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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.

Cape Colony, Guiana, Argentine Republic, Siam

(facing page)


      CAPE COLONY, named from the Cape of Good Hope, occupies the entire breadth of the S. extremity of the continent, and is bounded N. by the Orange river, S. by the Indian Ocean and W. by the Atlantic.
      The area is 219,700 square miles, the population 1,252,347. A large proportion of the white inhabitants are of Dutch, German and French origin, mostly decendants of the original settlers.
      The Constitution vests the executive in the Governor and an Executive Council, composed of certain office holders appointed by the Crown. The legislative power rests with a Legislative Council of 22 members, presided over ex officio by the Chief Justice; and a House of Assembly of 76 members, elected for five years.
      The capital and principal sea port is Cape Town, lying on the S. shore of Table Bay. It occupies the slopes of the plain descending from Table Mount, and is overlooked by the Lion's Head and other eminences. The interior of the country consists of table lands, encircled by a chain of mountains parallel to the coast and from the coast the land rises to the base of this chain in three successive terraces. The climate is exceedingly mild and dry.
      The sheep farms are often of very great extent and ostrich farming is a specialty. The vine is cultivated, and the chief crops are wheat, oats, maize and barley.
      The mineral resources are valuable and extensive. Griqualand W. contains the famous diamond fields. The leading exports are diamonds, wool, ostrich feathers, hides and skins, copper ore, angora hair, wine and grain.


      GUIANA, the name of an extensive tract of country in the N. E. of S. America, extending along the coast of the Atlantic and distributed between Great Britain, The Netherlands and France.
      The united area, 178,000 square miles. Population, 347,000, the aboriginal Indians not being included.
      BRITISH GUIANA includes the settlements of Demarara, Essequibo and Berbice, named from the three great rivers. The Governor is assisted by a Court of Policy (9 members, 5 elected), and a Combined Court, containing, in addition to these 9, 6 Financial Representatives. The Colony is making steady progress under British government. Dutch Guiana is called by the Dutch Surinam, from its principal river, and is under a Governor General and Council of native freeholders. Gold is found, and is one of the exports.
      FRENCH GUIANA is under a Governor. It is poorly cultivated and its trade insignificant. Gold digging is almost the only industry.
      The climate of Guiana is hot and moist, the mean temperature being 81 F. The climatic changes are sudden and are generally accompanied by violent hurricanes and thunderstorms. Guiana is only cultivated along the coast flats and for a short distance up several of the rivers, and the field laborers now mainly come from China, the West Indies and India.
      The principal products are sugar, timber, cacao, rum, molasses, gums, balsams, drugs, cloves, pepper, rice and maize, bananas, pineapples, coffee and rice. Chief of its gorgeous flowers is the Victoria regia, one of the largest of water lilies. There is a great variety of excellent fish, and birds of splendid plumage abound, including the parrots, humming birds and flamingoes.


      THE Constitution of the Argentine Republic, a group of States formerly known by the name of the Confederation of the Rio de la Plata, bears date May 15, 1853, with modifications in 1860, when Buenos Ayres joined the confederacy. The executive power is left to a President, elected for a year; while the legislative authority is vested in a National Congress, consisting of a Senate and House of Deputies. The Republic includes fourteen provinces and nine territories, and according to a last estimate the area is 1,095,000 square miles, and the population 2,540,000. The increase in population has been due greatly to immigration. Nearly 1,000,000 immigrants arrived in the six years, ending 1889, most of whom were from the south of Europe, the Italians forming seventy per cent. of the total. There is little doubt that the population since last estimate has increased to over 4,000,000.
      Agriculture is little prosecuted, but millions of cattle and large droves of horses and mules are raised on the rich pasturage of the Pampas. Mining has not been vigorously engaged in. The exports consist of tallow and stearine, mutton, skins (mainly sheep), hides, wool and grain. Buenos Ayres is the principal city, and the outlet of all the trade of the Republic.


      SIAM (Malay, sym, "brown") the name applied by Europeans to the Indo-Chinese Kingdom, is called by its inhabitants Thai, or Muang-Thai, which means "free" or "the Kingdom of the free," i.e., free from Brahmanism. The prevailing religion is Buddhism. The royal dignity is nominally hereditary. According to the law of May 8, 1874, the legislative power is exercised by the King in conjunction with a Council of Ministers. The year 1891 will probably inaugurate the formation of a Cabinet. As nearly as can be calculated, Siam has a total area of about 250,000 square miles and a population of 6,000,000.
      Though barely one-third of the entire area is under cultivation, rich crops are gathered of rice, sugar, teel-seed, pepper, cotton, tobacco, vegetables and spices, besides fruits; and the remaining two-thirds are largely covered by forests of teak, ebony, dye-woods, bamboo, banyans, and palm trees. These forests are denizened by the common elephant, the sacred white or rather salmon colored elephant, the striped tiger, rhinoceros, python, cobra-di-capello, and countless birds of the most gorgeous plumage. Tin abounds, and in the N. are found gold, copper, lead, iron, zinc, and precious stones, but the mining industries are still almost totally undeveloped.
      Commerce is almost wholly in the hands of the Chinese and is restricted to the port of Bangkok, the capital of Siam. The situation of this town is picturesque. Many of the houses are afloat on rafts, on the river or canals. The palace of the King in Bangkok is about a mile in circumference, and contains the hall of the sacred white elephant.