Online Encyclopedia

VERA CRUZ (officially VERA CRUZ LEAVE)

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Originally appearing in Volume V27, Page 1015 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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VERA CRUZ (officially VERA CRUZ LEAVE), a Gulf Coast state of Mexico, bounded N. by Tamaulipas, W. by San Luis Potosi, Hidalgo, Puebla and Oaxaca, and S.E. by Chiapas and Tabasco. Pop. (1900) 981,030. It is about 50 M. wide, extending along the coast, N.W. to S.E., for a distance of 435 m., with an area of 29,201 sq. m. It was the seat of an ancient Indian civilization antedating the Aztecs and is filled with remarkable and interesting ruins; it is now one of the richest states of the republic. It consists of a low, sandy coastal zone, much broken with tidewater streams and lagoons, behind which the land rises gradually to the base of the sierras and then in rich valleys and wooded slopes to their summits on the eastern margin of the great Mexican plateau, from which rise the majestic summits of Orizaba and Cofre de Perote. The climate is hot, humid and malarial, except on the higher elevations; the rainfall is heavy, and the tropical vegetation is so dense that it is practically impossible to clear it away. At Coatzacoalcos the annual precipitation ranges from 125 to 140 in., but it steadily decreases towards the N. On the higher slopes of the sierras prehistoric terraces are found, evidently constructed to prevent the washing away of the soil by these heavy rains. More than forty rivers cross the state from the sierras to the coast, the following being navigable on their lower courses—Coatzacoalcos, San Juan, Tonto, Papaloapam, Tuxpam and Casones. Several of the lagoons on the coast are also navigable, that of Tamiahua on the northern coast, about loo m. long, being connected with the port of Tampico by inland channels. There are several ports on the coast—Coatzacoalcos, Alvarado, Vera Cruz, Nautla, Tecolutla and Tuxpam. The products of the state are chiefly agricultural—cotton, sugar, rum, tobacco, coffee, cacao, vanilla, maize, beans and fruit. Cattle-raising is followed in some districts, cattle and hides being among theexports. Among the forest products are rubber, cabinet woods, dye-woods, broom-root, chicle, jalap and orchids. Vera Cruz is one of the largest producers of sugar and rum in Mexico. There are a number of cotton factories (one of the largest in Mexico being at Orizaba), chiefly devoted to the making of coarse cloth for the lower classes. Tobacco factories are also numerous. Other manufactures include paper, chocolate, soap and matches. There are four lines of railway converging at Vera Cruz, two of which cross the state by different routes to converge again at Mexico city. Another, the Tehuantepec National railway, crosses in the south, and is connected with Vera Cruz (city) by the Vera Cruz & Pacific line, which traverses the state in a south-easterly direction. The capital is Jalapa, and its principal towns are Vera Cruz, Orizaba, Cordova and Coatzacoalcos.
End of Article: VERA CRUZ (officially VERA CRUZ LEAVE)
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