James Bryce was born on May 10, 1838 in Northern Ireland, he was a British politician, diplomat and historian. He became the ambassador to the United States in 1907-13. He dealt primarily with US-Canadian relations. He was also an advocate for the formation of the League of Nations. In 1912 he published South America: Observations and Impressions South America it is a scientific travel account. Within the book he talks about the landscape, the people and makes many comparisons between South America and Europe. Bryce writes more favourably about the countries and landscapes that most resemble Europe and European thought. For example Bryce favours the people of Argentina because of their technological advances and their resemblance economically to Western North America1.
Time and time again Bryce compares Argentina to Europe, he states that “Buenos Aries is something between Paris and New York”.2 During Bryce’s time in Argentina it was experiencing a major economic boom.3 During which unutilized natural resources were exploited, there was a rapid modernization of technology as well as an inflow of British capitol bought in by European immigrants.4 This economic boom caused Argentina to become one of the richest countries in the world. Bryce’s commentary on the country reflects the ideas of that time. Diplomats and politicians viewed South America as an opportunity for wealth and prosperity. Argentina’s economic success was viewed as an example of what European and American intervention can to do “civilize” a country.
This Eurocentric view is quite common among Latin American travel accounts5. Many accounts like Bryce’s document the similarities and the differences between the Western World and Latin America. They typically view the countries with high populations of natives as backward and undeveloped.6 The writers search for similarities that can be used to redeem the country they are visiting. For example if the culture more
Cited: Bryce James, South America: Observations and Impressions. New ed. (The MacMillan Company, 1914), 323-348. Milanesio, Natalie. 2010. “Food Politics and Consumption in Peronist Argentina.” Hispanic American Historical Review. 90, no. 1. 77-107. Salvatore, Ricardo D. 2008. “The Unsettling Location of a Settle Nation: Argentina, from Settler Economy to Failed Developing Nation.” South Atlantic Quartely107, no.4, 757-781 Victoria, Pedrotta, and Bagaloni, Vanessa. 2005. “Looking at Interethnic relations in the Southern Border Through Glass Remains: The Nineteenth Century, Pampa Region, Argentina”. International Journal of Historical Archaeology 9, no.3. 177-193. Waliscewski, Mia. “Latin American Travelogues”. Library. Brown, edu. N.p, 2015. Web 14 Feb. 2015.