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POLITICAL

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Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 329 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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POLITICAL DIVISIONS] evidence of this is to be found, not only in the character of their constructions, but in the circumstance that a tribe closely akin to the Mayas (the Huastecos) still occupies a retired mountain valley of Vera Cruz, entirely separated from their kinsmen of the south, and that a dialect of the Maya language is still spoken in northern Vera Cruz. There is evidence to show that the Aztecs adopted the civilization of the Toltecs, including their religion (Quetzalcoatl being a god of the Toltecs and Mayas), calendar and architecture. Perhaps the most remarkable of the Mexican races are the Mayas, or Maya-Quiche group, which inhabit the Yucatan peninsula, Campeche and parts of Tabasco, Chiapas, and the neighbouring states of Central America (q.v.). The remarkable ruins of Palenque, Uxmal, Chichenitza, Lorillard, Ixinche, Tikal, Copan and .Quirigua, with their carved stonework and astonishing architectural conceptions, show that they had attained a high degree of civilization. They were agriculturists, lived in large, well-built towns, cultivated the mountain sides by means of terraces, and had developed what must have been an efficient form of government. The Mistecas, or Mixtecas, and Zapotecas, who occupy the southern slopes of the central plateau, especially Puebla, Morelos, Oaxaca and Guerrero, form another distinct race, whose traditional history goes back to the period when the structures now known as Mitla, Monte Alban, Xochicalco and Zaachila were built. Their prehistoric civilization appears to have been not inferior to that of the Mayas. They were an energetic people, were never subdued by the Aztecs, and are now recovering from their long subjection to Spanish enslavement more rapidly than any other indigenous race. The Otomis comprise a large number of tribes occupying the plateau north of the Anahuac sierras. They are a hardy people, and are the least civilized of the four principal native races. The Totonacs inhabit northern Vera Cruz and speak a language related to that of the Mayas; the Tarascos form a small group living in Michoacan; the Matlanzingos, or Matlaltzincas, live near the Tarascos, the savage Apaches, a nomadic group of tribes ranging from Durango northward into the United States; the Opata-Pima group, inhabiting the western plateau region from Sonora and Chihuahua south to Guadalajara, is sometimes classed as a branch of the Nahuatlaca; the Seris, a very small family of savages, occupy Tiburon Island and the adjacent mainland of Sonora; and the Guaicuros, or Yumas, are to be found in the northern part of the peninsula of Lower California. In southern Mexico, the Chontales, Tapijulapas, Mixes and Zoques inhabit small districts among and near the Zapotecas, the first being considered by Belmar a branch of that family. The Huavis inhabit four small villages among the lagoons on the southern shore of Tehuantepec and have been classed by Belmar as belonging to the Maya stock. The census of 1895 gave these Indian races an aggregate population of nearly 4,000,000, of which nearly 3,450,000 belonged to the first four groups. Three of these four had made important progress toward civilization. Some of the others had likewise made notable progress, among which were the Tarascos, Totonacs and Zoques. The builders of Casas Grandes (q.v.), in Chihuahua, evidently belonged to the Pueblo tribes of Arizona and New Mexico. As for the builders of Quemada, in Zacatecas, nothing positive is known. The ruins apparently are of an earlier period than those of Mitla and Xochicalco, and have no inscriptions and architectural decorations, but the use of dressed stone in the walls, rather than adobe, warrants the conclusion that they belonged to the civilization of southern Mexico. From the records made at the time of the Spanish conquest, and from the antiquities found in the abandoned cities of prehistoric Mexico, it is certain that the Indians lived in substantial houses, sometimes using dressed stone, inscriptions and ornamental carvings on the more pretentious edifices; they cultivated the soil, rudely perhaps, and produced enough to make it possible to live in large towns; they made woven fabrics for dress and hangings, using colours in their manufacture; they were skilful in making and ornamenting pottery, in making gold and silver ornaments, and in featherwork; they used the fibres that Nature lavishly provided323 in weaving baskets, hangings, mats, screens and various household utensils. Copper was known to them, and it is possible that they knew how to make cutting instruments from it, but they generally used stone axes, hammers and picks, and their most dangerous weapon was a war-club into which chips of volcanic glass were set. Many of these primitive arts are still to be found in the more secluded districts, and perhaps the best work in pottery moulding in Mexico to-day is that of uneducated Indian artists. Of the half-creed element which has become so important a part of the Mexican population, no safe estimate can be made. Education, industrial occupation, commercial training and political responsibility are apparently working a transformation in a class that was once known chiefly for indolence and criminal instincts, and many of the leaders of mddern Mexico have sprung from this race. Settled government, settled habits, remunerative employment and opportunities for the improvement of their condition are developing in them the virtues of the two parent races. Brigandage was formerly so common that travel without an armed escort was extremely dangerous; under President Diaz, however, not only has such lawlessness been repressed but the brigands themselves have been given regular employment as rural guards under the government. This class is also furnishing the small traders of the towns, overseers on the plantations and public works, petty officials, and to some extent the teachers and professional men of the provincial towns. Political Divisions.-The republic of Mexico is politically divided into 27 states, one federal district, and three territories. The states are generally subdivided into distritos (districts) or partidos, and these into municipios (municipalities) which correspond to the townships of the American system. The state of Nuevo Leon, however, is divided into municipios only, while some other states use entirely different titles for the divisions, the larger being described as departamentos, cantons and municipios, and the smaller as partidos, directorias and vecindarios rurales. The Federal District consists of thirteen municipalities. The territory of Lower California is divided into two large districts, northern and southern, and the latter into partidos and municipios-the larger divisions practically forming two distinct territories. The states and territories, with their areas, capitals and populations, are as follows:- Name. J Area, s1900 Capital. 9 0. Aguascalientes . 2,950 Io2,416 Aguascalientes . 35,052 Campeche . . 18,087 86,542 Campeche . 17,io9 Chiapas . . . 27,222 360,799 Tuxtla Gutierrez 9395 Chihuahua . . 87,802 327,784 Chihuahua . 30,405 Coahuila . . 63,569 296,938 Saltillo . . . 23,996 Colima . . . 2,272 65,115 Colima . 20,698 Durango . . 38,009 370,294 Durango 31,092 Guanajuato. . 11,37o I,o61,724 Guanajuato. . 41,486 Guerrero . . 24,996 479,205 Chilpancingo . 7,497 Hidalgo . . . 8,917 605,051 Pachuca. 37,487 Jalisco . . . 31,846 1,153,891 Guadalajara. . 101,208 Mexico . . 9,247 934,463 Toluca . 25,940 Michoacan . . 22,874 935,808 Morelia . 37,278 Morelos . . . 2,773 160,115 Cuernavaca. . 9,584 Nuevo Leon 23,592 327,937 Monterrey . . 62,266 Oaxaca . . . 35,382 948,633 Oaxaca . 35,049 Puebla . 12,204 1,021,133 Puebla . 93,152 Queretaro 3,556 232,389 Queretaro . 33,152 San Luis Potosi. 25,316 575,432 San Luis Potosi. 61,019 Sinaloa . . . 33,671 296,701 Culiacan. . . 10,380 Sonora . . . 76,900 221,682 Hermosillo to,6r3 Tabasco. . . 10,072 159,834 San Juan Bau- tista . 10,543 Tamaulipas. 32,128 218,948 Ciudad Victoria. io,o86 Tlaxcala. . . 1,595 172,315 Tlaxcala. 2,715 Vera Cruz . . 29,201 981,030 Jalapa . 20,388 Yucatan . . 35,203 309,652 Merida . 43,630 Zacatecas 24,757 462,190 Zacatecas' 32,866 Distrito Federal 463 541,516 Mexico . • 344,721 Territories 58,328 47,624 La Paz . 5,046 Baja California Tepic . 11,275 150,098 Tepic 15,488 Quintana Roo . - - - Santa Cruz de Bravo. . . 276 Islands . . . 1,420 - The area and population of Yucatan include those of the territory of Quintana Roo, which formed part of that state at the time of the census. Baja, or Lower California; is divided into two districts for administrative convenience. The Distrito del Norte is credited with a population of 7583 and has its capital at Ensenada (pop. 1026); the Distrito del Sur has a population of 40,041 and has its capital at La Paz. Tepic was detached from the north-west part of Jalisco and organized as a territory in 1889. Quintana Roo was detached from the state of Yucatan in 1902 and received a territorial government. The principal cities of Mexico, other than the capitals above mentioned, are as follows, the populations being those of 1900 except when otherwise stated: Acapulco (pop. 4932), a famous port on the Pacific coast in Guerrero, which was wrecked by the earthquake of 1909; Carmen, or Laguna de Terminos (about 6000), a thriving commercial town and port on the Gulf coast in Campeche; Celaya (25,565), a railway centre and manufacturing town of Guanajuato; Ciudad Guzman, or Zapotlan (about 17,500), an interesting old town of Jalisco; Cholula (about 9000), an ancient native town of Puebla, widely known for its great pyramid; Comitan (9316), the commercial centre of Chiapas; Cordoba (7974 in 18g5), a picturesque Spanish town in the sierras of Vera Cruz; Cuautla (6269), the centre of a rich sugar-producing district of Morelos; Guaymas (8648), a flourishing port of Sonora on the Gulf of California; Leon (62,623), the largest city in Guanajuato and distinguished for its commercial activity, manufactures and wealth; Linares (20,690), the second city of Nuevo Leon in size and importance; Matamoros (8347), a prominent commercial centre and river port of Tamaulipas; Mazatlan (17,852), the foremost Mexican port on the Pacific coast; Orizaba (32,894), a city of Vera Cruz famous for its delightful climate and picturesque surroundings; Parral (14,748), a well-known mining centre of south-ern Chihuahua; San Cristobal (about 16,000), once capital of Chiapas and rich in historical associations; Tampico (16,313), a Gulf port and railway terminus of Tamaulipas; Tehuantepec (10,386), the largest town on the Tehuantepec railway in Oaxaca; Vera Cruz (29,164), the oldest and best known Gulf port of Mexico. Communications.—Railways began in Mexico with a line of four kilometres between the capital and Guadalupe, which was finished in 1854 and afterwards became a part of the Ferrocarril Mexicano. The latter dates from 1857, when a concession was granted for the construction of a railway from the city of Mexico to Vera Cruz. The French invasion of 1862 found only 10 m. in operation outside of Vera Cruz and military needs led to its immediate extension to Paso del Macho, at the foot of the sierras, about 35 m. At the same time the English company holding the concession extended the Guadalupe line to Puebla. Nothing more was accomplished until after the downfall of Maximilian, and with a liberal subsidy from the Mexican government the Ferrocarril Mexicano was pushed to its completion in 1873. It is celebrated because of the difficulties overcome on the precipitous eastern slopes of the Sierra Madre, the beauties of the mountain scenery through which it passes, and the rapid transition from the hot, humid coastal plain to the cool, arid plateau, 7924 ft. above the sea at Boca del Monte. The railway extends 263 M. between Vera Cruz and Mexico City, to which 58 m. were added in branches from Apizaco to Puebla, and from Ometusco to Pachuca. The line was capitalized at $46,000,000 and has paid a good profit on the investment. The period of active railway construction, however, did not begin until 1878, during the first term of President Porfirio Diaz. In 1874 a concession was granted for a line from the port of Progreso to Merida (222 m.), and in 1878 four concessions were added under which 806 m. were constructed. The principal of these four concessions 17as the Ferrocarril Inter oceanico running from Vera Cruz to Mexico City and across the republic toward Acapulco. In 188o concessions were granted to the F.C. Occidental, F.C. Central Mexicano, F.C. Nacional Mexicano and three others of less importance, aggregating nearly 3500 M. The first three of these have become important factors in the development of Mexico. The first runs southward from the capital to Oaxaca through the rich sub-tropical states of Puebla and Oaxaca, and the other two run northward from the same point to the American frontier. These two lines, popularly called the Mexican Central and Mexican National, have their northern termini at Ciudad Juarez and Laredo on the Rio Grande and connect with American trunk lines at El Paso and Laredo. These two great lines were merged in 1908, with an aggregate capital of $460,000,000 Mexican money, of which the Mexican government holds $230,004,580, or a controlling interest. Important branches of these lines extend to Tampico on the Gulf coast, to Manzanillo on the Pacific coast, and westward and southward into Michoacan and Guerrero, with a coast terminus at or near Acapulco. The next important line is the F.C. Internacional Mexicano, running from Ciudad Porfirio Diaz, on the Rio Grande, south-westward across the plateau to Durango, and is to be extended to Mazatlan, on the Pacific coast. This line was built with American capital and without a subsidy. Another line built with American capital and in connexion with American railway interests extends southward from Nogales, on the northern frontier, to Hermosillo, Guaymas and Mazatlan; it is to be extended to Guadalajara and possibly to other points in southern Mexico. Monterrey is connected with Tampico by a Belgian line known as the F.C. de Monterrey al Golfo Mexicano, and the capital is to have direct connexion with the Pacific, other than the F.C. Interoceanico, by a line through Cuernavaca and Iguala to the coast. Indirectly the capital has a Pacific coast connexion by way of Cordoba and the F.C. Vera Cruz al Pacifico to a junction with the Tehuantepec line. One of the most important railways in Mexico is the F.C. Nacional Interoceanico de Tehuantepec, also called the Tehuantepec National, and the Mexican Isthmus railway, which is 192 M. long and was formally opened in 1907. This line crosses the Isthmus of Tehuantepec from Coatzacoalcos (officially Puerto Mexico) on the Gulf coast to Salina Cruz on the Pacific coast, and has been under construction many years. The railway was first completed in 1894, but light and defective construction, together with lack of shipping facilities at its terminal points, rendered it useless. To correct these defects the line was completely rebuilt and terminal ports constructed. In 1909 the ports were ready to receive large ocean steamships, and regular traffic was begun, including cargoes of Hawaiian sugar for New York. The highest point on the line' (Chivela Pass) is 735 ft. above sea-level. The railway has been built by the Mexican government as a transcontinental route for inter-national commerce. Its final construction together with that of its two ports were executed by S. Pearson & Sons, Ltd., of London, who also undertook the working of the line when open. It was estimated in 1907 that the total cost of the railway and ports when completed would be about £13,000,000. The line is connected at the station of Santa Lucrecia (109 M. from Salina Cruz) with the Vera Cruz and Pacific railway which gives an all-rail connexion with Vera Cruz and Mexico City, the distance between the latter and Salina Cruz being 520 m. According to the President's Message of April 1909, there were 14,857 M. of railway in operation, of which 11,851 m. belonged to or were controlled by the government. It is the evident policy of the Mexican government to prevent the absorption of its railways by private monopolies, and this is effected by state owner-ship of a controlling share in most of the trunk lines. Mexico is well provided with tramway lines in its larger cities. A British consular report for 1904 stated that Mexico City and Torreon only were using electric traction, but that Guadalajara, Monterrey, Aguascalientes, Lagos, Colima, Vera Cruz and San Luis Potosi would soon be using it. No official reports are available. The telegraph lines had an aggregate length of 35,980 M. at the end of 1907, of which 33,000 M. belonged to the national government. The President reports an addition of 1626 m. in 1908. Wireless telegraphy was represented in 1908 by a connexion between Mazatlan and Lower California, which was in successful operation. Telephone lines were in use in all the large cities and in connexion with the large industrial enterprises and estates, beside which the government had 500 m. of its own in 1908. Commerce.—In 1905 the mercantile marine of Mexico comprised only 32 steamers, of 13,199 tons, and 29 sailing vessels, of 8451 tons. The ocean-carrying trade was almost wholly in the hands of foreigners, the government wisely refraining from an attempt to develop an occupation for which its citizens had no natural aptitude. The coastwise trade is principally under the Mexican flag, but the steamers are owned abroad. An official publication entitled " Mexico: Yesterday and To-day, 1876-1904," states that while the number of steamers engaged in the foreign trade increased from 841 to 969 in the 17 years from 1886 to 1903, the number of Mexican steamers decreased from 55 to 4. For the year 1906-1907 the entries of vessels from foreign ports numbered 16g7, of 3,282,125 tons, and the clearances were 1669, of 3,257,932 tons. Subventions are paid for regular steamship service at the principal ports, the total expenditure in 1907-1908 being £42,876. These ports are well served by a large number of foreign steamship companies, which give direct communication with the principal ports of the United States, Europe, and the west coast of South America, and the initiation of a Japanese line in 1908 also brings Mexico into direct communication with the far East. The larger ports for foreign trade are Vera Cruz, Tampico, Progreso, Carmen and Coatzacoalcos on the Gulf coast, and Guaymas, La Paz, Mazatlan, Manzanillo, San Blas, Acapulco and Salina Cruz on the Pacific coast. Some of these—Vera Cruz, Tampico, Coatzacoalcos, Salina Cruz, Manzanillo and Mazatlan—have been greatly improved with costly port works. Among the smaller ports, some of which are open to foreign trade, are Matamoros, Tuxpan, Alvarado, Tlacotalpan, Frontera, Campeche and the island of Mujeres (coast of Yucatan) on the Gulf side, and Ensenada, Aliata, Santa Rosalia and Soconusco on the Pacific. The foreign trade has shown a steady increase during the period of industrial development, to which better means of transport have been an invaluable aid. In 1906-1907 the imports were valued at $111,234,968 U.S. gold, and the exports at $123,512,969, of which very nearly one half consisted of precious metals. According to an official report issued early in 1909 there had been a heavy decrease in both imports and exports, the former being returned at $36,195,469 and the latter at $54,300,896 for the six months ending the 31st of December 1908. Too rapid development and overtrading were given as reasons for this decline. Import and export duties are levied, the former in many cases for the protection of national industries. The imports largely consist of railway material, industrial machinery,. cotton, woollen and linen textiles and yarns for national factories, hardware, furniture, building material, mining supplies, drugs and chemicals, wines and spirits, wheat, Indian corn, paper and military supplies and e9uipment. The exports include gold, silver, copper, coffee, henequen or sisal, ixtle and other fibres, cabinet woods, chicle, rubber and other forest products, hides and skins, chickpeas, tobacco and sugar. Agriculture.—The agricultural resources of Mexico are large and unusually varied, as they comprise some of the cereals and other food products of the temperate zone, and most of the leading pro-ducts of the tropics. Agriculture, however, received slight attention, owing to the early development of the mining industries. An indirect result of the industrial development of Mexico, which began during the last quarter of the 19th century, has been an increased interest in agriculture, and especially in undertakings requiring large investments of capital, such as coffee, sugar and rubber plantations. A large part of the country is too arid for agriculture, and even with irrigation the water supply is sufficient for only a small part of the dry area. This region has, for the most part, a temperate climate, and produces wheat, barley, Indian corn and forage crops. Long droughts often destroy the wheat and Indian corn and compel their importation in large quantities to supply the people with food. This uncertainty in the wheat crop extends to the southern limits of the higher plateau, and is a serious obstacle to the increased production of this cereal. Indian corn, also, is a comparatively uncertain product on the plateau, and for the same reason. As it is a staple food with the poorer classes, the deficiency is made up through importation. These drawbacks tend to restrict agriculture on the plateau to comparatively limited areas, and the country people are, in general, extremely poor and badly nourished. A comparatively new product in this region is that of canaigre, which is grown for the tannin found in its root. It is a native of the arid regions and is now cultivated with success. The district about Parras, in southern Coahuila, produces grapes, which are principally used in the manufacture of wine and brandy. An important product of the plateau and of the open districts of the tierras calientes, growing in the most arid places, is the " nopal " or prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus indite). Its fruit, called " tuna " by the natives, is refreshing and wholesome and is a staple food in spite of its spiny covering. In the tierras calientes of Mexico, however, better conditions prevail. A fertile soil, abundant rainfall and high temperatures have covered these mountain slopes and lowland plains with a wealth of vegetation. The problem for the agriculturist here is not irrigation, but drainage and keeping down spontaneous growths. In these regions, sugar, tobacco, indigo, cacao, rice, sweet potatoes, alfalfa, beans and cassava are produced, and Indian corn yields two and three crops a year. Fruits also are plentiful, both wild and cultivated. Among them are the banana, plantain, tuna, chili pepper, olive, coco-nut, orange, lemon, lime, mango, pomegranate, " pina " or pineapple (wild and cultivated), fig, ahuacatl (Persea gratissima), chirimoya (A none chirimolia), papaya, gourd, melon, guava, ciruela (plum), and the several " zapote " fruits, including " chico zapote " from the Achras sapota, which produces the " chicla " or chicle-gum of commerce, " zapote blanco " from the Casimiroa edulis, " zapotebarracho " (or " amarillo ") from the Lucuma salicifolia, " zapoteprieto " (or " negro ") from the Diospyros obtusifolia, and " zapotemamey." The production of rubber is becoming an important industry, large plantations having been set with both Ilevea and Castilloa rubber trees. Lying between these two regions is the subtropical belt where coffee of an excellent quality is produced, and where cotton is cultivated. Coffee has become an important article of export, but cotton does not yield enough for the domestic factories. Better cultivation would probably increase the output and make it an article of export. A peculiar and highly profitable branch of Mexican agriculture is the cultivation of the Agave for two widely different purposes—one for its fibre, which is exported, and the other for its sap, which is manufactured into intoxicating liquors called pulque " and " mescal." In Yucatan immense plantations of the Agave rigida var. elongata are cultivated, froi7i which large quantities of " henequen " or " sisal," as the fibre is called, are exported. It is produced on light shallow soils overlying calcareous rock. It is also cultivated in Campeche and Chiapas. The pulque industry is located on the plateau surrounding the city of Mexico, the most productive district being the high, sandy, arid plain of Apam, in the state of Hidalgo, where the " maguey " (Agave americana) finds favourable conditions for its growth—a dry calcareous surface with moisture sufficiently near -to be reached by its roots. Its cultivation is the chief industry of the states of Mexico, Hidalgo, Puebla and Tlaxcala. Of the 208 plantations it the state of Hidalgo in 1897, 129 were devoted to maguey. The plant is propagated from suckers and requires very little attention after transplanting to the field where it is to remain, but it takes six to eight years to mature and then yields an average of ten gallons of sap during a period of four or five months, after which it dies. " Pulque " is the fermented drink made from this sap: " mescal " is the distilled spirit made from the leaves and roots of the plant. There are other agaves used both in the production of drinks and fibres, but they are not cultivated. The " ixtle " fibres shipped from Tampico and Chiapas are all obtained from the agaves and yuccas found growing wild. The natural and forest products of Mexico include the agave and yucca (ixtle) fibres already mentioned ; the " ceibon " fibre derived from the silk-cotton tree (Bombax pentandria); rubber and vanilla in addition to the cultivated products; palm oil; castor beans; ginger; chicle, the gum extracted from the " chico-zapote " tree (Achras sapota); logwood and other dye-woods; mahogany, rose-wood, ebony, cedar and other valuable woods; " cascalote " or divi-divi; jalap root (Ipomaea); sarsaparilla (Smilax); nuts and fruits. Stock-raising dates from the earliest Spanish settlements in Mexico and received no slight encouragement from the mother country. For this reason much importance has always been attached to the industry, and stock-raising of some sort is to be found in every state of the republic, though not always to a great extent. The Spaniards found no indigenous domestic animals in the country, and introduced their own horses, cattle, sheep and swine. From these are descended the herds and flocks of to-day, with no admixture of new blood until toward the end of the 19th century. The horses and cattle are of a degenerate type, small, ungainly and inured to neglect and hard usage. The horse is chiefly used for saddle purposes and is not reared in large numbers. The mule is more generally used in every part of the country, being hardier, more intelligent and better adapted for service as a draft and pack animal. The transport of merchandise and produce was wholly by means of pack animals before the advent of railways, and is still the common means of transport away from the railway lines. For this purpose the sure-footed mule is invaluable. In some districts, however, oxen and ox-carts are employed, especially in the southern states, and always in the open, level country. The varying climatic conditions of Mexico have produced breeds of cattle that have not only departed from the original Spanish type, but likewise present strikingly different characteristics among ,themselves. Those of the northern plateau are small, hardy and long-lived, being bred on extensive ranges in a cooler atmosphere, and accustomed to long journeys in search of water and pasture. In the south they are larger and better nourished, owing to the permanent character of the pasturage, but are less vigorous because of the heat and insect plagues. In Yucatan the open plains, rich pasture, and comparative freedom from moist heat, insects and vampire bats, have been particularly favourable to cattle-raising, and the animals are generally rated among the best in Mexico. Notwithstanding the frequency of long, destructive droughts, cattle-raising is a preferred industry among the lan-owners of the northern states, and especially near the American frontier. Almost total losses are frequently experienced, but the profits of a favourable year are so great that losses seldom deter ranchers from trying again. In the sierra regions of western Chihuahua and Durango, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosi, and the plateau states farther south, the rainfall is more abundant and the conditions more favourable. The largest herds are to be found in Chihuahua and Durango. Above 5000 ft. the wild pasturage is short, tender and reproduces itself annually. It is exceptionally nutritious, but it disappears altogether in the dry season because of its short roots. The lowland pasture, from 2000 to 5000 ft., is composed of more vigorous grasses, with an undergrowth of an exceptionally succulent character. The stock-raiser on the border pastures his herds on the uplands during the rainy season, and on the lower pastures during the remainder of the year. Next in importance is the breeding of sheep, which is largely confined to the cooler sierra districts. They are commonly of the Spanish merino breed, and suffer in many localities on account of insufficient pasturage. Some attention is given to the breeding of goats because of the local demand for their skins, but the industry is apparently stationary. The raising of swine, however, is increasing. In the last decade of the 19th century the capital invested in these live-stock industries was estimated (by Bancroft) to exceed $700,000,000, but an official return of the 30th of June 1902 gave an aggregate valuation of only $120,523,158 (Mexican), or about £12,052,316. According to this report, which is not strictly trustworthy, there were in the republic 5,142,457 cattle, 859,217 horses, 334,435 mules, 287,991 asses, 3,424,430 sheep, 4,206,011 goats and 616,139 swine. Two years later home consumption returns noted the slaughter of 958,058 cattle (129,938 in the Federal District), 561,982 sheep, 992,263 goats and 887,13o hogs—the last item being larger than the census return of 1902. The greater part is consumed in the country, but there is a considerable export of cattle to the United States, Cuba and Central America, and of hides and skins to the United States and Europe. A few mules are sent to Central America, but the home demand usually exceeds the supply. Other Industries.—There are no fisheries of importance except the pearl fisheries on the eastern coast of Lower California, and the tortoise fisheries on the coasts of Campeche, Yucatan, and some of the states facing the Pacific. The pearl fisheries have been worked since the arrival of the Spaniards, and were once very productive notwithstanding the prirnitive methods employed. Since the closing years of the last century pearl fishing in the Gulf of California has been carried on with modern appliances and better results by an English company under a concession from the government. Mother-of-pearl or abalone and other shells are also found, and, with sponges, are exported. Fishing for the tortoiseshell turtle gives employment 326 to a large number of natives in the season, and considerable quantities of the shell are exported. Other industries of a desultory character include the collection of archil, or Spanish moss, on the western side of the Californian peninsula, hunting herons for their plumes and alligators for their skins, honey extraction (commonly wild honey), and the gathering of cochineal and ni-in insects. The cochineal insect was once an important commercial product, but the industry has fallen into decay. The " ni-in " (also known as " axe ") is a small scale insect belonging to the genus Coccus, found in Yucatan, Oaxaca, Vera Cruz, Michoacan and other southern states, where it inhabits the spondia trees and produces a greasy substance called " ni-inea," which is much used by the natives as a varnish, especially for domestic utensils, as it resists fire as well as water. Mining.—The best-known and most productive of the industries of Mexico is that of mining. It was the chief object of Spanish exploration, and the principal occupation of European residents and capital during three centuries of Spanish rule. Agricultural and pastoral industries gradually gained footholds here and there, and in time became important, but mining continued far in advance until near the end of the 19th century. Mines of some description are to be found in 26 of the 31 states and territories, and of these the great majority yield silver. According to the official records, there were registered in September 1906, 23,191 mining properties, of which very nearly five-sixths were described as producing si.'ver, either by itself or in combination with other metals. The properties were classed as 1572 gold, 5461 silver, 970 copper, 383 iron, 1.51 mercury, 94 lead, 86 sulphur, 52 antimony, 49 zinc, 40 tin, 21 opals, 9 manganese, 6 " sal gema," 5 tourmalines, I bismuth and I turquoise—the remainder being various combinations of these minerals. The absence of coal from this list is due to the circumstance that coal mines were at that time considered as private property and were not registered under the general mining laws. A comparison with 1888-1889, when 8970 properties were registered, will show how rapidly the mining industries have been developed during that period. Besides the above, the mineral resources of Mexico include coal, petroleum, asphalt, platinum, graphite, soda and marble. In 1906 the productive mines numbered 1786, of which 491 were in Sonora, 282 in Chihuahua, 211 in Durango, 113 in Oaxaca and 105 in Nuevo Leon. Gold is found in Chihuahua, Durango, Guana- juato, Guerrero, Jalisco, Mexico, Morelos, Oaxaca, Puebla, Sinaloa, Sonora, Vera Cruz, Zacatecas, and to a limited extent in other states; silver in every state and territory except Campeche, Chiapas, Tabasco, Tlaxcala and the Yucatan peninsula; copper in Lower California, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacan, Sonora, Tamaulipas and some other states; mercury chiefly in Guanajuato, Guerrero, San Luis Potosi, Vera Cruz and Zacatecas; tin in Guanajuato; coal, petroleum and asphalt in 20 states, but chiefly in Coahuila, Hidalgo, Michoacan, Oaxaca, Puebla, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas and Vera Cruz; iron in Durango, Hidalgo, Oaxaca and other states; and lead in Hidalgo, Queretaro and in many of the silver-producing districts. The most celebrated iron deposit is that of the Cerro del Mercado, in the outskirts of the city of Durango —a mountain 64o ft. in height, 1too in breadth, and 4800 in length, reputed to be almost a solid mass of iron. Large masses of the metal are also said to exist in the sierras of Lower California. The principal coalfields that have been developed are in the vicinity of Sabinas, Coahuila. They have been opened up by American capitalists and the coal is used on the railways passing through that region. Mexican coal is of a low grade—similar to that found in Texas, but as an official geological report of 1908 estimates the supply in sight at 300,000,000 tons its industrial value to the country cannot be considered inferior to that of the precious metals. The same is true of the petroleum deposits in Tamaulipas, near Tampico, and in southern Vera Cruz. An investigation by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1909 finds that the crude Mexican oils are of low grade, but that while not equal to those found in the upper Mississippi basin for refining purposes, they furnish an excellent fuel for railway engines and other industrial purposes. Many of the Mexican railways are using these fuel oils, which are superseding imported coal. In 1909 a well was opened in the southern oilfields whose yield was equal to the best American product. M¢nufaciures.—Although Mexico is usually described as a nonmanufactu ring country, its industrial development under President Porfirio Diaz will warrant some modification of this characterization. Manufacturing for international trade has not been and may never be reached, but the industry certainly has reached the stage of meeting a great part of the home demand for manufactured goods, where the raw material can be produced in the country. There were of course some crude industries in existence before the arrival of the Spaniards, such as weaving and dyeing of fabrics made from various fibres, and making earthenware utensils, images, &c. The Spaniards introduced their own industries, including sugar-making, weaving, tanning, and leather- and metal-working, some of which still exist. The early methods of making cane sugar, clarified with clay and dried in conical moulds, are to be found all over Mexico, and the annual output of this brown or muscovado sugar (called "panela " by the natives) is still very large. The sugar crop of 1907-1908 was reported,as 123,285 metric tons, in addition to which the molasses output was estimated at 70,947.5 metric tons, and " panela " at 50,000 tons. Other estimates make the " panela " output much[CONSTITUTION larger, the product being largely consumed in the rural districts and never appearing in the larger markets. The estimated number of sugar mills in 1904 was about 2000, of which only about 300 were important for size and equipment. Merino sheep were introduced in 1541 and woollen manufactures date from that time. Large factories are now to be found in all parts of Mexico, and good and serviceable grades of broadcloths, cassimeres, blankets and other fabrics are turned out. There is also a considerable quantity of carpeting, underwear and hosiery manufactured. An important branch of this industry is the manufacture of " zarapes " (called " ponchos " in other parts of Spanish America)—a blanket slit in the centre for the head to pass through, and worn in place of a coat by men of the lower classes. The most important textile industry is cotton manufacture, which has become a highly successful feature in the industrial life of the republic. There were 146 factories in 1905, of which 19 were idle, and these were distributed over a very large part of the country. About one-half the raw cotton consumed was produced in Mexico, and the balance imported in fibre or as yarn. The industry is protected by a high tariff, as is also the production of raw cotton, and further encouragement is offered through a remission of internal revenue taxes where Mexican fabrics are exported for foreign consumption. The cotton factories of 1905 were equipped with 22,021 looms having 678,058 spindles, and with 38 stamping machines, employed 30,162 operatives, and turned out 13,731,638 pieces of cloth. Statistical returns, however, are some-what incomplete and conflicting, and cannot be used with confidence. Coarse fabrics chiefly are manufactured, but the product also comprises percales, fine calicoes, ginghams, shirtings, towelings, sheetings and other kinds of goods. Considerable attention is given to the manufacture of " rebozos," the long shawls worn by women. Another very important manufacturing industry is that of tobacco, the consumption of its various products being large among all classes of the population. There were 467 tobacco factories reported in 1905 to be engaged in the manufacture of cigars, cheroots, cigarettes, snuff and cut tobaccos for the pipe. The number of factories reported for 1899 was 743, but as the consumption of leaf tobacco increased from 5,546,677 to 8,587,356 kilogrammes, it may be assumed that the decrease in factories is due to the absorption or disappearance of the small shops using old-fashioned methods. Other important manufactories are flour mills, of which there were over 500 in 1904; iron and steel works, of which there are 7 large establishments, including the immense plant at Monterey; 90 smelters for the reduction of precious metals; tanneries, potteries, and factories for the manufacture of hats, paper, linen, hammocks, harness and saddles, matches, explosives, aerated waters, soap, furniture, chocolate and sweetmeats. There are also a large number of distilleries, breweries, and establishments for the manufacture of " pulque," " mescal," and imitation or counterfeited liquors. In addition to these are the many small domestic industries, such as the making of straw hats, mats, baskets, pottery, ropes and rough textiles. The policy of the Mexican government is to encourage national manufactures, and protective duties are levied for that purpose. Other favours include exemption from taxation and exemption from import duties on machinery and raw materials. These inducements have attracted large sums of foreign capital and have brought into the country large numbers of skilled operatives, especially in the cotton, iron and steel, and smelting industries. Constitution.—Under the Constitution of the 5th of February 1857, subsequently modified in many important particulars, the government of Mexico is described as a federation of free and sovereign states invested with representative and democratic institutions. Practically it is a Federal Republic with centralized executive powers. Its political divisions consist of 27 states (originally 19) having independent local governments, 3 territories and 1 federal district in which the national capital stands. The central government consists of three co-ordinate branches—executive, legislative and judicial—each nominally independent of the other. The executive branch consists of a president and vice-president, assisted by a cabinet of 8 secretaries of state: (1) foreign affairs; (2) interior; (3) justice; (4) public instruction and fine arts; (5) fomento, colonization and industry; (6) communications and public works; (7) finance and public credit; (8) war and' marine. The president and vice-president are elected indirectly through an electoral college chosen by popular vote, and serve for a period of six years (the term was four years previous to 1904), the vice-president succeeding to the office in case of the death or permanent disability of the president. The office of vice-president was created on the 6th of May, 1904, and that official serves as president of the senate. A constitutional amendment of 1890 permits the re-election of the president without limit, the original clause prohibiting such a re-election. A candidate for the presidency must be a native-born Mexican ARMY: EDUCATION] citizen in the full exercise of his political rights, 35 years of age, not an ecclesiastic, and a resident of the republic at the time of the election. Although the authority of the president is care-fully defined and limited by the Constitution, the exercise of dictatorial powers has been so common that the executive may be considered practically supreme and irresponsible. Previous to the presidency of General Porfirio Diaz in 1877 political disorders and changes in government were frequent. The legislative branch of government consists of a Congress of two chambers—a senate and a chamber of deputies. Two ordinary congressional sessions are held each year—April 1 to May 31 and September 16 to December 1s—and a permanent committee of 29 members (14 senators and 15 deputies) sits during recess, with the power to confirm executive appointments, to give assent to a mobilization of the national guard, to convene extra legislative sessions, to administer oaths, and to report at the next session on matters requiring congressional action. The senate is composed of 56 members—or two from each state and from the federal district—who are elected by popular vote for a term of four years, one-half the number retiring every two years. A senator must be not under 30 years of age, a Mexican citizen in the full enjoyment of his rights, a resident of the state he represents, and not an ecclesiastic. The chamber of deputies is composed of popular representatives, in the proportion of one deputy for each 40,000 inhabitants or fraction over 20,000, who are elected for a term of two years. A deputy must be not Iess than 25 years of age, other qualifications being the same as those for a senator. The salary for either senator or deputy is $3000 and that of the president $50,000. Federal officials and ecclesiastics are ineligible for election to either chamber. Mexican citizenship includes all persons born of Mexican parents, all naturalized aliens, and all foreigners owning real estate in the republic or having children by Mexican mothers unless formal declaration is made of an intention to retain the citizenship of another country. In some cases exemptions are granted from specified taxes and military duties, otherwise naturalized citizens are treated the same as native-born. Aliens are granted the civil rights enjoyed by Mexicans, but the government reserves the right to expel those guilty of pernicious conduct. Suffrage is extended to all Mexican citizens who possess honest means of livelihood, the age limit being 18 for the married and 21 for the unmarried. The judicial branch of the government consists of a supreme court of justice, three circuit courts, and 32 district courts. The supreme court is composed of 11 " ministros " or justices, four alternates, a " fiscal " or public prosecutor and the attorneygeneral—all elected by popular vote for a term of six years. It has jurisdiction in cases arising from the enforcement of the federal laws, except cases involving private interests, in admiralty cases, in cases where the republic is a party, in those between two or more states, or between a state and the citizens of another state, in those originating in treaties with foreign states, and in those affecting diplomatic and consular officials. There are likewise supreme and inferior courts in most of the states, governed by the civil and criminal codes in force in the federal district. The territories are governed by federal laws. The department of justice has oversight in matters relating to the enforcement of the federal laws and the administration of justice through minor courts. The police service is both municipal and federal in character. In some states a local police service is maintained, but in most states the federal government maintains a very efficient force of mounted " rurales." The states are organized very much like the federal government, each with its own governor, legislature, laws and judiciary. Elections are generally indirect, like those for the national executive, and official terms correspond closely to those of similar offices in the national organization. The state is nominally sovereign within its own boundaries, and the authority of its officers and courts in local questions is supreme except in cases where federal intervention or supervision is provided for by the federal constitution. The larger political divisions of the state327 (partidos, distritos, &c.) are governed by a jefe politico, or prefect, and the smaller by a municipal council called an ayuntamiento: Defence.—The Mexican army consisted in 1908 of 2474 officers and 24,132 men, organized on modern lines, and commanded by a general staff at the capital. There were 3o battalions of infantry and 4 battalions cadres with an effective strength of 730 officers and 14,898 men; 14 regiments of cavalry and 4 regimental cadres with 493 officers and 6o58 men; 2 regiments and 3 cadres of field artillery; one regiment and one cadre each of horse and mountain artillery, 4 sections of garrison artillery, and one mitrailleuse company, in all 147 officers and 1647 men; and the remainder divided among other services. Administration and headquarters staffs comprised 885 officers and 531 men. This force represented the peace footing of the army, which is recruited in part by voluntary enlistments and in part by a form of conscription that might be called impressment. Mauser rifles (1901 model) and carbines are used by the infantry and cavalry, and Schneider Canet quick-firing guns by the field and horse artillery. The nominal war strength of the army is rated at 2510 officers and 81,984 men. Factories for arms and ammunition have been established with modern machinery, and uniforms and other equipment are made in the country. The military school in the capital occupies a part of the historic castle of Chapultepec and has been thoroughly reorganized on modern lines. There is also an artillery school at Vera Cruz and subordinate schools in other parts of the republic. The national guard, to which reference is sometimes made, has no effective organization. Mexico may be said to have no navy, the ten small vessels in commission in 1908 hardly meriting such a designation. There were 2 old despatch boats and 2 old unarmoured gunboats, a steel training cruiser, the " Zaragoza," and 5 small modern gunboats. The personnel consisted of 198 officers and 965 men. Six new cruisers were projected, but the republic has no pressing need of a navy. Small naval schools are maintained at Campeche and Mazatlan. Education.—Education in Mexico may be said to have entered upon a progressive phase. The institutions founded by the Spaniards were wholly under ecclesiastical control. The first college in Mexico was founded during the administration of Viceroy Mendoza (1535-1550), but it taught very little beyond Latin, rhetoric, gram-mar and theology. The university of Mexico, planned by Mendoza and founded on the 21st of September 1551, was formally opened on the 25th of January 1553, with faculties of law, philosophy and theology. Practically nothing was done for the natives beyond oral instruction in the catechism. The university of Mexico received much support from both church and state, but it never gained a position comparable to the universities of South America—Cordoba, Lima (San Marcos) and Bogota. The overthrow of Spanish rule in Mexico was the beginning of a new period, and efforts were made to introduce educational reforms, but the colonists and ecclesiastics were still governed by their fears and prejudices, and little was accomplished. In 1833 the university of Mexico suspended work, and in 1865 passed out of existence altogether. In 1857 the adoption of a more liberal and democratic constitution paved the way for a new period in the educational history of the country. Its realization was delayed by the wars that devastated the country down to the overthrow of Maximilian, but the leaven was at work, and with the return of peace a marked increase in the number of primary and secondary schools was noted. Colleges of law, medicine and engineering were created in Mexico City in 1865 in place of the old university and were successful from the beginning. Professional schools were also established in several of the more important provincial capitals, and everywhere increasing interest in educational matters was apparent. The best proof of this was to be found in the development of the primary schools, of which there were 8226 in 1874, with an attendance of 360,000 pupils, Of these, 603 were supported by the national government, 5240 by municipalities, 2260 by private enterprise, 117 by the Catholic church, and the remainder by Protestant denominations. Handsome schools were built in the cities and larger towns, and schools were opened in all the villages and hamlets. In some parts the natives made most creditable progress in all branches of learning. This was especially true of the Mixtecos and Zapotecas of Oaxaca, from whom have come some of the leading men of the republic. The national school laws now in force had their origin in the recommendations made by a national congress of public education convened on the 1st of December 1889, and again on the 1st of December 189o. The first result was a law regulating free and compulsory education in the federal district and national territories, which came into effect on the 17th of January 1892. From 1822 to this time the government primary schools had been under the supervision of the Compania Lancasteriana, but they were now placed under charge of the Department of Public Education. On the 19th of May 1896 a general public education law was promulgated, which provided further regulations for the public schools, and outlined a comprehensive system. Compulsory attendance had been adopted in 1888, but did not come into effect until after the enactment of the law of 1896. It provides for uniform, free and non-sectarian primary instruction, and compulsory attendance for children of 6 to 12 years of age. Preparatory courses for professional training in the government schools were also made free and secular. As the states have control of the schools within their own boundaries there was at first a great lack of uniformity, but the national system is being generally adopted. In the official report for 1904 the number of public schools, exclusive of infant schools, was returned at 9194 (against 5843 in 1874), with an enrolment of 620,476. Of these 6488 were supported by the national and state governments and 2706 by the municipalities. The private, religious and association schools numbered 2281, with 135,838 pupils. For secondary instruction the national and state schools numbered 36 with 4642 pupils, and for professional instruction 65 with 9018 students, of whom 3790 were women. Normal schools for the training of teachers are also maintained at public expense and are giving good results. Besides these, the government maintains schools of law, medicine, agriculture and veterinary practice, engineering, mining, commerce and administration, music and fine arts. There is also a mechanics' training school (arses y oficios) for men and a similar school for women, schools for the blind and for deaf-mutes, reform schools, and garrison schools for soldiers. Early estimates were that 90 % of the population were illiterate. In 1895 this percentage was reduced to about 84 %, and the work of the schools is slowly cutting it down. Mention must be made of the National Library in Mexico City with about 225,000 volumes, and 138 public libraries (in 1904) in other parts of the republic, 34 museums for scientific, educational and art purposes, and 11 meteorological observatories. Newspapers and periodicals, whose educational value varies widely, numbered 459 in 1904, of which 439 were in Spanish and 12 in English. Religion.—The people of Mexico are almost wholly of the Roman Catholic faith, the census of 1900 returning 13,533,013 communicants of that church, 51,795 Protestants (in great part foreigners), 3811 of other faiths, and 18,640 of no faith. The constitution of 1857 grants toleration to all religions, and since 1868 several Protestant denominations have established missions in the towns, but their numbers are still comparatively small. The Roman Catholic religion was enforced at the time of the conquest, but a large percentage of the natives may still be considered semi-pagan, the gods of. their ancestors being worshipped in secret, and the forms and tenets of the dominant faith, which they but faintly comprehend, being largely adulterated with superstitions and practices of pagan origin. The church hierarchy consists of 3 archbishops and 23 suffragan bishops. It dates from the creation of the bishopric of Mexico in 1530, with Fray Juan de Zumarraga as bishop, although two previous creations had been proclaimed at Rome, that of Yucatan in 1518 and Puebla in 1525. In 1545 the bishopric of Mexico was elevated to an arch-bishopric, which in 1863 was divided into three archdioceses—Mexico, Michoacan and Guadalajara. An Inquisition tribunal was established in the capital in 1571, and in 1574 its first auto-d¢ fc was celebrated with the burning of " twenty-one pestilent Lutherans." The Inquisition was active in Mexico during two and a half centuries, and was finally suppressed on the 31st of May 182o. The great power exercised by the Roman Catholic church during the colonial period enabled it not only to mould the spiritual belief of the whole people, but also to control their education, tax their industries, and shape the political policies governing their daily life. In this way it acquired great wealth, becoming the owner of extensive estates in every part of the country and of highly productive properties in the towns. It was said in 1859 that the church owned one-third of the real and personal property of the republic. The reform laws of that year nationalized its property, abolished its numerous orders and institutions and deprived it of state support and of all participation in political affairs. Subsequent legislation removed clerical influence from public instruction, made marriage a civil ceremony and closed all conventual establishments. The church still exercises a boundless influence over the Mexican lower classes, and is still the most influential organization in the republic. Finance.—The national revenues are derived from import and export duties, port dues and other taxes levied on foreign commerce; from excise and stamp taxes and other charges upon internal business transactions; from direct taxes levied in the federal district and national territories, covering a land tax in rural districts, a house tax in the city, commercial and professional licences, water rates, and sundry taxes on bread, pulque, vehicles, saloons, theatres, &c.; from probate dues and registry fees; from a surcharge on all taxes levied by the states, called the " federal contribution," which is paid in federal revenue stamps; from post and telegraph receipts; and from some minor sources of income. The most fruitful revenue is the duty on imports, which is sometimes used for the protection of national industries, and which yields from 40 to 45% of the total receipts. The excise taxes in 1905 were levied on tobacco, alcohol and alcoholic beverages, and on cotton goods. Mining taxes, which are subject to periodic changes, consist of an initial or registry tax on the claim (pertenencia), an annual or rental tax on each claim, and a tax of 33 % (1905) on the export of unrefined gold and silver, 21% on partially refined ores, and 11% on pure silver. The expenditures are chiefly for the services of the public debt, military expenses, public works and internal affairs (Department of the Interior). The public debt service alone required $26,201,873 (£2,620,187) in 1908. For the fiscal year 1906–1907 the revenue produced a total of 114,286,122 pesos (dollars), or, approximately, £11,428,612, and the expenditure was 85,076,641 pesos, or £8,507,664. The estimates for1908–1909 show a marked decline owing to the commercial depression, the revenue being computed at 103,385,000 pesos, and the expenditure at 103,203,830 pesos. Of the former 46,500,000 pesos are credited to import duties, 31,930,000 pesos to stamps, excise taxes, &c., 10,930,000 pesos to direct taxes, and the balance to various sources. Owing to the circumstance that the great majority of the Mexican people own no property, carry on no industry, and are not even to be considered regular productive labourers, the revenues are small in relation to the population and are comparatively inelastic. The revenues and expenditures of the states and municipalities in 1904, the latest date available, aggregated as follows: Revenue. Expenditure. States . . . . 24,519,926 pesos 23,557,968 pesos Municipalities . . 14,605,022 ,, 14,160,132 The taxes cover a great variety of occupations and property, often to a minute and vexatious degree, and the expenditure includes the expenses of local administration, schools, police, streets and other objects of purely local interest. The public indebtedness of Mexico includes a foreign debt payable in gold, an internal debt payable in silver, and a floating debt covering unpaid balances on appropriations, unpaid interest, and other credits and obligations. The paper money issues are by banks and not by the government, and the national treasury keeps no cash in its vaults and has no sinking funds to offset this indebtedness. The foreign debt dates from 1825, when £10,000,000 were borrowed in London through two loans. Interest defaults led to a conversion of the debt in 1851, the interest rate being reduced from 5% to 3%. Further defaults followed and in 1888 another adjustment was made by the issue of 6 % gold-bearing bonds. From this time the Mexican government has met its obligations promptly, in consequence of which its credit is rated high and its bonds have even been quoted at a premium. In 1899 the government placed a loan of £22,700,000 in Europe at 5 % for the conversion of its 6 % bonds, securing it by the hypothecation of 62 % of its import and export duties. Further loans have considerably increased the debt since then, but it is still within the normal resources of the country. According to Matias Romero (Mexico and the United States, 1898), a new type of indebtedness was inaugurated in 185o in the shape of an internal debt payable in silver. Other loans and obligations contracted during periods of disorder were afterwards consolidated under this type, and later on unpaid railway subsidies were also included. The rate of interest is from 3 % to 5 %, and both principal and interest are payable in silver. The rapid development of railway construction has largely increased this part of the public debt, the revenues of the country being insufficient to meet the subsidy obligations, but as the railways are built for the development of valuable resources and the opening of needed trade communications, the increase has occasioned no loss of credit. At the end of 1908 the total public indebtedness of the republic was: Foreign, or gold debt, including City of Mexico loan . . Internal, or silver debt $130,892,100 Floating debt 860,495 $131,752,595 0r£13,175,259 Total . . . . £44,102,607 The fiscal or tax valuation of property throughout the republic in 1904 was computed to be—the fiscal scal value being two-thirds of the real value: Urban $312,950,983 Rural 488,182,009 Federal District 252,716,454 Total $1,053,849,446 Previous to 1905 all monetary transactions in Mexico were based in practice on a fluctuating silver standard and free coinage. By a law of the 9th of December 1904, promulgated by an executive decree of the 25th of March 1905, the gold standard was adopted, and the silver ,peso, .9027 fine and containing 24.438 grammes of pure silver, was made the monetary unit with a valuation of .75 grammes of gold. At the same time the free coinage of silver was suspended, the government reserving to itself the sole privilege of coining money. The coinage of Mexico, now concentrated at the mint in the capital (all others having been closed) is based (since November 28, 1867) on the decimal system—the peso being divided into loo centavos—and consists of gold, silver, nickel and bronze coins, whose weight and fineness are determined by the monetary law of 1904. The coins minted under this law are: GOLD: 10 pesos, .900 fine, weighing 8.3331 grammes. 5 pesos, , 2 (the first' called a hidalgo " andx the second a " medio hidalgo "). £30,927,348 SILVER: I peso, •9027 fine, containing 24.438 grammes of pure silver, 50 centavos, •80o fine, 20 Io
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I'm not sure who will be reading this comment, but it is not a joke. Please take me seriously. I have a letter dated May 27, 1910 from The Real Estate Co. Of Mexico. This letter talks about the Veracruz, Tobacco & Campeche R.R.and 525,000 acres of trust land. Awaiting your reply
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