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preventing their connections with the natives. pany residing in Europe, and which
beneficent nature provides to man a thou
means of procuring an easy and peaceful existence without quitting his country, and without struggling with the monsters of the
a long time, the Spanish government has looked with an evil eye on the cachalot fishery, which draws the English and AngloAmericans * to the coast of Peru and Mexico. . Before the establishment of that fishery, the inhabitants of the western coast of America had never seen any other flag in those seas than the Spanish. Political reasons might have engaged the mother country to spare nothing for the encouragement of the national fisheries, not so much, perhaps, with a view of a direct profit
, as for the sake of excluding strangers, and The privileges which they granted to a com
has merely existed by name, could not give the first impulse to the Mexicans and Peruvians.
According to official information, which I owe to M. Gallatin, Treasurer to the United States, there were in the South Sea, in 1800, 1801, and 1802, from 18 to 20 whalers (from 2800 to 3200 tons) of the United States. A third of these vessels are fitted out annually from the port of Nantucket. In 1805, the importation of spermaceti into that port, amounted to 1146 barrels.
The fishing vessels ought to be fitted out in America itself, at Guayaquil, Panama, and San Blas. There is constantly òn that coast a certain number of English sailors, who have abandoned the fishing vessels, either through discontent, or for the purpose of pushing their fortunes in the Spanish colonies. The first expedition might be made, by mixing those sailors, who have had long experience in the cachalot fishery, with the zambos of America, who are not afraid of singly attacking a crocodile.
We have thus examined, in this chapter, the true national wealth of Mexico; for the produce of the earth is, in fact, the sole basis of permanent opulence. It is consolatory to see that the labour of man for half a century, has been more directed towards this fertile and inexhaustible source, than towards the working of mines, of which the wealth has not so direct an influence on the public prosperity, and merely changes the nominal value of the annual produce of the earth. The territorial impost levied by the clergy, under the name of tenth, or tithe, measures the quantity of that produce, and indicates with precision the progress of agricultural industry; if we compare the periods, in the intervals of
which the price of commodities has undergone no sensible variation. The following is a view of the value of these tithes *; taking for example two series of years, from 1771 to 1780, and from 1780 to 1789:
Names of Dioceses.
1771–1780 1,132,630 1781-1790 7,082,879 Puebla de los An-/ 1770—1779 2,965,601
1780-1789 3,508,884 geles
s Valladolid de 2. Mechoacan
1770—1779 2,710,200 || 1780—1789 3,239,400 Oaxaca 1771–1780 715,974
1781-1790 863,237 Guadalaxara 1771–1780 1,889,724
1781-1790 2,579,108 Durango
1770-1779 913,028 | 1780—1789 1,080,318
The result of this view is, that the tithes of New Spain
have amounted in these six dioceses.
From 1771 to 1779 -- to 13,357,157+ Double Piastres,
1779 1789 18,353,821 | 5 or pezzos fuertes.
I have extracted this view from a manuscript memoir of M. Maniao, drawn up from official papers, and bearing the title of Estado de la Renta de Real Hacienda de Nueva España, en un año commun del quinquenio de 1784 hasta 1789. The numbers, in this view, differ a little from those published by M. Pinkerton, (vol. iii. p. 234.) from the work of Estalla, which I have never yet been able to procure.
+ 2,880,1411. sterling. Trans.
Consequently the total augmentation has been, in the last ten years, five millions of piastres, or two-fifths of the total produce. The same data also indicate the rapidity of the
progress of agriculture, in the intendancies of Mexico, Guadalaxara, Puebla, and Valladolid, compared with the provinces of Oaxaca and New Biscay.
The tithes have been nearly doubled in the archbishoprick of Mexico; for those which were levied during the ten years anterior to '1780, were to those levied ten years afterwards, in the proportion of 10 to 17. In the intendancy of Durango or New Biscay, this augmentation has been only in the proportion of 10 to 11.
The celebrated author of the Wealth of Nations *, estimates the territorial produce of Great Britain, from the produce of the landtax. In the political view of New Spain, which I presented to the court of Madrid in 1803, I had hazarded a similar valuation, from the value of the tithes payable to the clergy. The result of this operation was, that the annual produce of the land amounted at least, to 24 millions of piastres. The results, which I came to in drawing up my first view, have been discussed with much sagacity,
* Adam Smith, Traduction de M. Garnier, t. iv. Original vol. iij. p. 250. VOL. III.
in a memoir presented by the municipal body of thetown of Valladolid de Mechoacan, to the king, in the month of October 1805, on the occasion of passing an edict, relative to the property of the clergy. According to this memoir, a copy of which I have before me, we must add to these 24 millions of piastres, three millions for the produce of cochineal, vanilla, jalap, pimento of Tabasco, sarsaparilla which pay no tithes; and 2 millions for sugar and indigo, which yield only 'to the clergy a duty of 4 per cent. If we adopt these data, we shall find that the total agricultural produce amounts annually to 29 millions of piastres, or to more than 145 millions of francs", which, reducing them to a natural measure, and taking for basis the actual price of wheat in Mexico, 15 francs for 10 myriagrammes of wheat t, are equal to 96 millions
of myriagrammes of wheat. † The mass of precious metals annually extracted from the mines of the kingdom of New Spain, scarcely represent 74 millions of myriagrammes of wheat, which proves the interesting fact, that the value of the gold and silver of the Mexican mines is less, by almost a fourth, 'than the value of the territorial produce.
* 6,042,1501. sterling. Trans.