Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/154

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

the natives of the region where they live is but trifling, save in the particular of their superior morality, which is believed to be an elevating example, while, like all Germans, everywhere, they grow in their new soil towards liberal thought, being removed from the repressive influence of European old age. They are not in any sense subjects of German imperial power, but are the tenants of commercial companies. So that, while they are German colonists, they are not colonies of Germany.

If the material results thus far accomplished by the German government in its attempts at national colonization be the best that power is able to produce, it will appear an empty vanity to attempt further enterprises of the kind, save for the improvement of congested populations. In colonies of the empire, covering an area of 2,500,000 square miles there is a white population of 6,000 souls, of whom 4,000 are Germans, who in one year (1901) succeeded in producing a deficit of $7,000,000 above an income of $8,000,000. American Consul Harris at Eibenstock has said: "The ideal relation of a colony to the mother country is that which permits the colony to produce the raw material which the mother country will receive and return to the colony in a manufactured condition; but, in accordance with an irresistible law of economics, a colony with great material resources will gradually emancipate itself from the mother country. It is doubtful whether this will shortly be true of any of the present colonies of Germany. In almost every part of the world where her acquisitions are situated, there is in the same immediate neighorhood a colony of Great Britain or some other country better able to produce colonial products."

The only considerable collected German colonies, in other of the Latin American republics, are in Guatemala, Chile and Argentina. In Guatemala there is a German element of great respectability and influence amounting to real power, which promises more for an advancing civilization of the entire mass of population than is apparent in Chile or Argentina. But, in all three of these republics are German populations, not included in colonies, which must be considered with similar classes in every other Latin American state. These people are distributed all through those states, but are found more generally in the large towns and cities. They represent important material interests and are the potent "leaven which leaveneth the whole lump."

The influence of this portion on the communities in which they live differs curiously from that of the French, as is seen illustrated in the cities of Mexico and Panama, where the French have, during certain periods, been the controlling power in social life. The women of the upper classes of those cities, which have known French influence, no longer hesitate to appear on the streets clad in comely array, wearing bright colors in dress, with hats or bonnets in place of the sombre black suit of gown and mantilla. Thirty years ago, every woman in the