Bolivia is a republic, now entirely inland, occupying the broadest part of the table-land of the Andes, with a montana to the east. Its population is about two millions, inclusive of about eight hundred thousand uncivilized Indians. Even the civilized population is mainly of Indian origin. The communications of Bolivia with Peru and Brazil have already been referred to. The capital of the country is Sucre, on the part of the table-land drained to the east. La Paz is the chief town on the table-land of Lake Titicaca. The silver-mines of Potosi, which made Peru so valuable a possession to the Spaniards, belong to this state, and are still productive, though in a greatly diminished degree.
Chili, a republic, possesses the whole of the coast strip south of Peru, together with the islands that fringe the coast, including part of Tierra del Fuego and both sides of the Strait of Magellan except in the extreme east. The northern portion of the country is a continuation of the desert strip on the coast of Peru, and is valuable solely for its mineral products—guano (near the coast from the frontier to about 211° south), nitrate of soda, or cubic niter, as it is also called (in the same latitudes, but farther in-land), gold, silver, and copper. Copper is even more abundant farther south, along the base of the Andes, north and south of Coquimbo. Silver is also found more abundantly to the south of Copiapo. The middle portion of the territory (between about 33° and 38° south) contains the bulk of the population, who number about two million five hundred thousand in all. The agricultural products are mainly wheat, barley, and southern fruits—similar, in fact, to those of Spain, which has a climate resembling that of the more populous parts of Chili. Notwithstanding that whites predominate in this republic (instead of Indians and half-breeds as in most of the others), agriculture here also is generally in a backward condition, except in some parts of the north, where there are some admirable irrigation works. In the more thickly peopled part of the country there are several hundred miles of railway.
The capital of the country is Santiago, and its port is Valparaiso, on a fine bay looking to the north. Here is received the great bulk of the imports, but since the greater part of the exports consists of mineral produce, chiefly nitrate of soda, copper, and guano, the northern port of Iquique, whence most of the nitrate and guano is shipped, has the largest share in the export trade, Valparaiso coming only second, and Pisagua (another northern port) and Coquimbo next in order. Next to minerals wheat and other agricultural produce form the chief exports. The leading imports are manufactured articles, coal, and iron. The United Kingdom receives the bulk of the exports, and takes the first place in the import trade, Germany and France following,