The land question in Argentina

Ross warns potential German emigrants to Argentina of the near impossibility of obtaining land ownership.

Ross explains that the problem for German colonists in Argentina is the question of land ownership and tenancy. In the nineteenth century, the dictatorial government bestowed enormous parcels of land to its loyal favorites. All of this land has been used to raise cattle, as the landowners were not interested in farming of any kind, with the exception of alfalfa to feed the herds. Sections of these properties are leased for short amounts of time to tenant farmers, who are allowed to plant crops, but expected to replace them with alfalfa when they leave, typically after no more than five years. Such an itinerant life would not be attractive to German settlers, who are also not allowed to buy land for their own use. Those who claim to represent colonial societies and sell affordable parcels of land are often hustlers, and it would be neither feasible nor advantageous for the German government to get involved. Instead, wealthy German Argentinians should be the ones to put up the capital to purchase land, but this population is reluctant to help the new influx of Germans for fear that they will bring socialist inclinations to Argentina.

In the post-1933 editions of the South America book, Ross omits these thoughts concerning German Argentinians, ostensibly because it is no longer politic to look for means of enabling German emigration.

Kristin Kopp

Colin Ross. Die Landfrage. In:  Südamerika, die aufsteigende Welt. 1. Aufl. Leipzig: Brockhaus: 1922: 47-54.

Topic: Colonialism
Case: Geopolitics

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