to be successful. An industry derived from the pastoral is that of the saladeros establishments where animals are killed, and their hides, flesh, etc., salted or otherwise utilized. In Uruguay the great saladeros are at Montevideo, at the foot of the Cerro, and at Fray Bentos, Paysandú, and Salto, on the Uruguay River. The model establishment and the most famous is that of Fray Bentos, where Liebig's extract of beef is made. This saladero, founded in 1864, kills 1000 animals a day during the summer season, and employs 600 men. At Montevideo one of the best saladeros for visiting is that of Cibils, but in all the establishments the processes of slaughtering and cutting up are the same, and the scene of bloodshed equally nauseating. The meat, cut into long bands, salted, and dried in the sun, becomes charqui or tasajo, and is exported in bags, chiefly to Brazil and Cuba. The demand, however, is decreasing, and consequently, both in Uruguay and in the Argentine, great efforts are being made to organize the exportation of live cattle and refrigerated meat on a grand scale to European ports. At present between 700,000 and 800,000 head of cattle are killed every year in the republic of Uruguay, and nearly half that total is slaughtered in the saladeros of Montevideo. The population of the Republica Oriental del Uruguay was estimated in 1888 at 687,194 souls. The latest census of the department of Montevideo, taken November 18, 1889, gave a total of 214,682 inhabitants, comprising 114.578 natives and 100.104 foreigners, of whom four-fifths live in the city of Montevideo itself. The density of the population in the whole republic in 1888 was 3.46 inhabitants per square kilometre; but, taking the density department by department, we find 308.54 per square kilometre in Montevideo, 14.76 in Canelones, 6.40 in Colonia, and then dwindling down in the remaining departments from 3.26 to 0.55 in Artigas. Four departments Durazno, Minas, Treinta y Tres, and Cerro Largo have only 1.61 inhabitants to the square kilometre. These figures explain the lonely aspect of the country as one crosses it even by rail. Almost the third part of the population of the republic lives in Montevideo. Outside of Montevideo there is nothing to be seen but undulating prairies, flocks and herds, ranchos, wood, water, sky, and a few human beings riding along with their ponchos sweeping their horses flanks. The country being essentially pastoral, the chief, and one might say almost the only, articles of exportation are live-stock and animal products known as productos de ganaderia, including wool, hair, bones, dried meat, hides, tallow, etc. England, France, Germany, and Brazil are the countries that do most trade with Uruguay, both in exportation and importation. From the statements made in connection with the payment of the .direct taxes, it appears that in 1887, the date given by the latest official statistics, the value of property declared amounted to $272,529,674 gold, and the number of proprietors to 54,761. Of this total the majority 51.34 per cent. are foreigners, namely, 28,112, and 26,649,or 48.66 per cent., Uruguayans. The most numerous foreigners are Italians (8329); then follow in order, Spaniards (7724), Brazilians (6776), French (2895), Argentines (842), English (492), Germans (356), Swiss (271), Portuguese (267), etc. As regards the value of property held by foreigners, the Brazilians head the list with $50,823,238; the Spaniards and Italians follow with thirty-one and thirty millions; then the French with sixteen, the English with eight, the Argentines with five, the Germans with three millions; and lastly the Portuguese and other nationalities. In the provinces it is important to note that the Brazilians are the most numerous foreign property-holders after the natives, their number being 6716. The Spaniards, Italians, and French follow, with 5904, 4429, and 1843 respectively.
The principal revenue of the Uruguayan republic is derived from the customs duties, which amount to 46 millions of francs in a total budget of about 70 millions of francs; the property taxes give about six millions of francs, and the balance is produced by post-office, stamps, patents, licenses, etc. These figures are enough to indicate that Uruguay is extremely protectionist. Indeed, the first article of the customs law of 1888 says that all foreign merchandise imported for consumption shall pay an ad valorem duty of 31 per cent., except arms, powder, cheese, butter, ham, meat, etc., which pay 51 per cent.; hats, clothes, shoes, furniture, carriages, etc., 48 per cent.; chocolate, candles, and various comestibles, 44 per cent. I quote only two or tree instances, which will suffice to explain for what reasons living is very dear in the Banda Oriental, and wages only apparently high. The political organization is that of a representative republic, and the Constitution is modelled on that of the United States of North America. The President is elected for a period of four years, and, owing to causes analogous to those existing in the Argentine Republic, this dignitary has hitherto exercised almost absolute power, nullifying the sovereignty of the people and practically appointing his successor. The last President General Tajes created a notable precedent in South-American politics by refusing to interfere in the nomination of his successor, or even to express a personal preference for any particular candidate. This conduct was much commended and warmly applauded by the liberal Argentine and Chilian press in the beginning of 1890, when the Uruguayans, for the first time, were left free to elect their President. The successful candidate was Sr. Herrera y Obes.
Political life, however, is very torpid in this thinly inhabited pastoral land, and the phenomena that it presents are neither instructive nor interesting. The chief point to be noted is that since the period of revolutions and dictatorships has been closed the progress of the country has been rapid, and considerable efforts are being made to promote public instruction, public works, and national development in general. The apparatus of public instruction consists of a university at Montevideo with upward of 600 students and 60 professors and 380 public schools, of which 62 are in the department of Montevideo, and the balance in the other provinces. The number of pupils at these schools in 1888 was 18,000 boys and nearly 15,000 girls, and the teaching staff numbered 700, of whom 230 were men and the rest women. The cost of education is calculated at about $16 (gold) per head per annum. The number of private schools in the whole republic is about 400, and the number of their pupils about 21,000. Of these private schools 250 are in the department of Montevideo, and the rest in the country. The teaching staff of the private schools is composed of some 800 persons, the majority being women; and of this total about 170 are members of religious communities. At Montevideo there is a school of arts and trades, with over 200 pupils, 36 professors, and 24 experts, installed in a fine new building near the Playa Ramirez. There is also a military college, with 60 pupils, supported by the state, who come out with the grade of sub-lieutenant.
The army of Uruguay, in the rank and file of which are many Africans and Indians is remarkable for the number of its generals and superior officers. It is composed of four battalions of infantry, four regiments of cavalry, and one of artillery, forming a total of 3264 s6ldiers, 197 officers, and 21 generals on active service, to say nothing of many who enjoy pensions. The navy consists of three gun-boats and seven small steamers, manned by 119 men, 43 engineers and stokers, and 12 superior officers and 10 chiefs (jefes). With the exception of the frontier garrison troops and of those stationed in the capital, the majority of the soldiers are scattered throughout the provinces, where they perform the duties of rural police, maintain order in the villages, and stroll down to the railway stations to see the trains pass and hear the news. They are dressed somewhat in the French style, and, as a rule, look rather shabby and neglected. The budget of the republic for 18901 was fixed at $16,081,247 86, and the revenues were estimated at $16,143,000, thus leaving a surplus of $61,752 14. Generally speaking, the finances of the country have been of late years in a fair condition, and the Argentine crisis arrived just in time to arrest certain tendencies toward wild speculation and fictitious operations, which were beginning to manifest themselves in Montevideo with all the symptoms that had been observed in Buenos Ayres. The continuation of the economical crisis, and the subsequent revolution in the Argentine, caused, however, grave perturbations in the commerce and finances of Montevideo, as was to be expected, given the considerable intercourse between these two great ports of La Plata.
The republic of Uruguay is still poorly provided with ways of communication. The jolting diligence maintains an undisputed reign over the greater part of the territory; roads are wanting; and for these reasons the mineral wealth of, the country, although more or less known, has been neglected. But as the railway lines advance and branch out, we are likely very shortly to hear of the creation of great extractive enterprises, including several gold mines. As in the Argentine, the railways already made, in making, or to be made in Uruguay are practically the monopoly of English capital. The chief company is the Central Uruguay, whose three trunk lines spread out like a ducks foot, and mark the whole territory as their own. One line runs from Montevideo through the towns of La Paz, Piedras, Canelones, Santa Lucia, Florida, Durazno, across the river Yi by means of a bridge 2005 feet long and 50 feet high, and so on to Paso de los Toros and Rio Negro, where it crosses the river of that name over a magnificent bridge resting on nine pillars, with viaducts of approach at each end, supported by 11 pillars. The distance from Montevideo to Paso de los Toros is 273 kilometres. At this latter point is a junction with the Midland Uruguay, which runs to the important town of Paysandú, famous for its canned ox tongues, and thence to Salto, having a total length of about 318 kilometres. At Salto is the terminus of time Ferrocarril Noroeste del Uruguay, which runs to Santa Rosa and Cuareim, a distance of nearly 179 kilometres, and works in combination with the Brazilian Great Southern line between Cuareim, Uruguayana, and Itaqui. This line is of great importance for commerce with Brazil, and for the departments of Salto and Paysandú, because the navigation of the Uruguay from Salto up to Brazil, besides the obstacle presented by the falls, is frequently interrupted by the sinking of the waters of the river.
A branch of the Central Uruguay 33 kilometres long runs from the station of Veinte Cinco de Agosto as far as San José, and there are projects for extending the line to Rosario, and thence to Colonia, to Palmira, and to Fray Bentos; but there is no probability of these branches being built for years to come. The main lines above mentioned form a trunk series connecting the western parts of Uruguay with Montevideo, Brazil, and the great ports of the Uruguay and La Plata rivers. VOL. LXXXJLNo. 492.85 A second trunk line, the Ferrocarril Nordeste del Uruguay, owned by the Central Uruguay, runs from Montevideo to Minas, a distance of 122 kilometres, with thirteen stations, in a rich agricultural, marble, and stone-quarrying region. From the station of Toledo on this line, a few miles only from Montevideo, starts a line 300 kilometres long to Nico Perez, with a projected ultimate extension to Artigas. The line to Nico Perez will doubtless be open for traffic in 1892. A third trunk line is the extension of the Central Uruguay from Paso de los Toros to Rivera on the Brazilian frontier, which will also be completed, in all probability, before the end of 1892, the distance between the two points being about 300 kilometres. From Rivera there is a length of about 70 kilometres of railway needed to reach Cacequi, a point on the Brazilian line from Porto Alegre to Uruguayana. This system of rails would place the province of Rio Grande do Sul in direct communication with Montevideo, which would thus become the natural port of this rich section of Brazil, instead of Porto Alegre, which is practically useless, because the mouth of the harbor is blocked up with sand and the entrance impossible sometimes for months together. Indeed, even at present, Montevideo is virtually the port of Rio Grande, thanks to the great contraband business carried on by means of bullock carts, which carry European goods from Uruguay across the frontier, the Brazilian import duties being so much higher than those of the Banda Oriental that the operation is remunerative. The great amount of business already done between the republic of Uruguay and the neighboring Brazilian province, and the near prospect of closer and easier communications, thanks to railway extensions, render it permissible to entertain the idea of the possible union of the two, the more so as the interests and the sympathies of the inhabitants point that way; for, although the inhabitants of the province of Rio Grande are Portuguese, there is more real affinity between them and the Uruguayans than between them and the Brazilians of the tropical regions. The number of Brazilians who hold property in Uruguay is a point to be remembered in this connection, and the advantage of strengthening Uruguay and establishing a buffer republic between the Argentine and the vast republic of the United States of Brazil is one which might find favor in the eyes of the diplomatists. of both hemispheres. It is not, however, our business to discuss the possibilities or the probabilities of changes in the territorial divisions of South America. Let us be satisfied to state things as they are at present. From a glance at the map, then, we see that the English engineers have taken possession of Uruguay as they took possession of the Argentine, thus finding at the same time an excellent investment for English capital and a field for the activity of English technical employees. These railways, it must be added, are all guaranteed by the state of Uruguay, except in certain cases; as, for instance, the original trunk line of the Central Uruguay, where the guarantee has been abandoned. The working of the lines and the rolling stock are not, of course, all that could be desired; but we must always bear in mind that progress has only been recently introduced into the Banda Oriental. The two terminus stations at Montevideo are mere shabby barns, thoroughly inadequate for both the passenger and goods traffic; but the Central Uruguay is about to spend 130,000 sterling in building a handsome station in the Renaissance style, which appears, from the plans and drawings, to be finer and more luxurious than the majority of the Oriental public merits. The passenger cars of the Central Uruguay are still mixed, and some of them are quaint to behold, but the new ones are all well built and decorated on the North SANTA LUCIA. American type. the freight cars are all of North-American pattern, and many of North-American manufacture. The Uruguayans are not yet smart enough to drive a locomotive; the drivers of the various companies I noticed are all foreigners, and belong to almost every nation except the English. The managers informed me that they cannot employ Englishmen on account of their incapacity to resist the seductive power of cane run, or caña, as it is called. The drivers are chiefly Austrians and Italians. Several captains of the Platense Flotilla Company gave me the same reason for not employing Englishmen on the river steamers , either in the crew or in the stoke-room. Indeed, I may say generally that my observations in South America tended to show that unskilled Anglo-Saxon labor is held in very low esteem. Excursions across the territory of Uruguay reveal nothing of very great interest to the tourist. The landscape in parts is pretty; some finely situated estancias are to be seen along the banks of the Uruguay; the vicinity of the Rio Negro, too, is especially interesting and characteristic of the fertile parts of the territory, which present a similar combination of water, wood, and rolling prairie. But, after all, one soon wearies of looking at the same kind of view hour after hour, league after league, and province after province; The fences of posts and wire are varied sometimes by fences of aloes and cactus; the eucalyptus, the poplar, and other trees are also planted to form fences as in Chili; the roads, where one sees long teams of oxen toiling along with huge wagons, are as terrible ns those of the Argentine; time prairies are dotted with innumerable herds of cattle and horses; occasionally you see two or three peasants wearing brown ponchos riding and driving animals before them; at long intervals you see one or two ranchos, or huts, where these peasants live. In the Argentine the ranchos appeared miserable enough, but in Uruguay I saw many even more primitive, mere huts of black mud, with a roof of maize straw, a floor of beaten earth, a doorway, but not always a window. The cabins of the Irish peasantry give some idea of the Uruguayan rancho. It is a comfortless, unhealthy, rheumatic dwelling, less civilized than that of the Esquimaux, and more carelessly built than the most ordinary birds nest. As for the towns, after Montevideo, the most important is Paysandú, which differs in no respect from a dozen Argentine towns similarly situated. Salto is absolutely without interest. Florida boasts a monument in commemoration of the declaration of the independence of the republic, proclaimed in that town on August 25, 1825. Santa Lucia, much frequented in summer by people from Montevideo, is surrounded by pretty country, and has a water-carrier picturesque plaza, and a large church with elaborate stucco columns and Corinthian capitals supporting a tympanum. As a rule, the Uruguayan provincial town is a vast agglomeration of rectilinear unpaved streets and stucco houses, having no particular character, but presenting a less neglected and untidy aspect than similar towns in the Argentine. The whole Banda Oriental and its inhabitants strike one as being more refined, more amiable, and more gentle than the land and people of the sister republic. Nevertheless, in the country everything is very primitive, and one is astounded at the rough way in which many of the rich estancieros live on their estates in the simplest and most comfortless houses. These men own leagues and leagues of land, and they live like the patriarchs of old, with two or three generations of children under the same roof and eating at the same table, in the old-fashioned creole way. Such men, as may well be imagined, are not progressive; they continue their pastoral industry in an indolent, apathetic manner, leaving to nature almost everything except the operation of selling and receiving the money; and, above all, they cannot be persuaded to subdivide their lands and let them out for farming. Uruguay is being kept back chiefly by the conservativeness of the creole landholders, who possess immense estates that are inadequately developed. The law of inheritance and the obligatory subdivision of property amongst the heirs will modify this state of affairs in the course of time. and these vast holdings will be gradually broken up and developed in detail. The process, however, will necessarily be slow, and meanwhile, as the state owns no lands, the increase of immigration can only be slow in proportion. Owing to the want of land belonging to the state, official immigration would seem to be superfluous in the republic of Uruguay; nevertheless a new law, promulgated in June, 1890, devoted forty-five articles to the details of this question. Amongst the chief articles of the law are the following: The consular agents of the republic shall give information in their various posts both to intending immigrants and to the home government, and make out annual reports on all matters connected with the subject of emigration and immigration. The General Assembly of the republic shall fix annually a sum for paying third class passages for immigrants from Europe, which passages shall be repaid by the immigrant by means of quarterly installments, with an annual interest of six per cent., within two years and a half after his arrival. Colonization enterprises and private individuals may obtain from the Direccion de Inmigracion y Agricultura the advance of passage money for persons whom they may designate, against a vale drawn up in the conditions of repayment above mentioned. The law prohibits the importation of beggars, cripples, aged men, except when they form part of a family, Asiatics, Africans, gypsies, Hungarians, and Bohemians. With these exceptions all kinds of agricultural and day laborers and artisans are demanded. The consular agents of the republic are ordered to make continuous propaganda in favor of immigration, rectifying erroneous versions that are contrary to the credit of Uruguay as a country for immigration, making known its geographical, economical, and social conditions, the general advantages it offers to the immigrant, and the special favors that it assures for his passage, board and lodging during the first eight days after his arrival, and for securing him an immediate and lucrative engagement in the country. In the main this new law is the reproduction of the Argentine law concerning assisted immigration.
Its promises, however, are more fallacious than those of the Argentine law, inasmuch as the Argentine government possesses still vast expanses of unoccupied territory and various official colonies in the Chaco, where it can send the new-comers to engage in a hard struggle against mosquitoes and fever. In the republic of Uruguay, on the other hand, unless the government should determine to expropriate certain lands for the purposes of colonization, a measure which is scarcely probable, employment can be given only to immigrants in a limited degree, according to the demands of the labor market and of private colonization enterprises. As for the special favors of board and lodging during the first eight days after arrival, they consist in the hospitality of the Hotel de Inmigracion of Montevideo an extensive two story building, having one facade on the Calle 25 de Agosto, and another toward the bay, where there is a special mole and quay for landing the immigrants and their baggage. All these measures for the protection of the immigrants and for facilitating their arrival are excellent; but the question is what to do with them when they have arrived; for although they have hitherto presented themselves only in comparatively small numbers, it appears that it has not been found easy to find them work and places. A proof of this is the fact that the foreign consulates in Montevideo are overwhelmed with applications from deceived immigrants who wish to return to their country, while the newspapers every week contain heartrending accounts of the misery and ill treatment of immigrants who have been abandoned in the provinces of the interior, or simply turned out of the Hotel de Inmigracion to starve or beg in the streets of the capital. In spite of the promises and information of the consular agents of Uruguay, the republics offers of assisted passages and lucrative engagements are full of snares and disappointments, and for the reasons above briefly indicated the healthy and rational current of immigration must be slow and gradual. If the Orientals were otherwise than they are, things might be different, and the transformation of the republic rapid. In other hands, Uruguay, with its splendid soil, fine climate, and facilities of navigation, might become one of the greatest food producing countries of the world. But in Spanish-American republics it is vain to look for active patriotism, co-operative energy, and public spirit. Whatever progress is accomplished in any and all of them has been realized mainly by foreigners, not with the help of, but in spite of the administration, and in spite of the conservative apathy of the Creole population. At present we have seen the density of the population of the whole territory of Uruguay is 3.46 inhabitants to the square kilometre, and the total is less than 700,000. If Uruguay were as thickly THE 5TOCK EXCHANGE, MONTEVIDEO. populated as France, it would contain a population of 13,000,000, and if the inhabitants were packed as closely as they are in the east of Belgium, its population would attain 35,000,000. These figures show of what development the country is susceptible. No city in South America has greater advantages in geographical position than Montevideo, the capital of the republic, and if it possessed only a good port, its prosperity would be multiplied tenfold. In the bay, it appears, the depth of water has diminished five feet within the past seventy years, and now does not exceed fifteen feet at the deepest, while the roadstead outside the Cerro is so exposed as to be one of the most dangerous in the world. The Rio de Ia Plata is by no means the ideal river that many believe it to be; indeed, after every strong pampero you may count wrecks and ships aground between the estuary and the island of Martin Garcia literally by the score. For want of a port or protection of any kind, all business is interrupted while the pampero is blowing, communication between the shore and ships anchored in the roads being impossible. The necessity of loading and unloading by means of lighters and tugs renders the operation exceedingly expensive, and in many cases the costs of landing goods at Montevideo are equivalent to the freight of the goods from Havre, Hamburg, or Liverpool. Ever since 1802 there have been various schemes proposed for making a port,* but all have fallen through. * At the foot of the Cerro is the Cibils dry-dock, made in 1874-8. It is built in granite rock, is 450 feet long, 80 feet wide, and can admit a vessel drawing 24 feet of water. In the centre is a gate, so that two docks can be formed, if necessary. Outside the dock a granite breakwater, 380 feet long by .33 feet wide, built of 10-ton blocks, protects the dock from the southeast wind. The hydraulic ma During my visit in 1890 no less than twenty-one costly projects were submitted to the Department of Public Works, but the well-informed considered that none of these projects was likely to be accepted. To all of them two grave objections were to be made: first of all. the enormous cost; and secondly, the fact that all the projects were based on the gaining of land as a principal object, of course with a view to lucrative speculations, after the example of the harbor and dock works of Buenos Ayres. Landing at Montevideo is often a terrible and even dangerous operation. The ocean steamers anchor two miles or more, machinery is excellent, and the dock is the finest in South America. There are two smaller dry-docks at Montevideo, but they call for no special notice. The statistics of the port of Montevideo for 1888 show the entrance of 765 steamers and 592 sailing ships from foreign ports, and 2090 sailers and 1450 steamers engaged in tile enlisting traffic. Taking the total of ships entered and cleared, it appears that tile flags represented by the steamers were in order of number, 1, English; 2, French; 3 German; 4, Italian; 5, Brazilian; 6, Scandinavian; Argentine; 8, Uruguayan; 9, Dutch; and by tile sailing ships, 1, Scandinavian; 2, English; 3, Italian; 4, Spanish ; 5, German; 6, Austro-Hungarian; 7, Danish; 8, North-American; 9, Dutch; 10, Brazilian; 11, Russian; 12, Portuguese; 13, Argentine; 14, French and Uruguayan. It will he remarked that the flag of the United States does not figure at all amongst the steamers from the shore, and after the formalities of the medical inspection have been accomplished and the quarantine flag hauled down, small steamers are moored alongside, the baggage is lowered, and then the passengers have to make perilous leaps from the foot of the gangway to the decks of the tugs. Finally, when all is ready, the tugs start, panting and puffing, threading their way through ships of all sizes and descriptions anchored in the roads. The panorama of the city is grand. To the left, forming the western point of the bay, is the Cerro, that gives its name, Montevideo, to the town; on the summit., 137 metres above the level of the sea, is a fortress built by the Governor, Elio, after the capitulation of the English in 1808, and now used as a lighthouse and observatory; at the foot of the Cerro the broad bay sweeps round, crowded with small craft, and joins the turtleback promontory on which the old town is built. Seen from the river the points that strike the eye are the hill on the left, and on the right the vast custom-house depots, the fine new hotel, and the towers of the cathedral and the churches rising above the white and Oriental-looking silhouette of the town, that slopes up from the water and attains iii parts a height of 100 metres above the level of the sea. The landing-stage is at the end of the custom-house a wooden wharf or jetty provided with a narrow wooden staircase, at the head of which the changadores, or porters, wait in line to carry baggage. The want of good police regulations and fixed tariffs makes itself felt here as in all the ports of South America. The newcomers, and the natives too, have to submit to much extortion, although the porters of Montevideo and the whole service of the landing-stage are better managed than at Buenos Ayres. The hotels of Montevideo are all poor, the food they provide is inferior, and often execrably prepared, and as there are no other restaurants except those of the hotels, there is no alternative but to suffer. I spent some time in Montevideo in the winter and in the summer, and saw both the agreeable and disagreeable aspects of life. I saw the people in the summer evenings sitting on their balconies sucking mate and thrumming guitars; I saw the city in the winter when the rain fell for days together in perpendicular thick threads that pattered on the paved streets, and made life seem dismal and hopeless until the sky cleared, the sun shone, and Montevideo once more appeared pleasant and attractive. Of the climate, however, no evil can be spoken. In the summer the heat is always tempered by the breezes from the water, with an average of about 20° centigrade; in winter the thermometer never descends to zero, and the houses have no heating apparatus or chimneys, which would imply that the need of them is not felt. Nevertheless, it must be confessed that when it rains, and the whole air is saturated with moisture, the cold seems intense enough to justify fires; but, this view is not taken by the majority of the inhabitants, who content themselves. with the protection afforded by voluminous Spanish cloaks, and wait patiently until the sun shines. On the other hand, it is stated that the climate both of Buenos Ayres and of Montevideo is changing and becoming colder, and in some of the modern houses built for people who have travelled and acquired notions of European comfort, fireplaces have being made. Owing to its situation on a granite promontory almost surrounded by water, the Uruguayan capital is well ventilated, admirably drained, constantly washed clean by the rain that falls at every season-70 or 80 days out of the 365 and thoroughly healthy.
Montevideo is a city of stucco and bright colors; of long, broad streets that. run up hill and down lull in straight lines, with clusters of telegraph and telephone wires overhead, and implacable tram cars whose drivers delight in plaintive pipings, on cow-horns, challenging and answering each other with piercing nasal trills -a city of noise and clattering hoofs, of fine shops and well-built houses; a city of manifest luxury and wealth. Although laid out on the usual Spanish-American chess-board plan, Montevideo does not. impress one with the monotony and sameness that characterize Buenos Ayres. The undulation of the ground causes great variety in the perspective of the streets, and glimpses of the glistening waters of the river or of the bay are constantly visible from the higher points. The buildings are all low and fiat-roofed, and even on the principal plazas there are houses only one story high. The banks and business blocks have one or two and rarely three stories, but some buildings I saw in construction are loftier.
The example of tall modern edifices has been given by the splendid new Hotel Victoria overlooking the bay and the roadstead, the only hotel in South America adequately planned and arranged from the point of view of construction. At the time of my visit this hotel was not yet finished inside, but as its silhouette forms the most conspicuous object in the panorama of the city seen from the water, it cannot be passed unnoticed. A peculiarity of the houses of one or two flats is that the walls are often carried to a height of a metre above the roof, and marble or simile-stone balconies built out at the points where the windows will be placed when fortune shall permit the owner to carry the building one story higher. On the grand Plaza Independencia there are several buildings left in this unfinished state. The style of architecture within the city is nameless; it reminds one often of the structures figured in German architectural toys. The plan of the private houses is the Andalusian vestibule, with a front door and a second gate of open wrought iron work, showing the first patio or court-yard. a second and third patio according to requirements, a facade on the street. with iron gratings over the windows and marble facings and stucco ornaments on the walls. The building materials used are brick, iron, timber, stucco, tiles, avid marble. The courts are generally paved with marble, and, together with the passages, have a dado of blue and white Talavery tiles of azulejos. Just as at Buenos Ayres, the richer the house the more fanciful the ornamentation of stucco, the more tender the tints of bistre, salmon, lilac, and rose on the walls, the more elaborate the iron work, and the fresher the green paint on the shutters. The visitor is expected to admire a new quarter of the town toward the northeast, called the Barrio Reus, and another quarter hearing the same name near the Playa Ramirez. This is a vast building speculation on the model of those which have covered the new quarters of Paris with streets and blocks of houses. The peculiarity of the Barrio Reus at Montevideo is that it is outrageously European in aspect, and thoroughly unpleasing; it suggests a transplantation of a part of Brussels or of Berlin to the banks of La Plata. One cannot imagine people living with joy in such houses as these in the climate of Montevideo. in spite of electric light, telephones, bathrooms, and all modern improvements. Still, the greatness of the effort and the rapidity of the creation of these new quarters excite admiration, and testify to a certain exuberant and exaggerated energy. The chief squares of Montevideo are the Plaza Constitucion more commonly called Plaza de Ia Matriz, Plaza de la Independencia, and Plaza Cagancha. The first has on one side the cathedral or Iglesia de Ia Matriz; on another the handsome white marble facade of the Uruguay Club, one of the most luxurious and splendid clubs in the Southern hemisphere; on the third side the Cabildo, which serves as a parliament house, and bears the inscription Representacion Nacional; and on the fourth are buildings of no architectural interest, in one of which is a hospitable English club. In the centre of this plaza is an elegant and elaborate white marble fountain. The plaza is crossed by diagonal paths lined with trees of the acacia family that are covered with bloom in season. On summer evenings the Plaza de Ia Matriz is the great resort of the inhabitants. The heavy traffic of carts has ceased, the tram cars pass less frequently and less noisily, the carriages become more elegant, and many teams of magnificent European horses are to be seen. A military band plays in the kiosk near the fountain, and the greater part of the plaza is dotted with little tables, where syrups, ices, and refreshing drinks are served. The ladies turn out en masse, clad in the most elegant and tasteful summer costumes that the Parisian exporters can furnish; young women, matrons, girls, and children pass to and fro, with flashing eyes and dazzling teeth, looking handsome, healthy, and graceful; while the sidewalks are lined with a double row of young men, who smoke cigarettes, and watch the defile of beauty and fashion in the accepted Spanish-American fashion. Here and there in the elegant crowd you note dashing mulattoes and comical negresses dressed in immaculate white, and as you pass you hear groups speaking French, Italian, and English, as well as the native Spanish, for Montevideo is a cosmopolitan town. The Plaza de la Constitucion exists since the town was planned, and owes its present name to the fact that the Constitution of the republic was proclaimed there in 1830. The Plaza Independencia is to be eventually surrounded by lofty colonnades in the Doric style, sections of which are already built. The aspect of this immense parallelogram is very imposing, although at present it has no remarkable buildings except the modest palace of the government, where the ministries are also located very inadequately. In front of this palace stands a sentry, and a sentry-box covered with blue and white stripes, and adorned in front with mock curtains of red paint tied back with gold cord, also imitated by means of paint. The corps de garde under the arcade, and the long bench on which the soldiers of the Presidents guard, most of them negroes or men of color, sit and smoke cigarettes all day, form one of the picturesque and characteristic bits in Montevideo. Across the Plaza Indendencia, which measures 221 metres long by 232 broad, is a paved path 8 metres wide, lined with benches, also much frequented as an evening promenade, particularly by the more portly matrons, who are more at their ease there than on the narrow sidewalks of the Calle Sarandi, or on the crowded Plaza Matriz. From the Plaza Independencia to the Plaza Cagancha runs the Calle 18 de Julio, a splendid boulevard 26 metres wide, planted with trees and lined with fine shops, certainly the finest modern street in South America, and in the evening one of the most animated in Montevideo. In the middle of the Plaza Cagancha is a marble column and pedestal surmounted by a bronze statue of Liberty holding a flag. The statue is very poor, and the pose so unfortunate that the figure suggests that of a lady in distress making signs with her umbrella to stop the tram car. Amongst the principal public buildings, besides those already mentioned, is the Municipal Palace, a truly wonderful Gothic structure of stucco and white paint. Some of the banks too are Gothic, but others affect the Renaissance style. The Loteria de la Caridad has a handsome building for transacting its vast business. The Hospital de Caridad, which is supported by this lottery, is an immense building, but without architectural interest. The Post-office, built specially for the purpose, is more or less convenient. One curious feature of this establishment is an opening on one side of the court-yard by the side of the letter-boxes, bearing the inscription Inutilizacion. Before throwing your letter into the box you are required to present it to the employed who stands behind this opening or window and obliterates the stamps. What happens in case a recalcitrant person refuses to take the trouble of waiting his turn at this window when there is a crowd, and simply posts his letter with the stamps unobliterated, is a point which I failed to elucidate. The Spanish-Americans appear to be patient and docile, like the European Latins, and submit to many inconveniences without a murmur.
The Cementerio Central is considered one of the sights of the capital. It has a monumental entrance and an elaborate chapel, and is reputed to be the most luxuriously and the best arranged cemetery in South America. It is situated on the sea-shore, and divided into three sections, surrounded by high walls, in which are arranged, on the inside, innumerable niches, each with its marble tablet recording the names of those whose remains are deposited inside. The coffins are wound up to the mouth of these mural cellules by means of a portable lift and ladder combined, and the whole surface of the walls is hung with wreaths of fresh flowers or of beads, which stand out in strong relief against the marble facings. Each section of the cemetery is carefully laid out, fenced in with iron railings, and full of tombs and monuments of great price and pretensions, due to the chisels of the sculptors of Rome and Milan. The vegetation in the cemetery is most varied, and besides the funereal cypress, there are flowering shrubs of many kinds, and on almost every grave wreaths of fresh flowers constantly renewed, that fill the air with their perfume. The pious luxury displayed in this Campo santo is remarkable.
Paso del Molino is the fashionable residential suburb of Montevideo, distant from the town about three quarters of an hour by tramway along finely paved and broad avenues that skirt the bay. The whole suburb is occupied with villas surrounded by gardens richly stocked with trees and flowers. The villas, or quintas, as they are called are in many cases most fantastic and curious, and the styles of architecture vary from florid Gothic to Moorish and even Chinese. The results obtained are costly and often comic. One is impressed by the effort made and by the wealth of the owners of these quintas, but at the same time one is eager to escape out of sight of these monuments of architectural and parvenu folly. Ones soul has no joy in most of them.
Not far by tramway from the Paso del Molino, but unfortunately at a distance of more than a league from the city, is a public garden and promenade belonging to the municipality, called El Prado. This beautiful park is traversed by a stream lined with willows and other trees; the entrance avenue is planted with four rows of tall eucalyptus, and the grounds are adorned with rustic fountains, rockeries, and statues surrounded by most beautiful and varied vegetation. The only disadvantage of the Prado is that it is too far away; in order to visit it one must have several hours to lose, and except on special occasions its beautiful walks are deserted.
During the summer months Montevideo attracts many visitors even from Buenos Ayres for the bathing season, and two beaches of fine sand have been provided with the necessary apparatus at Ramirez and Pocitos, both within easy distance of the town, and served by tramways. The sea is discolored by the brown waters of the Rio de Ia Plata at these points, which are not so charming as one might imagine from the descriptions of the natives, but very acceptable for want of something better. The sight of the little cabins and of the bathers is amusing enough of a summer evening, and in both establishments there are cafés and restaurants, which help to make a visit agreeable.
I the city itself, besides the new hotel, there is a wonderful bathing establishment under cover, with swimming baths for ladies and gentlemen, each 50 by 30 metres, and accessories of a most luxurious nature. The main streets of Montevideo -25 de Mayo, Sarandi, Rincon- are overarched at intervals with gas jets and globes in the same way as the principal streets of Buenos Ayres, not merely for illumination on high days and holidays, but also for ordinary every-day use. Part of the town and many shops are lighted by electricity furnished by two vast establishments. In the Southern hemisphere the streets are always most animated after sunset, when the shop-keepers take down their shades and blinds, and endeavor to attract customers by the most brilliant and effective display of goods. The shops of Montevideo astound the traveller by the quantity and costliness of the articles of luxury that they contain. In the Calles Camaras, Sarandi, 25 de Mayo, and 18 de Julio the majority of the shops are for the sale of precious stones, jewelry, silverware, furniture, fancy articles, objets d'art, looking glasses, objects appertaining to the costume and adornment of women. There are also several large music-stores and book stores. The jewellers windows are ablaze with diamonds, sapphires. emeralds, and rubies, mounted in very expensive pieces. The silversmiths have massive toilet sets chased and repoussé in magnificent style. The dealers in bibelots and objects of art display onyx piedouches and vases with rich ormolu mounts, useless things of great price for wedding presents set in morocco leather cases lined with azure silk, and mounted with silver or gold, common place bronzes of hackneyed models, such as Houdon's "Kiss" and John of Bologna's "Mercury", Oriental carpets, French fancy furniture, Parisian knick-knacks and all the expensive trumpery of Vienna, Batignolles, and Yokohama. There are pictures, too, in some of the shops, oil paintings and water colors, and fac-simile reproductions from Paris and Milan; but the less said about the artistic taste of the Orientals, the better. In the choice of jewelry and wearing apparel they acquit themselves excellently well; they make a prodigious impression upon the foreigner, and they spend large sums of money, which would seem to indicate that they are rich and prosperous, arid that their lot is not to be disdained.
The book-stores of Montevideo present the same phenomena as those of Buenos Ayres. The windows are filled with the latest productions of Gyp, Maupassant Goncourt, Tolstoï, Maizeroy, Delpit, Belot, Theuriet, Coppée, and the inevitable Georges Ohnet, all fresh from Paris; the shelves inside are packed with Spanish translations of the same talented authors, together with endless series of translations of Jules Verne, Xavier de Montepin, and Paul de Kock. One must go outside of France in order to realize the immensity of the public to which these latter three writers appeal, and at the same time to comprehend the absolute indifference of humanity in general toward those qualities which constitute the joy and the torture of the literary artist. In the book-stores of Montevideo I noticed a fair number of translations of European scientific and historical works, but I hunted in vain for n copy of Calderon, Lope de Vega, or Francisco de Quevedo. Even copies of Don Quixote are few and far between. This neglect of the great Spanish classics and of the lighter picaresque writers struck me as being worthy of remark. The newspapers of Montevideo, like those of Buenos Ayres. depend upon the French for their novels and literary articles. There is no local literature worth speaking about, except that which produces political leaders and financial and statistical reports.
Evenings in Montevideo are dull in the winter season, even when the theatres are open, for the town is not yet large enough to support a regular company, and therefore has to depend on travelling troupes. There are four houses -San Felipe, Cibils, Solis, and Politeama. The latter two are generally devoted to Italian opera, and every other night the amateurs have an opportunity of hearing the hackneyed repertory, provided they are willing to pay four dollars (gold) for a stall. The Teatro Solis, holding 2000 people, is exteriorly a very elegant and handsomely proportioned edifice, and very commodious inside, though poorly decorated. Like all South-American theatres, it has a cazuela reserved for ladies, and occasionally the house is filled with all the rank and fashion of the town ; generally, however, there are many vacant seats, and apparently no regular theatre going public. On the nights when the opera is closed there is no amusement whatever, not even a café concert, nor does the military band play on the Plaza Matriz during the winter months. There is nothing to do but to promenade up and down the Calle 18 de Julio and the Calle Sarandi, stand outside the Uruguay Club to watch the ladies pass, look in at the shop windows, and go to bed at ten o'clock, when the shutters are put up, and the silence of the streets is broken only by the late tram cars and by the hoarse voices of the ubiquitous and indefatigable sellers of lottery tickets, with their fallacious and insinuating cries: "Cincuenta mil pesos para mañana. Cincuenta mil la suerte. Tenemos el gordo. Este es el bueno, caballero. Un enterito." (Fifty thousand dollars for tomorrow. Fifty thousand the prize. We've got the big one. This is the right number, sir. A nice, complete ticket.) The lottery is one of the first and last things that strike the visitor in Montevideo. It is impossible to escape. From early morning until late at night, every day in the year, boys of six and old men of seventy wander about the streets crying tickets in all tones of voice. There are seven drawings a month, the grand prize being one time $50,000, at another $25,000, and at another $12,000. A complete ticket costs $10 gold, and consists of five quintos, or fifths, which are sold separately at $2, and for each drawing 12,000 complete tickets are issued, or, in other words, 60,000 fifths, and there are 1200 prizes. The sum produced by the sale of all the tickets represents $120,000, the amount devoted to prizes is $90,000. and the amount taken by the Hospital de Caridad is $30,000. Of course all the tickets are not sold every time, and the hospital runs a chance of winning prizes with the unsold numbers, but the quantity of tickets placed is remarkable; all sorts and conditions of men are seen buying a quinto; the sellers are found in every village in the republic, and the neighboring republics of the Argentine and Brazil also take a considerable number of tickets. Thanks to the resources of the lottery, the Hospital de Caridad is one of the richest in the world.
As regards society in Montevideo, it is difficult for the passing visitor to make any observations of much use or interest. The Hispano-Americans, for that matter, have retained the customs of the Spaniards of the mother peninsula: family life is held to be of first importance, and strangers are with difficulty admitted to the intimacy of the home. The Anglo-Saxon dinner party, the French reception, the European soirée, are unknown. The family lives for its members, and not for the outside circle of friends and acquaintances. In Montevideo there is no other social animation than such as one finds in Buenos Ayres, Santiago, or Lima a rare fete given by some millionaire, a grand ball offered to the cream of the Creole families by the aristocratic club, and besides that the evening promenade, the opera, and the races at Maronas, which are frequented by a fashionable and well-behaved public, far different from that which horrified me at the Argentine race meetings. Montevideo, however, does not possess a drive or park like the Palermo of Buenos Ayres, nor is any particular street or quarter of the city especially à la mode. Furthermore, suburban villas are very generally preferred to town houses by the rich, so that collective manifestations of elegance and fashion are not easily made, except in the limited conditions above specified.
miraCLIKEA para ver galeria de fotos CLIK .LAURA LEGAZCUE bailarina y coreografa fotos-OREMOS POR NUESTRO PAIS-
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CHARRUA( uruguaya ,oriental o yorugua)------------------la primer CHARRUA( uruguaya ,oriental o yorugua) que fue jurado del Metropolitano de Tango y del Jurado Mundial ,por merito propio,ahora seleccionada como "maestra reconocida mundialmente",dara un Seminario de Alta Intensidad en el Mundial.No solo es futbol mundial el Uruguay."Tanguera Ilustre de Buenos Aires" "Condor de Oro de San Luis,Argentina....Quien es? L.L. pasion,voluntad y tecnica.Tecnica,voluntad y pasion.Abriendo caminos para Uruguay,embajadora cultural de este Paisito que es un gran Pais con mayuscula. -------------------------------------------------------------- Ver .The one,en Apoteosis Tanguera,España..........................................................................................................................