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Fortunately the introduction of negroes has not augmented in Mexico in the same proportion as the sugar produce. Although in the intendancy of Puebla, near Guautla de las Amilpas, there are plantations (haciendas dc ezm"a) which yield annually more than from

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to 750,000 kilogrammes 1‘) almost all the Mexican sugar is manufactured by Indians, and consequently by free hands. It is easy to foresee that the small West India Islands, notwithstanding their favourable position for trade, will not be long able to sustain a competition with the continental colonies, if the latter continue to give themselves up with the same ardour to the cultivation of sugar, coffee, and cotton. In the physical as well as in the moral world, every thing terminates in a return to the order prescribed by nature ; and if small islands, of which the population was exterminated, have hitherto carried on a more active trade with their productions than the neighbouring continent, it is only because the inhabitants of Cumana, Cara

* This produce is very considerable, and it is only to be found in a single plantation in the Island of Cuba, of the name of Rio Blanco, belonging to the Marquis delidrcos, between Xaruco and Matanzas, which " annually produces 40,000 arrobas of sugar. There are not eight which yield for ten years in succession 35,000.

’r From 1,103,500 to 1,655,250 lb. avoird. Trans.

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cas, New Granada, and Mexico began very late
to profit by the immense advantages derived by
them from nature. But roused from a lethargy
of many ages, freed from the shackles which a
false policy imposed on the progress of agricul-
ture, the Spanish colonies of the continent
will gradually ta.ke possession of the different
branches of the West India trade. This change,
which has been prepared by the events of St.
Domingo, will have the most fortunate issue in the
diminution of the slave trade; and suffering hu-
manity will owe to the natural progress of things
what we had a right to expect from the-wisdom
of the European governments. Thus the colo-
nists of the Havannah, well informed as to their
true interests, have their eyes fixed on the pro-
gress of sugar cultivation in Mexico, and the
coffee of the Caracas. They have long dreaded
the rivalship of the continent, especially since
the want of combustibles, and the excessive
dearth of provisions, slaves, metallic utensils, and
the necessary cattle, have considerably diminish-
ed the net revenue of the plantations.

New Spain, besides the advantage of its popu.
lation, has still another very important one
in the enormous mass of capitals in the pas-
session of the proprietors imines, or in the
hands of merchants who have retired from com-
merce. In order fully to feel the importance
of this advantage, we must recollect that in

In

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I-0 POLITICAL ESSAY ON THE i [B09]; w_

the island of Cuba, the establishment of a great sugar plantation, worked by 300 negroes, and yielding annually 500,000 kilogrammes "* of sugar, requires an advance of two millions of livres tournois Jr, and that it brings in from 300,000 to 350,000i livres of revenue; The Mexican colonist may choose along the coast, and in the valleys of greater or less depth, the most suitable climate for the sugar-cane; and he has less to fear from frost than the colonist of Louisiana. But the extraordinary configuration of the surface of New Spain throws great obstacles in the way of transporting sugar to Vera Cruz. The plantations now in existence are for the most part very remote from the coast opposite to Europe. The country having yet neither canals nor roads fit for carriage, the mule carriage of the sugar to Vera Cruz increases its price a piastre per arroba, or eight sous per kilogramme.§ These obstacles will be much diminished by the roads now making from. Mexico to VeraCruz by Orizaba and by Xalapa, along the eastern slope of the Cordilleras. It is also probable that the progress of colonial agriculture will contribute to people the shores of New Spain,

* 1,103,500 lb. avoird. Trans.

1‘ 83,3401. sterling. Trans.

$ From l2,500l. to 14,5811. sterling. Trans.
§ About 3d. per 2 lb. avoird. Trans.

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which for ages have remained desert and un-
cultivated. .

It is observed in Mexico, that the vezou, or
juice expressed from the sugar cane is more or
less sugary, according as the plant grows in the
plain, or on an elevated table land. The same
difference exists in the b‘ cane cultivated at
Malaga, the Canary Islands, and the Havannah.
The elevation of i the soil every where produces
the same effects on vegetation, as the difference
of geographical latitude. The climate has
also an influence on the proportion between
the quantities of liquid and crystallizable sugar
contained in the juice of the cane; for some-
times the vezou has a very sweet savour, and
yet crystallizes with great difficulty. The che-
mical composition of the vezou is not always
the same, and the excellent experiments of M.
Proust have thrown great light. on the phe-
nomena _discoverable in the American sugar
works, many of which are to the sugar refiner
the cause of great despondency.

From the most exact calculations that I could make at the island of Cuba, I find that a given hectare of ground yields for mean term 12 cubic metres of vezou, from which is drawn by the processes hitherto in use, in which much sugary matter is decomposed by fire, at most from ten to twelve per cent. or 1500 l\_I_i_l§g‘_1;a_rnmes* of raw sugar. They reckon at

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12 POLITICAL ESSAY ON THE [BOOK IV.

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the Havannah, and in the warm and fertile
parts] of New Spain, that a caballeria of ground
which contains 18 square cordeles (at 24 varas),
or 133,517 square metres *, yields annually 2000
arnzbas or 25,000 kilogrammes.T The mean
produce, however, is only 1500 arrobas, which
is 1400 kilogrammes of sugar per hectare.I
At St. Domingo, the produce of a carreau of
ground containing 3403 toises, or 12,900§ square
metres is estimated at 4.000 pounds, which is
equal to 1550 kilogrammes per hectare. Such
is, in general, the fertility of the soil of equi-
noctial "America, that all the sugar consumed
in France, which I estimate at 20 millions of
kilogrammes ||, might be produced on a sur-
face of 7 square leagues 1[ , an extent which

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lished during the ministry of M. Chaptal, that the import-
ation of sugar amounted in France in the year 9, to 515,100

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' Sucre léte or sucre de the is that which is taken from the upper part or head of the conical pot or pan (fbrme) used in the making of clayed sugar. (Casaux sur l'Art ck cultivez la Ccfnner, p. 453.) Trans.

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