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coasts are inhabited, they will oppose the stronger resistance to a foreign enemy,
I have traced in this work a political view of New Spain; I have discussed the astronomical materials which served to determine the position and extent of this vast Empire; I have considered the configuration of the country, its geological constitution, and temperature, and the aspect of its vegetation; I have examined the population of the country, the manners of the inhabitants, the state of agriculture and the mines, the progress of manufactures and commerce; I have endeavoured to show the revenues of the state and its means of external defence; let us now recapitulate what we have stated respecting the present state of Mexico.
Physical aspect. — In the centre of the country a long chain of mountains runs first from the south east to the north west, and afterwards beyond the parallel of 30° from south to north; vast table lands stretch out on the ridge of these mountains, gradually declining towards the temperate zone; under the torrid zone their absolute height is from 2300 to 2400
metres.” The ascent of the Cordilleras is covered with thick forests, while the central table land is almost always arid and destitute of vegetation. The most elevated summits, many of which rise beyond the limits of perpetual snow, are crowned with oak and pine. In the equinoctial region the different climates rise as it were by stories above one another: between the 15° and 22° of latitude, the mean temperature of the shore, which is humid and unhealthy for individuals born in cold countries, is from 25 to 27 centigrade degrees f; and that of the central table land, which is celebrated on account of the great salubrity of the air, is from 16 to 17 degrees, f There is a want of rain in the interior, and the most populous part of the country is destitute of navigable rivers.
Territorial eatent. — A hundred and eighteen thousand square leagues, of which two thirds are under the temperate zone; and the third contained under the torrid zone enjoys in a great measure on account of the great elevation of its table lands, a temperature similar to what we experience in spring in Spain and the south of Italy.
* 7545 and 7873 feet. Trans.
+ 77° and 80°. 6' of Fahr. Trans.
f From 60°. 8' to 62°. 6 of Fahr. Trans.
Population. Five millions eight hundred and forty thousand inhabitants, whereof two millions and a half are copper coloured Indians, one million Mexican Spaniards, seventy thousand European Spaniards; almost no Negro slaves. The population is concentrated on the central table land. The clergy only consists of 14 thousand individuals. The population of the capital 135,000 souls.
Agriculture. The banana, the manioc, maize, cerealia, and potatoes, are the foundation of the nourishment of the people. The cerealia cultivated under the torrid zone, wherever the surface rises to twelve or thirteen hundred metres of elevation" produce twentyfour for one. The maguey (agave) may be considered as the Indian vine. The cultivation of the sugar cane has lately made a rapid progress; and Vera Cruz annually exports Mexican sugar to the value of 1,300,000 piastres. The finest cotton is produced on the western coast. The cultivation of the cocoa and indigo is equally neglected. The vanilla of the forests of Quilate produces annually 900 millares. Tobacco is carefully cultivated in the districts of Orizaba and Cordova; wax abounds in Yucatan; the cochineal harvest of Oaxaca
* 3930 or 4264 feet. Trans,
amounts to 400,000, kilogrammes per annum. Horned cattle have greatly multiplied in the Provincias internas and on the eastern coast between Panuco and Huasacualco. The tithes of the clergy, the value of which points out the increase of territorial produce, have increased two fifths within the last ten years.
Mines. Annual produce in gold, 1600 kilogrammes" in silver, 537,000 kilogrammes f: in all 23 million of piastres, or nearly the half of the precious metals annually extracted from the mines of North and South America. The mint of Mexico has furnished, from 1690 to 1803, more than 1353 millions of piastres, and from the discovery of New Spain to the commencement of the nineteenth century, probably 2028 millions of piastres, or nearly two fifths of the whole gold and silver, which in that interval of time have flowed from the New Continent into the Old. Three districts of mines, Guanaxuato, Zacatecas, and Catorce, which form a central group between the 21° and 24° of latitude, yield nearly the half of all the gold and silver extracted from the mines of New Spain. The vein of Guanaxuato alone, richer than the mineral depository of Potosi,
* 4289 lb. troy. Trans. + 1,439,832 lb. troy. Trans.
furnishes at an average 180,000 kilogrammes of silver annually, or a sixth of all the silver which America annually throws into circulation. The single mine of Valenciana, in which the expence of working exceeds four millions and a half of francs per annum, has for the last forty years never ceased to yield annually to the proprietors a net profit of more than three millions of francs : this profit sometimes amounted to six millions; and it amounted to twenty millions in the space of a few months for the family of Fagoaga at Sombrerete. The produce of the mines of Mexico has tripled in fifty-two years, and sextupled in a hundred years; and it will admit of greater increase as the country shall become more populous and industry and information become more dif. fused. The working of the mines, far from being unfavourable to agriculture, has favoured cultivation in the most uninhabited regions. The wealth of the Mexican mines consists more in the abundance than in the intrinsic riches of the silver minerals, which only amount at an average to .0002 (or to three or four ounces per quintal of 100 pounds). The quantity of minerals extracted by means of mercury is to that produced by smelting in the proportion of 3; to 1. The process of amalgamation used is long, and occasions a great waste of mercury: the consumption for all New Spain amounts to