This short geography book covers the basic history, physical geography, and economic development at the turn of the century, of each of the South American Republics. It provides very brief histories of most of the South American republics, but focuses much more on economics, culture, and geography.
A Message from the Assistant Director
of the Pan-American Union
In looking over the manuscript pages of this book and in responding to the request of the publishers for a few words of introduction, I am reminded of the marvelous changes that recent years have wrought in the general subject of geography. The geography of yesterday is certainly not the geography of to-day. Boundaries of old nations have been materially altered, if not obliterated, and new nations have come upon the scene of international affairs.
Recent years have also been an epoch of geographic study. Perhaps in no period of the past have so many millions of people devoted attention to the geographic location of continents, rivers, mountains, nations, states, and cities; distances have been measured and remeasured, mountain peaks have been climbed, the north and the south pole have been visited ; motor cars have penetrated the great deserts; wireless telegraphy reaches the peoples of all lands; the daring aerial photographer is picturing the most isolated and inaccessible regions of the earth, while the motion picture producer is placing the facts before the millions. Truly, the people of to-day, young and old, have wonderful facilities for acquiring geographic knowledge.
Geography, always an interesting study, now becomes of more absorbing interest as this world of ours enters a new era; its study is rendered easier for the youthful mind and more practical to the man of affairs; many lines of business are broadening from State and national to inter-national scope, and young people who are called to fill positions therein must know the vital factors that are involved, and one of these factors is a knowledge of the geography of nations.
In past years, and in most cases to-day, geographies used in schools of the United States have devoted scant space to the Central and South American republics; in numerous textbooks which I have examined from time to time I have been surprised and disappointed to see what few pages the average author devotes to the Latin American nations; yet these republics are replete with most interesting facts of a geographical nature, many of which have never been brought to the attention of the American boy and girl. It is a pleasure, therefore, to commend the present work and to express the hope that it may stimulate interest not only in the subject of which it treats, but in a study of the characteristics, aspirations, and general progress of the peoples of all the Latin American countries.
|ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, PAN-AMERICAN UNION.|
WASHINGTON, D. C.
Separated from Europe, Asia and Africa by the broad sweeps of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the great AmeriŽcan continents stretch well over two-thirds of the distance from pole to pole. Position, inclination, common interests and mutual inter-dependence link North and South America together.
Of this wonderful near neighbor we of the United States know far less than we should. The history, the comŽmerce and the industries of the South American counŽtries make a most interesting story, and a more intimate acquaintance with their peoples and customs cannot fail to foster the feeling of neighborly friendliness.
In Our South American Neighbors, each country is taken up by itself. Its chief city or cities, its life and industries, its geography and resources are all described. Review questions help to fix the essential points. Many illustrations increase the interest and serve as an added means of impressing the facts presented.
Owing to their commercial importance, Argentina, Brazil and Chile are called the A. B. C. countries of South America. These three are described first. After Chile the countries are given in the order of their population.
The stories not only show the past growth and development of the South American countries but also indicate the great possibilities which the future holds in store for them.
The statistics quoted in the reference tables are those furnished by the Pan-American Union to whom the author owes a great debt of gratitude for their courtesy in reviewŽing and correcting the manuscript and in furnishing many of the illustrations.
It is hoped that by the use of this book our great neighbor, South America, will mean more and will appeal more to the boys and girls of North America than ever before.