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livres tournois. In the United States, including English Canada - - - 180 millions
In the Spanish Colonies * of the Continent -
- - 480 In Brazil
120 In the West India Islands
We find a Total of
805 millionst of livres tournois, or 153,333,000 piastres.
A very small part of the gold and silver extracted from the mines of America, passes immediately into Africa and Asia, without first touching Europe. We shall estimate the quantity of precious metals, which has flowed from Acapulco into the Philippine Islands, since the conclusion of the 16th century, at 600,000 piastrest per annum. The expeditions from
* We have followed in these valuations, the principles laid down by Adam Smith and Necker, taking for basis the number of inhabitants, the mass of imposts paid to the government, the wealth of the clergy, and the relative activity of commerce. These calculations are the more uncertain, as a great number of Negroes and Indians are mixed with the whites.
* £ 32,858,137 Sterling. Trans. I £126,000 Sterling. Trans.
I am aware, that Lord Anson found in the Acapulco galleon which fell into his hands, the sum of 1,357,454 piastres. ( Anson's Voyage, p. 384); but we cannot estimate the annual importation at more than 600,000 piastres, when we consider that the galleon has not sailed every year since the end of the 16th century.
Lima to Manilla have been very rare, even latterly. The vessels sent from the West India Islands, and formerly from the ports of the United States to the western coast of Africa, in the slave trade, exported not only fire arms, brandy, and hardwares, but also silver in specie; but this exportation was compensated for by the purchase of gold dust on the coast of Guinea, and by the lucrative commerce which the Anglo-Americans carry on with several parts of Europe.
Now if we deduct from the 5706 millions of piastres, drawn from the mines of the New Continent, since its discovery by Christopher Columbus, till the present day, 153 millions of piastres which exist either
in specie, or in wrought gold and silver in the civilized part of America,
and, 133 millions of piastres which have past from
the western coast of America into Asia,
286 millions of piastres, we find that Europe has received from the New World in the course of three centuries, 5420 millions of piastres*. Taking also the 186,000 marcs of gold, which have passed as spoil into the hands of the conquerors at 25 millions,
* £ 1,138,200,000 Sterling. Trans.
it follows that the quantity of gold and silver imported into Europe from America, between 1492 and 1803, amounts to five thousand four hundred and forty-five millions of piastres, or to twenty eight thousand five hundred and eightysix millions of livres tournois*.
This calculation like all those of Forbonnais, Ustariz Necker, and Raynal, is partly founded on facts, and partly on mere conjecture. It is easy to conceive that the results are the more accurate, as we were enabled to avail ourselves of a greater number of facts, and as the conjectures are founded on a more intimate acquaintance with the history and present state of the mines of the New Continent. It is for those of my readers, who are accustomed to researches of this nature, to judge whether the sums fixed on by me are nearer the truth; than those which have been hitherto adopted in the most esteemed and popular works.
Dividing the 5445 millions of piastres, among the 311 years since the discovery of the New World, till 1803,we find that the average annual importation amounts to seventeen millions and a half of piastres. From the historical researches which it has hitherto been in my power to make, it appears to me that the treasures of America have flowed into Europe in the following progression.
* * £ 1,166,775,322 Sterling.
Average an- letta 9gs1A,
*:& silver from relative to the History of the Mines. America in
- BOTTOMA to Europe. lo abrala Piastres. Discovery of the West India Is
OTW is 70 lands; Gold washing places of 501920.
Cibao; expedition of Alonzo Nino pove | 5 ore to the coast of Paria; voyage of 1492_1500 250,000 Cabral. The fleets did not arrive sismogasnoga every year in Spain, and that of egoillion tem os o Ovando was considered as immense
ly rich, though it was only laden
with 2560 marcs of silver. moto B
The Mexican mines of Tasco,
Zultepeque, and Pachuca wrought; ex soitto Tori Peruvian mines of Porco, Caran3500— 1545 3,000,000 and Chaquiapu (or la Paz); spoil
gas, Andacava, Oruro, Carabaya, tood w
a t Tenochtitlan, and at Caxamarca, blog to prirem
and Cuzco; conquest of Choco and
Antioquia. MOT DETTE Mines of Zacatecas and Gua.
naxuato in New Spain ; Cerro del 1545~1600 11,000,000 Potosi, in the Cordilleras of Peru;
tranquil possession of Chili, and the provincias internas of Mexico.
The mines of Potosi begin to o gia get exhausted, especially after the
middle of the 17th century; but
the mines of Yauricocha are dis1600-1700 16,000,000 covered. The mining produce of
New Spain, rises from two to five 9 millions of piastres per annum; the
gold washing places of Barbacoas and Choco.
The alluvious mines of Brazil 1 wrought ; Mexican mines of la Bise
caina, Xacal; Tlapujahua, Sombre. 1700_17501 22,500,000 rete, and Batopilas; importation
of gold and silver into Spain, from 1748 to 1753, at an average 18 Imillions of piastres annually.l at
Average an- |
pual impor; Remarks Periods. tation of gold Poes, & silver from telative to the History of the Mines.
Tasco;mine of Valenciana wrought; Finn''; ili ostaliscovery of the mines of Catorce,
and the Cerro de Gualgayoc; im1750-1803 35,300,000 portation of gold and silver into
Spain, towards the commencement
of the 19th century, 434 millions 116 690 ji'. lof piastres.
speed rating We have already remarked that the proportion between gold and silver which was before the discovery of America as 10 to 1, gradually changed to 16:1. It would be of importance to know the quantity of gold which at different periods has flowed from the one continent to the other ; but for this we want accurate data. The little which we know is reduced to the following facts.
Til 1525 Europe had received from the new world. little else than gold; and from that period till the discovery of the mines of Brazil towards the end of the seventeenth century, the silver imported exceeded the importation of gold in the proportion of 60 or 65 to 1. Iņ the first half of the eighteenth century, the commerce in the precious metals underwent an extraordinary revolution : the pioduce of the silver mines experienced small variation ; but Brazil, Choco, Antioquia, Po