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TABLE II. cond period from the 1st January, 1579, to the 19th July, 1736, during which at first one and a half per cent. de robos was paid, and afterwards the fifth of the remaining 18 piastres 4 reals, One and a half

Ove and a halt | per cent. and fifth, per cent. and fifth.

per cent, and fisth.

One and a half

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Third period between the 20th July, 1736, and the 31st December, 1789, during which one and a half per cent. and the half of the fifth were paid, or 11 piastres, 3 reals per 100 piastres.

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Total of the 54 years 14,542,684 piastres.


The result of these three tables as we have already observed*, on comparing the actual produce of the mines of Guanaxuato in Mexico, with the produce of the mountain of Potosi, is, that during the space of 233 years, from 1556 to 1789, there has been extracted from the mines of Potosi, in silver declared at the Royal Treasury, the amount of 788 millions of piastres. If these piastres were all Mexican piastres, at & reals of Plata Mexicanat, the produce of these 233 years would amount to, 92,736,294 marest. But we shall shortly see that the mass of silver on which duty has been paid is still greater.

The books of accounts preserved in the archives of the provincial treasury of Potosi, do not go farther back than the year 1556. Įt remains therefore to examine what was the quantity of silver supplied by the mines of Potosi before that period. This examinaţion is the more important, as it is very reasonably believed that the first years which fol

* See p: 171. t We must take care not to confound three species of reals de plata ; viz. the real de plata antigua of 64 maravedis de vellon; the real de plata nueva or provincial of 68 maravedis; and the real de plata Mexicana, of 85 maravedis. We constantly make use of the latter in this work (Damoreau Traité des Banques, 1727, p. 115. Encyclop. Methodique, Commerce, T. iii. p. 211.)

$ 60,851,231 lb, troy,

lowed the discovery of the veins, were the most productive in riches.

Ulloa* quotes a book published in 1634, bý Don Sebastiani Sandoval y Guzman, under the title of Pretensiones del Potosi, in which the author specifies the fifth paid between 1545 and 1633. I endeavoured in vain to procure this work during my stay in Peru; and not knowing the partial data which it contains, I can only examine the results stated by the Spanish astronomer. This examination becomes the more necessary, as the assertions of Ulloa have been repeated by Raynalt, and by all the other writers who treat of the quantity of gold and silver imported from America into Europe, during the first years of the conquest, According to Sandoval, the fifth paid into the royal treasury of Potosi, was at an average from 1545 to 1564, four millions of piastres of 131 reales de plata ; from 1564 to 1585, 1,166,000 piastres; from 1585 to 1624,1,333,000 piastres; and from 1624 to 1633, 666,000 piastres. These numbers between 1564 and 1633, do pot coincide very well with the annual sums, stated in the foregoing tables; the differences are sometimes the one way, and sometimes the other; but it is in a particular manner respect

* Noticias Americanas, Entretenimiento xiv. ♡ xvii. p. 256, + Hist, Philosophique, (edit. de Geneve, 1780) T. ii.

p. 229.

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