THESE NOTES ON CHAPTERS 1-3 ARE UNDER CONSTANT CONSTRUCTION. FEEL FREE TO ADD TO THEM IN COMMENTS.
– The size of the continent
– The propensity of the plains to encourage the growth of Oriental despotism!
– The placement of Buenos Aires at the mouth of the Río de la Plata
– The poverty of the towns of the interior, compared to those built by Scotsmen and Scandinavians near Buenos Aires
– City people have city clothes; country people dress and act like members of nomadic (Asiatic) tribes
– Noble people in the country are still primitives, like people in Homer or in the Bible
– These lands have given rise to the gaucho, who is disorderly, does not work, is all too free and uncivilized…
– This all too impressive Nature is still poetic. And the gauchos have many skills, and they can sing – it is as though they were medieval bards.
– Implication: all of this is primitive and inferior to us, but still interesting as raw material, and there are European parallels to it.
Cap. 3 [I did not assign this but I strongly suggest looking at it – especially the end]
– The gauchos get together and drink and fight, but they are admirable horsemen.
– There has always been in Argentina a struggle between European civilization and American barbarism, and with the Unitarios, civilization can win.