Argentine Republic (La Republica Argentina; formerly more commonly called Argentine Confederation), an independent state of South America, between lat. 21° and 41° S., and lon. 53° and 71° 17' W., bounded N. by Bolivia, E. by Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, and the Atlantic, S. by the Atlantic ocean and Patagonia, from which it is separated by the Rio Negro, and W. by the Andes, separating it from Chili. The Argentines dispute with Chili the right to the territory S. of the Rio Negro as far as Tierra del Fuego, according to the original division by the government of Spain. The area of the republic, including the undisputed portion of the Gran Chaco, is 841,000 sq. m. If to this be added that part of the Chaco from the Bermejo N. to lat. 22°, as claimed by the government, the area would be about 1,000,000 sq. m. The 14 provinces into which the country is divided, with their area and population, according to the census of 1869, are as follows:

PROVINCES.

Area, sq. m.

Population.

Littoral or Riverine Provinces.

Buenos Ayres.....................

70,000

343,866

Corrientes................................................

60,000

120,198

Entre-Rios................................................

50,000

115,963

Santa Fe...................................................

20,000

75,178

Andine Provinces.

Catamarca...............................................

35,000

79,551

Mendoza..............................................

65,000

59,269

La Rioja..............................................

85,000

48,493

San Juan...............................................

33,000

53,007

Central Provinces.

Cordoba.................................................

60,000

208,771

San Luis................................................

20,000

52,761

Santiago del Estero................

35,000

132,763

Tucuman.........................

28,000

108,602

Northern Provinces.

Salta..............................

50,000

85,959

Jujuy.............................

30,000

37,357

Total........................

591,000

1526,738

These figures show an increase of 14G per cent. as compared with the census of 1836. All the provincial capitals bear the names of their respective provinces except that of Entre-Rios, which is Concepcion (La Concepcion del Uruguay). The chief towns, with their population in 1869, are: Buenos Ayres, 177,787; Corrientes, 10,670; Concepcion, 6,513; Santa F6, 10,670; Catamarea, 5,718; Mendoza, 8,124; La Rioja, 4,489; San Juan, 8.853; Cordoba, 28,523; San Luis, 3,748; Santiago, 7,775; Tucuman, 17,488; Salta, 11,716; Jujuy, 8,072. These, added to the provincial population, and 47,276 absent at war, make a total population of 1,879,410. The number of immigrants in 1863 was 10,400; in 1864, 11,682; in 1865, 11,770; in 1866, 13,960; in 1867, 23,900; in 1868, 29,384; in 1869, 37,934; in 1870, 89,667; in 1871, over 40,000. The principal centres of immigration are Buenos Ayres, Santa Fe, Entre-Rios, Cordoba, Corrientes, Salta, and San Juan. The foreign population in the province of Buenos Ayres was set down in 1869 at 250,000, made up of the following elements: Italians, 70,000; Basques, 40,000; French, 30, 000; Spaniards, 30,000; Irish, 30,000; English and Scotch, 10,000; Germans, 10,000; other nationalities, 30,000. The number of Italians at present in the province exceeds 00,000, upward of 40,000 of whom (or about one fourth of the entire population) are in the city of Buenos Ayres. In the upper provinces there are but few foreigners, Entre-Rios alone excepted, where they are numerous and engaged in all branches of industry.

In Santa Fe there are three prosperous colonies. Cordoba has perhaps 1,500 settlers. The most numerous class of foreigners are Italians, who are in general skilled in the building trades, and have found constant employment in the various splendid buildings erected of late years in Buenos Ayres; many of them are also engaged in market garden-ing. The Genoese are chiefly occupied in river navigation, the monopoly of which is in their hands. Besides this advantage, the crews of the river and coasting crafts have often equal shares in the ventures. The Spaniards present a less striking contrast with the Argentines, the Catalans prospering as wine merchants, the Andalusians as cigar dealers and shopkeepers, while the Galicians perform the duties of street porters, night watchmen, and domestics. The Basques, after the Italians the most numerous foreign community, are mostly bricklayers, milkmen, shepherds, saladero peons, etc, though some are rich and at the head of lucrative enterprises. To the Irish is due the development of sheep farming that enables the Argentine provinces to rival Australia in the production of wool. Many of them number their acres by thousands, and their flocks by hundreds of thousands.

The aggregate number of sheep owned by the Irish is estimated at 30,000,000. Of the French, who are the most equally distributed in the provinces, some are wealthy wine merchants, trading with Bordeaux, and in general they are found in every branch of commerce, especially the fancy trade, which they monopolize. They assimilate more with the Argentines than do the English and Germans. The English and North Americans are seldom occupied in other than mercantile pursuits. The Argentines (Argentinos) are naturally active and intelligent. The Gauchos, or horsemen of the plains, are descendants of the Spanish colonists, and many of them have sprung from the best families of the peninsula. They live in rude huts built of mud, and subsist almost entirely on the flesh of oxen and game, both of which abound in the pampas, and are taken with the lazo or the bolas, a missile weapon wielded with astounding dexterity by the Gauchos. Of the Indians, who are chiefly of Araucanian descent, by far the larger number are independent and live in separate tribes, governed each by its cacique.

They dwell in tents of hides, and their subsistence consists mainly of maize, which they procure from the whites in exchange for cattle, salt, and blankets made by their women, and of the flesh of mares, these animals never being ridden, but wholly reserved for food. Some Indians are employed as farm laborers. As early as the 16th century missions were established to the east of Cor-rientes by the Jesuits, who did much toward civilizing the Indians; but after the expulsion of the order from South America, near the close of the 18th century, the natives relapsed gradually into savagism. - The coast line of the Argentine Republic, which measures 540 m., is generally low and sandy, and has no very good harbors. The principal port, Buenos Ayres, on the Plata, is 180 m. from the sea, and is difficult of access on account of the shallowness of the river. The only other important ports are Rosario, on the same river, 300 m., and San Nicolas, 310 m. from the sea, and Bahia Blanca and El Carmen on the seaboard.

The northern and Andine provinces are for the most part mountainous, being covered with spurs diverging from the Chilian Cordillera. There are no volcanoes in activity; but signs exist of some extinct, such as that in the vicinity of Jujuy, from which issues every morning a spiral column of dust that extends many miles over the country. The town of Oran, in Jujuy, was overthrown by an earthquake early in 1872. Some peaks of the Despoblado chain in Salta attain a height of 14.000 ft.; and the culminating point of the Aconquija system, traversing Tucuman and Catamarca, reaches 17,000 ft. at its highest summit. The Cordoba chain, in the province of that name, is divided into two branches, but presents no lofty peaks. Among the mountains of the eastern provinces, the Yerbales in the N. E. of Corrientes are worthy of mention; and the southern portion of Entre-Rios is bisected by hills of considerable height. With these exceptions, and those of the Volcan, Yentana, and Guamini ranges in the S. E. of Buenos Ayres, this country may be regarded as a vast unbroken plain stretching from the foot of the Andes to the Atlantic and the river Uruguay, and from the Bolivian boundary to the frontier of Patagonia. This plain may be considered as forming two grand regions: one, from the Rio Negro to the Rio Salado, comprises the pampas; the other, N. of the Salado and W.of the Paraguay, embraces the desert of the Gran Chaco, which extends, with little interruption, far N. of the Bolivian limits.