One of the first notable acts of the Roca administration was to declare the city of Buenos Aires the property of the national government.
There are other small settlements on the Rio Negro, which is navigable up to the Neuquen frontier (about 450 m.), but the only place of importance is General Roca (about 2300), a military and supply station situated a few miles below the confluence of the Limay and Neuquen rivers and connected with Bahia Blanca and Buenos Aires by a branch of the Great Southern railway.
From the extreme north to Cape Mondego and thence onward to Cape Carvoeiro the outline of the coast is a long and gradual curve; farther south is the prominent mass of rock and mountain terminating westward in Capes Roca and Espichel; south of this, again, there is another wide curve, broken by the headland of Sines, and extending to Cape St Vincent, the southeastern extremity of the country.
General Roca was induced to undertake the duties of minister of the interior, and his influence in the provinces was sufficient to check any attempts to stir up disturbances at Cordoba or elsewhere.
The demand for animals for stock-breeding purposes sent up prices, and this acted as a stimulus to other branches of trade, so that, as peace under the Roca regime seemed assured, a steady flow of immigration from Italy set in.
The territory is reached by a light-draft river steamer which ascends the Rio Negro to Fort Roca at the confluence of the Limay and Neuquen, and by a branch of the Great Southern railway from Bahia Blanca to the same point.
After some hesitation, on the advice of Roca the Argentines agreed to the demand, and peace was maintained.
In 1881 President Roca offered for public purchase by auction the lands in the southwest of the province of Buenos Aires, the Pampa Central, and the Neuquen district, these lands having been rendered habitable after the campaign of 1878 against the Indians.
The vice-president of the confederation, Carlos Pellegrini, who had been minister of war under presidents Avellaneda and Roca and had had much administrative experience, succeeded without opposition to the vacant post.
Considering the circumstances in which General Roca assumed office, it must be admitted that he showed great moderation and used the practically absolute power that he possessed to establish a strong central government, and to initiate a national policy, which aimed at furthering the prosperity and development of the whole country.