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lands, the working of mines, far from impeding the cultivation of the soil, as it is generally imagined, has been singularly favourable to it. Travelling along the ridge of the Andes, or the mountainous, part of Mexico, we every where see the most striking examples of the beneficial influence of the mines on agriculture. Were it not for the establishments formed for the working of the mines, how many places would have remained desert! how many districts uncultivated in the four intendancies of Guanaxuato, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, and Durango, between the parallels of 21° and 25°, where the most considerable metallic wealth of New Spain is to be found! If the town is placed on the arid side or the crest of the Cordilleras, the new colonists can only draw from a distance means, for their subsistence, and for the maintenance of the great number of cattle employed in drawing off the water, and raising and amalgamating the mineral produce. Want soon awakens industry. The soil begins to be cultivated in the ravines and declivities of the neighbouring mountains, wherever the rock is covered with earth. Farms are established in the neighbourhood of the mine. The high price of provision, from the competition of the purchasers, indemnifies the cultivator for the privations to which he is exposed from
the hard life of the mountains. Thus from the · hope of gain, and the motives of mutual interest,
-the most powerful bonds of society, and without any interference on the part of the Government to promote colonization, a mine which at first appeared insulated in the midst of wild and desert mountains, becomes in a short time connected with the lands which have long been under cultiva
Moreover, this influence of the mines on the progressive cultivation of the country is more durable than they are themselves. When the veins are exhausted, and the subterraneous operations are abandoned, the population of the canton undoubtedly diminishes, because the miners emigrate elsewhere; but the colonist is retained by his attachment for the spot where he received his birth, and which his fathers cultivated with their hands. The more lonely the cottage is, the more charms has it for the inhabitant of the mountains. It is with the beginning of civilization as with its decline: man appears to repent of the constraint which he has imposed on himself by entering into society; and he loves solitude because it restores to him his former freedom. This desire for solitude is particularly manifested by the copper-coloured natives, whoin a long and sad experience has disgusted with social life, and more especially with the neighbourhood of the Whites. Like the Arcadians, the Aztec people love to inhabit the summits and brows of the steepest mountains. This peculiar trait in their disposition contributes very much to extend population in the mountainous regions of Mexico. What a pleasure is it for the traveller to follow these peaceful conquests of agriculture, to contemplate the numerous Indian . cottages dispersed in the wildest ravines, and necks of cultivated ground advancing into a desert country between naked and arid rocks!. .
The Indian cultivator is poor, but he is free. His state is even greatly preferable to that of the peasantry in a great part of the north of Europe. There are neither : corvées nor villenage in New Spain; and the number of slaves is next to nothing. Sugar is chiefly the produce of free hands. There the principal objects of agriculture are not the productions to which European luxury has assigned a variable and arbitrary value, but cereal gramina, nutritive roots, and the agave, the vine of the Indians. The appearance of the country proclaims to the traveller that the soil nourishes him who cultivates it, and that the true prosperity of the Mexican people neither depends on the accidents of foreign commerce, nor on the unsettled politics of Europe. . ..i n
niin We have thus examined the true national wealth of Mexico; for the produce of the earth is, in fact, the sole basis of permanent opulence. It is consolatory to see that the labour of man, for half a century, has been more directed towards this fertile and inexhaustible source, than towards the working of mines, of which the wealth has not so direct an influence on the public prosperity, and
merely changes the nominal value of the annual produce of the earth. The territorial impost levied by the clergy, under the name of tenth, or tithe, measures the quantity of that produce, and indicates with precision the progress of agricultural industry, if we compare the periods, in the intervals of which the price of commodities has undergone no sensible variation. · The result of such a comparison made from the most exact data is, that the total augmentation has been, in the last ten years, 1,062,5001., or two-fifths of the total produce. The same data also indicate the rapidity of the progress of agriculture, in the intendancies of Mexico, Guadalaxara, Pue bla, and Valladolid, compared with the provinces of Oaxaca and New Biscay. The tithes have been nearly doubled in the archbishoprick of Mexico ; for those which were levied during the ten years an: terior to 1780, were to those levied ten years afterwards in the proportion of 10 to 17. In the in: tendancy of Durango or New Biscay, this augmentation has been only in the proportion of 10 to 1l.
Population numbers and character of native Indians .
comparison between the population of Mexico and that of the United States-small number of Negro slaves increase of population-census of 1794.
The Mexican population is composed of the same elements as the other Spanish colonies. They reckon seven races: 1. The individuals born in Europe, vulgarly called Gachupines ; 2. The Spanish Creoles, or Whites of European extraction born in America; 3. the Mestizos, descendants of Whites and Indians; 4. the Mulattos, descendants of Whites and negros; 5. the Zambos, descendants of Negros and Indians; 6. the Indians, or copper-coloured indigenous race; and 7. the African Negros. Abs. tracting the subdivisions, there are four castes: the Whites comprehended under the general name of Spaniards, the Negros, the Indians, and the men of mixed extraction from Europeans, Africans, American Indians, and Malays; for from the frequent communication between Acapulco and the Philippine islands, inany individuals of Asiatic origin, both Chinese and Malays, have settled in New Spain.
A very general prejudice exists in Europe, that an exceeding small number of the copper-coloured race, or descendants of the ancient Mexicans, re