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my researches with a particular attention; and they have furnished materials for several oficial papers on the interests of the commerce and manufacturing industry of the colonies.
The work which I now publish is divided into six grand sections. The first book consists of general considerations on the extent and physical aspect of New Spain. Without entering into any detail of descriptive natural history (a detail reserved for other parts of my work) I have examined the influence of the inequalities of the soil on the climate, agriculture, commerce, and defence of the coasts. The second book treats of the general population and division of the casts. The third presents a particular statistical view of the intendancies, their population, and area, calculated from the maps drawn up by me from my astronomical observations. I discuss in the fourth book the state of agriculture, and of the metallic mines; and in the fifth, the progress of manufactures and commerce. The sixth book contains researches into the revenues of the state, and the military defence of the country.
Notwithstanding the extreme care which I bestowed in verifying the results, I have no doubt of having committed many very serious errors, which will be pointed out in proportion as my work shall excite the inhabitants of New Spain to study the state of their country. I rely, however, on the
indulgence of those who know the difficulties of researches of this nature, and who have compared together the statistical tables which annually appear in the most civilized countries of Europe. .
GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS ON THE EXTENT AND
PHYSICAL ASPECT OF THE KINGDOM OF NEW SPAIN. INFLUENCE OF THE INEQUALITIES OF THE SOIL ON THE CLIMATE, AGRICULTURE, COMMERCE, AND MILITARY DEFENCE OF THE COUNTRY.
Extent of the Spanish possessions in America. Comparison of these possessions with the English colonies, and with the Asiatic part of the Russian empire. Denominations of New Spain, and of Anahuac. Boundary of the empire of the Aztec kings.
Before entering on a political view of the kingdom of New Spain, it may be of importance to bestow a rapid glance on the extent and population of the Spanish possessions in the two Americas. We must generalize our ideas, and consider each colony in its relations with the neighbouring colonies and with the mother country, if we would obtain accurate results, and assign to the country described the place to which it is entitled from its territorial wealth.
The Spanish possessions of the new continent occupy the immense extent of territory comprised
between the 41° 43, of south latitude, and the 37° 48' of north latitude. This space of seventynine degrees equals not only the length of all Africa, but it even much surpasses the breadth of the Russian empire, which includes about a hundred and sixty-seven degrees of longitude, under a parallel of which the degrees are not more than half the degrees of the equator.
The most southern point of the new continent inhabited by the Spaniards is fort Maullin, near the small village of Carelmapu*, on the coast of Chili, opposite to the northern extremity of the island of Chiloe. A road is opening from Valdivia to this fort of Maullin; a bold but useful undertaking, as a stormy sea prevents navigators for a great part of the year from landing on so dangerous a coast. On the south and south-east of fort Maula lin, in the gulfs of incud and Reloncavi, by. which we reach the great lakes of Nahuelhapi and
Todos los Santos, there are no Spanish establishments; but we meet with them in the islands near the eastern coast of Chilve, even in 43° 34' of south latitude, where the island Caylin opposite the lofty summit of the Corcobado) is inhabited by several families of Spanish origin.
The most northern point of the Spanish colonies is the mission of San Francisco, on the coast of New California, seven leagues to the north-west of
* See note A, at the end of the work,
Santa Cruz. The Spanish language is thus spread over an extent of more than 1900 leagues in length. Under the wise administration of Count Fiorida Blanca, a regular communication of posts was established from Paraguay to the north-west coast of North America ; and a monk in the mission of the Guaranis Indians can maintain a correspondence with another missionary inhabiting New Mexico, or the countries in the neighbourhood of Cape Mendocin, without their letters ever passing at any great distance from the continent of Spanish America.
The dominions of the king of Spain in America exceed in extent the vast regions possessed by the Russian empire, or Great Britain, in Asia. I thought, therefore, that a view of these differences and of the striking disproportion between the area and the population of the mother country, compared with those of the colonies, could hardly fail to be interesting. To make this disproportion appear still more palpable, I have formed, according to exact scales, the drawings in the last plate. A red parallelogram which serves for the base, re. presents the surface of the mother countries; and a blue parallelogram which reposes on the base, indicates the area of the Spanish and English possessions in America and Asia. These views, similar to those of M. Playfair, have something fcar. ful in them, particularly when we fix our eyes on the grand catastrophe represented in the fourth