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4-58 POLITICAL ESSAY ON THE [noon v~
compelled to have recourse to a less prohibitory. system, and to tolerate what it was unable to prevent. _ Hence a more equitable legislation has been adopted in that country than that by which the greatest part of the other colonies of the New; Continent is governed. In the latter, for example, it is not permitted to refine raw sugar; and the proprietor of a plantation is obliged to purchase the produce of his. own soil from the manufacturer of the mother country. No law prohibits the refining of sugar in the possessions of Spanish America. If the government does not encourage manufactures,» and if it even employs indirect means to prevent the establishment of those of silk, paper, and crystal; on the other hand, no decree of the audience, no royal cedula, declares that these manufactures ought not to exist beyond sea. In the colonies, as well as every where else, we must not confound the spirit of the laws with the policy of those by whom they are administered. '
Only half a century ago, two citizens, animated with the purest patriotic zeal, the Count de Gijon, and the Marquis de Maenza, conceived the project of bringing over to Quito, a colony of workmen and artizans from Europe. The Spanish ministry affected to applaud their zeal, and did not think proper to refuse them the privilege of establishing
cnar. xn.] KINGDOM OF NEW SPAIN. 459
manufactories; but they so contrived to fetter the proceedings of these two enterprising men, that they at last perceived that secret orders had been given to the viceroy and the audience to ruin their undertaking, which they voluntarily renounced. I could wish to believe that such an event would not have taken place at the period when I resided, in these countries; for it is not to be denied that, within‘ these twenty years, the Spanish Colonies have been governed on more’ enlightened principles. Virtuous men have from time to time raised their voice to enlighten the government as to iits true interest; and they have endeavoured to impress the mother country with the idea, that it would be more useful to encourage the manufacturing industry of the Colonies, than to allow the treasures of Peru and Mexico to be spent in the purchase of foreign commodities. These counsels would have been attended to, if the ministry had not too frequently sacrificed the interests of the nations of aigreat continent, to the interest of a few maritime towns of Spain; for the progress of manufactures in the Colonies has not “been impeded by the manufacturers of the peninsula, aiquiet and laborious class of men, but by trading monopolists, whose political influence is favoured by great wealth, and kept up by
+60 POLITICAL ESSAY ON THE [mm v. a thorough knowledge of intrigue, and the
momentary wants of the court. A
Notwithstanding all these obstacles the manufactures have not been prevented from making some progress in three centuries, during which time, Biscayans, Catalonians, Asturians, and Valenciana have settled in the New World, and carried there the industry of their native provinces. The manufactures of coarse stuffs can every where be carried on at a low rate, when raw materials are found in abundance, and when the price of the goods of Europe and Oriental Asia is so much increased by carriage.. In time of war, the want of communication with the mother country, and the regulations prohibiting commerce with neutrals, have favoured the establishment of manufactures of calicoes, fine cloth, and whatever is connected with the refinements of luxury.
The value of the produce of the manufacturing industry of New Spain is estimated at seven or eight millions of piastres per annum.‘ In the Intendancy of Guadalaxara, cotton and wool were exported till 1765, to maintain the activity of the manufactures of Puebla, Queretaro, and San Miguel el Grande. Since that period, manufactories have been established at Guadalaxara, Lagos, and the
neighbouring towns. The whole intendancy,
We have already proved, speaking of the
* Estado dc la intendencia de Guadalazara, communicado
en 1802 par el Senor intendente al Consulado rle Vera
all sorts in Puebla were computed in 180% at more than 1200.‘ In this town, as well as in Mexico, the printing of calicoes, both those imported from Manilla, and those manufactured in New Spain, has made considerable progress within these few years. At the port of Tehuantepec, in the province of Oaxaca, the Indians dye the unwrought cotton by rubbing it against the cloak of a murez, which is found attached to the granite rocks. From an old custom, they wash the cotton in sea water, which in their parallels is very rich in muriate of soda, to give it a bright colour.
The oldest cloth manufactories of Mexico are those of Tezcuco. They were in great part established in 159‘2 by the viceroy Don Louis de Velasco II., the son of the celebrated constable of Castille, who was second viceroy of New Spain. By degrees, this branch of national industry passed entirely into the hands of the Indians and Mestizoes of Queretaro and Puebla. I visited the manufactories of Queretaro in the month of August 1803. They distinguish there the great manufactories, which they call obrzyes, from the small, which go by the name of trapiches. There were
* Irgfin-nae del intendenle Don lilanuel (le Flon conde dc la Carlena.