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Latin America is a geographical expression applied to twenty republics in the New World. Eighteen of them have arisen from Spanish origins, and hence are known collectively as "Spanish America." Of the other two, Brazil has sprung from Portuguese settlement, and Haiti owes its existence to France. The present work is intended to serve as an introduction to the study of the various republics in Latin America. Given the small amount of space that is available, to treat each country in separate fashion would be to compile a statistical summary. Since the group of states is numerically large and their points of resemblance, on the whole, are greater than their points or difference, to emphasize their individuality throughout would be as difficult a performance as that of trying to satisfy each state that full justice was being shown it in comparison with its fellows. After all, the existence of twenty republics, as such, is less important than is the evidence of what they have done to merit attention. Unfair and erroneous notions, which are only too prevalent about the lands of Latin America, are best dispelled by bringing forward the proofs of civilization. To this end institutions and culture should be made Ihe touchstone that determines appreciation. As exemplified in the colonial period, they will reveal the kind of equipment with which the republics started on their career. As exemplified by one state or another since that time, they will indicate the extent to which any given republic has advanced to the forefront of nations that have a direct share in the general progress of mankind, or has lagged behind them. For these reasons the contents of the book have been arranged, in the main, so as to describe phases of civilization, and to draw from one country or another illustrations of similarities, or of differences, in character, spirit and attainment.
Latin America ; Republics ; Government ; Social organization ; Economic conditions ; Church ; Independence ; National development ; International relations ; Geography and resources ; Social characteristics ; Political and financial situation ; Industry ; Commerce ; Transportation ; Education ; Social service ; Science ; Journalism ; Literature ; Fine arts ; Population ;
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