Page images

- - 7 No. of inha. Surface in square Population reduced bitants to TERRITORIAL DIVISIONS. leagues of 25 to the to the epoqua of the square degree. 1803. leagues. New Spain (extent of the whole viceroyalty without including the - pain ( kingdom of G.) 8 118,478 5,837, 100 49 B. New Spain, properly so called, immediately subject to the viceroy, comprehending los Reynos de Mexico, Mechoacan y Nueva Galicia, and the two Californias - - 51,280 5,413,000 105 1. Intendencia de Mexico - - 5,927 1,511,000 255 2. Intendencia de Puebla - - 2,696 813,300 30 3. Intendencia de Vera Cruz - - - 4, 141 156,000 38 4. Intendencia de Oaxaca - 4,147 534,800 12O 5. Intendencia de Merida, or Yucatan 5,977 465,8CO 81 6. Intendencia de Walladolid - • 3,446 476,400 273 7. Intendencia de Guadalaxara - - 9,612 630,500 66 8. Intendencia de Zacatecas - - - 2,355 153,300 65 9. Intendencia de Guanaxuato - - - 911 5 17,300 568 10. Intendencia de San Luis Potosi, (without including New Santander, Texas, Cohahuila, and the kingdom of Leon). 2,357 230,000 98 11. Old California, (Antigua California) - - - 7,295 9,000 1 12, New California, (Nueva California) - - 2, 125 15,600 7

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

This statistical table proves the imperfection of the territorial division. It appears that in confiding to intendants the administration of police and finances, the object was to divide the Mexican soil on principles analogous to those followed by the French government on the division of the kingdom into generalities. In New Spain every intendancy comprehends several sub-delegations. In the same manner the generalities in France were governed by sub-delegates, who exercised their functions under the orders of the intendant. But in the formation of the Mexican intendancies, little regard has been paid to the extent of territory or the greater or less degree of concentration of the population. This new division indeed took place at a time when the ministers of the colonies, the council of the Indies, and the viceroys, were unfurnished with the necessary materials for so important an undertaking. How is it possible to possess the detail of the administration of a country of which there has never been any map, and regarding which the most simple calculations of political arithmetic have never been attempted?

Comparing the extent of surface of the Mexican intendancies, we find several of them ten, twenty, even thirty times larger than others. The intendancy of San Luis Potosi, for example, is more extensive than all European Spain, while the intendancy of Guanaxuato does not exceed in size two or three of the departments of France. The fol


lowing is an exact table of the extraordinary disproportion among the several Mexican intendancies in their territorial extent; we have arranged them in the order of their extent: Intendancy of San Luis Potosi, 27,821 square leagues. of Sonora, 19, 143 of Durango, 16,873 of Guadalaxara, 9,612 of Merida, 5,977 of Mexico, 5,927 of Oaxaca, 4,447 of Vera Cruz, 4,141 of Valladolid, 3,447 of Puebla, 2,696 of Zacatecas, 2,355 of Guanaxuato, 911. With the exception of the three intendancies of San Luis Potosi, Sonora, and Durango, of which each occupies more ground than the whole empire of Great Britain, the other intendancies contain a mean surface of three or four thousand square leagues. We may compare them for extent to the kingdom of Naples, or that of Bohemia. We can conceive that the less populous a country is, the less its administration requires small divisions. In France no department exceeds the extent of 550 square leagues: the mean extent of the departments is 800. But in European Russia and Mexico the governments and intendancies are ten times more extensive. In France, the heads of departments, the prefects, watch over the wants of a population which rarely exceeds 450,000 souls, and which on an average we may estimate at 300,000. The governments into which the Russian empire is divided, as well as the Mexican intendancies, comprehend, notwithstanding their very different states of civilization, a greater number of inhabitants. The following table will show the disproportion of population among the territorial divisions of New Spain. It begins with the most populous intendancy, and ends with the one most thinly inhabited. Intendancy of Mexico, 1,511,800 inhabitants. Puebla, 8 13,300 Guadalaxara, 630,500 Oaxaca, 534,800 Guanaxuato, 517,300 Valladolid, 476,400 - Merida, 465,700 San Luis Potosi, 331,900 Durango, 159,700 Vera Cruz, 156,000 Zacatecas, 153,000 Sonora, 121,400 It is in comparing together the tables of the population of the twelve intendancies, and the ex

tent of their surface, that we are particularly struck with the inequality of the distribution of the Mexican population, even in the most civilized part of the kingdom. The intendancy of Puebla, which in the second table occupies one of the first places, is almost at the end of the first table. Yet no principle ought more to guide those who chalk out territorial divisions than the proportion of the population to the extent expressed in square leagues or myriametres. It is only in states like France, which enjoy the inestimable felicity of a population almost uniformly spread over their surface, that divisions will admit any thing like equality of extent. A third table exhibits the state of the population, which may be called relative. To arrive at numerical results which indicate the proportion between the number of inhabitants and extent of inhabited soil, we must divide the absolute population by the territory of the intendancies. The following are the results of this operation: Intendancy of Guanaxuato, 568 inhabitants to the square league. Puebla, 30 l Valladolid, 273 Mexico, 255 , Oaxaca, 120 Merida, 81 Guadalaxara, 66 Zacatecas, 65

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »