South America - The history of a continent such as South America, confined to the limits of a single volume of moderate size, must of necessity contain some elements of mere survey. Nevertheless, since in no other but a condensed form could the respective strides achieved by the various nations of this continent be satisfactorily judged and compared, the author is encouraged to hope that this small work may fill in one of the most obvious of the many gaps in the English versions of South American history. He has endeavoured to lay stress on the trend of the authorities and peoples in question rather than to emphasize the rigid succession of Governors and Presidents. In the same way, since space has had to be considered, it was thought desirable to introduce at any length only those personalities notable for their actions and intrinsic influence, leaving in the background those others whose only claim to the interest of posterity lies in the weight of the office they held.
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