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royal treasury. The extraordinary increase of the public revenue since the commencement of the eighteenth century proves, as well as the augmentation of tithes”, of which we have already spoken, the progress of population, the greatest commercial activity, and the increase of national wealth. The revenue of the state, according to the registers preserved in the archives of the viceroy, and in the chamber of accounts (tribunal mayor de cuentas) was:
Piastres. H. In 1712 - - - 3,068,400 1763 - - - 5,705,876 1764 - - - 5,901,706 1765 - - - 6,141,981 1766 - - - - 6,538,941 1767 - " - - 6,561,316
Total from 1763 to 1767 30,849,820 / Average of these five years 6,169,964 * From 1767 to 1769 at an average Piastres.
* See chap. x. vol. iii. p. 97.
t The table of the revenues from 1763 to 1784 is derived from a manuscript memoir drawn up in the Tribunal de Mineria of Mexico in 1784, to prove to the viceroy the influence of the progress of mining on the revenue of the state. The produce of the years 1785, 1789, and 1792, has been already published in the Viagero Universal, xxvii. p. 217. See also Pinkerton's New Geography, (English edition) vol. iii. p. 167.
annually - - - 8,000,000 From 1778 to 1776 at an average 12,000,000
i From 1777 to 1779 at an average 14,500,000
In 1780 - - - 15,010,974 1781 - - - 18,091,639 1782 - - - 18,594,492 1783 - - - 19,579,718 1784 - - - 19,605,574
Total from 1780 to 1784 90,882,397 Average of these five years 18,176,479
- Piastres. In 1785 - - - 18,770,000 1789 - - - 19,044,000 1792 - - - 19,521,698 1802 - - - 20,200,000
The average of the five years from 1780 to 1784 differs from the average corresponding to the period from 1763 to 1767, more than two thirds, i.e. 12,006,515 piastres. The diminution of the price of mercury from 82 to 62 piastres the quintal, the establishment of a free trade, the introduction of the tobacco farm, and several other measures of government which we have already explained may be
considered as the causes of this increase of revenue. The following are the principal branches of the revenue of New Spain: 1st. Revenue drawn from the produce of the gold and silver mines *, five millions and a half of piastres; Viz. Dutiest paid at the royal treasury by the proprietors of mines (derecho de oro y plata), under the denomina
tions of half fifth, duty of one per
signiorage in 1795 - - 3,516,000 Net profit on the sale of mercury in
1790t - - - - 536,000 Net profit of coinage S - - 1,500,000
In 1793, the mint of Mexico along with the house of separation produced 1,754,993 piastres; the expences amounted to 385,568 piastres, and the net profit of the mint amounted to 1,369,425 piastres. The gold and silver duties have increased within the last 40 years with the quantity of precious metals extracted from
* Renta del producto y beneficio metalico.
VOL. IV. P
the mines of Mexico; from 1763 to 1767, that quantity was 58,192,316 piastres, or at an average 11,638,463 piastres per annum; from 1781 to 1785, after the diminution of the price of mercury, the establishment of a supreme council of mines, and the edict of free trade, the produce of the mines amounted to 101,245,573 piastres, or at an average 20,249,114 piastres per annum. In 1790 the duty on gold amounted to 19,382 piastres; and the duty on silver to 2,021,238 piastres. The net profit of the mint of Mexico is at present nearly six times greater than that of the mint at Lima, - 2nd. Revenue of the manufacture of tobacco" from four millions to four millions and a half of piastres. In 1802 the value of the tobacco purchased from the cultivators of Orizaba and Cordova amounted to 594,000 piastres; and the value of the tobacco sold on account of the king amounted to 7,687,000 piastres. The expences of manufacture in the same year amounted to 1,285,000 piastres. Now, as the expence of management, or the salaries of the officers, &c. exceed the sum of 794,000 piastres, the net revenue was only 4,092,000 piastres. We see from these accurate data drawn
* Producto del real estanco del tabaco. See vol. iii. p. 42 and 466.
from a table already given by us in the 12th chapter, that this branch of public administration is so vicious, that the salaries of officers consume 19 per cent. of the net revenue. The latter agreeably to a royal cedula issued during the time of the ministry of Galvez ought to be sent into Spain; it is the liquido remissible a la Peninsula which ought to remain untouched, and which the viceroys under no pretext can employ in the internal wants of the country. The great royal manufactory of Seville principally manufactures tobacco from Brazil, although the Spanish Rio Negro, the Island of Cuba, the province of Cumana, and many other provinces of Spanish America are capable of furnishing the most aromatic tobacco. Its produce, which is four millions of piastres, nearly equals the net revenue of the tobacco farm of Mexico; and both of these exceed the revenue of the crown of Sweden; but it is not so much the greatness of the duty which renders it odious to the people, as the manner in which it is raised. Of all the reforms proposed in the administration of the finances of the colonies, the most desireable are the suppression of the tobacco system, and the abolition of the tribute on the Indians. 3rd. Net revenue of the Alcavalas, nearly three millions of piastres. The gross produce of this branch of taxation, according to an