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of the 'obacco farm, but not the supplies from Spain, nearly two hundred and forty
thousand piastres. Population, 180,000 inhabitants ; surface, 421 square leagues.
Of these thirty-eight millions of piastres, which the gross revenue of the Spanish colonies in America, Asia, and Africa, amounts to, we may consider eight millions and a half as profits of coinage, and duties levied on the produce of the gold and silver mines; nine million's as the revenue of the tobacco farm; and twenty millions and a half as the produce of the alcavala, almoxarifazgo, Indian tribute, proceeds of powder, brandy, and cards, and other duties on consumption. The interior administration of the colonies, consumes thirty-one millions of piastres per annum; and as we have already observed, nearly eight millions* flow into the royal treasury of Madrid. We know that the last sum added to the thirty-five millions of piastres, raised from European Spain, has, for a long time past, been insufficient to support the civil and military expences of the Mother Country.
* In the account of the general revenue of Spain for 1801, which I procured in America, and which amounts to 800,488,687 reals of Vellon, the revenues of the Indies are estimated at 142,456,768 reals, or at 7,122,838 piastres.
The public deht of Spain* has risen by degrees to more than a hundred and twenty millions of piastrest; and the annual deficit has been the more considerable, as commerce and industry have been cramped by maritime warş. Besides, when we compare the gross revenue with the state of the population as we have stated it above, we shall soon be convinced that the charges supported by the inhabitants of the
* There were in 1805, vales, or royal obligations for the sum of 1750 millions of reals de Vellon. There is nothing formidable in the debt of Spain, when we reflect on the immense resources of that monarchy, which includes the finest parts of the globe in both hemişpheres. The pụblic debt of France before the revolution amounted to 1100 millions of piastres ; and that of Great Bri. Cain, at present probably exceeds 2821 millions of piastres. In 1796 the sum of assigrats in circulation in France, amounted to 45,578,000,000 francs or 8681 millions of piastres (1822 millions Sterling. Trans.), but on their losing their authority (demonetisation) 100 francs of assignats were only equal to 3 sous, 6 deniers in specie; and according to M. Ramel, there remained in circulation, the sum of 6254 millions of piastres, which were never withdrawn. As to the mandats and rescriptions, they were issued to the amount of 4800 piastres. Thege sums must appear the greater, as we have already demonstrated that not more than 1637 millions of piastres exist in Europe, and that the whole quantity of gold and silver extracted from the mines of America, since 1492, does not amount to more than 5706 millions of piastres. Upwards of 25 millions Sterling. Transe
colonies are one third less than those laid on the people of the Peninsula.
At the period of the great catastrophe, by which England lost nearly the whole of her continental possessions in America, several political writers examined the influence which the separation of the Spanish colonies, would directly have on the finances of the court of Madrid. The statements which we have given respecting the general situation of the finances of Spain, in 1804, enable us to furnish some data for the solution of this important problem. If the whole of Spanish America had declared itself independent, at the period of the revolt of the Inca Tupac-Amaru* ; this event alone would have produced several effects: Ist. It would have deprived the royal treasury of Madrid, of an annual receipt of from eight to nine millions of piastres, of net revenue (liquido remisible) of the colonies; 2dly, It would have produced a considerable diminution of the commerce of the Peninsula, because the Spanish American, freed from the monopoly which the Mother Country has exercised for three hundred years, would have drawn directly the foreign goods which he wanted, from countries not subject to Spain; 3dly. This change of the direction of the com
merce of the colonies, would have occasioned a diminution of the duties levied in the custom-houses of the Peninsula, estimated at five millions of piastres ; 4thly, The separation of the colonies would have ruined several Spanish manufactures, which are mostly supported by the forced sale which they find in America, being unable, in their present state, to stand in competition, with the goods of India, France, or England. These effects, which would have been very sensibly felt at first, would have been gradually compensated by the advantages arising from the concentration of moral and physical force, from the necessity of a better system of agriculture, and from the natural equilibrium between nations, united by the ties of blood, and the exchange of productions, which the habit of several centuries has rendered necessary. But it would be wandering from our principal subject, to enter upon a discussion, which, at the period of the peace of Versailles, was thoroughly examined in several works of political economy. When we compare the extent, population, and revenue of Spanish America, with the extent, population, and revenue of the English possessions in India, wę find the following results:
Spanish Ame- English posses
rica. sions in Asia*.
Extent in square leagues of 25 to the equatorial degree 460,000 48,300 Population - 15,000,000 32,000,000 Gross revenue in pi
astres --. | 38,000,000 43,000,000 Net revenue in pi
astres - - - 8,000,000 3,400,000
From this table it appears, that New Spain, the population of which does not amount to six millions, contributes to the treasury of the king of Spain, twice as much net revenue as Great Britain draws from ber fine possessions in India, which contain five times the number of inhabitants of the former. · It would be unfair, however, when we compare
* Territory of which the English company has acquired the sovereignty, not including the allies and tributaries, such as the Nizam, and the princes of Oude, the Car. natic, Mysore, Cochin, and Travancore. A coording to M. Playfair, whom I followed in the table published in vol. i. chap. vñi. the population only amounts to twentythree millions and half. The motives which have induced me to follow other data at present, are explained in note I. at the end of the work.