Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
210
BAHIA—BAHIA BLANCA

The area covers 15,918 sq. m.; pop. (1901) 720,877, showing an increase of 11% on the previous decade; estimated gross revenue, £146,700; there is no tribute. The chief, whose title is nawab, is a Mahommedan of the Daudputra family from Sind, and claims descent from Abbas, uncle of the Prophet. The dynasty established its independence of the Afghans towards the end of the 18th century, and made a treaty with the British in 1838 to which it has always been loyal. The benefits of canal irrigation were introduced in the 'seventies, and the revenue thus doubled. The territory is traversed throughout its length by the North-Western and Southern Punjab railways. There are an arts college and Anglo-vernacular schools.

The town of Bahawalpur is situated near the left bank of the Sutlej, and has a railway station 65 m. from Mooltan. It has a magnificent palace, which is visible from far across the Bikanir desert; it was built in 1882 by Nawab Sadik Mahommed Khan. Pop. (1901) 18,546.

BAHIA, an Atlantic state of Brazil, bounded N. by the states of Piauhy, Pernambuco and Sergipe, E. by Sergipe and the Atlantic, S. by Espirito Santo and Minas Geraes, and W. by Minas Geraes and Goyaz. Its area is 164,650 sq. m., a great part of which is an arid barren chapada (plateau), traversed from S. to N. and N.E. by the drainage basin of the São Francisco river, and having a general elevation of 1000 to 1700 ft. above that river, or 2300 to 3000 ft. above sea-level. On the W. the chapada, with an elevation of 2300 ft. and a breadth of 60 m., forms the western boundary of the state and the water-parting between the São Francisco and the Tocantins. East of the São Francisco it may be divided into three distinct regions: a rough limestone plateau rising gradually to the culminating ridges of the Serra da Chapada; a gneissose plateau showing extensive exposures of bare rock dipping slightly toward the coast; and a narrower plateau covered with a compact sandy soil descending to the coastal plain. The first two have a breadth of about 200 m. each, and are arid, barren and inhospitable, except at the dividing ridges where the clouds from the sea are deprived of some of their moisture. The third zone loses its arid character as it approaches the coast, and is better clothed with vegetation. The coastal plain varies in width and character: in some places low and sandy, or swampy, filled with lagoons and intersecting canals; in others more elevated, rolling and very fertile. The climate corresponds closely to these surface features, being hot and dry throughout the interior, hot and humid, in places unhealthy, along the coast. Cattle-raising was once the principal industry in the interior, but has been almost extinguished by the devastating droughts and increasing aridity caused by the custom of annually burning over the campos to improve the grass. In the agricultural regions sugar, cotton, tobacco, cacáo, coffee, mandioca and tropical fruits are produced. The exports also include hides, mangabeira rubber, piassava fibre, diamonds, cabinet woods and rum. The population is largely of a mixed and unprogressive character, and numbered 1,919,802 in 1890. There is but little immigration and the vegetative increase is low. The capital, São Salvador or Bahia (q.v.), which is one of the principal cities and ports of Brazil, is the export town for the Reconcavo, as the fertile agricultural district surrounding the bay is called. The principal cities of the state are Alagoinhas and Bom Fim (formerly Villa Nova da Rainha) on the main railway line running N. to the São Francisco, Cachoeira and Santo Amaro near the capital in the Reconcavo, Caravellas and Ilheos on the southern coast, with tolerably good harbours, the former being the port for the Bahia & Minas railway, Feira de Santa Anna on the border of the sertão and long celebrated for its cattle fairs, and Jacobina, an inland town N.W. of the capital, on the slopes of the Serra da Chapada, and noted for its mining industries, cotton and tobacco. The state of Bahia includes four of the original captaincies granted by the Portuguese crown—Bahia, Paraguassú, Ilheos and Porto Seguro, all of which reverted to the direct control of that government in 1549. During the war with Holland several efforts were made to conquer this captaincy, but without success. In 1823 Bahia became a province of the empire, and in 1889 a state in the republic. Its government consists of a governor elected for four years, and a general assembly of two chambers, the senators being elected for six years and the deputies for two years.  (A. J. L.) 

BAHIA, or São Salvador, a maritime city of Brazil and capital of the state of Bahia, situated on the Bay of All Saints (Bahia de Todos os Santos), and on the western side of the peninsula separating that bay from the Atlantic, in 13° S. lat. and 38° 30′ W. long. Pop. (1890) 174,412; (est. 1900) 200,000. The commercial section of the city occupies a long, narrow beach between the water-line and bluffs, and contains the arsenal, exchange, custom-house, post-office, railway station, market and principal business houses. It has narrow streets badly paved and drained, and made still more dirty and offensive by the surface drainage of the upper town. Communication with the upper town is effected by means of two elevators, a circular tramway, and steep zigzag roads. The upper town is built on the western slope of a low ridge, the backbone of the peninsula, and rises from the edge of the bluffs to altitudes of 200 to 260 ft. above the sea-level, affording magnificent views of the bay and its islands. There are wider streets, comfortable residences, and attractive gardens in this part of the city. Here also are to be found the churches, schools, theatres, asylums, and hospitals, academies of law and medicine, governor's palace, public library, and museum, and an interesting public garden on the edge of the bluff, overlooking the bay. The city is served by four street-car lines, connecting the suburbs with both the upper and lower towns. In 1906 contracts were made to reconstruct some of these lines for electric traction. The railways radiating from the city to inland points are the Bahia & Alagoinhas which is under construction to Joazeiro, on the São Francisco river, a short line to Santo Amaro, and two lines—the Bahia Central and the Nazareth tramway—extending inland from points on the opposite side of the bay. The port of Bahia, which has one of the best and most accessible harbours on the east coast of South America, has a large coastwise and foreign trade, and is also used as a port of call by most of the steamship lines trading between Europe and that continent. Bahia was founded in 1549 by Thomé de Souza, the first Portuguese governor-general of Brazil, and was the seat of colonial administration down to 1763. It was made the seat of a bishopric in 1551, and of an archbishopric in 1676, and until 1905 was the metropolis of the Roman Catholic Church in Brazil. The city was captured in 1624 by the Dutch, who held it only a few months. Always conservative in character, the city hesitated in adhering to the declaration of independence in 1822, and also to the declaration of the republic in 1889. Much of its commercial and political importance has been lost, also, through the decay of industrial activity in the state, and through the more vigorous competition of the agricultural states of the south.  (A. J. L.) 

BAHIA BLANCA, a city and port of Argentina, on the Naposta river, 3 m. from its outlet into a deep, well-sheltered bay of the same name. Pop. (est. 1903) 11,600. It is situated in the extreme southern part of the province of Buenos Aires and is 447 m. by rail S.W. of the national capital. The opening to settlement of the national territories of La Pampa and Neuquén has contributed largely to the growth and importance of Bahia Blanca. It is the natural shipping-port for these territories and for the southern districts of the province of Buenos Aires, from which great quantities of wheat and wool are exported. The bay has long been recognized as one of the best on the Argentine coast, and when the channel is properly dredged, will admit steamers of 30 ft. draught at low-water. The Argentine government has located its principal naval station here, at the