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sures, in the most abundant years, never exceeded the sum of nine millions of piastres. When we consider that the ordinary expences of state in European Spain, since 1784, have been from thirty-five to forty millions of piastres, we find that the money sent by the colonies to the treasury of Madrid, does not amount to more than a fifth part of the total revenue. It might be easy to prove, that if Mexico enjoyed a wise administra. tion; if it opened its ports to every friendly nation; if it received Chinese and Malay colonists to people its western coast, from Acapulco to Colima; if it increased the plantations of cotton, coffee, and sugar; and finally, if it established a just balance between its agriculture, its mines, and its manufacturing industry, it might alone, in a very few years, af. ford the crown of Spain a net profit double the amount of what is at present furnished , by the whole of Spanish America. The following is a general table of the finances of the colonies, with respect to the net revenue immediately derived from them by the Mother Country:The royal treasury receives from the viceroyalty of New Spain, from five to six mil lions of piastres " per annum.
* 1,890,000l. Sterling. Trans.
v. From the Viceroyalty of Peru, more than a million of piastres ; From the Viceroyalty of Buenos Ayres, from six to seven hundred thousand piastres; From the Viceroyalty of New Grenada, from four to five hundred thousand piastres; In the Capitanias generales of Caracas, Chili, Guatimala, the island of Cuba, and Porto Rico, the receipts are consumed by the expences of administration; and it is the same with the Philippine and Canary Islands. Hence, all the colonies only produce to the treasury of Spain, eight millions two hundred thousand piastres per annum, at an average. Considering the colonies merely as distant provinces, we find that the revenue of the European part of the Spanish monarchy hardly equals that of the American part."
* / Finances of the Spanish Monarchy in 1804.
EUROPE.—Peninsula: gross revenue, thirtyfive millions of piastres. The total receipt in 1784, was 685,000,000 reals de Vellon ; in 1788 it was 616,295,000 reals, according to the account rendered by Lerena. Population 10,400,000 inhabitants. Surface 25,000 square leagues.
AMERICA.—From the researches made by me, respecting the state of the finances of
the colonies, it appears to me, that we may estimate the gross revenue of all Spanish America, at 36,000,000 of piastres. The population of Spanish America is nearly 15,000,000 inhabitants; its surface 468,000 square leagues. The colonies, of which we can specify the gross revenue with any degree of certainty, are the following: Viceroyalty of New Spain, twenty millions of piastres; * . Viceroyalty of Peru, four millions of piastres; Viceroyalty of New Grenada, three millions eight hundred thousand piastres; Capitania general de Caracas, one million eight hundred thousand piastres; Capitania general of Havanah, the island of Cuba, without the Floridas, two millions three hundred thousand piastres. The annual situado from Mexico, is not included in this calculation.” . ." ASIA.—Philippine islands: gross revenue without including the situado from Acapulco, one million seven hundred thousand piastres. Population, including only the subjected Indians in the island of Luçon and the Bisayes, 1,900,000 inhabitants; surface, 14,640 square leagues. AFRICA.—Canary islands, annexed to Anda
lusia; gross revenue, including the produce VOL. IV. R
of the tobacco farm, but not the supplies from Spain, nearly two hundred and forty thousand piastres. Population, 180,000 inhabitants; surface, 421 square leagues.
Of these thirty-eight millions of piastres, which the gross revenue of the Spanish colonies in America, Asia, and Africa, amounts to, we may consider eight millions and a half as profits of coinage and duties levied on the produce of the gold and silver mines; nine millions as the revenue of the tobacco farm; and twenty millions and a half as the produce of the alcavala, almoxarifazgo, India tribute, proceeds of powder, brandy, and cards, and other duties on consumption. The interior administration of the colonies consumes thirty-one millions of piastres per anmum; and as we have already observed, nearly eight millions" flow into the royal treasury of Madrid. We know that the last sum, added to the thirty-five millions of piastres raised from European Spain, has for a long time past been insufficient to support the civil and military expences of the Mother Country.
* In the account of the general revenue of Spain for 1801, which I procured in America, and which amounts to 800,488,687 reals of Vellon, the revenues of the Indies are estimated at 142,456,768 reals, or at 7,122,838 piastres.
The public debt of Spain" has risen by degrees to more than a hundred and twenty millions of piastres f; and the annual deficit has been the more considerable, as commerce and industry have been cramped by maritime wars. Besides, when we compare the gross revenue with the
state of the population as we have stated it above, we shall soon be convinced that the charges supported by the inhabitants of the colonies are one third less than those laid on the people of the Peninsula.
* There were in 1805, vales, or royal obligations for the sum of 1750 millions of reals de Vellon. There is nothing formidable in the debt of Spain, when we reflect on the immense resources of that monarchy, which includes the finest parts of the globe in both hemispheres. The public debt of France before the revolution amounted to 1100 millions of piastres; and that of Great Britain at present probably exceeds 2821 millions of piastres. In 1796 the sum of assignats in circulation in France, amounted to 45,578,000,000 francs, or 8681 millions of piastres (1822 millions Sterling. Trans.); but on their losing their authority (demonetisation) 100 francs of assignats were only equal to 3 sous 6 deniers in specie; and according to M. Ramel, there remained in circulation, the sum of 6254 millions of piastres, which were never withdrawn. As to the mandats and rescriptions, they were issued to the amount of 4800 piastres. These sums must appear the greater, as we have already demonstrated that not more than 1637 millions of piastres exist in Europe, and that the whole quantity of gold and silver extracted from the mines of America, since 1492, does not amount to inore than 5706 millions of piastres.
t Upwards of 25 millions sterling. Trans.