Argentine Confederation

Argentine Confederation a confederation of states in South America, consisting in 1865, when Buenos Ayres, which had seceded in 1854, had been reunited with it, of 14 provinces, with a population of about 1,171,800. It constituted itself an independent state in 1816. The population, partly Europeans, partly Africans, partly Indians, partly of mixed descent, belong mostly to the Roman Catholic Church. The inhabitants of the country district (Pamperos) surpass in rudeness all other tribes of South America, and show very little interest in religion. The Roman Catholic Church has five bishoprics, Buenos Ayres. Cordova,. Salta, Sarana, and Cuyo, all of which are suffragans' of the archbishop of Charcas, in Bolivia. In 1825 religious toleration was granted to all denominations, and in 1834 mixed marriages were allowed, provided that the parents agreed to bring up all the children in the Roman Catholic Church. The tithes were placed under the administration of the government, which uses one part of them for school and other objects of common interest. The convents were suppressed, except one convent of Franciscans and two convents of nuns, and their property confiscated. Later, the Dominicans were again allowed to settle, and the Franciscans to receive new members from Spain. The Jesuits established themselves at Buenos Ayres in 1841. In 1858 there were disturbances at Buenos Ayres in consequence of the bishop prohibiting ecclesiastical rites at the burial of free-masons. Protestant missionaries came to the Argentine Confederation from the United States in 1835, and many copies of the Scriptures were disseminated. A treaty with the United States in 1852 guaranteed freedom of Protestant worship and burial. The Methodist mission in Buenos Ayres, commenced in 1836, is in a flourishing condition. The church and congregation support the pastor and pay the current expenses of the church and parsonage. According to the report of the Rev. William Goodfellow, superintendent of the Methodist missions in South America, there were, in 1864, appointments at Tatay, Lobos, Guardia del Monte, Canuelas, and Tuyu, all in the province of Buenos Ayres. At Azul, in the same province, about seventy leagues from the city of Buenos Ayres, where there is a fine region, rapidly filling up with good Protestant settlers, a separate charge has been arranged, holding a quarterly conference. In the province of Santa Fe, Rosario, the second city of the confederation, with an aggregate population of 12,000 or more, has a rapidly increasing Protestant population, and already possesses a Protestant cemetery, which was consecrated in 1864. At Esperanza: also in the province of Santa Fe, there were at that date about 600 Protestants, who were so located as to constitute an important point in reference to further extensions. San Carlos, in the same province, had a Protestant population of 300 Germans and French, whose number bade fair to increase rapidly by immigration. Another settlement of European Protestants was at San Jose, near Parana, in the province of Entre Rios. It was expected that the bulk of these colonists would unite with the M.E. Church. According to the Missionary Report for 1888 there are 15 circuits and stations, with 10 ordained ministers, 39 other workers, 899 members, 4615 adherents, 9 day-schools, with 990 pupils, and property estimated at $130,000. The largest church is the Second Church of Buenos Avres, with 185 members and 166 probationers. SEE AMERICA.

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