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From this state of commerce, and those which I have already given in this volume p. 33. et seq., it follows that in the three years of peace, 1802, 1803, and 1804, the total importation of Vera Cruz amounted at an average (abstracting the fraudulent commerce) to 20,700,000 piastres; and the exportation, not including the coined or wrought gold and silver, to 6,500,000 piastres.

millions. millions. 1802 Importation - 21% Exportation - 9 1803 - - 23 - - 5+ 1804 - - , 17#. - - 5

These numbers confirm what we have advanced in the 12th chapter, respecting the general balance of the trade of New Spain (page 111 of this volume). That vast country, in the present state of its civilization and manufactures, requires foreign produce and goods to the value of a hundred, or a hundred and ten millions of francs. Allowing full liberty to the trade of Acapulco and San Blas with "China and India, Mexico may draw cottons, 'silks, paper, and spices, and perhaps even mercury directly from Asia; and this circumstance "will diminish the importations from Europe, more than twenty millions of francs. The more the connections of America with oriental Asia are increased, the smaller will be the sum of of gold and silver, base coin and bells, in all the mints of France, between 1726 and 1794 amounted to 3,849,026,184 livres. From 1795 to 1802, there was coined in pieces of 5 francs, with the inscription, Hercule et la liberté, to the value of 106,237,255 francs. * * The coinage, between 1802 and 1809, amounted in gold to 173,219,700 francs; and in silver to 259,454,874 francs, or at an average for the last eight years to more than 54 millions of francs per annum. From these particulars it appears, that in the space of eighty-three years, from 1726 to 1809, the value of the total gold, silver, and copper coinage of France, amounted to 4,410,396,000 francs. From December 1801, till August 1804, Spain received from its colonies, 107,308,152 piastres in gold and silver, and 63,350,590 piastres in agricultural produce. From 1788 to 1795 the total importation was only at an average, from 85 to 45 millions of piastres per annum (see p. 124 of this volume, and Edin. Review, 1810, p. 77.) I shall give, at the end of the supplement, some elucidations respecting the estimates of the produce of the mines, as well as respecting the weights and monies. The produce of the mines of Spanish America, varies a seventh from year to year, or more that 500,0000 marcs of silver. We have estimated this produce for the Spanish and Portuguese colonies, at 17,291 kilogrammes in gold, or 75,217 Castillian marcs, and at 795,581 kilogrammes or 4,460 Castillian marcs of silver, which are equal together to 434 millions of piastres. Europe, Siberia, and America furnish per annum 19,126 kilogrammes in gold, and 869,960 kilogrammes in silver, or 3,554,447 French marcs, or to the value of 259,200,000 francs. I ought to observe, that the three tables, vol. iii. p. 389, 894, and 897, indicate fine gold and silver; but that the two tables, vol. iii. p. 291 and 292, drawn up at the mint of Mexico, contain Castillian marcs, of silver of piastres, or very nearly pure silver; for, according to my tables, the coinage in 1796, 1797, and 1799, was 2,854,072; 2,818,248; and 2,478,542 Castillian marcs in silver, while the lists printed at Mexico, make the coinage for these same three years amount to 24,346,772; 24,041,180 and 21,096,031 piastres. In the calculations in vol. iii. p. 172,173, 174,862, 878,420, 421,427, and 428, I have reduced the piastres according to the custom of the country, into Castillian marcs, dividing by 83, so that I have in the same manner only obtained marcs of silver of the piastre fineness, or 0.903. The mass of pure silver, extracted within these three

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centuries from the mines of America, would form a sphere of a diameter of 20% metres. The Castillian marc contains 0.*229,881. Out of the Castillian marc 84 piastres are coined; and as this marc corresponds to 229°.881 of the new French weight, the weight of the piastre is 279,045. As the title ought to be 10den, 20gr., or 0.903, the piastre is worth, considering it as perfect in weight and title, 5 francs 43 cent. The Castillian marc of pure gold is worth 1451% piastres; and the marc of pure silver is worth 9 or piastres. We have already estimated the kilogramme of pure gold at 8444 francs 44*. 444. and that of pure silver, at 222 francs 22*. 222. As in the mines and mints of America, they do not always compute marcs of gold and silver at the same standard or title, we are embarrassed whenever we labour on memoirs in which the standard is not expressed. The error however cannot exceed a tenth, a quantity which does not appear so sensible when we take averages of several years, and when we reflect on the mass of precious metals, on which the fifth is not paid.


WHEN the impression of this work was completely finished, I received by the way of Spain, the states of commerce printed at Vera Cruz in the years 1804, 1805, and 1806. Mexico continued in the enjoyment of peace till 1805, but since that period, the maritime war, and other political circumstances, have very much impeded commercial transactions. Although a state of things so extraordinary has resulted from this position, that the Balance of Commerce, can give us no information respecting the increase or diminution of the national wealth, it appeared however to me interesting, to present here the most recent statistical information which I could obtain

respecting that part of the Spanish Colonies in America.

Commerce of Vera Cruz in 1804.

Piastres. Piastres.

Importation {. national produce ":} 14,906,060

from Spain \ In foreign produce 4,493,736 Importation from America - - - - 1,619,682 Exportati * (for spain - 18,033,371 1 for America - 3,424,511 o'"7* Vera Cruz

Total amount of the Commerce - - 37,983,624

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