« AnteriorContinuar »
the mother country was supposed to be endangered. Branches of agriculture and industry, which might have insured progress, labored for centuries under difficulties, and not only were the markets of foreign countries closed to them, but the colonies were obliged to receive the products of the old world. It is true this policy was chiefly directed against the mining and manufacturing industries," but it affected none the less the agricultural interest, which was intimately connected with it. This explains the little advance in the different methods of husbandry; the sharpened stick, the wooden shovel, the copper hoe and sickle of the Aztec being comparatively less primitive than the rude plow introduced by the Spaniard in early times and still in use in the eighteenth century.
About two hundred and fifty years elapsed before a more liberal spirit pervaded the colonial policy. One of the first steps was to settle the right to prop erty in farm lands in an equitable manner, by granting for a small compensation the possession of such as had been held for years without legal title. The encouragement which these laws afforded,so was increased by giving the native laborer the much needed protection against Spanish oppression. After that time the total value of agricultural products increased considerably, and amounted at the beginning of this century to more than $30,000,000 a year in those articles alone which were subject to the payment of tithes.82 The injurious policy of several hundred years
79 One of the ablest and best viceroys, the second Revilla Gigedo, was not entirely free from prejudice in this respect. He says in one place: 'It must not be overlooked that this (New Spain) is a colony which must depend upon its mother, Spain, and is obliged to make returns for the benefits which her protection affords.' And further: El único medio de destruir las fábricas del reino, es el que vengan á precios mas comodos de Europa los mismos efectos.' Instruc., 90-1, 93.
80 They were of October 15, 1754, and March 13, 1756, and granted power to settle any difficulties to the viceroy and audiencia. Ordenes de la Corona, MS., i. 90-5; vi. 1-6; Cedulario, MS., i. 28-33; Providencias Reales, MS., 160-6, 189-95.
81 The text of the law, dated March 23, 1773, is given in Id., 188-9.
82 The total of tithes in the bishoprics of Mexico, Puebla, Valladolid, Oajaca, Guadalajara, and Durango during the years 1769 till 1779 was $13,
had however wrought evils too serious to be quickly remedied, and whilst some industries had been abandoned, of others the knowledge had been entirely lost. The statutes and ordinances of most of the different guilds were antiquated and inappropriate; the instruction of apprentices was generally very poor. Of the total yearly product of manufactures, valued at about $7,000,000, the greater part consisted of articles of prime necessity.84 It was only, as we have seen, when war in Europe hindered communication with Spain, that some activity prevailed, but it always subsided, and the ground thus gained was soon lost.
The mining interest was, of course, a very prominent one, though its importance has been so greatly exaggerated as to cause the assertion that New Spain was of little value except as a mining territory. What the country under another form of government did accomplish, is a subject which I shall treat later. 85
357,157 against $18,353,821 for the following decade. Revilla Gigedo, Instruc., 101-2.
83 Habiendo entonces varios oficios...de los cuales aun apenas queda otra noticia.' Id., 84.
8 Such as soap, leather, ordinary textures of cotton, of wool, and others. The industrial products of Querétaro in 1793 have been estimated at $1,000,C00. Soc. Mex. Geog., Boletin, iii. 199. Zamacois, Hist. Méj., v. 715, gives a glowing description of the industrial achievements of New Spain in 1799; according to him they were not to be surpassed by European products.
85 My observations made in a preceding part about the scarcity of authorities on the mining history of New Spain find still more application to this chapter. This want of information has obliged me to gather my material in the form of numerous items, scattered through a vast range of books; in addition, however, I have been aided by a variety of treatises, dwelling only on special subjects. Among writers of the latter class, a prominent place belongs to the scientist Alzate, who has endeavored to diffuse useful knowl. edge through essays in the different series of his Gacetas de Literatura, Mexico, 1788-95. A separate edition has appeared of his memoir on the cultivation of the cochineal, the Memoria...del Insecto Grana 6 Cochinilla, Madrid, 1795, pp. 226, of which I have before me a manuscript copy in 280 folios, with the writer's autograph. Of similar color, only embracing one subject, is Payno's Memoria sobre el Maguey Mexicano, Mexico, 1864, pp. 132, and another work of the same title, Mexico, 1865, pp. 32, by Pedro and Ignacio Blasquez. Both, as their title implies, dwell exclusively on the maguey plant and its use, and the first contains much curious information, part of which, however, is of little or merely of local interest. Different in form and arrangement is a treatise on sericulture, written by order of Viceroy Revilla Gigedo, under the title of Compendio..de las Moreras y Morales, Mexico,
REVILLA GIGEDO, FONSECA, AND ALAMAN.
1793, pp. 34, taking as a base his instructions on the subject. More general information is furnished in his Instruccion, valuable especially because it throws some light on the spirit of the age and of the government, which then had recently adopted a more liberal policy. Fonseca and Urrutia in their Historia de la Real Hacienda chiefly view matters from a financial standpoint, and, though containing some details about maguey, tobacco, and other products, refer essentially to their relation to the royal revenue. Alaman, in his Historia de Méjico, has, strange to say, paid little attention to the period under consideration; still he furnishes some items of interest not found elsewhere. Of foreign writers Humboldt claims an important place, but his information is merely confined to a few historical data of specific character and a scientific description of the different plants which he found in the country when there. The remainder of the space allotted to the subject in his Essai Politique is principally absorbed by statistics of modern date, but the whole does not give the complete view which, one would presume, he might have been able to form. He has been followed by Ward, Mexico in 1827, Mühlenpfordt, Republik Méjico, and Mayer, Mexico, who in the respective parts of their writings have drawn largely from him, adding such information as it was in their power to obtain. The latter refer chiefly to a recent period, for which reason I shall consider them in another part of this work.
Authorities cited in preceding chapter: Ordenes de la Corona, MS., i. 27, 45-50, 90-103; iii. 166, 185–7; vi. 1-6; Reales Células, MS., ii. 81, 99-104, 194-7; Providencias Reales, MS., 91-5, 143-4, 154-5, 160-6, 185-95, 225-6; Azanza, Ynstruc., MS., 69-70, 143-4, 180-1; Revilla Gigedo, Instruc., MS., i. 278-328; Id., Residencia, MS., 406-19; Id., Bandos, 39, 83; Cedulario, MS., i. 28-33; iii. 63, 169-76; Sigüenza y Góngora, Carta al Almirante, MS., 38; Grambila, Tumultos, MS., 12-13; Burgoa, Geog. Descrip. Oaj., i. 5; ii. 208-9, 228-9; Torquemada, i. 336; Villa-Señor, Theatro, i. 22-3; Reales Ordenes, i. 451-5; Cancelada, Ruina de la N. Esp., 16-20, 33-4, 82-3; Pacheco and Cárdenas, Col. Doc., vi. 506; Carriedo, Estudios Hist., ii. 96, passim; Puga, Cedulario, 141-2; Recop. de Indias, i. 4; ii. 40 et seq.; Col. Doc. Inéd., xxi. 464-5; Cogollvdo, Hist. Yuc., 473; Montemayor, Svmarios, 60–1; Dispo siciones Varias, i. 100, 102, 128; iii. 84-96; Humboldt, Essai Pol., passim; Id., New Spain, ii. 365–483; iii. 1-103, 455-93; iv. 278-91; Id., Tablas Estad., MS., 40-5; Id., Versuch, 1-180; Fonseca and Urrutia, Real Hac., ii. 353486; iii. 338-428; Gaceta Mex., i. 12 et seq.; ii. 21 passim; iii. 10–11, 223; iv. 11-12, 248; v. 265; vii. 33; viii. 45, 263; ix. 188; xii. 112, 445-8; xvi. 972-8; Alzate Gacetas, i. 30-1, 194-6; ii. 55 et seq.; iii., passim; iv. 104-11, 140-76, 299, 390; Diario Mex., i. 37, 341, 378; ii. 79; iii. 139; v. 244, 279-80, 538; vii. 462; ix. 220; xii. 140, 152; Correo Merc. Esp., iii. 34, 90-138; iv. 603-14; Beleña, Recop., i. 219-20; ii. 1-5; Payno, Rentas Generales, vii., passim; Alzate y Ramirez, Memoria, MS., 1-280; Soc. Mex. Geog., Boletin, ii. 8, 16–23; iii. 198–206, 285, 308-24; vi. 147-57, 273; ix. 181; Id., 2da ep. ii. 182-4; iii. 25; iv. 410-20, 525-9; Id., 3ra ep. i. 253–4; Estalla, xxvi. 345–7; xxvii. 9-10, 46-7, 73–7, 199–206, 251-3; Yucatan, Estad., 284-308; Bustamante, Cuadro Hist., iv. 67-76; Id., Gabinete Mex., ii. 90-5; Id., Voz de la Patria, v. 127-63; Morfi, Doc. Mex., iv. 479; Fabian, Col. de Providencia, 166-77; Breve Noticias Magueyes, MS., 1-16; Mex., Rel. Estad., 1-2; Noticioso Gen., 1817, 2; Sammlung, aller Reisebesch, xiii. 630-59, 694-5; Galvan, Ord. Tierras, 23-8; Alaman, Hist. Mej., i. 102-8, 115-16, 353-9; iii. 30-1; v. 99; Caro, Tres Siglos, iii. 14, 57-9; Hernandez, Estad. Mej., 163-4; La Cruz, ii. 222-3; Arrillaga, Informe, 11, 47-8; Mayer's Mex. Azt., i. 255; ii. 96; Campillo, Nuevo Sistema, 114-39, 142-55; Queipo, Col. de Doc., 72-98, 164, 335; Instituto Geog. Estad., 1–22; Zúñiga y Ontiveros, Bomba, 1-12; Pap. Var., ii. 1-54; lx. 1-12; cl. 1-22; clxiv., passim; Chevalier, Expedition, 14; Nouv. Annales des Voy., xxiii. 71; Noticioso Gen., 1817, 3; Rivera, Hist. Jalapa, i. 143-8, 175–6; Ancona, Hist. Yuc., ii. 457; iii. 211-38; Sosa, Episcop. Mex., 202; Rivera, Mex. in 1842, 241-3; Museo Mex., iii. 153 et seq.; Za
HIST. MEX., VOL. III. 40
mora, Bib. Leg. Ult., iv. 189; Alvarez, Estudios Hist., iii. 301, 435, 442-3; Walton's Spanish Am., ii. 305-7, 318-20; Macgillevray's Humboldt, 315, 320; Morse's Am. Geog., 480; Burke's Europ. Settle., i. 223-8; Winterbotham's Hist. U. S., iv. 111-12; Morden's Geog., 579-82; Zavala, Rev. Mex., 23-31; Pinkerton's Modern Geog., iii. 234; Taylor's Selections, 50-3; Dicc. Univ., i. 214-17, 396; ix. 448-75; x. 44, 731-2, 994; Mex., Mem. Justicia, 1844, 7-58; Album Mex., i. 183; Gonzalez, Col. N. Leon, 150-1; Abispa de Chilpancingo, 391; Niles Register, xxii. 246; Müller, Reisen in Mex., iii. 206; Rivera, Gobernantes, i. 246, 250; Ogilby's America, 240–2; Carranza's Descript., 37; Flint's Geog., ii. 146-7; Torrente, Revol. Hisp., i. 19; Ward's Mex., ii. 58; Semanario Económico, 1-65; Ortiz, Mex. Indep. Libre, 280-316; Willie, Noticias Hac., 4; Sanchez, Pueb. Sagrad. Prof., 112–13.
THE SELFISH POLICY OF SPAIN-COMMERCIAL AND MORAL EFFECT IN NEW
THE jealous and exclusive system adopted by Spain in her colonization of the New World has no parallel in the history of mankind. For three centuries the political and commercial dependence of the colonies upon the mother country was as complete and absolute as selfish policy, rigorous laws, and oppressive government could make it. To drain the Indies of their wealth and draw it to Spain was the sole aim which influenced the Spanish monarchs in legislating for their colonial possessions, and the prohibitive system of commerce pursued by them makes glaringly conspicuous their indifference to the welfare of the transatlantic settlements. The principles of the commercial code promulgated were despotic, and in order to secure a monopoly of trade, certain manufactures and the cultivation of the vine and olive were forbidden. Every European article of necessity or luxury called for by the colonists of New Spain had to be imported