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Gnu. xi.] IUNGDGM OF NEW sPAiN. 453 rise, which was not felt rm the middle of the '16th, century, /took place suddenly Between 1570 and 1595, when the silver of Potosi, Porco, Tasco, Zacatecas, and Pachuca, began to flow throughout all parts of Europe. But, on the other hand, between that memorable period in the history of commerce, till 1636, the discovery of the mines of America produced its whole effect on thewredugtignhgfwthe value of money. The price of “§FZ.in has not in reality
-I'lS€l'l to the present day; and if the contrary
has been advanced by several authors, it is from their having confounded the nominal value of
coin, with the true proportion between money and commodities.
Whatever opinion may be adopted as to the future effects of the accumulation of the representative signs, if we consider the people of New Spain under the relation of their commercial connections with Europe, it cannot be denied that, in the present state of things, the abundance of the precious metals has a powerful influence on the national prosperity. It is from this abundance, that America is enabled to pay in specie, the produce of foreign industry, and to share in the enjoyments of the most civilized nations of the Old (Continent. Notwithstanding this real advantage, it is to be sincerely wished, that the Mexicans, enlightened as to their true interest, may re
' G G 8
454- POLITICAL ESSAY ON THE [BOOK rv.
collect that the onlg gapital of which the value
Manqfacturing Industry - Cotton Cloth-— Woollen — Cegars
. IF we consider the small progress of ma-
456 POLITICAL ESSAY ON THE [noon v.
as might secure to these distant possessions, a great degree of prosperity, and an existence independent of the mother country. Such principles as prescribe the rooting up the vine and the olive, are not calculated to favour manufactures. A colony has for ages been only considered as useful to the parent state, in so far as it supplied a great number of raw materials, and consumed a number of the commodities carried there by the ships of the mother country. _
It was easy for different commercial nations to adapt their colonial system to islands of small extent, or factories established on the coast of a continent. The inhabitants
of Barbadoes, St. Thomas, or Jamaica, are not sutliciently numerous to possess a great number of hands for the manufacture of cotton cloth; and the position of these islands at all times facilitates the exchange of their agricultural produce, for the manufactures of Europe.
It is not so with the continental possessions of Spain in the two Americas. Mexico, beyond the 98° of north latitude, contains a breadthof 350 leagues. The table land of New Grenada communicates with the ‘port of ,Carthagena by means of a great river, ditli/cult to ascend. Industry is awakened,-when towns
of fifty and sixty thousand inhabitants are si-
goods, by transporting them on the backs of
mules for the space of five or six months,
The kings of Spain, by taking the title of
kings of the Indies, have considered these dis
tant possessions rather las integral parts of
their monarchy, as provinces dependent on