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lowing is an exact cable of the extraordinary dis-
of Guanaxuato, 911. With the exception of the three intendancies of San Luis Potosi, Sonora, and Durango, of which each occupies more ground than the whole empire of Great Britain, the other intendancies contain a mean surface of three or four thousand square leagues. We may compare them for extent to the kingdom of Naples, or that of Bohemia. We can conceive that the less populous a country is, the less its administration requires small divisions. In France no department exceeds the extent of 550 square leagues: the mean extent of the departments is 900. But in European Russia and Mexico the governments and intendancies are ten times more extensive.
In France, the heads of departments, the prefects, watch over the wants of a population which rarely exceeds 450,000 souls, and which on an average we may estimate at 300,000. The governments into which the Russian empire is divided, as well as the Mexican intendancies, comprehend, notwithstanding their very different states of civil. ization, a greater number of inhabitants. The following table will show the disproportion of population among the territorial divisions of New Spain. It begins with the most populous intendancy, and ends with the one most thinly inhabited. Intendancy of Mexico, 1,511,800 inhabitants.
Sonora, 121,400 It is in comparing together the tables of the population of the twelve intendancies, and the ex
tent of their surface, that we are particularly struck with the inequality of the distribution of the Mexican population, even in the most civilized part of the kingdom. The intendancy of Puebla, which in the second table occupies one of the first places, is almost at the end of the first table. Yet no principle ought more to guide those who chalk out territorial divisions than the proportion of the population to the extent expressed in square leagues or myriametres. It is only in states like France, which enjoy the inestimable felicity of a population almost uniformly spread over their surface, that divisions will admit any thing like equality of extent. A third table exhibits the state of the population, which may be called relative. To arrive at numerical results which indicate the proportion between the number of inhabitants and extent of inhabited soil, we must divide the absolute population by the territory of the intendancies. The following are the results of this operation : Intendancy of Guanaxuato, 568 inhabitants to
the square league.
Vera Cruz, 38
Sonora, 6. This last table proves that in the intendancies where the cultivation of the soil has made least progress, the relative population is from 50 to go times less than in the old civilized regions adjacent to the capital. This extraordinary difference in the distribution of the population is also to be found in the north and north-east of Europe. In Lapland we scarcely find one inhabitant to the square league, while in other parts of Sweden, in Gothland, for example, there are more than 248. In the states subject to the King of Denmark, the island of Zealand contains 944, and Iceland eleven inhabitants to the square league. In European Russia, the governments of Archangel, Olonez, Kalouga, and Moscow, differ so much in their relative population to the extent of the territory, that the two former of these governments contain 6 and 26, and the two last 842 and 974 souls to the square league. These enormous differences india cate that one province is 160 times better inhabited than another.
In France, where the whole of the population gives 1094 inhabitants to the square league, the best peopled departments, those of L'Escaut, Le Nord, and La Lys, afford a relative population of 3869,2786, and 2274. The worst peopled department, that of the Hautes-Alpes, composed of a part of old Dauphiny, contains only 471 inhabitants to the square league. Hence the extremes are in France in the relation of 8:1; so that the intendancy of Mexico, in which the population is the most concentrated, that of Guanaxuato, is scarcely so well inhabited as the worst peopled department of continental France *.
I flatter myself that the three tables which I have drawn up of the extent, absolute population, and relative population of the intendancies of New Spain, will sufficiently prove the great imperfection of the present territorial division. A country in which the population is dispersed over a vast ex. tent requires that the provincial administration be restricted to smaller portions of ground than those of the Mexican intendancies. Whenever a population is under 100 inhabitants to the square league, the administration of an intendancy or a department should not extend over more than 100,000
* In these comparisons we have peither included the department of le Liamone, formed of the southern part of Corsica, and containing only 277 inhabitants to the square league, nor the department of the Seine. The latter, in appearance exhibits a relative population of 26,165 inhabitants. It would be useless to explain the causes which produce such an unnatural order of things, in a department of which the principal place is the capital of a great empire. VOL. I.