Online Encyclopedia

BADAJOZ

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V09, Page 802 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BADAJOZ. In character and physical type, the people of this, region are less easily classified than those of other Spanish provinces. They lack the endurance and energy of the Galicians, the independent and enterprising spirit of the Asturians, Basques and Catalans, the culture of the Castilians and Andalusians. Their failure to develop a distinctive local type of character and civilization is perhaps due to the adverse economic history of their country. The two great waterways which form the natural outlet for Estremaduran commerce flow to the Atlantic through a foreign and, for centuries, a hostile territory. Like other parts of Spain, Estremadura suffered severely from the expulsion of the Jews and Moors (1492–161 o) ,while the compensating treasure, derived during the same period from Spanish America, never reached a province so remote at once from the sea and from the chief centres of national life. Although Cortes (1485–1547), the conqueror of Mexico and Pizarro (c. 1471–1541), the conqueror of Peru, were both born in Estremadura, their exploits, far from bringing prosperity to their native province, only encouraged the emigration of its best inhabitants. Heavy taxation and harsh land-laws prevented any recovery, while the felling of the forests reduced many fertile areas to waste land, and rendered worse a climate already unfavourable to agriculture. Few countries leave upon the mind of the traveller a deeper impression , of hopeless poverty.
End of Article: BADAJOZ
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