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Fifty Principal Nations of the World

(Actual Size: 6-7/8" x 11-1/8" - shown approx. 1/2 scale)
CLICK on any map to see the corresponding card as it was originally issued.

Russia, Siberia, Uruguay, Australia

(facing page)


      RUSSIA, the largest empire in the world, and, after China and the British Empire, the most populous, comprises one-seventh of the land surface of the globe.
      The government is an absolute hereditary monarchy. The whole legislative, executive and judicial power is united in the Emperor whose will alone is law.
      European Russia is represented on accompanying map.
      Area, 2,165,900 square miles, one-third of which is under forest. Population, 85,508,000.
      The northern half of E. R. is a land of forest and morass, with rivers and lakes; the southern half, an immense expanse of rich, arable land. An area of 230,000 square miles, has a deep loamy soil of inexhaustible fertility, producing, without manure, the richest crops.
      The climate is singluarly healthy, though the extremes of temperature are greater than in any other country of Europe or Asia. In the N. the White sea is ice-bound from July till winter.
      The cereal crops are wheat, rye, barley, oats, potatoes. Immense quantities of hemp and flax are grown all over the country. Of the wild animals a large proportion are fur-bearing, and the export of furs is large. The soil is rich in ores of all kinds and mining industry is steadily increasing. Coal, anthracite, raw naphtha, benzine, and heavy oils, are increasingly important products. One of the specialties of Russia is its unrivalled leater (Russia and Morocco) for book-binding. The fisheries are a very considerable source of revenue. St. Petersburg, the capital, contains a larger number of palaces than any other city in the world, the most magnificent being the Winter Palace, the lavishingly adorned residence of the Emperor.


      SIBERIA, the chief part of Asiatic Russia, occupies the whole of North Asia from the Ural Mountains to the Sea of Okhotsk, and from the Arctic Ocean on the north to Corea, China, Russian-Central Asia, and European Russia.
      It is divided into eight governments, and has an area of 6,288,000 square miles, and a population of 4,697,000, three-fifths of whom are Russian colonists, miners, soldiers, officials and exiles. According to the last report of the chief administration of prisons the actual population of the hard-labor convicts in Siberia at the end of 1889 was 10,667.
      The climate of the north and east is intensely cold during the nine months of winter, and very warm during the brief summer, this summer heat having a striking effect where a luxuriant vegetation bursts forth on land submerged by the spring thaw. The lower basin of the Lena is the coldest known region of the globe, and Yakutsk probably the coldest town on its surface. There mercury remains frozen for two, sometimes three, months in the year, and the earth is frozen for a depth of 382 feet. Mosquitoes are the great pest of Siberia; in spring they literally swarm.
      In the south vast forests extend from the Altai mountains to the Arctic circle, where vegetation dies down to dwarfed willows, hardy bushes and saline plants. Wheat is cultivated chiefly in the basin of the Obi, and other crops are flax, hemp, tobacco, etc. The minerals found in Siberia are gold, silver, iron, copper, graphite, coal and salt.


      URUGUAY, a Republic of South America, bounded north by Brazil, east by Brazil and the Atlantic, south by the Rio de la Plata, and west by the Argentine Republic.
      The area is estimated at 72,000 square miles, with a population of 438,000, seventy per cent. of which is native born. There is a considerable flow of immigration.
      The country is divided into 19 provinces, and the capital is Montevideo, which lies on the north shore of the mouth of the Rio de la Plata (here 65 miles wide.)
      By the Constitution of July 18, 1830, the legislative power is in a Parliament, composed of two Houses, the Senate and the Chamber of Representatives; and the executive in a President, elected for the term of four years, and who is assisted by a council of Ministers, divided into five departments.
      The southern half of the country is rolling and open, with few trees, and traversed by a low range of hills. North of the Rio Negro the country is more hilly and wooded.
      The rearing of cattle and sheep is the chief industry of Uruguay. The pastoral establishments in 1887 were officially estimated to contain 6,119,482 head of cattle, 408,452 horses and 15,905,441 sheep. In 1888, 773,449 head of cattle were slaughtered for their hides, tallow, &c., and for manufacturing extract of meat and beef preserved in tins. Wheat and maize are the chief agricultural products. Tobacco, olives and the vine are also cultivated to a small extent. There are several agricultural colonies in the country, composed mainly of Swiss and Spaniards.


      AUSTRALIA, an island, or, as it is now considered by many, a continent; bounded on the N. by the Arafura Sea and Torres Strait, on the E. by the Pacific Ocean, on the S. by Bass Strait and the Indian Ocean, and on the W. by the Indian Ocean. Its area is equal to about three-fourths that of Europe.
      The Australian colonies comprise New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia, (all on the main continent), New Zealand, situated 1,200 miles to the E. of the continent, and Tasmania, formerly called Van Diemen's Land, an island lying to the S. of Australia, and having fifty-five smaller islands adjoining it included in its area.
      Total area of these Colonies, 3,084,568 square miles. Population, 3,471,102.
      The executive is in the hands of Governors appointed by the Imperial Government, the legislative in local Parliaments consisting of two Houses.
      The climate of such a territory as Australia, stretching over 29 degrees of latitude, is necessarily very diversified. One-third of its climate is tropical. Of the remaining two-thirds the climate varies, and in the most southerly portion is very similar to that of the S. of France.
      Gold is found in several of the colonies and everywhere in N. S. Wales. Immense numbers of sheep are reared, and wool is the staple export. Other exports are gold, copper, tin, wheat, flour, hides and skins, live animals, frozen and preserved meats, fruit and jams. The Kangaroo is found only in Australia, and first-rate leather is made from the hides of the larger species. The black swan (Cygnus Atratus) is also peculiar to Australia.