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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/147

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GERMAN INFLUENCE IN LATIN AMERICA

accident or an adventurer. In no case are either of these immigrants such representatives or instruments of an advanced civilization as their countrymen at home may properly imagine them. At their best, they are the simple agents of commercialism; and in Latin America, as at home, they leave their neighbors to that liberty in their pursuits, opinions, methods and manners which they claim and exercise for themselves.

To Brazil, as to Chile and to Argentina, have been presented lower classes of Germans, who have taken to agriculture and have grouped themselves in colonies, from which some of the more intelligent have escaped to the towns and cities, where they have entered the pursuits of the mechanic arts or trade.

The European economist, quoted by the American Bureau of Statistics, estimates that "German capitalists have invested $50,000,000 in Mexico and $225,000,000 in South America, of which $150,000,000 are in Brazil alone, in the southern provinces of which several great German colonization societies have long had powerful influence. Land may be bought there at half the price of government lands in the United States, and land that produces several crops a year in agreeable, healthy climates."

As shown by the figures, while only 51,000 Germans are settled among the states of the continent, outside of Brazil, the 1,000,000 in that country are colonized in five states.

In Paraná, with 80,000 inhabitants, covering 6,000 square miles.
Santa Catarina, with 110,000 inhabitants, covering 24,000 square miles.
Rio Grande do Sul, with 300,000 inhabitants, covering 99,000 square miles.
Sāo Paulo, with 540,000 inhabitants, covering 121,000 square miles.
Minas Garaes, with 1,300,000 inhabitants, covering 220,000 square miles.

These states with 2,330,000 inhabitants living over an area of 470,000 square miles contain 1,000,000 Germans, living among a people of whom only one sixth are whites of self-governing ability. Generally these immigrants are farmers, save, as already mentioned, laborers, who have been sent to the mining regions of Minas Garaes by the home colonization companies for work in the mines and the production of supplies for the mining operations.

It may also be noted that Central America is a favorite point for the German leaving home. But it should be said here that few, if not the more wealthy and cultivated among them, go to those states, where they are having a very important influence on commerce, the arts and every department of civilization. So important have these interests become that the German government has lately established there its first salaried consulate, where also are about a score of consular agents receiving their pay in fees. Their commercial interests, especially in Guatemala, have so developed that they have now in the five little republics $6,000,000 invested in real estate, industrial enterprises and